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  1. I've signed up. They have already sent me their Association Handbook and two copies of their quarterly journal. This looks good to me - something to put on the back burner, to design and re-design while I continue my H0 project. Which is now into its fifth year, and ought to be looking much more finished-off than it is. - Richard.
  2. I can keep an eye out but right now there is only one example on the UK eBay site, at an eye-watering £208 including postage. Please, what are the dimensions - wheelbase and wheel diameters? - Richard.
  3. Well - it has occurred to me, I could connect a 5.5n3 layout into the middle of my present H0 scheme, and use the narrow gauge part as a fiddle yard for the standard gauge and vice versa. I think it would do me good to try a project in a larger scale. I really did struggle with those railings on the chemical plant and maybe moving up a few sizes would let me show to myself what I can ever hope to achieve in terms of detail, and get a sense of proportion on what I can tackle in H0. - Richard.
  4. I am hopeful, most of the information pertinent to chassis is in the first post. I give it an update when something new turns up. So really if this topic drifts off I expect it is a good thing. £10 a year for the 5.5 mm Association looks like a bargain. - Richard.
  5. Surely we are allowed to go off-topic when we are showing models we have made? I think this really looks the part. You have sent me off to the Internet reading up on 5.5 mm scale, I imagined it was all history but it looks like a really nice size to work in. And you can run the trains on 16.5 mm gauge track, so as an experiment in model-making you don't need to build a layout. Have you got a link to your 5.5 mm project? - Richard.
  6. There is a version of the Electrotren model with a saddletank body and this fits into the British outline. So I think the chassis is worth remembering, even if it for only a relatively large engine. I do like the idea of a 5.5mm scale project ... were you modelling a 3ft gauge line or did you change the chassis for an N gauge one? - Richard.
  7. I have built a switch panel to let me use the memory functions in the servo controller board, and this panel has a write-up on my blog: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/entry/23872-route-setting-panel-for-megapoints-servo-controller/ Operationally I am not sure whether this panel should be located on Shelf Marshes or several yards away on the fiddle yard. Technically, if I added a transistor to drive the LED and reduce the current taken from the servo controller, I could have a second identical panel wired in parallel with the first and with LED indicators at both. - Richard.
  8. The MegaPoints servo controller has three memories to provide for simple route setting. I have built a small switch panel to let me use this functionality. Operation of the memories uses push buttons (to be provided by the modeller) with visual confirmation from an LED mounted on the servo controller. To my mind, any kind of reasonably ergonomic operation needs sight of the LED, so I modified the servo controller to drive a new LED beside the push buttons. This probably voids the warranty but I think the modification makes the project worthwhile. The on-board LED is the one labelled MODE and it has a dedicated voltage-drop resistor marked 1001 meaning 10k ohm: When this LED is lit, the voltage drop across its resistor measures 2.6 volts, suggesting a current of 2.6 mA. I cannot work out for certain what is driving this LED but it might be the CMOS octal register nearby - such a device could sink 4 mA on one of its outputs. It seems prudent to leave the current consumption much the same (or less) so I disconnected the on-board LED by lifting one end of its 10k resistor. This is easier than trying to lift the LED, and the resistor is still there if I ever want to put it back. I bought a high-efficiency LED and connected this (with a new 10k resistor) to the two 'via' holes beside the on-board LED: I rather like these servo-style connectors. If you plug the mating connector in the wrong way round, you just swap it around to make the LED light up. I put the new resistor on my switch panel, beside the new LED. My switch panel is a scrap of Veroboard with four pcb mounted switches. These are momentary action switches. When you push a switch, it connects the pair of pins on its left (always the common on my board) to the pair of pins on its right. The copper strips are running vertically in this photo, and the connections from the switches are fairly easy to understand: For operation, you set up a route on the servo controller and then press and hold a 'route' button until the LED flashes three times and goes off. This response from the LED shows the route is stored in the memory. You can then proceed to operate the layout as normal, using the servos to set a different route. A short press on the same button recalls the memory, sets the servos to suit, and causes the LED to light constantly. A short press on the reset button extinguishes the LED and restores normal operation of the servo controller. I am left-handed so I have indulged myself by putting the LED where I can see it when I press any button. I chose yellow for my LED because I prefer to keep red (as used for the on-board MODE LED) to show fault conditions. I can make myself some kind of escutcheon for this switch panel one day.
