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Been a while, hope you are all well. The Z21 arrived today so we can finally run a few trains around at the same time. Impressed with the system so far and I've managed to set up t

Some running today

Evening all, I'm Chris from sunny (well, sometimes) south Devon and I'm currently in the middle of building my first garden railway for my little lad who is 4 this year. A quick bit about me

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Been a while, hope you are all well.

The Z21 arrived today so we can finally run a few trains around at the same time.

Impressed with the system so far and I've managed to set up the supplied router as an extender for our home WiFi which means I don't have to manually connect to the Z21 network and now have home WiFi coverage in the garden.

Edited by SwannyUK
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17 hours ago, SwannyUK said:

Been a while, hope you are all well.

The Z21 arrived today so we can finally run a few trains around at the same time.

Impressed with the system so far and I've managed to set up the supplied router as an extender for our home WiFi which means I don't have to manually connect to the Z21 network and now have home WiFi coverage in the garden.

That's why I also use the Z21.

It also works fine with WiFi repeater if needed.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry for the late response Chris but that looks really good now that you've got it all up and running.

I still use the Z21 in bog standard fashion, having to connect manually to it. Never thought about doing anything else or looked into the benefits of what that might give me. I already have WiFi out in the garden so would there be any advantages?

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/09/2020 at 14:40, mick said:

Sorry for the late response Chris but that looks really good now that you've got it all up and running.

I still use the Z21 in bog standard fashion, having to connect manually to it. Never thought about doing anything else or looked into the benefits of what that might give me. I already have WiFi out in the garden so would there be any advantages?

The main advantage I have found is just having everything on the one network. With the z21 on its own WIFI I had to manually disconnect from the home WIFI then connect to it. Now I just turn the z21 and router on in the garage and after a few seconds the app finds the z21 box.

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  • 4 months later...

It's been a long winter! Post crappy weather maintenance is now under way. The bridge is being given a fresh coat and I'm slowly getting through soldering on the track connector wires to ensure smooth running. Over winter we got the Hornby HST set to keep us busy. Lovely little set and easy enough to drop a decoder in for outside use. Hope all or safe and well.

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Edited by SwannyUK
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It does feel like it's been a long winter this time doesn't it? Hopefully the worst is now behind us for another year but it is still early and there's chance we might get another cold snap but let's hope not. We've suffered enough this past year.

It's been good to get outdoors and I'm glad you've found the time to do so too. It's nice to get on with something and maintenance, whether necessary or not, always makes you feel good. Look forward to seeing some outdoor running on the Pickle Line real soon.

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Sure does Mick. Touch wood we've had a good enough run of weather to be able to get 80% of what I wanted done. Last 20 or so connector wires to go but we're now at a stage where we can run locos!

 

Also decided to get rid of the point just after entering the garage and opted for a nice 3rd radius sweep instead. More reliable and gives more room for my station building.

 

Before and after

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So, with the nicer weather (well, not today typically) I've been flicking through eBay listings for bargains.

I stumbled across this DCC fitted 37 for a very good price so snapped it up along with a couple of hopper wagons. I'll be keeping an eye out for more of those wagons over the next few months.

I did post in the rolling stock section about these wagons but will mention them here too. One has plastic wheels the other metal. The plastic wheels don't really turn very freely and the metal ones have a good wobble to them. Any idea on replacement metal wheels?

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A great choice for a loco Chris and wagons too! 

I've responded to your other post regarding the MGR wagons (not sure if it will be any help or not) but you might want to bear in mind that there will shortly be a new version of the MGR wagon released by Cavalex models. I'm not suggesting that you go out and order them (£90 for 3 wagons ouch!) but it may well lead to a lot of the later version Hornby MGR's finding their way onto the usual auction sites and in my opinion they would be a better option to the ones you have obtained. However, If you're prepared to replace the plastic wheels and sort out the wobbling then the earlier version you have are an absolute steal and may even become cheaper still given the impending arrival of the Cavalex models.

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17 hours ago, mick said:

A great choice for a loco Chris and wagons too! 

