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Everything posted by AndrewC

  1. While the ECoS is a premium product with an equally premium price tag, may I suggest shopping around and trying out some other systems first. Most notably the Z21 and Digikeijs systems. For around £250 (Digikeijs DR5000 + Roco Wlanmaus) you can have most of what the ECoS offers. This is especially true if you prefer a handheld controller rather than being stuck at a desk to run your trains.
  2. Make your own for a few £. There are loads of suggestions on here. Just let the search widget be your friend. Mine is about 14 years old now. Cheap pound shop plastic tub, old 12v muffin fan, dryer hose, et voila.
  3. An interesting concept. With a decent router (or mesh installation) and an ethernet connection to each layout's JMRI (or other interface to their DCC), a communal throttle wifi could work. It isn't as if there is a lot of bandwidth needed for the app. A VPN on each controlling interface would keep the operators of layout A out of layout B's system, etc. Something worth proposing to a smaller exhibition as a prototype experiment. The sticking point would be Z21 and DR5000 based layouts that have their own built in Wifi and protocol. They are also very channel, power, and performance limited. At the last Freemo meet that I supplied power and control for, the reliability in the school hall where there was loads of interference was 1: wifi on 5ghz. no issues 2: wifi on 2.4 some connection problems, ssid showed every channel with multiple strong access points, not just phone ones. 3: Z21 on 2.4 Wanmaus or Z21 app. very limited range, loads of disconnection/reconnection issues. 4: Digitrax duplex radio. Loads of connection problems and an almost hourly reboot of the receiver and slot purge in JMRI was needed as it kept filling slots every time a loco was selected. (ie loco 2356, would take 5 slots, 2,3,5,6,2356)
  4. Looking for tea and sympathy. Plans for my first Warley in over a decade were ram raided this week by unexpected vet bills. Colour me p!ssed off, but happy that George D Cat lives on. Maybe next year. Hope that all of you going, have a good time.
  5. Hope this link works to Farcebook. Credit Valley Railway's FB page has posted around a dozen photos of CP locos repainted into Canadian military services liveries.
  6. I'm glad someone else feels the same about the presenters. I enjoyed the builds and have a lot of respect for the teams and the skills shown, but the programme itself was aggravating to say the least. I really can't see myself watching a third season if it happens. Faux drama, faux peril, presenters that would get bricked if they tried their overly forced banter on stage at any comedy club, and the editing that apart from the winner left no real surprises.
  7. Simon, the colour you quoted is close to SOO red, but not the 70s Action red. Action red is notoriously fugitive as a colour. No 2 batches seemed to be the same. Different batches also faded at different rates. Some to an almost pumpkin orange, and others to a nasty pinkish. The hexcode that the CN Lines SIG and the Trainz developers use is #DD371F which is quite a bit more "orangey" than the more stable SOO red that replaced it in 86. (#CE0010) SOO red was replaced by the more "candy apple" red in 2007. (#C2002F)
  8. Sorry about that. Sadly both the commercial models in HO are wrong. The Walthers one is too short by about 30mm. The Kanamodel kit isn’t square. One day when I have the time I’ll replace both my Kanamodel elevators. (Pics in my module thread linked in my signature)
  9. Rapido use Rails of Sheffield but their paints are not available outside of Canada or the US. All these new regulations around posting paints make it a royal pain in the arse to ship. Model Junction get their paint (and testers dullcote) shipped by sea courier. Partly why it is so expensive.
  10. Wipers can vary. I've seen black, and loco body colour, and one of each. Normally black though. Check a prototype pic of your chosen loco. Most models are in the colour of the engineering plastic they are moulded in and not necessarily correct. Closest match to CSX yellow is Model Masters 1707 chrome yellow. Ditch lights: https://www.modeljunction.info/detailing-parts/1741-ditch-lights-with-lenses-pilot-end-mount-2.html Alberta Prairie still runs as a tourist railway but was originally a shortline taken over from CN. (ex Canadian Northern) Short grain trains with both steam and diesel tourist trains from the mid 90s until around 2005ish.
  11. Daz, as asked. Which colour are you specifically looking for? Action red is a nightmare to find apart from the pack, the only colours readily available in the UK is Soo red. (precursor to the current candy apple red) Humbrol 1321, and tuscan. which is Model Masters 28112. This chart is quite useful for modelling North American: http://www.microscale.com/ResourceCntr_Floquil.html
  12. You're going to hate me but...... I wish I'd seen your grain elevator earlier. I've got a complete set of architectural drawings for the standard 1923 pool elevator. Canadian, but the wooden design was pretty standard across the prairies. The metal ones could be anything but still tended to stick to the basic design shape. The single tower elevators (99.9%) used a ratio of 1-2-3. That is the base is square and = 1. The height from ground to the cupola = 2 times the base length. The coupla height = the base length. So the total height should be 3 times the length and width of the elevator.
  13. Well worth doing. I've got a 12 by 24 wooden workshop/layout room shed. 50mm Cellotex on the walls and ceiling. Makes a hell of a difference. I can keep the temp at 18c in the winter when it is -5c with just a small greenhouse heater on a thermostat timer. A cheap Argos portable air conditioner in the summer keeps the temp around 24c on a sunny 30c+ day. Even in the winter without the heater it never went below 0.
