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Author Topic: Coniston  (Read 9432 times)

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Offline crewearpley40

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Re: Coniston
« Reply #375 on: July 29, 2019, 11:13:27 AM »
Look forward to the next stage in your cumbrian adventure. Thank you for the update. Chris

Offline DarrwestLU6

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Re: Coniston
« Reply #376 on: August 05, 2019, 11:12:48 AM »
As reported on The Coniston Railway thread, having got the track laid on Torver and moved into the testing phase, I've returned to Coniston to attend to a few outstanding jobs.

The first was to rewire some of the uncoupler solenoids. I originally intended to stick the little bits of metal under the couplings, but have changed my mind and stuck tiny magnets underneath instead. These have proved both more reliable and easier to use, in most cases. However, I found that they generally worked better using a 12v dc supply instead of 16v ac. There were three uncouplers that I was still having trouble using reliably, the reason becoming clear when I added a drop of white paint on the magnet fitted couplings - those three uncouplers were pulling the coupling down instead of pushing it up. When run off an ac supply it didn't matter but using a dc supply it does, so I've had to swap the wires on those uncouplers to make them repel instead of attract the magnets. They work much better now.

I then turned my attenton to one uncoupler that had stopped working - upon testing, I found that it was the switch at fault, not the solenoid nor wiring - no problem, the switch will be replaced when I complete and install the mkII mimic board and control panel.

Next, I started playing with the signals - well, one of them to start with. Hooray, I now have a signal that flaps down and up when I operate or release a switch, complete with an anti-SPAD function.

The signal is operated by a length of fine brass wire hooked onto the spectacle plate and running down beside the post to drop under the baseboard. Underneath, the wire is bent through 90 degrees and fits through a wire loop attached to the end of a little 4mm travel solenoid. when the solenoid is energised it pushes the wire, and spectacle plate, up thereby lowering the signal arm. When the power is removed, the solenoid is pulled back by means of a spring, pulling the spectacle plate down and returning the signal to danger. It still needs some tweaking to get the signal travel correct (it tends to return to a bit above the horizontal) and to improve the source power. 12v dc gives rather too vicious a movement and my Gaugemaster controller 12 dc uncontrolled output isn't particularly well smoothed so, for the time being I've got the signal working off a 9v battery.

The anti-SPAD function is a 6" section of track in front of the signal on which I've isolated the positive rail from the rest of the line and wired it into the signal switch. This is a double pole double throw centre off switch with a spring return on one of the throws only. One set of poles operates the signal whilst the other set connects the isolated track section to the rest of the track. Thus, the power is only fed to the track when the signal is set to clear. I have a diode in the circuit to allow trains to pass the signal from the back unimpeded, e.g. for arrivals where the signal is to control departures.
The signal is only operated by the sprung throw of the switch, whilst the track power is connected on both throws. This means that a) the signal solenoid is only energised when the signal needs to be cleared (and the switch has to be held down for that) but that b) the track can be permanently powered by setting the switch to the unsprung throw.
The latter allows for testing, just playing or for allowing a signal to be passed during shunting movements - particularly important when I do the signals at the southern end of the station since there's only room for a loco and 4 or 5 wagons between the advance starter signal and the goods yard entrance points. It was not, AFAIK, unprototypical for a shunting movement to be allowed to pass a signal at danger provided that it didn't pass the limit of shunt and that the signalman hadn't accepted a train into the block section affected.

Now I have the prototype powered signal installed, and once I've done the final tweaking, I can apply the same principle to the other seven. The entrance to the station could be fun, with five signals adjacent to each other controlling movements in both directions and with three of them being on a three-doll bracket post.

Before I do the other signals, though, I'm turning my attentions to some rather more drastic work - ripping up some track at both ends of the fiddle yard to insert points for the exits to Torver. While I'm around that side of (and underneath) the layout I've also got a dodgy power feed in one of the fiddle yard roads that I need to investigate and rectify.

That little lot will keep me busy while I'm testing Torver  ;)

That's a really helpful set of tips - I will definitely use some of those - thank you!

Can I ask - what magnets did you use on the couplings? (And where did you get them from?)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 11:19:02 AM by DarrwestLU6 »

Offline crewearpley40

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Re: Coniston
« Reply #377 on: August 05, 2019, 11:24:00 AM »
I'm turning my attentions to some rather more drastic work - ripping up some track at both ends of the fiddle yard to insert points for the exits to Torver

chris - essential p way work !!!

Offline chrism

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Re: Coniston
« Reply #378 on: August 05, 2019, 11:39:26 AM »
That's a really helpful set of tips - I will definitely use some of those - thank you!

You're welcome, happy to help out where I can.

Quote
Can I ask - what magnets did you use on the couplings? (And where did you get them from?)

These are the little beasties I used;
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tiny-magnets-2x1-mm-N52-grade-neodymium-disc-small-craft-magnet-2mm-dia-x-1mm/151445145416?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=450636718540&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

The critical things, based on my findings, to bear in mind are that;

1) you need to make sure that all the magnets are stuck onto the couplings the same way up on all vehicles, otherwise some couplings will get pulled down and some pushed up. Likewise, all the uncoupler solenoids need to be wired the same way round.
I found the easiest way for setting which way up to fit the magnets was firstly to stick one magnet on a thin strip of plasticard and hold that over an uncoupling solenoid to determine which way up the magnet needs to be to get repelled, then based on that test to mark one end of the stack of magnets with a dab of paint to indicate the side that shouldn't be glued before going ahead and gluing them to the couplings.

