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  1. Thanks for asking. It slowed down a lot with real life getting in the way. Then with the challenge deadline looming there didn't look to be time to finish. I recently revisited the area of the prototype, a week or two before we were all confined to barracks and enthusiasm was rekindled. Now the deadline has been moved out a year and the DJLC has become the DJ+1LC, I'm putting some effort in to the layout again. An update will hopefully appear at some point. Mim
  2. I don't know about this example, but in many other businesses, non-disclosure agreements would be in place in such a situation. Not something you would want to have to defend in court as in individual, or small society, if you let slip to a competitor a companies new product, even if you managed to win. It is quite possible for the a third party to be doing work for two competeing companies in product research, tooling, manufacture, or whatever. Their credibility and future business relies on them being able to keep quiet and not allow information to leak. In a small industry like this it is likely that anyone senior is going to know the senior people at their competitors. They may even be friends, or ex colleagues from earlier in their careers. The risk of letting important information slip by accident is real and something they would be on guard for. Occasionally managers in such situations are tempted to form cartels, thinking that nothing is wrong with it. If discovered, they are stomped on hard by the authorities.
  3. Thanks LMS2968 and Gordon A. That helps hugely. The reason for the question is that I am considering building a controller that goes some way to simulating steam loco controls, with throttle, cut off and brake, plus a dial to vary the amount of load on the engine, from light engine up the maximum it can pull. It would make controlling the train more involving and need some more skill to get it to do what you want. It would assume that you had a competent fireman to give you steam, but a built in simulated pressure gauge would show you up and the maximum speed would drop if you were not efficient in your driving. Very early days yet. Just trying to think through the options and the control algorithms to use. There is a lot of experience of train simulation I might be able to use.
  4. That's capitalism I'm afraid. There can be a tremendous amount of wasteage and duplication of effort and resources. The anti cartel and anti monopoly laws are there to keep them slightly more honest. Without, we would see dividing up of the market, little chance of new manufacturers coming in and mediocre models.
  5. Two, or more companies can independently (legal) come to the same conclusion without collusion (illegal) on a new model. Company A has produced a model of loco C for years. It is a popular prototype and sells well. It is now getting a little long in the tooth and sales are declining. Company A decides to retool to bring it up to date with regards to detail. Company B simultaneously sees the popularity of loco C and the sales figures of Company A's offering. Notes that it is out of date and poorly detailed by todays standards and tools up for their better version. Result: Both Company A and Company B announce a new loco C at the same time. Company A and Company B both commission their own market research and/or read a wish list poll in RMWeb and find that loco D is a popular prototype for which there is strong demand, but for which no model exists. Result: Company A and B come out with loco D at the same time.
  6. I've never driven a steam loco, so looking for some real world 1:1 scale experience. The situation: A small steam locomotive used for shunting, or on an unfitted freight train. The only brakes are on the loco and on the brake van. Would the cut off control ever be used as a brake to slow the loco, as either light engine, or a train? Letting steam in to the cylinders against the direction of travel. Either in combination with conventional brakes, or alone? If not, why not? If it is, how much cutoff would be set? Mim
  7. How about a fireless locomotive? Bagnall of Stafford started making them in 1924, so just in period. Ideal for going in to a gunpowder works. This site suggests that Black Beck had a stationary boiler for the works, so a fireless loco could be recharged. If one could make the 7 mile round trip on one charge I don't know, but they could shunt for several hours, so plausible. Relatively easy to modify a proprietary, or kit 0-4-0 shunter. Turn the chassis round so the cylinders are under the cab. Put a big cylindrical vessel where the boiler, firebox and smokebox usually goes. No tanks, no chimney. I've never heard of a convincing working model of a shunting horse. Pretty much impossible with current technology. Working shunting tractors can and have been done, even down to 2mm scale, but these are too late for your period and wouldn't have been used on a 3.5 mile line anyway. Other than that, then any period suitable 0-4-0, or 0-6-0 industrial, or contractors engine, made by many companies, would be suitable. Perhaps with a spark arrestor on the chimney? Mim
