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Everything posted by chris

  1. Yes, i've thought about a CDU, but this is only a temporary measure before I switch them over to DCC when the CDU won't be required. I've rearranged the wiring and got things working. The forecast is for rain all day today, so I think I'll be wrapping up warm and doing some work in the shed.
  2. I was stood out side Maplins in Sheffield wondering what it was I need to buy from there. Now I remember. At the moment I'm using two terminal strips for cross board connections. The plug is made by inserting 5 cm lengths 2.5mm solid core copper wire, these are screwed in place and stick out the block. The socket is the other terminal block, which the copper rods plug into. Yes you have to screw up the terminals on the socket, but it works rather well for me.
  3. Scuppered. Switched on my iron while I was boiling the kettle and quickly wired up a third PM1. But when I came to test it I found that it wouldn't throw. This was a little confusing until I noticed that another motor had also stopped performing. These two motors control a pair of points so I'd wired them in parallel, the plan being that a single touch of the probe would though them both. My guess is that the laptop power supply that I'm using can't produce enough amps to throw them both at the same time so I will have to wire them separately. This should only take a couple of minutes to sort out and won't even requie a soldering iron.
  4. Spent the weekend in Sheffield so didn't do any work on Amblethorpe. We did pop out to Rails of Sheffield, who had more Seep Point Motors than they knew what to do with> they were also 75p cheaper than the cheapest in York. I bought 4. Just spent half an hour thinking through the wiring of the 4 points on moveable section. I'm going to wire them for probe control to start with and make my own simple probe system. Once I've looked in to DCC accessory decoders I'll switch the wires over to that system. I'm real horder of anything computer or electronic so finding a suitable power supply for the point motors was easy. I have at half a dozen laptop power supply "bricks" in the loft and one of the many has now had its connector snipped off the end and its 16 volts is going to be put to good use. Had to stop because we are cycling to a pub for a meal, a sharp rain shower has delayed us enough to allow me to write this. Toodle pip.
  5. chris

    East Coast HST

    ModelZone have an exclusive version of Hornby's HST in East Coast livery. I'm not a big fan of the livery and with the protype being 2 + 9 I don't fancy cost. The model looks great [Modelzone image no longer available] But there's a bit of a problem. The diagonal sweep of the livery goes from bottom left to top right on all the coaches, including the power car. So even though it looks right, the white diagonal in the top power car here is the wrong way round. I hope this is a picture of pre production model and not the real thing.
  6. chris

    Grand Central HST

    I've not purchased it yet. I'm waiting for the buffet car to be released before I buy a the full train. It looks like I will have to model it as per the beginning of this year running with a buffet, two standards and a first at each end, one of which was declassified. That said, the other set I've been waiting for all year is a XC Voyager, and if that does appear in the shops I may plump for that instead. I want the 4 car version which will take a lot of work to convert to dcc. The motor is in one of the middle cars, so I'll need to chip that and both of the driving cars if I want to make use of the directional lighting.
  7. chris

