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Rear lights went quite straightforward - using the same technique as for the front ones. Also as the decoder is in the tender - no need to find difficult ways to hide the

cables. 

 

Also this engine cannot run on its own - it needs a driver and a fireman. Both have been added after an amputation of their lower parts. The motor was slightly in the way...

 

25088821368_ac15f8d01f_b.jpg20171210_134035 

 

Now a look at the rear lights - red

 

25088823228_c4d7485bb2_b.jpg20171210_134109 

 

and finally white. I did enjoy this little upgrade

 

38924155392_9b297fa644_b.jpg20171210_134201 

 

Now it is time to go back to the layout. Plan is to put all together for a first time during the Christmas holidays. This is not far away - especially if I look out of the window today... 

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Hi Vecchio,

Such exquisite work and that little loco looks and sounds wonderful.

Always a pleasure to see what you've been doing.

Cheers,

John.

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Just occurred to me that the name Donnersbachkogel sounds like some fancy (and highly-calorific) Austrian regional pastry.

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Just occurred to me that the name Donnersbachkogel sounds like some fancy (and highly-calorific) Austrian regional pastry.

Now I would like to know the name of that pastry. Was In Vienna the last two days and stocked up in Zimo decoders and Christmas cookies (homemade by my mum of course...)

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Back to the layout. Worked on the last two points of the HO - one of them was tricky as the point is exactly above a cross brace of the baseboard. This means I have to operate it from the top. Well - not completely. I went into my model aeroplane box and found a piece of Bowden which is very handy for this job. 

 

See here the situation below the board. 

39061227642_72e98b821c_b.jpgDSC_0694

 

And now on top

39061225242_f6049f42f7_b.jpgDSC_0696 

 

Works fine and with very low force. so it will not be a problem for the servo.  Wiring of this part is completed (well - as far as I can do it now) and I move to the neighbouring part - where I noticed a short last time I did put it up. 

 

But I had also a look at the mimic board - I added the missing siding - but without a point switch (see marked area).... Means: all switches out and a new hole in... 

 

38210158545_f06e0ab8ee_b.jpgDSC04595

 

But this will happen tomorrow as now the social part of the weekend starts...

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Found the short circuit, I installed drop wires but forgot to open the fine wire bridges on the back of one of the life frog points. This was a bit of a key-hole surgery as the points are all glued to the cork underlay but in the end it worked. Wired the remaining board and changed over the megapoint controllers from old to new - Daves new for old option. This was not without pain as the mounting holes of the V1.5 and V1.8 controllers are not at the same position.... Added the missing switch and leds to the mimic board and that's it as I got sick and spent the rest of the holiday in pain... Some kidney stones are disturbing me. Well - away with the nice single malts and replace them with the water jug... 

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Now that I upgraded the megapoint controllers I need to re-arrange my devices a bit as the new version cannot handle relays any more - only with the help of a relays and frog card - which is not cheap. so I decide to concentrate all non servo devices to controller 3 and have servos only on controller 4. Doing that I also upgrade the blinking signals - on #14 further up this thread I was happy about the motorbike led flashers - but I have to say the sound is annoying. Even wrapping the modules into expanded PP doesn't help. Recently I found by chance a solution. Rapid electronics has an educational series of kits - simple electronics for schools. Here I found the 555 a-stable module, price 2.80£, fully adjustable and with a transistor switch (which is an option I selected).

The documentation of this little circuits is rubbish and also the components are weird. The resistors in the pack are not the same value as in the circuit... This will give teachers some head scratching... 

 

Anyway - for this price still a great kit, I changed the resistors to the values of my choice and on we go. 

 

The PCB board is excellent quality, a few holes stay unused as there are some optional components. Here you can admire (or better not) the quality of my soldering.

38796669604_e2b75b9631_b.jpgDSC_0023

 

In no time the 4 little circuits I need where ready and tested. 

38796670574_f373c95974_b.jpgDSC_0021 

 

And this is what they will replace: the motorcycle blinkers wrapped in expanded PP strips.

38796673134_0ab4165f6f_b.jpgDSC_0026 

 

And also the box for the controller needs to be bigger as now the extra frog card and 8 relays need to be in there.

That's it for today, tomorrow the glue will be set. 

