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WeekenderSteve last won the day on September 30 2017

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About WeekenderSteve

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  1. Garden railway zig-zags are old hat: I vote for a track hoist.
  2. (This started out as a response to recent remarks, but it grew into a random blend of stream-of-consciousness and discussion document. Ah well, it can stay. Maybe someone will be dedicated enough to read it. No pictures in this one, unfortunately.) I hadn't heard of the Forest of Boland Light Railway before. Might have to try & find a copy. I have to say that there seem to be remarkable parallels between the Weekend Railway and the Driving Creek Railway which Roy mentioned under 'Real Railways' some time ago http://www.oogardenrailway.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=894" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. The railway's website http://www.drivingcreekrailway.co.nz/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; is well worth a look, especially the 'train ride' page. Click the start button and watch the pictures above. Very Weekendish. A drawback of all the WR's zigzags is that they're only really suitable (and long enough) for push-pull trains. The Dean Goods 'works' train was a good excuse to bend the rules a bit, but the fact remains that it's a very specialised branch, and there's no real solution to that - there just isn't space for more spiral curves. OSB & longer-term thinking? Hmm. As those who've read the early pages will know, the initial build was done entirely with materials that were already to hand - the only new purchase was the track, everything else was leftovers from other projects, mainly the Shed and Fence, and the stock of random timber left here by the previous owner. Most of those timbers were long and straight (ish), the only flat bits we had were the OSB leftovers, so that’s what we used where a bit more width was needed. Didn't really think about longevity, as the WR was only supposed to be a short-term project. The original 'express' circuit was only in place for a fortnight, and I think the rest wouldn't (shouldn't) have lasted a lot longer, except that I found it unexpectedly useful to have a legislatively-unburdened but immersive outdoor project that Summer. So it grew. And then we had a mild Winter, so it survived, and by then I'd thought of some other silly things to try, so it grew some more, and now we've had another mild Winter (so far) and thus it still survives. And I keep thinking of more things I could try. The speed at which the OSB has degraded, compared to the (very!) ordinary timber used for most of the original trackbed, is a pain though. If the whole lot had fallen apart equally quickly it would be less of a problem, but manky old offcuts that have been laying outside for over 20 years seem remarkably resilient. Which is why recently, when a larger flat piece has been needed, ply has been used. Secondhand scrap ply, of course, but ply nonetheless. Unlike the OSB and most of the other timber, it's not pressure-treated, so it's been given a coat or two of something creosotey to delay fungus growth at least until after the tracks have been laid. But I don't ever intend the WR to become a 'permanent' installation. It'll stay where it is until it's in the way (as the express circuit was), or it falls down. That of course begs the question, how much of it needs to fall down? One or two mild depredations might as well be fixed (as they were at the start of last year), but if significant parts were lost, I can't imagine they'd ever be replaced like-with-like. That's part of the reason for not introducing masonry, scenery, complex wiring and so on: the more effort that's gone in, the more damage it's likely to be 'worth' repairing. I've already got enough cars in that category, the railway doesn't need to join them. Until then, I suspect it will continue to evolve, but that depends how much time is available. Maintenance demands elsewhere were relatively light last year, but at the moment I've already got an experimental gearbox rebuild and a couple of reasonably challenging welding jobs on the list, and since an inactive car is still wearing out its MoT, tax disc and insurance policy just sitting there, those will take priority. That doesn't stop me having ideas for further developments, unfortunately. At the moment, the zigzag branch ends part-way along 'level J.' With one further reverse, I think I could get a line into the air intake under Grumpy's front bumper. Don't ask why, or where it'd go next though, and yes it would need another lifting bridge underneath the first one. Or maybe that line could stay by the trees and reverse again (or more) until it approaches ground level - but again, there's no plan after that. A very low level might permit a Dorking-style contour-following line on the slope in front of the lower-numbered trees, but it still won't go anywhere. The 'flat' part of the garden isn't level enough for a ground-level express circuit, and in any case it would be a hazard to vehicle movements. If there's to be an express circuit again, it might as well be at eye height, as the original was - you get a more realistic view of the trains that way. The 'missing link' across the middle of the garden would have to be recreated as an easily-removable section, but that's not impossible. Twin-tracking would be good, trains always look good passing each other on sweeping curves at realistic track centres. When the stub fence was rebuilt last year as a multi-folding gate, the height of the 'castle door bar' that locks it extended was specifically chosen so that it