2014_06_29 Auscision deliver the BLX

2014_06_29  Auscision BLX / BLF arrive

The Wodonga yard pilot collects a bunch of Victorian box vans from the Bogie Exchange and waits line to haul them up to Wodonga for return to Dynon.

I took the opportunity to take some pictures whilst I still had some light to use!

Painted signs are only as good as the men who may read them ;) We often saw vehicles return through the bogie exchange from directions, they were not supposed to be :D

At Wodonga in the through road and ready to depart as soon as the road engine arrives from Wangaratta.  

Y 139 arrives from Seymour with a military special, heading for Albury via the bogie exchange.

I am extremely pleased with the detail and the models in general. Well done to our Sydney suppliers Auscision. You just get better and better :D

Its not all that happened on the layout in the last week :)  Al turned up again and we started to work  on the upper level of the branch line. We are attempting to get the branch up and running. More about that another time. But we did get my table saw going which has been just another place to store stuff on, since its purchase 6 years ago. Thank's again Al. You are a mate and great company, but I hope your back was feeling better when you got to relax back home :)
Cheers for now
Rod Young


2014 June 27

2014 June 27    Still raining still cold. The mountains have snow on them

Plenty of trains running :D
Have a major problem with Tam Valley Servo point control, awaiting on answer from them.
And running trains in both directions, crosses etc. Its becoming much more like a railway, day by day!

But now I have the other end to fix. That is trains all eventually arrive back at "Bowser" and terminate, because I need to get the branch up and running again . Show my plans next time :)

Here is a question I posted on DCC Downunder. Would appreciate advice?

Has anybody got an Explorer?
I have a three car early version Southern Models Explorer to which I want to add sound.
As you might know the lead driving car is powered and the trailing one a dummy. When you reverse the headlights and tail lights swap ends as you would expect. But the sound only comes out of the motorised end car. When a long 3 car Explorer passes you it is obvious that the two trailing cars are shut down
How to fix? Well I got 4 cell phone speakers arranged in series and two pairs in parallel returning the load to 8 ohms as required, and hard wired the speakers into the three cars. Two in middle and one each in the ends.
It works!! But the volume is so low that I had to build a small amplifier to boost the signal. That really does not work, and I need a big amp and the space is not there. Plus it is becoming an expensive proposition.
In fact at $415 it is probably cheaper to buy a two car set and use the motor to double power the 3 car unit.
Having said that I will need to operate two speakers in series (?) create a 4 ohm load and as before supply a speaker in front and a second in middle motor and the same from other end.
I presume that I will need to permanently assign the two Loksound V4.0 decoders to an address and lock them after tweaking the CV's.

Now what about the lighting? I guess do not use the second Loksound lighting at all. Wire up the second motor the same as the original dummy, and hope that the car lights all respond as the original set using the dummy. . That is headlights changing ends and marker lights rear lights and saloon lights?
Am I missing anything?


2014 June 15 She is through Wodonga!!

 2014 June 15 BG connection made, finally.

At 1252 the last spike was placed in the run round road through Wodonga. All droppers are placed ready to connect into the bus :D
Should be a simple job wiring it in, because the point motors, juicers and control switches (points) are built all ready to cut into the facia...

Wooooooeeeeeee!   Long time coming and now its ready tonight, perhaps to run several trains round the very big loop about 94 meters from platform and around both levels and back to the platform

Edit Actually just noticed the through road was connected in as well :)  Seems I was through at least an hour or two earlier ;)

So just need to cut and secure the Platform road. Then solder in 6 more droppers.
Connect 5 juicers and 3 more control switches as well as connect the droppers to the bus.
Guess that's about 4 hours work, at my pace :)



2014 June 11

2014 June 11  Tedious preparations.

I am slowly getting there. Yesterday and today I worked in the Wodonga Station area. Still have a lot of trouble working upside down. But got two servo motors installed at High Street end and despite one motor not operating, can at least enter Platform Road and Through Road, and run around.
Fitted Mono juicers and prepared two more for Signal Box end.
Drilled out for droppers, then spent another few hours on my back threading wire for all three tracks. Need to add the runaround road today after shopping.
Prepared 6 stop tail light globes, connecting the two filaments with a solid state fuse and wiring it into each track feed.
I also modified 5 Peco  points (switches) by adding droppers to outer rails, frogs and point blades ready to hook into the DCC  feeds for each track.
It is becoming a real problem getting down on my knees and back and working here at my age. I guess at 69 this year, I am lucky I can still do it at all.

So I am pretty pleased with how far I got. Still a gap big enough to lay 4 points before she is connected through. I almost cheated and just straight lined it through as some points will not be needed till I get the cattle race and Yard working. But I am glad I persisted and connected it through.
More later!
Rod Young


2014 June 9 Monday Queens Birthday


Managed to get a couple days work on the layout despite a bad dose of the Flu and a nose that dripped like a tap.  UGH!!