24637365217_2753173f0b_b.jpgDSC_0029 

Edited by Vecchio

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....Was In Vienna the last two days and stocked up in Zimo decoders and Christmas cookies (homemade by my mum of course...)

 

Avoiding the Sachertorte?

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Avoiding the Sachertorte?

Actually I went to a funeral, so the mood was not the right one - also I consider the original Sacher torte as quite dry. The only thing I really like are the little wooden boxes they have for export purposes. They come (at extra cost of course...) with a hinged lid and even a sort of lock on it. I have one of them since 20 (or more) years in use in my workshop for storage of certain small parts. 

 

But coming back to fancy cakes named after luxury hotels: There is another one, which is much more according to my taste as there are a few more layers of filling:

 

The Imperial -Torte

 

imperialtorte_original_kingsize.jpg

And - as the reader can see - also this one comes with a nice wooden case...

 

OK - back to earth - visitors to my place have to be happy to get a slice of cheese cake from the coop around the corner.

 

Some critics may say this is because I spend the majority of the money for trains and electronic gadgets...

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of course the glue has set in the meantime. But every time you do not see regular input in this thread I run into trouble...

I put the controller, the frog card and 2 relay cards into the controller box and on we go. Happy wiring. The photo shows the new controller box in place. 

 

27806605609_28c77c297a_b.jpgDSC_0709

 

When I continued wiring the box up I noticed that the relays in one of the relay card are not switching. The small input leds work, means we have the correct signal from the controller, but no click can be heard..

After some head scratching and changing with another relay card I found out why.

 

I have simply purchased the wrong voltage... The whole megapoint controller system runs with 5 volts which it creates with its internal voltage regulator. And the relay card is 12 volts.... 

 

27806607779_22be2d9284_b.jpgDSC_0716 

 

I checked all my relay cards - and hurray - 3 are wrong... This is not a big loss, as these cards are Arduino compatible and cost something like 1£80 per piece on the internet. The only problem is the delivery time. (OK, I could buy them from Dave but there they are 12£ each).

So to keep my budget in order I ordered from Hong Kong... Will be delivered at the end of the month. 

But this doesn't matter much, I can wire up everything else. 

 

The next problem arrived when I wanted to check the blinking signals. The signals have a common ground and all leds have their single wire to be connected to a positive voltage. The led blinker - as nice it is - uses a NPN transistor as a load switch - so I get a negative signal. This would work nicely if my signals would have a positive common. I remember that this was an option when I bought them 2 years ago. As they are made to order you can select what lights you want and where you prefer the common wire.... 

 

OK, head scratching again, remember long time ago electronic lessons and invert the signal with a PNP transistor. Doesn't look that professional any more but it works. 4 transistors were 1£80 from Maplins, the rest came from my bits box. As I didn't have 10KOhm resistors I put 2x 30K in parallel, gives 15 and works as good. 

 

And this is my altered PCB, 2 are done so far, one is already on the module as I wanted to check it with the real situation. The PNP transistor is somewhat flying above the PCB, but as it is a 4A type the leads are quite strong and it is held secure.

27806606089_c0ec72d694_b.jpgDSC_0710

 

The middle lead (collector) is the new output of the circuit. Some trouble, but in the end I am happy I found the solution.  

Edited by Vecchio
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Vecchio, the relay boards have a jumper near one end that is set to use the power supply from your driver circuit to operate the relays. You can remove this jumper and feed in a 12VDC supply instead (if you have one on your layout) to just operate the relays. This is often a better option as any electrical noise from the relay coils will not pass back to the driver circuit, and less current is drawn from the driver circuit.

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Ian

I do have a 14v DC supply for lighting as well as supply for the megapoint controllers.

I actually tried that but was not successful. Will try again.

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Vecchio, the relay boards have a jumper near one end that is set to use the power supply from your driver circuit to operate the relays. You can remove this jumper and feed in a 12VDC supply instead (if you have one on your layout) to just operate the relays. This is often a better option as any electrical noise from the relay coils will not pass back to the driver circuit, and less current is drawn from the driver circuit.

 

Ian,

Thanks again for the hint. Tried it again - works. Must have had a connector in the wrong position yesterday. 

So - now I will get a few not needed 5V 4-relay cards delivered...  :scratchhead: 

Well - the damage is below 10£ - easily compensated with my dry January action ... :sungum: 

Vecchio

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Board is wired up now. 