could support the (lift-off) trackbed of part of a new express circuit. Building such a circuit in such a way that large sections were removable but trains would run reliably would be a challenge, and as you might have noticed, interesting challenges seem to motivate most developments here. So it’s got that in its favour! The other obvious challenge would be replacing the OSB bases of the return curves at each end of the two tree circuits. The OSB was originally 18mm, so a stepped lamination of two layers of 9mm ply would keep down the size of the boards required, whilst still fitting in with the existing supporting structure and approach gradients. I reckon the radius of Upper Grumpy Curve could be eased slightly, which would help with the gradients there, and the associated reversing triangle could be revised - as it would need to be, if it was to form part of a new express circuit (though there’s another idea associated with that, which would require some hand-built pointwork. ChrisC reckons he can do that sort of thing...). A reconstituted express circuit would need new shed door drawbridges too of course, but the one on the big Shed is on the point of collapse now anyway, the main timber is rotting. Or maybe something else will come up. Way back in post 52 Brian (sykarost) suggested a wind-driven alternator to charge a battery to power the trains; I fear a windmill big enough to drive the alternator fast enough might be a challenge, but if it could be made to work, I've got an old slightly leaky 12V waterpump, so perhaps we could have a wind-driven water feature.... All suggestions gratefully received. I won't promise to do anything about any of them, but it's always interesting to hear them. As Griff notes, it's all just a bit of fun, so you never know what might happen next. I don't.
  3. I said at the end of the last post that I discovered the gradients into and out of the reversing point by the lifting bridge hinges were a bit too steep, and the only fix would be to move that point further away from the bridge hinges, thereby lengthening the approaches. It would've been relatively simple just to shift that point and the reversing spur a bit further to the right - towards the stub fence - but it would still have been just a rather stark straight section across the front of the trees. And why go in front of trees if you can go behind them? There's a gap, albeit not much of one, behind the nearest tree, so that became the objective: move the reversing point into the gap behind the tree, and lengthen its approach roads at the same time. I reckoned I needed the approaches to be about another 8 inches longer, and a bit of work with a dummy trackbed and a Peco point plan suggested that should be quite possible, perhaps even a little more. This photo shows the start of the new trackbed leading behind the tree, and the existing reversing point and spur still in front of it: DSC07599cr39.JPG[/attachment] With the toe of a curved point tucked behind the tree, that all seemed to work, and gave the extra approach length needed to ease the gradients. It was clear the tree and the fencepost would have to be relieved a bit to get the necessary running clearances, so I thought I might as well cut a little a litle deeper to allow the point to be pushed back a bit further: DSC07621cr39.JPG[/attachment] And then I could cut the plywood to the required shape. The whole thing's in one piece, slotted between the roads, so that the gradient changes near the point will be smoothed out. It has to extend a long way towards the lifting bridge, right over the old trackbeds, because that's where the old gradient got too steep: DSC07671cr39.JPG[/attachment] I say more-or-less, because in that photo the curvature in the lower road doesn't look quite right as it approaches the point. The other one looks a bit questionable too, but that's largely the change of grade I think - like all the other reversing points and spurs now, the gradient of spur and point matches that of the lower approach; that is, the spur is uphill towards its buffers. Speaking of which:
  4. How long does it take to clean the track? Too long! Ten minutes, perhaps, as long as you can remember the right contortions to reach bits of it. I use a garryflex block; nothing else seems to do the job properly. It's probably not doing the railhead any good, but if it's the only thing I've found that'll cut through the grot and permit trains to run, then so be it. Power bus? Optimist! Nope, at the moment rails are joined by Peco fishplates and nothing else. So far (fingers crossed) they've done remarkably well - we've never had a problem with a non-conducting joint. I make a point of ensuring that they're tight when they're fitted, so I suppose as the rails expand and contract there's quite a firm rubbing motion, and that seems to have kept the joints clean so far. If you're using the top four levels as a single circuit with power supplied in just one location you can find you need to apply a bit more power when the train's at its furthest, but that top loop's about 155' feet around so I suppose that's not too bad. For running a train from the highest to the lowest parts of the layout it's worth supplying power at couple of locations, but that's all. What it'll be like after another Winter is anybody's guess of course, but so far it looks as though the fishplate-based electrical connexions are outliving the trackbed! Speaking of running trains all the way from the top to the bottom.... ...If the railhead was to advance further, it needed more trackbed, and more trackbed means more timber, and more woodscrews. The timbers are rather too large to transport by train, but woodscrews seemed a good excuse to run a 'works' train