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peach james

Long Marton, S&C

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So, rather than the blog style, I will continue here with the odd posts about what has been happening with Long Marton. At present, I have had trains running, but have had problems with the DS 54's under the signalbox resetting themselves to some unknown address for operating turnouts. They transmitted the inputs fine, but the outputs were not working at all.

I have bought a PR3, so finally have a way of reading back addresses. I messed around, found that CV 513 (!) holds the address on a DS 54, and got one working. Since then, there has been a slight game delay for 3 reasons.

1. Allen Johnathan Powell was born on the 25th March.
2. Work continues on addition to house. (~830 sq ft, between 2 floors. Includes 17x24' room for me. (have to share it for a few years though...). Since I am general contractor, I have to be here for the work...and have to schedule a moderate amount of it.
3. Going to Nanaimo train show this weekend. So, I have been madly scrambling to get lego trains out, figure out a workable layout and do some programming as well as building. It doesn't help when the first step is "modify benchwork"...

It looks like a 13x10' L shaped layout, with a single track along the back of the 13' section, elevated by ~6" or so on brick built platforms. Then, there will be a Inglenook Siding, and a continous circuit on the lower level. Intent is a fairly low track:structures ratio, with only 2.5 of us going to be there to display. Next step is to finish undoing stuff (tables) & get the inglenook to work under DCC, then transport packing the whole lot. Naniamo is ~120 km from here, and older son and I will be leaving at 0:dark 30 to get there by 8 am on Sunday.

Back to Long Marton, the intent is to restart work O/C sunday, with a reprogram of the other 2 DS 54's being the only outstanding thing to do. Then, I need to get ver 20.0 (major rev) of the RR&Co program done up, and get reasonable performance out of the layout for the 25th, which is the BRMVI visit, semi- annual... I am back to about the same configuration as the last time, but this time the second wye is installed, and the full 15 track yard is not in place because of the house construction. That, and more signals work, along with some of the turnouts in Long Marton under the computer. There is so much to do, and I find so little time to manage it, even though I am off work on parental leave until December 16th of this year.

I have taken to modifying the outputs from the DB150's on Long Marton, they will be fitted with a heavy duty relay to allow for closing the DCC:track signal after allowing time for the outputs to stablize. I'm a little concerned that part of the problems I have seen have been from the output issues that are known about with DCC. (high track voltages, ect). This means more DC control wiring, as well as rewiring some AC stuff to supply all 3 booster districts from the same switch. I'm also getting a loconet repeater, to allow for the splitting of the loconet into 2 segments, the boosters & computer being on one, and the rest of everything else on the other one.


James Powell

Edited by peach james

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It's Tuesday PM here, and what has happened?

 

We (Daniel, my 4.5 year old son) and I went to Naniamo to the show there on Sunday. Between 3 adults, a 9 year old and my -1 helper, we managed to display ~62 sq ft of lego train goodness. I would have liked to have had more set up, but I am limited in that everything that I do right now means moving something in a complicated pattern to get to the next item, because my basement is empty and my shipping containers are full. The good news is that the cement guy has been pestering my contractor, and wants to put the slab in soon. Then, some of the 3 way circular argument will end, because I will be able to move stuff into the new unfinished basement to get it out of the containers, and the basement will only have to house the stuff from upstairs...

 

On the layout front, Long Marton got around 4 hours work done tonight, with 2 replacement boards made up for holding the DB150 boosters, a relay, and a 120:12V power supply. As well, Daniel and I spend a good portion of the day on the road, getting the relays, wire and a new soldering iron. When I was working on DCCing Clan Macleod, my trusty Antax 18W/12V job quit on me. I metered it, infinite resistance. Since Antax soldering irons are like rocking horse dung over here, I got a weller 25W/120V job for now, and are likely going to get a temp controlled station in the near future.

 

New Purchases:

72008 Clan Macleod (Hornby). Fitted with NCE decoder in tender, via the expedient of flipping the circuit board over and soldering the leads of the decoder to the circuit board. I'm too cheap to have 8 pin decoders to hand...

 

Work complete: Boosters ready for testing. New extension cord made to power all 3 boosters from one outlet. Includes handy light to let me know that I've the inteligence of (insert political figure name here...) and left the power on to the DCC again.

