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Everything posted by chris

  1. Had a bit of a play time over the weekend. There were a few maintenance tasks which needed attending to. The main thrust was to sort out electrical connections that had failed over the winter. One point motor was brought back into service and a couple of sections of track. Trains wise, things were running well. Helped by the servicing of much of my fleet got over the winter ready for last months show. I was pleased that a couple of old Lima Class 66's ran without the need for attention. One longstanding issue I managed to resolve was a coach that kept riding up and derailing. It is part of a permanently coupled set, so it was a pain to un couple to work on, so I had been ignoring it for a year or 3. On close inspection I noticed that busy wasn't siting snug to the under frame. I pulled it all apart and the metal weight was not sitting right. Careful alignment of everything and it all went back together snuggly and the derailing is no longer and issue.
  2. At the moment I'm making a lot of windows with my paper cutter. My technique is to laminate three laters of card to create the depth of the window frame and then glue it onto the background window pane. The cutter is so accurate it is easy to glue the pieces together using a cheap PVA which takes a while to go off and therefore give me the time to get them properly aligned before I leave them under something heavy so they glue flat. The kiosk for the cinema is now in the finished building. Its all rather chunky because it's On30 (1:48ish) and themed on a children's book.
  3. Wiring up is very easy. Heres an image form the DS 52 manual which shows the way to do it. Its the lower, 2 wire motor that you need to copy. Basically you don't use the common outputs (2 and 7). Sorry I can't help with a UK supplier. For the last few years I've bought them when even I've seen them an a stall at an exhibition, so I've always had a spare or two when came to install a new point. Although I've now run out so I'm looking for one or two for myself.
  4. It looks a lot better with a coat of black. You've remineded me why I spray this kind of structure with an aerosol rather than getting my paint brush out.
  5. Hi Tony. It is a Silhouette Portrait and cost about £150. The software is a bit clunky to use, but it has all the features you will find in graphics software and I got used to it very quickly. It's great when you need to cut out a shape a few times, like window frames or lintels. Draw the shape and Copy and Paste it as many times as you need it and then let the cutter get on with the job.
  6. I've recently acquired a crafting cutter to assist me with my modelling. It works in a similar fashion to the plotters that were all the range in the 1980s, except this cuts lines rather than draws them. it can do very intricate and accurate cutting and scoring. I created a name sign to mount of the roof of a warehouse build. Which I then stuck to the backsence. But it's real value is in cutting and scoring bits for building 3D card models. Using cereal box and OHP acetate as my mediums I've created a kiosk for a cinema. The accuracy is amazing. I used trigonometry to calculate that the strips that went above and below needed to be 1mm longer it's scores nudged by 0.2mm so it wrapped round snuggly. The next step is to start working with styrene, but I will need to do some test cuts to get a feel what it can cut and score.
  7. I'm thinking the this could be setting a record for the largest structure built for OO. Hugely impressive.
  8. Their Transpennine MK5s will make a very attractive train and at 5 coaches and a loco I'm sure will be very popular. Fortunately for me a mate has told me that he plans to buy a rake, and run it on Amblethorpe. 😀
  9. Had a bit of a disaster on Saturday. while moving one of the barrels of Colwick roof I dropped it. It broke into two large pieces and lots of small ones. There was swearing involved. 10 years of modelling has taught me that anything is fixable. Fortunately I had spares of everything that broke into small pieces and after a suitable length of time, once I had calmed down, I set about putting it back together again. I left it over night to let the glues fully harden and added some extra strengthening where required on Sunday morning. Time was pressing because Colwick was part of a show I had organised on Sunday. It gave me a tale to tell the visitors.
  10. Reconstruction of my station started today. The platform surfaces have stuck well, so the furniture could return. Here's a shot of the columns going back in. Yesterday I built a small baseboard to hold the station building. I decided to build up the ground level around the station building so it is closer to the platform level. I've removed the flight of stairs in from the front of the station and the building will now sit in the well in the baseboard. Construction was from off cuts of correx, so it is very lightweight. This is handy because the station baseboard is heavy enough already. I glued paper on the correx and sprayed with grey and black primer to get an asphalt colour. Hopefully I'll get the roof back on tomorrow and see how it looks with all the modifications in place.
