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Everything posted by KingEdwardII

  1. Keeps me amused while I do unarmed combat with JMRI...
  2. USB 3.0 Flash drive vs USB 3.0 SSD is not a straightforward choice and it took me quite a while to select the MyMemory flash drive that I eventually purchased. The SSDs are undoubtedly faster, but they are much bulkier and more expensive, also requiring an adapter cable of some kind. I have an SSD but I have now used this as a network storage device (NAS) attached to my main broadband router, which serves all the devices in my home for backup and for file sharing. So I use the Flash drive on the Pi400 as a compromise between small size, cost and speed - way faster than the original
  3. Philip, If you go down the XTrackCad route that Chris used above, you can do all the hard work on the computer and simply print out the result at 1:1 scale. No need for tricky measurements and the track can all be spot on by sticking the printouts down on your baseboard and laying the track on top. It can even help you get the baseboard cuts right, especially the curved ones. That's the approach I take with my layout - and the only tricky thing is to make sure the printout sheets are all laid square and true. XTrackCad provides registration marks and rulers on the print
  4. Adding the Touchscreen My aim is to display a control panel on a screen attached to the Pi400 and to control aspects of the layout from that screen using touch - clicking directly on representations of points, etc. So I need a suitable touchscreen monitor attached to the Pi400. After some research I decided to opt for the Iiyama Prolite T2252MSC monitor. This is a 22 inch LCD monitor with HD resolution (1920 x 1080). It has 10 point capacitative touch capabilities and, most importantly, can mimic a mouse on the Linux operating system as used on the Pi400. The video outp
  5. Another change I made was to replace the wired Raspberry Pi mouse that arrived in the bundle with the Pi400 with a wireless Bluetooth mouse. In the railway room, the fewer the wires the better. I hope to use the mouse as little as possible, by using a touch screen monitor. However, I can see cases where a mouse is likely to be easier to use. In that case, being able to use the mouse anywhere, without worrying about a cable, is a better approach. Fortunately I already had a Bluetooth mouse lying idle, so it got "repurposed"
  6. Install large USB drive This step slowed me up considerably in the end - since I ordered a 256Gb Flash drive from MyMemory which got caught up in the frenzy of deliveries ahead of Christmas and I only received it on Jan 2nd. The reason for needing a large USB drive is simple - the supplied Raspbian SD card is relatively small (16Gb) and is impractical for a system where you intend to install and run a lot of complex software. Initially I considered adding a 2.5inch SSD, but one of my sons showed me his USB flash drive which was physically tiny but with huge storage. I h
  7. Further steps... configure networking install large USB drive attach touch screen monitor Configure Networking The Pi400 has an Ethernet port and also WiFi. Ethernet supports up to 1Gb LAN speeds. WiFi supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Enabling Ethernet is trivially easy - simply plug in a Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable with an RJ45 connector which connects to your router. To check the speed of the connection, use ethtool eth0 This shows a 1Gb LAN speed for my connection. Enabling the WiFI is straightforw
  8. Let me ask a couple of questions relating to the Patriot and the shorting. What do you mean when you say "Points are Peco modified"? Which modifications have you carried out? In particular, have you cut the connections to the switch blades? Second, is it clear that the short occurs with the loco at a particular place on the point? Is it typically the same place? I am trying to establish what exactly is being shorted by the loco.
  9. I controlled a train and switched some points on my layout from a computer for the first time yesterday. I know this is routine for many folk who post to these forums, but I still think it is a significant milestone for anyone building a model railway, since it is far from trivial to enable this. I am still experimenting, but my goals are clear: control the physical aspects of the layout from a large computer touch screen (points, signals, lights) instead of a physical control panel provide (semi) automation so that I can run multiple trains simultaneously on the layo
  10. That bottom line in the coal depot involves some entertaining shunting operations! Potentially 4 reversals to get a truck in or out of there. I'm left scratching my head as to why it was designed like that. Yours, Mike.
  11. "The floor ain't level" certainly occurred to me - nice shiny new set of baseboards constructed, with legs carefully constructed all to have the same length to get a nice level surface. Lay the track carefully. First time I ran a test goods train with lovely modern wheelsets - all went very well until I uncoupled the trucks. Then I discovered the downside of low friction metal wheels and watched as the trucks disappeared off into the buffers at the end of the siding. Much cursing and measuring with my long spirit level revealed that the builders who created our lovely attic bedroom
  12. Yes, Covid-19 has a few small advantages... ...another one is extra cash available for modelling since I can't spend it on much else Mike.
