This test layout has been used for over a year now. In the run up to the Fun Day at the Baptist Church in Carshalton Beeches, the layout had been improved as follows:-
- Automatic signals driven by a DCC current detecting module
- Points changes by a micro linear servo
- A microprocessor selecting four different routes in sequence, programmed in Blockly.
After an hour or so, the servo motor on the right hand point failed. It looked as though the adjustment was incorrect and the tiny servo motor was straining to move the tie bar further than it should. The result was that the motor overheater, melted the nylon gear on the spindle and the point ceased to do what points should do.
The net effect was that for the rest of the morning, only a single route could be used. On a brighter note, the automatic signals worked faultlessly.
It was clear that the micro linear servos were not fit for purpose.
Another problem became evident near the end of the morning in that the A1 foamboard had started to warp. This had not been a problem at home but the change of environment caused some warping and the problem was enough to cause the loco to stop. The foamboard was reinforced with a second sheet of foamboard around the perimeter but this proved to be inadequate.