I'm not sure how much more by way of constructional details I can give but here goes.
I started off by making the back of the fiddle yard from 6mm MDF. Two computer rack mount brackets were screwed to the wall. These were originally from Dell PowerEdge servers. If you find a friendly IT department they will probably have some spare as each server comes with new brackets but if you are replacing a server in a 19" rack the chances are there is a set in there already. You will probably find the
Over the last few months I've been working on a cunning plan to add interlocking to my lever frame. The frame itself is from the Shropshire and Herefordshire Area Group sold through the Scalefour stores. The frame is connected to a MERG CANACE3 circuit board so that each level generates a different event on the MERG CBUS. This means that the only thing coming out of the frame to the layout is the 12v and 0v power lines and the CANH and CANL data wires of the CAN bus.
This has been fitte
Over the last week I've been experimenting with my MERG CBUS components and JMRI with a view to producing a way to make a mechanical signal box frame which is interlocked and interfaced with a PC. The requirements I've set for myself are as follows:-
I want a mechanical lever frame, with proper chunky levers to pull. I've already build one from the Scalefour stores produced by the Shropshire & Herefordshire Area Group (######).
I want the frame to prevent me from setting conflicting
I thought folks might be interested in a couple of photographs of the new MERG CBUS based DCC system. This uses a CANBUS (originally developed for the automotive industry) to transmit the signals from the handset to the command station which then generates the completely standard DCC signals on the track. The advantage is that this is the same wiring bus as I using for controlling the rest of the layout using other MERG CBUS boards. Ultimately I should be able to run the whole layout with 6 to 8
Back in the early 90's I drove up into the wilds of the Fens and found a few remnants of the Wissington Railway. The photos came to light again as I was sorting out my drawers so I thought I'd share them.
Turning off the A10 north of Southery and you could still find the remains of rails in some of the concreted field entrances.
In other places you just had to imagine where the railway once went along the size of the drain.
Here the railway once ran between the concret
I thought I'd put up a few pictures of Empire Basin, my bit of East London in P4.
This is the view from the door to the spare room. The minimum radius is down to about 40". It is rather nice to sit on the PC while trains go round and round.
The fiddle yard is vertical but only 1 metre long. The unit moves on brackets designed for rack-mounting computers and is counter balanced by a large lump of MDF.
The Riceworks J65 sits on the loop with a brake van in f
The 1.5mm MDF I ordered arrived today, the 1mm was out of stock. 1.5mm is the same thickness as the width of a header in 4mm so this allows me to interlock the walls on the header joint. I deliberately drew the 'tab' of the header .2mm over length to get around the problem I had previously that the 'tab' was not quite long enough to lie flush with the 'slot' when the wall was put together.
I also cut a piece of the MDF to be a sanding jig. By putting the wall through the jig I could lig
I've made a lot of progress with the Ruston over the weekend. I decided to build the locomotive using 'split axles' for the pick-ups.I decide to try something new here and use the delrin gear as the space to keep the two parts of the axle aligned. The gears are about 8mm wide so each end of the axle is pushed into the gear by about 4mm. A little circle punched from a piece of thin paper is enough to keep the ends electrically separate and the whole lot is flooded with loctite so hopefully it won
I was luck enough to have the opportunity to get hold of a pile of original Airfix 16 ton mineral wagons. Nice little kits which are worth a bit of work to bring up to modern standards. The price seems quite reasonable too!
I wanted to use Bill Bedford sprung W-irons so first thing was to remove the plastic W-irons to just leave the spring and axle boxes. i was actually surprised that this wasn't more difficult than it proved to be. I started off with a razor saw and then finished off w
Great to have RMweb back after the Christmas downtime - thanks to Andy for seeing it through.
I decided that I needed to redo the control for the lower section of Empire Basin to use servos. This is partly because I was unhappy with my attempts at wire-in-tube and the rather lashed up linkages I'd made which didn't work very well and partly because I wanted to have a test bed to demonstrate the use of servos for point control.
I needed to make a proper drive mechanism for the point blade
Over the last few weeks I've been drawing up a laser cutting drawing for a Great Eastern Railway '1865' style building. These were built on several lines including the Stour valley line, conveniently these came in three sizes, small, medium and large. The Great Eastern Railway society publish some plans of the small version Takeley and an ancient April 1986 copy of Practical Model Railways has drawings of the Medium taken from Lavenham.
I've decided to try this as an experiment on cutting us
Over the last week or so I've been inspired by an article in the MERG magazine to have a go with an Arduino. These little micro-controllers are ridiculously cheap and can be programmed to do all kinds of things. I've chosen to control a couple of stepper motors to make a pair of level crossing gates.
As requested a few more pictures of Fen End Pit.
The drag line is scratch built based on plans from a Ruston Bucyrus works manual I was given by a friend.