 

James

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Got the DCC powered up, with the DS64's in the signal box powered too, including changing the address series and CV's.

 

A little tidbit is that CV15 which is undocumented in the Digitrax information with DS 64's is the toggle for operate turnouts

 

I will see if I can get trains going tonight...we will see. It's 1800 here or so...

 

James

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The're alive!

 

Ran 50035 around with the cleaning train last night. Have it set to go more today.

 

I've been mucking about with the new revision of the program for running trains, substantial revisions were required to correct for track changes, and the last version (LMSB 13.0) of internal revisions had kind of reached an impass, it provides lots of info going forward though.

 

I've got the double and single slips set up, took apart one of the signals due to failure to operate correctly, will modify accordingly and get to work before reinstalling. Ug.

 

I'd also like to try and get the last 3 turnouts motorized. I have the Torti to do it, but I can't find the linkage. I thought I had one more bag of Tamya kicking around...I can't seem to find it.

 

9 days until the BRMoV are here. No problem :)

 

James

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Last bits of Tamya used, still have 2 switches to motorize. Oh well...

 

I spent a lot of time yesterday working on getting the documentation for my internal use. (did a list of all the addressess that I have used to date)

 

Ran 50035 on track cleaning duties for around 2 hours. (well, that, and I'd rather have a train running...). Also reinstalled the signal that was removed earlier, now it has excessive travel rather than none.

 

Mucked around with Gordon from TTTE. It shed valve gear parts, needed pinning to make it work. Oh, and it has a decided hunt going along the track. This is a Bachmann version, not the Hornby one.

 

Next question: Why doesn't my new clan run? (I think I know why...).

 

Other outstanding work is to reprogram one of the DS44's, and get the other 2 signals that have motors working. Since I haven't got the bits to make the turnouts to operate, I have 2 spare torti...at least until I get more bits. The fun of installing torti by the bucketful, since I have used something like 50 of them.

 

James

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The progress to today:

 

DMU's (2 of them) running on one set of program. Up trains running right. Down trains: Untested. This afternoon...

 

Massive dusting/cleaning managed. BRMVI meet here tomorrow...trains should run.

 

Painted 2 of the baseboards, so there is less of the giant plaster collection than there was. Cheap poster paint used. ~20 fl oz of paint...

 

Got 16 locos set up with profiles. Still have the streak, a double D (wobble D?) and a pair of Black 5's to do in the big loco selection, and some smaller stuff. Robin Hood is following my 3.5" version and bending rods, which it seems to do well when it pinches my fingers because it piled up running backwards at 80 or 90 across the single slip light engine...

 

Progress around the house includes moving Daniels bedroom window by 30" or so, so his room will take priority after tomorrow. Bath tub is on the floor out back, some internal walls are done, & the basement is ready for me to start doing wiring.

 

James

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1. Allen Johnathan Powell was born on the 25th March.

 

Congratulations! We have a four month old, who's a fair bit of work!

 

I was expecting a thread about pointwork actually; think you need some photos up now!

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The further adventures:

 

In terms of Long Marton, the old 4 track staging yard & loop that were the last original portions of the layout have been removed. I have started making up replacement baseboards for them, allowing for a 12" wide yard configuration, and the same 3' at the end for curves. (imposes around a 24" radius eased curve on the inside track).

 

The reason for the wholesale removal of trackwork is because I need to get to the electric panel to wire into it, and my plumber is going to be removing & replacing the hot water tank as well. Both of these were kind of crippled by the location of the permanant benchwork. So, the benchwork & trackage has been removed. Track & electronics were salvaged, the benchwork went into the old oil tank & burned.

 

The present plan is to build a 4 track staging yard, plus a run through track that includes a portion of the Y in it. The idea is to reduce the width of the baseboards to only 12", which will allow for a 24" wide* 18' portable layout to be built as well. (it looks like something like Long Meg mine is in the cards, but that is open to debate right now...). First priority remains my house, which I have spent a fair amount of time working on various bits thereof. Oh, and looking after 1 month old son who is like all one month olds, great to look at for 5 min, but a lot of work after those 5 min !

 

One full day this week was spent removing the drop celing in the "lego" room, (the room that the staging for Long Marton lives in). It had to come out to allow for access for the plumbing & electrical work- it seems everything I touch results in 2 more jobs in my capable (but busy) hands...

