Its not a layout, its a computer…
All the DS-64’s are connected to the Tortoises and relays. Next up, programming in the 30 routes. I am about 3/4 the way through the job and while it takes a great deal of concentration to get it correct, it seems to be going well.
To keep everything organized and clear, I made up these Route Sheets. Each of the 30 routes has a corresponding sheet. I highlight the route on the sheet, and note the turnout settings for that route.
Also included on the sheet are the two crossings that are routed with relays. Each switched frog is identified with a 200 series number. These are set to either “Closed” or “Thrown” to set the frog to the appropriate power. I identified the North and South rails with red and black colours respectively. Each turnout has a unique number.
To keep track of what route information is programmed into each DS-64 I made these sheets. Since some routes require multiple DS-64’s it is easy to loose track of what is where. These sheets will help keep track of all the routes. Some routes require up to 20 turnouts to switch.
All the DS-64’s wired up and in an accessible location for programming. Once all the routes are programmed and tested, they will be mounted under the layout and all the wires trimmed to fit neatly.
The “quad diamond” in the centre of the layout requires special attention. Shown here are the additional latching relays to route power to the 7 switched frogs in the crossing. Each of the 4 routes through the crossing require a different configuration of the frogs. Lots of clicking goes on when the routes are switched.
To make things even more interesting, the tail end of one of the routes is a wye. To keep things working I am using a Hex Frog Juicer to control the reverse section created by the wye. It works 100% reliably. I am quite impressed with these little units.
Here are all the tools required to bring a model of the CNJ Bronx Terminal to life….
On to Next Section….
New 5000K Light Bulbs
Yesterday I decided to invest in some decent light for the layout room. Until now, I have been using Warm White fluorescent tubes in the 4 double light fixtures above the layout.
Taking photographs under this light, in this room, has always been a challenge. The room is painted two tone beige (yellow). The floor is yellow, and the lights were yellow, so therefore all the images had a yellow shift to them.
Until now I have been editing each image to balance the colour, with varying degrees of success. For every image posted here I usually took two or three and selected the one I could get balanced.
I bought some 5000K Natural Sunshine tubes. The advantage with these is I can set the white balance on my camera to 5000K and get very accurate colour representation. Now, the images need no adjustment, plus the colour in the room is much more precise.
When ever I have set the layout up in a different room I notice the change in colour. When working under the warm white light that was previously in this room I would match colour accordingly, when displayed under different light the difference was quite noticeable.
With the new bulbs, which have one of the highest rating of colour accuracy, at least I know what I am doing is as close as possible.
The image above was shot under the original warm white bulbs, with no flash. The yellow shift in the colour is very noticeable. I have been fixing this manually.
Same image as before, but using the new 5000K Natural Sunshine bulbs. The difference is very noticeable. The colours are balanced almost perfectly. No post processing was done to this picture.
The picture above, was shot under the warm white bulbs, but using a flash on the camera. From a distance this works fairly well, it balances out the colours, but I hate using a flash. One of the issues with a flash is the sharp shadows and high contrast it adds to an image. Close up pictures will be very washed out and the images are unsuitable.
The difference in light colour can really be seen from outside. The layout room at the left of the image is illuminated with the new 5000K lights, while the rest of the house has very yellow/orange warm incandescent light.
While the bulbs were a bit expensive, $9 each, they are well worth it. I should have made this change a long time ago, would have saved me lots of time trying to fix images.
One last issue to address now. When I edit images on the computer in the house then look at them on another machine, I notice they are always a bit on the dark side. I need to adjust the brightness of the monitor I am using to match others. Of course, who knows which is actually correct. The image above, on the computer I am using at the moment, looks dark to me, but in the house it looks fine.
All the images above were shot under the new 5000K bulbs, with the camera’s white balance set to match.
Canada Southern Railroad (CASO) Free-Mo Group
click on image for large version….
For the last several months in addition to my Bronx Terminal layout I have also been involved in a Free-Mo (Free Modular) group modeling the Canada Southern Railroad, a line that ran through Southern Ontario between Fort Erie and Windsor. This line was a “short cut” across Ontario and was used by several railroads over the years and has a very interesting history.
In the fall I was asked if I wanted to join the group and build a model of LaSalette, a town not far from where I grew up (Delhi). I accepted the offer and have had lots of fun working with the group on the project.
This past weekend was our first set up of all the modules involved. This took place at the former CASO train station in St. Thomas. This station is an impressive structure that is being restored to its former glory and was an excellent venue for this event. I spent more time photographing the building than anything else (pictures soon).
I have set up a gallery of pictures of the layout from last weekend. The pictures show a few shots from the modules, including my LaSalette module. Below are a few from the gallery…
The complete gallery can be found at the link below, the CASO gallery is at the bottom of that page.
CASO Free-Mo group modular layout gallery.