With the Christmas clock ticking down on us, let’s get to our wiring and scenery. I have to admit I was slightly apprehensive about wiring up the PC board to feed all the lighting. As I mentioned previously, this is my first crack at a PC board if it doesn’t work, there’s no time for a redo if we’re to finish Grinched by Christmas Eve.
Taking our time and double-checking as we went along, soldering proceeded smoothly and all tests so far look good, the lights work! Just to hedge my bets a little I’ve left a couple of extra inches of the bundled wires in case there is a problem I can get to the board for repairs. Not that there’s going to be a problem (I’m an optimist!), but a little insurance never hurt.
Next step was to attach the foam layout to the galvanized tin tray, with all the 30AWG twisted lighting wires between the layout and the tray. The tray itself is very, very flexible and as it’s a handmade piece, it’s not perfectly round. I used PL Premium construction adhesive to both attach the layout to the tray as well as act as filler for the gaps between the layout and the tray. This worked out well and the layout is now very rigid.
We get to move on to actual scenery now, starting with a base coat of coarse sifted soil. Additional soil will be added of course, but I like to begin with a solid base color and texture to get my visual bearings on a scene. You can see the twisted pair wires sticking up the through the dirt. You can also see the Bluetooth speaker I’ll be using to provide ambient Christmas music. This speaker needed a 2 -1/2” hole to sit in, and as I like to keep the speaker as hidden as possible, I decided to hide it under the largest building on the layout. I think we’ll rig up a little hinge so the building can be tipped open for quick access to the speaker.
Finally, we placed the PC board in its new permanent home, snapped the door shut and tested it out. So far so good, we have lights! Stay tuned for the next Grinched installment, with just a couple of days before our Christmas deadline, it should be an exciting (but not too exciting I hope) run to the Christmas finish line.
Category: Raildig Build Projects