  13. Keith, The present-day Richmond probably counts as Minories - the current arrangement is that the terminus District / Overground lines are entirely separate from the SWT through lines - there is no connection between them whatever. The present-day operations are a bit monotonous - 4 TfL trains in/out per hour plus up to 10 District line trains - busy but not much variation. The older trackplan in the map above is a very different story since all the tracks were connected and there were goods facilities on both the down & up sides of the station - much more variety p
  14. Equally importantly - do all your measuring and then find that: - the railway room ain't square - the floor ain't level - you just covered up the power socket you need to use... Yours, Mike.
  15. Attached is my OO layout plan - fitted into an Attic bedroom left free when the children moved out to their own homes. The room is an "L" shape and I have a space of 3.6 x 4.0 metre to use. The left hand and top of the diagram are under sloping ceilings so that the height of the baseboards is deliberately low at around 830mm and I operate sitting down in a chair on castors that I propel around the central well. I have a worktable that can be slid underneath the baseboards in one of a couple of locations. I decided on a roundy-roundy design with one station on the right hand side (p
  16. Yes, pretty well the first thing I did with my PA2 system was to replace the short handset cable with something longer. I used a standard Ethernet Cat5e patch cable and it has worked well ever since. Since I work in the computer field, I didn't even have to buy the cable since I have a whole heap of them stored in a box - but they are cheap to buy in whatever length you need. Yours, Mike.
  17. Sure, The discussion was about Ealing Broadway station in West London, which has a number of elements including a terminus of the District Line (one of the London Underground lines). A general introduction to Ealing Broadway station is available on Wikipedia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ealing_Broadway_station I can't promise that all the details are accurate on that page, but it should give you a general idea. The station has terminus facilities for both District Line and Central Line underground trains and through facilities for the Grea
  18. Phil, I'm curious to see "Ashford Cables" on the drums rather than the more local "Aberdare Cables" - I was born a couple of miles away from their works. Yours, Mike.
  19. Runners & Riders. So what should we cover in the set of Buses? Here is my starting list - I am sure that folks here can suggest others. I'm not suggesting that we cover all of these in any detail, but I'd like not to miss anything at the start. S88 / S88-N LocoNet (B and T variants) NMRA LCC BiDiB SSB B-Bus R-Bus RS-Bus XpressNet (plus X-Bus) CAN Bus Layout Control Bus That's already quite a list, but some of them are very specialized I think, at least with respect to Automation.
  20. You might look at the Dremel 225 flexible shaft or equivalent, which has a much smaller diameter than the main Dremel multitool body: https://www.dremeleurope.com/general/en/dremel®flexibleshaft-223-ocs-p/ I use that for more hard-to-reach places. There are also cutting disks up to 38mm available for the Dremel, which give quite a deep cut. I suppose the other piece of kit I'd consider using if I have a need for deeper cuts is a jigsaw. I normally use one of those for slicing through plywood, but there are metal cutting blades available for jigsaws and I sus
  21. I'm scratching my head to understand why one of these Nanoblade saws would be better at fine cuts in track (etc) than a Dremel (other brands are available ). That's what I use for these sort of cuts and there are a variety of cutting tools available for the Dremel that suit various materials. For track the thin disk cutters are great - very fast, accurate and a minimum of fuss. The only hassle is the need to clean up the fine metal particles thrown off as you cut. Yours, Mike.
  22. Phil, That's my approach - I find it makes getting the track geometry right much easier, especially for curves and the related cutting Yours, Mike
  23. I am curious that you prepare your plans on paper. This seems like a lot of work when you need to modify the plans as you have shown in your last posts. I choose to use computer programs for these purposes largely to make the work of redesign and editing simpler and faster. I assume that you have chosen not to use this approach for very good reasons - can you say something about this please? Yours, Mike.
  24. John, do you have interference from other WiFi systems in your vicinity? You might be able to see this with your PC or Smartphone, where there are apps available that will show you all the WiFi networks and info like which channels they are using. Or perhaps interference from non WiFi devices broadcasting in the 2.4GHz band, which would show up as noise. Yours, Mike.
  25. One thought for you concerns modelling a suitable station. One of the more interesting stations on the Leeds - Carlisle railway is Skipton. Even more so in its pre-Beeching form, with the lines to Ilkley, Grassington, Colne still in place, in addition to the Leeds, Bradford, Carlisle and Morecambe links still present today. Not too large - 6 platforms in total - but a good variety of different types of train from the small locals up to the mainline London - Glasgow expresses. With the space that you have available, a substantial through station is practical and there would be plenty of variety
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