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Clay Mills Junction

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Posts posted by Clay Mills Junction

  1. There were a few weather records broken in the UK in May too I believe. I'm waiting on Mick's weather report for the month, but he's been very quiet of late so hoping everything's OK with him.

    Anyway, let's hope June brings more opportunities to get out into the garden and progress /play on our railways.

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  2. I keep saying progress is in little steps at a time, but I am working and the weather is being British.

    I've now got the passing line and large Y point in place then the small Y point in place on the siding board and the track cut inbetween. It has all got to come up again to do the wiring but at least I know where the wiring is going now. The positions are almost exactly as the track plan which is encouraging and carriages run smoothly in and out in all directions. Deflections are not too bad and I don't think anything close coupled will find any problems.

    The next stage is to assemble the rest of the intermediate board bracing that will sit onto the decking and attach the board to support the bottom curve of the triangle.

    The one thing I have decided is not to bother with a reverse loop module. The reason for this is that the part that reverses is a dead-end siding so trains will always have to stop and not having a complex bit of electronics outside seems like a better way to go. I've worked it out that the frog of the small Y point will always be the inner rail regardless of which side the train is coming from so that doesn't even need insulated rail joiners. I'll disconnect the little wires that connect the switch rails to the frog. Because all of my locos have all axle pickups on both sides and the small Y point is so short, I think I'll try the switch rails without a separate supply and just rely on the point's own connections - even the 20 and 26 will have the front axle past the frog by the time the second bogie hits the switch rail.

    The insulated rail joiners are on the outer stock rails. I've got a dual pole dual throw DPDT switch that I'll use to reverse the polarity of the siding. I can't see a problem with this, though I'll be testing with the multimeter very carefully before I go live.

  3. With waiting on the opportunity to get more plywood for the passing loop station I've been concentrating on the boards off the decking and starting to get those covered and track pinned down.

    So the board for the main running line to go around is cut to shape and braced underneath. To keep it in place there is a prong that goes off under the sidings board and a small prong that comes out from the sidings board. This meant I could finalise the bracing on the sidings board and pin down the roofing felt neatly. I've then finalised the positions of the points and track to the two main sidings and I can now do the soldering and wiring indoors regardless of weather.


    Once wired it will mean that the line is operational from the sidings to the station area rather than running it off a temporary board with crocodile clip leads supplying power.


    I'm pleased at the quality of the trackbase so far and flinging coaches along it shows they run well and it is decently flat. Theres only a couple of places I could do with embedding the dropper wires into the aerated blocks.

    Not having a car at the moment is a bit of a drag. As much as I'd like to live car-free, a trip to B&Q for materials is not so easy on a bike. Though cycling home with an 8-foot strip of wood in my right hand like a medival jousting pole last weekend did result in every car but one (Audi) obeying Highway Code Rule 163!

    • Haha 1
  4. I've come to the conclusion that there are too many blocks through the passing loop station area to get completely even and level. So I have taken the decision to cover that area with a layer of birch plywood. So the blocks I have already cut will need another 6mm taken off them. Around the top bend I'll go back to just blocks as it is easy enough to get these level one at a time.

    In the mean time I'm progressing the boards at the staging area and making the wiring. Reading on the Sprog forums about shorts damaging the sprog unit I'm considering some sort of power management board like a PSX to give it more complex surge protection. The alternative is a car light bulb which would probably be more robust outdoors and cheaper.


  5. Another meet the fleet video. This is the rest of my modern fleet so you can see I don't have a lot. Everything else is old Hornby or Lima and isn't DCC or running very well.
    Unfortunately one of the Oxford Rail Mk3a couplings broke when I tried to put a Bachmann coupling bar in it to connect it to the blue/grey DBSO so that meant I couldn't include them. I've thought of a different way of repairing them so I'm going to try and fix it before the next running day.

    The Loksound v5.0 for 37114 arrived today so hopefully the next video will not be silent, though you can hear my next door neighbour's dog in this one.


  6. The clocks going forward has brought the opportunity of doing a little each evening after work. So progress is now steady. Since the last update I've used a point intended for elsewhere until my local model shop reopens but that has at least allowed me to cut a few more blocks to shape. I decided not to lay the blocks properly as, on second consideration, I'll be best laying the outer blocks properly first then I'll do the inner.

