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Everything posted by chris

  1. I've thought for a while that I'd like it if Peco made 6 foot lengths of rail. They would be cumbersome for retail and shipping, but they would be very handy. Being able to do a full curve in one length of track, I can only dream. Soldering two lengths of track together would be fine, 3 would be OK and so would 4, probably, but after that expansion would start to become troublesome. I don't see any advantage of soldering rail to rail, over bonding rail to rail. In fact I think bonding would be easier. Does anyone have any thoughts on what type of solder to use for soldering two rails together. Electrical solder or Brass Kit solder?
  2. Mick, I hope you don't mind me saying this, but you're looking to cut corners in an area where the collective experience of this forum is that you simply can't cut corners. You need to pin your track down and bond/bus every rail. The idea of soldering the actual joint doesn't appeal to me. I've not tried since I was a teenager, but soldering one rail to the next sounds like it would take a lot more heat from the iron than soldering a thin wire to a rail. The more heat required the more difficult it becomes outside. If you are using a bus, then solder your dropper wires to your rails before you take them out to the garden. Then all you have to do outside is solder the dropper to your bus. I've recently removed all of the connectors Shaun mentions from Amblethopre. They weren't up to the job of connecting my solid core bus to stranded droppers. I say all... I had a dead section of rail on Sunday, I traced the problem to one of these connectors, it is joining two length of stranded wire, I'll have to get my iron out again.
  3. On the Maths of expansion I wrote this 4 years ago. It says much the same as above, however my worst case maths is different. Rather than air temperature, I worked from temperature of track when laid, to the temperature track will reach in direct sunlight, which is too hot too touch! On Sunday I did notice an issue with expansion with one of my rails. The rail had crept in one direction and had to be pushed back a couple of mm too return it to its correct place. Expansion and contraction work together like a ratchet, when the rail expands all the growth is at the left end, the contraction happens at the right end, the effect is that the rail moves a little to the left each expansion and contraction cycle. This occurred on a rail next to a lift out section and the rail was almost damaged when the baseboard was dropped into place.
  4. I run a loop, with a a terminus branch at both "ends". One terminus is on the inside of the loop and the other on the outside. This system does allow for much more varied operation. I'm thinking about a way of running it as an end to end with single track sections and passing loops.
  5. No plans to paint the grass mat. It really looks the part. Some cows, a feed trough and may be a visiting tractor should compete the scene. I have painted my roofing felt in a couple of areas to good effect. Humbrol enamel paints work well. The next area to be grass matted will be the base of my viaduct.
  6. This section is by the side of the shed. It is covered by a small canopy and is open to the elements only from the viewing angle. The wind can blow rain on to the campsite board, but hasn't done any damage. The main damage is done by a cat. It sits on it. The scene is on two levels and the 25mm of foam board must be a warm spot to curl up on in Winter.
  7. It has been a great weekend to get back in the garden. Yesterday was a day of repairing the winter damage to the scenic sections and today has been a running session with friends dropping by throughout the day. The only issue I had was a point that would not close. I had to disassemble the latching spring enclosure and in there I found a tiny fleck from the roofing felt which was stopping the spring moving across. I the fleck was easy to remove, and truth be told, the point went back together easier than any other I’ve done. Great day in the garden. Although I do fear I am now undertaking something very foolish indeed.
  8. Two year later and I've used some of that grass mat on Amblethorpe. It looks great. And to repeat myself. It will be interesting to see how it weathers.
  9. There is one job to do now, that you'll regret if you don't. You need to bond your rails. The fish plates may be conducting electricity at then moment, but they will start to fail to do that in a few month. It's a crappy job, but it's even harder to do once those shiny rails have dulled.
  10. What height is that above ground level? Looks like the slope in your garden has given you a nice ground level garden railway at one end and a handy shelf railway at the other.
  11. Try some practice soldering, wires to copper clad or solder tags. Wires to wires. Anything simple and (in theory) easy. Get your Mo-Jo back and your confidence up. Watch a couple of You Tube videos on soldering. Some days I can't solder anything to anything. It's very frustrating.
  12. chris

