20 Feb 2014

Power Switch Unit Mounted

I have now mounted the power distribution switch unit - that I made ages ago. This has gone a little way to help tidy up the mass of wiring around the main power distribution board. Needless to say it was slightly trickier than I had hoped as I built the distribution switch unit before I knew precisely where it was to be mounted.

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16 Feb 2014

Bachman Mk1 Composite Brake

As a break from layout building I decided to have another go at putting lighting in a coach.

Doing a composite brake coach (half passenger seating half guards area) is the obvious stock to do - its easy to hide the electronics (in the guards compartment) - you can take oppotunity to put a red light on the back of the carriage and being typically the last coach in a set it is the one you most need to have live for occupancy detection.

I need various pieces of rolling stock to put a resistance across the rails to allow the detection software to see the full length of a train from the track occupancy detectors; putting lighting in has the side benefit of being "seen" electrically by the occupancy detectors. The other method is a simple resistor across - a wheelset.

When fitting lighting - getting the power from the rails into the body of the coach is, at least for me, still not a well solved problem. I use DCC concepts axle pickups (actually i use the replacement wheelsets that have the pickups already installed) and they do half the job ok. What that doesn't solve is getting the power from the bogies up into the body of the coach. At the moment I use very fine wire - but as an engineering solution I don;t like the method - it is often difficult to make the wires travel close to the rotation axis of the bogie - potentially causing resistance to their movement and it makes assembly and dissasembly hard.

I have decorated the internals of the carriage by painting the seats and by putting in ersatz mirrors (fine strips of sticky mirror like material) on the partition walls and adding some passengers.

The whole thing works ok, but personally i find the DCC concepts Flicker Free2 units don't completely eliminate the flickering - I think it might be more accurate to call them Flicker A-Bit-Less!

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