I've responded to your other post regarding the MGR wagons (not sure if it will be any help or not) but you might want to bear in mind that there will shortly be a new version of the MGR wagon released by Cavalex models. I'm not suggesting that you go out and order them (£90 for 3 wagons ouch!) but it may well lead to a lot of the later version Hornby MGR's finding their way onto the usual auction sites and in my opinion they would be a better option to the ones you have obtained. However, If you're prepared to replace the plastic wheels and sort out the wobbling then the earlier version you have are an absolute steal and may even become cheaper still given the impending arrival of the Cavalex models.

Thanks Mick, I'll keep an eye out. I'm currently using these two as guinea pigs. Replacing the wheels, replacing the massive couplings and adding coal loads. Would you happen to know the product number for the later Hornby version so I know what to look for?

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2 hours ago, SwannyUK said:

...Would you happen to know the product number for the later Hornby version so I know what to look for?

These are the codes for the MGR wagons I have in my collection - some are single wagons and others were in sets of 3.

R6213, R6213A, R6215, R6215A, R6215B, R6222, R6222A, R6222B, R6224, R6331, R6333, R6333A, R6333B, R6333C. Probably not an exhaustive list but they are the ones I have.

All the later version wagons have the small tension lock couplers, the earlier variant have the larger tension lock couplers.

It looks like they're still attracting high prices averaging about £20 per wagon whereas the earlier variant can be obtained for much less than that. Something to consider perhaps.

 

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3 hours ago, mick said:

These are the codes for the MGR wagons I have in my collection - some are single wagons and others were in sets of 3.

R6213, R6213A, R6215, R6215A, R6215B, R6222, R6222A, R6222B, R6224, R6331, R6333, R6333A, R6333B, R6333C. Probably not an exhaustive list but they are the ones I have.

All the later version wagons have the small tension lock couplers, the earlier variant have the larger tension lock couplers.

It looks like they're still attracting high prices averaging about £20 per wagon whereas the earlier variant can be obtained for much less than that. Something to consider perhaps.

 

Thanks for taking the time to give me the numbers Mick, much appreciated.

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Do we know what Hornby did to the newer ones other than the NEM pockets for couplings?

We've got several old ones (r249) with metal wheels. The plastic wheeled ones with less detail were from trainsets like the 'Midnight freight' set, whereas the boxed individual ones had metal wheels.

If replacing the couplings, fitting better buffers and weathering is on the cards anyway, I'm not sure how much difference you'd have between an old and newer Hornby one?

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I suppose one of the drawbacks with the later version are the incorrect buffers but that's something I can live with. I certainly couldn't bear the thought of having to change all those buffers. In my opinion, if you get them at a decent price the later version is by far the better of the two. It's much more solid and stable and looks the part even if it's not quite correct. I'm perfectly happy with mine and wouldn't even consider changing them for the proposed Cavalex models. But some modellers have made excellent jobs using the earlier models - it all depends on how much work you want and what you are willing to pay.

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Another nice day so the Class 37 is doing a spot of track cleaning for me whilst I cut the grass.

That's after a session with the track rubber and my super duper "get the bits of left over rubber off the line tool" haha

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Edited by SwannyUK
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Added an old web cam to the computer in the garage so we can monitor outside. This has made running the trains much easier as we know what's coming.

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With a 5 year old being in control of trains outside, on a raised base where a derailment could be a bin bag job for the poor train involved, I got thinking we need some protection.

I'll give our little boy credit, he's very mature for his age and treats the trains as models where as some of his friends might not be so gentle and on the ball. However, even I've had a near miss when a coach came free and I wasn't paying attention.

I've looked at various solutions, most of which  require purchasing something or another but decided to try and use things I already have.

Plastic netting (left over from our Protectapet fence)
Large cocktail sticks
Outdoor fence paint
Cable ties
Staple gun and staples

Due to the way the plastic netting bends the outside of the corners only requires a couple of posts to keep it tight. The inside requires double.

It might not be the best looking but providing the cocktail sticks hold out it will require no maintenance.

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