Sunday, June 27, 2010

Turnouts & Control Panels

I now have about 1/2 of the lower level turnouts and occupancy detectors installed. I also was able to install two of the control boxes. They are recessed to minimize how far they stick into the aisle.
I got the control boxes from Steve Benezra and Don Bullock's layouts because they were no longer being used. I will have to change out the front of the panel to match my needs, but they were designed for that. All of the panels open to the front for getting at the components. One batch of panels has a deeper front panel so I'll use those where I have more space and use the narrow ones in the tighter aisles.
I got all of my tortoise machines from these two layout and they all had wires attached to them. When I first put in all the tortoise machines in staging I used the ones with the longer cables thinking I needed to reach farther than I actually did. When I started hooking them up the wires were way to long. I eventually discovered that I would have to rewire what was left or swap out the tortoise machines. I spent the day swapping out the TSM's to better match wire length's. I'm not done, but it looks a lot better than it did.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Computerized Turnout Progress

I was able to get the first turnouts working with the computer. The more I understand how the program works, the programming will go a little smoother.
The turnouts in lower level staging and the first town are all working correctly. There is only three turnouts from staging to the first yard that are not available. Two are not installed and the other one needs a longer wire hooked up to it.
I even installed a box for remotely controlling turnouts at the town where I have the turnouts working. The boxes came from another layout, so the front of the panel will have to be changed out to match the track for this town.
Progress is happening again. You got to love that.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The layout has been some what ignored due to some trips that I just had to take. I have been back at work programming the computer so that a dispatcher can control the layout. I have been learning bit by bit (literally) the programming required.
I connected a couple of turnouts to the computer, but I was not getting the response I hoped. I tried many things to no avail. When I used a test program on the computer I could get each turnout to move, but when I brought up the dispatchers panel, no luck. I tried many combinations of buttons. Lo and behold it turned out that I needed to press the "Enter" key. Who would of thought and I'm surprised I didn't think of it. Duh!!
Now I have to get the turnouts to throw in the proper direction for each state. At least I'm now heading in the right direction.