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Huw Griffiths

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  1. Excellent idea. I've been considering a similar build project for a while now (I'd actually intended to keep quiet about it until I get chance to build it - which could be some time, as other projects are ahead of it in the "queue"). As I understand it, one major issue with adapting Lima / Hornby tooling for such a build seems to involve checking the length of certain passenger saloon windows behind the driver's cabs. I'm sure there's other stuff. I'll be following this with interest. Huw.
  2. "11 ..." "... which now gives us 100." Somehow, I can't see this binary malarkey catching on any time soon. Huw.
  3. Normally, I'd suggest PVC insulation tape - trimmed to the front edges of the windows - press windows into place from behind - then run in a few drops of cellulose thinner (or other solvent adhesive of choice) from the back. Finally peel off the tape. Of course, with YMRV coaches, the window bars are raised sections of the same mouldings - so I don't know if something like Maskol might work instead for masking (unfortunately, I've never tried it with solvents). Otherwise, I'd actually be tempted to just press the windows in from behind - taking full advantage of the lip around the edges - and just run in a tiny amount of solvent from behind, around the edges, using capillary action. As long as you're careful where you put the solvent (and your fingers!), I suspect you'd probably do fine. Of course, if you've got a few spare windows and coach bodyshell offcuts, there's nothing to stop you doing a test run - you'd know if this is going to work within a few minutes. Actually, I think I might have tried this last suggestion a few years ago - and it worked. However, if you're worried about potential finger marks, you might wish to use a bit of tape on the rear of the windows. Huw.
  4. I suspect they might have been using the Tamiya adhesive because it's good stuff - the quick setting one is amazing. Saying that, Humbrol "Liquid Poly" smells quite nice - sorry, I probably wasn't supposed to say that ... . Meanwhile, the Tamiya adhesive has recently been noticeable by its absence from a number of model shops in my part of the world. Of course, if Hornby had actually had difficulty getting hold of their own adhesive, they could always have used cellulose thinner (which I believe they also market, in tiny jars) instead. I know the stuff works - although I get it (in much bigger containers - usually under names like "professional" or "universal" paint thinner) when decorating supplies appear in the "middle of Lidl". Huw.
  5. Probably just as well. I was dreading what further "innovations" the "Variac Kid" might have come up with ... . (Nothing personal, you understand - I just don't much care for the sort of "buzz" he appeared to be introducing to "the world's greatest hobby".) Huw.
  6. I just hope we don't get treated to loads of comments along the lines of: "Oh, the humanity!" ... Huw.
  7. I'm not convinced about that - after all, I believe that Bachmann also offer basic DCC chips and controllers. I'm not sure how many "serious" modellers buy either company's offerings. I also seem to recall a number of years back, one company announced plans to only offer new models ready fitted with their "chips" - which prompted something of a "digital response" from a number of potential customers (some of whom would have wanted different decoders, whilst others wouldn't have wanted any). I agree that some people want "all the bells and whistles" - but some don't. Also, the variety of prototype (and thus model) locomotive dimensions and shapes looks like frustrating any efforts to establish one universal standard of spaces / connections for installing decoders. Even where there is space for a decoder with a large "footprint", there doesn't seem to be agreement about which "standard" should be adopted. For these reasons, if I were responsible for any RTR manufacturer's product development, I would be in no rush to adopt any specific "standard" - even if I'd try to allow the provision of enough space to allow for installation of as many decoder options as possible. I realise that some people disagree with me on this - fair enough - but, at present, if (eg) Hornby were to "jump" and adopt any "standard", I'm certain they'd be met with howls of disapproval from people who've already opted for alternatives. Personally, I think Hornby are right to hold back with any decision on this issue. Huw.
  8. Anyway, returning to the "Hornby Show", I know it's rather "lightweight" - but it still includes some interesting stuff. I'm certainly enjoying watching it, despite some things not necessarily being to my liking. Huw.