    The board that will sit over the decking has moved on, it was just a frame with 12mm birch ply but I have now added the roofing felt cover having found my staple gun. Ready to add the tracks.

    A 25m coil of 2.5mm twin+earth cable sourced from Screwfix has been cut into the required lengths and laid around the outside of the track. I've split the outer insulation and removed the blue and brown internal cables to be laid along the outside. Not sure how I'm going to secure those to the hidden sides of the aerated blocks but I'll experiment.
    I've started soldering the droppers, I could only find 16/0.2 steel stranded wire in my collection in blue and brown so I'll use that up first. Hopefully the 9 extra strands will make up for them being steel rather than copper.

    I was also thinking about edging the track with wall or fencing. To that end I've sourced a couple of packs of Hornby trackside fencing. This may be a bit toy like for some but the supports can be cut down easily and I have plenty of small rawlplugs and screws so I'm drilling small holes in the aerated block, sticking a rawlplug in it and screwing the fencing in. The Hornby fencing is easy to remove when not in use so birds don't wreck it. We'll see how it looks when I've got enough in, if it doesn't look good enough then I won't buy any more.

    I have quite a lot of non-railway things to do over Easter weekend but I'm hoping to get the wiring done enough to get some trains running as I have promised I'd make a video of them for a friend. Unfortunately, my sound decoder never turned up. I phoned the company and he said it was on their system as dispatched but wasn't showing on Royal Mail at all, he said he would look into it and call me back which he hasn't yet done. In my experience, when an item doesn't go on RM's track and trace by the time it should have turned up at the recipient then it means they've lost it. I will phone the shop back tomorrow.

  7. On 12/14/2015 at 11:24 AM, TheQ said:

    1.5mm wire has a loss of 29mVDC per meter per amp (rough figures for single core cable)
    2.5mm wire has a loss of 18mVDC per meter per amp

    So if you have a 30ft out and 30ft back track outside that is roughly 20 metres. 1 large 00 Loco can draw close two 2 amps under heavy load.

    So using a 1.5mm Bus you would lose 0.029X2X20) 0r 1.16 volts
    OR using 2.5 mm Bus you would lose 0.018X2X20) 0r 0.72 volts

    Now this doesn't sound a lot but every soldered inline connection to the track WILL reduce the voltage further.

    Thank you for the info there. As I've got just under a 20m run around the garden and the way it is with the bridge I'll have to do a U shape which comes to about 15m, so these figures are useful.

    Just a small question though, what is an acceptable level of voltage drop at the end of the run?

    I'm just wondering at what point the next size up listed at Screwfix (4mm sq, 7strand per core) becomes preferrable?


  8. On 8/6/2012 at 3:27 PM, mick said:

    It seems the consensus is on using 0.2mm stranded wire of sometimes 7 and sometimes 16 strands as 'droppers' when connecting to a power bus. Ideally I guess it should be the larger 16 strand.

    7 strand 0.2mm would be much easier to conceal at the side of the sleepers on an outdoor layout if it was capable of supplying the required power. It's a pity that we can't go directly through the baseboards close to ground level without a lot of additional work.

    As far as I can make out with droppers, the idea is that they are so short that it doesn't matter. If you are running a bus and droppers to every piece of track, provided the bus comes reasonably close to the track then all the droppers have to do is supply whatever is on that one piece of track. It won't make any significant difference how far your dropper is from the controller or booster provided the bus is sufficient.
    On an indoor layout where the bus is generally under the track and the droppers are less than 12cm (5") long then 7/0.2 isn't going to be a problem. The times you may want to consider 16/0.2 for the droppers is where your droppers have to be a bit longer or where the demand on them might be greater, like say a diesel depot where you might have a few sound locos sitting on one piece of track.
    I find 7/0.2 is much easier to solder to the track and I'd rather extend the bus than have long droppers. I know some people use block detection and therefore have much longer droppers so might need 16/0.2 on those.
    If I'm wrong on any of that then please correct me.

  9. 2 hours ago, mick said:

    That looks amazing.... Looking forward to seeing at least one of those on Clay Mills Junction!

