Thursday, 24 July 2008

Wiring Complete

Well, finally the wiring was completed last week. There were a few teething problems, the main one being that I had forgotten to cut the copperclad on the sleepers at the baseboard edge! Other than that a point motor going the wrong direction, and a couple of forgotten wires, were easily fixed!

At the baseboard joint I didn't want to have to have a plug and socket - apart from the extra hassle there simply isn't space, the way the main board slides snugly into the alcove. So I soldered to the ends of the final extra-wide sleeper a couple of brass squares, the ends folded down and the inner corners folded up to a Vee. On the fiddle yard I soldered brass wires to the copperclad sleepers to make contact with the brass plates when the boards come together, the way the board slots into place makes this work surprisingly well.

Also on the fiddle-yard I soldered brass sheet strips to the cassette-end of the lead track, this makes contact with the copperclad strips accross the ends of the cassettes.
So all works well? No, not quite. Test running has shown that while the Microtrains couplings flick over as they pass over the burried magnets, they don't actually uncouple when coupled up! I've used these magnets under the track fine on Pen-Y-Bryn Quarry, but not here. I'm not sure why, perhaps the granite ballast is too dense? I've chipped some away but little improvement. Maybe the Homebase magnets are weaker than the B&Q ones? I don't know how to address this problem yet ...
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Anonymous said...

Granite isn't going to make any difference to how the magnets operate. They may well be weaker or you may have postioned them lower than on the other layouts. If you have one left over and a spare bit of track then put the magnet directly under th etrack and try uncoupling at eye level. If not is Mircoscale magnets broken in half - they are too long - disguised in the middle of the track sitting on or in the sleepers

Michael Campbell said...

The magnets are under the sleepers, as I have used them previously. However I have discovered that the Homebase magnets I bought more recently are not as strong as those I had bought from B&Q.

I have used halved Microtrains magnets before, and might have to here. I've also got some miniture magnets I am trying out, the idea was to bury them between the sleepers but they don't seem strong enough.

Anonymous said...

You really need to build a test track for this before going any further. I'm using electro-magnets and Greenwich Couplings on the Ruyton Valley Tramway when I can get to it!