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  • Location
    Newport Pagnell
  • Interests
    Modeling in general, not only model trains. This helps if it comes to motorising things with RC servos. For me the function is important, I love DCC and gadgets like megapoints controller.

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  1. This will kill the edges... There was a time Glenfiddich was sold in very useful metal boxes - I kept several and one is my milling cutters storage.... So I bought the single malt just for the boxes 20200530_110357
  2. Nice selection! Well I have also a Sieg sx2 but my milling tools and milling collets are not in such a perfect storage location as shown by the gentlemen above...
  3. The problem with PVA is it will take very long to dry. It may dry quick on the edges where the air can access but if you have a larger area it will stay liquid in the inside. For this reason (and as I am not always patient) I used epoxy resin glue. As this one hardens on a chemical reaction it will also harden inside larger areas. Wilko sells slow and fast curing versions for reasonable prices.
  4. Very nice not to say posh. I think the essentials as 3 or 4 jaw chuck, cutting tools and lathe tools have to be in reach. All my collets are rather in a drawer as there they are not getting dirty. But my version is in wood.... 20200527_193012 20200527_193021
  5. So. first the new insulators to hold the panto. The engineer needs a drawing and off he goes. Was even to lazy to do it in CAD. So pencil it is. 20200522_103901 And here the result. Made 6 just in case I need more. 20200523_113624 I used a brass blackening liquid to get them dark brown. They are rather black but who cares. You see now also the lever on the picture. This should give the servo more way and a lower force. 20200523_162343 Quick trial with my expensive servo tester (11 channel RC system) Click on the picture to go to the video. 20200523_161919 There are still some space issues, so it may take a few days more to make it work....
  6. Yes there are restaurants direct at the seafront and one is a bit further out, close to the railway crossing (Avra). There is a small beach, I used to go there after a long day in the factory. Unfortunately I will never return as I have been laid off last year.... Italian owned railway? Hope it works better than in their home country. I worked 11 years in Milan and used the train (FS - state railway) to go to work. Absolute terrible service. Always crowded apart from August (Ferragosta - Milan is at the beach...). In the summer the aircon is not working, in the winter the heating is not working. There is always a door not in service, as long as they put a note on it - fine, but once I went to the next station and 2 of the doors didn't open and I couldn't manage to go into the next carriage in time. The windows (and the rest) are dirty and sometimes dark because of graffiti overspray. OK, the monthly ticket from Carnate-Usmate to Milano Greco Pirelli was unbelievable cheap. And so was the parking at the station. No further moaning, I loved Italy. And I learned an additional language. I just moved to the UK from there as my family was no longer happy. Didn't help, my British wife divorced me in 2011.... OK, back to the subject. Looking forward to see more of your layout.
  7. Great stuff Mano! And you are fast as well. Took me almost 4 years to get my layout ready... I spent weeks in Greece during my last employment but I had never the chance to use a train other than the metro in the capital. I was mainly in Lamia and our factory there had a train station very close to it (Agia Marina). On my way from there to Athens I always drove along a line which has started with electrification but because of the recession the work stopped. Just at my last visit I could see some progress. That's the problem with business trips. You see something but normally there is no time to look at it closer. Looking forward to further progress! Vecchio
  8. Progress is limited as I had a very busy week. I prepared the MX645 for the servos - the 5V supply is on board but needs to be soldered on. Photo shows where to go. 20200518_165508 To secure it mechanically I cover it with a small blob of hotmelt. 20200518_165935 For the servos I introduce two miniature sockets 20200520_125304 I made a "pcb" for the servo to mount it into position. I etched the copper away where the servo goes but I left it where I need it to solder on the thread guide. The servo is next to it. 20200520_123455 Now in position. 20200520_124257 Unfortunately I learned that the servo is not strong enough to pull the panto down against the force of the spring.... Headscratching starts... Something positive: The Youchoose speaker arrived and is connected and in position. 20200520_121242 Some ideas came up, I will make a wire lever but as I killed the insulators of one pantographs (melted during a cutting disc operation )I need to make new ones on the lathe first... this time in brass, so no melting....
  9. @Neils WRX There are 2 possibilities. One - the older one - is a so called memory wire or Nitinol wire. This is an alloy of Nickel and Titanium which changes it crystalline structure at a very low temperature, depending on the alloy between -20 and +110 degrees. What I use changes at 60 degrees. when the wire is heated above this temperature it "remembers" its shape it had when it was produced and goes back to it with a very high force. If you need more explanation see Wikipedia . The wire is very thin, about 0.02 mm, and is elongated with a spring. Once you heat it - it will contract to its original shape. Ok. how to do it in a loco? The wire, which is not a very good electrical conductor, is heated by running a current through it. I had a resistor in series to reduce the maximum current to something the decoder function output can handle (normally 100 mA for the Zimo's). Then of course you have to play with the dimm function to get the right current through the wire, it should work but shouldn't get too hot as there is a lot of valuable plastic around it... The wire is a nasty beast as you cannot solder