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Everything posted by chris

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. Sorry for the 3 postings here. Not sure how that happened.
  19. 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. 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
  21. The 56 on the Tarmac train is the most impressive train I've seen running on a garden railway.
  22. 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.
  23. Track complete. Electrics sorted. DCC Street Car running. Todays job is the back scene.
  24. 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.
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