 

The house electrical progresses- I have about 1/3rd of it done, I would think. Perhaps more than that...of course, until it is all done, then it is only 1/2 done...

 

The plywood frames for the replacement baseboards have been cut. These are made from 3/4" ply, 5" deep, then T'd with a 2" wide piece. So, I have the bits cut to width for (I think) all of the layout, then the first 2 bits (the 3' squares) are further along. O/C the 3' squares, next will be the 3x 6' by 1' boards, then tracklaying on them. I'm unsure if I will reuse much of the track or if I will get some new. I know I need more turnouts, but until I get to my one chest of drawers, I don't know how many I need. (it has some new Peco turnouts in it).

 

James

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Photos:

Long Marton 2001-

 

These are hosted on my Pacificcoast account, and get updated as I feel like it.

 

More stuff done: Ordered 250 ukp worth of Peco from Hattons, consisting of 12 turnouts & 2 boxes of flex. These are electrofrog, which will be the first time I have used them on Long Marton. I have a small (13x60") layout that used them, but it has been a while since I did that.

 

Also, bought a belt sander & did a lot of foam removal on the station board for LM. Now, it has almost right profile...after removing something like 20L of foam (or so it seems). This is Styrospan SM, and the keys are to use a corse belt, hold the sander off the styrospan, and WEAR A MASK!

 

On the home front, the roof is back to being intact, the plumber is getting the rough in done, all but 1 window is in, siding should be here soonish...it's progressing. Electrical still requires 1 redo of wire, and then I have to figure out the supply...

 

James

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Update:

May 23rd, 2010

 

Today was a bit of a odd day- the plumber was here in the AM, finishing the installation of the new 80 USG (That’s 376L, if you are metric, or around 70 IG) hot water tank.

 

Over the last week or so, I have been able to work occasionally on Long Marton. Work on the house has continued, with the plumbing rough in being finished, and the new hot water tank is installed. That means, that the space which the old hot water tank was in became available, and now I have enough room to walk around in the railway room.

 

Work on Long Marton has consisted of pulling Bridge 254 and the station baseboards out from the wall, and then using a belt sander to remove large quantities of Styrofoam from both. They now “match†each other fairly well, and are as close as I am going to come to right for contours except right around bridge 254. I have one of the photos taken in 2006 set up as a reference to see how the contour around the town side looks, and the down end needs more work. (I also need to construct abutments for the bridge…).

 

The belt sander is a ferocious tool to use on the styrospan, eating it like pac-man on a rampage. It fills it’s dust collector in about 1 min, requiring fairly constant attention.

 

Tonights project was carving out some platforms from 12.5mm plywood, and then running wires under them for the station lights. I have 12 of the DCC Concepts lights, but it looks like I need more like 15. Oh well…

 

The other bit which has gotten done over the last week was putting the foam into the two 3x3 boards for the replacement curves. Next, I need to dig out the “mating†45†yard module, and lay out the locations of the track. This may mean going back and putting together a different filler chunk- my current hope is a 12x23†chunk would suffice, but I have a feeling that I may be pushing the start of some of the curves back onto that board, which means…well, it means that the crossover at that end is going to be wildly close to Long Marton, and that the signal will probably be kind of redundant, as well as being completely wrong in its location…I’d be tempted to paint out those two levers, and change them to whites (spares)…but, time is already going to be compressed, and this way it forces the arrival speed down to restricted (~60 km/h is what I have been using in RR&Co).

 

Things to get:

More 2 part expanding foam. My “A†part was hard. Rock hard.

3 more DCC Concepts lights

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I got 7 + 4 of the DCC Concepts lights to work. Next project has been building some bits out of Lego for making signal box parts- I'm making up the block instruments for Long Marton. The plan is that the "Electrical Controlled Needles" will be moved by motor, rather than solenoid. I am reluctant to wind my own coils, as that would seem to be the other way to operate the needles.

 

It's easy enough to make the other half of the needles, in that making the transmiting needles is easier than the recieving ones. I've got 3 microswitches for each of them, and a plywood cut-off will be used. (oval).

 

James

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(I just lost a completed post!)

