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When ignorance is not always bliss and improvisation has its cost

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A bit more

Below there is a number of photos showing different stages of construction.         A modification to the layout not mentioned above was to lengthen two of the sidings. The two straight sidings at the top station (looking at the plan as reproduced above) were too short to accommodate a locomotive and three coaches, either the locomotive or the end coach remained over the points, so I made them curved and made a curved platform for them from balsa wood.   As said above, I had i

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A bit more

In spite of what I said in my last contribution, I have spent more time and money, albeit only about ?5, on the layout. I bought some cork 3 mm thick and balsa wood 1 mm thick to equal the core thickness of the foam underlay (because I could not find cork 4 mm thick and didn't want to go traipsing round the whole area) and re-laid three turnouts. Since I than had problems to settle a long straight in the grooves of the foam underlay, I finally removed about one yard of foam and replaced it with

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A short update

Good evening fellow members and guests:   As the sixth anniversary of the start of my layout is fast approaching and the seventh may even come before it is finally finished, I have decided to show some photographs, namely:         In them you can see my two DMU's. After exchanging information and advice elsewhere on this web. I came to the conclusion that, from the DCC angle, my layout was at least acceptable and so I had a go at playing trains with these DMU's running simultaneous

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Just plodding along

I sometimes wonder if what I post is of interest to anybody but me. Some people are building kits, others are making attractive dioramas, etc. but I am doing nothing of that. When I think I am getting somewhere another hitch occurs. At the beginning of summer, after a couple of weeks of hectic work to install the new operating system for my point motors I found that one of them did not switch, Since prior to doing the final wiring I had tested the motors one by one and they had worked, my conclu

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Another type of modelling

It has been over three weeks since I have been able to lower the layout from the garage ceiling since the floor has been, and still is, occupied with Christmas material. Firstly, it was the boxes containing the Christmas decorations, then it was the boxes containing 37 5-litre bottles of olive oil (we buy first press virgin olive oil for all the family and friends for the whole year direct from the mill) and, after the oil had been delivered to its destinations, the floor was filled with boxes o

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Two steps forward, one backwards

Hello again. After an exchange of comments and receiving good advice from fellow members concerning DCC track wiring and a few trials, I came to the conclusion that my wiring, albeit not perfect, was not bad and that certain anomalies observed with certain vehicles were due to the vehicles and not to the track wiring. Then, when one problem seemed solved, a new one arose. My whole point activation system (analogue) went dead. In view of the way the system is wired, it was obvious that the fault

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Plodding on and still learning the hard way

I have been writing up this contribution bit by bit for nearly a month now (editing as and when necessary), but since progress has been slow for various reasons, not all related to the layout itself, I have decided to make a post. I am an assiduous reader of almost all of the blogs and, while it is no great consolation, it is encouraging to see that more experienced modellers make mistakes and confess them. Since I am basically optimistic I refuse to give up unless I am absolutely forced to and

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Last minute snag

Evening all: This morning I had high hopes that to-day would see the finish of work on the underside of the baseboard. But there is still one problem bugging me. I can't get the station lights to work properly. My street lighting works, the yard lights work, but not the station lights. The funny thing is that if I apply the current from what should be the head end of the wiring there is no response, but if I apply current from the tail end, then they do light up. So, the obvious solution is to

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Just expressing my feelings

Hi all again! Since I can’t make any positive movement forward on my layout, I feel I must let off steam with this note. I have a list of jobs to be done: 1. Improve the lighting in the garage, not only for better illumination of the layout, but also for all uses of the garage. 2. I have to replace four pulleys of the hoisting system which do not rotate when the baseboard is being lowered or raised. Fortunately the cords used are Kevlar mountaineering cord which seems to resist the friction a

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Christmas Greetings

Nothing new on the modelling front. Just to send my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all members and particularly to those who have the patience and good will to respond to my questions on the Forums. I hope to be able to make some positive progress in the New Year.

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Assessing the "earthquake" damage

In my last post I said that my layout had suffered something comparable to an earthquake. Yesterday I managed to have it lifted off the floor and placed on its trestles and set about assessing the damage. One street lamp damaged, the station platform illumination does not come on, one station building had lost a chimney pot, some of the columns supporting the ramp up to the bridge had broken away from their bases, two under floor point motors had become disengaged from the track and one track jo

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Still repairing in the aftermath of the earthquake

In DCC Questions I raised a query concerning a possible PCB failure in my Class 108 DMU. As a result of the fall the decoder had developed faults, so I removed it and inserted a blanking plug and tried the vehicle with an analogue controller, with no success. I assumed that the PCB might be damaged and dismantled the power car to the extent of even removing the motor from its support. When tested it worked so a number of further tests as recommended on the Forum led me to suspect that the blanki

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Water Tower

Helo again. My layout is based on a track plan from the 1975 Hornby catalogue and does not contain a water tower and, from the range of accessories illustrated in the catalogue, it does not appear that any was available. The front cover of te catalogue, which is a colour photograph of this same plan, shows an engine shed and steam locomotives, so water would have been required. Some time back, I purchased a Peco Water tower and, when placed on the baseboard, it seemed very low. So, I made a base

