Week 1

Here is the preliminary redesign for the yard.

As part of the redesign, we needed to cut 2 feet off the original mainline modules. In this picture, Bruce and Eric are installing the shelf/end of the east yard module.

And in this picture and the next, we have begun moving the track to match the redesign of the yard.

Week 2

For this week, we installed track feeds on the east yard module. In addition, the switch motors and feedback mechanisms were added. To ensure the switches operate correctly, we use a switch tester (see picture) which sends the appropriate signals depending on the switch position.

In this picture, Eric has begun prep work on the west yard module. This includes pulling some of the old track (which will not be used in the new design) and installing the new track.

As part of the new design, we have begun adding two aspect signals to the yard modules. These signals will change depending upon the switch positions.

To finish up the week, we used the switch tester to test the switches and feedback mechanisms on the west yard module.

Week 3

For week 3, we have begun working on the west end of the yard entrance/exit. In this picture and the next, you can see the current state of the east end.

And in this picture, we have added the small freight station which will cover the gap between the west and east ends.

In this picture and the next, Eric is working on the track feed locations.

And here is a photo of the switch machines, they have been tested and appear to work perfectly.

Week 4

To start week 4; Bruce, Eric, and I moved the next yard module (west-end) into position. Currently, it is clamped to the west mainline yard module.

In this picture, Eric started removing the old track feeds so it is ready for new track feeds.

Here is a closeup of the yard module with the track and isolation joiners installed.

To finish up this week, I started working on the intelligence for the east mainline yard module.

Currently, the intelligence can be broken into four parts. The first (left) part is the intelligence (Arduino Mega) and communication system (CAN-bus). At the top is the second part, the capacitor discharge system which will control the three switches. The capacitor (6800uF 50V) will be charged by a 24VDC computer power supply. In the middle/right, we are using dual relay modules for the track feeds. And finally, the power system for the intelligence is located on the bottom/right.

Week 5

For week 5, Eric and Bruce continued working on the west-end yard module. To eliminate the need for bridge track, Bruce built a special interface piece which will lock the track in place. Once this was done, Eric cut the track to size and began prepping the module for track feeds.

Here is a closeup of the interface piece and the next yard module.

In the case of electronics, I have started adding the intelligence and connecting the track feed relays to the Arduino.

To finish up the work, I have connected the track feeds for the mainline on the east-end yard module. These bus feeds have been connected to terminal strips.

Week 6

To start week 6, I started the wiring of the capacitor discharge system for the east mainline yard module.

Here is a closeup of the relay driver logic.

And here is a closeup of the storage capacitor and relays.

For week 6, Bruce has been busy assembling the next inner yard modules.

Hopefully, we can begin adding the track and track feeds.

Week 7

For week 7, I continued my work on the east mainline yard module. At the end of the day, I completed wiring of the three switches, the feedback modules, and two of the three railroad signals.

Here is a closeup of the signal wiring and plug assemblies. To help organize the wiring, I have twisted the three wires together (white=5V, green=green, & red=red).

And here is a picture of the two signals plugged in. Yes, it is a little strange to see them in this orientation.

As for the rest of the yard modules, Eric has been busy installing track feeds.

And Bruce has been busy building more of the yard modules (as seen above and in the next picture).

Week 8

As part of week 8, Eric continued his work on the track feeds and Bruce continued assembling more of the yard modules.

Continuing my work on the yard intelligence, I was able to complete most of the east yard entrance/exit module. In this picture and the next two, you can seem the completed intelligence and wiring buses.

At this point, we are only waiting on the CAN interface boards and the connectors. Once these arrive, we can finish the east yard entrance/exit module and start working on the next yard module.

And here are two pictures of the last (third) signal on this yard module.