Monday, 11 May 2015

Pointless

Mrs Lord Stoner is away for a couple of days so I'm home alone during the day so I decided that I'd do a job on Arnold Lane Wharf which I'd been needing to do since it's last outing in November when it broke. What broke was the linkage that operated one of the pairs of points, it was sort of wire in tube only it was a bit of old rail under the scenery. The layout started as a bit of wood with some track on for test purposes and it gradually gained points and then scenery etc etc. It has two pairs of points with motors and two with my patented manual method. I decided to bite the bullet and change to motors mounted under the board. The baseboard is a plank of wood so I purchased two of the PL 10E version of the PECO motor which has a longer actuator pin.


I had to drill holes for the actuator to fit up through and this proved tricky, so tricky in fact, that I buggered the points up. Doh! I thought this might happen but hoped it wouldn't. This meant that I would have to replace the two units concerned, this was going to be a bit of a job as the trackwork is ballasted partly with plaster and partly with a sand and pva mixture. There was no way they were coming out in a usable state so out came the Dremel with a cutting disk and I hacked and chopped until they were free.


Slash and burn begins

Points out, no going back now

The replacements and the remains - Ebay maybe?

With everything dug out and cleaned up I started to work out how to insert the new units into the hole left behind. Fiddly is not a fiddly enough word. I spent ages sliding fishplates right onto the points and then pulling them back into place and also had to grind the ends of a couple of rails to make them fit the gap.

First one in place

Phew, two installed

With the new points in place it was time to install the motors underneath and to add two more switches to the control panel. With quite a lot of swearing and messing about I got the motors in place and wired in.

Motors installed and wiring tidied up as best as possible

With trepidation I plugged the power in and flipped the switches, there were two satisfying clunks from the motors but on closer inspection the clunks had not thrown the points... sod. 

I then spent the rest of the day fiddling about making the holes in the baseboards bigger and adjusting where the motors sat in relation to the points. This involved moving the layout back and forwards from the table where I can lay it down to work on the underneath to where I can set it up and get at both sides to test it.

I made progress and the 'king point' was working nicely but I couldn't get the second unit to throw in one direction and then in trying to fettle it I managed to break the new points and so had to find a replacement set. All three new points come from the not yet laid Port Lucy so now I'm short of points for that, ah well.

The second new set installed

Eigiau conducting tests

By the time I gave up this evening, I had everything working fine except that the send set of points still don't throw all the way so I suspect that I need to make the hole in the board slightly bigger. A job for tomorrow, I only hope I don't bugger any more points up as its getting to be an expensive job.








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