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About Harlequin

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  • Location
     West Devon
  • Interests
    Professional programmer; amateur designer, gardener, self-builder, railway modeller.

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  1. Not cylinder valves but valves in the vacuum pump? Model steam sound is still a developing artform. At the moment it is limited by the sound reproduction of the speakers and the sound path out of the body. I try to address both when I'm installing sound and I'm sure there are ways to improve the basic technology. Note that Accurascale have said they will do something radical with the sound in their Manor... Edit: One sound that the speakers we currently use really ought to be able to reproduce is a shrill whistle!
  2. Yesterday I bought a lovely book by Adrian Vaughan...


    ...in Trago Mills of all places.


    (Don't ask!)

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. St Enodoc

      St Enodoc

      That's all as may be but you haven't told us which book.

    3. Harlequin


      "Railways through the Vale of the White Horse" (2015)


    4. The Stationmaster

      The Stationmaster

      You should be greatly satisfied that you now have a book containing a photo of my great grandfather in the Uffington PerWay gang..

  3. For interest, here's Foxcote Manor close up on a blustery day last year. You can see the splash plate again and hear the spitting and pinging valves that are a feature of the Dapol sound project. Correction: I see this sound project has a separate Brake Whistle (F18). Excellent! We need this to be standard on all GWR loco sound projects.
  4. Sure, I've got a box full of the things but for Minories I want to just have one PSU to cart around with it. So a 15V 5A PSU plugs in the back and that is used for the DCC power, the point motors and I step it down to 5V to power the Pi-Sprog. That should be the only wired connection in the end. Wifi-connected devices will be used to operate the layout.
  5. Ah, thanks! That looks like the thing I was about to build. I think I've got all the parts but a ready-made one would save a lot of hassle!
  6. I have removed all the over-centre springs and altered the electrics. All working so far! I still need to close up or cut off the metal clips that held the spring housings in place. The exposed baseplates looks a bit ugly but maybe I can partially lose them under the ballast. Some can be disguised by FPL mechanisms - if I can find out what an Edwardian SE&CR FPL looked like...! There's one further electrical job to do before I move on to the scenics: The 7805 that converts 15V down 5V is too hot, wasting too much power. I'm going to have to replace it with an electronic switching version and that means making up a small circuit using a 7805 replacement IC, some caps, diodes and an inductor.
  7. Yes I had to source some special 10mm M2.5 screws to fix the motors to my 9mm board. The first lot I bought through Amazon were of Chinese origin and they were so soft as to be useless. So then I went to a British company and bought some stainless steel screws which are much better. Since driving two motors from the same output on the Megapoints board worked so well, I've just reconfigured the system to have just 4 turnout controls: 1. Entry-Exit crossover (trailing) 2. P2-P1 crossover (facing) 3. P2-P3 crossover (facing) 4. Pilot Spur turnout. This is more realistic than individual point control and means that it's less likely to run into the back of a set of points set against you (and thus short the system out). There are still some routes where this is possible and I’ll have to think about some sort of interlocking if I want to completely prevent it. So, the next jobs are to take all the springs out and to change the turnouts over to the "modified" state: permanently powered blades and frogs switched by the MP1s. (Thanks to Suzie's method.)
  8. There wasn't enough offset the cover the hole in the motor adjustment so I elected to leave it central and make a cranked pin. Easier to form a very definite crank than to try something more subtle. Both ends of the crank are constrained to move along parallel axes so there is no significant rotation at the fixed end.
  9. MTB point motors installed! I had drilled 6mm holes (1mm wire + 3mm travel + 2mm leeway) for the needles to operate the tie bars based on the positions from the plans but they weren't quite accurate enough and some of the holes needed to be opened up. My first attempt to do this resulted in me drilling through the tie bar and ripping the turnout off the layout... After waiting ages for a replacement turnout from Peco to replace the damaged one, I went back to the job of opening up the holes but this time with a reaming bit in a Dremel. This gave more control to selectively cut away the plywood. The MTB motors are all set up with 3mm throws, which is all that's needed when they are so close to the turnouts. In one place, the MTB motor wouldn't sit directly over the hole and so I had to form a crank in the operating needle. No problem, this seems to work very well. Here they are working: There are seven turnouts on the layout but the Megapoints controller only has 6 motor drivers so I have connected two of the crossover turnouts to the same output. This also seem to work fine and is what you see in the last part of the video. I dropped two lengths of heatshrink onto the needles so you can see them move together. As you might be able to hear, I haven't removed the over-centre springs in the turnouts yet. That's a scary step because once removed there's no realistic chance of ever getting them back in again! Interesting point to note about the MTBs: They have internal switches to turn the motor off at the end of the travel and enable the reverse movement. So if they don't reach the end of the travel for whatever reason (e.g. the needle has hit an obstruction like the side of a hole that's too small...) then they will not move back the other way. They are essentially stuck until you do something to allow the needle to move in the direction it was going.
  10. MTB MP1 (only one aux switch) MTB MP5 (two aux switches) See: https://www.dcctrainautomation.co.uk/334-point-motors.html
  11. Sure, or like Martin said for landscape format with the lens at the top, but the trouble is some people find it more natural to hold the phone the other way. Anyway, there are lots of options here.
  12. iPhones don’t rotate images to be physically the right way up - they just add a tag saying that the image needs to be rotated by the viewing software. However, not all software takes note of the tags that come with the photos. Other devices actually rotate the image so that the viewer doesn’t need to. So one solution is to use a different camera(phone). More realistically, you could use a different camera app on your iPhone or download your images to a desktop app and rotate them there before uploading to RMWeb.
  13. Interesting... That worked and everything is back to normal! Thanks Andy!
  14. Hi @AY Mod I've just started seeing adverts all over the site and, on checking, my Gold membership seems to have got lost. Can you help? Ta, Phil
  15. Dear Rails, I understand that you’ve got to recoup your costs and make a profit and I would like several of these but it’s too rich for me. I’m sad to say I’m out. I wonder if there was a volume/price point where you could have been even more successful. There’s surely a lot of demand. Edit: Sorry Andy, the disappointment was too much to handle.
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