Sunday, April 29, 2018

Martotren 2018 Train fair

We had the honor to participate in this year train fair organized by AFM (Amics del Ferrocarril de Martorell) and FCAF (Federació Catalana d'Amics del Ferrocarril), held in Martorell during the weekend on 28th and 29th of April.

We mounted our current layout during Friday afternoon, it took just a few hours to have the 16 meters long layout running:

Leveling control of the layout....

They had to bring some birds of prey to chase pigeons away
This time we tried an idea to put trains on rail easily, which consists in a T shapped module in the main track that allows to add several modules used to prepare trains and take them out.

We had the pleasure to ride long trains, I specially liked very much Train Suite Shikishima (from Kato) and Series 500 7000 "Type EVA" (from Tomix). It's not strange that these two train won this year the best trains price from the Japanese fans and media.

Other trains running in our layout:

There were also huge layouts from friend clubs in almost all scales and different countries (France and Portugal also came), including LGB and an amazing Lego layout. There were also many stands, shops and second hand market.

Thanks from Club N Caldes to all visitors, clubs, colleagues, organizers and public bodies to let us have so much fun!!!

Finally, some videos. You can find more in the playlists of ClubNCaldes in Youtube:

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Kato 10-286 Series 885 White Sonic DCC Digitalization

Some time ago I bought a second hand Kato 10-286 885系 White Sonic. This is a beautiful train from JR Kyushu, that reminds me IronMan mask when you look it from the front, specially in other colors than white.

I'll skip the part of the motor car digitalization, as it is exactly the same like any other standard Kato motor car. I'm just showing how I managed to digitalize the cab and end cars.

My first surprise was to find all cars were already illuminated. Looks like a manual work, not any standard or commercial illumination set. It is using what seems a pvc stick with one led in one end, so similar to the Kato led sets. The one who did it (thanks so much!!!!) had the patience to stick aluminium tape under the roof (to reflect the light) and under the pvc stick so all the light is indirect. Even more, floor and seats are painted carefully and with all detail. The final result is awesome, you can check it in the photos at the end of this entry.

I'm using a LaisDCC decoder for the light board digitalization. LaisDCC decoders can invert the polarity of the motor wires (gray and orange wires) assigned to the lights F0 key function and depending on the train direction. And you can also adjust the intensity. All this for less than 10€ in their official web shop.

In this way there is no need to flip one of the leds to have the anodes and cathodes together, or to cut any of the led legs to solder there the decoder wire. If you use decoders able to switch the polarity of the outputs you can connect it directly to the light board in the place where light board picks up the track current.

To adapt the light board I only cut the track current plates. I solder the red and black wires (to pick up track current for the decoder) to these plates, and the motor wires to the place where these current plates were fixed in the light board:

To set up LaisDCC decoders to use the motor wires as a function output, with polarity depending on the direction of travel and F0, these are the CV that you have to set:
CV61=68 and write in CV133 the desired intensity (value from 0 to 255). Normally a value between 20 and 50 is enough so you don't have to change the existing resistor of the light board.

This is the final result, with a spectacular interior lighting, of course it's not my merit: