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Past and future moddeling at a slow speed

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Major milestone reached- The Main lines are laid

I have now reached a major milestone. It has taken me almost two and a half years. The main lines are now laid and ballasted. Apart from the points which need to be tested thoroughly before painting and ballasting. This means I can for the first time since I was a teenager, watch a train go round and round. Actually, this is not quite true because not all the points and dropper wires are attached under the baseboard. But we’re close and it all works by finger power.     At the moment there

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Control Panel part three

I have written quite a lot about the trial and tribulations of building my control panel. But I think I have finally arrived at a version that both looks good and seems to work as it should. It ended being built in three sections. The bottom green panel is for a fiddle yard that I have not yet started making as I am waiting to see what clever options arrive for setting routes via the cobalt alpha system. I know something is on the way. but not yet whether it is something I can work out how to us

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Post summer status

Here is an update. In the last six months there has not been a lot of time for modelling, and to be honest there seems to have been a lot of wasted time, as the learning curve for motorising and laying of hand-built points has been steep. There has been far too much ‘two steps forwards and 1.9 steps back’. This has made it hard for me to keep up interest. But I hope I have reached a tipping point. I have decided that this post will focus on the things I have learned in that hope that others can

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Control panel part 2

The first section of the control panel that replaces the old one for the Hatch branch from the old layout is now complete. I have now drilled holes and fitted bezels and switch’s, wiring, and plugged it in to the DCC systems control bus, added power... and nothing happened. After a detailed read of the instructions, as an experiment I moved the power switch from ‘off’ to ‘on’. This has a major effect on the performance (an important tip to others). All the points worked and every single one of

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Control panel part one

One of my mistakes with the original control panel was that It looked awful from the front and had wiring where you expected to see two dogs end up chewing the same wire accompanied by accordion music on the back. This time I wanted to do things better. I used AnyRail to make a mimic diagram which I then printed and laminated. Then I watched DCC Concepts’ youtube videos on how to build a mimic diagram. And I started again! This time I fired up my old InDesign DTP program, imported the black and

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Baseboards:- CHECK!

Finally after two years! all the baseboards are now finished. Including the open frame boards that now have all the track beds in place. As I said many months ago I decided to go for a lightweight design. Using extruded 5cm thick floor insulating foam to give strength. This gave me an more than four feet long baseboard that is so stiff that it carries my 75+Kgs without bending with just a trestle at each end, but it weighs less than 4Kg including the support for the trestles.   As you can see

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Back to where we were

I feel I have reached a mile stone. I had to rip all the wiring out of the existing baseboards because it looked like this. As there is now going to be a low-level storage yard. There was a clear need to improve the wiring. I have now finished rewiring the Hatch and it now looks like this. There is a four pin XLR connecter socket and cable between each base board. I built a test control panel that consists of a four-pin socket, A four pin plug and a 9-volt dc supply to the track to test polar

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Normal service is resumed.

Wow almost six months since the last post, it’s just as well I’m not doing this for a living. As always, I seem to be dividing what little time I have to several different fronts of the project Baseboards are now almost finished I have tested that the storage yard boards fit under the existing Hatch branch line. And the solution seems to work ok. There will be enough space to get for ‘hand of god operations, but not really enough to do train assembly operations. The main open frame boards are m

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A break from normal service

In my last post you have noticed that I was a bit despondent after discovering that what I thought were operational points only worked as long as you did not use any locomotives on them. I decided to take a break and tackle something else. I had already plans to paint the ghastly orange coloured walls. But to be honest painting them was not enough. As the rest of our upstairs was renovated a few years back. We decided to do the same thing in the hobby room. So it has gone from looking like this,

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Two steps forwards and one back

After an uncharacteristic burst of optimism, my base line pessimism has reasserted itself. I have built three points and tested them by running a couple of trucks through them by finger power and I was really pleased. I tried doing the same thing with a coach, again no problems. But then I tried to push through a locomotive (my Bachmann Prairie tank) and it got stuck. I tried another 0-6-0 loco and it had the same problem. I have checked the Back to back measurements and they are fine, and the s

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Decisions, decisions!

Now that point building is underway and baseboards are almost complete. It is almost time to destroy about a third of what I have already built ☹. A shame but it has to go to make space for Chard junction. Hatch was built as an end to end with a three track fiddle yard at each end. The fiddle yard at the right-hand end will now be replaced by the branch line platforms of Chard Junction. Here are a few of pictures that show what is about to be demolished. The new 10 lane fiddle yard for the doub

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My first handbuilt point is finished!

The cosmetics leave something to do better next time. But it is a point and it works. I have tested by running a wagon and a coach through it. The soldering could be cleaned up a bit, but I'm not taking any chances of unsoldering it.

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It DOES fit in the space

Hurrah! As I wrote yesterday. I now have a plotter full size version of my plan. I was concerned that it would not fit. But it does, even allowing for the sloping ceiling   Now all I need to do is build it.

