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chris

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Everything posted by chris

  1. chris

    The Applebee and Lavendar line.

    Hi Mark. I set up a siding in my shed as a programming track and I found that I never use it. Now it just confuses me because occasionally it doesn't have power and I fail to remember that there is a reason why and what to do it fix it. These day I do most of my DCC programming by directly attaching my PowerCab to the wheels of the loco using crocodile clips. It removes any issues with the wheel rail interface, ie a dead spot. cheers chris
  2. chris

    Amblethorpe

    Amblethorpe is my new OO gauge outdoor railway that will run in my smallish back garden in Copmanthorpe, York. To maximise the running length of the railway it will run along the fence, through the shed, back along the other fence and along the wall of the conservatory. Or that's the plan anyway. To begin with a 10 metre end to end will be constructed. This initial phase will start with a terminus branchline station close to the house which will run along the 9 metre fence before turning 90º into another branch terminus in front of the shed. About 6 metres in the middle of this will form part of the main loop, eventually. The second phase will take the railway into the shed. Being 1.8m by 3.6m there is plenty of room in there, but there is also a lot of stuff already in there. The shed may contain a fiddle yard, or I may use the the dry space for some modelling opportunities. Phase three will take the the route out of the opposite corner of the shed on a tight corner before heading back along the other fence for a a 9m run back to the house. The final phase will run in front of the conservatory on a 3m long viaduct before joining phase one at the throat of the initial station and completing the loop. I'll be modelling the present day. When it comes to rolling stock I am limiting to myself to anything that goes passed my house, but living 4 miles south of York on the ECML I think limiting is probably the wrong word. The layout is more inspired by the railways of the Northumberland Coast, but imagining that the branchlines to places like Alnwick, Seahouses and Amble are still in situ. To begin with I purchased some rolling stock. Initially I went for a couple of Hornby multiple units, a Northern Rail 153 and a 156. The 153 was DCC fitted and I've popped a Hornby decoder into the 156. At the same time I ordered a NCE PowerCab which I'm more than happy with. At the York Show I picked up a Bachmann 158 and a slave controller for the PowerCab. The DigiTrains people sold me a TCS chip (T1) for the power car of the 158 and a Hornby to control the lights on the dummy end. The fitting of the DCC chips to the 158 was a lot simpler than I first expected, some of the online guides made it very complicated which required cutting or "breaking" of the model, this included the PDF on the Bachmann site. Fortunately I checked the TCS site and they linked to a guide by Bromsgrove Models which was much smiler and far less destructive. The combination the Bachmann 158 and the TCS chip is very impressive. These three units will do for now as I build the first phase, a 10 metre end to end. Earlier this week I popped into Monk Bar Model Shop and picked up a box of Peco Code 100 and a few large radius turnouts which are a great improvement on the 30 year old Hornby track I've had kicking around since I was a kid. I've been very impressed by the construction technique of Ian on his The Kirkfield and Warmthorpe Railway and I will be following him quite closely. Yesterday a friend and I headed off to B&Q (I don't drive) and purchased 18mm waterproof ply, bitumen, roofing felt and adhesive and some Gypframe. The one thing I couldn't get was the Aluminium greenhouse shelf brackets. I'm thinking about going for a bike ride to a garden centre today in the hope they may sell them. All this leaves me at the cusp of construction. Time to stop writing, change into to work clothes and get out into the garden.
  3. chris

    Amblethorpe

    I'm starting to plan a new display layout based on Colwick station. It will be very simple. The I will run my DMU fleet into the 4 platforms from some sort of off scene traverser or fiddle yard. Operationally it will be rather boring, so I'm thinking about a form of automation so trains can keep moving without an operator having to keep doing dull repetitive train moves. The main interest will come form the model and from the lights on the trains which are more advance than I have seen at a show. The main change will be to take a baseboard designed to attach to my outdoor railway and connect it up to a traverser or the like.
  4. chris

