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Agreed on the weather - even the one nice day of sunshine we've had recently has done nothing to dry things out.

It's good to hear that you have your wife assisting you with building the card kits. I can't see me ever getting my partner interested in my layout but at least she doesn't mind me doing it and she doesn't really complain when I go on and on.....

It certainly sounds like things are moving forward with Amblethorpe and I'm sure there's going to be lots to photograph when you get the camera!

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Hi Ian,

I planted a few today!

I had to pop into York on Friday to purchase a staple gun so I could repair the felt on the shed roof that had blown off the day before (for some reason I had some spare felt kicking around ;) ) and I also picked up a hot glue gun and a few other bits and bobs.

This morning I put together three packs Peco fencing and then attempted to attached it to the side of my base board with the staple gun. But the gun was far to powerful and the staples sliced through the "legs" of the fence. This meant a far slower process of nailing them in place with track pins was required. With the first pin in place the heaviest shower of the day hit :!: ONce the sun was back I finished off the job with Peco brass track pins, which I must say are very good. With a few metres of fence in place I added several bits of scourers to dress it, reverting to the staple gun to affix them. The effect is nice, but it's a bit strange having scenic elements having got used to the bare appearance of track on roofing felt.

Recently I have been busy completing my first bit of modelling. Colwick Station is a three platform terminus. Platform one is 2 metres long and can hold a 5+2 HST, platform 2 is 1.3m and can hold a four car DMU and Plat 3 a three car (four but its blocking the points for the turn stabling siding). I have a 1 metre long Peco overall roof covering half of plat 1 and most of 2. The platforms are made of 15mm chipboard and are dressed with a Metcalfe platform kit. The station building is also Metcalfe and it sits across the terminus end. This has all been constructed on the removable section baseboard which has spent the winter in the conservatory. I'm very happy with the results and once I've finished off some of the finer detailing and I get a day without the threat of a shower I'll finally have a station to run a train into.

I've really enjoyed the modelling of the station and my skills and confidence has grown as I've progressed. Once Colwick is completed I think the next task on the todo list is to motorise the 5 points which are permanently outside, I've procrastinated long enough. Then it will be time for phase 3 when the tracks will burst out of the far side of the shed and head back down the right hand side of the garden.

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IanR said:

Glad to hear that you've made some progress Chris but still no camera?

I wasn't going to mention the camera... ;)

Really does sound like you're cracking on Chris, would be good to see what you've been up.

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My dad is a keen photographer and has a "spare" camera, so I'll borrow that next week when they've returned from Africa :!:

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A friend gave me an old Mac which should have been able to interface with my DCC system, but I couldn't get it to work. I think the Mac may have been USB2 and the interface USB2. Rather than waste time I've given in and I'm using an old Windows XP box I use for Race Management of Scalextric. The Advantage of that PC is that it has two Video Cards in it so I can run up to three monitors on it at once. I spent an hour in the shed yesterday getting it ready for the PC and I now have a suitable shelf for two monitors, which should be enough screen space for the JMRI software, for now.

All the above mentioned computer equipment has been given to me when other people have upgraded their kit, I always accept old computers and peripherals when they are offered to me. One random peripheral which I received a month ago is a battery back up which can keep a PC going for half an hour when there's a blackout. I hadn't done anything with it because I was missing a power lead, but on the off chance I asked a fellow computer bits hoarder if he had one and the answer was yes. The lead needed the socket removing from one end and replacing with a stand 13 amp one, but with that done I now have mains power in my shed without having to run an extension lead out to it. The battery doesn't have much power, but it's enough for lights (extremely handy) and my radio. I think I could probably run the railway on it, but I haven't tried and that's not really the point, but it will be useful for a quick test of something. The battery will need recharging, but that can be done each time I have the extension lead out.

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I wrote a to do list last week and I'm surprised how useful it's been. As mentioned elsewhere, my 156 is back from the workbench with working lights, and I've now finally got round to gluing the legs on to my station roof so Colwick Station is just waiting for the fine detailing stuff.

