St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Post pictures and information about your own personal model railway layout that is under construction. Keep members up-to-date with what you are doing and discuss problems that you are having.
heda
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby heda » Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:35 pm

Just a wild stab, could the controller itself be faulty, or the plug / socket connecting it to the board.

Dave

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End2end
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby End2end » Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:47 pm

@Bufferstop 004 on the meter and I just checked all point blades, again to no avail. :roll: None of them stop the short.
I also wnet over the whole layout again with a magnet. Nothing found this time either.

@heda No the controller is working fine.

Starting to real get pi$$£d off with this. Working then not working by adding things that have NO connection to the DCC bus AT ALL, nothing found on the tracks and ALL dropper wiring correct as it was before when it WAS working.
The point motors are at least half an inch away from the points due to layout thickness so nothing can be touching the track from the point motor itself.

I'm no good at reading meters. That's why I bought one with an audible warning but even this just keeps beeping wherever I attach it. Controller or track.

If I try removing the point motors one by one and it's not them then I have both wasted ages and the task of reattaching them now the pins have been cut is almost impossible. Some are in very hard to reach places.
I'm at a complete, driving me insane. loss.
Thanks
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End2end
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby End2end » Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:27 pm

2 more tests.
I removed all the plug in connections to the above board point motors and checked that all the seeps black wires are connected the common return (even though the common return is not connected to anything yet) just to make sure none were connected the the DCC bus by mistake.
Neither is the cause.
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End2end
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby End2end » Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:40 pm

Another test. Controller direct to a single piece of track proves it's definitely NOT the controller.
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Bufferstop
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:00 pm

Let's review,
Your track was laid and working OK.
You'd drilled holes for the operating pins before laying the points. Are they settrack, insulfrog or electrofrog?
You fitted the point motors from below, glutton for punishment.
You chopped off the excess lengths of the pins.
From each motor you have two coil wires and a common return.
The common returns are all connected, but only to each other.
The coil wires aren't connected to anything.
When you finished there's a pretty full on short circuit across the rails.

If all that is correct and there's no wiring debris on the track then my guess is it's something unintended that happened when you were under the board fitting motors.
Have you disturbed any of the dropper wires? Trapped a bus wire.
Do your droppers have individual holes or does each pair share a hole. If they share a hole, it could be possible you've snagged a pair and pulled them back, and pulled them into contact. If your rails are connected to each other then an odd detached dropper is likely to go unnoticed, so it may now be the source of the short circuit.
Afraid it's a case of searching in ever finer detail, can't help much more.
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End2end
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby End2end » Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:35 pm

Thanks for the reply Bufferstop.
Bufferstop wrote:Let's review,
Your track was laid and working OK.
You'd drilled holes for the operating pins before laying the points. Are they settrack, insulfrog or electrofrog?
You fitted the point motors from below, glutton for punishment.
You chopped off the excess lengths of the pins.
From each motor you have two coil wires and a common return.
The common returns are all connected, but only to each other.
The coil wires aren't connected to anything.
When you finished there's a pretty full on short circuit across the rails.


Most of that is correct.
The track work is setttrack with insulfrog points.
All 6 solder points on the seep point motors are soldered to 10cm wires connected to a 6 way connecting block.
Orange, Brown and White wires from the connecting block run back to the control panel for switching the point and lighting LED's on the control panel.

This is how the wiring will eventually look although at the moment there is no power to the common return nor the 12v control panel LED lighting bus.
Nor do the control panel, 16v power supply, CDU or switches with red consolidated switch wiring exist.
NewWiringDiagramWithIndicators.jpg


The point motors on the rear of the layout are connected to a connector block (2 wires in one hole if they are a pair of points that will need to be switched together) at what will be the control panel position and nothing further at this moment.

The point motors on the front of the layout run to where the control panel will be but are neither unsheathed nor connected to anything.

Bufferstop wrote:Have you disturbed any of the dropper wires? Trapped a bus wire.

I have used some stick on wire holders in some places to hole the wiring up, yes.

Bufferstop wrote:Do your droppers have individual holes or does each pair share a hole.

Every dropper has it's own hold drilled through the baseboard.

