Monday 26 February 2007

More Uncouplers & More DCC

Further tests on Saturday showed that the ex H&M solenoid coils provided by Mick work okay via the Lenz LS150 and have plenty of 'grunt'.

Due to the ease of mounting the Gaugemaster/SEEP electro-magnets (nice flat PCB baseplate that can be secured in place using double sided tape on the already fixed in place foam-core mounting pads) I have decided to use these to complete the layout. Thanks to Mick for giving me an alternative to play with though!

2mm Webmaster and Hon. Sec. Nigel Cliffe has been in touch following the last posting and reminded me about Mark Fielder's experiments with rare earth magnets for uncoupling purposes. These he sets up on a lever system that brings the magnet up under the track when required and lowers it down when not. These could be DCC controlled if the levers are motorised using a slow-mo point actuator or relay arm. This is certainly something I will try on the big layout in due course.

For the first time this weekend I have been able to 'drive' Niddbeck Bridge under full DCC control. It's really good to be able to sit a few feet away from the layout and control it all from the handheld throttle. Not having to reach for toggles and push buttons on a panel is really liberating! I will of course need a track mimic diagram with all the points and magnets numbered up for the benefit of guest operators.

Other work done this w/e has centred around installing the'Express Net' which allows handheld throttles to be plugged in at various points around the layout. This is a seperate circuit from the main control bus and requires 4 wires from from the LMAB output terminals to be daisy-chained around the layout from socket to socket. For this I am using Lenz LA152 facia mounting outlets. You can use 5-pin DIN plugs for this but the proper facia panels are easier to mount and have several sockets each. I have put one on the front of the layout and two on the back, at each end. This will allow a 2nd operator to join me at exhibitions when an intensive service might be appreciated by the paying public. Like many layouts 'Niddbeck Bridge' has rather more movements going on behind the scenes than out front, and the kick-back nature of the fiddleyard design will also slow things down a little. DCC makes it much easier to add a 2nd operator and get trains marshalled onto the sector plates, ready to go 'scenic'.

This week's project is to construct a ply and aluminium angle floor standing rack unit on which will be mounted the two Lenz transformer power packs and the LZV100 Command Station.

At present I am awaiting a completion date for a house move and most of my workshop and modelling gear is now packed away. Other than these wiring tasks there is not a lot more I can do until I move and get re-established in our new abode. I should be able to add the curved foam-core backscene, as this is a simple Stanley knife, straight edge and glue job but the next modelling task of airbrushing the track and ballasting will have to wait.


Mick S said...


Ref Nigel's info re the rare earth magnets they are available from whose premises are in Langley Park not very far from Denton Cottages. Mail order is swift too. Marks article is due for publishing if not in the next 2mm Magazine then the one after.

Nigel Cliffe said...


firstly thanks for use of the full title, but not needed; Nigel is fine!

Other thoughts; think you may find some useful tricks with both a Sprog and Decoder Pro.

They enable setup/control of DCC (and layouts if needed) via a computer. Stuart Bailey is my local expert(who is building the little GWR terminus which was at the York AGM as bare baseboards).

- Nigel