    Grand Central HST

    For the last few days I've noticed that something was a little different as it passed the end of the garden. I've just checked Flickr and...
  8. This is a picture of the hole in the baseboard after I'd put my aluminium tube in. I worked the roofing felt over the top rim of the tube so hopefully it will kept water away from the baseboard.
  9. I followed Ian's instructions for the roofing felt and when the felt did bubble up I placed battons of wood on top of it and then clamped them down with G-clamps and quick grips. I did the moveable section on a different day and once the felt was down I placed a similar sized board on top and then piled paving bricks on top. There is one place where it bubbles up, but I'd rather not talk about that May be it's time to start a thread on baseboards and roofing felt, or may be one each, so our collective thoughts and techniques can be found in one place? And one for wiring, electrics soldering etc might also be useful.
  10. just added a few photos to http://gallery.me.com/chrissharp#100038 Haven't got time to explain anything now, but you'll be able to see some progress. Photos could have been better, but it started to rain and I need to get everything that isn't nailed down inside!
  11. Popped into York first thing this morning and Monk Bar Model Shop still didn't have any PM1 point motors Picked up a few Peco motors which will get mounted above the based board following Ian's examples. Also purchased another box of track, which was fun to bring home on my bike. I gave myself the afternoon off work (I'm self employed and Tuesday's and Sunday's are my usual days off) and cracked on with track laying. First up were a couple of points on a curve. These will have PM1's under the baseboard so I had http://www.selbygardenrailway.co.uk/sgrforum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=84#p394 to drill the hole and pop in my aluminum tube, before laying each of them. With these in place I had to lay my first curved section of track, it was no great surprise that this took me considerably longer than the straight runs. I do like the flexibility that flexible track gives even if it does make constant radius curves rather tricky. Getting the 4 foot right was difficult because the curves were a little tighter than I'd have liked them, but still more gentle than set track. I must have spent half an hour with the two dummy cars from my DMUs testing and adjusting the curves to make sure there were no points of contact. As the evening arrived I got my soldering iron out an bonded up the track I'd just laid, while it was still all shiny and new. I had a go with 15amp fuse wire which is very thin and my not be up to the job, but I plan to put in a good number of droppers to the power bus... The work done today means that the track for phase one of Amblethorpe is almost complete, which is handy seen as the seasons are beginning to change. Phase two is in the shed, which won't be much fun in the cold, but I will still be able to work though rain and in the evenings. If the weather holds this week, I'll try and get some photos taken with trains and everything
  12. I've made lots of progress this week. On Sunday I made some changes to the removable station section which meant that it could no longer be left out side. So it has spent the week in the conservatory, which is a very handy place to do a bit of work on it. The up shot is that it has come on leaps and bounds. All the track and points have been laid, and all the wiring has been completed. The amount of wiring that was required for a three platform station with 4 points and one turn back siding was quite surprising. The points are all electofrog and until I get hold of some point motors, I've wired the frogs with DPDT switches. I did solve the problem with my soldering. The tip on my new iron was faulty (probably user error). I replaced it with a spare I had from years ago and, as if my magic, the heat and more importantly, solder flowed. If the weather holds I'll take the board out this evening and give it a test run.
  13. May be it's time someone starts a topic on "Points"... I've spent great deal of time thinking about how to mount point motors under the base board but safe from the weather. My main aim was to come up with something as simple as posible and thus with little that could go wrong. There are two main issues with rain. The first is that as soon as you put a hole in the base board then you have created a drain or plughole and water will run, even flow down it, we aren't talking about protecting from individual rain drops. This flow of water has to be directed away from the motor rather than letting it in. Even if the flow can be managed the second concern is that the motor still has to be protected from more general moisture and damp. One option is to mount the motor away from the hole and create a mechanical drive mechanism. This isn't simple enough for me, too may things to go wrong. The Seep motors come with long (5cm?) arms which are capable of switching a point when the full length is used. Bending this arm through 90º still leaves the arm strong enough to throw the point. Bending the arm in this way has allowed me to mount the motor to one side of the hole away from the flow of water. To cope with the flow of water I purchased an aluminium pipe, 10mm in outer diameter and 1 mm think. This pipe was cut at a 45º angle at one end to create a point from which I hope that water will drip (run), keeping it away from the arm and the motor. With the arm bent at a right angle the motor needs to be fixed at 90º to the baseboard. I have used a short length of "L" shaped aluminium to create the braket. The first picture shows the pipe and the bent arm. Getting the motor to throw the point was still tricky, but I made the holes in the mounting bracket large enough to allow the motor to be moved into the correct alignment. The hole for the arm is 10mm, this is needed so the arm can move from side to side, it also needed to be this size to allow the arm to be passed through now that it is bent through 90º. Obviously the motor is still open to the elements. I'm on the look out for a small sandwich box which the motor will be housed in, somehow. The pictures are of my prototype, and when I'm brave enough (and Monk Bar Model shop has some PM1's in stock!!) I'll have a go at drilling into the base board outside.
  14. chris

