Morpeth Control

After taking far longer than I’d planned, the final wiring for the Morpeth control panel was completed today and given a full test. To be clear; this is the local panel for the yard at Morpeth, not a panel to control the entire new much expanded Morpeth Line. I think I’m going to have to christen the whole layout the Morpeth Branch and thus Morpeth will simply become a destination on the line, in this case the terminus. I haven’t yet managed to run a train on Morpeth partly because I have to trim the point motor actuating wires in a couple of places as they are still sticking up above the rail head. However the main reason I didn’t get to running a train is that I got diverted onto another task and didn’t get to it.

I’m quite pleased with the way the panel came up. After lots of experience with working on layouts that have nothing labelled I went all out and labelled everything that I felt was needed. The main line out of the yard is labelled “To Queens Wharf” so as long as an operator knows that they are heading to Queens Wharf as they leave town there should be no need to ask the fat controller how they get out of the yard. I’ve also labelled the main industries and where the station is located. All the routes are indicated by LEDs except the double slip. while there are ways to wire up routes with LEDs for these pieces of track they seem to require a Mini Panel and while there’s one located under Morpeth it had already taken too long to get this far. I decided to skip it and put in two simple SPST switches and hope the operators can work it out. Yeah that’s going to happen ๐Ÿ˜‰

I purchased an Alps printer many years ago and, while it has never received the use I had expected it would, for printing water slide transfers/decals in white there’s nothing to beat it in my experience. It requires me to get out an old laptop with Windows XP with a Word 97 on it to allow the printer driver to work on it but the look and clarity of that white lettering is certainly worth it. Remember the office assistant paper clip on a skate board in Word? (It must have been about as popular as Ja Ja Binks because it disappeared long ago) Well it pops up every time I turn my old Compaq laptop on to print decals.

After I’d got the wiring done and the novelty of flicking the switches and watching the LEDs go on and off wore off I moved onto repairing the final bits of damage to the pier I wrote about causing a few months ago. I’d chopped off the end of the pier module to get it to fit into the layout room but I’d never relaid the last few inches of track at the end of the pier or wired it up properly. One of the lines also needed a detector to be installed in contact with one short section of rail, so while I was spiking a few inches of rail and installing the wiring permanently I also installed the detector and ran the wires from this back the Mini Panel that sits under one of the modules. I’ve never programmed one of these before but John my DCC guru assures me it’s a snap. I can feel that dreaded cold tingle crawling up my spine I always feel when he says things like this ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally I stood and contemplated the yard at Queens Wharf and made the final decisions about how I was going to rip the track up at one end and relay it to give me more length in the passing loop at this location. The yard needs a loop that will allow a middle length train to pull off the main and at the moment it simply isn’t long enough. After the NMRA convention at the end of September is out of the way and I’ve got a few loco projects off the to do list I’m going to lift a crossover in front of the dairy in QW yard and relay these 1.2m further along the line. I’m also going to install a goods loop at this location as the extra length will allow for this.

Luxury! ๐Ÿ™‚

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1 thought on “Morpeth Control

  1. I really like the lettering on the control panel. Looks proper industrial! Oh the clippy on xp – there’s a blast from the irritating past. “Here’s some things I can help you with “(none of which answered your question).

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