Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths
Model Melbourne trams

Wednesday 21 September 2016

There is always something on the go.

Since the exhibition, the layout sat fallow in the study for over a month, still as the three disjointed modules that were placed there on the Sunday evening after the exhibition.  This is mainly due to the bride entering the final furlong of her post graduate studies, which in turn places me in the chief role of kid wrangler (3), until Melbourne Cup week (early November). 

With the modules not connected, this allowed some housekeeping to be performed between organising food relief (dinner) and emergency sessions of the UN Security Council (peacekeeping).
- some street lights at the junction were finally connected. 
- an external socket and switch installed to the front end of railway station module.
- an introduction into the realm of Bluetooth technology. 

Lights are on.

The intersection of Victoria St and Albert Rd is now illuminated by street light which improves operational safety for tram services heading to and from the Ammo Factory of a night time.

The Junction at night

A lonely wait at the Ammo Factory

The Glenno Go-Box*.

The only place that I could set up the rolling road was the open ballasted track on the Ammo Factory Module, but now I have installed the trolley wire, I no longer have the height under the wire to use it there.

Enter the solution to the problem.... 

The Glenno Go-Box* by Glenno Innovations.

"Crafted from the finest left over commemorative port wine display box, The Glenno Go-Box* will last longer than the horrendous hangover from the original contents.
It's a rolling test track, it's a servicing cradle with storage all rolled into one, but wait! It's also portable, it can run DC, DCC and also has a battery option for when you are away from the work bench.

A rolling road for DCC programming....

A servicing cradle.....
 The Glenno Go-Box* is supplied with two directional 1/4" mono jacks, with 1/4" plug on each, a battery pack, a set of powered wheel cleaning tools and a fly lead that connects to your layout, regardless if it's DC of DCC.

Battery option....
The Glenno Go-Box* is great for running in new rollingstock and/or programming DCC, as it takes up little space, ideal for those with small or micro layouts.

  Small and compact with storage....

In service mode, it stores and sorts all your service equipment in one convenient compact location.

The Glenno Go-Box*"

In reality, I have cobbled together an old grog box with a bit of flexi track glued to the outside base, wired to a pair of mono jacks that can fed by a battery pack or a fly lead from the layout, that can also power a set of Peco wheel cleaning tools, all of which can be kept inside with the rolling road under a sliding lid fashioned from an old cutting mat (as the perspex lid was re purposed for switch panels).  I have installed felt pads on one side and blocks of rubber on the other so to keep the rails side clear of the bench when in service mode.

Note; this concept is not trademarked* or patented, so feel free to plagiarise this idea for the benefit of the entire model railway community.

A switch and a 1/4" mono jack has been installed on the railway station module so to feed the Glenno Go-box, the switch throws the power from the supply(DC or DCC) to either the track or the output so not to reprogram the rest of the fleet sitting on the rails, the lead was purchased from a music shop, as used by rock guitarists for effect pedals.

The feed from the layout.

Bluerail Bluetooth Decoder.

From cutting notches to cutting edge. I have recently installed a Bluerail Bluetooth unit into
one of my fleet, SW6 870 a Cooee collectable static model retro fitted with the mechanism from a Bachmann Brill trolley.

Direct control via Bluetooth and the free app.

Not much real estate left under the drop centre.

This adaptable chip plugs directly into a 9 pin decoder socket, while larger than regular and cheaper DCC decoders, this allows myself to use a smart phone directly to control this tram without having to fire up the laptop, run JMRI, make sure the wifi is up and the USB interface is plugged in if I wish to trundle a quick service from one end to the other, without either having to punch in the car number into the tethered Powercab, all I have to do is power up the rails with either DC or DCC, open up the app and we are off.

The size comparison.

All the adjustments are made from the smartphone, also it plays sounds out of the smartphone, as it only set up with diesel and steam loco sounds at the moment, I have muted the horn, engine noise and toned down the coupler clank to substitute for the linebreaker kicking in. Break squeal and release along with the bell provide enough entertainment for me at this stage.

Motor control is smooth, but it will not tolerate any slight disruption to power supply and will shut down, it is probably less tolerant than DCC, but this is all a learning curve at the moment. The Bluerail unit also has four light outputs that can be adjusted from the smartphone.

I have bought another one which I may adapt into an adhoc Bluetooth DC controller or use as a spare if I let out the magic smoke!

So there it is, a bumper issue, and as with all road trips there were some casualties.

W5 800 looking worse for wear, minus a route number box and a lifeguard
residing at the Ammo Factory siding waiting for repairs.

Staring down into the football finals (Go Bulldogs!), then rolling straight into the spring racing carnival from under the wires.