Progress has not been at the speed I would have liked and I’ve been struggling for what seems ages getting the double slips set up. More on that later. The main lines and carriage sidings are now all installed and working, the cement sidings/yard is also in place along with all the points, point motors and block detection. I ended up adding a couple of extra blocks as I had the capacity and inserting some extra non block feeds for some of the points where I definitively wanted to know the train was in the block and not still on the crossing. I’ve finished testing now with the prodigy for manual control and have started on the iTrain Configuration. The diagram below drawn using https://www.anyrail.com/en shows the blocks and approximate location of the buildings. I still have the harbour siding to complete but I’ve been cheating a little with the main board. As I didn’t want to spend to much time underneath looking up its still not fixed allowing me to lift it up on its side and work on the wiring and point motors.
The diagram below shows the track plan in iTrain (https://www.berros.eu/en/itrain/index.php) . The up line is showing as occupied with a reservation still on the block behind. for train reporting numbers I have used a simple code so I can readily tell the engine and the train formation. In this case it’s a diesel electric (DE) Class 73 with the DCC number 730 and its an Engineering formation (E). Not strictly required for iTrain but looks better. I think the switchboard where the track plan is set-up is around 80% complete but I need to go back and check the length of each block along with the block detection and double slips.
Double slips have been the most complicated part of the setup so far. I have set all the points and slips to work correctly manually, on for switched and off for straight. That’s the prodigy convention. I then used the software switch on the points to align the panel with the actual position. Fairly straightforward using the accessory table and covered in the manual. The Peco double slips though have proven to be challenging and I’ve spent too much time trying to get them aligned. The best I came up with looking through the support forum was a random swapping of the outputs until the picture = the physical implementation, not ideal but as its now done for the majority of the slips and I have some idea how to fettle the remainder I can move on with the build.
I’d taken the opportunity whilst trying to get the slips configured to add a 5mm foamboard under the tracks to give me some height and allow a little depth later on, I need to finish that and get on with fully testing the electrics and points before I finalise the track laying, fix the boards and fit the remaining track and motors.
The images below taken when the board was on its side without the point motors and associated wiring fitted provide some idea of how a 2 wire DCC system might look with the Digikeijs detection systems installed (https://www.digikeijs.com/en/)
The images below above the boards show the track work moving on and starting to look how I intend