Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:28 am

barrowroad wrote:Hi Tony,

I've found the invoice. They were purchased via Amazon from Hobby Components in Chesterfield reference HCPROT0048 20mm Pin 2.54mm Pitch header. They work for me.
Here is the link. https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=hobby+comp ... nb_sb_noss
Robin

Thanks for that, I will look into it.
Tony.

bobwallison
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby bobwallison » Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:55 pm

Hi guys.

Thanks for all the responses - plenty of options there to mull over. Problems with Tortoise switches duly noted.

I think in the short term I'll ask for replacements under DCC's lifetime guarantee, then I'll have a better idea of noise levels from current production units.

Regards,
Bob

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:17 am

barrowroad wrote:Hi Tony,

I've found the invoice. They were purchased via Amazon from Hobby Components in Chesterfield reference HCPROT0048 20mm Pin 2.54mm Pitch header. They work for me.
Here is the link. https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=hobby+comp ... nb_sb_noss
Robin

Thank you Robin for the reference. I ended up purchasing direct from Hobby Components https://hobbycomponents.com/other/581-4 ... -pins-male rather than through Amazon along with some small Printed Circuit Boards they do, more of which anon.
I opted for a different approach to using them as I prefer to use multi strand cable and in particular Ribbon Cable to a tag strip one end and a small piece of Vero strip board to make a header for the connector end.
DSCF0871.jpg

DSCF0870.jpg

DSCF0872.jpg

Although I have not posted for a while, there has been much progress, mostly with wiring.
I have progressed onto a second Storage yard board and fitted the headers to the Cobalt motors on this one.
Sorry about the wood dust, a result of drilling holes for the wiring.
DSCF0869.jpg

I subsequently retro fitted those on the first board as well, which was a bit of a job with them already installed.
I had considered some temporary wiring just to get some track live, but decided against it.
Temporary things have a habit of becoming long term or permanent. I therefore decided to do the job properly as the less I have to revisit things later, the better. Those of a nervous disposition when it comes to wiring may wish to look away temporarily.


DSCF0864.jpg

DSCF0866.jpg

DSCF0868.jpg

The small PCB under the center of the baseboard is one of Hobby Components prototyping boards and I chose to use these rather than Vero strip for my relay cards. For those of you into such things, they are available in a variety of colours at very reasonable prices.
DSCF0867.jpg

These control the power feed to the point motors and are custom wired for each storage yard board. There is a standard PCB layout, but the number of relays varies to suit the required number of point motors for that board. These PCBs are designed to hold 4 x 16 pin ICs, so I have had to modify them substantially to accommodate 8, or in this case 7.
Mention of standards, the wiring for this bears a close resemblance to Green Street, my previous layout, although I have tried to simplify things a bit, it doesn't really show. Much of the documentation for this project has been derived from that for Green Street, and this has taken quite a lot of time to produce.
Indeed lately I seem to be spending as much time on the planning and documentation as on the actual wiring. However this side of any layout is important as it can save much time and effort later on and is often in my view sadly neglected.
The wiring of any layout needs to be able to cater for the operational requirements and thus pre-planning is essential. Although I am starting with the storage sidings, it became apparent that the entry and exit wiring would depend on the scenic sections next to them. This then led to planning the scenic track wiring, which led in turn to the signalling diagram and associated pointwork.
Christmas preparations have also taken some time this month.
Regards
Tony.
Last edited by Tony Wilkins on Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:56 am

Well, a significant milestone was reached last night. After wiring up the connector for one end of the first baseboard, it was possible to test the first pair electrically and run a loco successfully from end to end and through several of the turnouts. Throughout the loco performed faultlessly although several track joints in need of attention were noted including some at the baseboard joint. Considering that I had not cleaned the track and it was covered in PVA glue in places, I am most encouraged.
Regards
Tony.

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Martin Wynne » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:35 am

+1
40 years developing Templot. And counting ...

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:00 pm

Tony Wilkins wrote:Well, a significant milestone was reached last night. After wiring up the connector for one end of the first baseboard, it was possible to test the first pair electrically and run a loco successfully from end to end and through several of the turnouts. Throughout the loco performed faultlessly although several track joints in need of attention were noted including some at the baseboard joint. Considering that I had not cleaned the track and it was covered in PVA glue in places, I am most encouraged.
Regards
Tony.

EDIT here is a belated picture of the event.
DSCF0873.jpg

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:18 pm

And then there were three!
DSCF0874.jpg

DSCF0875.jpg

And the fourth board is under way.
DSCF0876.jpg

A major challenge was the two turnouts to the bottom right corner.
DSCF0877.jpg

You may think these look fairly straight forward until you see the underside of the board here.
DSCF0878.jpg

A certain amount of ingenuity was required to engineer a viable solution and shows a further variation in the use of Exactoscale Tortoise point motor adapter plate components, the baseplates themselves not being used here. The small holes are for the dropper wires to feed power to the track.
Regards
Tony.

