Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Two steps ahead, one back

It's been a long time since last time I showed my layout progress, but once you start with electronics, DCC, software programming and all electrical stuff you cannot see any real advance on the surface. Just one or two more switches and some centimeters more of track.

But down the layout it was crowded of electronic boards and temporary wires. So crowded, that I decided to dismount everything and think in better solution because I was running out of space, and illumination and future sound are still missing.

Sometimes you have to make a step back to be able to continue advancing with a bit more of security...

That's why I planned to create an hydraulic hatch down the most overcrowded part of the layout: the main station. There I have concentrated the major part of current sensors, servo driving modules, frog polarization relay boards.... and working upside down is too stressing!!!!

Here you can see the whole hatch and the hydraulic pistons that support it and open it in a very smooth way and with a cool sound effect, just missing some fog effects!!!! xDDD


Just some details about boards: on the bottom the Loconet interface (using DB9 connectors instead of RJ12), and on the top (left to right) the detection module and a sandwich board with servo controller and frog feeding relays:

 There are still many temporary wires, because I like to test everything step by step, or you can get crazy if some error appears when everything is connected.

Before the hatch, all boards where attached to the sides of the ribs: 

I hope to post soon the final results!!
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Sunday, November 11, 2012


This weekend is the "FUNIFIRA", a hobby and gastronomic fair in Gelida, a charming village near Barcelona  sited in the top of a hill. That's why they have a funicular and once a year organize this event to commemorate "Funi", nick name of the cable car.

There is a gastronomic event in the village square, radio controlled ships and submarines in the public swimming pool, railway layout exhibition in the sports center, and many other activities.

As the village is small, you can park you car in the railway station, or arrive there by Renfe railways, and take the Funi that is for free during all weekend to the top of Gelida. All public spaces where activities are developed are accessible by walk.

That's the main station of Gelida and the funicular that goes to the center of the village:

As I arrived at launch time, I went directly to the gastronomic event. There are cheap tickets to taste typical food of the local restaurants, wines, cava or desserts. Be careful if you buy one of each, because you will eat very well but will finish a bit drunk....

 Radio controlled ships had very good acceptance, and I saw radio controlled submarines for the first time:

But when swimming pool got really crowded was when a ship sank, and modelers started different methods to recuperate it from the depths with no success... cables, long sticks, magnets... and finally diving himself in the cold water of November!!!!! 

Railway exhibition was no very big, but with many interesting layouts. Local railroad model club did a really good representation of Gelida, including Funi in their main layout:

 It was also a good place to get free catalogs from Busch and Faller, thanks to the guys from Marklin.

I hadn't time to go to the slot competition or other hobby shows, and definitely will come back next year: good food and wine and trains. Perfect combination!!