Image above captured on the upper deck of the layout where scenery has progressed to some extent...
Shot with Olympus C-750

Welcome to the SP Oregon Division!

An N Scale RR depicting the good old days along "The Friendly".

Sunday, July 20, 2014

SP Cascade Subdivision Update

Last few operating sessions here on the railroad, we had the track section between Hampton and Summit drop Line-ups, which the dispatcher had set for through trains.  It wasnt until Ray was sitting in front of the computer during the last session watching the layout, when he noticed what was causing it to happen.  The switch at East Oakridge momentarily dropped out of correspondence for a moment, which is all it takes to knock down the signals on both sides.  We have been using the Tortoise internal contacts for relaying switch positions to the IO cards in the CTC sections.  It appears that the reliability for the contacts is good for power routing, but lower power applications seem to be a bit more fussy as the contacts wear out over time.  Over the years we have had a couple other machines that had the same issue, but we simply replaced them (some of these are almost 20 yrs old).  Instead of just replacing the machine this time, we set out to try a pair of limit switches externally mounted to the case.  These switches are less than a buck a piece at All electronics, and were quick to mount with ACC.  Here is a pic of the installation:
 After wiring and testing, we noted the paddles had too much spring tension for the motor to completely move over to its normal stop positions.  Suspecting the old motor might be getting tired, we opted to reduce the value of the in-line resistor on the Tortoise motor feed to boost the voltage up a bit more (instead of repositioning the limit switches).  This sped up the "slow-motion" rate of the throw-bar a bit, but gave the motor enough torque to regain its normal operation.  If this procedure ever needs to be done again, I will try mounting the limit switches a bit farther away, but anyone using more than 5-6 V power feed to the motor should have no problem as is.  The near completed project (wow, I would never allow bare wires and that sloppy work on my layout... lol):