Bufferstop wrote:If your rails are connected to each other then an odd detached dropper is likely to go unnoticed, so it may now be the source

There is only one pair of droppers disconnected from the DCC bus and they are neither touching each other nor touching anything else.
I can easily screw them back into their connector block attached to the DCC bus but they are not the cause.

Thanks
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:14 pm

It's a long time since I handled a settrack point, do they still have the annoying little tabs near the end of the point blades which were supposed to slide under the stock rails to aid connectivity. They didn't take much prodding to induce a short circuit.
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Sep 21, 2021 10:53 am

Quick thought, do you have a return loop in your system, or a diagonal route across an oval?
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby End2end » Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:49 am

Funny you should mention that Bufferstop. Some of my points do have them tabs yes and some don't.
And no I don't have a return loop as I stand in the middle of the layout.

I will trying vacuuming the layout again to see if that helps.
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Bufferstop
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Sep 21, 2021 2:43 pm

The tabs were part of the original design, when I asked Peco about them, they said they were ineffective, just bend them down. I don't remember if Hornby have them or not.
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby NedFlanders » Tue Sep 21, 2021 8:07 pm

Hi End2End,

I'm just catching up after a summer of outdoor activities mostly, so I have only seen this now.

As your problem came about after working with the Points my first thought is - did you disturb anything here - and that will be a pig to find, so perhaps best to ignore.... Yes, I laid a point down on an "invisible pin" when testing these before and it got stuck in the underneath of the frog.

underneath point.JPG


Second thought
After Faffing with another point - ah yes, soldering on a dropper in a stupid place - I managed to over heat the rail which slid in to the frog - which created a short where the two arrows are pointing in the middle of this pic
Frog rails.JPG
Frog rails.JPG (30.88 KiB) Viewed 773 times


third thought - if you set that all points are "open" i.e. not touching either rail do you still have a short. i.e. put something non conductive between the switch rails and the outside rails - that way they cannot be sending power into the road/siding. so in this photo - put something non conductive in the gap and then put the turnout against it so theres an air gap on the other side.
toe.JPG
toe.JPG (25.08 KiB) Viewed 773 times


My Final thought ( based on hunting down many an errant loop in computer networks) - will be to either undo what you did most recently with the point motors or, in some way, disconnect the droppers from the bus ( if you havent already done so), either one by one , line by line, or all positive/all negative and then the other.

(Apologies if some of my suggestions are in a previous post - I did look but I have been known to skim read when not intending to)

I feel your pain.

Ned.
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End2end
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby End2end » Tue Sep 21, 2021 8:40 pm

Thanks members. That gives me some other avenues of investigation.
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby End2end » Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:23 pm

Well I give up. Nothing works. I've tried all suggested and everything I and you can think of. Nothing stops the short circuit.
If I have to rip out all the wiring and start again, I don't think I'd start again, That was 3 weeks painful work.
It worked before adding the point motors and they all have their pins cut short which makes it basically impossible to refit them once removed as they are installed under the layout too.
I'm at my wits end.
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whoshotjimmi
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby whoshotjimmi » Tue Sep 28, 2021 10:54 pm

The most obvious thing to do is to reverse everything you have done piece by piece to check but appreciate that it is a faff and time consuming. That said, you might get lucky and find the problem early.

This is a real long shot and is probably teaching you to suck eggs but can you hear where the short is occurring? If I ever have a short, I get a very brief shorting sound from the specific location before the controller goes into error and shuts off power. Hitting the escape key gives me another short blast of sound from the short location before going back into error.

I know it's not ideal and I'd definitely be making sure there was nothing on the track but could it be worth doing a bit of diagnosis by ear with a second person?
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Bufferstop
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Re: St. Blazey's - My first layout - Stage 3 Building

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:26 pm

End2end wrote:Today I have checked all the wiring and all the droppers and all is correct. No cross feeds and all red to red and black to black. Still I have a constant short circuit.


Doesn't this sound rather familiar. This was July 2015! No it's not my fantastic memory, I learned how to write complicated database searches and it works with our "Advanced Search" option. I can't remember what the cause turned out to be then, but it does make me wonder if an old foe has come back to haunt you. Try looking for what was the cure then!
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