 

38723616925_7844c5fe2e_b.jpgDSC_0717 

 

Closer view of the new blinking circuits. left of them is a mini PCB containing the resistors for the leds of the signals. 

 

38723614935_c9c39ece0d_b.jpgDSC_0721

 

Next step will be the mimic board and then all should go together for a first time. But this will take a few days. 

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And it did take a few days... 42 switches, approximately 70 leds. But finally it is finished.

 

Have a look inside. The banana plugs on the left hand side are just for testing. As you see the lid is on hinges and there is a bar to keep the cables tidy. 

24953847927_72736984ce_b.jpgDSC_0723  

 

Now the whole thing closed. 

24953846287_0ee73d438c_b.jpgDSC_0724 

 

Finally I have to marry the mimic board with the controllers on the modules. But this will also take some time...

Edited by Vecchio
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Yesterday I learned that the frog and relay board doesn't follow the reverse command of the megapoint controller. With a bit of thinking this would have been clear as it isn't connected to the controller itself but just to the bus. And guess what? I have 5 light signals connected on module 3 and all 5 showed red instead of green. I didn't pay attention about the connections as I thought I can reverse them by software... well leaned it. Out with the soldering iron and it is fixed within 10 minutes.

Now I look forward to module 2 where 16 relays are - mainly for frog polarity. Wonder how many are wrong....

But first I have to work. I am off to Lyon for the rest of the week...

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A short sign of life from Donnersbachkogel. I wired the next module, containing two controllers, and it was more or less similar to what I have done on the one before. Therefore I will not bother the reader with more wiring photos... What I found out is that the frog and relay board has its little pitfalls. Not a problem from Megapoints, no, it works flawless. In some cases, where I have also the point blades connected to drop wires, I get a problem. when I press the button to change a point the servo will run 3 or 4 seconds to do this. But the relay changes in fractions of a second. This means I still have a connection with the point blade while the polarity has already changed. The result is a short circuit.

So I went back to mechanical lever end switches (less than 40p each), as those can easily be set to switch when the point blades are in the middle - so no short circuit will happen. I still need some of the relay channels as I have several light signals in the station. But I am sure I could have saved myself minimum one of the frog boards....   

Next Friday I will try to put all modules together - and I hope I can for a first time run a loco around the whole thing. I really look forward to scenic work after endless wiring...

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Now it is Friday - and yes I have put all together. First I found out that I forgot to cut the rails in one or two positions, some of the point levers were left too long and I switched polarity of the DCC on one module... 

But finally I can go round, even I have issues with a few points the time of playing has started. Of course, this is a naked layout, there will be a mountain on the left side, but nobody is hunting me so today I enjoy just driving trains around. 

 

40254739222_1278b63113_b.jpgDSC_0728 

 

40254740372_5611dcac3f_b.jpgDSC_0727 

 

40254741112_4fcd6de01b_b.jpgDSC_0726 

 

40254741952_6083397e16_b.jpgDSC_0730 

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... but nobody is hunting me so today I enjoy just driving trains around. 

 

Nirvana! :)

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Even in the partially bare state it looks good and as you've shown the effort as you've built bits you know it's going to be full of intricate detail close up. Can't wait to see the landscape grow :)

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The woodland scenic ramps arrived so we will soon see some serious landscape rising....

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And a first lot went in. There will be some serious work for the little steam engine to bring all tose tourists up there...

 

The noch bridge I have purchased some 2 years ago for this is still perfect - but it is one of the type having the steel girders under the actual bridge. Looks very good but if you want to cross the railway you need some serious clearance for that... 

 

39529192515_40fd0b1ae6_b.jpg20180222_192015 

 

40425070141_2b5d8e7580_b.jpg20180222_192035 

 

and the whole thing from above: 

 

39529193245_20974cc2c7_b.jpg20180222_192100 

 

Still some way to go - and as usual no time. Work wants a bit of my time - will travel even on Sunday to lovely Sweden with temperatures of -16degC.... and my lovely has purchased a wood burner- so small delay in the project expected... 

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Looking very nice Vecchio, An inspiring layout if ever I've seen one!

 

I think this shot is fantastic. 

 

post-6774-0-24324800-1519334474_thumb.png

 

Graham.

 

 

 

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