all the way from the yard to the end of the zigzag branch - and to provide some work for the Dean Goods. So a train comprising every open wagon we could find - and never mind what they said on the side! - was marshalled and loaded: DSC07569cr49.JPG[/attachment] DSC07585r39.JPG[/attachment] But by that time the blasted camera battery had gone flat anyway, so that was the end of that plan. Here's the video while it lasted: O1E_M_8Z7kQ "> " onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; So the camera went on charge indoors, allowing tea-and-thinking time. Without the camera wagon, of course, the train was now short enough to fit the reversing spurs, so it could continue down the branch. In a revised plan, the partly-recharged camera would be mounted, statically, to record the train passing. Here it is on its way to the lowest reversing point. AkZhEOvq9_A "> " onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Only trouble is, with all the faffing, tea-making, thinking, shunting and camera-charging, by the time the train reached the worksite, all the navvies had packed up for the day and gone home! So all that remained was to put the Dean's 6wd tender to a real test, and see if it could get that heavy train back up the branch. Here's the first zigzag on that climb: r-eJZdXcGU0 "> " onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; I reckon that's not bad at all, up a 1:60 gradient. It couldn't last of course; wagon couplings started trying to ride over each other, and it all got a bit fraught, so in the end there was no option but to split the train and send the one-whistle Pannier down to bring up one half, while the Dean followed later with the other. It all worked, in the end, but even the half-trains were heavy enough to reveal that one location had a gradient problem: the immediate approaches to the reversing point nearest the lifting bridge hinges are too steep. Not by much, but enough to show up with trains this heavy. Something must've gone wrong in the measuring and construction of the timbers in that area. Maybe I was concentrating too much on making the bridge hinge mounts strong enough, maybe I just made a marking error; but whatever went wrong affects both trackbeds - they just diverge too sharply from the point location. If one was too steep and the other rather shallow, then the error could be corrected simply by raising or lowering the reversing point appropriately; but with both lines too steep, it's not an easy fix. The only solution is reconstruction of the trackbed, with longer approaches to the point - that is, the point needs to be moved further from the lifting bridge. Well, I said when that reversing spur was built (post 172) that it was only a temporary thing. Looks like it's time to prove it.
  5. As soon as we finish the lineside fencing!
  6. In post 201 the trackbed had been laid for another reversing spur, before I got distracted by spotting an opportunity I'd missed to squeeze a line behind a tree a little bit further back. With that deviation complete, track laid and clearances checked, the railhead could push on downwards again. In fact, I skipped ahead a little to get the reversing point in place, to give me something to work up to. So here's the new reversing point and spur beyond, with track laid: This shows how far below the original ground level this end of the reversing spur is (again); the original line of the bottom board of the Fence can be seen top left, behind the leaves of the oak seedling - about 4 inches above rail level. The little oak's almost directly beneath the curved reversing point that leads to the avalanche-shelter station. I'll try and encourage it to grow up the far side of the timber above it, though I suspect it might have other ideas. It seems already to have a mind of its own: it doesn't believe it's deciduous, it's still got all three leaves as I write this, near the end of January. I presume it knows what it's doing. Anyway, you can see the lexan's nailed to the trackbed, so once the photo was taken I could put some of the soil back. You can also see that access to unpin the spur and realign it without causing damage would be somewhat challenging. Speaking of the line above, whilst doing the present work I spotted some fairly extensive fungus growth around the Tree 9 tunnel and cutting: And then remove the now-redundant never-used Level I trackbed across the front of Tree 5. And with that, it was time for a wagoncam run, as a check on alignment. This one starts facing uphill from those new buffers, and climbs all five (five!) zigzags of the branch line, up to the line along Grumpy's offside. The slightly awkward alignment of the latest reversing point is apparent, but given the slight curvature in the Fence there, I don't think a lot else can be done. The change in gradient makes it look even worse, of course. As you'll see from the video, the station canopy's not working as well as it might, either. You'll also note an odd purring noise at the end of the video: that's the sound of minicam's battery running low. The video stops where it does because that's where the battery ran out. So I put the camera on charge that evening, and rather ambitiously tried a full run from the yard at the top right down to the bottom the next day, facing the other way. Speeds are a little higher than usual, as the train raced the camera battery to the buffers. As you'll see, it was a close finish... Just over 9 minutes from top to bottom, but hurrying a bit for the first part. Maybe a 12-minute run would have looked more realistic, but the camera wouldn't have lasted the distance. That was very lucky! Next time, some more videos, with more variation in viewpoint, subject matter and success.