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Serjt-Dave
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Serjt-Dave » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:19 pm

Excellent work there Tony. It must be a fantastic feeling all your hard work coming to life and seeing your first train trundle across virgin tack. Happy Days.

All Best

Dave

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Andrew Bluett-Duncan
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Andrew Bluett-Duncan » Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:15 am

Hello Tony

Yup I’d echo what Dave just said. WELL DONE, an incredible job beautifully executed.

Kind regards
Andrew

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:17 pm

Firstly, thanks for the compliments.
Well it has been a while since my last posting and so much has changed, unfortunately not for the better.
I expect some of you are wondering what progress I have made with the layout and there has been some, so let me start from where I left off last time.
DSCF0878.jpg

This is what it looks like now.
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This is the whole of the underside of this monster.
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The top side
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which has some complex pointwork on it.
DSCF0883.jpg

The underside of part of the Scissors. The small relay board controls some of the crossing polarities marked Ax & Dx.
DSCF0887.jpg

If anybody has any questions regarding the wiring, please feel free to ask.

The next baseboard has also been tackled, I hesitate to say completed because as I progress, I discover other functions I want / need to include requiring additional wiring. A consequence is that I have to retrospectively add them to baseboards back to where the control panel will plug into.

Only two and a half turnouts on this board. The end boards are there to protect the track ends whilst working in it.
DSCF0879.jpg

DSCF0880.jpg

The next board to tackle is this one, which will take me round 90 degrees toward the scenic area.
I intend to cover this one in a bit more detail as to how I proceed.
DSCF0889.jpg

Regards
Tony.

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Rod Cameron
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Rod Cameron » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:33 pm

Thanks Tony

I'm always impressed by how neat some modellers' underboard wiring is. With the same basic ingredients - droppers, tag strips, interconnectors, point motors etc - mine is all over the place. But I guess as long as everything is documented, labelled and colour coded - and it all works - it doesn't matter that much :D
Rod

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Serjt-Dave
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Serjt-Dave » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:27 pm

It's sickeningly impressive and neat though the last image there's evidence of a box of wires which may have been a previous attempt that didn't go to plan. LOL.

Excellent work there Tony anyway.

Dave

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:50 pm

Hi Rod.
For all but the simplest layouts, I regard documentation, colour coding and labeling essential for ones sanity if nothing else when it comes to fault finding.
So it will come as no surprise I have a large and growing folder for Brimsdown.
It does though require some self discipline to keep the documentation up dated as changes / additions are made otherwise.....

I have seen some right birds nests over the years including one that was all wired with one colour wire. Electricity will finds its way around the circuit regardless of neatness and will always take the easiest path from A to B with unexpected results sometimes.
Regards
Tony.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:01 pm

Hi Dave.
I have obtained wire from a variety of sources and am now slowly working my way through some of it. Much of what you noticed in that box was wire left over from my Green Street days when I stripped a load of ex telephone cable for the individual cores with many different colour combinations. Wires tends to be self knitting and that box is no exception as it has had many years in which to do so. I only use it for control and detection circuits where the current flows are small and single stand wire can be used to advantage. Waste not, want not. Besides cable is quite expensive to buy these days and much of it seems to come from China as did so much else.
Regards
Tony.

Terry Bendall
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Terry Bendall » Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:10 am

As always looking very good Tony. Telephone wire is certainly useful for circuits with a low current capacity. I am also a believer in colour coding so if the wire is red at the control panel it is still red at the destination. A single colour with careful labelling can be used but requires a disciplined approach. Tracing a colour along a large layout, or for that matter a small one is much easier than looking for labels. Most of my wire has been won from various sources over the years and I have several boxes like the one in Tony's picture.

If anyone wants some telephone wire, either twisted pair or multicore send me a PM. The Leighton Buzzard Railway has a vast quantity, some in 100 metre drums that needs a good home in return for a modest donation.

Terry Bendall

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Paul Townsend » Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:12 am

Terry Bendall wrote:As always looking very good Tony. Telephone wire is certainly useful for circuits with a low current capacity. I am also a believer in colour coding so if the wire is red at the control panel it is still red at the destination. A single colour with careful labelling can be used but requires a disciplined approach. Tracing a colour along a large layout, or for that matter a small one is much easier than looking for labels. Most of my wire has been won from various sources over the years and I have several boxes like the one in Tony's picture.

If anyone wants some telephone wire, either twisted pair or multicore send me a PM. The Leighton Buzzard Railway has a vast quantity, some in 100 metre drums that needs a good home in return for a modest donation.

