Monday 23 February 2009

Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick, Slow

Funny how progress goes, sometimes fast other times slow, or in the case of this last week backwards as well.

I plugged in the ‘Pentroller’ to check everything was running OK prior to starting laying the DAS on the baseboard, and no power to the track! So instead I ran a meter over the tracks and all seemed well, no short circuits.

Upon investigation the cable from the Pentroller to the layout had pulled out of the plug as one of the soldered wires had come away. This was due to the cable being too small to be gripped by the plug so all the stress was being taken on the soldered joints.

To discover this, the plug was now all but destroyed; wonderful how some things just won’t come apart. I bought two new plugs and David Short kindly donated some microphone cable of a larger diameter. As it turned out slightly too large so I had to open up the hole in the plug to get it all to fit together. However it grips very well so I don’t expect the problem to reoccur.

On plugging it in I found I now had a short circuit somewhere on the layout, I checked the Pentroller and that was delivering power OK.

So I now had a partially DAS covered layout with a short circuit, and now obvious reason why.

So another night and the short circuit is still there, I tried all combinations of point settings but no joy. So over the layout goes for a look at the under board wiring. Strange, running the meter over the connections shows no problem so I plug in the Pentoller and no short circuits?

A quick check with the locos and all is well! I then examine the work top for any sign of metal which may have caused the problem, but nothing! Am I going crazy? Who knows, but I will leave it tonight, check again tomorrow and if it is still OK I will continue laying DAS.

As to the DAS, this is looking good and I can recommend it; even without any painting it is a close approximation of concrete, so hopefully not too much work will be required to achieve a suitable colour.

Here are a couple of photo's to be going on with, and I will post an update on my trials with surfacing materials in the next installment.


Bob Jones said...


when I was laying track ballast on my viaduct (usual soaking of pva/water etc.) I too had a short where non existed before. Panic!
However, once the ballast had dried out, the short was gone. I can only assume the moisture caused the short, and possibly the same with your DAS?


Anonymous said...

Hadn't thought of that one Bob, although the DAS had been set for a couple of days, I don't know how long it takes to dry out. I think I may have found a wire on one of the point switches which appears to have shorted to its neighbour, I'll have a close look tonight and report back.

Peter Whitehead

Anonymous said...

black paint contains carbon which is a conductor of electricity,i had the same problem.
derek gelsthorpe.

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