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ELECTRICAL & CONTROL

  The original layout was DC operated by a H & M Clipper controller,  then via a twin Hornby controller so that two locos could be run. I found that the best book on wiring one's layout was that of "How to wire your model railroad" by Linn H Wescott published by Kambach.  Although an American orientated publication, once converting the terminology to NZ/UK,  it made wiring easy to do and connect control panels as the layout grew. The first panel consisted of just  six DPDT centre off switches with no track plan that was situated at the end of the sidings where there was a recess in the base board.  When the layout had progressed to going down the wall to the end of the work bench, one of the club's members had changed to a Zero one  unit to run his continental layout so I brought  his Codar unit and built a control panel that attached to the coal boxes. The Codar had a simulating function that was very good.  I still have it if ever I want to build a small DC layout.   The Hornby twin controller was then added to the system when an extension was made into the garage area and had a small mimic panel that controlled  the Marlborough  through station approaches. That small panel was then shifted to the extension on the development of the goods yard and then altered again when the change to the branch line was done. The main control panel had a make over  with a new face plate  and controlled the main base board, Marlborough station and Neyland station and yard while the small panel controlled the branch  line.  The main panel had  the Codar and  a home-made controller  with an inertia function made by one of our members, and the small panel operated by the H & M Clipper unit.  I inserted H & M electrical track cleaners between each controller and the track which did make running locos and trains a pleasure.  All the points are operated by PECO motors and probe & stud contact and still do under DCC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first real Control Panel showing the 2nd and 3rd phases of track plan development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The small panel for the extension into the garage area and the main panel at the height of DC  operation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The small panel of the above left photo reused for firstly the old goods yard then for the Renwick Branch line in the new DCC era.

 

In 2007 after some research and mucking about I decided to change to DCC as looking at how I intended to develop and run my layout, the way to go was with DCC.  I tried Lenz and NCE units which members of our group were using and read up about Digitrax, Hornby's and Bachmann's units, but on balance, NCE won hands down for ease of operating and understanding along with value for money. I have the 5 amp PowerPro unit with ProCab throttle, two Cab 04s and a PowerCab. I upgraded to Wireless in 2012. I use the Powercab for my test bench which has an oval each of OO and N gauge track and my exhibition layout "Little Stoke" It also can be used as a fourth throttle on this main layout as there are 4 cab jacks placed around the layout.  

 You can see from the plan below, the new one which shows the new internal set up of Neyland Station and return loops, that the layout is divided into 3 blocks in which blocks 2 & 3  have a return section as well as a wye.  With DCC operation, I have protected each block by a PSX unit and the return sections with PSX- AR unit circiut breakers. One side of each wye is done by Hornby's Digital Reverse Loop Module. 

 

 

The photos below are of the wiring  of the circuit breaker units and PowerPro unit  along with the point control wiring.  The NCE 5amp PowerPro unit installed, the white  unit on the left is an electric blanket  power unit  that has had the windings reduced to give max 18volts AC output to power the NCE unit.  There is a 12volt transformer behind the PowerPro unit to run lights, smoke unit  and operate the CDU for point operation. By using the PSX and PSX-AR circuit breakers, it cleared out the wiring for the DC block system including the switches so a great deal of the spaghetti of wiring was banished. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A repeater point panel was made for the new Neyland extension and return loops. As with the other panels, the points are activated by stud and probe from the 12-15v transformer.  I am reusing the streamline Peco points and wiring from previous setup. The track plan is done in pencil at the moment and will be redone in paint.  The photo alongside is the holder for the throttles made from 6mm MDF board.