Terry Bendall


Likewise I have substantial stock of multicore cables that are superfluous to me needs. These include what many call telephone wire as single stranded but also a lot of flexible multistranded. All on offer in Bristol for collection. "No contact " service available .

If you want detailed specs of offered cable let me know your interest.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:38 pm

Looks like this is turning into a sale and wants column :D
But seriously, I would much rather see surplus cable repurposed.
I know the words wire and cable tend to be used interchangeably but really, the term wire refers to the bare metal part only.
Covered wire is properly referred to as cable.
It may not come as much of a surprise to learn that I worked in the electronics sphere most of my working years.
The amount of material that went for scrap in a factory environment had to be seen to be believed. Part of my time was in a repair factory at Brimsdown. Over the years the strategy changed from fault finding and component replacement to board replacement, it was considered more cost effective to use a new PCB than spend the time trying to repair it. The result was that perfectly good components were thrown away and I still have a collection of some of these.
Design projects that came to nothing were another good source of parts / materials. I still have a collection of scrap dockets from those days. However, I have still had to order new materials for this project and there is a noticeable difference in the ease of stripping and soldering the new and old wire. The plastic sleeving hardens with age and the wire surface oxidises, but a bit more flux usually sorts that.
Regards
Tony.

Philip Hall
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Philip Hall » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:16 pm

I was lucky to acquire some ‘ends of reels’ from a local alarm company and although It’s a bit thin, is high quality and multi-strand, so if I have any doubts about the current carrying capacity I can just twist a couple of the cores together. It will certainly do for wiring of turnouts and track feeds from main cables.

Philip

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:32 pm

I'm a bit surprised that nobody has asked any questions regarding the electrics so far, especially with regard to the scissors crossovers as I didn't use the rotary switch version advocated elsewhere. I am quite prepared to expand on the electrical side of things, but do not wish to go into detail of things that are not of interest. Perhaps DCC has solved most peoples problems in this regard and us traditional analogue types are a dying breed.
Anyway onwards and upwards.
The first thing I do before any wiring goes in is to get the point blades operating.
The Cobalt instructions recommend a 10mm drill for the fulcrum wire hole, This seems excessive to me especially as P4 switches only require approximately 1.5mm of movement at the blade tips. I elected to use a 5mm drill bit as this just fits between the timbers and gently drill through from the top as near to the track center line as you can manage,
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not always possible of course.
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Other reasons can be due to inconvenient baseboards members necessitating shifting the point motor sideways and having to drill the hole outside the 4 foot and using a longer tie bar.
For most of the off scene turnouts, I am using a basic design of tie bar utilising N gauge sleeper strip.
DSCF0892.jpg

These are fitted as follows.
In order to prevent solder from going where it is not wanted, a strip of paper is inserted between the switch blade and the stock rail.
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A tie bar is then placed in position such that there is more of the tie bar protruding under the rail at what will be the closed blade side. The paper of course hides this from view. It is important to think about this as it is all to easy to get the short end the wrong side.
DSCF0895.jpg

The switch blade is clipped in position against the stock rail and the tie bar is held in place against the underside of the rails by scrap pieces of sleeper strip. These often need to be thinned down to go under the ends of the tie bar. Check that the tie bar is centered and parallel to the timbers and that the hole in the tie bar is no more than 2mm off center of the baseboard hole or you may not be able to get sufficient throw later on.
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Then solder. You want a good fillet to produce a strong joint.
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Remove clip and paper. If you have got it right the paper will be a tight fit and difficult to remove, but will give a small clearance between the blades and the slide chairs, but still hold the blades down. You can now see the long end. If it is short it will not hold the rail down when the blade opens.
Transfer the paper to the second blade.
DSCF0898.jpg

Several things need to be done now. Clip the second blade. Place a strip of sleeper under the same end of the tie bar to give some resistance to movement and then gently push the tie bar toward the unsoldered blade (to produce a blade gap of 1.5mm at the tip) being sure not to twist the tie bar out of parallel in the process or the first blade will not mate correctly with its stock rail later when fixed. The washer I use as a 1.5mm gauge may be partly glimpsed in the top left corner of the next picture below.
Apologies for the lack of focus.
DSCF0899.jpg

And solder.
DSCF0900.jpg

Next remove the clip but not the paper. Push the tie back to the other stock rail and check the fit. If the tip of the first blade does not quite close, it is possible with care to move the blades back, replace the clip and sleeper if it has come out and melt the solder whilst gently tweaking the tie bar round a few degrees with the blade of a small flat screwdriver against the timber under the second set of slide chairs. Recheck the throw and fit and if satisfied the paper can be removed. It is the devil's own job to get the paper back in to try and adjust if needed.
Repeat for the rest of the switches.
DSCF0901.jpg

DSCF0902.jpg

Next I will go into what happens underneath.

