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Robert Stokes

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    North Lincolnshire, U.K.

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  1. I have two Dapol working LMS signals, which when installed on the layout, will be close together (one on the up line and one on the down) but the pair will be a fair distance from the control panel. I wondered whether I needed to use two pairs of wires from the control panel to the yellow connections on the signals or whether a common return could be used. This was not just to save wire but to reduce wiring complexity and the work involved. I set up a test rig with two signals fitted to a piece of plywood with battens below to allow for clearance. All the wires were connected to a choc-block on the top. Wires from the other side of the choc=-block could be touched to operate the signals. Although the yellow wires appear identical I suspected that their purpose might not be. The choc-block connector thus had yellow wires designated LA, LB, RA, RB where L is left-hand signal and R the right-hand signal. The results were interesting. With LA and RB joined as the common return, the signals operated simultaneously whichever one of the single wires was touched to the common one. With LA joined to RA as the common return and with LB joined to RB, one of the signals reacted as soon as I tried to make the connection. This meant that none of these three arrangements would be usable. However, LB joined to RA as the common return did exactly what I wanted - independent control of each signal when the appropriate wire was touched to the common one. I attached a small piece of black tape to each of the yellow wires which will form the common return when fitted to the layout before dismantling the test rig. I hope that others may find this useful. Robert
  2. Surely if we don't keep ordering lots of stuff online or by telephone (not just model railway stuff) then thousands of companies (and not just small ones) will go out of business. As a result the unemployment figures will surpass anything we've seen before. The government simply won't be able to afford the benefits and we could see social unrest that this country has never had before. Robert
  3. I hope that I have put this in the right section. I am probably in the very unusual position of having bought two of the same premium sets of ID backscens five years apart. I bought the first set of "Hills and Dales" in 2015 as a special order of 27" high ones to go on the layout I was building in my shed. Last year I decided to rebuild the layout to a different design and 12" higher than before. I peeled the backscenes off the walls and stored them on the roof of the shed. The idea was to re-use them on the new layout cut down in size. The roof had been painted white so sticking them on there should not have damaged them. However, because I didn't have room for all of them individually, I stuck half of them on top of the others. I didn't realise that this was a bad idea because when I came to peel them apart it badly damaged them. I therefore decided to replace them with new ones but didn't immediately bin the old ones. I therefore ordered a new set of the same backscens but this time ones of the standard 15" height. When they arrived I was disappointed with them because the colours were very muted. I asked if I could return them and have a replacement set the same as I had bought in 2015. I was told that there were two sets of "Hills and Dales" and I would be sent the other set after I returned the first lot I had received. The replacement set arrived yesterday and, although better, they are still disappointing. I have just laid on the dining table, one of the 2015 set and the corresponding one of the new set. They are exactly the same picture but the colours on the new one are not as clear as on the old one. The best way I can describe it is that everything on the new ones appear as if viewed through a haze. Has any had a similar experience or bought ID backscenes recently and been disappointed with them. Robert
  4. One further point which I forgot in my earlier post. It is a good idea to get a variable voltage supply for these signals and run them on the lowest voltage that will make them work. I have read that they last much longer that way. I have obtained such plug-in power supplies for about £6. Robert
  5. You could consider building the layout high enough that ducking under as you enter and leave would be really easy (assuming that you are not too tall). This would avoid the alignment problems associated with a lifting flap. It would also have the benefit of much more storage room below the layout. Robert
  6. I've got six of them. Not yet installed on my new layout, but they worked well on the previous one. If you have a power supply with variable voltage then run them on the lowest voltage that makes them work. I have read that they last much longer that way. Robert
  7. To achieve a good length of scenic run you could use a folded figure of eight design. This would mean trains run twice round the whole garage before returning to the same point. You could have the fiddle yard under part of the scenis run but this might need gradients that were too steep. Another possibility is to have the FY on the same level but behind some scenery. Good luck with the project whatever you decide. Robert
  8. I have six of the original Dapol working signals. I use DCC Concepts levers to work them as these have passing contact connections (as well as permanent connections for other applications). This means that the position of the lever normally shows the position of the signal. I say 'normally' because if you accidentally knock the lever it can operate the signal without the lever moving to the opposite position. The way round this is to try to avoid it happening, but if it does, then just touch it again to return the signal to its proper position. Robert
  9. To be brutally frank, I think your wish list in 00 gauge in that space is unrealistic. It is more suited to N gauge. If you want to stick with 00 gauge, I think you must at least drop the idea of a second station above the fiddle yard; the necessary gradient would just be too severe. You want double track but are you going to be able to store and run trains long enough to justify it? Assuming that the passing station has a goods yard, the point-work needed at the end of the station will take up a lot of room. If you want realism, then I would go for a single track loop which doubles through the station. On the other side it would have storage loops under a removable hill. At a show a few years ago I saw such a model built into an 8 by 6 shed. Two sides of the shed were cut away so that lots of visitors could see into it at the same time. It was very atmospheric and despite its small size looked really good. Robert
  10. Sorry for missing this. I must try to start reading the whole of a post and not just enough to find out what it's about. Robert
  11. I don't see anything wrong with the basic idea. I assume that you intend to have a fiddle yard at both ends. Do you need to cover so much of the lines with the city? I would make this part removable to deal with any derailments or engines which won't start. Sod's law says that these always occur in the places most difficult to get at. Robert
  12. Are the two parts of the layout going to join up in some way? Also the platform seems much longer than it needs to be. How many coaches will be in trains that use the main platform? Is there going to be provision for a fiddle yard? Robert
  13. If it's a branch terminus then I think it unlikely to have a level crossing anywhere near it. Surely the nearest road would go round the end of the lines. I'm not saying it's impossible but I can't think of an example that didn't do that. Robert
  14. Maybe my first idea was a non-starter. (I had envisaged it being raised and lowered by an adult each time.) An alternative could be something kept under the bed on rollers. I don't think a young child would mind operating something not far above floor level. Robert
  15. A roundy-roundy may not be impossible even in a restricted space. Could you attach it to the wall in such a way that it folds up against the wall when not in use? You would have to devise a very good system to lock it upright so that there was no danger of it falling on someone's head. Of course it would mean taking off all rolling stock at the end of a running session and storing it for next time. Robert
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