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  1. I tried most of them and found that Anyrail was the best and easy to use. The worst thing about it was that it forced me to recognise that I was never going to get the main line through the Peak District into my attic. It did enable be to build baseboards accurately to size and decide where to put turnouts etc. It could do with some embellishments, like easy formatting of text and colours, but it did all I wanted. Templot is great and will enable you to design professional looking, almost prototypical trackwork.
  2. Most probably a dry bearing. Plastic body shells are very good amplifiers of noise and anything you do to it with it will not attenuate the noise. If you want to reduce the noise that way you have to add lots of mass (think of cast metal body shells or something akin to lead sheets for walls) and block up absolutely every hole around the motor. Far better to reduce the noise at source (i.e. the bearings or maybe the gears). Peterfgf
  3. The 60/40 solder I sue has a melting point range of 183-188deg.C. and I set the iron at 380deg.C. It always a bit of a compromise but this temperature manages to make quick, well melted and effective joints for me. Not a lot of heat goes into the parent material if you are quick about it. Peterfgf
  4. Do get a temperature controlled soldering iron. They are a worthwhile investment. I bought an Atten AT60 from RS Components and I'm very pleased with it (it replaced an el-cheapo from Maplins, which ably demonstrated the proverb "buy cheap, buy twice"). Get small pointed tips for soldering on decoders. Buy a brass wire de-solder station to wipe excess solder off the iron tip (you don't want too much on the tip). Clean up/remove oxidation from the contact pads with a fibre glass pen, tin the pads before soldering the wires to the pads. I use 60%/40% tin/lead solder. It ha
  5. I used some of these track clamps to hold the ends of the rails at the same length. They were also very useful when joining track lengths together. A little expensive but one of the better tools I've bought. One way of avoiding kinks would be to stagger the joints so that there are not two joints at one position. Peterfgf https://www.fohrmann.com/en/track-clamps.html
  6. Incredibly pleased with my 0-4-4T. I splashed out on the factory sound fitted version and it is very good - much better than the efforts of a few years ago. I checked the CVs using Decoder Pro and was surprised to find it set up for 14 speed steps rather than the recommended 128. Strange. The speed table as it comes is also linear. Buxton to Millers Dale push-pull is now a reality! Peterfgf
  7. Thanks for the advice. Will back off on the epoxy - I wanted to provide a smoother/continuous rail surface. Peterfgf
  8. I used a Roco starter set to get going in DCC from an Austrian http://www.hobby-sommer.com/. More recently i've used https://www.modellbahnshop-lippe.com/ and had excellent service at very competitive prices (including loyalty bonuses). In the UK you can get Roco Geoline from https://www.conrad.com/o/h0-roco-geoline-track-beds-1606317 but you might find it cheaper to use a German supplier. Geoline is great track- robustly made with good connectors, and, as you say, concealed point motors. It would make great track for inclusion in UK starter train sets (Hornby, Bachmann). I've noticed th
  9. I ended up using Peco Code 75 flat bottom plastic joiners. The gap between the rails ends is a bit big though and I'm thinking of filling the gap with epoxy or similar. I tried the Tillig plastic joiners which are small and neat but they are for FB and the BH is just too broad to fit in comfortably. I bought some of the Ambis fishplates (they deserve the name fishplate rather than joiner), Superb but very small and fragile. I didn't use them in the end but they are probably the way to go if you are modelling fine-scale and want something realistic. Peterfgf
  10. I've just connected two GM Autofrogs to a Peco Code 75 long diamond crossing. They work perfectly without any hesitation and solved what I thought was going to be a bit of a problem - wiring up a simple two-road junction. I'm very pleased. Peterfgf
  11. I called TMC last week to change my order and had a nice chat with the chap on the other end. He confirmed that the expected delivery date is July 2022. Peterfgf
  12. Just a thought: with a bit of care it is possible to convert electrofrog turnouts to unifrogs. The unifrogs do help a lot with running even without switching the frog (which I've done anyhow).
  13. Totally agree. There are often two, three, four, or more contributions, each of which on their own wouldn't have been a problem, but taken together cause a failure or accident. It's the small and seemingly innocuous things, which added together, give rise to problems. I'm more at home with marine engineering failures and investigations, but I doubt it is much different on railways. If sods law doesn't work then Murphy's law will work. You really have to be vigilant about the small details. Peterfgf
  14. There are a few other things that can contribute to derailment, for example, poor and different spring rates. The Severn Valley Railway managed to derail a tender this way: https://www.gov.uk/raib-reports/derailment-on-severn-valley-railway Poor load distribution has led to a few container trains being derailed in a few cases (but I wouldn't have thought so here): https://www.gov.uk/raib-reports/freight-train-derailment-at-reading-west-junction Poor wheel flange profile is another but can't find any reports.
  15. I used these: https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01FI7I4F2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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