Monday, 26 November 2012

Module Construction

The former's were manufactured from 12 mm thick 5 ply in two pieces CNC profiled from DXF profiles generated from the original CAD layouts and manufactured in two parts for economy of material usage - glued into single bulkheads and spaced with pine stringers. Primed finger jointed pine was chosen because of its light weight and dimension stability. All joints are screwed and glued using urethane adhesive.

The cove are constructed from 2400 x 1220 x 1.5 mm styrene sheet with a supplemental sheet to fill the remaining gap in the roof. The styrene is 1.5mm HIPS and supplied by Vale Plastics at Brookvale, NSW Phone: 02 9938 2140.  The styrene is fixed to the ply using acrylic builders adhesive with the glued areas prepared using a orbital sander and 80 grit paper to break the glaze and key the glue areas. 

A 3 mm ply deck is fixed to the top and bottom of the former's to stabilize the structure in conjunction with the styrene cove. 

Valances were cut from 5 mm tempered Masonite which is a vastly superior material to MDF with greater toughness and dimensional stability.  A timber beam is clamped along the top side of the former's to remove sag in the frame before applying the lower and upper fascias which provide the necessary stiffing of the lower structure. The fascias are all fixed using urethane glue as the primary adhesive and screws to hold the fascia in position till the glue has fully cured.

The estimated weight of each module is 80 kg [178 lbs] so to allow ease of handling each corner of the module is fitted with 65 mm swivel caster to allow the modules to be wheeled into an exhibition and the legs extended to place the module into its operating position.

Incorporated into each module is a series of drawers to allow access to all the electronics and to provide storage for stuff. Each module has its own drawer to incorporate the electronics allowing ease of installation and access for repairs. All electronic modules [where possible] are mounted on self adhesive standoffs for speed of mounting and more importantly to allow ready removal in case of problems. A separate drawer is to be incorporated for storage at the opposite end

Commercial folding legs [4 off] are fitted to the underside of the modules. 

Smoke Ducting
Each module has a 100 x 75 duct manufactured from PVC down-pipe allowing air to be drawn from each module using a series of computer fans. This will allow the fumes from any smoke generators to be removed before settling on the layout and will also create a sense of air movement when collecting the smoke.

Fans - one per bay

The legs are removed and the fan assembly screwed to the underside of the PVC duct and connected using 500 mm USB cables

A NCE Lighting Controller module is fitted into each module. These NCE products are not yet available but are in a extended test phase at this time. The Red-Green-Blue component is set using the Lighting Controller module with each module storing four [4] lighting recipes which are selected using the buttons provided with the mixing between the recipes handled by the module. Each lighting recipe's is created by mixing the RGB component using the three [3] lighting mixer knobs mounted on the fascia of the controller. The control module can also be mixed and triggered using the inbuilt DCC address by using suitable software or hardware.

For more information click here: NCE Lighting

Power and Control
The DCC accessory bus has its own command station to operate all the control hardware. This is to isolate the accessory addresses from problems that occur on the track bus and to remove possible latency created by a single command station polling and addressing a large number of accessory devices.

Sound Speakers
Two exciter speakers are incorporated onto each backdrop to introduce the sound atmospherics of wind into each module. A separate exciter speaker is employed in one corner for thunder and will be combined with a LED strobe.

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