Thought I’d send an update on the wiring of the WV Energy coal mining railroad.
I’ve decided that the railroad will have 3 DC power blocks, 2 will run most of the trains.
The first will be to run the trains around the weird-shaped loops, the second will be for the track going to the coal mines, and the 3rd will be for making up trains behind the scenes on the storage tracks under the mountains.
As I got down to wiring, I remembered various devices and LEDs required several different voltages, as does the lighting on the layout. This then required either a separate stand-alone power supply for each voltage, or some sort of board with various voltages available. I decided on the latter.
I bought a 15amp 24 volt DC supply, and have several DC to DC reducers that are adjustable. One is set at 12VDC, another at 3.5 for my motor driven switch machines and the LED’s associated with them (600 ohm resistor on those), and another for 2VDC for LEDs.
These little DC not DC boards are pretty cheap from Ebay, cheap enough that I don’t cry too much when I blow one up – which I have done to a few. I also found that the Atlas type switch machines like around 14V AC, so I added a transformer for that.
The main board and stuff is also under the mountain.
I found that I needed a place to work, so I built a work space and put it on drawer slides, that way I can still get around the back of the layout, and pull out the drawer for as much work table top as I need, since I had plenty of room under the layout, I made it 48” wide and 36” deep.
After things get running and my focus moves away from scenery and wiring, I’m going to make a railcar weathering, decaling, and adjustments area with all the stuff on the work-space to do those tasks. I also will be setting up locomotive maintenance, oiling, wheel cleaning, and if I ever decide to add sound to my loco’s, a place to put in the decoders for that.
My track plan has the mines as a 1 track entering, and a loop. I bought a auto-polarity reversing circuit from a company over on your island, they make some really trick stuff and are reasonably priced, fast shipment too! I may experiment with their signal controllers if I get trains running. Anyway, I will update on how the loop track works in the future.
Lastly for this note is that I’ve nearly finished the backdrops for the mine section of the layout. I bought light, nearly white yellow colored “mat” cardboard that is used to cut out for the framing of artwork and pictures under the glass, most I used are 32” X 40”. They are very smooth and quite ridged, and take the acrylic paint I use well. I found some plastic joining trim used for thin plastic sheeting, like is used on a bathtub surrounding wall, we call it FRP – fiberglass reinforced panels, and the trim fits the card stock pretty well. I chose the card stock because as can be seen in the picture “behind the scenes” the card stock is bent to follow the mountains. I think the backdrops came out pretty good, they were fun to do as well!
As always, thanks Al for your hard work on the website, and for all you do.
John From Baltimore”
A huge thanks to John – some very clever stuff going on there. Can’t wait to see it all in action. If you missed John’s last post, it’s here.
That’s all for today folks.
Please do keep ’em coming. And if you’d like to start on your very own layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.
PS Have you had a look at the latest ebay cheat sheet yet?.