    Grand Central HST

    I've been after a Grand Central HST for Amblethorpe all year, but only the power cars have been available, until today. Hornby have just released the 1st Class coach. The 2nd (Tourist) Class coach is expected next month with the Buffett slated for November. It appears to me that the DCC fitted HST power cars come with the dummy car chipped as well. I'm not sure about the Hornby decoders, but an extra £10 for the fitted version is good if you get two decoders installed. Now all I've got to decided is what formation to run it as. These days they run with 6 coaches, but I think I'll go with 5 for now, Amblethorpe's stations will struggle to fit it in even at that length!
  15. Long day on the railway, but little progess made. I was laying my first non-striaght section of track. This should have been simple, but I'd decided that a pair of points needed to be on this 90° curve. This made things far more complicated. Simply trying to decided on the radius of the curves took a couple of hours of trial and error. But it was a hot sunny day and it was all rather enjoyable.
  16. Just spent the last couple of hours converting all my points for outdoor operation, following Martin's tips on soldering and Ian's what needs to be done. I found some 10 amp fuse wire (in an old tabaco box I inherited from my granddad) which was perfect for the job. I gave it a quick rub with some glasspaper to remove the tarnish and then it tinned very nicely. My technique quickly improved and doing a dozen points in one sitting certainly gave me the chance hone my skills. Thanks for the advice chaps, all very useful and most importantly, put into practice.
  17. Thanks for all your comments on my soldering. I plan to get some practice on some old hornby track and polish up my technique. While I was soldering I was thinking about the weight of the wire I was using and how much power would be going through it. I did come to the conclusion that it would be measured in milliAmps rather than Amps and that a much more discrete wire would be fine. Next time... Ian, thanks for all your information on points. I kinda knew what modifications were required after web research and close inspection of all your photobucket snaps (but I was trying to ignore the small wire between the rail and the blade). I will have a go at modifying a point and if I'm brave, I'll post a photo. Still not decided on point motors. I'm going to buy a Peco one, and a switch and an extension arm... and see how well I get on with it. I also have plans for modifying the Seep motor. Not sure when I'll have time for all this, but I'll keep you informed. chris
  18. Yesterday turned out to be a free day so I cracked on with construction. My first aim was to get on with the removable section (located in the narrow space between the fence and the conservatory). With one end supported by brackets I decided to use some off cuts of gypframe to provide the support at the other. Strengthen with fixing plates I screwed the gypframe to the ends of the fixed base board with about 5 cm of them protruding. It's not great aesthetically but it does do a good job of supporting the removable board. The next job was to stick the roofing felt to the removable board. With the boards ready I finally turned my attention to the track. It was a strange moment, seven months of thinking, planning, buying and constructing and finally I got to lay some track, and truth be told I wasn't sure I was ready. Anyway I laid out a few metres of track including a few points and then pondered everything for a while. Having not got to the bottom of the point motor dilemma, I thought it best not to fix them down. I did put in a short twin track section, one of the lines is 3 lengths of flexi and the other 2. I then went to work with my soldering iron and confirmed that I'm still not very good with one! It was great to get the first fixed section of Amblethorpe in place, now if I can get my head round what i'm going to do with with regards to point motors then I could make some serious head way. There are a few more pictures in the gallery http://gallery.me.com/chrissharp#100038
  19. I managed a good 8 hours of construction the Sunday before last and got all the base boards for phase one painted in bitumen and more importantly got them onto their brackets and braced in place by the gypframes. I'm very happy with the resulting flat surface. A few hours here and there during the week allowed me to put in place an extra bit of baseboard to allow for a larger radius on a corner and get my head around the removable section which is on a narrow path by the house. The aluminium brackets are great but are not suitable for a section which needs to stored in the shed. In place of them I've purchased a couple of rather heavy duty shelf brackets which will be attached to the underside of the baseboard. In the fenceposts I've screwed in some "dowelscrews", these are wood screws at one end bolts at the other. The shelf brackets slide on to the dowelscrews and wing nuts then hold them in place. This system should enable me to but this section of the baseboard in place relatively quickly. On Monday I found I had the time to stick the roofing