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Author Topic: The Train Shed Project  (Read 72154 times)

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Offline lil chris

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1515 on: October 11, 2017, 09:48:37 pm »
I suppose the answer would be some sort of stay alive fitted to each loco, but that could get expensive and maybe difficult to fit on certain n-gauge loc'o's. It would pay off though with a automated layout though for reliable running.
Lil Chris
My layout here East Lancashire Lines
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29492.0

Offline rogerdB

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1516 on: October 11, 2017, 10:14:16 pm »

I am using a Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance DCC-02 control system because, when I first planned the layout, this seemed to be the simplest system that was sufficiently comprehensive for my purposes.  However, the dial for setting the speed steps is not reliable, depending how fast you turn it and, sometimes, has a mind of its own.  This isn’t too much of a problem when starting trains, but stopping them in the right place can be problematical.

Interesting comment, Laurence. I have problems with the speed control on my DCC-02, but usually when starting, not stopping. I often have to spin the control numerous times before getting the locos moving at any speed. But I've never had any problems with glitches during acceleration and deceleration like those you mention.

Offline Innovationgame

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1517 on: October 12, 2017, 06:38:00 am »
Interesting comment, Laurence. I have problems with the speed control on my DCC-02, but usually when starting, not stopping. I often have to spin the control numerous times before getting the locos moving at any speed. But I've never had any problems with glitches during acceleration and deceleration like those you mention.
I find the DCC-02 dial more reliable if I turn it slowly.  My stops are based on starting deceleration at a specific point on the layout.  It is most reliable if I hit reverse or the minus step a couple of times before turning the dial.  However, I have been known to forget to hit reverse again, hence Forthampton Grange's false start in the video.  I was a bit late stopping the Grange in the video, which is why it didn't stop until the very end of the platform.

I don't think the glitches are anything to do with the controller, but a combination of the track, wheels and loco pickups.  Out of the fourteen locos I run, only a couple seem to have the problem regularly and that is usually when I first run them.  Occasionally, another will have a glitch when running for the first time, but most are glitch free.  Cleaning the track at the place where the stop occurs usually helps, but not always.  As you can see from the video, everything usually stops and starts OK, but it's annoying when they don't.
With kind regards
Laurence

Offline Innovationgame

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1518 on: October 12, 2017, 07:56:10 pm »
First thing this morning, I ran 7a (6417, 80119 and 45572 ‘Eire’), 7b (6417, 9744 and 92006 with the express freight), 7c (7821 ‘Dicheat Manor’ and 45206 with the milk train), 8a (6417, 80119 and 4915 ‘Cranmore Hall’), 8b (6417, 9744 and 3846 with the heavy goods) and 8c (7821 ‘Dicheat Manor’ and 64960 with the local goods).  Apart from 6417, which had repeated stops, everything else works fine.

Later, after preparing the greenhouse for Winter by bubble-wrapping the inside of all the windows, I returned to the Train Shed and decided that I would tail chase 6417 with 80119, with 6417 at the head of Cranmore Hall’s nine-coach corridor train.  I had to slow down 80119 to match the top speed of 6417 (about 30mph to scale) and I thought it might be good to capture this on a short video.

 


While this was going on, I set about installing the upgraded power bus for the Digikeijs accessory decoders.  6417 ran perfectly in the forwards direction and I then tried reverse.  Here, it was a little temperamental to begin with.  I set the acceleration to zero and that sorted it.  On a couple of occasions, 80119 stuttered at the UP exit from the station but, interestingly, 6417 had no problem at that point.  In the end, I speeded up 6417 to match the maximum speed of 80119 (about 49mph to scale) and that seemed to cure the problem.

For the power bus, I began by making two links for the barrier strip taking the wires to each Digikeijs.  Here’s the first.



Once I had made them both, I fitted them into the barrier strip.



The idea is that the power output from the PSU will feed into the two sides of the barrier strip and the wires connecting to each Digikeijs will be taken from the other side of the barrier strip.  I have so far connected the wires to all the Digikeijs in the DOWN direction from the station.



The other ends of the wires terminate in two channel barrier strips so that, when the switch is made, it will only be necessary to cut the wires where they are soldered to the existing bus and connect them into the barrier strips.

