Well, it's been an eventful weekend. Even though the weather has been absolutely stupendous and I got out on both bicycle and motorcycle, I still found the time to progress the NDR. Firstly a little bit of movement. And yes, it's still running counter to track rules, but she's in testing. And before anyone asks, the little goods van is to prevent some weird derailing of the first carriage that keeps occurring. Possible bogey issue.
The main goal this weekend was to get at least one of my new DCC Concepts SS Point motors up and running. And as of 4pm Sunday managed to hit my target. Not that it was particularly difficult, just me procrastinating every time I start something new where I could possibly stuff things up when they are already working. Courage up, it began.
Sadly Richard has moved from WA, where I could visit the shop and figure everything out easily, to the UK, where I cannot take the same approach... Ordered them from Hattons and waited. The twelve pack of points motors arrived nice and neat. Six controllers, twelve motors and a stack of bits and bobs to help hook it all up - cables, screws, tie bars, etc.
The instructions likewise come on a simple to follow, yet very detailed fold out card. The boards are capable of much more than just operating the points, so most of the instructions can be ignored until a later date.
First job is to position the motor adjacent to the points tie bar, after fitting the appropriate armature for the job. The pack comes with a lot of different ones to ensure good fit.
Once in place you can put the back screws in to get it reasonably tight for testing.
Drop the connector through to the controller which I have put beneath the layout. The little plugs on the end of the motor wire are a bit bigger than I would like, meaning a bigger than normal hole is required compared to droppers. This gets plugged into the controller, from where you can play with a little screw to adjust the pull distance of the motor. You can connect two distinct DCC motors to each controller, but if you have synchronised points such as a crossover they can each share an address and move simultaneously on activation.
Connecting it to my ECOS was pretty simple. There is a switch on the controller board that puts it in "Set" mode which allows the controller to see and assign it. I have gone through and pre-added all my points to the ECOS in advance.
When I first tried to operate it I didn't have much luck, just not pushing the blades into place. The instructions suggest you remove the spring in the points. I would say this is mandatory as the motor simply doesn't have the oomph to move it otherwise. Once I killed the spring, it worked smoothly. Probably more realistic anyway.
It's quite a noisy little beast if you are operating points without any ambient noise like a train trundling along. But the chance of you sitting flicking points around in silence is not that high, so I don't think it's a biggy.
And, the proof is in the pudding (screws yet to be aligned and tightened). Perhaps not that exciting, but another achievement along the way. Now another eleven to fit, although I am going to have to buy some extension cables. The pack comes with four or five, but the flylead is only really long enough to get through from my layout to the underside of the board, not leaving much to get to the controller, especially when you are hooking up two points to one controller. You will get lucky maybe one out of two times unless you are doing a yard with lots of them at close quarters.
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