Friday, 6 September 2013

Progress...

And so the layout build continues, slowly.  Did have time in the last week to essentially finish the wiring of the DCC side of things into the station module of the new layout.  All the track (there wasn't much track anyway) is laid in the station yard, and now extends across the main module.  The next step there is to start on the traverser module, which will no doubt chew up a bit of time getting it right.  I am controlling my points via the NCE handset, and using a NCE Switch-8 to manage this.  The reason being, it eliminates the buttons/switches on the fascia, which is sometimes too tempting for little fingers when at exhibitions...so all the controls are in the palm of my hand now.  A simple indicator panel on the fascia shows the route setting with LED's wired into the Tortoise switch machine lines.  The frogs are all powered up, and this set up has been now tested and working fine...eventually.



 
Yup, eventually.  I thought I did a nice neat job of the wiring underneath.  Followed each run and was happy with the connections.  Turned it on for the first time, with the DCC Specialties PSX-3 set up for circuit protection, so its nice to know the protection is working well...I just didn't want to know it was working before I'd even run a loco!  Spend and hour or so re tracing wiring, which all looked ok.  I could hear the short clicking somewhere on the module, and eventually found the issue - I kind of forgot to remove one of the jumpers under one of the Peco points...doh!  At least is was easy enough to pass a saw between the rails and break the jumper, and the problem was solved.  All happy again.  I took a gas mechanical for a quick run up and down the line, with all going smoothly, and have already started play around with what switching moves could be done during exhibitions.
 

 
While I was rearranging the garage to make some space for the car again, I also discovered a new way the layout could be set up for display at exhibitions.  The peninsular part of it was the part that I could see causing exhibition managers the biggest headache, with the odd part of the layout potentially taking up isle space.  I pushed the layout back to one side of the garage and turned it on a diagonal to save some room.  Bingo, spotted how it could work as a nice long curve open face of the layout for viewers to "walk into" as such (see the rough sketch).  I like the idea of walking into the viewing space so that your peripheral vision is also filled with layout.  It works a bit more like a home layout this way, where the layout can wrap around you a bit.  With this configuration, the back scene becomes a long diagonal wall, with two to three main gathering points for viewing the scenes.  The highlighted green area in the sketch sort of shows how viewers could walk in and out of the layout space.  Having it set of this way also lends itself to being displayed on the corner of and isle if needed.
 
So apart from some layout building, the other thing I'm looking forward to is heading up to Puffing Billy tomorrow, Sunday 8th September, for the recommissioning of the Climax 1694.  Got the ticket booked, and have seen a few test runs, so now keen to catch a ride behind a piece of narrow gauge history that has been returned to life.  Camera's charged, so there will be another blog update after that one.  Also a good chance to grab some research shots before starting on a model of the loco.
 
Cheers,
Dan
 

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