  9. I wonder if this little Jouef engine would be useful for its chassis? https://www.pierredominique.com/art-71273-locomotive-vapeur-030-sncf.html I like the distinct extra spacing between the rear axles. Experience with the Electrotren model suggests it is easy to remove the outside cylinders. Of course, if someone already has one of these I could add the details to the table. - Richard.
  10. At home, my frame will be resting on spur shelving brackets. I need to try to arrange two of the cross-wise sections to line up with these brackets. I can see a few options for legs for shows. At the moment my favoured method is four fairly short legs to let the layout stand on top of one of those 6 or 8 foot trestle tables. I might try a self-contained "leg assembly" built onto more square tubing, or try legs slotted into the frame. I was slightly shocked to see my parts are arriving on Monday. I was expecting a 12-day lead time. When they arrive I will feel duty-bound to do something with them and post something on RMweb! - Richard.
  11. 47137

    EBay madness

    I think he uses fiction in his listings to let them show up in popular searches. I was looking for H&M switch panels and found this monstrosity. Something I find hard to swallow is his 100% positive feedback. - Richard.
  12. Route setting The MegaPoints servo controller board has three memories to provide for simple route setting. You set the points (servos) to the route you want and then press and hold one of three buttons to store the route in memory. You can then continue to operate the layout as desired, changing the points from their levers (switches) to suit. Pushing the button again sets up the stored route and disables the point levers, and there is another button to release the memory and restore control from the point levers. Anyway, to try it out I needed more wiring and switches than I want to assemble together so I improvised with a breadboard and a load of wire links: The memory functions seem to work perfectly. I think this will be useful on a small layout like this - one route for through movements to/from the fiddle yard, one route for arrivals, and one route for the run-round loop. (The Arduino here has nothing to do with the circuit on test, it merely has a breadboard attached to its base) - Richard.
  13. Really, I want to build something much like the arrangement described by John Ahern in the 1950s (his book "Miniature Landscape Modelling"), but using a more stable material. Ideally I will build my baseboard, then lay the track whilst able to get all round it, and then attach the backscenes. As I write this, I'm wondering if the backscene boards should be held on with bolts and nuts instead of rivets to allow for future access. I expect things will become clearer when I have the bits in front of me. I don't really know how much I will need the backscene boards to hold the baseboard wholly rigid. I have a feeling the Combitech system would be ideal for a larger and permanent layout where speed of assembly is helpful and you have a wall or floor to bolt onto for extra rigidity. - Richard.
  14. I have the aluminium coming on a 12 day lead time and the ply base and backscene boards on 30 days. I might have to wait for the ply to work out exactly where every point motor is going before I firm up on the locations of the cross members of my frame. The Aluminium Warehouse claim "Your material will be cut with a high precision TCT blade, this removes 5mm of material on each cut. Your order will be cut to a standard tolerance of - 0mm/ + 1mm" and at 60p a cut this seems like a bargain to me. All I have to do is make the holes for the fixings - something like a 20mm cutter to get the nose of the pop rivet gun into the section, and then a 3mm hole for the rivet. I like the idea of pop rivets because they are aluminium and there won't be chemical reactions / corrosion arising from dissimilar materials. It would be interesting to know how the lab trolleys are held together. Edit: if anyone stumbles across this in the future, I am posting related notes on my layout topic at https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/152888-shelf-marshes-building-a-wee-puggie-line-in-187-scale/&do=findComment&comment=4033269 - Richard.
  15. I've placed an order for some 1" square aluminium tube from Aluminium Warehouse, cut to size for my project. I will be happier with my own joints instead of ready-made joining pieces, and this will give me greater flexibility for example if I want to add a diagonal brace or even build the layout skew to fit my skew-shaped alcove. I guess "Combitech" waits for another day. Many thanks for the link. - Richard.
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