 

Update: New photos:

 

 

 

These are images of the 2nd Bell Instrument Case that I have made. The first one isn't quite as finished (ish) as this one is. This one requires some brass engraved tally plates, which will have to wait until I return to work to get done, since then I have access to a engraver to get them done with...It also needs a 2nd arrow for the top indicator, I need to sweat some brass plate together to make 3 more.

 

The instrument is not like any real full sized one, I know that- it is a reasonable replica of the functions, but done rather differently than how the full sized ones were done.

 

Two other threads ongoing by me about it, one on how to count (!) using RR&Co 5.0c, I will post a page showing the flagmen and switches at some point, and the other one asking a bit more about instrumentation, and how it was set up. I don't know that much (!) about how the signaling was done, and don't want to reinvent the wheel. I think I know enough to be able to create a reasonable faux signalbox for Long Marton though.

 

 

 

Taken before the other ones, this shows what can be done using just the light from the (7) DCC Concepts lights, and a 15 second exposure using the remote trip for the shutter. The coach is Blood & Custard, not Blue/Gray, in case there is any doubt. It's just a bog standard Bachmann Mk 1, done for fun.

 

James

Edited by Andy Y
Images removed due to malware alerts
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So that I didn't loose all that I wrote:

 

The plan (?) is to use

handkey.jpg

as the keys, without burying them inside boxes. Since I am also a radio operator, I can appreciate the quality of the telegraph keys. (only issue is the price...120 UKP more to spend on stuff...).

 

The mechanics of the instrument cases are done using 2 Lego motors & gears/belts/pullys. There is also the locking solenoid, which consists of the Peco solenoid in the images above. The lego is used like Meccano would be by older people, mostly because I have it. Figuring out 2:1 ratios with Lego took a little while- the 16:8 ratio wasn't a normal one when I was growing up, since the 1x1 brick with technic axle hole didn't exist. (and it is a 1.5 ratio, not a even one).

 

Off to work on the layout,

James

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I like the use of Lego parts! :D

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so- 8 months since the last post. What has happened:

 

Wiring. Did a bit more wiring/rewiring of the layout.

 

Tracklaying: Relayed one end of the 6 track yard, on 6' portable section. I need to build 2 more sections for that.

 

Other Work: we are living in the house addition, and I have spent the last 2 months at school (Canadian Fleet School Esquimalt, Engineering Division) doing my 6's. (think 2nd class Stationary/marine certification). The 1 month old is nearly 1 year old.

 

And the trains run again!.

 

James

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So, where am I with Long Marton?

 

I've got the layout assembled, and runnable. Currently, it is really only set up for uni-directional (down) operation, at least without using the staging yard for both directions. I need to finish ~12 ft of baseboard, and switches, and... before it can return to being single direction.

 

I cut 1" or so off the height of the staging over the last week. That might not seem like much of a chore, except to do that, I had to dismantle the lego which rests above the staging yard, remove 4 30x60" tables, then dismantle the staging yard (4 boards, 2x45", 2x60", and then cut the legs down by 1/4" per section. This is to reduce the grade at the enterance to something more manageable.

 

The big issue to date is that when pulling 11 Bachmann Mk1's, the 2nd coach tends to derail. Forces are high enough to lift it clear off the track in the curves. Since I don't have any more room for larger curves, (~30" or so now...), the only other option is to level the track out some more. I am unsure how I managed to get the track as far from level as it is, but that's now historic, I just have to deal with it.

 

I am off to sea on Monday for a couple of weeks, I will probably get very little more done on LM until the summertime. The current summer plan is to set up the BRMoV layout in my basement and have another run day, prior to the September 10th train show in Victoria.

 

-with regards to BRMoV, I don't think I ever noted that Peter Bricknell passed away in January, 2011, after a very short bout against cancer. He is missed as one of the members who did a lot of the club related work. Any other UK/Euro modelers in the Victoria, BC (or Vancouver Island) area who wish to join BRMoV, are asked to drop me a line.

 

James Powell

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Hi James,

 

I've just had to remove the images posted above after a confirmed report of malware on the pages.pacificoast site. I'm not saying those images were infected but McAfee was barring access to this topic as the images were stored on a server known to host some malware.

 

Images are best uploaded onto the RMweb server.