  7. At the end of post 199, the latest trackbed (Level I) was progressing Northwards, and getting very close to the ground again, so another zigzag must be about due, the only question being how far up the garden could I push the buffers on the reversing spur? As before, it would be vulnerable if it was the garden side of the next trees, and I wasn't keen to tunnel through them again this close to the ground - but perhaps I could fit a line behind them? It seems too long since the track went behind a tree, but of course trees generally get thicker near ground level, so most are now hard up against the Fence. But Trees 9 and 10 (the two with the tunnels) aren't, because both fork very low down. Tree 10 actually has really quite a gap under it on the Fence side, and I reckoned, from the following view, it looked like a single track might be able to squeeze past Tree 9 to get there too: It's not very clear in the photo, but despite its upgrade, the far end of that trackbed where the buffers will be is several inches below the natural ground level, so it'll need enclosing on the non-Fence side too to try to keep soil off the track. That's something that'll be sorted out later, probably after the track's laid: there'll be no access for that otherwise. For now, it's in the right place at the right gradient, so attention can be turned to the trackbed for the return road, thus: ...it crashed straight into the nice new prop under the lifting bridge hinges. So that prop needs to be revised, yet again. The piece of timber used this time was part of the level C trackbed in a previous life, as the bleaching of its surface clearly shows: And that's about the only part of the revised route that can be seen clearly enough to photograph - as the next picture demonstrates! The original Level I trackbed crosses the middle of the image, on light-coloured timbers. Right in the middle of the picture, a much darker piece can be seen emerging from the gloom alongside the tree trunk. That's one of the new bits. The new track is the lowest level in the picture; you can see the built-but-never-used original Level I trackbed in the foreground. You can also see that I've had to add a piece of timber towards the right, to get the right approach to the new bit. Only once track is in place can rolling stock clearances be finalised of course; I had to relieve the fence and the tree trunk to allow the guinea-pig autocoach through behind Tree 6: It's all a bit tight round there, but curvature's no worse than some other parts of the zigzag branch, so it can stay, and the original Level I trackbed across the front of that tree can be removed to make room for the onward continuation of Level J. But before then - in the next post - it'll be time to install the reversing point by the Fence, under Tree 9, and adjacent track.
  8. Minicam update: The bad news is that although replacement batteries are available, the minimum order is 3,000. Which is an awful lot of garden railways. The good news is, the original ten-pound camera is now available for £3 less than that, so we've ordered one. It might not be the last word in quality, but I don't think the likely lifetime of the railway justifies more significant expenditure. Do anyone else's buffers suffer from fungus encroachment?
  9. Onwards and downwards then. With lollysticks and Bowden cables installed, and a multi-train video in the can, it's time to turn attention back to level H, which at the moment just stops at a random place somewhere round the back of Tree 4 - that's why the video in post 195 started where it did. As mentioned in post 192, the next thing will be another reverse, as close as it can be to the Southern end of the layout. I've already made a bit of space for the returning 'level I', as illustrated in that post, so now it must be time to plug the gap. One more piece of straightforward trackbed can join Tree 3 to Tree 2 before we get into the realms of the next reversing point. This bridges one of the (even) less attractive parts of the garden; the trackbed can have a narrow top (because the line's straight), but needs to be quite deep so that the returning lower level can be attached to it. A piece of 3x1 is ideal: That mounts to Trees 2 and 1 and aligns with the preceding section like so: With one more timber added to the descending trackbed (now 'level I'), track and point could be laid: just to close to an angled holly branch - coach cantrails could catch - and secondly, the lower road would have to curve in towards the point, because if it didn't the distance between point and reversing spur buffers would be too short. So, it might not look good, but the alternative would look - and be - even worse. The two tracks in that last picture are too close together laterally for trains to be able to run on both simultaneously, but that'll never happen, since the two tracks meet at the reversing point. Therefore, it's merely necessary to ensure that the sleeper-ends of the upper track don't scrape the rolling stock bodies on the lower one. So the upper track can be centred on its piece of 3x1. Next step was to install a couple of temporary lengths of trackbed at the right gradient, and see where 'level I' would be when it arrived back at tree 5. The tape shows it's about half an inch higher than the short dummy trackbed section I installed when level H above was converted to plywood in post 192, but still low enough to pass safely beneath: and the clearance under level H at tree 5: The questions for the next post, then, are how far till we reach the ground again, and what happens when we do?