First up a view of the entrance to the works as a Simplex 40S arrives with a train of sand from the pit.
This is a view of the entire unloading end showing the tipping dock, unloading conveyor and the storage silos.
And finally a shot of the unloading hopper with a skip just tipped.
Hope you like them.
A Bank holiday seemed like a good time to do a bit of building work and finish off the roof of the big warehouse behind the viaduct. The Brassmasters etchings made the northlight units quite rigid though cutting them all to a different length to match the profile of the backscene was a bit of a faff. I had decided that one end of the building would house the lift shaft so this got a block house on top to house the lift mechanism.
From track level the building now looks quite impressive.
My model of Thaxted water tower is coming on nicely. As I commented in my last blog I cut a base for the tank from 3mm acrylic (an alarming orange colour) and a pair of formers from transparent acrylic. A piece of brass the right height was then folded around the formers and stuck on with epoxy.
I think the painting was much more successful than previous attempts. I had sealed the MDF with an MDF sealing paint and then sprayed on two coats of red oxide primer, leaving a good bit of drying ti
Friday night saw the ends of the Wickham trolley assembled and then Saturday saw the roof bent to shape and the parts soldered together. At the moment everything is just resting together but you get the general idea. The wires sticking out the front are to the motor.
The plan is to stick a DCC chip under the roof and run the four wires up the each of the corner posts, the power from the track up the rear posts and the drive back to the motor down the front ones. The seats were mighty fi
*This is the standing joke in my house when model railways become just too difficult.
I'm in the dumps as no matter what I try I just can't get a brick finish I'm happy with, I can see now why I stuck to using Scalescenes for so long, I just can't paint brickwork.
The desk is covered with dozens of little laser cut test sheds which are going to end up in the bin very soon at this rate.
I've tried painting a brick colour in Enamel and using an Acrylic to run the mortar into the c
I made a start on the etched chassis for the Slater's simplex. The etch is quite thick material so a little filing needed to remove tabs and cusp. Very pleased with how well the parts fitted. A fair amount of heat was needed to get the solder to flow but the resulting chassis is strong and square.
The horn guides are cleverly made from the etched parts and form a slot which allows the horn block to move vertically. Again the fit the very good just requiring a few strokes with a file to
When Hornby announced that they were producing a J15 I was very happy. A favourite locomotive read-to-run and an excuse to get a second to go along side my kit build model Alan Gibson.
Edit 16/8/19 - Work on the J15 EasiChas has now made progress see later blog entry here https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/entry/22523-j15-chassis-kit-design/
Initial inspection gave the impression of a nicely made model but the more I looked at it the more I fe
I spent a few hours today fitting the TOUs and servos which I built yesterday. I'm hoping a step by step guide might be useful to some people.
The first step is to drill the holes which the TOU will go through to connect to the switch blades. If you are sensible and have planned ahead you will of course have drilled these before you stuck the point down or at least before you fitted the rails! However all is not lost as you can carefully drill a couple of pilot holes in the right place about
Our modelling day in Sawston today gave the Ruston LBT its first outing on Fen End Pit. I was really pleased with how it looked and performed. We had an excellent day meeting up with old friends and making new ones, everything this hobby should be about!
Now I still to remember who does a decent 16mm scale driver to put in it.
and finally one of the dragline.
I realized that the spring on the lever was effectively duplicating the one in the micro-switch so in the best traditions of trying to keep things simple I tried to build a version which doesn't bother using it. The revised lever arrangement is a bit simpler but it takes a little bit of adjustment to:-
get the springing in the lever right,
the micro-switch to change correctly as the catch handle is pulled and also
the screw which fastens the attachment to the lever not to foul the mic
The last few days work means that the goods warehouse to the rear of the layout is pretty much finished with the exception of some weathering, downpipes, ground cover etc. etc.
From viaduct level you get a good view of the entrance which has some detail inside with loading platform, some internal walls and various notice boards cut from the Scalescenes goods shed kit. I'm wondering about the area around the signal box. I'd originally thought about adding a water tower into the scene but
Yes, I did get my spelling right and mean braking not breaking.
The Binnie Engineering Hudson Tipper wagon is a staple of 16mm narrow gauge model railways. Understandably Fen End Pit has quite a few and one of them was converted many years ago to have brake standard to give a little variation. I'd often thought about converting a couple more to give one braked wagon per train of skips but never got around to it.
I decided that this might be a good challenge for my new 3D printer so
Taking on-board the advice from KH1 and Middlepeak I had some further goes at the brickwork on the building. Running in some very dilute acrylic white into the mortar joints worked well and then I tried just lifting the colour of the bricks using some Derwent graphic pencils. Using a couple of different colours on the brick red gets quite a nice subtle variation in my view and I hope I've toned down the quions to slightly better grey-yellow of the Cambridge white bricks.