So track now reaches into Wodonga Platform and I am less than two meters of track to lay to join the first full BG loop up. Unfortunately their are 6 pairs of points in that section and it is taking time to set them all in place.
I wired in the BG track through the Coal Siding and started working back into the siding itself. Their is probably another few days work there after I get trains circulating.
Hopefully  feel better tomorrow and get the Wodonga connection in?


2014 June 3

2014 June 3 Time flies when you are having fun

So what has happened?
Hobsons Bay Easter 2014 Exhibition has run extremely well.
Couple of special meetings at Hobsons Bay sorting out the Club future.
Finished up taking the train to Melbourne Sunday for the last one and returning same day1..Too old for this ;)
Murray Railways Modellers Exhibition for 2014 has come and gone...

Bit of Track laying.....
Still working on the wiring ......
Burnt out another bogie. This time a Y class. Melted a gear and needs a replacement.

Worked out how I shorted out the Y Class.
Turned out it was the second engine in a consist and it pushed the first loco into a dead section of track, and then sat a wheel on the rail gap.
I have a Digitrax system which usually will protect the loco by shutting down. However this insulated section marked the entry into a district operated by a second DB150 control station. So far so good you might think? However the second DB150 was found to have been wired incorrectly. That is the DCC ring main was reversed, connecting black to red etc. Now how the hell did I do that?

A full check on the whole layout found some other minor errors too. Anyway all is good and the Y Class that hit the floor a year ago will be the source of a new axle to get Y139 back on the rails.

So now I am back into rewiring the Wodonga Yards, I might as well keep going :)

Last week we accomplished two jobs Jim and I got rid of the store bought brackets supporting the top level of the center module and that opens up the opportunity of finally wiring up the tracks and getting both stations operational.

The second job was done when Al came to give a hand. We widened the Coal Siding to help fit in the rest of the Shell Siding and add the Super Siding.

Here I show a few pictures of the goings on at my little railway.
And only a few meters of rail to lay before trains can circulate as well :D

The other day Graeme and Norma came up from the smoke for a visit. I was telling Graeme how difficult it was becoming for me to wire up the undersides of the yard. Imagine if you will the bottom shelf as cluttered as the shelf on the other side?
Norma brought us in a cup of coffee and heard the conversation, and says quick as you like... I don't really see a problem!  Just clean the junk of the shelf and scoot yourself along underneath. I think your arms will be long enough to easily do what you need to do. Don't you think?  Well Graeme and I just looked at each other and back to Norma..Why didn't we think about that? :( So the deck is cleared and I have scooted the length of the boards several times and it works well. Guess we were too close to the action? Or maybe not close enough? A real Duh!! moment for me at least.

Whilst Graeme was here we laid down the SG loop and the BG. All I need to do is wire in the loop points and the cripple road on the SG.

The BG is linked into Wodonga, and all I need to do now is fit in the three roads through Wodonga Station to complete the first full circuit of the Railway. About three lengths of Peco to complete the loop, about 8 lengths to get sidings in Wodonga, to make it reasonably operational. Remembering the Coal siding at Wodonga has only one entry facing Melbourne. Trains are hauled back to Wodonga in most cases before departure, although Melbourne trains can arrive straight in. Wodonga Coal siding has been widened to allow these arrivals.

My mate Jim, made up some new brackets to replace the eyesores I bought from Bunnings, and they work just fine.
Here Jim poses with one of the old brackets

Jim takes a few pictures whilst I admire the new supports.

*This picture tells a lie :) Their is no slope at all, the bubble on the level sits plumb in the middle ;)
The supports will be almost invisible once I plaster over them and prepare the back drops. I can now string in my LED lighting as well.
The supports were built to collapse slightly under the weight of the upper deck. It seems to have worked out almost correct in all but one case. We will heat it up and add another few degrees. But the layout is held very nicely and these supports stay under tension. I just saw those fastening heads. Need to replace them with countersunk screw heads before I can plaster over, I guess.

Jim welded up some new brackets and we just finished installing them. The posed picture shows the old brackets which did look pretty awful.

Interruptions...  I got a new Walker and it needs a sound chip. Its here and all it needs is to be fitted :)

Preparing the extension

Fixing the extension.

Applying the ends

Finished I glued the extension together. With ply glued on top, I doubt it will need extra legs. It already is very firm.

Under the coal siding The heavy black 35 amp cable and the similar Red cable are the DCC bus lines connected to the DCC Command Station.
The smaller gauge wires are the short protected local feeds, one for each track. Now all I have to do is join the black and red droppers to the correct feeds :) That job starts today. Before I started this post I installed the Hex juicers for the points. You can just see the multi-coloured fine wires dropping from each set of points in the distance. Unfortunately I will have to solder wires to extend the cables back to the juicer. I avoid soldering especially in confined spaces like this. I will have to be on my back on the lower rack.

So with the arrival of the first train at the Coal Siding, all we have to do is wire it up :(  
All it needs now is the droppers and the Hex Juicers to pass through on the main. Definitely my next job.

Well hopefully more to show in the next few days... Although Epping Exhibition is on again next weekend ;)
Rod Young