Friday, 17 July 2015

S & NE - the track is down and the wiring is done.

I have put together the two main boards. As mentioned, these are made of 5mm foam board and are extremely light. Each board weighs just 750 grams (1lb 12oz) but they are very well braced and have self levellers to get them straight and level on the worktop where I am going to run them.

There is one more track to lay. That is going out along the front towards the right end. This will be the track that goes out over the coal drops but I thought I would leave that complication until I had everything else done.

Here you can see the underneath in all of its glory. You can see the main DCC bus running along the length of the two boards. The electric feeds are carried from one board to the other by a 9 way D-Sub connecter (of old VGA fame). This has enough connectors for me to run the frog feeds from one board to the other to provide an LED display of switch settings. The little bumps on the bus are where I have cut through the copper because there is a switch at that point and I need to cut a hole for the point motor wire!

The above in an annotated close up image of a section of the board showing all the salient features.  The little blobs of hot glue that you can see are where I have fixed the track pins into place. I lay the track on double sided tape but it needs some extra help so I put track pins through and then hot glue to hold them down. Once the track as been ballasted, all of the pins with their attendant hot glue tips can be removed.

My last couple of images show how the two boards are held together. remember that these two boards weigh only 1.5kg in total so are not subject to much kinetic energy if moved so the joins can be held in place quite easily by creating two foam core locks. The first image shows it all in place and the second shows on lock in the halfway out position. (The two boards were not fully in place hence the gap under the rails.)

This might look insubstantial but it works very well.In fact, when I have built some scenery and placed some structures, I can use these self same slots to insert spacers between the two boards for storage (for more please wait until later).

I have checked all of the electrics and, as you can see in the first image, run my B&M RS3 up and down. It had some trouble with shorting frogs but I haven't got to sorting them out yet - this will be managed by the point motors. This weekend I am making my first visit to the Thamesside Modellers which is a North American Model Railroad club some 23 miles from me. I will let you know how I get on. I am expecting to start installing the Cobalt IP point motors on Sunday so more then.

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