Autumn 2023 Update

What's been happening since August 2023?

A work project came to an end so there has been some time to spend in the Mancave in the Sky. As usual  I have been sidetracked by various weathering projects. I finished off more Accurascale HUO mineral wagons. This process is described more in a seperate post.
I have also laid the track and wired up the Depot area including the Heljan DCC turntable. It was a hefty project to get this working with Traincontroller so it could be automated. This is certainly a post for the near future and a video as there is virtually no  information on Youtube / online on how to achieve this.
Progress as usual is slow, i’m easily distracted and have also been over to the UK on a Railbash and to pick up various deliveries for the layout. But here are some of the mini projects i’ve been busy with:
After tidying up following the Summer I finally got fed up dropping the throttle on the floor so finally built three simple throttle holders from thin ply.
I’ve also started a process of tidying up the faciaboards and finding the permanent homes for the Digitrax throttle panels.

Adding the Motive Power Depot to the Storage Sidings

It has taken me several years  during this build to finally decide what to do with this space. It’s in the non-scenic storage area so originally was just going to be sidings to store more stock.
But there was always a desire to build a depot. The more layouts I see with diesels ticking over or just slowly moving around the more I realised I wanted to have an area to just park up. Also as locos will ideally travel No.1 end  forward with detailing on one end it would be useful to have a turntable.
Hence Leicester MPD was born. The turntable is Heljan and is DCC. I have now got it working with Traincontroller which was a feat. The area is fully wired now  with detection everywhere so in theory movements could be automated, manual or a bit of both.
The additional detection and points required a new board to be installed. So there are an additional 2x BDL168 that cover 32 detection blocks (not all used) and a DAC22 (the updated point controller from Signatrak).
This image is early stages of wiring but it’s now all been tested and works well.
I have done some testing of automation here, but there is a lot more to do to programme Traincontroller comprehensively. This can wait!
A horrible job i’d been putting off and really should have done before the baseboards went down was drilling out the hole for the turntable. In the end it wasn’t so tricky.
The Heljan turntable fitted nicely in there and as there’s quite a generous lip on the turntable itself it covered the not so accurate cutting.
Although these inspection pits are not really going to be seen inside the shed I wanted to incorporate them at the beginning. Nicely weathered and sunk into the baseboards.