    Hornby Novelty Wagons

    Hornby are stuck selling to two markets "Train set" and "Model Railway". We don't have train sets, we have model railways. We don't understand the train set end of the market. If Dad has bought a train set, for his son, to play with. This is a great gift to receive on fathers day. Railroad is for the Train Set market, Model Railway enthusiasts buy them and often express disappointment at the product. TTS Sound is a Train Set product. It is bizarrely cheap, yet people complain that you can't play multiple sounds at once. There is an area where Hornby do fail because of these two markets, they sell Model Trains as Train sets. A couple of years ago they released the Northern Belle, but only produced 6 of the 11 coaches for the train. The East Coast InterCity 225 came with coaches with different running numbers, but still missed two of the coaches. Going back 7 years, The EWS Managers train was sold as a Train Pack of loco, 2 coaches and a DVT, the third coach had to be purchased separately. It did't surprise me that the extra coach sold-out way before the Train Pack and thus retailers had to discount it heavenly to shift it. I'm happy for them to make cheep or gimmicky products, what I don't like is when they fail to realise that the difference in the products they sell extends beyond the build quality of their models.
  13. I was once told that the reason the returns centre is in Belfast is due to the fact that it is illegal to open post in Britain. But because of the letter bombs during the troubles the law was changed in Northern Ireland. Royal Mail take advantage of this and if they want to open a letter or parcel, they send it to Belfast.
  14. If you are building a garden railway viaduct, then you would be a fool if you don't use Mick's technique. However, if you are a fool, or if you are building an "Outdoor Railway" on a raised baseboard, then you may be interested in this from Noch
  15. Have you thought about running the railway into the shed?
  16. You will be fine with the adhesive, it will bond well. It's easier to work with on a warm day. Do yourself a very very large favour and use a staple gun rather than clout nails. Use Galvanised 8mm staples. There are two main advantages to using staples. The first is speed, you fly though the job. The second is that its a one handed job, which allows you to pull the roofing felt tight at the same time. The other advantages are that you don't have the bother of dropping nails, it leaves a tidier finish and it's a really satisfying tool to work with. I put a few photos of felt laying in my gallery. Looking at the dates on the photos I'm very pleased that my baseboards look as good as new after 5 winters.
  17. If possible, try to position the ends of your baseboards away from your support posts. I could try and explain why but I think a diagram is better. I drew this a few years ago.
  18. Modular has been proposed on this forum before. http://www.oogardenrailway.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=69&p=242&hilit=modular#p242 I like the idea of modular baseboards. At one point I did plan on having the station from the garden as part of my (indoor) tramway. In the end I decided that the tramway would be a "Living Museum" and that meant a mainline terminus station would't fit the scene.
  19. It was cold this morning so I didn't venture out into the garden. The day was spent cracking on with my tramway. I had decided to place a bandstand on the inside of the tight bend of the corner board. Today was the day to get that sorted. The first job was to add a small missing section to the baseboard. Then I needed to know the size of the bandstand. I'd bought an etched brass kit at York Show which had remained in its packaging while I improved my soldering skills. Looking at it today I realised that it wasn't a hard kit to build, so got the soldering iron out. My soldering skills are certainly improving. I'm rather impressed with the result. I should take a photo. With the bandstand built I decided to build a very small hill for it to sit on. I cut layers of 6mm play and 3mm hardboard to create contours. Glued and screwed. To finish I've slapped a lot of pollyfiller over it. If it's set OK in the morning I'll give it a coat of green paint and then had it over to Sarah, my wife, to static grass it. There was one big issue with the tramway today. I had to remove all the ballast. I tipped the board on its side to gain access to the bottom of the baseboard and a significant amount of ballast simply fell off. I knew some of it was loose, but it turned out most of it was falling away. I'd used Astonish Wood Floor Polish. This had been unsuccessful out side, but I had assumed it would be fine indoors. I was wrong. I'll use another technique when I relay it. Although I will drill my holes for my traction poles before I do the relaying, other wise I'll create a real mess.
  20. Good point. I actually have both, one being from my first train-set. That one struggles to pull three coaches and a trailer power car. I had assumed that it was the current model, thus my reference to both bogies being powered.
  21. I have a 4 foot board with a station on. I built it for outdoor use, but I am starting to think of a way that I could also have it operational in my shed. This would give me some playability when the weather is poor. It would take a reorganising of my shed, but that would bring with other benefits as well.
  22. 6 years! That's how long I've been worried about mucking them up. I find T-cut is a good way of removing lettering and if you don't remove it then it will show though any paint with an embossed effect. Now the lettering has been removed I'll have a go at painting over where the letting was. Then I'll need to weather them This may take another few years to get round to. Final livery? Rusty
  23. Bit late on this one. Sorry. I have a Hornby 125. The power car is great. Both bogies are powered, its heavy and has loads of tractive effort. I don't think you'll have any problem running a long 125 with one powered car. I recently added an 225 to my railway. Class 91 plus 9 coaches plus DVT. The 91 only has one powered bogie and is much lighter than my 125 power car, but brand new it can pull the full train. There can be wheelslip if apply the power two quickly. I have experimented with Top and Tailing. I have a Northern Belle rake, 9 coaches and a Class 47 on each end. Generally this works OK, but if the front loco finds a dead piece of track and stutters or stops, then the rear loco can ram it and derailments can happen. I enjoy driving a top-n-tailed train, but only when I have clean wheels and good pickups.
  24. chris


    Great idea buying a book. I borrowed a copy of that book when I first started with DCC and I found it helpful. In the most part DCC is about wiring things up. All the electronics are done by the likes of Lenz, NCE and Digitrax and you just have to connect up the black wires and the red wires to the correct tracks and modules. Even chip fitting is simple enough on the vast majority of OO trains. The most difficult bit is often taking the loco apart to get to the insides.
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