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    Meccano, piano playing, wargames, RPGs, model railways.

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  1. There is a middle ground on files which is to run a Kickstarter-type campaign for them. Say you are offering a range of Caledonian wagon kits (hint hint). You have developed a series of files for them: some are just little tweaks on each other, some are very different from each other. You calculate how much would be a decent recompense and you set that as your funding goal. So perhaps £30 for the set of files, you want to sell a minimum of 300 packages, so you set a goal of £3000. When the target is reached, you will send the files to your customers. This seems to work for a number of fantasy miniature producers where it's just one or two people with a home-based cottage industry. Perhaps they have a bigger market. If so then perhaps you need an open-ended subscriber campaign so that you are prepared to wait six months before getting enough orders to make it worth your while. This is of course like some of the dealer campaigns for new locomotives where they are, in the first stages, testing interest. I do think people can be a bit precious about the sanctity of their files. The major producers of fantasy/wargaming terrain seem to be doing all right - I've never passed on the many files I've bought and I have never seen anybody offering them. The two biggest providers (Printable Scenery and Fat Dragon Games) have licensing systems to enable people to sell models on eBay or Etsy or tweaked and modified files via online sites such as DriveThruRPG.
  2. Memo to self: try to avoid humping 18mm plywood boards by yourself in future. Especially when trying to race against the threatened rain...
  3. Thanks! Nice to see it in colour. I spy some proud kilt-wearing enthusiasts standing on the signal platform!
  4. It's been a few weeks since I reported progress. During that time I've wrestled with DCC, not having used it before, and blown some old loco motors I was hoping to use. Old motors can be replaced, though, I hope. Also I've been focussed more on the workshop side, with a bench, some tools and sharpening gear and so on. I built a 4ft diameter test track for DC testing and I've laid cork for the fiddleyards and cut out on of the turntables with a router. So next up is to mount the turntable so it's level and moves smoothly. I may finally get to connect some cable at the weekend, but don't hold your breath! I am doing the fiddleyards first because I'm out of practise and they are more straightforward than the scenic area. Also I mean to use them for testing Sprat and Winkle couplings. As 26Power advises above, best to make sure I get on with them before committing to the arrangements on the scenic side. I also have to commit to point control. I'm inclined towards MegaPoints and their servo motor systems. It doesn't look as if the slow motor companies are going to have stock any time soon although I bet one could rig something up with those tiny Chinese geared motors.
  5. Excellent! Now I'm really going to have to work hard to keep up! Your plan looks good: you've got all the main features and I admire the way you've fought to get the overflow siding into the engine shed area. At 30" ruling radius (and a larger area) I couldn't manage it and keep the platform length I wanted, although if I can shave a few inches off there, I still might squeeze it in. I briefly considered a train stacker and felt similarly about my carpentry, although I was tempted to lash out on one of those digital jobs which require a second mortgage. Common sense reeled me in and I went for two side by side yards with end turntables and a linking road for a continuous run. It looks as if you too will need the arms of a gorilla to reach the loading banks on the far side of the goods shed. Are you going for automatic couplings?
  6. Old Hammant and Morgan controller. Tests fine on the multimeter.
  7. Sigh. I've built a test track, a circle of 4th radius set track on a nice solid frame. The Compound runs fine forwards but stutters going backwards. I fiddled with the blanking plate to no avail A previously unused (but quite old) tender driven 4F ran fine for half an hour forwards and then after one good lap in reverse the tender started smoking and now it won't run at all. I'm burning through locomotives just trying to test the little wretches on DC! (It's clearly not the track circuit which is very simple and in any case, ancient warhorses such as my GWR pannier and Bachmann Royal Scot ran in well both ways).
  8. Latest is that I'm putting together a DC test circle so I can properly run in the locos. Framing a 4' x 4' baseboard for it atm.
  9. I agree, it's probably coincidental - but confusing for a noob! It may be of course that I knocked something while fitting/unfitting the decoder and blank. That seems the most likely explanation.
  10. It's on DC with the blanking plug in place but it still has this graunchy sound coming from the loco when it runs in reverse - sweet as a nut forward though. It is much, much faster on DC (old H&M kit) and doesn't stop and start but powers on through while making its unpleasant noise, which I guess might be a pickup issue? I'll just note that the blanking plug sits in the tender with this model, I've never had the main loco open.
  11. It was running OK on DC before I fitted the decoder. Now it isn't running OK on either.
  12. I got an Ultrics multimeter and once I worked out which end was up and deciphered the Chinglish instructions, got a straight 14v AC reading off the tracks.
  13. Thanks for all the advice which did enable me to track down some mistakes - hadn't installed one decoder properly after all, and misunderstood some aspects of programming. I still have a mechanical issue with the 4-4-0 which has developed a stutter in reverse. It runs (but with a stutter) on DC but in the much slower DCC mode it grinds to a halt with a horrible ratchet sound as the motor, presumably, is spinning or trying to spin without engaging properly.
  14. Will try that in the morning, thanks.
  15. Multimeter on order. One of my other hobbies is building stuff out of Meccano. The old Meccano E20R and E15R motors ran on AC or DC. Rugged beasts.
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