Thursday 25 October 2012




Instalment 1: Abandon the DCC control of the layout and sell the DCC control system on eBay.

My reasoning was thus: I'm only ever going to be running one train at a time (because of the limited nature of the layout) so DCC is probably not needed; I've got some beautiful DC French locomotives that I would have to open up in order to fit the DCC microchip and will probably destroy their bodywork in the process; AND it came to me that all one has to do to convert the DCC layout to DC operation is to install an electrically isolated section of track at the end of each platform where the locomotives not being used can sit and be isolated. When it was their turn to be used one would throw a switch to de-isolate them.

So, in the above diagram, when the power is turned on to the circuit, only locomotive D will move because the isolation has been removed by joining the two wires together.

Instalment 2: DC and DCC systems can be run on the same layout.

Then it came to me:  the layout wiring for DC and DCC are identical and I can use DCC on the above circuit in order to operate the DCC loco that I do have (the Jouef Batignolles) and then switch to DC control when I want to use all the other locos. The switching between DCC and DC power units would be simple.



Basically one makes a break in the rail near the end of the platform. Then one solders two wires to the cut rail, one each side of the break. To send power to the end section of the rail one simply joins the two wires together (using a switch) and to isolate the end section one separates the two wires by throwing the switch in the other direction.

Got cracking with snipping the rails and drilling the holes for the aforementioned two wires that will be soldered either side of the break.

Decided to do all this before I start covering the platforms with mosaic tiles.

An isolated section long enough to house a complete loco and tender if need be.

Snipping one rail only to establish isolation.

The gap.

Hole for wires  to go under the board and to the isolation switch.

These wires will be soldered to either side of the gap and then go to an isolation switch.

Soldering the wires to the rails.

Last night's dinner:
Scotch pie, fried egg, peas, tomatoes and gherkins
Tango class:
Dragged myself disconsolately to the Tango class. First half hour was a real drag and I wished the floor would open up and swallow me - felt awkward, sweaty and incompetent.
But the second half was much more pleasurable and I felt that I was actually no longer the worst in the class.
What I do find difficult is listening to a description in words of a subtle set of movements. It has always been thus for me eg tennis coaching; judo lessons; golf lessons (especially the latter). I cannot translate words into movements.
Exhortations to "shift weight", "open up the space", "indicate double-time" would make no less sense to me  if the words were all mixed up: "Shift the space", "open up the time", "double the weight" etc.
One amusing incident  occurred towards the end when I was dancing with this half-German/half-Russian girl. I laughed (discretely) at someone who was making a real mess of things and then hurriedly explained to my partner that I was not laughing at her but at another pairing and she said in a half-Teutonic/half-Soviet accent: "You notice that nobody is laughing at us!"
Two musical comments:
During the Tango classes I simply do not listen to the music, I'm too busy concentrating on my steps. This is a major flaw that I must address.
Still Hot Chipping. I find them uplifting. Utterly, utterly wonderful.

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