    158 Lighting Improvements

    I've had this unit in pieces again. It sat down back on in the summer. At the time I lifted it off the track, put it to one side and then continued playing with other trains. At some point it moved from the side of the track into a storage box. Today, many months later it came out of the box and received the much needed attention. It sat down due to a transmission failure. The axel of one of the cogs had worked loose. I spent more time removing a large amount of grease than I did fixing the actual issue. Not sure if it came greased up or I had foolishly applied the stuff. Once it was a runner I turned my attention to the lights. They had been miss performing for a while, an issue I'd ignored. With the body away form the chassis, today was the opportunity to get it sorted. It turned out that the DCC chip had developed a fault. The white wire was permanently on. This meant the headlight were always on. Also the red aspect of the two colour LED had failed. The solution was to replace both. I didn't want to bin the chip so swapped it with a similar chip from another loco, which only required 3 working functions. Careful use of the soldering iron has resulted in a DMU which once again has a full set of working lights as well as being able to move under its own power. A successful evening.
  5. The Bachmann 158 is getting on a bit. Bachmann have recognised this and are currently producing a new version which will address problems such as the visible motor, DCC and the yellow head lights! I can't do anything about the motor in my model, so I won't be adding internal lighting, but I can sort out the DCC (actually I did that 4 years ago) and the external lights. This project is another step into new territory for me. This will be the first model I've added door warning lights to. It is also the first time I'm using twin colour LEDs which can shine white or red. I've put off doing this project for 3 years, mainly because you have to break the model do it. The cab front is a separate piece of plastic, but it is glued in place and you just have to hope that they didn't go heavy on the glue as you snap it away I've worked on the dummy car today and the cab front came away without incident A bit of playing with resistors was required to get a matching brightness on the two red taillights. The twin colour LED isn't as bright as the red, so a smaller resistor was needed to get a similar look. This wasn't a problem with the white lights as they are headlight and marker light so matching wasn't necessary. I'm an old hand at head and taillights these days, so that went smoothly enough, but I did nearly forget to wire the taillights for two functions. The two functions are needed if you want to be able to switch on the taillights at both ends, this happens when a train is parked in a platform. It's not a big feature, but I like to have it when I have a spare function on a DMU. The door hazard lights are new to me, and something I've been wanting to add to my DMUs for a long time. On the 158 there's one amber light per side in the centre of each car. Surface mount "nano" lights are perfect for this job, albeit annoyingly fiddlely. So far I've carefully drilled out the holes for the two LEDs and fixed them in place with glue and glaze. I still need to wire them up to the decoder, but the quick test I did was impressive. If all goes to plan I'll be adding the door warning lights to more of my DMUs.
  6. A sign that winter is approaching is when I make the switch to modelling on my tramway. This happened yesterday. There is a dearth of ready to run trams of British prototypes. However there are plenty of die cast models and a spectacular supply of white metal kits. This makes tramway modelling a significantly different hobby from OO railways. So far I have motorised a couple of Leeds Horsefield trams and as is my habit, I've added a DCC chip and working lights. I've now moved onto my next challenge, motorising a bogie tram. I have a Leeds Feltham tram and a Bachmann PCC which has a suitable motor drive to transfer into the Feltham. I spent most of yesterday working on this project. The first job was to disassemble both units and work out what will go where. A lot of cuts with the razor saw were required to create a new chassis out of the two of them, trying to keep as much of the Feltham as possible. The big challenge was the shorter wheelbase required for the Feltham required cutting a 14mm section out of the Bachmann chassis. Careful use of a set square resulted in a perfect job! A little fettling of the chassis was needed to ease off the squeezing by the body that resulted in one of the bogies not swinging smoothly on its bearing. Adding a DCC chip was simple. I've yet to consider how I will fit the lights, it doesn't look overly complex. Unfortunately, it won't be possible to hide the motor, but I will attempt to keep the wires out of sight. Running, was poor to begin with. Even with pick-ups on all wheels electrical contact was troublesome. I spent an hour tweaking the contacts to little affect. A little Rail Zip Cleaner was applied to each wheel and things improved a lot. I think there is an issue with the DCC chip I have installed. I may switch it out for another brand.
  7. chris

    Adding a motor to a die cast tram

    I"ve come across KW Trams a few times, he's a nice chap. One of his kits and motors is up next on the workbench schedule.
  8. chris

    My cobbled together layout

    I agree. Looks really good.
  9. chris

    Tramway

    I came across an interesting issue with the tramway this week. The reversing loop has a DCC reverser circuitboard wired to a short length of track. I's decided on a length slightly longer than my longest tram, a twin bogie 8 wheeler. This short section was required because trams can follow each other round, unlike trains which are kept apart by signals. I needed to avoid the situation where one tram was entering the reversing section of track while another tram was leaving it and a short section seemed like the best option. That was until this week when a friend brought round his modern Blackpool Flexity tram. This is a 3 bogie, 12 wheeler and it's about twice as long as my short section of reversing track! I may have to rewire the board so the entire return loop baseboard is run through the reverser circuitboard to allow my mates tram to run. That said, the quick test we did, which stopped short of the reversing section, showed that the Flexity wasn't that flexible and it derailed on my 8 inch curves. I'll have to take it apart and see if I can make any adjustments to it so it can snake around my tramway.
  10. chris

    Tramway

    Been to Birkenhead today. My wife and I are cooking up an idea to build a tramway on the windowsill in the conservatory. Bachmann have just released two Birkenhead trams. Plans may change tomorrow once we gt to Blackpool.
  11. chris

    Something in On30

    That last building was going to be a hotel, but has just switched purpose to a cinema and is awaiting a refit! Truth is that the last build is a actually removable so I can use the electrical socket that is on the wall behind it. That's why its so much larger than the others. All the buildings the back scene are made of scrap and junk I had lying around. The backboard is some old hardboard a friend gave me. discounting the rolling stock, I've not spent more than £10 on any single item on this layout.
  12. With a OO outdoor railway and a OO indoor tramway, I've become rather tempted to build a outdoor tramway, but with a twist. I'll stick with the same track, 16.5mm (OO/HO) but run narrow gauge O on it. In the UK that's O-16.5 where as in the US it's On30. The idea appeals because it allows me to work in a different scale, (UK 1:43.5, US 1:48) yet without the big hike in cost. Bachman USA do a fair amount of On30, including some Street Cars based on no particular prototype. Having built my outdoor railway on a shelf a metre above ground I think that the garden tramway will be at ground level. So far I've resisted the temptation to buy a On30 tram, but I know I'll crack soon. I'll have to spend some time on here going back though all your threads of building at ground level to work our how I want to build the track bed.
  13. chris

