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St Ruth

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Staying Grounded


MinerChris

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blog-0216291001342652225.jpgThe more recent meetings of the Midland Area Group have consisted of fettling points and generally resolving faults that emerged from the running weekend at the Nottingham show.

 

One of the major alterations consists of altering the traversing fiddleyard so that more than one track is live with DC at a time (John can describe, along with the rest of the electronics.) Eventually with enough operators present, four loco movements should be possible at the same time. This is more impressive when the fact comes to light that the layout is firmly DC, although all of these operators will have to become GWR signalling masters as well.

 

All the fettling is to make sure that St Ruth will be running more reliably by TINGS (affectionately known as the “Thank God its N Showâ€!) on the Fosse way in Warwickshire. It is at this point soldered point construction comes into its own, as the simple application of the soldering iron, a gauge and some green lable, is enough to correct mistakes on the permanent way.

 

The one area of progress that has been slowly developing is building the many signals that will be eventually needed. Andy is working on a fairly complex one, and I will leave him to unveil it when it’s ready. After opening my mouth on his previous entry, I seemed to volunteer to build the ground disk signals needed for shunting movements. What’s more I even offered to light the lamps and make the disk move.

 

Whilst in the fair country, I managed to find myself a prototype at the London end of Truro station. It’s most accurate to say that all of the single disks will probably be based on this one. I believe that this is of the 1960’s replacement design or close enough, although I stand to be corrected.

 

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The disk itself is taken directly off the MSE GWR etch, rescued from previous signal building activities. The disk pictured is actually MK2. MK1 was lost to the carpet, with spectacles filled with solder. With MK3 I tried to be slightly smarter with a small piece of 1mm diameter tube soldered onto the back of the disk to act as a pivot.

 

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As you probably can’t see in the photograph, when filed down I managed to catch the wire which meant it no longer sat well in the bearing. It was at this point MK2 was rescued which had been discarded due to the same reason as MK1 and a 0.3mm hole drilled to accept the operating wire. The spectacles in this disk were rescued using a small reaming broach as these holes are smaller than my smallest drill.

 

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The post itself is fashioned from 1mm tube in order to feed power to the lamp through an wire threaded through the center. The body will act as the return when I eventually get around to making and fitting the lamp. The bearings themselves were formed from a strip of nickel silver, which was bent and then soldered onto the post.

 

The trickiest part so far has been actuating the balance weight. Eventually I settled on a system where the wire that operates the disk is bent through a hole in the balance weight. This isn’t perfect as the wire above the balance weight hole has to be exactly the right length or else the balance beam hinders the movement of the disk.

 

The disk still needs its wiring up to its control servo and there are many details to finish the signal off including perhaps most importantly paint, however progress is progress none the less! I apologise for the poor quality of these photographs, I’m still learning the best way to photograph something that is 7mm tall!

 

We have also made a start on putting catch points onto the layout. These will be purely decoration as we don’t really need an extra obstacle to derail. The catches for the two carriage sidings under the station roof are the only ones to have been installed so far, as per a prototypical photograph.

 

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The loco pictured has become the groups test loco, due to its ability to fall off dodgy track. Thankfully it didn’t fall off over the new additions.

 

Finally readers of my personal blog Chris’ Minor Blog will be aware of a number of “lubricated,†purchases. Two Dapol HST’s, in Cross Country and First Great Western Livery are now in the stock box along with a Cross Country voyager to sit next to Andy’s Virgin voyager. Something must have rubbed off on my trips back to the midlands from Cornwall as I traveled on all of these!

 

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These have just been plonked on the layout without any conversion to see if they feel at home at ST Ruth. These probably won’t be ready for TINGS due to the lack of Dapol MK3 coaches and wheels. Eventually I might be persuaded to send all the dummy wheels as well to Gordon for reprofiling in order to keep the lightbar compatibility. I wonder with all the tasty offerings released yesterday, how many more “lubricated,†purchases there may be in the coming 18months.

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  • RMweb Gold

Nice work with the ground signal Chris. Got a few of those to do myself, so always good to see how other tackle them.

 

Tom.

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I think I will second that comment by Tom.

 

Its nice to see someone elses approach to what is a rather fiddly job. I especially like how you have got the balance weight thingy to work too.

 

M :)

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That has amply illustrated why I will have to use dummy ground signals, I can barely see the finished items, let alone make them work!

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Hi Chris,

 

That's looking nice. I was thinking of attempting to build some of these myself. I've got several close up pictures of some ground signals at Par station, so if you think they would be of use, feel free to PM me and I'll e-mail them to you.

 

Best regards,

 

Jeremy

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Glad to see you are going to have some proper trains ;) Don't forget the Dapol FGW 153

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Nice work with the ground signal Chris.

 

Thanks Tom, I look forward to seeing how you do yours!

 

 

Its nice to see someone elses approach to what is a rather fiddly job. I especially like how you have got the balance weight thingy to work too.

 

Thanks Julia. I will agree it is quite fiddly, as the many attempts will testify. The solution to the balance weight is quite simple really as its how the real ones work. I'm not sure that I will be able to make both of the balance weights move on the double disks that we require.

 

 

That has amply illustrated why I will have to use dummy ground signals, I can barely see the finished items, let alone make them work!

 

DevonDynosoar,

 

I wouldn't be put off, This is the first soldering I have done for an few years. Its not too difficult to get it working, if needs be you could try to mechanize and then convert to an static if you can't get it to work.

 

 

That's looking nice. I was thinking of attempting to build some of these myself.

 

Cheers Jeremy,

 

I would recommend it, It is satisfying to know that they work, even if no one watching actually notices. PM will be sent dreckly about the Par piccies.

 

 

Glad to see you are going to have some proper trains ;) Don't forget the Dapol FGW 153

 

Although technically not in our period, they are very nice models none the less, (and impressive in real life too!) Its funny you should mention the FGW 153...

 

 

This is fiddly enough in 4mm.

Fantastic effort.

 

Thanks Brightspark, Fiddly is our middle name. I do wonder if it affects our sanity at times.

 

Best Regards,

 

Chris

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  • RMweb Gold

:O :o

 

Excellent Chris...the shot with the penny really puts it in perspective.

 

I like the shot looking down on the warship too...the trackwork looks superb...

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Inspirational, I can't wait to see St Ruth at the N gauge show.

 

Thanks Will, Please make yourself known!

 

 

Very impressive. Really can't add to the positive comments that have gone before.

 

Thanks Ian.

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:O :o

 

Excellent Chris...the shot with the penny really puts it in perspective.

 

I like the shot looking down on the warship too...the trackwork looks superb...

 

 

Sorry Pete, missed that one!

 

I'm glad that you approve of the disks. There should be some further words on the warship appearing soon!

 

Best regards,

 

Chris.

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