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chris

Bachmann Network Rail MPV

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I've praised the Network Rail MPV by Bachmann elsewhere on this form, it's a very very good model, but it is let down just a little by the lights.

It should have three marker lights (top, left and right) with a headlight on the left (a right one at night if you are very keen). The Bachmann model has the three marker lights but the headlight is lit form the adjacent marker and at some angles it is hard to notice light emitting from the head when it should be rather bright.

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While browsing Martin Claydon's web site this morning I looked at his page on the MPV and realised that I had the nano LEDs needed to sort out the headlight so decided to give it a go.

Normally I'd procrastinate on this for a month or three, but in a rare moment of get-up-and-go, I got on with it. A couple of hours later I was giving it a very short run out of the shed and into the garden.

Working with nano LEDs is very fiddly and so is gluing bits plasticard 8mm by 3mm by 1mm to build a shroud round it, but the electrics were simple which made it was a quick and satisfying project.

A bright headlight is the icing on the cake, improving what was already a great model.

This is the first time I've added lights to a model which already had them, a new can of worms has been opened.

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A picture you say?

Oh go on then.

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it was getting dark so its a bit grainy, but you can certainly see the headlight.

I also took the time to fit the break pipes, drawbar etc. to finish it off.

As usual there are a couple more pics in the gallery.

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That's fantastic Chris, not just the improvement in the lighting but also the fact that someone's posted a progress report and at last there's something new to read! I admire your ability to be able to do such things - working with pieces so small would, I'm afraid, be beyond me right now. It's made a massive improvement to the front of the MPV. I also admire your courage in venturing outdoors to grab the photos on what was a rather cool day (or so I was told by the guy who spent the morning replacing dislodged ridge tiles on my roof!).

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It wasn't courage venturing outside, it was fear of you lot complaining about the lack of photos :!:

Lights are my classic winter project. Adding lights to a model which has none is a big job and usually takes me a few weeks to complete as I work though all the problems that arise when working in a tight space which wasn't designed with lights in mind. This one was a simple job, albeit fiddly, because the lights were already there and I just had to add the missing lamp.

I'll need to order some more LEDs before I can start, but I fancy adding the missing marker lights to GBRf 66 I received for Christmas. As ever, Martin has gone before me so I have a good idea of what I need to do. I'll also add the ability to switch off the locos rear lights when it's hauling a load.

I must sort out the baseboards for my tramway, so I can make serious progress this winter, rather than just making more Metcalfe kits.

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Flush with the successes of the MPV upgrade I decided to make a very small change to my HST Power Cars.

They actually need the same upgrade as the MPV, new LEDs behind the headlights, but I don't have the LEDs so that will have to wait. The tiny change I have made is to make the cab light switchable. Out of the box, the cab light comes on with the headlights which is nice for DC, but with DCC you should have a bit more control. Both power cars had spare DCC function wires so it was a straight rewiring job.

It should have been simple, and in fact it was. But the Hornby circuit board takes some understanding. If you have to place your loco on the track and switch functions on and off while checking with a multimeter, then the circuit board is not clear.

In the end it was a case of disconnect one wire and reconnect another.

I've programmed the cab lights to come on with Function 2 and only when that cab is going forwards. It's a tiny change, but I like having multiple functions on my trains.

While sitting at the Workbench last night I planned out some baseboard options for my tramway. First radius bends are nowhere near tight enough for my end loops, so it's time to head to the shed and see how tight I can bend a length of flexi and a trams still go round it.

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Hi Chris, I didn't realise that you had a tramway in mind. It's something that I planned and bought for around 10 years or so ago. I have also been rethinking the job recently. Unfortunately all my traction poles, catenary wire and other bits were lost moving home from Russia and the company that supplied me is now out of business. Suppliers are in short supply. All of the white metal points kits have disappeared too. I think you can get away with as little as 6" radius, maybe tighter depending on your wheelbases. Look forward to seeing what you get up to.

All the best for 2014.

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