    I don't think I'll be managing that level of detail. But the construction is interesting nonetheless. One of the undecideds is material, that's aluminium which is interesting. Working with such small pieces of metal will be challenging, I'm thinking that welding is the only reliable way in the garden but that has challenges in not warping everything.

    The detail (rivet plates) are added on plastic. That was one big question for me now answered.

    Thanks for the link Thomas and I hope you get your bridge and rolling stock.

  10. On 3/22/2021 at 7:32 PM, ThomasI said:



    That looks an awesome bridge, I do like a good bridge, so I hope it arrives with you soon and without further hassle.

    Do you have a link to the seller? Not that I want to buy one as it sounds far too expensive for me, but I'd like to look at photos to see how it is constructed for when I start welding my own.

    Regards, Barry.

  11. Schoolboy error. I've been struggling to figure why my rails wouldn't line up. I've been working with a streamline curved RH point where I've used a straight RH point in the track plan. Doh!

    I'm going to have to order the correct point or wait for the local model shop to reopen.

    Also a couple of the blocks had moved over winter where I hadn't laid them properly on sand, so doing those before moving on. Progress today, if a little slow.

  12. Thanks Mick. The iphone speakers are 8ohm, but he also supplies them as a double, wired in parallel which is 4ohm. The Loksound v5.0 can cope with anything between 4 and 16ohms.

    I'll try the double iphone on its own (7mm depth) with the fan out. I'm wondering if I can pick up a spare fan assembly to cut as there is apparently a way to cut it down and retain the fan with minimal support.

    I've ordered the smaller megabase one as well which would fit in half a fuel tank if I go down that route. That would mean I would only have to take the weight out, cut it in half and leave the switches alone, it could go in series with a single iphone speaker (4mm depth) up top. I'll compare the two setups before I make any changes at all to the loco.

  13. Hmm, my decision to buy is looking a little rash in light of what you have said.

    This may be a case for using distance selling regs to send it back. I wasn't thinking of making substantial modifications to a perfect and very expensive model to fit speakers.

    Looking on Roads and Rails I think I might try the iphone speaker option first before modifying anything. The speakers aren't that expensive so I can try a few options.
    If they aren't enough in the garden then they'll do as upgrades for my Dad's standard TTS speakers and I'll have to start cutting.

  14. And for specifics, I've bought a legomanbiffo class 37/0 loksound v.5 decoder. I was thinking of putting the speaker in the fuel tanks. I probably don't want to have to butcher a decent loco too much to get the speaker in. I don't want to spend loads on a speaker but don't want poor sound either and certainly don't want a speaker that risks damaging the decoder, though I don't mind ebay as a source.



  15. Up until now I've never been that great a fan of sound equipped locos. I've always found the sound at exhibitions to be overly tinny and, frankly, annoying. The sound has never lived up to the soundtrack I can add in my head. So why I've just ordered a sound decoder when I could have knocked another hundred off the mortgage instead I don't actually know.

    I haven't ordered a speaker to go with it though and that is where I need help. What is decent to buy?

    There isn't a thread on speakers yet so thought this could be a general discussion and recommendation thread.

  16. Do we know what Hornby did to the newer ones other than the NEM pockets for couplings?

    We've got several old ones (r249) with metal wheels. The plastic wheeled ones with less detail were from trainsets like the 'Midnight freight' set, whereas the boxed individual ones had metal wheels.

    If replacing the couplings, fitting better buffers and weathering is on the cards anyway, I'm not sure how much difference you'd have between an old and newer Hornby one?

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  17. 14.1mm disc wheels were apparently correct, but the models have 12mm 3-hole disc wheels as standard. I've no idea if the 14.1mm wheels will foul on anything without modification and the hoppers will sit a little higher on them. 

    Another way to cure the wobble was to glue one axle on straight, you didn't need to glue both apparently. Bear in mind that this was Hornby's way of getting them around first and second radius curves so any modification might cause unintended consequences.

    • Like 1
  18. 3 hours ago, mick said:

    Holgate Bridge - I remember it well

    I used to go up to York in my early teens to the BREL/ABB works on odd occasions. My Dad would send the works Chauffeur to pick me up from the station in a Vauxhall Senator. Don't know how many kids got such red carpet treatment from their parent's employer.

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