flet on to the baseboard. This was becoming urgent, because the two months of dry weather had gone and I needed to get the top layer of protection in place before the rain started to be an issue. The roofing flet adhesive was a real hit and miss affair. I had no experience of using this stuff and just had to guess how much to use. I can't say I was pleased with the process and I've had to clamp down wood blocks on top of sections where the felt was "bubbling up", but the final result looks like something I may be able to live with (at one point I thought about lifting the lot and starting again!). I still need to put the roofing felt on the moveable section and having learnt a few lessons I'm hoping for more impressive results. This all leaves me at the point where I could soon be laying track. I'm spending a fair bit of time pondering the electrics, which going DCC basically means woking out the points. I've played around with a SEEP point motor and it's simple design seams very suitable for outdoor installation, all I need to do now is work out how to keep water away from them! I'm busy over the weekend, and I really must get down to some work next week, once the Tour de France is no longer a daily afternoon distraction! But I do hope to find sometime soon to make some more significant progress.
  20. Message received and understood. Manged another trip to B&Q on Friday so this morning I was ready to begin. Things were delayed a little when I concluded that I had to cut the grass, something that hasn't been done this year due to a broken mower. I borrowed my neighbours, but that needed a service before I could use it! With the grass tamed I got cracking with installing the brackets and then cutting the base borads to length. It took a while I as got to grips with things but I am happy with my progress. I haven't got the bitumen out or the Gypframe attached so it was all a bit rickety. Of course I couldn't resists the temptation to run a train or two. At first I just ran the my 153, but then I got the DCC hooked up and gave all three of my Northern units a turn. I did snap a few photos along the way which I've put in a gallery
  21. Ian, thanks for the drawing, I hadn't noticed that the Gypframe was slightly asymmetric! The aluminium brakets arrived yesterday so I now have all the main bits required to start. After close inspection of your photos I've made these observations. Your baseboards don't join over the brackets. You use simple 4 screw fixing plates on the underside to join the baseboards. You have drilled two holes in each the the aluminium brackets to allow you to screw the baseboards down. You cut out a small section of Gypframe so they fit round the brackets. You've cut extra holes in the Gypframe to allow easier access to the wires. Are these observations correct? and Did you make the Gypframes line up with the end of each base board, this would be required on corners, but what about the straights? Did you drill extra holes in the rear side of the Gypframe to allows wires enter/exit unseen? Did you cut roofing felt to exactly 6 inches before putting it down, or did you trim it afterwards? What have I missed? If you were doing it again, what would you do differently? I'm eager to get started, but don't want to rush in and make mistakes. Cheers chris
  22. Shelf brackets ordered, thanks Ian. Please spill the beans on how you've attached the Gypframe. I have looked closely at your pictures on photoBuket and I noticed that you have them closed at the bottom rather than the opening and I haven't worked out how to attach them that way round yet. Cheers chris
  23. The 9F is very impressive hauling that huge line of wagons, but I fear that there in lies your coupling problems. The couplings on these models are not designed to cope with prototypical loads. They are designed for running with shorter, lighter formations and don't appear to be able to cope with the forces that you are subjecting to them. With that in mind I would thing twice about adding any extra weight to your wagons. Adding coal loads to 46 six wagons will add a lot of weight, 25g in each of 40 wagons is 1kg! You may want to test the effect of extra weight by adding a couple of coins to every 5th wagon and see what effect it has.
  24. I'm thinking long and hard about the points. I'm going Electrofrog and I've been getting my head round the wiring since I bought one. It seems to me that the best bet is to make sure that the points themselves are not expected to control the supply of power. Their purpose is to control the direction of the train while wires and switches are designed for power. The Peco Electrofrog are an excellent design and appear simple to wire for DCC. Ian's point motor covers look simple and effective, and if he would like to share any tips on their construction I would be very interested. Ended up spending 7 hours of yesterday working on my fences. Burning the old fence panels, painting the new and making repares to the others. Still got several more hours of fence painting to be done and that's before I open the can of bitumen.
  25. 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.
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