After a few days of concentrated labour, not necessarily hard but it involved a lot of grovelling, the new control set-up using Cobalt levers instead of PECO switches is up and, at times, running.
And I wonder why I have such trouble with the electrics. Neatness is a virtue, apparently – it’s a pity I didn’t know that when I started.
The arrival of the Minx Microdrive signal motors pointed out to me the deficiencies in the PECO switches I was using. Therefore I decided to invest in some DCC Concepts Cobalt levers, twenty-five in all. They look great, operate beautifully, but are a right pain to wire up despite the looms attaching the switches to a supplied PC board (which you need to wire up – nine connections per switch). The board doesn’t seem to be of very high quality and I’ve had a couple of instances of the copper track coming away from the board under very light soldering (15 watt iron).
After that task you have to devise an interface from the PCB to the layout and the only realistic way that will work is using connector block – I think now I would have been better off leaving out the PCBs and going straight to connector blocks using just the leads I needed out of the switches.
There again where would be the challenge if it was all straightforward?
By the way this is the easier part of the task. Jumping across the old wiring to the new is going to be a nightmare!