After a considerable amount of running, I returned 6417 to the branch passenger train, but it was still problematical, despite its good performance on the mainline.  In the end, I have resorted to setting the acceleration time to zero and I will have to start it from the station by incrementally increasing the speed steps.
With kind regards
Laurence

Online Big bad John

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1519 on: October 12, 2017, 08:18:05 pm »
Probably a bit late by the looks of things but I use these for splitting bus wires up it saves fiddling about with making link wires. They do a larger version if you need more links.

https://www.screwfix.com/p/4-way-earth-block/12386

Offline Innovationgame

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1520 on: October 13, 2017, 06:27:03 am »
Probably a bit late by the looks of things but I use these for splitting bus wires up it saves fiddling about with making link wires. They do a larger version if you need more links.

https://www.screwfix.com/p/4-way-earth-block/12386
Thanks John
I spent the first half of my working life in electronics, so I still quite like fiddling around with wires, components and soldering irons.  I know, sad isn't it... :dighole:
With kind regards
Laurence

Offline Innovationgame

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1521 on: October 13, 2017, 08:09:42 pm »
Three Gremlins and A Disaster

I didn’t get into the Train Shed first thing because I had to sort out all the room hire charges for U3A for September.  However, eventually I managed to start a running session.  First I ran 6417, this time with zero acceleration, hoping it would perform properly on the branch but, even after yesterday’s good running on the main, it still played up.  I set the acceleration time to zero and ran sub-cycles 9a (6417, 80119 and 4915 ‘Cranmore Hall’), 9b (6417, 9744 and 3846 with the heavy goods), 10a (6417, 80119 and 45572 ‘Eire’) and 10b (6417, 9744 and 92006 with the express freight).  6417 was not at all well behaved.  So I tried 9744 pulling the branch passenger and that behaved very well, but did need some prods to get it started from rest.  I decided that the branch needed cleaning again, so I gave the whole branch, including the UP and DOWN loops, a good scrub with the Peco track rubber.  That seemed to do the trick, so the branch problems for 6417 are largely to do with the track requiring more cleaning than the mainlines.  Gremlin 1 slain.

While I was running the scenarios, I found that Point 22 would not operate at all.  You may remember that it only worked in one direction a couple of days ago and that a wire was not making good contact in the Digikeijs connecting block.  So I checked the green return and found that to be the culprit.  Gremlin 2 slain.  Then I recalled that I had a similar problem with Point 18 a few days ago, which mysteriously went away again.  So I checked the green return on that and found the same problem.  Gremlin 3 slain.

I then had more clerical (Yawn!) work and then returned to finish of the upgrade to the power bus for the Digikeijs.  Once I had run and terminated all wires, I disconnected the original power bus lines and connected to the new system.  I then disconnected the nearest Digikeijs and connected it to the new power bus to test the system.  It controlled Points 41 to 48 (although 47 and 48 are non-existent at the moment.  I tried the points one at a time.  Point 41 – Position 2 – click, Position 1 - click.  So far so good.  The same happened with Points 42 and43 but, when I tried Point 44 there was nothing.  I tried Points 45 and 46, but still there was nothing.  Then I noticed smoke coming from beneath the baseboard.  DISASTER.  For some reason Point 41 had burned out, taking the Digikeijs with it. 

I disconnected the new power bus and reconnected the original one.  I then tested all the other Digikeijs to make sure that they were still working (why wouldn’t they be, but I needed the reassurance).  Fortunately, I still have a spare Digikeijs and a couple of PM1 point motors, but I really did not fancy having to strip everything out because the baseboards can’t be lifted easily now that I have laid the rails across the board joints.  At this stage I was feeling quite depressed.  It was time for a cup of tea.

After a cup of tea, I slid under the baseboards and removed the Digikeijs, wires and all.  I then reconnected the new power bus, but didn’t connect the Digikeijs to it.  I disconnected each point in turn and tested by momentary contact with the power bus to ensure that it was still working OK.  Clearly Point 41 didn’t work, but all the others were OK.  So I replaced the Digikeijs and then set about Point 41.  With the decoder ends of the wires free, I was able to unscrew the PM1 and remove it from the board.  I unsoldered the connections and then connected them to a new PM1.  After a little fiddling, I was able to remount the PM1 and test it using the same method, fortunately successfully.  I then reconnected it to the Digikeijs, connected the decoder to the new power bus and tried to switch the point.  Because the Digikeijs hadn’t yet been reprogrammed, it was regarded be the system as Point 1.  I worked!  Now I had to remember how to reprogram the Digikeijs.  I remembered that I had great difficulty programming them when I first got them, but I seemed to remember a simpler method that I had discovered.  So I pressed the program button until the LED stayed on and then, on the controller, selected Accessory 41 and switched it.  Bingo!  I now have Point 41 working again, although I have yet to cut down the operating rod to avoid fouling passing trains.  At that stage, I took a picture and retired for the day.