  11. I have noticed that this is an issue for me. When I'm procrastinating over a job, or simply not getting on with it, I now take a step back. I ask myself, "what is the one thing I have yet to make my mind up on?" Once I've clearly defined what the issue is, I confront myself with it. I then have a clear choice. Either I decide what I'm going to do and then get on and do it. Or I have to walk away form the job and do something else. Sitting there pondering wastes time and doesn't get it done. I've started referring to the procrastination as "stroking my beard". It's now become a term my friends and I use when we spending more time thinkings about our railways than building them. I'm amazed how often my progress is stopped by one simple thing that I can't make my mind up on. Anyway. Great to see you back at it Mick. Looks like your end of Yorkshire is getting the same weather as mine. Love the Scotrail units. However, I don't need the temptation placed in front of me. It's taking a lot of will power not to buy myself a rake of a push-pull Scotrail Express. Loved that livery when I did a rail rover north of the boarder in August 1987.
  12. Still working on the station, but took the opportunity that the early spring weather presented and had a little running session this afternoon. A once-over the tracks with the garyflex block and trains were looping round Amblethorpe. I had the usual detrainments in the usual locations. Things will need tweaking around the lift out sections, but they always do. Forecast is good for the next couple of days so I plan to have things moving again. I may even take photos.
  13. Thanks Roddy. Improvements continue, these do not currently include plans for grime or poo! Having lifted the water bottles off the platform the tiles appear to be very well adhered to the the trunking. I need to pop to the shops to buy some more Evostick to complete the job.
  14. I've used solid core and very thin multicore. Solid core allows me to bend the wire around structures as you can see in the previous picture. The thin stranded wire is easier to glue to plastic with superglue. As long as LEDs are wired in parallel there isn't a problem with voltage drop and the run can be as long as you like. My issue came because I wanted them to be wired in series. They could have their own power supply, but I'm using track power. I use a diode to half-rectify the supply and a 91ohm resistor to limit the current. It's a very simple circuit. I've not tested the outdoor railway yet, but visually things look OK. They problems I've had with the station stem from my construction materials. Serval years ago I started making platforms using cable trunking: and bathroom floor tiles that I cut and painted: the tiles are on the rear platform. But with time some of the self adhesive tiles lift, bending up at the edges. if you look on the right in the next picture you can see a gap between the trucking and the floor tile. Having ignored this, that last picture is three years old, I've set about fixing it. I used double sided carpet tape, it didn't hold. Yesterday I lifted the central platform and spent the morning removing the adhesive form all the surfaces. A very messy and sticky job. I've reattached a couple of the tiles with evostick and weighted them down. I'll give them 50 hours before I lift the weights and hope that that will be good enough to hold the tiles in place.
  15. Although the 16volt supply from the DCC is big enough to light 5 LEDs, they end up rather dim. I've stuck with 4 LEDs in series to keep the lights at a uniform brightness.
  16. I spent yesterday adding LED lights to Colwick station. The first job was to add red lights at the buffer stops. Sorry its a bit dark. The baseboard was upside down at this point. The next job was to add lights above the platforms. I bought some indoor tree lights that have solid core enamelled wire which worked out at about 6p per LED. They are wired in parallel. This means it is very easy to cut individual LEDs off the run with two 10cm wires connected. I rewired them into series and bent the wires to the profile of my station wall. I then came across a problem which took some time to get my head around. Once I had a series of 8 wired up they no longer light up. I tested all the solder joins and they were good. Eventually the penny dropped when I notice that I could light a run of 4 but not 5. Light Emitting Diodes still have the properties of a regular diode. They only pass current in one direct and have voltage drop across them. Diodes were literally my first lecture in my electronics degree. It turns out that with these LEDs the voltage drop is around 3v. My test 12volt supply would power 4 in series but not 5. I'm using my DCC track power at 16 volts so I can stretch to 5 in series. This made wiring more complex. I needed to feed from the middle as well as the ends. My platform construction technique came to my rescue. I use electric cable conduit as the base. This allowed me to pull the top of my platforms off and run the cable though the conduit. I still need to hide a couple of the riser wires, but all the wiring at high level will be exposed as it so often is on the prototype. The light fittings are screw caps which I've trimmed and glued to the wall. I need to repeat this for the other external wall. Then work out a similar system for a run along the middle of the station.
  17. Yes Tony, this is a OO tramway. It's DCC which enables prototypical operation. I've sorted the issues with the Flexity. Awhile DCCing it I made it more flexible so it now goes around the tight bends OK. Much really sure how I did this. I've also rewired the reversing loop to include a switch which allows the section of revering track to be electrically extended so it's longer then the Felxity. That said. I haven't done a test run yet.
  18. The free standing buildings are all novelty bird boxes and bird feeders. The back scene buildings are all scratch built from scrap plastic I had accumulated. Remember that this is O narrow gauge, so still 16.5mm track but buildings are closer to 1:40 and deliberately cartoon like.
  19. It's easy to forget that this project is meant to be a garden railway. I must put some effort in this year to get this outside and have a run of track down through the flowerbed to the shed.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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