    Something in On30

    Big push to get this ready for the weekend. I've been working on the back scene buildings all day. Pretty much done now, apart from the one on the right. Next stage is to fix them all into position. When it comes to the scenery my scale is way beyond approximate, I'm just making it up.
  14. chris

    Something in On30

    This layout has taken up most of my modelling time this year. Yet visually very little has changed since these photos were taken. What is interesting is that the fact that none of the building are attached to the baseboard. I have come to realise that the track layout would be suitable for other layouts on OO or HO. I'm tempted to do a UK industrial scene and possibly a North American HO tramway. However, the curves are 8 inch radius, so my rolling stock choices are limited.
  15. chris

    Tramway

    My tramway has relocated from the loft to the conservatory, a sure sign summer is over. I'm taking to my coffee shop on Saturday along with a couple of other layouts to entertain the regulars.
  16. chris

    My cobbled together layout

    Hi Griff. Interesting to see that you have gone up in scale. I've been working in On30 most of this year and doing much the same as you in converting HO models into larger scale wagons and locos. My layout was meant to be going outside, but my wife likes it too much and has persuaded me to keep it into the house. If I get my act together next year I'll work out a away that it can become part of a garden railway. Here's a pic of a BR Class 06 that I've upscaled into On30. cheers, chris
  17. chris

    Maximilianshafen

    Sorry for the 3 postings here. Not sure how that happened.
  18. chris

    Maximilianshafen

    Hi Thomas, The high speed turnouts are very impressive. I've not seen any that size, or with moving frogs. Working on the installation inside is a very sensible idea, It should ensure you make some reliable turnouts. Chris
  19. chris

    Maximilianshafen

    Hi Thomas, The high speed turnouts are very impressive. I've not seen any that size, or with moving frogs. Working on the installation inside is a very sensible idea, It should ensure you make some reliable turnouts. Chris
  20. chris

    Summer Hampton Railway

    The 56 on the Tarmac train is the most impressive train I've seen running on a garden railway.
  21. chris

    Something in On30

    Cheers Griff. I got the temporary backscene sorted and took it all down to our coffee shop on Saturday. It went down a storm. Lots of work still to be done raising the baseboard level up to the track. I've got a good supply of hard board ready for that purpose. I cycled up to Grosmont today and found that the secondhand model shop that used to be in Pickering is now at the other end of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. I purchased a handful of 1:43 scale cars that will fit this scene nicely. I do have a slight problem with this Snickleway. My wife likes it so much, she wants it in the house rather than the garden. The whole reason I started with garden railways was because our house is too small, I've no idea where we are going to put it. Not the worst problem to have.
  22. chris

    Something in On30

    Track complete. Electrics sorted. DCC Street Car running. Todays job is the back scene.
  23. chris

    Something in On30

    Lots of progress on this in the last few days. 2 4ft by 2ft baseboard have been constructed. Nearly all the track has been laid. The buildings are basically ready. The back scene is getting close. I'm planning on Taking it to my Coffee Shop to show it on Saturday, so I need to get a move on. The big job is the electrics, point motors and DCC Accy decoders. Best crack on.
  24. chris

    Amblethorpe

    Amblethorpe gained some unintentional notoriety yesterday. Occasionally I write articles for the CityMetric website. My recent one was a series of ideas on how Pacers could live on beyond their 2020 deadline. Needing to illustrate the article I decided to use pictures of my trains on Amblethorpe, some of which I staged specifically for the article. Because the pictures were clearly of models, I failed to mention to the editor that the pictures were of models. A New Pacer Life was published yesterday. And it didn't take long before a reader took to twitter to ask "Where is Colwick station?" I replied "It's a terminus on my Model Railway." my editor, Jonn, then gasped "but... the picture... what... explain" and from there it went viral. Jonn was live-blogging and interrupted his blog to write about it https://www.citymetric.com/transport/new-rail-timetable-thameslink-chaos-britain-live-3926 look for the entry at 1350hrs I ended the evening taking requests on twitter for which train to run next on Amblethorpe and then posting photos of them in service. It was a lot of fun.
  25. chris

    Tramway

    A quick update on my tramway. I built a fairground on a return loop baseboard. I also scratch built a helter-skelter I'd built the baseboard and track last winter, so back in December I pushed on to complete the scenery. I spray pained cardboard for the tarmac areas and used metcalfe papers from the cobbles. Grassmats and ballast was next Wet and dray paper for the crushed stone/cinder paths. more grass matting to complete There has been some further "dressing" of the scene. But I still need to put the overhead in on this board. Here are some other pics from the other areas of the Tramway. I have done some more dressing work since t here photos were taken. It's now all packed away in the loft so as not to distract me from my summer homies in the garden.
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