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When ignorance is not always bliss and improvisation has its cost

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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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Progress(?) report

What is progress? Is it having more on your board than you had before or is it that some things that didn’t work well now work a bit better? I had to replace a surface mounted point motor. Previously all units had passed well, albeit by a hair’s breadth. After replacement I discovered that the non-powered driver car of my push-pull double deck commuter rake (the first double deck units introduced by RENFE prior to the genuine EMUs) was hitting the motor. The point in question is situated right

petertg

petertg

 

Progress(?) report

What is progress? Is it having more on your board than you had before or is it that some things that didn’t work well now work a bit better? I had to replace a surface mounted point motor. Previously all units had passed well, albeit by a hair’s breadth. After replacement I discovered that the non-powered driver car of my push-pull double deck commuter rake (the first double deck units introduced by RENFE prior to the genuine EMUs) was hitting the motor. The point in question is situated right

petertg

petertg

 

One step forwards, more backwards

I have been hanging on since my last contribution hoping to be able to report some real progress but, far from that, I have to report regress (i.e. retrogression). I have mentioned elsewhere my problem with arthritic fingers and the risk of hitting the wrong lever of the passing switches for the point motors, with the risk of damaging the motors. I replaced two damaged motors and, furthermore, installed pushbutton switches. These are supposed to give feedback information via leds but do not do s

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petertg

 

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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petertg

 

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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petertg

 

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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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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petertg

 

Feeling a bit like a fool

I have done a bit more work on my layout. I finally obtained the new tips for my soldering iron, together with some decent solder. I managed successfully to solder some droppers direct to the track without making a mess of it and fixed the loose track back again to the base. I also replaced some previously installed droppers (which were relatively thick cable and connected to an elevated portion of the track) with some thinner wires which adapt themselves much better to the contour and in fact h

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petertg

 

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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petertg

 

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

 

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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petertg

 

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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petertg

 

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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petertg

 

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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petertg

 

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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petertg

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