So, tomorrow’s job will be to reconnect all the Points and test them, before returning the Digikeijs to its correct position under the boards.  Then I will need to connect each of the other decoders in turn, hoping that there will be no repeat of the failure.  But at least I now have the confidence to carry out any other remedial work.  I think I need to buy another spare Digikeijs, just in case.  The problem may have arisen because I switched each point one way and then the other, possibly causing a short across the Digikeijs outputs.  Next time, it will be safer to switch each one way in turn and then restore them in turn.  So it was a bit of a waste of an afternoon, but I am now wiser, if a little sadder.
With kind regards
Laurence

Offline daveg

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1522 on: October 14, 2017, 06:29:09 am »
Oh blimey Laurence, what a day!

Looks like you have the problem solved but glad it's you and not me! I'm a total duffer when it comes to anything more complicated that one red/brown wire and a black/blue one. Because of that, I don't even have point motors.

Here's hoping there are no of them there nasty gremlins lurking.  :no:

Dave G




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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1523 on: October 14, 2017, 06:59:05 am »
Tomorrow's another day, mate.  :thumbsup:

What was it someone once said? Tomorrow is the greatest labour saving device of today  :D
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Train Waiting

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1524 on: October 14, 2017, 09:19:49 am »
Laurence

I'm sorry that you were the target for such annoying gremlin activity yesterday.

I hope you have a much better day today.

I intend to have some train set time this afternoon; maybe the gremlins will pick on me today!

All the very best.

John
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

Offline Innovationgame

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1525 on: October 14, 2017, 08:07:51 pm »
A much better day in the end

I didn’t get into the Train Shed at all this morning.  Our daughter came out of Hull Royal last night after a hysterectomy.  Today she has been in agony.  We forwent our walk into Hessle this morning and took the car instead.  This allowed us to deliver all the U3A rent cheques and then drive straight over to Leconfield to take her some goodies and help where we could.  I finished up with the job of driving into Hull Royal to collect some heftier pain killers.  So by the time we got home it was after dinner (sorry lunch) time.  When I returned to the Train Shed, I was able to complete the connections to the Digikeijs, test all the points and refit it.



Before we went out this morning, I took an executive decision to order a couple of spare Digikeijs on the grounds that, if ever there is a problem in the future, I will be able to install a replacement.  They are relatively expensive, €33 each, but for the peace of mind it brings, I think it is worth it.  After the first Digikeijs had been installed and tested, I connected each, in turn, to the new bus lines that I had installed, testing all the points on each as I went along.  Everything worked perfectly, except Point 21, which had always been a bit sickly, often requiring several manual switches from below to get it going.  But this time, the PM1 just couldn’t must enough oomph to throw the point in either direction, even after manual manipulation.  I checked the movement of the point itself and decided that it was OK so it must either be the PM1 or the Digikeijs output.

I swapped its decoder outlet with that of Point 24, which works with a nice crisp snap, but Point 24 still worked which Point 21 failed to perform.  So the culprit was the PM1.  I reinstalled Point 24 to its correct output and, reluctantly, removed the PM1 for Point 21.  I say reluctantly because it is in a very inaccessible position, but it came out OK.  Getting the new one back would be the issue.  I disconnect the wiring harness from the PM1 and used my last PM1 to replace it.  I must order a few more spares: they are not expensive and a few spares is always a good investment.  With great difficulty and a few choice words, I eventually managed to fit the new PM1 back to the Point.  When I tested the point it worked OK, although it still sounded less strong that some of its neighbours.

I thought I should round off with a short running session, so I started by cutting back the PM1 operating rods to prevent fouling of locomotives.  Then I ran sub-cycles 11a (6417, 80119 and 61664 ‘Liverpool’), 11b (6417, 9744 and 5041 ‘Tiverton Castle’) and 11c (7821 ‘Dicheat Manor’ and 64960 with the local goods).  6417 stalled on its way into the station on both runs and needed a prod to start on its first run, but it seemed to improve as things went on.  It may be that I need to clean the branch line every day, but at least I was able to run it with normal acceleration.  80119 had a couple of hiccups but, otherwise ran well.  Also, 64960 had a brief stop on the point complex on the approach to the milk loop.  But it was good to get things going again.  Here’s a picture of the branch passenger and local passenger stopped in the station as Tiverton Castle roars through Platform 2.



