Well, it is another year gone by and I have taken Die Keinnamebahn out of its storage crates to test it, and fix any problems on it, so that it can show at the first of this year’s exhibitions, Chapel-en-le Frith on 23/24 February.
Last year we had a minor problem with the track lifting at a baseboard join and causing some unscheduled uncoupling. Investigation this week showed that the MDF had swelled probably due, to an over generous application of diluted PVA used to stick the ballast. I have had to cut away the affected track and level crossing, sand and chisel away the damaged MDF and cork trackbed, and then relay the trackbed and relay the track. This is now definitely level across the join and I am currently remaking the level crossing using coffee stirrers. Then I need to reballast 1.5” of track, weather everything to match the original and they are ready.
My development of a Raspberry Pi JMRI controller for the layout is progressing well and it should be ready for Chapel-en-le Frith. I am going to use a surplus to domestic requirements Samsung TV with DVI connection for the monitor because I can fit the Pi computer and SPROG3 to the back of the TV using a VESA fitting Pi case. This should make for a compact unit that just needs plugging into the mains and the layout. Two Samsung S4 Android phones running Engine Driver will act as wireless controllers.
The layout will have active JMRI routes which should make life easier for the operators because it will ensure crossovers are correctly set, servo operated uncoupling ramps are not left up and water cranes etc.are automatically retracted when a route is set.
Tomorrow I will investigate a point that is not polarising reliably. I will probably have to replace the SEEP PM4 point motor because I suspect it is a switching problem in the existing motor.