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Final layout track plan printed

Article #24 - 09/11/2021 22:03
After a bit of shuffling around, the new track plan has been sorted.
Full size plan printed.


Final Layout?!

Article #23 - 26/10/2021 23:24
Well, I think this is it. The final layout/track plan for the layout.
Basically the same design - mountain in the North West corner (single track working), main line passing 2 stations (West & East).
A passing loop going through the goods shed area.
A passing loop to feed the locomotive works leading to the turn-table and the traverser.
The original South East dead-end station terminus and the North Eastern engine shed should now connect together - hidden behind the East Station.
The very front (South) shuttle line will still run with a randomly timed shuttle service between stations.


Control Board Design

Article #22 - 25/10/2021 23:53
The slave control board will talk to the main control unit via the SPI bus.
Each of these boards have the following...
8x DPDT relays - these will connect/disconnect power to track zones, and swap between red/green signal LEDs for that zone.
8X Power MOSFET diodes for switching power to the point motors from the Capacitor Discharge Unit. (2 ways for 4 points)
8x General I/O ports for general use - 2 of which can be PWM outputs.
Comms via the SPI bus or via Bluetooth via the RS232 port.
Ability to have a stored sequence for automatic running.

2 of these units will be required for the main loops - with another to be used for the inner areas such as the traverser & turntable.


Testing Kadee Couplings

Article #21 - 25/10/2021 23:39
These couplings are great if you can get them set-up correctly.
They are American-style knuckle couplings that use magnets to uncouple them.
Under tension, the couplings stay connected going either way over the magnet, but it the tension is released slightly (by backing up a tiny bit), the magnet opens the knuckles.
In this open state, the wagon can be pushed down the siding (into place) as the knuckle is forced to stay open during this push.
Once the loco (or other wagons) mode away, the knuckle springs back to it's "ready" position to allow it to be re-coupled later.


493bgdebach.co.uk Jeep & Vehicle Run 2021 - Part 2

Article #20 - 25/10/2021 23:24
2021 September Open Sunday - Jeep & Vehicle Run with 50 or so vehicles on the annual event.
The 493 Bomber Group Museum in Debach (Suffolk UK) was the base for the event, but even with petrol shortages in the area, there was a great turnout.


493bgdebach Jeep & Vehicle Run 2021 - Part 1

Article #19 - 25/10/2021 23:23
2021 September Open Sunday - Jeep & Vehicle Run with 50 or so vehicles on the annual event.
The 493 Bomber Group Museum in Debach (Suffolk UK) was the base for the event, but even with petrol shortages in the area, there was a great turnout.


009/HOe automatic turntable build

Article #18 - 25/10/2021 23:09
Turntable for 009/HOe layout.
Controlled by Arduino style chip, the motor is stepping on a 1/16 step, giving about 9 steps per degree, so hopefully accurate enough.
Need to add a limiting switch to initialise it. Also the firmware will prevent it from turning more than 360 degrees, so the power wires won't get tangled up.


Testing the lifting mechanism

Article #17 - 25/10/2021 22:58
A little wobbly at the moment (I think because of the flexible joints between the stepper motors and the threaded rods), but working quite well.
A limiting switch has now been added to stop the motors going too far down. (If this happens then the captive nut gets wedged against the joiner).
One isn't required at the top as the steppers count how for up the base is. This also means the base can be manually lifted beyond the threaded rods for working on the electrics on the underside.


Traverser Testing

Article #16 - 25/10/2021 22:36
Testing the traverser with the 4 lanes in to workshop yard.
For testing, there are no couplings yet, the wagons are being picked randomly and the pushed into the sidings.




Loco Line-up

Article #15 - 25/10/2021 22:29
A line-up of locos waiting to run on the Coffee Table Railway


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