Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Scrap the Drawbridge

After a lot of frustration I have abandoned the two drawbridges across the access way to the layout, I was never really 100% convinced it would work so I have just taken the hinges off and converted them to lift out sections. I also encountered issues with the Printed Circuit Board copper sheeting being pulled off due to the tension created by the curved track and lifting due to the excessive solder required to keep the track in gauge over heating it. A search on the Internet revealed a simple but genius solution, screws! infinitely adjustable and easy to put in and solder track too.
 Finished and in place with some minor modifications the lift out sections (Hoo Ray).

 Positioning the screws for the joint.
 The section of track from the helix glued and soldered to the joint screws are quite solid, you can see the bits of wood added to guide the section in to place now the hinges are not there to do the job.
West side lower level.
East side lower level.
Running the track over from the helix to the lift bridge, don't worry I will put some skirting up to prevent any derailments hitting the deck.
The points are growing roots.
After the tedious task of mixing and matching all sorts of track and points I have finally arrived at the point I can actually wire up some of the layout. I have started doing the switching line that serves the industries on the top deck near the yard. It will also be an isolated power district one of several on the top deck to prevent an issue shutting down the whole layout. This is how I attach the feeders to the main power line I just strip some wire off the feeders and twist and solder them to a short piece of main power wire and then I cover the join with heat shrink tubing. Then it is a simple case of connecting it with displacement connectors to the main power line.
I am also mounting the point machines to the branch because they need to be wired for the frog polarity and as you can see I have also fitted the rod to the machine to switch the points. It is a control rod for a model air craft or boat and I brought a kit containing two rods and four of the connectors shown. The rods are fairly long and will allow me to do five or six switch machines and you can also buy the connectors separately. There are only three sets of points on the branch and this one is the last one that serves the Mill / Brewery.
The above and below photos show one of the points serving the sand transfer yard and you can see the feeder wires for the siding on the other side of the switch machine.

I made a slight error when I assembled the Bullfrog switch machines, the photo above is how the cam should rest on the micro switch for the frog. I thought the cam just had to pass over the switch to change the polarity and mounted the switches accordingly but I discovered my error when I tested the first switch machine to be mounted and wired with a multi-meter.Get a multi-meter people it will save you a lot of time and effort.