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    Scottish railways 1980 to present (mainly!)

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  1. well I got my IDAs out of storage and checked the bogies - 75% of them were tightened so far on the screws that there was no lateral movement possible at all and quickly rolling across some pointwork showed the issue as wheels became unweighted and over-rode the rails before derailing. All now backed off a small amt to allow a bit more movement and hopefully will resolve issue. Layout out of action currently so can't test in anger but should be able to next week...
  2. Interesting times... I can't make up my mind whether the newer models will entice me away from my extensive collection of mostly Bachmann locos. I can't deny that the level of detail is increasing all the time but is it needed? Several new release wagon models I've bought recently from a range of manufacturers have seen bits fall off them on first getting them out of the box (and I wouldn't count myself as particularly ham-fisted). I'm also not that convinced that some of the recent announcements are quite spot on (and i'm not referring to stuff announced in the last week or so and these comments aren't aimed at Accurascale) - for sure there are more bits but some of the detailing looks a little chunky compared to some of what has gone before - I will wait until I see in the flesh before deciding for sure though. Final thing is that, despite some of my Bach locos perhaps being less detailed than they could be, they are still the most detailed part of my layout by a considerable margin - do I need more detail on my locos or do I need to try and bring the rest up to the same level as the locos?! I would argue from my observations at shows that this is true in a lot of cases with only a small minority of layouts really matching the detail of the locos on the layout. Did I switch wholescale from Lima to Bachmann / Hornby over past 15 years - yes but in large this was due to better running characteristics as well as better shape to most locos. Will there be a step change in performance to make this case again for me - I don't think there will as my current fleet can mostly handle the loads they're asked to pull (~full length trains on < 1 in 30 gradients) with only a few exceptions (Bach 70 being an interesting case in point)). I'll probably eat my words in near future but at the moment I'm quite content with my mostly Bachmann fleet. M
  3. Charlie i'd ordered one through Hattons after I had issues getting your website to work (ages ago) - can you confirm that Hattons will still be getting their stock and also when you will be dispatching to them? Don't want to risk not getting one and if it is likely you will only satisfy direct orders I will order direct from you. Cheers, Matt
  4. Plus 08 & 67. 67 is often forgotten but is a lovely model IMHO - not quite 60 league but not far short (same league as 56 maybe).
  5. Sorry yes that would be an obvious question given you are producing in both scales... I would be looking for OO ones. M
  6. Mike / Ben, I am keen to place a pre-order for both the Holdalls and IPA car carriers but am not clear how to do this - is this because you are not open for pre-orders as yet or am I not understanding how to use your website? I noticed the IPA page suggested order book closing in December and don't want to miss out! M
  7. The TL couplers are at the right height - however the mounts are not. As such the insert TL couplers supplied have a step in them to compensate for the height difference. This is the same as the original release Bachmann TTA and family. If you use TLs then you will have no issue - however if plan to covert to Kadee or other couplers then the mount is not to NEM standard and will likely require removing and a new mount (or more likely with Kadees an entire coupling box from non NEM socket range) installed at correct height. Quite an easy thing to do (I have plenty of TTAs with this mod) but a little irritating that have to... M
  8. Thanks Spikey, Tony and John, I'll give all of these suggestions a go. As regards "looped over capacitors" - I followed the instructions with the DCC Supplies CDU where it advised using the outermost terminals to get the biggest punch to the points (and it is more punch than the inner terminal which I started with) so I would assume in parallel as you recommend. The wiring is quite long and I have used quite beefy wire and then doubled up the return from the sticky motors - this has helped in a couple of cases. The thing that is odd though is that the furthest PMs from the CDU (which are also side mounted Pecos) have been entirely reliable from first testing so isn't simply a length thing. I have noticed that the supplied motors have quite long and very weedy wires which in some cases I have trimmed right back - I haven't yet correlated whether these are the reliable ones but will take a look later. They are only maybe 10cm long so feels unlikely but they are really weedy inside... maybe just adding a little