Kingsvale, NSW 1963

Kingsvale, NSW 1963
A view of Kingsvale station, looking north towards Cowra c1963. Courtesy Ken Ames, "From Grease to Gold Braid".

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A short story

Hi all,
Haven't posted anything for a little while, but I've been quite busy on the layout.  I've been wiring. 

I thought it was a simple layout - three tracks, two turnouts, DCC. And relatively speaking, it is simple, but I had a few dramas which took a bit of fiddling around to rectify. More importantly, I learnt a few lessons which I should share with you.

1. Check that there are no shorts between the rails before the wiring is connected.
This was the most important lesson. I did a grand job of wiring, replete with terminal blocks, colour coded wiring and inspired utilisation of the tortoise point motor outputs. I was very proud of my efforts - electronics has never been my strong suit, but feeling that the is nothing inherently difficult about it, I merrily charged ahead. Before applying any current, I found that every rail was electrically connected to every other rail. Not at all what it should be! A dead short, or shorts. Of course, I had to dismantle much of my good work to facilitate trouble-shooting!

2. Even with only about six meters of rail, I wish I had isolated some sections to help locate the short. (Clever readers will already have deduced that the most likely place for shorting is in the turnouts).

3. I want my wiring to be neat, orderly and labelled. At the moment, I can flip the module over to work on the wiring. But when the landscaping is done this won't be so easy. So I don't want to be crawling around under the layout trying to work out what's connected to what for any longer than I have to when there's a problem. To this end, I think a dot matrix in permanent marker at a 50mm spacing on the underside of the baseboard would help to place terminal blocks and wire runs in a neat grid. Might be a bit obsessive/compulsive, but not much extra effort for a lot of benefit.

To cut a long story short (pardon the pun),I had brass tie-bars connecting the point blades - these were replaced with pcb sleepers. A second short was caused by incorrect wiring of the lead rails shorting to the outer rails through the cast-brass rail chairs.

All fixed now, though I haven't yet put all the wiring back and applied power. Readers will have to wait for that exciting instalment.


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