Tomorrow, I hope to do some more running and have another go at the Metcalfe kits.
With kind regards
Laurence

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1526 on: October 15, 2017, 08:36:08 pm »
Today, I caught up on the operating cycles that I had missed because of the technical problems.  I started this morning running 12a (6417, 80119 and 6837 ‘Forthampton Grange’), 12b (6417, 9744 and 46122 ‘Royal Ulster Rifleman’) and 12c (7821 ‘Dicheat Manor’ and 45206 with the milk train).  6417 was appalling this morning.  After a walk I had gardening duties and so it was later this afternoon that I managed my next set of runs.

This time. 6417 began with three perfect runs, 13a (6417, 80119 and 45572 ‘Eire’), 13b (6417, 9744 and 92006 with the express freight) and 13c (7821 ‘Dicheat Manor’ and 64960 with the local goods, with 6417 substituting for the branch goods).  Then 6417 began to misbehave a little during 14a (6417, 80119 and 61664 ‘Liverpool’), 14b (6417, 9744 and 3846 with the heavy goods) and 14c (7821 ‘Dicheat Manor’ and 45206 with the milk train, with 6417 again substituting for the branch goods).  At this stage it was time for a cup of tea and then I had to prepare the beans I had picked earlier.

My final session began with 15a (6417, 80119 and 6837 ‘Forthampton Grange’) and 15b (6417, 9744 and 46122 ‘Royal Ulster Rifleman’).  During 15a I took a picture of the trains in the station.  Here you see 6417 waiting at Platform 4 and 80119 wating at Platform 2 while Forthahampton Grange has just arrived at Platform 3. 



During these and the following sub-cycles, I had to resort to vigorous track cleaning in places, mainly because of stalls by 6417 and 80119.  Then I ran 16a (6417, 80119 and 4915 ‘Cranmore Hall) and 16b (6417, 9744 and 5041 ‘Tiverton Castle.’).  Now I am ready to repeat the track cleaning procedure that I tried out a few days ago.  It looks as though I might have to carry out a full cleaning cycle after each set of runs.  Here you can see the trains in the UP loops at the end of the full set of operational cycles.  From left to right are Dicheat Manor with the parcels train, 80119 with the local passenger, 3846 with the heavy goods, 64960 with the local goods and Eire with its intermediate passenger train.  The top of the boiler and cab of Forthampton Grange can be seen over the top of Eire’s train and Tiverton castle’s train is behind that, with Tiverton Castle itself just off to the right of the picture.



I didn’t get any card kit building done today, but at least I have caught up with the operational cycles and can commence cleaning tomorrow.
With kind regards
Laurence

Offline Innovationgame

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1527 on: October 16, 2017, 08:12:41 pm »
Another gremlin bites the dust

I didn’t make it to the Train Shed again this morning.  But, this afternoon, I started the cleaning cycle, prior to getting back to the building work.  Before I moved anything, I cleaned the mainlines and branch between the two sets of hidden loops.  Then I began to move everything out of the UP loops.  First I moved 7821 Ditcheat Manor round through the DOWN loops and into the Milk Depot.  Then I tried to do the same with 80119, this time into Platform 4.  However, when it reached the section of the DOWN main by the goods shed, it simply stopped.  I tried sliding it back and cleaning the track again, but without success.  I checked the voltage and resistance and found that, when the loco was not on the section, the voltage was OK but, when it was there the voltage was zero.  This suggested high resistance in the vicinity of the power feed reail joiner.  In the end, I slid it along a bit and it started again. 

Next up was 6837 Forthampton Grange, aiming for Platform 3.  Exactly the same thing happened, so this was something that needed investigating.  However, 3846 with the heavy goods passed through without a problem.  Here’ a picture of 3846 making slow progress along the DOWN main, having just exited the tunnel from the UP loops.



5041 Tiverton Castle also managed to pass through without a problem.  That left 64960 with the local goods, but as it turned into the goods depot, it didn’t pass over the suspect section of track.  Finally, 45572 Eire was moved to Platform 2, again without having to pass over the suspect track.  Here are all the trains standing in the station.  Nearest the camera is Dicheat Manor with the parcels train, then 80119 with the local passenger at Platform 4, Forthampton Grange at Platform 3 and, finally Eire at Platform 2.  The toad brake van at the rear of the local goods can just be seen at the bottom right hand corner of the picture.



