South Downs Railway

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Railway Weekend September 2021

Was it really 2 years since the last railway weekend? With Covid intervening, I guess it was. Since the last weekend I'd added stop sensors for two blocks, and added quite a few signals to allow manual driving interlocked to automatic train operations. I'd added uncoupling magnets to the carriage sidings in Portsmouth. And I'd bought some new throttles and sound decoders. 

We used the new DT602 & UT6 wireless throttles. For train driving they're OK; for some reason they lock up when used for CV programming. Interestingly when plugged into LocoNet they program OK so it seems to be a wireless issue. Chris was able to use the UT6 single handed without problems. 

The turntable had stopped working; The TXC1 just stalled with its LED flashing meaning it hadn't reached a destination. It turns out that its slip rings needed cleaning, and to do that several of the "blanking" segments needed to be removed; needless to say I'd glued them in. A few minutes with IPA and cotton wool fixed that, and it is turning eagerly again.

An access road into the engine shed caused a short circuit as the loco drive onto it. At first we assumed this was an issue with the power reversing relay for the turntable, but eventually we found that the track was simply wired the wrong way round and it had never worked. 

It turns out that my carriage sidings are too short for 4 carriages: you can't have the magnet under the resting point for the couplings. They uncouple just fine, but you can't recouple again. My only ways out of that are to use an electromagnet, or just have three carriages per siding. 

And as for traincontroller.... it seems that if you go to drag a loco from a block when you are accidentally in edit mode, instead it drags the block away from its track. "Undo" put it back but doesn't fix all of the schedules it was removed from. That took a while to fix!

And the new sound decoders are great. I have a "Desiro" electric train sound, and a steam sound. Both have their moments but I love the power controller sound as the Desiro starts to pull away - just like the real thing. I'd worried that they wouldn't be loud enough to be heard when the models were running, but it has worked out fine. 



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