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  1. I tried the download link, but it tells me it does not exist. Is the file still available?
  2. Now I'm not being disparaging* but I do wonder why people choose to model modern times because of this. On the flipside, I do wonder what would have happened if modern efficiency practices would have been put in place in the late 1920s - i.e. all the big-4 would have got together and said to Parliament "stuff your common carrier regulations - let us do it better!" (* I know and approve of the reason why - rule 1. To misquote: "I disagree with what you model, but I will defend to the death your right to model it!")
  3. I'd use the lit switch on the non-lighting circuit - your smoke generator. Then you'll know if you left it on but it's not generating for some reason.
  4. Why not service them and fit them with DCC chips? I know you say you're an electrical novice, but it's not super-difficult to do. Have a read here to judge suitability of yours:
  5. @kevinlms One length of flexi, I agree. Now ten lengths of flexi - a little over 9 metres - would have significant resistance (a little over 2 ohms for the 18m of rail concerned) in comparison to motor windings (which I wouldn't like to guess at but should be roughly similar). I'd lay odds that you would indeed notice the slowing of the loco towards the other end of the straight run. However, this is now a bar discussion only proven by experiementation. (I do agree with you about the corrosion, however... but that's actually what the purpose of the thread is, combatting the corrosion layer with nowt but a pencil!) @Graham Radish Well... the layer of graphite is inconsequential as far as resistance is concerned, it's extremely thin. It's purpose here, and why it works as a concept practically, is that it's being used as an anti-corrosion layer. The NS rail corrodes at a far lower rate, and the graphite doesn't really transfer as there's so little of it, filling all the microscopic cracks and pores in the surface of the rail. For a relatively small loss in traction, you remove the need to continually clean corrosion off your track and wheels. It's a trade-off many people make, and it works just fine. You speak of carbon deposits and carbon film resistors, they are both different material forms of carbon again - apples and oranges. We could diamond coat the track, leving it lovely and shiny, and while the wear resistance would be stellar, it wouldn't really need to be as diamond is a phenomenally good insulator - nothing would be going anywhere. Since you ask, graphite in the same units is around 800, semiconductor carbon about 3500... and diamond is ... somewhere between 10^13 and 10^20. Lots.
  6. I agree with you - but it is a numbers game. Without resorting to units, the resistivity of NS is about 28, the relative resistivity of copper is 1.7. If you jumper all your fishplates wih soldered copper, you'd have a well conducting run of NS, but if the layout only has a single feed, you'll have much more voltage drop at the extremes than if you added a couple of extra copper wired feeds. Practically, it only takes a couple of feeds to assist a small layout beyond the point you can recognise a steady drop off of speed due to these resistances. As soon as you've put in a couple of section feeds in for DC 'cab control', or even just isolating sidings &c., you've fixed a problem you never knew you had. Bear in mind if you use DCC, then you won't see an issue with voltage drops at all (in theory) as the voltages fed to the motors are locally calculated by the electronics in the decoder. As long as the DCC feed voltage is high enough to begin, you should never see a variance in your loco speed. I do remember from more than 30 years back that locos on my codged and bodged 4ftx7ft roundy-roundy (with its rusty steel* Hornby settrack, plastic power clips and probably filthy wheels and pickups) would perform noticably better close to the power feed than directly opposite. While I've witnessed this directly and you state you have not, I think this goes more to proving your point than mine! I'm designing a OO garden layout which may be in the order of 80 metres in extremis, so I've been thinking about these things as they will make a difference for me. Then again, with DCC, as long as there is some signal, Almost certainly, YMMV (Your Meterage May Vary. ) * For info, the resistivity of mild/carbon steel compared to the other materials above is in the 7-10 range.
  7. I was going to have a lovely old "someone is wrong on the internet" rants before I read this comment more carefully: This spirit of this statement is very much a truth - because of the properties of the oxide, it makes NS a good compromise material for rails. Just as a point-of-fact in addition; NS itself is a relatively poor conduction material, hence the generally accepted advice that a set of copper bus wires under the baseboard helping the angry pixies get to where they need to be much more easily is "a good idea". It's alway about cost for products like this. I think from a solving an engineering problem point of view, you could use a zinc-chromate (look up chromate conversion coating) on steel to get a nice bright conductive material with fair corrosion resistance... but the cost and ongoing maintenance of the processes (steel needs to be zinc plated first) probably don't really stand up to using NS as the base material. We could suggest that an aluminium-extruded rail of a decent hard grade of aluminium might get us the colour, corrosion resistance, and conductivity we desire if correctly post-processed, but I dread to think the cost, and we have to suspect that even a robust grade of aluminium will be a touch too soft to combat accidental damage from a clumsy cack-handed fool like me. As far as on-topic discussion goes, I'm on the 'graphite is good' bandwagon. (I think some of my comments on the topic have been quoted in this thread.)
  8. Looks like an eyelet, as used for reinforcing holes in leather, for shoelaces, &c.
  9. A picture is worth a thousand words. However, since we're on DCC here, we can discuss stay alive capacitors for the first problem. I don't know what brand of decoder you favour, but many if not most decoders can support a capacitor. Smoother running in general vs extra expense and some packaging and wiring challenges, However, since we're straying off-topic... It occured to me that even though it's an insulfrog crossng we're talking about, and you mentioned you were using insulated rail joiners - a bit of cunning with some electrical switches hooked up to the feeding turnouts could allow you to throw the polarity of the offending rails. Worth investigating?
  10. Ouch. If you carried it all, I feel for you. I too am in house renovation Hades at the moment.
  11. Having just read this thread through, as it doesn't appear Hornby have retooled the Five since... I think it deserves another bump. Excellent work.
  12. Couple of coats of clear (nail) varnish over the vees? https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/38137-peco-crossing-shorting-issues/
  13. Stunning model. Well done.
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