2014 March 24

Absolutely nothing much going on in regards to the layout. :(
I have been to the Funeral and a week later back to Melbourne for the Hobsons Bay Special Meeting.
And tomorrow I am off to Gold Coast to visit with my elderly parents. Back on 2 April and then will need get ready for the Hobson's Bay Exhibition at Easter.
In between I visited Steve Munro and got some pictures of his layout. Sure is getting things done.

I did pick up two brass engines over the last few weeks. One was a  repair which was an excellent job, with the engine running better than it ever did.
The other was a new one which will not always run around any sort of curve. Now in its self not an unusual thing, for a hand built brass engine. However I was told the driving wheels were probably held straight by the rods and to check this out I should loosen off the side rods with the tool provided. Silly idea, because now I have locked the engine and get a loud humming each time power is supplied. This is beyond me, so I guess this one will have to go back as well.  I am not worrying about getting it fixed or replaced, however its a pain getting things back to Melbourne all the time.

Some Pictures of Steve's Railway :) I certainly wish mine was going as well.

Compare these pictures with the ones published a few months back

Here Steve is adjusting the wires to the Terminus Station on the Branch line. Trains will arrive here but some vehicles will be taken back through the short tunnel, and be put into Industries on the other side of the back board. See sixth picture above. The Branch climbs the back wall, and at its steepest is 5% I think? Anyway was pleased to see my new brass N Class haul 15 Gy's and a ZL to the top nicely. Now Steve's 4 wheel stock is mostly SEM flat kits with SEM wheels in bearings.
Tip of the day  Steve lightly lubricates the axle bearings with Labelle plastic Compatible oil!! He has no problems thus far with anything. The oil appears to remain in place well and does not seem to be hardening or causing any problems at all. Before the vehicles were cleaned and oiled they would not roll down the helix. Since oiling they all roll down at XPT speeds.. hmm so maybe a problem might develop if you were using Chinese couplings, Steve uses genuine KD's ;)


2014_03_13 Modding the G Class lighting Boards

2014 March 13

G Class top light board for Headlights and Number lights.
The board will need to be modified to allow separation of the lights (damn Chinese don't obviously understand NMRA standards)
Ok remembering that a simple DCC sound conversion can be done by plugging a new speaker and decoder of your choice into the 8 pin plug after you remove the DC keeper board. For fellow masochists, read on...

(This is how I see the circuit? If I have it wrong please send the correction so I can fix it up for future reference.)
Pin1 to R3
R3 to LED3 +ve AND to C3
LED3 -ve to LED1 -ve
LED1 -ve to C1
C1 to LED1 +ve
LED1 +ve to R1
R1 to Pin3

Pin2 to C3,
C3 (under) to LED3 +ve (NMRA Blue)
C3 (also) to R3 to Pin1
LED3 -ve (NMRA white or Yellow) to LED1 -ve (NMRA Green or Purple)
LED1 -ve to C1
C1 to LED1 +ve
LED1 +ve to R1
R1 to Pin3

So Austrain switch positives and Common the negatives.
How can this work with a tsunami to NMRA standards which switch negatives and common positives?

Pin3 to R1
R1 to LED1 +ve
LED1 -ve to LED3 -ve to C1 to LED1 +ve
LED1 +ve to R1
R1 to Pin3

LED 3 = Headlight (Wrong LED should be white NOT sunny white)
LED 1 = Number Lights (Best number lights I have seen)

This is what I would like to do :D

De-solder all LED's and turn them 180 thus creating a NMRA Positive common!
This would solve all problems on the top board at least.

Also swap the white marker light (bright white) with the Headlight on top board (sunny white)
This will tone the markers down and fix the permanently low beam headlight.

What I will probably do due to my lousy soldering skills

Unless advice given here and elsewhere suggests another fix, I will  cut all tracks on the light boards and run three new wires from the LED's via the resistors to the Tsunami. The marker lights will get a dab of yellow paint and the Headlight stay as it is.
I wonder how many others apart from James will take control of the lighting on these things :D

Edit 1
According to the R&D guys at Sandown for Austrains, the 4 screws fixed under the middle of the bogies was not supposed to be used on the G Class. As the G Class has a one piece major body it only required fixing by the couplers as with most other Austrains Diesel previously produced. He said the 81 Class shares the same frame with new bogies as well as a two piece body. The 81 had a "bridge" chassis rail externally on both sides of the engine, and this was built as a separate piece, and so will need the body screws. I have a sneaking feeling the 81 Class delays are caused by mods and hopefully this is one of them. So remember once you get the screws out, heave them!! and hopefully anymore assembly at the factory will be without the bloody things :)

EDIT 2 Dumb Arse Electrical Question :)

I have a LED tester purchased from Jaycar. It has 7 A(+ve) and K (-ve) pairs of terminals marked in mA 1.0, 2.5, 5, 10, 10(?), 20, 50.

When I move the led up the rows LED's dim or brighten. So I guess the resistance changes. However when I put a meter on the pairs I get about 12.4 volts. (dropping to 10.4 when a LED is glowing) Without this box 12.4 volts would destroy the LED. Ok test tells me resisters do not reduce voltage but they must reduce current? I was a bit surprised by the readings, is all.
LED's are rated in low volts 2.4? When I connect the LED to  4 volts at the tsunami, the LED does not light.(1k resistor in circuit) When I put a meter on the tsunami outputs I get 2 010 with the space but no stops in 2o DC or 45100 0n 200AC scales So what should that tell me?


