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  1. Morning Jon You would be surprised what is available these days. We have a couple of 0-9 and 0-16.5 modellers in the Fareham Club so I get exposed to quite a lot of this stuff, plus as a Southern modeller I have taken a lot of interest in the kit EMU scene and there are a lot of 10' wheelbase motor bogies available that can be/already come DCC chipped and are sufficiently "low profile" that they will fit under the floor of an ordinary coach - so fitting them under the floor of a wagon shouldn't be an issue. Spud, Tenshodo and Black Beetle are names that readily spring to mind. If you have a DCC'ed 5-plank in each cut of wagons then the issue becomes how you synchronise the movement of the wagon and the NG loco. The way we chewed over doing it was to consist the wagon in the cut and the narrow gauge loco so that as the loco moved backwards the wagon cut moved forward into the siding. BUT the trick was going to be in how you DCC'ed the NG loco - which I am sure you will agree would be near-on impossible with that kit. The secret was that the line would almost certainly be operated "one engine in steam" which meant that there could only ever be one loco in the NG exchange siding at a time. The plan we hatched was to DCC the NG track, not the loco(s). Does that make sense? You fit a chip under the baseboard that feeds the entire NG complex and - let's say that chip's address is 003 - you drive loco 003 to control any movement on the NG sidings but when you want to do the hawser shunt you consist 003 and - let's say - loco 100 which is the first cut of three minerals and then perform the move. If you wanted to be really gucci you would also have a motor that you consist into the mix that caused the hawser to move at the same time. What you need to know about me is that I "plan" from an exhibition point of view so: The screen/flip card/whatever that tells the punter what is going on would announce that the NG loco is now using the hawser to move the empties on the upper level. The punter would see the NG loco, the hawser and the cut of 3 wagons all moving in a synchronised way and would register that fact, The fact that neither the loco nor the wagons are physically attached to the hawser is largely irrelevant because the brain will fill in the gaps and see what it wants (or expects) to see. Have you ever come across wire fencing on an N Gauge layout? Our usual "method" for that is to plant small square posts (usually welding rod) in a straight line - and that's it, no wires; the eye simply fills in the missing details for you which in this case means that the punter's eye will "think" it can see the 1" diameter strops that attach the loco and wagons to the hawser. After all, 1" strop scales down to 0.3mm - that's little more than one strand of a 16/2 wire... Hope that's given you more food for thought. Elliott
  2. Hi Jon and everyone else who has contributed to this thread. I stumbled into it quite by chance earlier today when I was trying to answer a question about "shunting practices" on the email discussion forum on something called sremg.org.uk and being somewhat familiar with Bilton Junction I was actually looking for a track diagram to illustrate the point I was making there and I discovered this thread. I am a semi regular RM Web user but not in this sort of arena. As it happens, the point I was trying to discuss in SREMG is actually what I believe is an unanswered question you have from page 6 of this thread about how the main line sidings and full coal wagons were shunted after the loco and empties had left! OK, some context. My father, Ernie Cowton, was born in 1925 and grew up in Bilton, initially down near Dragon Junction but latterly in King Edwards Drive. He was at primary school with the son of the signalman at Bilton Junction, I have the name but I probably shouldn't publish it here because of GDPR. Anyway, in his early days he spent a lot of time "hanging out" with his friend in the signal box and ultimately on the narrow gauge complex as well. He told me that he had driven at least one of the NG locos - possibly Spencer, I can't rightly remember that detail. Anyway, he left Harrogate Grammar School at the age of 14 and took up an apprenticeship at York Works but very quickly decided to volunteer at the age of 16 (1941) to join the RN where he spent almost the rest of his working life. In my youth my grandparents still lived in Bilton and we were frequent visitors there. Sadly he died in January 2018 but for some years he and I nurtured an idea that we might build a model of the Exchange Sidings at Bilton and I have done some early research into the project including getting copies of the 25" to the mile OS maps. What I am going to present is a note of a conversation he and I had several times over the years, on one occasion in the 70s actually standing on the site of the SG sidings. So, what he told me was that the loaded standard gauge wagons were brought in to the sidings - and the description Jon posted some time ago about the consist of the train chimed with what he told me. The loaded wagons were pushed into the siding that was closest to the down SG running line heading north towards the viaduct and the brakes were pinned down. This siding was inclined so that at its northern end it was very visibly above both the running lines and the outboard siding that was on the edge of the retaining wall. Shortly before he died I attended the funeral of one of his sisters and took the opportunity to visit the site (and the Gardners Arms) to see what I could see, because I knew what I was looking for I was able to make out that this, although now seriously overgrown, was still visible to me. You can sort-of make out this raised siding in this photo I took when I was in Bilton for my Aunt's funeral: So, after the SG train had departed and the Gas Works crew were ready to start unloading the SG wagons they followed the following procedure: A cut of about 3 wagons were uncoupled from the other wagons The brakes were gradually released until these wagons ran down under gravity over the scissors crossover coming to rest more or less over the coal drops These wagons were then unloaded through their floor doors through the drops into the NG hopper wagons. Once empty, the wagons were connected to a continuous steel hawser which the NG loco could also attach to on the lower level. The NG loco would then slowly drag the hawser and thus the empty SG wagons into the outboard siding. The process then repeated with the loaded NG hoppers being removed when full and fresh loaded SG wagons run down and emptied When finished the inclined siding was empty and the level siding contained a row of empty 7-plank coal wagons and the whole process could be run again with the arrival of the next train of full coal wagons and empty RECTANKS. Sadly we never got to take this plan anywhere beyond an armchair exercise and I became firmly entrenched in the LSWR/SR/BR(S) scene as well as the MRTV project, but maybe one day when I get my round tuit I could have a go... Jon, can I congratulate you on your modelling, particularly those coaches; as a weathering and painting demonstrator I am both impressed and jealous! And can I ask you a question? In the back of my mind I am sure that I have seen a diagram of one of those NG hoppers that had a bogie at one end and a single axle at the other. Am I right or am I mis-remembering something else? Unfortunately all my books are in store pending a house move so I have no ability to easily check at the moment. Well done, keep up the good work, I am now following this topic! Elliott
