Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths
Model Melbourne trams

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Well, That was quick.

It is that time of the year again, another year done and dusted, The layout underwent a fair bit of work, rewiring for DCC, building and street lighting, the Caulfield Exhibition, then the installation of the animated gates. Fun times all round.

So as per usual, and somewhat late this year, the time honoured Victoria Street Christmas Card.

The season brings its annual wishes and hazards, above all be safe, enjoy/endure your family, reflect on the year, and try not to eat or drink too much.
From under the wires, and the LED Christmas lights that I will harvest later...
Regards Glenn

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

'Open Sesame'.........'creak, groan, clank'

Yes, I have done it! I have finally animated the crossing gates of Victoria Street. Another item has been ticked off the bucket list.

The finished product.
The gates are operated by a Tam Valley DCC servo decoder, the crossing lights are controlled by a six function decoder. The four crossing lights are LEDs mounted on the shafts of plastic provided by cotton buds, each LED has its own light feature, two are alternating strobe, one the Mars light function and the other the rotating beacon. This provides the prototypical mismatched sequence of rotating beacons that were installed at these crossings.
 Also the tram signals are operational, with a fibre optic thread running from LEDs using the other two functions (headlights). A LED is mounted on the facia in parallel of the tram signal to show its status.
An OFF/ON switch is fitted between the DCC bus and the servo decoder, plus the six function decoder in so to isolate the set up when running 'antique' DC rollingstock. 
Another dodgy video, but it works.
Then from above.
From under the wires with a smirk of satisfaction.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

More on the Gates

Now the fun part of installing the mechanism/control for the gates to the module. Holes were drilled at the base of the pivot points of the base board when the module was built, in the hope at the time.

The servos are fitted on Brunel Hobby servo mounts in a way not envisaged by the designer, the servo is mounted upside and with the inner side of the mount missing to allow the sweep action of the servo crank. The pivot pin is made from copper wire soldered to a copper wire 'staple' that that is hot glued to the crank, the pins of the 'staple' lines up with the holes of the crank, and the pivot wire lines up with the centreline of the servo shaft. A clearance hole was drilled in each of the servo mounts for the pivot wire to protrude through.

One of the four servo assemblies.
The crossing gates are readily available, made by Peco, while British in origin, they have been kitbashed and details added to make them more like the older style gates that dotted the railway network prior to the more contemporary boom gates. These were drilled out with a pin vice with a 1mm drill bit, along the centre line of the hinge pin.
The pivot pin through the gate post hinge.
(The copper wire will 'give' in the event of impact,
the post is pressed fitted onto its base)

Before with the crossing lights.

Work in progress
(the servos are pinned with thumbtacks until final positioning)
The front of the module will be replaced with a perpex window so to keep an eye of the inner workings.
From under the road, under the wires.