Saturday, May 28, 2016

New Bangor Staging

A friend from the old country heard I was working on the railroad and since he was going to be in the Asheville area this weekend he wanted to come and help. It was decided to work on staging because two people would be better for some aspects. We ended up getting farther than I thought. Some because of the help and I wasn't sure if I had enough stuff to work this part.

The staging throat seems to be much better than the first one. Some turnouts were reversed and there is not as many s curves. I may have to change the lower level to match.

Al of the tortoise machines have been installed already and the track power drops have been put in.

As soon as I get all of the yard throat tested I'll be able to move some of the original NMJ track to here and finish up staging.

Mike Porterfield  working on the back half of Northern Maine Junction.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My new favorite toy

I was going to put together something to more easily tell me what was going on with my signals. I had put a couple of signals together through splitters which Dil Huey recommended against. Of course I don't always listen.

This is a tester for the signals and occupancy detectors. I inherited it when other folks torn down their layout. I knew I had some test equipment but I hadn't paid attention to how to use it. The top section is for checking Occupancy Detectors and the bottom will check the signals. It makes it easy to plug in to my I/O board to check that I'm getting the outputs or inputs expected. You can go farther down the line if you put splitters or connectors in. 

It turns out that the I/O boards are fine. Some of the trouble arises with the splitters and most of the trouble arises with my installation techniques. I allowed the wires from the signals to have stress on them, instead of securing them properly. My old signals with mag wire rubbed the insulation off and when moved can cause a short. In some cases wires broke either way I learn some things today.

I'd rather be doing scenery

During the last session there was a lot of signals that had a least one light out. Some where because I missed programming them for the new changes. The rest I would have to look at. I had to make an order for resistors and they finally came in.

I programmed a button in JMRI to do nothing more than turn every signal on at the same time. That way I could walk around an look at every light and know which ones need my attention. I don't know why I didn't think of that earlier. 

Now I'm working my way through the list .

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Portland Track Arrangement

Here is the track for Portland. The main is on the left. The siding next to it. The rest are industrial Spurs.

Adding new Cars

One of the last things to do with the addition is to add some of the cars that have been waiting for a home. The first thing I wanted was to get enough cars for a piggyback train. I have enough for one direction, but not both. I'll use this opportunity to stage different trains in South Portland and pick the one I want for the session. It might be a reefer train, tank train or whatever I put together.

I also wanted a few Food Grade tank cars for operations and these are the ones that I have ready. The good thing about Intermountain Cars is I only need two already made resistor wheels, since I'm using IM wheels already.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

It's Not Over Until The Paperwork is Done.....

......and it may be the death of me.

There are timetables, card cards, maps, waybills, single line diagrams, train instructions, engine cards, yard instructions.

Pretty much anything that had something to do with the new construction. It might have been town name changes, adding new industry, changing industry names or siding lengths. It could be a train length changed, a train makes an extra stop.

Of course I used this opportunity to change some train names to be more consistent with the area I model. This added a few more wrinkles.

Then there is all of the verification that I did it all right in the computer and then when I printed it out and when I put in the new card on the layout and removed the corresponding old card......

All the physical changes were easy.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Just about beat down all the gremlins

I've just about got all the gremlins beat down.

The old reverse loop was wired backwards.
All the the mainline connections for occupancy needed an upgrade.
Deering is now on a different breaker so the wire color needed to be changed on all track.
A turnout needed to be changed out.
I cut an extra gap in the siding that had to be fixed.
Most of the logic for JMRI had to be updated.

Now all of the track is working.
The occupancy detection is working.
All installed signals are working, with one more to add.

Then on to cleanup.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Construction update

Yesterday I got enough JMRI work done and made the choice to do what it takes to have it all done by the next session. 14 days to complete all track changes, paperwork and restage.

Today I put in the new panel for Deering to match the proposed new track arrangement. I finished programming JMRI to allow all of these buttons and lights to work. This all went pretty well until I hit the RS 485 convert and cracked it. So far it still works, but I'll have to order another one just in case.

Things went good enough to start removing all Portland track that was in the way, putting in the new mainline and remove all TSM's. The back two tracks were the old Deering tracks and are now the industry tracks. Some of the Portland staging is now used as the Deering Main and siding.

Still need to finish the mainline leading in and out of Deering. After that I'll start on the track power which will have to be changed for occupancy detection. Signals after that.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Electrical work

Today was the day to move all electrical powers supplies to a new location. This will allow me to consolidate all power to work from the light switch by the door.

The power for DCC and the CMRI equipment was off of a light switch at the door, but I was using an extension cord to make that happen. The DC auxiliary power was off a receptacle way it the back of the room. All of this was moved and connected to the switch at the door so all of it can be turned off at once.

 I have my programming track hooked back up and will hook up a computer to JMRI and NCE, so I can try out the WI throttle.