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markgd last won the day on November 22 2018

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About markgd

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  1. I am well into a conversion to O gauge. Bit the bullet and having got my hands on some stock I really can't see me going back to OO. I will keep what I have as a shunting layout in the garage but I find working with O gauge in the garden is so much easier. Whilst there is no where near the selection of locos and rolling stock it seems to me it is only a matter of time that manufacturers will get going. For the money the detail and 'feel' of the stock is so much better for the garden. The shed has become a storage yard only. cheers Mark
  2. Tony, I am watching your ship take shape and am really impressed. I watched two new passenger ships being built in a shipyard in Venice for Seabourn and other than you using card and we used 18mm steel the build is almost the same! I hope you are keeping the ferry company up to date with the build. They would be delighted to see it. cheers mark
  3. I have only got a very basic hornby DCC controller was have been looking into the Lenz p100, powercab, digitrax and the Z21 black system. Honestly at this moment I have no idea which to select. I have three sound fitted locos that the hornby controller cannot operate all functions so I am waiting for now. Your ship is coming along nicely. You have amazing patience with it! I am a volunteer coastguard so I am off to teach a bit of VHF and GPS tonight. regards Mark
  4. Thanks Tony, I was going to make one of the sidings in the shed section a programming track but think I will keep it simple and have a separate piece on my bench and use by locolift to transfer the locos. Warm and wet here in New Zealand. Forecasting 32C for Christmas Day. Being a Pom I still cant get used to that. I do however have my fake snow on the windows to pretend it will be miserable outside come the day. cheers Mark
  5. I have a quick question for you. Do you incorporate a section of programming track on your layouts or do you have a separate piece of track on a workbench upon which you carry out your programming? I never thought about it until now and only have two sidings left to lay. If I am to include a section on the layout I need to do it now. My own thoughts are to lay a separate piece of old hornby set track on a piece of pine 2x1x about a yard long I have lying about and transfer the locos using my locolift. It just seems less complicated than isolating bits of sidings and installing additional switching. Let me know what your experiences are. Thanks mark
  6. Ive been busy this leave. The baseboards were removed from the shed and transferred to the garage to begin work on them. I purchased a load of electrofrog points from the UK and had them posted out whilst I was away last time and they were waiting for me when I arrived home. Each point cost me 12 pounds. At todays exchange that's 24 NZ dollars. Here they cost 38 dollars each. Now I am all for supporting my local shops when I can but even allowing for a markup to make a bit of profit and postage I can't see where the price difference can be that much. The baseboard is 12 feet long and varies from about 18 inches to 3 feet wide to fit the shed and under the work bench. The first job was to alter the electrofrogs for smoother operation soldering wires between the stock rails and closure rails, cut the minute wires underneath and but seep PM1 motors to with the frog polarity. After watching a few youtube videos for guidance it was easy. Cork trackbed was glued down and track laying has begun. Here is my progress to date. Two main lines run through the boards and will connect to the outside track when its laid at the bottom of the picture. The station and sidings are at the top. My three old hornby coaches are placed for scale. Once the track is down I will begin the DCC wiring and install the point motors by turning the boards on their sides for ease. Even pushing the coaches up and down and a single truck full of fishplates is quite exciting. Cheers Mark
  7. Back home once more with a few more shots from my travels. I was in Rouen recently. Not far from where we docked plumes of steam and smoke could be seen rising above the warehouses that lined the docks. I found out after we left that there is a large marshalling yard there and its home to a steam locomotive collection. I missed it. It was only 30 minutes walk away. I will definitely do it next time. There were however some other interesting items of French railways moving in close proximity to my ship. The truck that was used for shunting was interesting. It was moving 7 fully loaded grain hoppers about. Not bad traction for rubber tyres on steel rails. The tanker vehicle was taken to help with some weathering ideas I am collecting for future use. cheers mark
  8. With all these airmiles I do, I have amassed a fair few points. Air New Zealand have just started doing gift cards to be spent in Mitre 10. This is our equivalent of B+Q Mega in the UK. This is a new addition to their sky shop and I love it! 100 dollar card for 104 airports. I have over 2000 airports! Most of our kitchen blenders and other stuff comes from spending airports. Not any more. I now have a new dremel and a coil of 2.5mm three core wire for the main bus. All courtesy of bum on seat time. Suddenly air travel does not seem so bad. Just got to keep with the Star Alliance airlines to get the points.