 

Thanks,

 

Andy

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I just saw Andy Y's post about removing images- fair enough that they had to go. It's not _my_ page on Pacificcoast.net that is the problem, at least as far as I can tell, but other sites hosted on the domain.

 

Updates: really, none. I'm in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on course. I've been working on the RR&Co system again, during some of my spare time. I figured out (again) how to do the counting for the signal boxes, and have played around to bring the layout onto one switchboard, and the signal box instrumentation onto another. Not much else exciting happening from here. I've got more Kadee NEM couplers to add to goods stock when I get home, and a plan for the Hattons Class 28 BoCo. (it involves conflats, but not conflat P's, and a smoke generator...)

 

I have the Kent keys mentioned above, one of them is wired up, the other one is built, but the 2nd box still needs to be finished. There is another 6' chunk of layout waiting for me to get home, and enough torti to finish that bit of trackwork. Follow on section will require more torti...not sure if I will strip some from another layout, or not. There are 14 of them or so on my Thomas the Tank Engine layout, but if I take more than 1 off, it presents control problems. (they're used as part of the DC switching process).

 

James in Halifax

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Another short update: Since photos are broken on RM Web, I won't try and post any here. Now, with high speed internet, more should appear on a regular basis.

 

Long Marton is running again, still single ended. I've built the baseboards, wired them, and have them mostly in place to put the middle bit in again. Last missing bit is to connect the existing through chimney section (!) to the new. This may involve removing some of the old bridging section, I'm not sure. (easier to cut down than to add to, at any rate). I've been running one of my Bachmann 9F's around with ~20 wagons tonight, went from having a few issues to getting about 10 laps/problem. As is usual with 2 wheel trucks on the front of locos, they don't like the transitions between boards, where things tend to get abrupt.

 

I will post some photos when the notice goes away,

 

James

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Ok, so today's fun so far has been a short span of wiring. I knew I had 3 sections on the middle staging which were missing wiring, now found which ones & have a plan to power them from the next board over. It's getting a bit rats nest like, with the quantity of wiring required. 2 wire DCC this is NOT!.

 

James

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2 wire DCC this is NOT!.

 

In our (WFRM) case it means 2 wires to every piece of rail :mosking:

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I feel like I should have followed that one, as there are at least 2 points which are lacking power on one side right now !. I haven't wired electrofrog for a while, and forgot the simple part that the two outside rails & frog all get wired on them.

 

2 or 3 turnouts to adjust the position of the torti, as they are shorting before switching by enough to bring down the section with them in. Irritating, but not the end of the world.

 

I had trains running in both directions for the first time in 2+ years, which made me happy. Silly house renovation projects that keep growing !

 

The Lego is fairly close to 2 wire, Dave, at least in comparison to a fully detected, fully computer operated turnout & signals setup. The lego only gets Red & Yellow wire, and that's it. Connect appropriately to them, and run...might explain why it works, and Long Marton didn't !

 

James

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Posting again. Spent more time away. Job related, spent 2 weeks in Halifax, NS. I've been back for 2 weeks, and have got trains running in both directions, with hoover running in one direction with 8 on, and the 108 running the other way. Lots of programming went on in the background, spent a bunch of time @ work on it during my morning/lunch hour.

 

Next fun: Getting the 8 coaches to run reliably through the trackwork. My track laying skills are not that good, considering. Lots of humps which show up badly with Kadee couplings & longish trains. I'm expecting that the layout at this time cannot be run in auto, because 2-5 detection blocks are going to be below 10k resistance right now.

 

James

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The blocks are back above 10k, which means the glue has dried again. I've been running a 9 car train in both directions, and including through some of the staging tracks. The club layout is also here and assembled- I'm glad I have a understanding wife who accepted that the basement interior HAD to be 24' 6" when we put the addition onto the house. This is the BRMoV club layout, we've done major alterations to it which should be completed prior to the September show.

 

Mental notes about staging: really, 12" is enough to get into. If you have a table that lets you lie flat on your back at the height of the table you are going onto. Otherwise, no, 12" is not really enough to be able to get to the back of 30" baseboards with electrical gremlins. Of course, that really is an advertisement to get rid of all gremlins before installing said baseboards. Or, just bite the bullet, and remove the baseboards above until access is possible. Glad option A worked, even if it was a bit of a squeeze.

 

Next fun: try Auto. That, or clean more track first...

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