2) The magnets must not hang over the edge of the coupling at all, the "aperture" into which a mating coupling fits must be completely unobstructed otherwise it can give problems with coupling and uncoupling.

3) It's best to only fit the magnets to one end of an item of stock so that you don't couple two magnet-equipped couplings together - otherwise the solenoid will lift both couplings and they won't separate. That's why I've marked all mine with a dab of paint so I can make sure that I put the stock on the track the same way around.

Because I've equipped all of my locos with magnets both ends, I've left some wagons unfitted so that they can go at the front/back of a train to avoid getting two magnet fitted couplings together - hopefully ;)


Offline chrism

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Re: Coniston
« Reply #379 on: August 05, 2019, 11:40:53 AM »
I'm turning my attentions to some rather more drastic work - ripping up some track at both ends of the fiddle yard to insert points for the exits to Torver

chris - essential p way work !!!

Nope - drastic work.
It was all working nicely before, it remains to see if it still does when I've finished  :D

Offline DarrwestLU6

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Re: Coniston
« Reply #380 on: August 05, 2019, 11:43:25 AM »
Thanks Chrism - really helpful!

Offline crewearpley40

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Re: Coniston
« Reply #381 on: August 05, 2019, 11:54:26 AM »
Good luck. Look forward to the next instalment chris

Offline chrism

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Re: Coniston
« Reply #382 on: August 05, 2019, 12:27:49 PM »
I'm turning my attentions to some rather more drastic work - ripping up some track at both ends of the fiddle yard to insert points for the exits to Torver

chris - essential p way work !!!

Nope - drastic work.
It was all working nicely before, it remains to see if it still does when I've finished  :D

The essential p-way work will be fixing it if I've bu....ed it up  :-[

Offline crewearpley40

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Re: Coniston
« Reply #383 on: August 05, 2019, 12:43:12 PM »
hope it gets sorted chris. again look forward to the next episode of coniston

Offline chrism

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Re: Coniston
« Reply #384 on: August 05, 2019, 01:04:32 PM »
hope it gets sorted chris.

You and me both   :D

The current state of play is that I now have three signals (the starter signals for platforms 1,2 & 3) working remotely and with the track a few inches in advance of them wired so as to prevent a SPAD, with an override option to allow shunting movements to pass.

I've cut and wired the southern end approach tracks for the SPAD prevention for both arrivals and departures and I'm now working to get the next signals working. As anticipated they are more complicated because there is more than one arm on each post.
It was tricky enough manipulating a fragile signal arm, post and one operating wire - two arms (for the post holding the advance starter and arrival into the goods road signals) and two operating wires is proving more challenging for both the eyes and the dexterity.

Still, it'll be good practice for when I have to move across the track to do the 3-doll post with the arrival signals for platforms 1, 2 and 3 - all in the same assembly ;)



Offline crewearpley40

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Re: Coniston
« Reply #385 on: August 05, 2019, 03:23:48 PM »
Good luck with the signalling and associated mechanisms. Challenge number two. Always a challenge chris

Offline chrism

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Re: Coniston
« Reply #386 on: August 12, 2019, 07:14:16 AM »
Well, I now have as many signals working as I can get on Coniston.

After a lot of fiddling at the entrance to the station, I've had to accept that there simply isn't enough room under the baseboard to fit cranks and solenoids in for all five signals on two posts immediately opposite each other beside a single track, especially when they are close to a baseboard framing timber.  I have, therefore settled for one functioning signal in each direction - the advanced starter protecting the single line section and one of the arrival home signals on the three-doll bracket post. Only rivet counters will really complain if a train ends up in platform 3 when the signal allowing into the station was actually for platform 1.

Can't complain too much I suppose, at least I have all three starting signals working as well as the advance starter and one arrivals home signal, all with the means to prevent trains passing them when at danger.

I'm now putting in the proper wiring, starting with the plug in connection needed between baseboards 1 and 2 for the signals on baseboard 2, then I'll move on to the connection between baseboard 1 and the control panel to operate all the signals, plus supply the power for them.

Once that's done I can reassemble the layout and test the new point and trackwork that I've put in at the end of the fiddle yard for a diversion track out to Torver before I finally glue it all down and add the point motor. I might even add the linking board for actually sending trains to Torver.
Once I'm happy with that I can return to the currently half-built Mk2 control panel to get that finished and (finally) installed.

I do have one more point to insert between the exit from Coniston and the fiddle yard to allow exit from Coniston to the other stations on the rest of the Coniston Railway, should I have the opportunity to take some or all of them elsewhere - if you remember, at home I'll have the stations in the reverse order geographically so trains will progress from one station to the next be running along the back of both fiddle yards because that the only way I can fit them all into the room. With space to set them up in the correct geographic order, the trains will simply run out of, say, Coniston, over a short linking bridge and straight into, say, Torver without running along the back of both first.

The point that needs to go in will only require the track lifting and one power feed moving so I won't need to take it all apart again - hopefully. It won't even need a motor fitting, since it only needs to be set one way or the other depending on the configuration of the stations and won't need changing during operation. It also doesn't need to go in until there's a real likelihood that I will be taking the layouts somewhere.

No further progress on Torver to be reported on the Consiton Railway thread. I'm still waiting for Amazon to send me a properly working controller - the first two they've sent have dead spots in the speed control dial so have been rejected.

Offline crewearpley40

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Re: Coniston
« Reply #387 on: August 12, 2019, 07:25:45 AM »
thanks chris


hope you receive the correct working - properly controller and sort those signals. chris

 

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