  10. Doublecee, until the camera battery gave up, we were wondering about that, for exactly those reasons. Mirror tile's a good suggestion. I'd got as far as realising a simple glass mirror might give a double image, so we'd either need a reflector with the silvering on the front surface, or perhaps a 45 degree prism, with the 'spare' sides obscured by black paper; but I hadn't actual thought of a piece of mirror tile. As you say, it has a good Weekenderish vibe to it. C of g hasn't actually been a problem with any of the installations - the camera wagon has never derailed, which perhaps is a surprise given how light the Kellogg's van is. The old diecast Wrenn frame I've used recently is very heavy. But I certainly preferred the lower-level viewpoint of the old inverted Kelloggcam mount, though the recent arrangement gives more of a 'driver's eye view' of the line. But that's all by the by unless the camera can be fixed. This is ChrisC's area of expertise; we had the camera apart the other day, and if I understood right the battery's a reasonably standard part so direct replacement, or even a couple of wires through the side of the case to an external one, might be possible. On the other hand, any replacement camera ought to offer a slightly wider field of view, a higher-definition image, and better response in poor light conditions. It just has the drawback of needing to be purchased, with real live actual money...
  11. As mentioned in the last post, the original linkages from the operating lever to the two triangle points had become very unreliable, so the new Bowden cable design was used to replace those too. The operating strategy remains the same: a single lever controls both points, ensuring that either they're both set for the upper (levels A & B) circuit, or for the triangle, ie towards the shed spur; there's no need to ever have one point set for the circuit and the other for the triangle. Here's the direct cable link to the upper point, partly sheltered inside Grumpy: The point is at the top left of the picture; you're looking at the end of the relay lever, with the stiff copper wire looped through it. The dogleg in the copper wire allows fine adjustment of link length, to ensure the two points work in perfect synchronisation. You can also see clearly the depth of packing necessary to restore a reasonable gradient here after the OSB warped; less than a foot to the left of this photo, the track's right back on the OSB again. It'll have to go... To complete the set, here's the lever which operates them both. (Just to confuse matters, the point in this picture is the apex of the trangle, which is still operated separately by the lever attached to the electrical switch mounted up on the wall of the Shed - see posts 82 and 83.) In one edit in the video, right near the end: the autocoach steps fouled on a curled piece of ply under one of the small shed drawbridge hinges, so I had to quickly trim it and complete the journey. Having got the video in the bag, the autotrain returned to the main layout and the two trains circulated together while I tried to catch them both in the same photo. I know, could've just posed them, but snapping 'em in action's much more fun.
  12. As mentioned at the end of post 192, the next matter for attention was remote operation of inaccessible reversing points. Regular readers will know that all four switches in the crossover, and two of the points on the triangle, are already worked remotely by systems of rods and levers. The levers usually had a previous existence supporting some sort of frozen confection (Magnums are the favourite - or should that be Magna?), and the rods are lengths of copper wire, longer runs being guided through lengths of old brake pipe. Almost eighteen months on from construction, the scissor junction system still works perfectly; but even by the time of the first railway operations of 2014, the operation of the two triangle points had become very hit-and-miss: sometimes one point moved, sometimes both, sometimes the brake pipe came adrift and moved with the copper wire, and every now and then something failed completely and had to be rebuilt. The only significant difference between the two installations is that there's a much greater length of wire in the brake-pipe guides on the triangle point system. But at least three of the points on the zigzag branch (the reversing points by Grumpy's door handle and the tree tunnels, and the junction with the level D 'main line') would need to be even further from their operating levers than those two triangle points, so something better was needed. In essence, the copper wires in brake pipes are home-made Bowden cables; so why not use real Bowden cables? I'd visited distant bicycle-shop-owning friend Dave over the Summer, and discovered that he (like most bicycle shops) stocked all the components needed to make a Bowden cable of almost any chosen length. So I acquired enough inner cable, outer sheath and sheath-end ferrules to make up a test installation. The other components would follow previous practice - lolly-sticks, woodscrews &c - though I couldn't find the remains of the old numberplate from which the relay levers were made before, so had to cut the new ones from an old plastic bracket instead. A random length of red plastic L-section strip provided clamps for securing the ends of the outer cable, and attachment of inner cable to levers was achieved simply by doubling it over and soldering it to itself. So here's