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looking promising

This time I am not going to start my post by saying it’s a long time since… Those who do follow this blog will be used to that, those who don’t’, won’t care anyway. It’s winter, there is a lot of influenza about, and the day job is taking a lot of time due to a major reform in the Danish unemployment system. (I work as system administrator/ consultant in this area). But this weekend I managed to fit in a trip to Copenhagen to my tame guru Richard. My last post was about a D6 point that I started

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Pointless?

It has been a long time since my last post. This is not just because I’m busy with other duties. It’s also because I did not want to write while in the depths of despair! I finally took the model railway rite of passage and tried to build my first point. My long suffering friend Richard, who as a highly competent school teacher is used to dealing with ‘special case’ pupils undertook to teach me the black art of bending rails and filing vee’s It stated off well. I calibrated my printer and printe

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Time for an update

Time for an update. The first couple of baseboards are complete. I wanted to build light but strong boards, and as this picture shows it has worked. The board that is supporting my weight (about 75 Kg, honest), weighs by itself lrss than 3,5 Kg. As you can see from the underside there is space left at each end. it is here that the toggle clamp catches and dowels will be fitted, there is also space to put connecting blocks and such like. The whole construction is glued there is not a single sc

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... and we're off and running

In what is for me record time only a week from my last post, I have finally started building the first baseboard for chard junction. I ended up with the following baseboards. And decided to start with the only square one. My birthday present does an excellent job og cutting both the plywood and the XPS foam without too much dust. In fact, I was amazed at how little dust came from the XPS.   According to all the books the dogma is ‘measure twice, cut once’. I’m much more of a measure ‘three t

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Ready steady go!

There are now two large pieces of plywood (9mm and 5 mm) and about 5 m2 of extruded foam blocking the landing upstairs. I have bought a saw blade appropriate, and after much mucking about I Templot AND Anyrail produced a plan for some baseboards that manage to avoid putting edges under any points. My teenage son has discovered the brand new bench saw and is champing at the bit to get building baseboards, so the only thing left to do is to clear some space, Oh dear. I will have to attack that

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Hattons delivers to Denmark in less than 36 hours!

The first pack of the new DCC track arrived today. Here are a few very bad pictures that compare it with Tillig elite and Hornby set track.   In case anyone is in doubt the DCC is at the top, the Tillig in the middle and the Hornby at the bottom. First impressions: well I love the sleepers distance which likes right to me ( I know it’s wrong Martin ) but I last travelled by train in the UK about 27 years ago so that’s my excuse. I have to say the Tillig track if you ignore the fact that it i

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Quick update on templot progress

We are getting there.   A quick concentrated burst of energy and the Easyrail design is now Templotized:   Major differences between the Anyrail version and the Templot one is that the track centres are reduced fra the Tillig standard (59mm) to 50 mm. The whole of the main line section is now on a gentle curve of about 43' in radius :-) Which is still sharper than in reality. The main line curve was 70 chains, Which by my reckoning is about 60' in 4mm to a foot. The whole of the branch stat

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…and why not?

About five months since my last post. I am glad that I have waited. The new DCC concepts track is on the way. Indeed, the flex track has arrived and all the pictures I have seen make it look really good. I have been trying to find a copy of the book ‘main line to the west part 3’ which is like gold dust according to others on this forum, but there I was ‘panning away’ on google and lo and behold I found a gold nugget! It on sale for £30. It arrived yesterday and has more than doubled the number

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...and then again...

Hmm. Since I wrote my last post, there has been exciting news in the world of OO gauge. The sleeping giant from Devon has announced ‘proper’ OO gauge track, possibly with points, and both Joseph Pestell and DCC concepts seem to be about to produce some points as well. This plus that I saw my friend’s newest hand built points again, and I weakened. He is even tempting me by doing the offering to do the Templot work for me! So having made up my mind, I am going to claim the prerogative normally u

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... on the other hand

I have just come back from driving 200 miles in the snow from Copenhagen, where I stayed with my friend who has started building track in OO-SF. I am frankly staggered by how good it looks and how smooooooth the points feel when running wagons through them. I like Tillig track, but his third attempt at a point is in a completely different league. It’s like comparing a BMW 3 series to a Bentley. He reckons that I could do the same, but I don’t know, My normal measurement system when doing anythi

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Get thee behind me...

Happy new year everyone. Richard my friend from Copenhagen was here for new year’s eve as usual. In Denmark it's a big thing to celebrate it with friends, Lots of food, drink, and fireworks until about 3.30 in the morning, and after a couple of Irish coffees, he was persuading me to change from Tillig track to hand built track. He’s just built his couple of points in OO 4-SF or something like that. They look brilliant, and I do like the proper sleeper spacing. To quote a certain TV presenter ”Ho

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What next

As I wrote at the end of my last post, I’m feeling the itch to move on to phase 2. This is a much more ambitious plan to model the end of the branch line at Chard junction where the line meets the mail line from London to Exeter. It is a very strange junction as you can see from this plan.     My idea is to retain the Model of hatch station and to build the new station on the other side of the room. One of the things that I have learnt that I miss is the ability to sit and watch the trains

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