Fish River yard is now half completed...By that i mean that the "up" end of the yard is laid to a point adjacent with the platforms....The branch is laid in as well as all mainline connections & bridges are placed & track laid.
All track power droppers & point motors have been fitted & i guess like anyone else in this position, it would be nice to run trains.
I am able to run a short train up & down the branch from the junction, across the Fish River bridge through the incomplete tunnel & into the staging area....but this is beginning to get a bit tedious.
Layout control needs to be decided upon & commenced.
This is where i need to introduce another person to this BLOG....As without his friendship, guidance, input & patience i guess this layout would still be just a dream.
Danny Webb has been instrumental in this project even getting off the ground....
His ability to endure hour long...( and longer ) phone calls while i wax on lyrically about stuff i know little about as he tries to enlighten me is certainly a gift.
I certainly get support from the family....but outside help is critical in this hobby & i can judge my progress & confidence by the amount of ( or lack of ) frustrated insults i get during a call.
My heartfelt thanks mate...
So it was Danny that i turned to for advice when layout control needed to be decided....
The NCE DCC system will allow me via the point motors & associated point decoders to operate the whole layout from the handpiece & while this would be attractive to many modellers....i would prefer a panel, incorporating pushbuttons for point control & LEDs for route status.
These panels will also be designed to house a plethora of other bits & pieces as time goes by...ie layout power district CBs & status LEDs etc etc
It became fairly obvious because of the layout size thatseveral panels would be required to place them in operationally convenient locations.
With this in mind i set about designing a panel that could be "mass produced" & be consistent throughout the layout.
I am yet to decide whether the panels will be incorporated in the layout fascia...or angled upwards for viewing & operational ease...one thing is for sure & that is they need to be modular so that they can be easily accessed to rectify any gremlins that are sure to creep in.
The first panel will obviously be to control "Fish River" & as the distance between point clusters ( up end & down end ) of the yard....i have decided to utilise 2 panels located adjacent to each cluster.
Therefore there will be a Fish River UP panel & a Fish River DOWN panel.
I spent some of the weekend designing & manufacturing a fascia for the up end of Fish River & have posted some photos.
|The panel during the engraving phase....when the track layout & text are finished engraving, the laser will then cut the holes for the switch & LED fitment.|