I'm helping my mate Jonathan to build a shed (24' by 4'6") for his garden railway and we've got a trip to B&Q planned so I'll pick up some Gypframe and then I'll be able to start on Phase 3.

It's the York Show at the weekend. I'm planning on going on Monday, if anyone else is popping up and what to meet up then give me a shout. I can make it any of the three days. I'm hoping to buy a couple of accessory decoders to control the dozen points I've got which haven't been sorted yet.

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The B&Q we went to didn't stock Gypframe :( but I did get roofing felt and guttering for the shed. The felt went on on friday and I've put the gutting up today. No advancement to the railway, but it will keep a lot of water away from areas I don't want it. They were also the top two things on my to do list.

York Show tomorrow. Must right a shopping list.

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I went to the York show on Saturday, I didn't see your message about meeting up until afterwards. Pity as it would have been nice to meet up.

Ian.

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Not been cracking on lately. Strange that these long summer nights seem to be taken up by other activities (just to about tot go for a bike ride and then stop for a bar meal).

I purchased a Team Digital accessory decoder at the York Show (there were some grate american layouts there) and I've been playing with that. The chap from Digitrains assured me that it's built in CDU would be able to throw a pair of points, but i've not managed to get it to do it yet!

I've also been applying some paint to some of my hornby train set models i've had in the loft for 30 years. The plan was to make use of them for the time being until I'd got bought some proper models. But the careful application of paint and the bringing together of two different station building has created something that looks rather good, so it may become a more permanent feature of Amblethopre.

Almost purchased a camera on Tuesday. Almost.

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chris said:

Not been cracking on lately. Strange that these long summer nights seem to be taken up by other activities (just to about tot go for a bike ride and then stop for a bar meal)...

That's exactly the point I made elsewhere recently. It's the same here - been waiting for nice weather to get outside into the garden and then find something else to do or that needs doing. Anyway, I've just got back from a week away and so that's why things have been on hold generally - I can get cracking again now.

chris said:

...Almost purchased a camera on Tuesday. Almost.

:roll: You can't be operating a garden railway without having a camera - you've got to take some photos to share with everyone!

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Finally got an accessory decoder to throw a pair of points consistently. I had been wiring them in series, because Ohm's Law suggested it was the correct way. However Ohm didn't know what he was talking about (or more likely I have no idea how to employ his wisdom) cos they worked great in parallel :oops:

Cannot express the sense of achievement and relief I now feel over the matter. I have renewed vigur to get all the points motorised and route control computerised. But there is a lot of wiring to do now.

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Managed to get to the B & Q in York which stocks Gypframe, so I now have all I need to get going on phase 3 of Amblethorpe. I've put the Greenhouse shelf brakets on the fence posts and now I have to work out what features I want along that side of the garden. A through station is a must, I also like the idea of the railway passing over a river. Both of these will require some thought before I lay the baseboards.

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Another session in the shed and I now have some very tidy wiring of an accessory decoder and 5 point motors. I've even gone to the trouble of using cable ties and soldering tag strips. The soldering is still more of a foe than a friend, but that's probably because I'm rushing and I was using some heavy gauge wire in a couple of places.

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I was away at the weekend so haven't had much opportunity to get on with stuff. Have managed to get two more points in the shed wired to the accessory decoder.

Taking it through with a mate I've decided to make Phase 3 of Amblethorpe a 30cm width board rather than a 20cm as planned. This will give me more space for scenery and buildings. The down side is that I it will stall construction because i now need to buy more ply.

I've still got plenty be getting on with so it's not a problem.

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chris said:

The down side is that I it will stall construction because i now need to buy more ply.

Hi Chris, How are you getting on with the ply for your track base ? I've still not decided whether to use ply or decking boards yet, so If you don't mind I have a couple of questions...

1. What thickness of ply are you using ?

2. Is the plywood standard ply , exterior ply or marine ply ?

Duncan

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Just quickly

It's 18mm

It's exterior

Don't use decking, it warps

use marine, if you can get it.

chris

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