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  1. Thank you very much for the information And fantastic layout! Spent quite a while watching it at Warley and loved watching the trains roll past; it was so nice to see a large layout with something actually moving pretty much all of the time (surprising how many layouts are beaitifully built and poorly operated...)! Very impressive
  2. I am very interested to see that you're using CCTV to monitor your layout as I'd like to do precisely the same thing on mine. Having done some research there seems to be an bewildering choice out there..! Please would you mind telling me who makes the system that you're using and where you acquired it? Many thanks! Ben
  3. It's true that using S&W requires a lot of investment in terms of time and learning how to fit build/fit them. And of course, most stock these days have NEM pockets, so fitting Kadees is a doddle. But I think their overall apperance makes the effort worth it, especially as the locomotives only need a simple bar, which means all of the buffer detailing can be added. As for only only facing one way, you can fit a coupling bar at both ends, so that's not an issue, although it is essential to use a jig to build the couplers to ensure that all couplings have the same spacing. Finally, there is some flexibiulity to make the stock close coupled, depending on the radius of your curves; again, a jig helps here. So overall, if you have the time, I would recommend S&W as I think they give very good performance and look great, but otherwise, Kadees are very effective and quick. The only thing to be aware of with Kadees is that the type and mounting the magets is absolutely essential to get right, so I would recommend the technique that I found worked for me earlier in this thread using a shortened Kadee magnet. Cheers, Ben
  4. Hi, Yes, I meant angle grinder, not axle grinder! I've actually now gone away from using Kadees completely now, and use Sprat and Winkle couplings supplied by Wizard Models as I feel they give a better appearance for UK stock, although of course they do require a lot more work to construct and fit. Cheers, Ben
  5. Well, having altered some of the options, the problem seems to have sorted itself and I now only see one entry per unread topic. If I figure out what I changed to make it work, I'll let you know!
  6. What has happened to the old "Content I Follow"...?! I know there is a new "stream" of the same name but I just want to see a list of the topics with unread content and then go to the first unread post in that topic. It seems now that I have to scroll the entire list of unread posts to find the first unread one in any given topic, which is ludicrous. Please, reinstate the old "Content I Follow" view or tell me how to find it!
  7. Many thanks for your reply! I did notice there were variants that do not have LocoNet. I am also interested in using RR-CirKits SignalMan controllers for the signals, which is also compatible with LocoNet, so I am now heavily leaning towards DigiTrax as the main manufacturers' own-brand block occupancy detectors do seem to be rather expensive... I look forward to reading about how you get on with them. On a different note, I grew up Oxford and went through Banbury on numerous occasions on my way to Wales via Birmingham, so your layout invokes a lot of memories; a terrific reproduction of the real place! Ben
  8. Hi, This is very interesting so a question if you don't mind... I am planning a large American HO DCC-controlled layout and block detection will be a key element of it. I've just sold my old Lenz system; it gave good service for many years but with their updated versions, it seemed like a good time to upgrade. However, before I purchase a replacement, I'd like to evaluate some different systems. So, my question is this... I've looked at the specification for the Digikejis block detection unit that you're using and it makes reference to "L-Net" and "LocoNet". Is the same as Digitrax LocoNet? It is not explicitly mentioned but I can't see that they would use the same name if it was not compatible... Sorry if this is a daft question! Many thanks, Ben
  9. My thanks to everybody who has replied to my question. I'm pleased to say that I now have a working solution to this problem that is actually very simple... Using 40-something's suggestion of a strip of Neodymium magnets laid between the sleepers as inspiration, it seemed to me that the whole problem was that the Kadee uncoupling magnet as supplied is too long and that by reducing it in length, uncoupling could still be achieved without the axles being attracted to the magnet itself. So, using an axle grinder, I cut the magnet and steel plate into three bits; one 10mm, one 15mm, and the last is whatever was left (just over 20mm). This allowed me to experiment and what I have found is that the 15mm one works perfectly. Here it is under some test track: And by simply moving a couple of Kadee-fitted vehicles over it by hand, I found that uncoupling would very well without the wheels beig attracted to the magnet. This is obviously hard to show in pictures but the following should (hopefully) so that the magnet does indeed work: There we have it! I hope this little investigation may prove useful to somebody else... Cheers, Ben
  10. Hi, Thanks again to everybody for replying. Thank for you for this. It is interesting to see that you are also using Neodymium magnets, although in a different way to the other posts I have found. I have already taken delivery of some 4mm radius x 1mm deep magnets and have tried glueing them to the tops of the sleepers; unfortunately, whilst this works, it is not reliable. However, it seems that you have had much more success mounting them between sleepers, so that is what I will try next... I do have a question though... You write in your blog "Each strip must be mounted with opposing poles to allow the couplings to move in operate directions"... Are the magnets marked with their poles? The ones I have here are simple silver discs, so I don't see how you can tell... Thanks again, Ben
  11. Hi everybody, Thanks for your feedback. That is indeed the problem. I have some Kadee wheelsets here and they are considerably smaller that the UK versions; see the image below (Kadee on the left, Alan Gibson on the right): It would seem that my options for replacement wheelsets are basically non-existent, which is both a surprise and a disappointment. Having researched a little further, it would seem that the real problem here is the length of the Kadee uncoupler (this includes the electromagnetic type; I have both types here); using a much smaller and precise magnet may completely avoid the problem. Here is a topic I found: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/323/entry-4982-kadees-and-magnets/ The author is using Neodymium magnets, which are much smaller and therefore, the problem of the axles being attracted to them may be avoided. They are cheaply available from a well-known auction website, so for less than £5, it is worth experimenting. Does anybody reading this have any experiences using these or similar magnets? Cheers, Ben
  12. Hi, I am currently in the planning stages of a 4mm layout BR layout, having previously built an American HO shunting layout. On that American layout, I used Kadee couplers and under-the-track magnets for hands-free uncoupling. I would like to replicate this on my new UK layout, as all of my rolling stock is relatively new with NEM coupler pockets, so installation is a doddle. However, I have a problem... Most HO stock comes with poor quality wheelsets with steel axles and plastic wheels. This is easily resolved with replacement Kadee wheelsets, which not only dramatically improve running but crucially, are non-magnetic. Likewise, all of my UK stock has metallic wheelsets, which means that they are attracted to the magnets and makes uncoupling impossible. I have tried in vain to find a supplier of non-magnetic wheelsets for use with UK rolling stock; even inquiring at the Alan Gibson stand at the Warley show drew a blank. I know that a number of layouts use Kadee couplers or other forms of magnetic uncouplers, so how do others solve this problem? Surely there is somebody, somewhere who produces high-quality, non-magnetic wheelsets for UK rolling stock? Or is there another solution (for example, using much smaller magnetics)? Please help! TIA, Ben
  13. Hi David, Wish I had but afraid I'm far too young and only moved to this part of the world two years ago...(!) No, just very interested in what Anthony is building. Ben
  14. Hi Anthony, I quite agree with David. I live near Caernarfon and visit Bangor station regularly as my wife commutes to London, so am following your developments with interest and anticipation. Keep up the good work! Regards, Ben
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