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Ballasting

Since I relaid the whole track using cork underlay instead of the previous foam underlay I have been faced with the problem of decent ballasting. Since, for reasons explained in previous posts, I used a 5 mm thick cork, I now have the problem of how to disguise this steep step. I tried gluing 7 mm wide cardboard strips at an angle to form a hypotenuse and, in some places it seems o.k. but in others not because I did not get the ballast to stick properly. Finally, I decided to glue a twine in the

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Where ignorance is not always bliss and improvisation has its cost

Background:   I am a GB expat, born in 1933 and have lived practically two thirds of my life outside the UK. My first memories of railway modelling go back to pre-1939 when I seem to remember an O gauge set up on top of the table with the rails plugged in direct to the mains and the locos had rods sticking out from the cab to control them. My father said you had to be careful not to get an electric shock. The next memories date to the 1942-3 period when I was invited with a distant cousin by

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Hope renewed

I have decided to add a new piece to my blog although, after reading all the blogs where people build all their own stuff I get the impression that, in football terms, you all are in the Premier League and I am low down in a half-holiday league (if such thing still exists).   However, being no angel, I will rush in. I want to update my DCC equipment but I can't make the investment until it is reasonably possible to play trains with what I have got and it seemed that the track was still full of

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A short holiday

Just got back from a fortnight's holiday in the Department du Lot (France) where, among other great sites, we visited a Heritage Railway (if that's what they are called) that runs on a disused line from Martel to St. Denis. Among their items there is a locomotive built way back in 1887 and which was in service until the 1970's. There are a few photos below. The coaches (?) were open, unsprung I believe, the flooring seemed to be old sleepers and the seating was wooden, recovered from old French

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Some success at last

It’s been some time now that I have been itching to update my blog. A few months ago I said that I had successfully digitized my old Wrenn City Class locomotive (though for some unknown reason I can’t locate the post now). This was true only in part. I did get it to run, but it only ran for a few feet (or should I say decimeters) and then stopped. The final result was that I spoilt two decoders. Then, when I tried to put it back into DC status further problems arose. An exchange of comments on t

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Hallelujah

Hi all! I think to-day that I can safely say, after nearly seven years, that work on the underside of my baseboard is finished. There is one detail that I cannot finish for the time being. It is a motor that requires AC and, since I have converted everything else to DC, it will not work. Perhaps when I can purchase a new, more complete controller than my current start set. The turnouts all work and the lights also. Since I had reformed the dropper wiring I tested a locomotive, which also worked

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Still alive

Hi all! Between my last post and this there have been five heart blocks and a pace maker. Fortunately for me, the last block, which lasted nine seconds, occurred when I was in bed in hospital, being monitored. Eight hours later, the pace maker was installed. Apart from this, I am struggling along with the ballasting of the track. I try to do a bit each day, but 20+ metres of track is a lot of track. Also, since I had ripped up the foam underlay and used cork, since the cork portions were hand cr

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I am still alive, in spite of all.

I have just realIised that six months have passed since my last post and a lot of things (not all pleasant) have passed in the meantime. To be brief, In May I was rushed into hospital with a lung edema (lings full of blood) and was discharged a week later with a new addition, namely a stent. Then I had a couple of short visits (a few hours each time) for a nose hemorrhage and a heart block). On the pleasant side, there was a trip to the UK to visit relatives and old friends (in spite of my age a

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Slow progress

Good evening all. Since my last post modelling has been almost stopped. I had got to a stage where I had to wire up two new platform lampposts and two street lighting posts. This obviously meant working on the underside of the board, which is now a problem. My physical conditions no longer allow me to tip the board on edge like I could a couple of years ago to work upright. Working seated is not comfortable, but after a week turning the matter over in my mind, I decided to put into practice an i

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Slowly but surely(?)

Since a request was made for photographs of my progress, while I did say that there were no real visual changes, I have decided to show an overall view of the underside of my baseboard as of when it was upturned two or three weeks ago and a couple of scratchbuilt items, namely a Park Shelter and a Bus Shelter. The Park Shelter was originally intended to be the Bus Shelter, but it turned out too rustic so I built another one. The Park Shelter has suffered vandalism (actually to avoid overbalancin

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Frustration!

As mentioned on other occasions I have problems with my Hornby 2-6-4 Stanier tank 4MT Class 4p. It just refuses to perform correctly. I have yet to be able to use it for hauling the three coaches I bought for it last year. I have managed to get it to circulate at low speed but once I up the speed a little it derails here, if not here, then there and if not there, elsewhere. I have other rolling stock that offers no problems. I have spent all this afternoon checking cambers, I ripper up part of t

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Frustration again

Just a short note to vent my new frustration. After an exchange of comments and receiving good advice from fellow members concerning DCC track wiring and a few trials, I came to the conclusion that my wiring, albeit not perfect, was not bad and that certain anomalies observed with certain vehicles were due to the vehicles and not to the track wiring. Then, when one problem seemed solved, a new one arose. My whole point activation system (analogue) went dead. In view of the way the system is wire

petertg

petertg

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