or weld it (well laser welding is possible, but it is outside of the hobbyist's possibilities). So what is necessary is to clamp it. On one side I clamp it by a screw, this gives me also the possibility of electrical contact, on the other side I form a tiny loop which I clamp with a crimp tube. (Crimp tube: a tiny piece of brass with a hole in it, squashed by plyers). In the loop the return spring is hooked in. Well - a lot of words - lets have a look: The engine is a Siemens ES 64-2 also known as Taurus IMGP3804 See here the crimping tube and the actuator thread (a red polyester thread from the sewing machine cupboard...) The screw is the original screw which also holds the pantograph. The springs hold the wire back when it is cold and lower the pantograph. You see also the squashed tube with the electric contact as written above. IMGP3808 And here the other side, the screw on the right is the screw holding the other pantograph (this one is not controlled) the screw on the left clamps the wire and allows setting the length. IMGP3811 As the whole thing works on a thermal trigger the movement is very smooth (the speed depends on the current) and realistic. Who doesn't belief it works is happily invited to come to a show where I show Donnersbachkogel, I have 5 locomotives with memory wire pantographs, one of the can move 2 pantographs (a multisystem loco, this was necessary as I had a border station between Italy and Austria, so you need to change the pantographs and switch to the other power supply). See here a little video of the multisystem loco. You need to click on the picture to activate the video. 2 0151009185750 OK, this was pretty difficult. You can do the whole thing also with a servo. Why did I do it with memory wire? Well this was 2006 - there was no servo possibility on the decoder chips.... Servo: First you need a decoder which allows to use a servo. Several Zimo's and ESU's can handle servos. May be others, you have to find out. I am a Zimo user, once you know how to program them you do noch change to another brand. Second you need a very small servo and a locomotive having enough space... The first loco I ever did with a servo was a OBB 1163, this is a modern shunting engine with central cab. Means there is no space for a memory wire, as those need minimum 10 cm to work properly. Here I use a Toki smart servo, very small and flat. It is direct under the cab roof. Works well but when it is powered on it moves first to both end positions. This servo is expensive and today there are smaller and cheaper ones on the market. Again a small video, showing also the Krois electromagnetic couplings. I did this video to show what DCC means for me. Not only driving more realistic but also to allow many functions you never get without DCC. 2 0151009192813 Another application of a servo for the pantograph is this one: ES 64-2 with MX645 sound decoder, moving pantograph, stay alive, Krois couplings. 20190907_072222 If you look at the roof you cannot see the actuator thread. 20190907_072353 See here the startup sequence and uncoupling. Sound is downloaded from the Zimo website. DSC_0846 And the shutdown of the loco. DSC_0847 So as a conclusion: Servo is much easier then memory wire, important thing is to find a space for it. My experience with Zimo: Servo programming done with CV's, some experience is of advantage. Servo power supply: Some decoders have on board power supply for servos (for instance MX645 or MX634). If not present an additional voltage regulator circuit needs to be added. Servos need 5 Volt supply. As you can see by the length of my reply I love playing with DCC and some special functions...
  10. Well Covid 19 killed Railex NE - so the layout will have it's peace for a while. So what to do? I am working on another layout (Frimingham) and when I have enough of that I do some upgrading of my rolling stock. Currently I attack a Siemens dispolok, ES 64-4, a multisystem type I used already at my old Italian layout. It had an MX 64 built in, Pantographs with memory wire, cab light, red marker lights added (the Piko model doesn't have them) and Krois couplings. The pantographs didn't work any more an have blown function outputs, also I wanted to add a stay alive. So I use an MX645, there I have 10 functions and 2 servo outputs. I stripped the loco except the light wiring to get an idea where to go. 20200516_211647 For the speaker some milling is necessary. On the real loco this is where the transformer sits. 20200516_211744 Here you see the trial run with the speaker cable 20200516_213157 The speaker will be from Youchoose and is in the post. So a little bit of waiting before I can proceed.
  11. It is just to reconfirm to myself that the eyes are ok (well with enhanced vision...) and my hands are not shaking....
  12. Do you mean like those? 20200327_204524 I use them for 0 gauge signals. In average 3 LED's give one good connection - mainly because the jump of my tweezers....
  13. Vecchio


    And a bit more . Work on the platform staircase started. First in QCAD, Then in wood 20200509_130758 20200509_130807 And partially covered in bricks. 20200509_174957 More to come.
  14. Vecchio


    After this sidestep into the world of fabric and naughty sewing machines back to the station building. There is some progress. Windows are all glazed now and glued into their position. Also a little more work on the footbridge took place. 20200503_182427 I also closed the rear of the low relief model, but in a way to have access later should we have the idea to put something in it. If the reader thinks it is wonky, well the roof is not 100% straight and level... 20200503_182344
  15. Vecchio


    So whats new? I finished all signal kits I had and put them on a test rack. 20200417_175158 anything else? Well I made a dust cover for the mimic board. 20200502_142752 Problem is the mimic board is at the club and I have no access. But as I am using exactly the same size as for my home layout it was not a problem to make one. and of course I made a second one. 20200502_142811 here is the one for my own layout. 20200502_142835
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