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mick

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mick last won the day on May 30

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  1. I've been out this morning and have now connected a spring between the point linkage and the elastic with the elastic secured to a screw that I can turn to adjust the tension. I have to say that it's not entirely the tension of the spring that returns the points to the normal position but also the weight of the spring itself - in fact I go back to my thoughts a few days ago where I suggested that a counter-balanced weight could work equally as well as a spring and I believe that's the case. Anyway. for now I'll persevere with the spring method and see how it goes. It's been working with almost all my wagons this morning, the worst offenders being Bachmann OTAs and OBA/OCAs which ideally need some additional weight for them to be absolutely reliable. I've removed and checked all the wheels on the tank wagons after seeing the wobbly one in the previous photos but I can't say I came across one that needed anything doing to it so it may just have been distortion in the photo.
  2. Lol! Didn't I say use an old saw for the block cutting? I've got a garage full of similarly useless saws! The whole setup looks excellent. I bet you're well chuffed with it.
  3. I managed to get hold of a selection of springs of varying sizes yesterday but none of them seem to be an improvement on the 'elastic' method. I say elastic because I substituted the rubber band seen in the photo above for a short length of elastic which works even better. However I've found that it's important that there's no unnecessary friction anywhere in the linkage - it does all need to glide as smoothly as possible if you are to have the least resistance on the elastic when forcing the points over and enough 'bounce' to return the points to normal position. I'll be having another go with it today. I've also been ensuring my wagons are of sufficient weight and I've decided on a figure of 60g for 2-axle wagons. This wasn't easy, especially for wagons such as the small tanks where there's insufficient room to add any additional weight without it being visible. So I've done what I thought of doing a few days ago, and drilled holes in the bases, added 16g of dry sand and stuck a small piece of plasticard over the hole afterwards. You'll see from the photo that the tanks have already had additional weight glued directly beneath the axle and I probably need to look at the wheels as in the photo they appear a bit wobbly. And you might gasp...but I've done exactly the same with my 'new' PRA wagons where again there's no room to add any additional weight. Drilling the holes was scary, especially as you have to drill through a small weight at the base so need to have a firm grip on the wagon but I managed it without causing any damage. The difference between the tanks and the PRA's is that on the PRA's there's a small gap between the plastic base of the wagon and the weight sitting just above it, so after filling with the sand I plugged the hole with a bit of old blutac before sticking on a plasticard cover. The grain wagons were easier and I was able to use the weight from a 16t mineral wagon that I've previously loaded with real coal, as it fits nicely underneath.
  4. Well if concrete proves less durable than the wooden type I'm going to be alongside you in the queue for some SL-100 in a few years time.
  5. In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say. Excuse the crudeness of the set-up but I've removed the over-centre spring from the point just off Low Shott viaduct so the blades are now loose and free. Using the operating linkage, which I previously installed with the car central locking motor, to connect to the point tie-bar, a rubber band looped around the trailing end and a rounded file passed through the opposite end of the band, there is now sufficient tension to keep the points in the normal position of travel from the viaduct. The plastic box houses the auto frog module for powering the live frog. While holding the file in position so that it doesn't move and using one of my lightest wagons, an empty HEA, I can run through the points without the wagon riding up onto the rails and once through, the point blades return to the normal position. It works, but there is a fine limit to reliable operation with the lightest wagons. I will have to do some testing with wagon weights in order find the optimum weight per axle for my needs. I haven't yet sourced a suitable spring but there's no reason why the rubber band or a piece of elastic wouldn't suffice for the time being providing there's a means to adjust the tension. Obviously the points will need to be kept clear of dust and debris but that applies equally to points that are motorised.
  6. I'm sure you must have looked online and there are several threads, especially on the Hornby forum, that deal with elink software and adding Hornby Elite/Select controllers. They also detail their limitations so if you haven't yet seen them it might be worth a read. https://www.hornby.com/us-en/forum/railmaster-with-elink-elite-and-select/?p=1
  7. I went straight out of the door this morning and fitted the remaining piece of flexi track to complete the loop. It was then that I noticed I hadn't fitted last nights final piece properly and had left a gap of about 1cm on the inside rail between it and the section before. I ended up having to cut a short piece of track out so that I could add a longer section in to bridge the gap. Maybe I would have been better finishing it off last night! Anyway, the loop is now back in though I've still to make sure it's all aligned properly and that's best done by eye in my opinion with a long rake of wagons. I connected one section up to the power bus and was amazed to discover it powered the whole lot throughout - due to the amount of tarnishing of the rail joiners and rails I half-expected many of the joints to be dead but a quick rub over with the track rubber and I was soon running a loco back and forth. Now I'm left wondering what to do about the points and whether to stay with motors or try the 'sprung' version. I would like to be able to use the sprung method if I can get it to work reliably but I don't want to be picking wagons up off the deck all the time. I've been having a mess around with a spare point trying to gauge what force is required to hold the points in normal position and what weight the wagons need to be to run through them without riding up on the rails. Dave @Riddles raised the subject of wagon weights suggesting that the NEM recommendation is for a weight of 25g per axle. I've had a few of mine on the scales today and most of them are slightly down on that figure, even the ones that I've already added additional weight to. A 2 axle wagon coming in at 50g is still pretty light in the hand but I imagine that much more than that might create problems further down the line with wheel bearing wear. I have to admit that the view from the shed door across Low Shott viaduct is much better with double track beyond round the curve and it's nice to see a train coming towards you on the 'right side of the road', swing over the points and proceed onto the viaduct! I feel like I'm more or less at a standstill now until I can fathom out what to do - or what I want to do.
