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Hull Paragon

Closed a/c
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    7mm Steam and Diesel....Hull area (ish) late 1950s to early 1960s.

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  1. I am no longer responding to any posts on the thread.
  2. Thanks Jim Could you telll me what materials you used for the scratch built points please? I am hoping my boards survive! I have used hardwood ply which has a coat of preservative on it and has then been covered with felt. I'll drop you a message later with my email address. Ray
  3. The manual that comes with the box is in German! To get an English version one must go online. The pdf is over 100 pages.....it's difficult to read and expensive to print. Does anyone have a 'light' version of the instructions or know where a smaller, essential, version can be found? Thanks Ray
  4. I am rebuilding an O Gauge layout in my garden. The original layout was a single track loop DCC controlled (NCE) so I know it is viable. The new layout is a double (2-way) loop about 50m long. There will be a siding at a station approximatey 7m long with a point at each end on one of the straights. I intend to run a line from an indoor layout to join the loop on a curve about 30m away. I don't want to use anything less than 10' radii throughout if I can (there is one section that might need to reduce to 9'), so that negates the use of Peco points. It is my intention to use handbuilt points using S7 chairs with Peco rail. I don't think I can use wooden sleepers (walnut) so I will probably use C&L plastic ones. My question is: has anyone any experience of doing this? What problems could I encounter with hot weather at one end of the scale and frost at the other? I have also looked at point operation and frog polarity. At the moment I am considering using surface mounted servos (I don't think Crocodiles under the boards outside is a good idea), with DCC decoders and frog juicers. Everything on tehsurface will be covered to prevent damage, or removed when not in use. Again, does anyone have any experience of using these or other devices for external point switching? Thanks Ray
  5. Thanks Hal A not unreasonable post! Text lacks inflexion, stress, tone and expression. Without convoluted descriptions of nuances and humour etc, people will read posts in a context that they assume and respond accordingly. I was always told that any misunderstanding is the fault of the communicator which I think is still a valid view so I will take the blame for that! Ray
  6. I'm not sure what you are assuming here. In the first instance the supplier of my model suggested I contact Kim Nannestad. In the second, I had no idea that he was the CEO. As it turns out (see the posts above) Heljan is hardly ICI when it comes to management structures. Perhaps I should just buy the company and become the CEO myself. Then you could write to me and I would tell someone to fix your problem. Anyway, I am not averse to writing to the top person. I have solved many issues that way because normally, when there is an issue that isn't being resolved at the bottom, when the person at the top tells them to sort it out, they do!!!
  7. Phil I can assure you that the title was not meant to be inflammatory at all. I thought long and hard for a title which I thought would attract relevant members and to relate my (poor) experience specifically with Heljan. My core theme for this post is/was poor customer service in the hobby of which this (for me) is just one issue of many and is current. In the end I chose a title to reflect that and the final comment made by Kim Nannestad reproduced above. Thanks Ray
  8. Ben First of all Ben, I did not know that you represented Heljan in the UK. If I had, I would certainly have addressed my issues to you. Many thanks for your in depth response. I can understand that tooling etc can be a difficult thing to change and quite honestly, I knew that the loco could not be made DCC ready when I ordered it. However, a wiring diagram/circuit diagram can't be that difficult to source can it? I am 'sure' that I can install the decoder....I have seen others do it (online) and I have done other locos which I have built. I have gleaned information from a variety of sources: information that could easily have been given to me by Heljan. For example, I understand that the LED resistors are not part of the main PCB. I also know that if I am not careful, I could damage the fan mechanisim if I rip the lid off too quickly. I am not asking Heljan for step by step instructions.....just the sort of helpful information that can ease my task. The buffer problem is slightly different. Luckily I recovered the spigot and spring that had loosened and fallen out. I was able to reassemble but because the spigot was loose, it had to be pressed fully home to fully engage the buffer head. This resulted in a very short buffer stem......hence my comment that I would have to turn a new, (longer) one. I suppose I could go back to Heljan and get a replacement but I don't know how long that will take and I will have to go through the rigmarole of doing it! I could glue it but the tolerance would probably mean that the spring would be glued in and the buffer functionality would be lost. However, and perhaps more important, I do not know if the three other buffers will do the same thing....possibly somewhere where the components willl be lost forever.....so my confidence is a bit low as far as that is concerned! It's probably a silly question but why are the buffers not secured by nuts? A drop of glue can lock them and they stay put! Thanks again Ray
  9. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am getting tired of being treated as a cash cow by model rail businesses that care little for customer service. A considerable number of dealers and suppliers that I deal with have let me down quite badly in recent times but there is no regulation in our hobby and when faced with a ‘take it or leave it’ option, there is little that can be done. A current case in point is Heljan. Yes, Heljan: they of the ‘there is nothing wrong with the gearing on our locomotives’ company even though loco after loco failed. And how long did it take for that failure to be addressed by Heljan? I recently took delivery of a new Heljan Class 31 7mm locomotive. When I opened it up I found that the fixings for transport had failed. This was not in itself a massive issue as there was no damage done but as I removed the loco from the box, a buffer fell out. A pin securing the buffer head and spring had fallen out because it didn’t fit properly. (Who knows why it is a pin and not a screw?). I wrote to Heljan saying that I would have to make a new pin as the existing one was of no use. I had had an interesting email from Kim Nannestad who I understand is the company owner. (Not verified). He thanked me for telling Heljan and congratulated me on finding a solution. Sorry to hear about your issue, but also at the same time glad that you solved it easily. (Smiley face icon) We will make a note of this for future productions. Med venlig hilsen Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Best regards, Kim Nannestad +45 63 89 14 71 +45 40 13 11 89 www.Heljan.dk He didn’t offer replacement parts or seem particularly bothered. However, I let that pass. It is my intention to fit a DCC decoder and speaker in my new loco but, being a man who makes lots of slip-ups, I like to be sure that I am not going to make any potentially expensive mistakes. The ‘instructions’ which come with the model are of no use to anyone. The DCC element is limited to one line: ‘Decoder wiring diagrams should be supplied with your choice of decoder or may be found on the relevant Manufacturers site.’ So I wrote to Mr Nannestad and asked for some wiring diagrams and any instructions they might have. Here is Mr Nannestad’s response. Dear Sir Please follow the instructions which were supplied with the model. Med venlig hilsen Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Best regards, Kim Nannestad +45 63 89 14 71 +45 40 13 11 89 www.Heljan.dk I was beginning to get a feel for Heljan’s after sales policy. Having lost what little patience I had when I started out, I wrote to Mr Nannestad and told him that I had spent nearly £500 on his product and the only way to get any information on how to identify the cabling inside his locomotive was to hope someone else had done it and posted the information online. I attached an example of a Class 33 being DCC’d from a MIGO post. I said something to the effect that it wasn’t really acceptable for consumers like me to have to rely on someone’s generosity in sharing their installation experience. Mr Nannestad did not reply to this mail. Now, it may be extremely simple to install a Loksound XL decoder and speaker in the Class 31 and some of you might tell me exactly that. But despite my experience, I get cautious when opening a new loco up and as far as I am concerned, I don’t think it is unreasonable for the manufacturer to give me something as simple as a circuit diagram to assist me. After all, I have spent my money on their product and there is always a possibility that I might do so again. (Well there was!). It is not good enough that model rail suppliers take the money and then shrug their shoulders when things go wrong or assistance is needed. All I want is to be sure I get things right and a circuit diagram/wiring diagram is all I need. Is that too much to ask? I offered the article to Mr Nannestad for his comments before I posted it here. This was his response which I think translates to 'Take it or leave it!': Dear Sir If you are unhappy with the product return it to where you bought it from for a refund. If you wish spares then please follow the instructions provided with the locomotive. Med venlig hilsen Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Best regards, Kim Nannestad +45 63 89 14 71 +45 40 13 11 89 www.Heljan.dk (Anyway, why should I need spares for a brand new straight out of the box locomotive?) So I am left with a dilemma......I really want this loco...I've waited months for it. If I build my own it will take months and I may not survive that long! However, I am strongly inclined to send it back. No-one who is this blase should make any money at all from me. I am sure there will be lots of views (positive and negative) so it would be useful to see what the general opinion is. Ray
  10. At the risk of offending almost everyone.................... I watched the episode last night. Despite the obviously excellent efforts and skills of the participants, I thought it was awful. (I seem to be in a minority here but there you go). The whole programme seemed to be about special effects.....the railway was secondary. If a programme was made about ship modellers building a harbour with a tsunami feature it would have been no different. In my opinions as a railway modeller it is almost unwatchable. Apart from a few short glimpses there is nothing to help a budding railway modeller and apart from the name of the show, nothing that sells railway modelling as a hobby.....my opinion of course! So I agree with you. The show is supposed to be about model railways....so set challenges that domonstrate this and do away with the trashy 'let's make it exciting' scenario that seems to be endemic nowadays. Lraelsie that in itself, modelling layouts is probably quite dull for a TV audience, but maybe the production team can introduce their own version of 'innovation' to overcome this. OK....now I'll sit back and wait for the flak!! Ray
  11. The Summer is rolling on and for some time I have abandoned working indoors as the weather is so good. Instead, I have continued to work on the garden railway. So far I have installed 33 posts and almost 50 yards of track bed. The track laid to date is about 50 feet long (about a third of the total length) and over the next week I hope to install the final 2 posts, the final 3 track bed lengths and as much track as I can get done. I have made one construction error and I have to think of a solution or I will have to compromise on my 10 ft curves which are the preferred minimum. Progress so far (the posts are 4 ft apart). The gap on the right is where the final 2 posts are just visible...... If I can keep the momentum up I also would like to start the incline to take the track into my cabin and connect up with the (so far unbuilt) indoor layout. Ray
  12. Things not quite working this morning so I'll try again...... June sped by. The first event was that Robins chose to nest in my workshop which slowed things down a bit. I couldn't close the door which meant I had to drill an access hole in the door so I could lock up overnight. It worked and 4 chicks were raised......... June is holiday and break time so I went fishing for a week. It rained of course but I took 3 kits with me just in case.....they all got partially built! When I got back I also did a bit of work on the bogies of my Thompson coach (lurking in the background)..... I also took a major step with my garden railway by actually starting it. The first posts have been installed and the inaugural 24 feet of track is laid. It will be a no-frills layout to start with anyway. I just want to get it running before the end of the 'summer'. (The posts are all upright! The photo has a bit of parallax error!) The Class 4 wheels will be ready soon so it will be full steam ahead on that project..... Ray
  13. Michael After some considerable thought, I've concluded that cutting and aralditing the spokes will be my preferred solution. If this post reaches you would you please tell me what your method is......tools used; width of slit in spoke (I reckon 0.5mm will be about right); type of araldite etc? Thanks Ray
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