resistance? One of the stickiest PMs I removed the other night and reinstalled to try and ensure that the fit was perfect - couldn't see any binding and did try a little lubrication to no avail... I do agree this also seems a likely cause as my actual points do vary in age quite substantially between new and maybe 15 years old. Again not correlated precisely but think it is generally newer points at fault... but then I generally fit side PMs to newer points as most of my older ones had the lugs cut off the tie-bars on a previous layout... I didn't mention it initially but I may just be pushing my luck expecting to get so many points firing on one CDU... I do have 11 points working reliably on one ladder (where all PM types the same) throwing at once, but this ladder is giving my grief ALWAYS on the sidemounted PM type. There is of course the possibility that I am bad at installing side mount PMs... John - appreciate your diagram which makes perfect sense and I will give a go to if all else fails - I was trying to do this one in my head and hadn't quite fathomed it out so much appreciated. I will report back when I solve the issue - may be a while as we have guests coming this week which will restrict play time... M
  9. Thanks Kevin. I'm using a closed unit DCC Concepts CDU which doesn't give me any option to up the voltage (as it is I am looped across both capacitor banks to give it a big enough thump). I'll have a play with the resistor idea - one of the point's reliability has improved by doubling up on feed wires suggesting that the differences are quite subtle between them such that this could help. M
  10. I've recently started wiring up my large fiddle yard. In order to set routes I've elected to use a diode matrix arrangement to thump multiple solenoid point motors into position. I've had experience of this on previous layouts using a large CDU to provide the necessary thump. On this latest layout, in testing I am finding some points to not throw reliably. The ladder is a mixture of different point motors (Hornby under mounted, Peco undermounted and Peco surface mounted) out of necessity and it appears it is always the Peco surface mounts that struggle (though interestingly not all of them - some are OK despite being further from the control panel). I guess I'm asking too much to get one CDU to throw all these points at once and am thinking about options to make these more reliable. Can anyone make any suggestions? I was thinking of maybe fitting a point specific small CDU for the sticky points but was not clear on how to go about wiring this in with the rest of the diode matrix so a single button can throw a whole series of points. Thanks in advance for any pointers, Matt
  11. Fran and co - should I just give you direct access to my bank account... Accurascale are costing me a serious amount of money :-)
  12. Yes I've written about this possible solution to Hornby 56 / 60s which are plagued by this problem. I think 2 things are at play - 1 the presence of any small burrs as keefer has said (some of these CCMs seem to be cut or maybe cast from metal so not that smooth) but also the fact that the coupling mechanism extends on corners and has to go back through the un-extended centre point before being allowed to go to the other side. As a result, getting through the centre part can be difficult if the coupler is under heavy load (try this by hand - keep a load on the coupler and try moving side to side and you might find there is a binding point going through centre). I have found that taking a very small amount of material off the centre of the CCM (triangular piece which causes the coupler to have to go back to close during its travel through centre) to make this point more rounded helps the problem on H56 / 60s at least. Unmodified versions cannot haul my rake of 25 TEAs round my layout but once this tweak is made they will romp away with the rake no issue. Would be interested to see if its the same issue affecting some wagons CCMs - for me to date have only identified the issue on the H56 / 60 but I do have several wagons awaiting attention due to derailments which may be caused by this too (I only JUST got trains running after house move and am having a play right now!). M
  13. My layout is mainly 3rd Radius or more but I do have curve of 2nd Radius on a return from a goods loop. I have several new Class 37s including 37032 from your list above and have had no issues so far. It looks the mod is a simple one anyway if needed. All the newer 37s run very sweetly (some of the original ones seem growly in comparison)
  14. i'm sorry but I must respectfully disagree when you say weathering isn't your forte... I really like that they are not all the same too. Lovely layout BTW - I love the colours and overall look which just captures West of Scotland. M
  15. Jonathan, having passed this distinctive building many times over the years I would say you've nailed it. Looks amazing and can't wait to see the rest of your layout progressing at this standard. Matt
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