  3. Oh trust me, it isn't for the want of trying...
  4. Unfortunately John, that's my particular problem. I provide freight stock to a large exhibition layout. When I take the smaller layouts out (for example Nictun Borrud) to show I use the Kadees and we have set that layout up with electromagnetic uncoupling. When the big layout (Soberton) goes out I have to refit the tension lock couplers to be compatible with the rest of the stock on the layout. I would post links to the layouts but the Club's website is "undergoing maintenance"
  5. Morning all Somewhere back up this thread there was a discussion about "creating" NEM pockets so that the older stock could be fitted up with push-fit kadees and we did indeed find a couple of sources of suitable materials. Well, these have just popped up on my newsfeed on another social media platform and I thought it worth sharing with this august assembly. https://www.steeldragongames.co.uk/store#!/00-Gauge/c/118269339
  6. Yes, LEDs can be dimmed; I have a total of 3 rooms with LED downlighters, all on dimmers. You can't achieve very low output levels because there is a "minimum" output level which you can't go below. If you are talking about the mini florescent bulbs that fit in ordinary BC/ES/SBC/SES connectors then the answer is "not possible". A traditional dimmer works by reducing the voltage supplied to an incandescent bulb. As I understand it, the LED dimmers work by messing with the "duty cycle" of the supply voltage sent to the light unit. This means that the light is on at full brightness but not all the time and the eye perceives this as being "dim" compared to the full brightness of an always 100% supply lit LED (if that makes sense). As a starting point, if you're talking about LV LEDs then take a look at the Bachmann Just Plug system. https://www.Bachmann.co.uk/category/scenery-landscape/woodland_scenics/just-plug-lighting-system?page=3 HTH
  7. Yes, Can't say that "riding up" is a particular problem on Nictun Borrud; the problem we face with that layout is that the flangeways are not a consistent width and as a result propelling back through several of the formations - particularly the double slip - means that you can never guarantee exactly what angle a piece of rolling stock will be sitting on the track as it exits the formation and that makes coupling and uncoupling immediately past the formation a bit haphazard - but that's a topic for a track building thread I think...
  8. Hi. Personal view: I have converted one of our Club exhibition layouts for Kadees and for the most part it works reasonably well, the only problems we have are, frankly, more associated with design of the layout and poor hand built track not suiting the siting of electromagnets where they would normally be. There is a thread on the use of Kadees here: with lots of useful discussion on fitting couplings to some of the more obscure UK prototypes - including several ways of dealing with Bachmann "stepped" couplers. Elliott
  9. Hi @richscylla. Just watched your St Michael's Hill videos about this on YouTube (assuming that that is your channel). I'm fixing to do a similar upgrade job so have been looking through this thread for ideas of what to do. A question for you if I might: In the last one of your videos (number 5 I think) you made a comment about investigating a website for the parts to do the route blinds. Did you ever follow up and what did you find? At the moment that's the one bit that is defeating me. Thanks Elliott
  10. If you listen to the stories, I think he had probably planned it all himself, including which stock would be used. If you think about it, the natural route to get to Oxfordshire and Blenheim Palace would be from Paddington. The story in the "State Ceremonial" world in my early days in the Mob was that Churchill had specified that if DeGaulle attended the funeral the train should take the scenic route and leave from Waterloo...
  11. The OP speaks... Just to clarify, modern locos (and units for that matter) can be pigs to get apart. There are models that the guy who runs the model shop where I work part time is reluctant to chip because of the risk of damaging some detail parts, and I can attest to having difficulties myself while trying to crew a couple of Bachmann tank locos in the past. Now that I am looking more favourably at DCC because of the advantages it would offer with a largely hidden FY, my current pondering point is whether, is it time to think about consciously switching to buying DCC fitted rather than DCC ready stock. I'm giving the problem of retrofitting what I already have a stern ignoring in the hope of a reasonable lottery win before I need to do it. Thanks for that thought. Again, I'm no fan of sound having stood too often behind a layout at a show where one of the adjacent exhibits (a TMD) has had most of the 20 or so locos on it "burning and turning" for the entire weekend. However, I was mightily impressed by the Bachmann "special" of the sound fitted Blue Pullman that was released 18 months or so ago running on our Club test track. Again, cound fitting could be an option for me in the fullness of time.
  12. Absolutely known to be fact David. The Relco (or other HF cleaner for that matter) sees the chip as a piece of dirt it needs to burn off the wheels or track and acts accordingly by giving it a massive HF spike which the chip can't deal with. I've seen it happen (see my post further up this thread, I had to deal with the fall out).
  13. Hi Ian I'm waiting for some (house) paint to dry so picked up the laptop and did some searching back up this thread (easier for me because I knew what I was looking for). March 2019 was when this was last discussed and I think you will find most of what you are looking for in the first quote above. I used to flash up and down the M40 quite regularly in those days and I got the "bit" to convert the coupler head from a model shop in Brackley on one of those journeys (sorry, can't remember their name); the "universal cranked bit" that converts NEM 362 to 363 came from Gaugemaster. Elliott
  14. Thanks Nigel, I have never heard that expression used before - and that includes spending nearly three years operating and DCC converting an N Gauge basement layout in the US in the 90s.
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