  9. I have just spent a week in Turku in Finland doing an ice navigation course. In a nutshell its to avoid another Titanic. Anyhoo Turku is quite a big shipbuilding and ferry town. It is also small boat heaven for this is archipelago country and a boat is essential. I am not a huge small boat fan even though I drive a very big one for a living but there were some very nice clinker built wooden boats that were beautiful to the eye. As for Turku itself, thats about all I can say about it. I shan't be rushing back for a holiday. However, the train station was a 15 minute walk from my hotel and so I spent around an hour reliving my transporting days as you do. Not a lot was going on. The national rail system is VR and on show were a few electric locos and a triple headed oil tanker train waiting for the green to proceed. He are a few photos I took of the place. Architecturally the station its an out and out horror. Best described as functional.A set of wheels at the entrance gives you a clue that the non descript building is actually the central station. The above train links the ferry docks from where the ferries from Sweden arrive to Helsinki. There was also a car transporter loading dock which was interesting to see. Across from the station was a large carriage and loco maintenance depot. The local graffiti artists had been busy. However in the town is an old warehouse which is now the maritime museum. I did take some photos of that as I think it would make an ideal suggestion for an engine shed model for the future with some modification. It had quite a few appealing features. I have yet to learn scratch building in styrene techniques. We shall see.
  10. I am sat in Hong Kong airport on my way home to NZ after doing a course in Finland. I only have 5 days at home before flying back to Norway to join my ship for 10 weeks. I have not done anything in the garden part of the railway. Too cold still. I do have my baseboards down in the shed and am waiting for my electro frog points to arrive from the UK. When I get back home mid november i hope to start a bit of track laying.
  11. I downloaded the Z21 app and had a play with it. Its all come a very long way from my old gauge master DS2 DC dual controller! When I bought that I thought it was the bees knees. Now it will be relegated to powering the accessories bus in due course. Could also use it on the car solenoid motors for my outdoor points in time. The Z21 is not cheap at all here in NZ. Nor do any of my local model shops have one to go and look at. When spending that kind of money I would like to see it first. It will soon me model show season here soon. I think its worth getting a quote for repair Mick. The prodigy is still a system on the market so I am sure gauge master could be asked for repair or replacements. You never know. They may be sympathetic and replace them. Worth a try.
  12. Its coming up 2 years since the last post here. As I am in the market for a DCC control system are there any new thoughts on the way to go? Anything new on the market since these last musings? We all have our preferences but I do like the thought of being able to control my shed part of the layout from in the shed and the garden part whilst actually in the garden. And whilst on the subject could you wise people explain what on earth a sniffer port is? Mark
  13. The protective top plywood sheets are now in place. Dowels glued into the back shed wall battens and two supporting legs locate into holes drilled into the plywood sheets so that they can be taken in and out easily when working on the baseboards themselves. Afterwards they can be put back to protect the actual layout below from falling tools and so forth in the event we get an earthquake or a clumsy me when working in the shed but not on the layout. Now I can start laying track once my electrofrog points arrive from the UK. I have not decided on point motors to use yet. The SEEP PM1 with the frog switch looks good. But now there is the autofrog switch so am I am trying to decide which way to go. It seems to me the PM1 point motor is enough and cheaper than fitting a PM2 point motor and the autofrog beside it. Am I missing something?? I have purchased cork tiles to use as track underlay. Mick mentioned cork roll. I cant get it here. I cant import it either as it will be confiscated at the border under New Zealand bio security laws. As its a natural wood its a no no. Even though if I bought it in the UK and brought it home in my suitcase it would be ok. Frustrating. I think the tiles will do for now. I have not done any more in the garden yet. Its still too chilly to be doing that. Spring is just around the corner and then I can work in the garden. I have around 8 metres of track bed in the garden available to lay track on joining the baseboards in the shed. So I am at least hoping to get an out and return line working when i get back from my next trip to sea. There are some new houses being built not far away. I may need to check out the skips to see what off cuts of wire can be found for bus wires and droppers. Needs must you know! Mark
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