Wednesday, 25 September 2013

And the electrons go round and round and comes out here!

It's all very well showing off to all my readers the stuff above the baseboard of my modular layout "Steam on the Cambrian" but, just as important if not more important is what is underneath.
Of course, if it wasn't for what goes on below base board level, nothing on the top would work!

Electronics and electrics strike fear in to a lot of people who are probably very proficient modellers.
To me it's the other way round as a retired Electrical Technician I have a good background for wiring model railways! Whereas my modelling skills will never make the likes of MRJ!

What makes this layout different to all my previous efforts is the track work. "Steam on the Cambrian" uses C&L Finescale flexible track and hand built points. I didn't want to use solenoid type point switch machines because of the sudden and powerful action is not good for hand made points. To this end I decided to use Fulgarex slow action switch machines. Designed to work on 12V DC they still run a bit fast, so I built a voltage regulator circuit with a variable output voltage. The Fulgarex units being quite happy and run at a reasonable speed when set at 9 volts.

Added to this I also needed 12-15V for working the LEDs and relays and 22V DC for operating the signal solenoid motor.
Here's a picture of the underneath of Penmaenpool's baseboard showing the various voltage power supplies and wiring during construction.

Power for all this lot and the traction current comes from a mains power pack.

The power pack contains two transformers, one transformer supplies the power supply and voltage regulator panel shown above. The other transformer has two separate output windings and these feed the 12V ac to the two hand held speed / direction controllers. All mounted in an earthed aluminium case each output is protected by either fuses or overcurrent thermal cut outs.

Finally control panels.
The main control panel is mounted on the front of the Penmaenpool board allowing layout operation from the front.


The whole ensemble being controlled by two good old fashioned and reliable DC home made hand held control units.

I do not recommend any unskilled person building their own power supplies or anything else that connects to the mains.
Please do not ask me for details on wiring up transformers because if you don't know that information then it's obvious you don't know enough to work on mains energised equipment.


1 comment:

  1. I'm one of those whom electrickery strkes fear into I'm afraid! So I take my hat off to anyone who can make their own controllers and power packs.