  8. None that I've noticed Barry. I've used both types and haven't had a problem with either.
  9. I keep doing a bit Tony - making the most of a fine spell of weather. I've almost forgotten what it's like when it rains! I'm still undecided as to whether I'm going to simply have a loop line or whether to run double track around the ground level section. If I'd settled on double track beforehand then I would probably have purchased new concrete sleepered track as many of the sleepers on the track I've just put down have seen better days. I would probably have to go back over it and ensure it's aligned better too as I didn't take too much care thinking it was just going to be a loop. If I run double track then I would like to be able to incorporate sprung points at either end to save having to change them. If I decide on a loop then it makes sense to have the points motorised, though at a push I could always operate them manually. The one nearest the shed is still fitted with a motor and only requires the decoder replacing as I'd removed it when taking up the old plywood baseboard. The far point will need a new motor and linkage adding. I might add some power to the 'loop' today and run something down it to see how it looks - perhaps that will help me decide how to proceed from here.
  10. Ahh right, that explains it. I still have little idea but a quick glance on forums would suggest it's not something worth considering but I suppose it depends on what your particular requirements are. If you wanted to keep things in the same family then the Elite is the better option apparently. Do you know anyone who has a Select that you could try? If they're as poor as most people seem to make out there should be lots of them knocking about.
  11. I'm like that too - much prefer a dial or even buttons to adjust loco speed rather than a touch screen. I'm not familiar at all with the Hornby Elite but don't the dials on that unit function as a speed control when it's connected as part of Railmaster? Does Railmaster take over from the Elite?
  12. I've almost got the loop line installed - though it still needs work to space out the sleepers and solder on the bonding wires. All the 'wooden' type sleepers are loose and have been slid onto the rails so I will need to ballast this in the near future in order to hold them all in place. It does look much better with the two tracks side by side again so I'm glad I decided to retain the loop. From the point along Stackgarth Gill looking to Trundles Bridge.... I need to sort out the wiring around the point as some of it was a temporary measure until I'd installed the loop. From near to Watch House Tunnel down to Trundles Bridge... Those unsightly track bonds also need redoing. The east end of Watch House Tunnel.... For a short distance either side of the tunnel area I've reverted to concrete sleeper track as I had some spare left over. And the west end of Watch House Tunnel, where it reverts back to wooden sleepers. And I said at the beginning of this post that I'd 'almost' finished......well this is how much I have still to do.... I know, but I really couldn't be bothered to do any more. It will still be there tomorrow.
  13. Yes the spring would have to be removed and I've also endured the task of trying to replace one on more than one occasion. Not something I would recommend. I got into the habit of weighing wagons some time ago and I can't for the life of me remember what they used to work out at now. I can tell that some of the wagons I use outdoors are very light - the oil tanks and the new PRA China Clay wagons in particular feel very light indeed but it's difficult on those two finding a suitable place to add any more. With the outdoor layout I only run shortish rakes of wagons and coaches so additional weight wouldn't cause a problem. It doesn't get any simpler than that Thomas and it's something I'll be trying out - thank you.
  14. Sorry, we must have posted at the same time and your thoughts reflect mine almost entirely! Thank you.
  15. I've cut out many of the clips I filmed yesterday over Low Shott viaduct to compile a much shorter video and I've just uploaded it. I don't want to go overboard and overwhelm everyone with videos so there'll be break for a few days now before anymore appear. I'll look into that Dave - it might give me some ideas. I was thinking of a lightweight spring attached at distance to the tiebar or even a small weight. It would need to be very light in order that wagons could run through the trailing points without derailing but strong enough to move the points back across once the train had passed through. I would still use the current live frog module for frog power feed but would be nice to be able to do away with a motor.
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