2014 March 7 The day we said goodbye to George!

George Bamberry RIP

Well my mate George died on Saturday and today I wanted to present you with a memorial page, the day we said our final good bye's at Melton.
I met George a few days after visiting the properties Officer at the old VR, trying to locate a disused building for Hobsons Bay Model Railway. George was a VR photographer and got details and looked me up. It was great to have a new friend on the inside at Spencer Street and George was instrumental in setting up the new club. Indeed it was sad that  Hobsons Bay in recent years failed to keep George  and many others of the originals interested, and he offered to resign. In fact our Treasurer tells me he did not resign, but elected to wait and see how things went for the future. He was looking forward to our Exhibition at Easter.
 George was part of the soul of Hobsons Bay, and it will never be the same again. Goodbye old friend....
Please visit the site addressed below, as this picture I pinched from there is only one of many you should enjoy.  it does it better than I ever could.

I believe Bernie Baker set up this head board, and that is typical of the big heart this man has too!


Thanks Lindsay Lucas for this Picture  too! But please take the time to visit this Flicker page which
Lindsay says
"A place to post images in tribute to George, his photographic & cinematographic work, recording railways and their workers around the globe.
Rod Young


2014_03_02 G Class Lighting!

2014_03_02 So another frustrating weekend spent trying to decipher the oriental mind :(  I think it is even worse than trying to understand the female mind.
These notes have been posted on Rail Page * and VR Enthusiasts ** so if you have been on there, you probably already read it.

Well the dramas are over and the Tsunami drives and sounds pretty good. Not as nice as the Loksound, for sure, but at $80 lower in price a necessary compromise when you need another 24 Decoders to finish the fleet off. Gee I am so glad that Auscision are building NSW crap (ha ha) for the next few years to allow my bank account to recover a little.

This was posted today on FailPage just to see if I can get some ideas how to continue with this project
The post...

Just wondering if we have some electrical bods here that can sort this out for me Smile
But before I go into this i want to state clearly...

YOU DO NOT have to go this route. Simply putting a decoder and speaker in the room provided and plugging into an 8 pin plug will do the job for you Wink

But for some reason I saw that each light source was separated from the other, and I thought lets turn the lights on and off individually. Maybe not my best idea, but if it does pan out in the long run, given time I might think it was worth it Sad
Here are my work notes, and I would love to hear what I can do to get over these Chinese builds (They really do want to smeg with our heads, of that I am convinced. Why else would you do this.....)

I am finding the G Class wiring confusing and frustrating.
I used the Jaycar diode tester to get these results.

In the body itself you have two identical boards, one at each end. Each board has two LED's on as well as resistors and capacitors.

white wire always connects to K (-14v)

green wire is number board and connects to Anode (+14v)

Blue wire is headlamp at each end connects to Anode (+14v)

I want the headlight to come on using the DCC Controller button 0
I want the Number lights and the marker lights to come on using F5 (Note 1)

These connections create a problem for me as I have to run a supplementary 14 v power line on my Tsunami, because the light power is unloaded 2.0v which is stopped from turning the LED's on by the on board res/caps.

I would want to join the Marker lights to the number lights on the F5 Tab

Bottom Board is tiny and runs three LED's And the identical board is mounted both ends.

The white wire is connected to white markers, and so I joined them both together and connects to K (-14v) (Note 2)

The yellow wire is connected to red markers and connects to K (-14v) and I intended these to hook to headlight at other end via a reed switch.

The orange wire is connected to ditch lights and connects to Anode (+14v) (Note 3)

I want the ditch lights to come on using F6.

One solution is to ditch the Tsunami board and find one that allows LED's to operate without the 14v shunt. Even so the Chinese have lost an opportunity to do it right for once. I doubt if I will ever hard wire one of these again, just put up with the circuit boards provided in future
Would love to hear comments.
Rod Young

Note 1. I don't want red markers on at this stage. I prefer to have white markers on when pulling a train. Red markers on the rear of a train loco was always an error, and signalmen could stop you to order the red lights be pulled. I am thinking of using a reed switch to turn red on for light engine work.

Note 2. The top board has the LED K (-14v) common and separated wires for the two LED's A (+14v)
and the Bottom board has a mixture of connections possibly to assist some control of when ditch or red marker light is able to switch on?

Note 3 The bottom board has both marker light control wires connected to K (-14v) except that the Ditch light which is connected to A (+14v). When I tried to get this to work from the headlight K (-14v) on the top board it would not. In order for it to work it needs to be connected to the white wire (marker Lights) K (-14v) You must have the markers on to get ditch lights to work, not the Headlight as expected. I don't know how to make this work, particularly as the circuit board is possibly too tiny to modify about 6mm square double sided?

Note Extra. NMRA wiring standards dictate the blue wire is common A (+14v) to all lighting..ok?
That means the tsunami is designed to switch only the K (-14v) wires which should be white to headlight and yellow to rear headlight, and green or purple (?) for F5 and F6 which can be used for marker lights and ditch lights
So they really botched this up, and my next thought is that I might be able alter the tracks on the top circuit boards to make them NMRA compliant and thus used separately as I want? this would swap the top board headlight wire Blue from Anode (+14v) to K (-14v) Then that would connect to Ditch Anode (+14v) to allow the ditch to swich on only when headlight is on. Can I still route it through F6, I don't think so :( Maybe another reed switch..damned if I want that.

Extra note It is possible that when all boards are connected to their correct LED's the Ditch lite will work from the headlight. However I cannot duplicate that on the LED test box, even with all LED's connected to different values but correct polarity

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