Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Track is down and all the electrics are in

Sorry - this should have been posted to my Model Railway Blog. Check out

I have laid all the track, wired up the underneath and now have everything tied together so that I can run trains. Here is a patched panorama of the layout.

Here is a shot of underneath the left hand board.

This shows how I do my DCC power bus. I use self adhesive copper tape to run both sides of the bus. That makes it very easy to tie the track onto it. (Double click on the photo for a larger image) I used to use tinned copper wire for the droppers as there was no stripping of insulation. However, once you drop it down through the track, you don't know which side of the track it is connected to. This meant that I had to drop one side, turn the board over; solder that side up; turn the board back; drop the other side - and so on. I now use red and black hook-up wire so I can do both side and use the colour to tell me where to solder to the bus. The three PC boards you can see are part of my DCC set up. The one on the left is the connecting board for the NCE controller whilst the two to the right are Digitrax Accessory decoders. These is used to drive the point motors. They are very cost effective because they come with two connections and only cost £16.50 from my friend Kevin at Coastal DCC.  Not only are his prices great but he lives 5 minutes from me so it is very convenient.

These decoders are especially efficient when you need to operate two points at the same time. Each of the two channels can operate a pair of Peco point motors. Hence, my runaround, which has a pair of points at each end, only requires a single channel for each. Brilliant.

You may notice that all of a sudden I have an NCE controller. What happened to the Digitrax Zephyr. Well, I didn't like having a fixed control point. The thinking goes like this. I can buy a Digitrax Full Feature Super Throttle for £130 and add it to my existing Zephyr or I can buy an NCE PowerCab for £130 and sell the Zephyr on EBay (I should get about £110) leaving me a net £20 out of pocket. Job Done. I am a bit fingers and thumbs with it but I am sure that it will be fine once I have familiarised myself with its options, etc.

I am busy acquiring Locos (I have three now), coaches (I have two) and goods wagons (I have a half a dozen). I am busy at the moment getting hold of some deleted 6 wheel milk wagons and some Peco Wonderful Wagon UD Milk tanker kits.

Next step is to paint the back scenes with my airbrush.