Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Maudetown Wiring Progress

This has to be the neatest bit of wiring I've ever done under a layout. They're usually much more chaotic than this. But then, Maudetown is pretty basic compared to some of my previous efforts. The sticky pads and cable ties (from Maplins) are a godsend.

The last few evenings have been spent wiring up my Maudetown Colliery layout. Previously, it had simply had the track feed droppers tied together by hand and linked to a controller with terminal blocks, simply as a way of getting stuff moving and to test the trackwork before it was all ballasted. Indeed, built as it was as a diorama first – for the Model Rail Scenic Expert DVD – the operation was of secondary importance in the race to get things built in time for the filming.

Now, however, the model is being converted to a fully working layout and, prior to laying track on the second baseboard, I’ve been getting the original section complete and operational. A pair of Hoffmann slow-action point motors has been fitted and all the necessary wiring has been completed, including the fitting of a trio of working Eckon yard lamps that give a nice, atmospheric feel to the scene.

The next job is to assemble a small control box, with switches, transformer and controller. Designed to be freestanding, the idea is that the layout can be controlled either from the front (for home) or the rear (for exhibiting), the control box clipping onto the baseboard at either side. I’m still tinkering with the track plan for baseboard No.2, so the control panel will have to wait until this is resolved.

The methodical approach needed for wiring-up, especially with non-DCC layouts, is something I really enjoy although I’m no expert in this field. Trial and error is my main source of success! At least on this layout, unlike some previous efforts, I’ve taken great pains to use lots of different coloured cables for specific purposes, thus making the job – and any subsequent maintenance – much easier.


Hoffman point motors are excellent value and they sit well on shallow baseboards, unlike Tortoise motors. They're available from Finney & Smith. See the Point Motor Supertest in MR142 for more info.


A handful of Eckon yard lamps have also been added to add a bit of atmosphere to Maudetown.

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