  8. I sent Chris a PM without telling everyone. Except now I have. Oh dear...
  9. The rubbish solder paste was probably one for electronics assembly. These tend to have only a mild flux incorporated and can have trouble on the normal oxide tarnish film that quickly builds on bare copper and nickel silver. The Nealetin is for plumbing and has a super aggressive flux that will cut tnrough pretty much any tarnish. Just need to be sure to thoroughly clean it up afterwards.Mim
  10. I've yet to build one of these, so no direct experience, but it does sound like it might be a heat expansion issue. A more powerful iron might be able to make the frame to PCB joint quicker, so there is less time for heat to travel along the frame side, expanding it. Confining most of the heat to the joint area itself. Are you soldering all the spacers to one side first, then soldering them to the other side frame? Could putting some on one frame and some on the other first help, before joining the two sides together? To me it seems that the frame will bow so that the frame to PCB joints soldered last will be on the inside of the bow as it cools and contracts. Leaving plenty of time to cool between making each joint joining one side to the other could also help, as could heat shunts clipped on the frames each side of the PCB. Mim
  11. Looking forward to seeing this. I also looked at making a 2mm model of Gazelle. I wondered if it would be possible to build it in its original 2-2-2T open/no cab form, rather than the 0-4-2T it was converted to for the Shropshire and Montgomeryshire railway. Just for added fun I wondered if it was possible to have it self powered, rather than by a separate coach, or van. I found a 3.2mm motor that could fit in the boiler, with a little bit of adjustment for gear meshing. The very smallest CT DCC decoder might just fit in the well tank area at the rear. DCC was needed to restrict power to the 3V motor. I've made no allowances for wiring and wires are a significant part of the internal volume. Thought of making the footplate in PCB for combination wiring and split frame isolation. An association 21:1 single stage gear set would have the worm protruding from the firebox, but this could be hidden by the crew. How the worm might be supported so the end thrust didn't destroy the tiny motor I don't know. I suspect that whitemetal crew and passengers would be a major part of the overall weight! If this could actually be built and work I doubt. The torque from the motor at realistic speeds would be tiny, but the engine was built as a gentleman's private conveyance, so it wouldn't have to haul anything. The buffers and draw gear were too low for connecting to conventional standard gauge stock. If it is actually practical then I don't have the skills to do it! I did put together a 3D model of the major components to see how they fitted. Engine body in blue, DCC decoder in green and wheels, axle muffs, gears and motor in red. Mim
  12. Once they found a locomotive that suited the line they tended to stick with them till they wore out. The last examples of several classes were used there long after the rest had been scrapped. The ex LNWR Chopper tanks, ex NLR Class75's for example.Not just locomotives either. It was initially built to use horses between the inclines and at the wharfs. Fortunately there are no photos from that time, so no one can tell you that you have the wrong colour horse, or the wrong sort of tack if you decide to backdate your layout to the early 1830's Mim
  13. There are pictures of 68006 on the summit section without the coal bunker extensions. Coal was hand loaded from a platform near the engine shed around 3' above track leve! at Middleton Top, so having to get it that extra height would have been very awkward. Good pictures ofd this engine and 68012 in The Cromford and High Peak Railway in Colour by John Evans, many taken on the last day. Mim
  14. Hope you can find a way of rescuing it. My experience of slug tape as a bus bar under the layout is that soldering heat destroys the adhesive locally under where the wire is attached. As a bus bar the good adhesive to each side keeps it all in place, but on something as small as a crossing timber this isn't likely. When pcb's are made the copper foil has surface treatments to promote adhesion to the resin in the substrate. Heat enough to delaminate it will have degraded the substrate and getting a good bond again is going to be difficult. Hot air desoldering has to be well controlled to prevent overheating as you have found. The flush brass rivet, or pin idea sounds a good bet for recovery maybe even a length of copper, or brass wire glued in to a drilled hole and filed down to the correct height. The length and area should give good adhesion and heat resistance Mim
  15. Very smart. 68006 was a High Peak loco too. It was on the official last train on the summit level, double heading with 68012. Mim
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