Wednesday, 1 May 2019

More scenery goes down

I have never done much sceniking so I have taken lots of time to get the base works done. I have found that, once there was a basis, I could get some detail in quite successfully. I have a couple of drawers full of Woodland Scenics stuff so it was a case of using a range of their products across the board.

Having put lights into the main buildings, I then went on to put street and yard lights into the system. I had reason to move the baseboard out away from the walls - a van had come off the tracks in the tunnel. The board is designed to cope with this type of action but in the process, I pulled a lot of the lighting wiring off. I had done a bit of a kludge with the wiring to this point so it was a good excuse to crawl on the floor and rewire everything. This is not something that I take to lightly as my arthritis allows me about 1 1/2 minutes under there before I have to lay down so it took a good deal of time to do. Previously, I was soldering the connections and then covering them with heat shrink. I have found a gadget for making these connections which doesn't require that I have a soldering iron plugged in.

This is the connector:

You insert the first wire in one end and crimp it. The second wire goes in the other end and gets crimped as well. Then - and this is the good bit - the ends are heat shrunk. I have a new mini blow torch to do this.

You push the button on the back and it fires up. It is very easy to control. I heat both ends and - bingo - the wires are secured. When finished, you rotate the button and that turns off the gas.

Using these tools and fittings I was able to rewire all the lighting successfully.

I have then done a lot of work putting bushes, etc. into the areas that I had built up as hills. I wasn't happy with the edges of the hills so these bushes cover them nicely. Additionally, I bought a box of Nuch walkers that have been sprinkled around the hills.

My current task is to build an Auhagen road crossing. I intend to make it work using an Arduino board using servos. I have the prototype Arduino sketch working. I am just waiting for some more servos and some circuit board to arrive to get the whole thing working. IT is going to be fitted across the reverse loop in the middle of the board. The idea is that a photocell will detect the train and close the gates. Once back in the light, the Arduino will wait for some seconds before closing the gates. It is a simple piece of programming. It could be more complex but I want to keep everything simple nowadays.

My next blog should show the gates working and I will also be covering the software that I have written to provide train consists.

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