Nearly Arundel



It worked!

Posted Friday, 13th January 2006 at 21:12:50

Well ...... nearly!

With a sigh of satisfaction earlier this evening I soldered the last wire to the rail for the hidden sidings. Still a great deal to do - the other ends aren't connected to the control panel yet, but enough had been done to carry out some live testing.

So, I threw the points to the sidings from the station up line, turned up the controller and waited. Nothing happened apart from the control panel light going out after a few seconds with a faint click. Aha, thought I, a short circuit! Have I wired it up wrong?

A quick search showed that there was actually a pair of pliers laying across the track. Another test and the train moved. It trundled around the approach loop (first time this has ever been used) entered the first turn out - and stopped! Light out, click from controller again.

A little experimentation showed that this didn't happen with that point set the other way. The next point in the ladder had no effect in one direction - but caused a short to the whole layout in the other. Considering the amount of wiring now under the baseboard this seemed like a good time to run around screaming like a headless chicken. However, I kept a grip on myself and somewhere through the screaming anguish a cool calm rational thought finally emerged. I remembered that I had overlooked one teency weency detail.

Because the loops are all contained within facing live frog points then both rails should be fully isolated from the points. And guess who had forgotten some insulation breaks?

Anyway - this was quickly sorted with a cutting wheel on the small drill and - bingo, away we went. Initially the train entered each loop and then stopped (reasonable - no power to the loop!). A temporary connection to each loop's power supply in turn, showed that everything worked perfectly. Phew! So, today's mottos?

a) don't leave metal tools laying across the track,

b) look for simple causes of problems before worrying about complex ones,

c) double check that you have wires correctly connected and insulation breaks in the right places before giving yourself high blood pressure!

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