Work on the test track has been progressing with all the track now laid on 5mm foamboard to deaden some of the sound but more importantly to allow me to have all the wiring above boards and create some capacity to route the layout wiring and point motor linkages under the track. Nearly all the track is Peco Code 55, I did notice that at least one of the smaller points was a streamline one but as i had it in my spares box it has been used.
All the points have been modified to have the check rails soldered to the point blades and the frog isolated from the crossing and connected back to the switch on the cobalt SS points. (https://www.dccconcepts.com/product-category/the-cobalt-collection/cobalt-point-motors/cobalt-ss/) This is my first time using these and I haven’t yet removed the spring from the points. Once I have them working I’ll test how this works as I use my ears when operating to confirm I have heard some clicks and can assume the points have switched. What I have realised from this build is that the point motors need to ideally be co-located next to the tie bar and the packs don’t include any linkages for extending under an adjacent rail. There is an extension pack (https://www.dccconcepts.com/product/cobalt-ss-distant-mounting-set/) Which I now have on order and I’m assuming these will work for the middle track otherwise its a replan. I’m hoping these prove reliable as it will enable me to do my future fiddle yards with above track motors reducing the weight and potential depth of future boards.
The first two of the Digikeijs block detection units have been installed. These are the starter pack ones with the loconet and S88 interfaces (https://www.digikeijs.com/en/dr4088ln-2r-16-channels-s88n-feedback-module-with-l-net-cs.html) I won’t even need one of these for the layout but as setting them up with iTrain I’ve decided to set them with the Railcom detector with appropiate module numbers so they can be transferred to the next layout when I’ve finished testing.
The different colours indicate the blocks and whilst I will need to amend the diagram as the points need to be in blocks for iTrain the concept and wiring will remain the same. Each of the blocks has a feed taken from the inner road, in my case this is the red wire and this is fed to the appropriate terminal block and will have a short wire to the Digikeijs unit. I have kept the black wires separate to the terminal blocks so if at a later date I want to test out boosters and DCC districts I can isolate tracks 1, 2 and 3. For the moment I’ll just common these all up and back to the main DCC feeds
Next steps are to continue with testing iTrain and competing the board wiring and component installation.