  14. MRC make great analogue controllers. I've still got a pair of Tech ii and Tech iii units that date from the 80s. (110vac input no less) Their DCC range has been less than impressive however. Digitrax is pretty bullet proof but their throttles are marmite. I'm still using most of my original Digitrax components from 1994. Loconet is rock solid. Which explains why so many European manufacturers support it. NCE is also around 25 years old when the company inherited the old Wangrow system. Nice hand helds but totally incompatible with anything else. I've been extolling the virtues of Digikeijs in other threads, you may also want to look at Z21. These are both more flexible and allow for different throttles from different manufacturers to be used. Both support the maus. (which I really like using as a hand held throttle compared to the Lenz ones)
  15. Not sure about that. My DR5000 has been excellent for the past couple of years. (Well apart from one Loconet issue that turned out to be the booster having a fault with one of the RJ12 pins. In my case the 5000 replaced a Digitrax Super Chief that dates from the 90s. (now configured as an extra booster) It has been pushed far more than the average home layout during that time. It has been used (as have others) in NMRA Freemo meets. These are large disparate setups with as many as 40 locos on several hundred feet of track at once. It isn't perfect as there are a few quirks that take getting used to but if I was starting again today from scratch, it would be the DR5000 + wlanmaus + JMRI. Unlike Iain, I'm the opposite from automation and prefer manual. Car sorting, (shunting) prototypical operations. At the last Freemo meet that I provided power for, the DR5000 worked with 2 Digitrax boosters, 2 DR5033 boosters, 3 people running Z21 phone apps, a multimaus, around a dozen people with either WiThrottle or Engine Driver, tethered DT402 Digitrax throttles, Digitrax radio interface and throttles, and an old Lenz throttle. There were over 50 locos registered to run with at least 10 in motion at any one time. Apart from the one Loconet issue that turned out to be a bad pin in one of the boosters, it ran flawlessly for 2 very long days. There are at least half a dozen other DR5000s in use for large modular meets. The biggest limitation seems to be in the built in Z21 protocol wifi capacity.
  16. From a local, if you are really concerned about scenery, I'd suggest the Rocky Mountaineer to/from Banff instead of Via rail. The main reason being the CN line used by Via travels through the Yellowhead pass which is more like a broad valley in parts. Far less spectacular or interesting when compared to the CP route through the Kicking Horse, Roger's pass and spiral tunnels. On the south side of border there is the Amtrak Empire Builder through Glacier Park.
  17. Everyone has their favourite. Much like people have their preferred manufacturer of car. My suggestion is to do the following. 1: work out your budget 2: must have list (mobile device throttles, wired, wireless, etc) 3: nice to have list 4: test drive!! 5: avoid the "toy" controllers For what it's worth I've been using Digitrax for nearly 25 years. Long story, but if I was starting today, It wouldn't be my first choice. I upgraded with the Digikeijs DR5000 2 years ago. It does all I want it to. Works well with JMRI and WiThrottle (I hate the Z21 app suite but that is personal preference) It is a bit of a Swiss Army Knife of systems but requires a bit more effort in setting it up. If I was doing a small layout and starting out from scratch, it would be the Digikeijs + Roco maus + computer running JMRI + wiThrottle.
  18. I've used many "Sound Bugs" in the past. They're a fairly cheap way to add sound to an existing DCC loco. The sounds included are fairly generic. One diesel (US) and one steam. The original idea of Digitrax's sound was to allow anyone to create their own and share. There are a number of sounds available for free, however you will need a PR3 or PR4 and their software in order to update the sound projects.
  19. Hi Kevin. I think your closest is the Thamessiders in Frating, Essex. They hold a monthly running session on their modular setup, They’re a great bunch. Geoff’s contact details are in the link from Allegheny, above,
  20. Just avoid ones like the Digitrax PM42 that use relays. Again the PSX is my recommendation. Coastal DCC has them in stock. BTW the PSX2,3,4 are just the same devices that haven't been split. Ie, the PSX4 is 4 units on a single board without the perforation in the circuit board being cut.
  21. That says to me your booster is still shutting down during the short, or the current output is being pulled down as the PSX tries to "test the waters" before resetting. What is your command station/booster model? You will likely need to adjust the short timing settings. One other thing to consider is the current rating of your power supply, booster, and current setting of your PSX. What you should have is current of power supply > current output of booster > current trip setting of PSX. If you have a 5a booster but only a 4.5a power supply, the current supplied by the power supply will drop before either the booster or PSX can trigger. This dip can cause your servo decoders to cycle.
  22. I see the confusion. It looks like series but if you wire multiple units you are actually wiring in parallel as the input on J1 is directly connected to the output on J1. Effectively you are taking the output from the booster, connecting to J1 (3,4) then connecting J1(1,2) to the next one's J1(3,4) Wiring in series would mean connecting the J2 track output of the first unit to the J1 input of the second.
  23. Multiple PSX units should all be in parallel and fed directly from the booster. If you are using a Digikeijs DR5000 then forget it. That thing shuts down too fast even for a PSX. Been there, done that, gave up. I now only power the track from boosters that have their loconet messaging switched off. If you are getting wheel shorts on your pointwork you need to look at some gapping and rewiring. I'm assuming you are using insulfrog points without insulated rail joiners. This is not DCC friendly. The only time you should ever get a short is when going through a wrongly set point or a derailment.
  24. Another fan of the PSX breaker. In general you need to set your booster to the slowest possible shut down time and the PSX to a faster time so it triggers first. Accessories need to be upstream of the breaker, ie connected to the booster itself. For my implementation I don't have an accessory bus but power all the accessory decoders from a dc supply and the DCC commands are fed through Loconet. That way I don't have an issue if there is a loss of booster power.
  25. Massive spoiler alert: I didn't win. Then again I wasn't in it so kind of obvious. Seriously, looking forward to it.
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