A Railroad with Relevance

Helix Sense – Part VII

Written By: Alan - Mar• 24•22

At long last the helix is finally complete and ready for installation into the layout. All the location detector electronics are tested and working fine.

If I ever tire of model railroading I have a good start on a scale model of the Large Hadron Collider!

A few final pics of the build…

PCB after exposure/developing before etching
PCB after etching, resist still in place
Boards drying after cutting, drilling, resist alcohol wash
Batch of boards during initial assembly
Leads soldered onto batch of sensors
Batch of finished detector units
Sensor installation, adjustment, and wiring in progress
Stringing sensor output lines
Tidying up wiring with masking tape (1-1/2″ tape with 1/2″ face-to-face across middle so wire can move freely)
Finished sensor installation
Output lines terminate at connector board
Output connector same as used on control panels
Engineer’s view of sensor
5V regulator powering sensors
Finished helix sitting in the shop

Time to move this thing into position. May have to call on Al Quiring and his D9 to give me a hand with the move!


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  1. Dennis says:

    Your work is amazing and inspirational!

  2. Dwight in Toronto says:

    As always, SO neat/tidy/professional. I am going to have to go back aways to recollect the reason(s) why so many detectors were required, and why they had to be so closely spaced. I can’t remember seeing any other helix that needed to be so extensively monitored. But again, great work Alan. It’s nice to see that you are still plugging away.

  3. alan says:

    Thanks Dennis.

    Dwight, Part II explains why so many sensors.

  4. Clark Cone says:

    So. Nice work finishing off the helix…Now, how the heck are you going to move that? Was it not possible to build the helix in situ? and you have another one to build, right?

  5. alan says:

    Clark, sit tight until the next post. It will answer all your questions.

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