I then began cleaning the UP loops, but decided to have a go at the gremlin at the same time.  This is the suspect joint, in the rail furthest from the camera.  Clearly, the pressure of the track cleaning rubber was making the fault worse rather then better.



My first instinct was to try to solder across the rail joint, but the solder would not take and the rails oxidized very quickly.  I tried soldering a little further away from the joint, but with the same results.  At this stage, I took out a spare piece of wooden sleeper rail and tried soldering that, this time with success.  So I had another go at the DOWN main and, eventually, managed to get the solder to take.  I can only think that the presence of the ballast was having an effect on the soldering.  Then I attached a piece of black, insulated tinned coper wire (TCW) linking the two sections.  Now the situation was worse.  Both sections were dead.  Obviously, the power feed rail joiner was not feeding power any more.  In the end, I drilled a 2mm hole in the baseboard and fed in power from the red bus, connecting the end of the feed to the wire connecting the two sections.  The final result was not pretty, but it works and will have to do as a temporary fix for a while, until I can make a more permanent connection.  Here’s the result, with 6417 doing the testing.



After that, I moved everything back into the UP loops and vacated the DOWN loops ready for cleaning.
With kind regards
Laurence

Offline Innovationgame

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1528 on: October 17, 2017, 07:15:45 pm »
Today, I had a lot of off-piste activities, so there was no progress on the buildings or scenery.  However, I have completed the cleaning cycle by cleaning the DOWN loops.  I moved all the trains back to their starting positions and made the final corrections to the operational cleaning sequence.  There were no running issues today, so perhaps the track cleaning is beginning to work.  Unfortunately, there are no pictures today.  However, I think I can tidy up the temporary fix I made yesterday by drilling another 2mm hole in the baseboard and running a second dropper from the other end of the connecting wire.  That would allow me to remove the insulated part of the wire and the small lengths of bare wire can be buried in the ballast or whatever is alongside it.

Tomorrow is another quite busy day, but I hope to make some progress on the buildings or terraforming.
With kind regards
Laurence

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Re: The Train Shed Project
« Reply #1529 on: October 18, 2017, 07:29:20 pm »
I took a big(ish) decision today.  I’ve been mulling over the idea for a few days now.  Graham Farish still have not released the BR Standard Prairie and the date has constantly moved back in time.  When I first started my layout, I had ordered an Ivatt 2MT mogul for the milk train, but it was on pre-order because it hadn’t been released at the time.  Then things moved on a little and I finished up with the Stanier Class 5 hauling the milk train, so I cancelled the order for the Ivatt.  I have seen Ivatt moguls on other layouts recently and I think it will be a good choice for the short local passenger train.  To that end, today I have ordered the Ivatt, which is now available, and cancelled the pre-order for the Prairie.  When it arrives, I will reassign 9744 to the branch goods which, at the moment, only exists in theory and replace it with the Ivatt. 

Today and yesterday have been broken up because I had to take Celia over to Leconfield on both days to sit with our daughter, who has just had an ‘Op’ and then bring her back again at tea time.  I also had to go into Slow Fit twice, yesterday for front tyres and today again for back ones.  So it has been a case of ‘fit something in’ whenever possible.  Before an early lunch (I can call it lunch because it was little more than a snack really) I managed to finish off laying all the slabs on the island platform and finish off the edging.



I’m not altogether sure that I really like it.  One of the problems is that the platform is about 1mm too wide.  The trains on both sides just pass unimpeded if it is absolutely perfectly placed.  But it is easy for there to be a slight repositioning.  Also, the edging stones don’t really match the paving.  I’ll have to think about it, but I may just try scratch building the platform from 0.5mm Plasticard.

This afternoon I managed a short operating session running the first three sub-cycles.  Once again, 6417 wasn’t very cooperative and so I have set the acceleration time back to zero, which makes it runnable, although it takes a little time to get it up to full speed because I have to advance the throttle manually.  I might still order the Prairie, when it eventually becomes available to run the branch passenger instead of 6417, which could get relegated to shunting duties.  At the moment, there is no shunting, so it may just sit in the good yard waiting for instructions.  This afternoon was broken up even more because I had to wait in the house for DPD to deliver the spare Digikeijs that I ordered.  But now it’s here and, tomorrow, I should receive the new loco plus some Seep PM2 spares.  I can get away with PM2s because I am now using Hex Frog Juicers for the frog power supplies.
With kind regards
Laurence

 

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