  9. Similar - and slightly different - in my case. I was initially a "reserve" for one team in the first series - then one team member had to drop out for family reasons - so I was now in this team. Unfortunately, at this point, my father's health took a nosedive - and my mother (having previously actively encouraged me to get involved) instantly announced that I was going to bail out. I'm not saying that I disagree with her decision - but it was clearly somewhat frustrating, to say the least. (As I've mentioned elsewhere on this site, both my parents' health is no longer an issue - but I digress.) In practice, I suspect that the team were probably better off without me - mainly because someone else (who did appear in the team that took part) has modelling interests so similar that there could easily have been conflict over who did what. (Just for the record, I'm deliberately not making any claims about the standard of my model making.) If this series were to return, there'd no longer be conflicting calls on my time - but I'd obviously jump at the chance to experiment with different model railway stuff on someone else's "coin" (especially if I were to find myself in a team completely from my "part of the world"). Of course, whether anything like this were ever to happen is outside my control. I agree about the "left field" stuff in GMRC. Certainly, they'd be keen to encourage people to use their imagination about what to model and what to use when modelling it. After all, I don't see anything inherently "off" about a lot of layout themes (also I was born - and have spent most of my life so far - in former GWR territory) - but, at one time, there did seem to be rather a lot of GWR "BLT" themed layouts "doing the rounds" of shows and magazines. Meanwhile, whenever I've visited model railway shows (remember them?), I've particularly enjoyed visiting the demonstrators - seeing what they're building, how they're building it and what they're using. I suspect that the programme makers were trying to introduce this element into GMRC - even if some of us found certain themes (and some of the "materials" teams were expected to use) rather too "left field" for our liking. In all honesty, I struggle to imagine how they came up with certain themes etc - I could certainly imagine these inducing dissent amongst a number of teams. Probably the best that could be said about some of these is that they would have been the same for all the teams. Saying that, I'd still like to see further series of GMRC commissioned - whether or not I get the chance to be involved. If a FTA channel were to put this on (even repeats) opposite the "soaps" or "Strictly ZZZZZZ List Celebrities Go Prancing On Ice" - put repeats and "extras" programmes on Sunday afternoons - screen these the same time every week - and perhaps also do repeats on bank holidays when there's traditionally nothing worth watching - I strongly suspect they'd get rather more viewers than they seem to imagine. Clearly though, I know a lot less about this stuff than the people who decide what I "wish" to see on TV. After all, I merely get to watch the stuff - and pay for a TV licence ... . Huw.
  10. I'm afraid I haven't read this book - I actually hadn't heard of it. The reason I mentioned this stuff is that, at one point, I considered optometry as a career - to be honest, I suspect I would probably have found it much more fulfilling than electrical engineering. However, we both know how things worked out in practice. Huw.
  11. To a certain extent, I find myself "sitting on the fence" here. You've got a point about watching the series "for what it is and not for what we think it ought to be" - however, when we see stuff on there which we know to have the "potential" (sorry about the pun) to be very dangerous indeed (such as the Variac routine), I suspect that many people here would understand us finding it next to impossible to "belt" up and shut up. Just for the record, I'm not accusing you of telling us to do this - far from it, in fact. However, a number of us have, at various times, been in jobs which have required constant vigilance regarding health and safety. Some of us have electrical engineering backgrounds - some have been involved in "H & S" enforcement - some work histories which include aspects of both. If we see stuff that we really don't like, there were probably only ever two chances of us saying nothing - Slim and None - and Slim has just "bolted". Of course, the series gets a number of things right - even though they might surprise some people. In a previous episode, mention was made of "light bleed" on a test model of the APT - followed by ideas for how they'd be able to deal with it. "Light bleed" seems to affect a number of RTR models of coaching stock and multiple units. In fact, I've sometimes considered putting together a small demo about this and other carriage lighting stuff - something which could fit into a cardboard box (which could double as part of the demo setup) - something which could easily be used as a "cameo" on a society / demo stand at an exhibition. OK - it probably won't "see the light of day" - but I don't regard the underlying point as unreasonable. Whilst on the subject of the APT, I don't know how many people noticed the programme narrator suggesting that colour / shade matching of paint on prototype models sometimes involves the use of a "Mk 1 eyeball". I could imagine some people thinking "yes, right". This actually struck me as credible (even if a few steps might not have been shown on the programme). A few years ago, I was intrigued to notice a long, thin, box on a stand at a trade show. This box turned out to be a Farnsworth Munsell D15 colour vision test - which I was invited to try out. I had no difficulty in quickly arranging all the coloured discs in the correct order - with no errors. Whilst chatting with the guy manning the stand, I explained why I was so keen to do this test. I wasn't testing my own colour vision (which I already knew to be excellent). I was actually trying to see if the exhibition hall lighting affected the results of this colour vision test. In case you're wondering why this company had a colour vision test on their stand, it was a reference to a line of business. They sell colour matched batches of plastics - and they employ people to do at least some of the colour matching by eye. OK - I suspect that machines are probably also used to some extent - but they certainly seem to find the "Mk 1 eyeball" rather useful in this regard. Somehow, I suspect that we haven't seen the last of the Farnsworth Munsell discs - Shinobu Ishihara's colour dot patterns - or the City University's colour chameleon like rectangle patterns ... . Huw.
