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Empire Mill - long time no blog - lots to catch up on

Fen End Pit


No blog entries since February, too much going on and now so much to catch up on. Get a cup of tea, this could be a long one.


First up I've been working on rebuilding the lever frame from Empire Basin to fit Empire Mills. The revised track plan calls from more levers and so an extra Shropshire and Herefordshire Area Group frame was ordered from the Scalefour stores. This takes the frame up to 25 levers. The frame was built as per the instructions except for the addition of a locking 'tab' which extends beyond the bottom of each lever. The holes along the bottom of the box will take push buttons for controlling uncoupling magnets and the space above them will have the signalbox diagram.




The levers remain to be painted but the box, laser cut from 3mm ply looks quite neat and fits under the layout well. The whole unit can be slid out and positioned elsewhere when desired. Inside the box are 4 MERG CBUS circuit boards. On the right of the photo on the inside of the lid of the box is a CANACE3 which detects the state of all the levers. on the left are 3 CANACC8 boards, configured as CANSERVO8s which control the servos which lock the lever. For more details of how this works take a look at my earlier blog ( http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/186/entry-6813-fun-with-servo-based-interlocked-lever-frame/ )




I used the Makespace laser cutter to cut a set of 3mm Acrylic spacers to hold the servos and the lever frame. You can see the rotating lock and the locking tab on the bottom of the levers in this close-up




The next project has been to start another locomotive. Having obtained an Alan Gibson LNER E4 kit work has started with the aim of finishing it before Hornby/Bachmann bring one out! So far we have the frame assembled, High Level kits gearbox put together and a start has been made on the footplate.




I've not done too much clever with the chassis. The loco is a 2-4-0 so the -4- bit has continuous springy beams. The front axle will be sprung separately.




I've also made a representation of the motion plate and slide bars just so there is 'something' between the frames. Thanks to Buckjumper for providing some guidance on this, it was typically though, his email arrived on the Friday evening after I gone out for our usually modeling group meeting and spent the whole evening making something that looked nothing like the valve gear of an E4! Saturday evening was spent making something closer to the prototype!




The plan for the motor is that is sits, pointing forward, into the boiler and it fits with a reasonable degree of movement . The little splashers on the footplate had a fairly high 'f' factor as they had a tendency to go 'ping' just as you had got them positioned to solder.




Finally a week away over Easter gave the opportunity to walks parts of the Glyn Valley Tramway and enjoy a ride on the Llangollen Railway. I know the signals go the wrong way but it is still a beautiful line.




I'll try not to leave it as long next time, there is a major laser cutting job currently being drawn but that will have to wait for another day.


thanks for reading, now finish the tea and go and get on with some modelling



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