Nicks workshop mutterings

Various railway orientated modelling projects in my new workshop/railway room.

I’ve been MERGed!

While I have been waiting for my order of Tim Horn baseboards my thoughts have turned to control and wiring of Tavistowe. I intend to have a separate control panel with a manually interlocked lever frame working the points and signals and a mimic diagram for the electrical sections as I am traditional and sticking to DC control.

Recently we took Lakebank to the Southampton show and together with my partner in crime from the Launceston and District MRC, Nigel, we got talking to some very enthusiastic guys from the local group of MERG(Model Electronic Railway Group) As a result I have become a convert to their CBUS system for layout control. This a is a bi-directional system which operates down just four wires between the control panel and local modules on the layout boards. A module in the control panel reads the switches and transmits a signal to the modules on the layout which in turn work point motors and servos for signals .

This means that I can have a control panel with one 4 way connector for the CBUS and a 15 way connector to sort out all the power sections and feed from the controllers.

As you can see from the above plan of the proposed layout, it will involve 8 sections, a common return and in addition there will be two controllers Each section will be able to use either controller.

As well as these sections the layout will need 15 point motors (Hoffmann) and 5 signals controlled by servos. With conventional wiring this would involve at least 40 wires

Having come away all enthused for the system I duly signed up to join MERG. Their website is a phenomenal store of information the majority of which I have no clue as to what it means, not having much background in electronics. My mind has been well and truly ‘boggled’, and they said it would be easy!!

My next step will be to purchase some module kits and set up a test board to learn how it all works. Watch this space……….

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