  12. "Lucky he doesn't do anything else dubious with electrics. Oh wait ......" Hmmm: A RailRoad loco run on a carpet and hooked up to a Variac. Hornby and H&M branded controllers tested in "pyro - mode". We mustn't forget a long line of "Smokey Joe" locos, used for "torture testing" the controllers. I can only hope he wasn't trying to get the "magic smoke". I wonder exactly how many "wagging fingers" his Variac routine would get. I could imagine Simon dreading what further "delights" this guy might have in store for products of brands he's been connected with. "None of these controllers is going to burn down your house." Probably not - but certain experiments might. I wonder about this guy's long term career plans - testing for manufacturers, perhaps - or, more likely, just a new series on Quest: "Don't Try This at Home, Kids!" The mind boggles ... . Huw.
  13. I agree about the bench supply - at least their outputs are isolated. When I was an electrical engineering student, Variacs terrified me - because they've only got one winding. As a result, even you turn the outputs right down, they're still live. Also, if this winding gets damaged, you effectively get the full mains voltage across the load. For some reason, if I had no choice but to use a Variac in a lab experiment, I'd always look to include an isolating transformer in the setup. Absolutely. Yes. He might connect something to the live output. Over the years, a number of us have "exchanged pleasantries" with moderators, over various issues (most of which have been able to be resolved amicably). As for GMRC, I agree that it was flawed - however, I'd still like to see it brought back when the Corona menace is finally kicked into touch. GMRC could definitely be improved - but I'd still much prefer it to some of the garbage certain TV networks seem intent on ramming down our throats. Huw.
  14. I'd hope that people installing DCC would be reasonably competent with wiring (with my background, I'd be rather worried if I weren't reasonably competent with this stuff). Simon's got a point with his observation. I can remember chatting with another engineer at a trade show, a few years ago - especially this guy's comment about standards: "The really great thing about standards is that there are so many of them!" Cynical, perhaps - but fair comment. As for the 8 pin sockets, they can actually be useful even to people who haven't gone digital (there are still some of us - even in MERG). With 8 pin sockets, isolating different parts of model locomotives, multiple units etc for maintenance is very straightforward - and it's also possible to make compatible connectors, using modified 8 pin IC sockets. As for me, I've got a GWR AEC twin railcar project "on the go" - which involves adapting some RailRoad single cars - it suits my purposes that these come fitted with 8 pin sockets. I think it would be fair to say that not everyone would necessarily want Hornby RTR models to come ready fitted with sockets with 22, 21, 18 or however many pins. Huw.
  15. As I don't get to see the ads, I can't be sure. However, judging by the thumbnail showing what looks like a load of artificial islands - with buildings on them - apparently linked by bridges - plus what looks like underwater sand build-ups - I might wonder about Dubai. Of course, I'm probably very much mistaken. Huw.
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