Philip Hall
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:21 am

Tony, do you find that the solder joint is strong enough to last, with the slight flexing of the joint each time the turnout is thrown? I have been thinking of using glass fibre strip with a pin inserted from below to solder the blades to (Norman Solomon’s system) which avoids this flexing.

Philip

Terry Bendall
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:01 am

Tony Wilkins wrote:In order to prevent solder from going where it is not wanted, a strip of paper is inserted between the switch blade and the stock rail


A very neat idea which I had not thought of before. :)

Tony Wilkins wrote: tie bar is held in place against the underside of the rails by scrap pieces of sleeper strip.


Also very helpful and another new idea to me. Learn something new every day.

Philip Hall wrote:Tony, do you find that the solder joint is strong enough to last, with the slight flexing of the joint each time the turnout is thrown?


I find this using Masokits stretcher bars in functional mode on the visible parts of the layout. I don't think there is a way of avoiding this since over time the joint is bound to fail. Usually of course it happens at an exhibition but so far a quick repair with a soldering iron solves the problem.

Terry Bendall

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:14 am

Yes some of Tony's detail ideas with paper packing are useful.

However I remind all that 50+ years ago the MSG established the failure at the switch to PCB joint as a fundamental flaw.
Their solution was to decouple the stress point and provide a small degree of flexibility so that the thing soldered to the switch is a short fine wire which can flex or twist. The original P4Soc/Studiolith inplementation or its clones have served many of us well for decades with only rare failures.
There have been other implemenations tried and some marketed...your choice but maintaining that littlebit of decoupling is crucial IMHO.

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Noel
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Noel » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:54 am

Iain Rice, in the very first edition of Modelling Railways Illustrated in 1993, described a home made version, using droppers from the point blades to a 'tie-bar' under the baseboard with vertical tubes soldered on, within which the droppers are free to rotate, but not lift. He gave the same issue of joint failure under stress as the reason for this approach. I'm currently intending to see if the C&L Finescale switch blade bar can be used this way, i.e. leaving the droppers free to rotate.
Regards
Noel

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:35 pm

Philip Hall wrote:Tony, do you find that the solder joint is strong enough to last, with the slight flexing of the joint each time the turnout is thrown? I have been thinking of using glass fiber strip with a pin inserted from below to solder the blades to (Norman Solomon’s system) which avoids this flexing.

Philip


Hi Philip.
The inevitable question. Yes, based on my experience with tie bars on Green Street and soldered joints in general, I do expect some of these joints to fail over time, hence my comment about obtaining a good fillet of solder to obtain as much strength in the joint as possible, however in my defense (your Honour) I would proffer that as the moveable length of the switch blades is quite long (8 slide chairs minimum), the stress levels are fairly low and I decided to live with the simplicity and its consequences. It all depends on whether one can achieve an acceptable failure rate. Time will tell. A pivoted system is preferable, so I will not be using this method for the scenic turnouts or any double slips and I shall explain that system in due course.
Regards
Tony.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Brimsdown-The last grand project.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:19 pm

For this layout I chose the DCC Concepts Cobalt classic point motors as the Fulgurex point motors I used on Green Street are no longer available and Tortoise point motors are rather large.
There is one thing I find somewhat curious. Tortoise point motors come with 23 SWG gauge fulcrum wire. Cobalts, which are shorter, come with a thicker 21 SWG gauge wire, Logically, the longer lever should need the thicker wire. I have fitted most of my Cobalts with 23 gauge fulcrum wires. I therefore have quite a lot of spare / redundant 21 gauge fulcrum wires.
A word of caution, use proper cutters for piano wire. Standard wire and rail cutters are not up to the job.
DSCF0909.jpg

I used the sticky pad supplied, but left the paper on the baseboard side.
DSCF0910.jpg

With the baseboard upside down and protecting the track, clean up the underside of the hole with a counter sink, then the point motors are installed with both the switch blades and motors in mid position and the holes for the fixing screws marked on the baseboard.
DSCF0903.jpg
DSCF0904.jpg

The point motor can be pivoted around the fulcrum wire rather than take it out as it is quite fiddly to insert the wire through the tie bar hole when peering though the hole in the baseboard.
DSCF0905.jpg

The holes for the screws can then be made with a drill with some sort of depth stop or gauge fitted as one doesn't want to break through the baseboard.
I have used a piece of rubber sleeving for this purpose.
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DSCF0907.jpg

Two screws are then part screwed in on one side
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and then pivot the point motor back into place onto the the screws.
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Then fit the other two screws and gently tighten all four until they just grip the base.
DSCF0913.jpg

Note that I have not put the screws into the root of the slot as it may be necessary to adjust the point motors sideways slightly to center the throw.

Next job dropper wires.
DSCF0914.jpg


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