an overview of that installation: The lever's where it is so that it can't be snagged when walking past while the lifting bridge is open, and it projects downwards to keep it clear of rolling stock overhangs. I squirted some WD40 down the sheath before inserting the inner cable, because it has water-repellant properties; though I hope the cable ought to last reasonably well anyway, since bicycles are designed for an outdoor life. The cable's free enough that the point spring can be felt going over centre; I put in a small nail to stop the relay lever going too far, though, as it's otherwise easy to pull too far in the 'straight' (or downhill) direction. The point blades can be seen moving when the lever's operated, so it doesn't need labelling. This trial installation seemed to work well enough, but it was worth waiting a few days to make sure it stayed that way. The hiatus provided an opportunity to run some trains, so here's the 14XX with a couple of autocoaches. And here's the equivalent installation rather closer to ground level, on the reversing point near the tree tunnels: B for Branch, M for Main line on the junction point, while the arrows show whether the reversing point is set for the rising or falling road; neither point can be seen when operating its lever. You'll notice that unlike the test installation, the inner cable connexions here are made with short lengths of copper wire: whilst Dave's inner cable was quite happy to be soldered to itself, the inners from the local bike shop were much less friendly, and I had to resort to binding the inner to the stiff copper wire with a thin copper strand, and then flooding the joint with solder. It makes disconnexion from the levers easier, I suppose. The copper links for the lower point are longer than ideal because the maximum inner cable length available was only 3 metres. Apparently bicycles are rarely longer than that! With those working, the triangle point linkages could also be replaced; I'll post pictures of those next time. Perhaps I should also mention at this stage that Dave-the-bike-shop-owner visited a few weeks later, for a train-driving session. He remarked that I should use a rail-mounted powered crane to pick rusty fragments off Old Mrs Grumpy to load into open wagons for recycling; the track would then need to be realigned on a regular basis to keep the Grumpy-quarrying operations in reach of the railway. Very disrespectful to the old girl, I thought. But rather appealing...
  13. After all the excitement of stations and cameras, it must be time to get back to the mundane world of track-laying. The last update on that was way back in post 179, in which the railhead had advanced southward again after the tree tunnels to a temporary end below the lifting bridge hinges. That's where the track and trains stopped when the videos in that post were made, but as one of the photos there shows, the trackbed itself already extended a bit further, passing in front of trees 6 and 5 before turning towards the Fence to go behind tree 4 - the gap there was too enticing to ignore. Here's a picture showing how the trackbed comes to the fore again to pass tree 3; we're now well below the level at which that one forks. It was about this stage where I realised I needed a way to refer to all these different levels. Way back when we drew layout plans the top four levels were coded A, B, C and D going downwards (A and B forming the upper circuit and C and D the lower one), so by extension, the first part of the branch which squeezes through the rear of Grumpy then passes over her nose on the birdcage bridge must be E. That means the short section over the lifting bridge is F, the line from there to the avalanche-sheltered station is G, the one I'm currently fiddling with is H, and the one beneath that I'm presently making space for will be I. I hereby promise not to zigzag all the way to the end of the alphabet. Anyway, back with the woodwork, I could now make a ply base for level H where I've just cut the timbers away: While that was going on, the penny had dropped regarding a better way of mounting the minicam low enough to pass through the tree tunnels. The torch mounting shewn in post 179 (and used for those videos) was all very well, but it didn't permit the camera to face the train it was coupled to. Whereas this does:
  14. Has your Mobius managed to film any good meteors yet Roddy?
  15. David, Roddy, thanks for the information and links; I'll make sure I draw it to the attention of ChrisC, as he's the WR's expert in these matters. The prices are certainly less frightening than others I've seen, though I fear they might still stretch a Weekenderish budget. Even the £10 minicam wasn't bought for the WR: like most things here, it's a leftover from another project entirely. I've realised that although post 182 made mention of two ceramic cottages, I don't ever seem to have illustrated the second one properly, although it's distantly visible in the wide overall view of the layout back in post 179. Another contribution from my 'wife', it's a bit too far from the track to ever show up in a video, so here's a photo. It has the advantage of a small track-level private boarding platform at which autotrains might make a request stop (they have steps to the passenger doors for that eventuality), but the residents need a good head for heights. And perhaps a machete, now that the approach steps have become rather overgrown.
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