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    Living in a dream
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    Railways model and prototype. Cycling. Staying alive for as long as possible.

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  1. Don't solder direct to the rail. I use an 'L' shape piece of brass wire approx. 0.5mm thick pushed down through a small hole adjacent to the rail and soldered to the rail web on the side away from the viewer. Very discreet. The wire under the board is then bent again 'L' and the end soldered to a small brass screw fixed about half to one inch away. Any connections can then be made to this, even multiple ones, without affecting the rail connection above.
  2. Me too. Captain Kernow of this parish has always been going to build Speech House - but I bet you'll beat him to it I have part built 4mm scale models based on Drybrook Road station building and signal box. Speech House was very similar.
  3. On the back of all the vice listings I found this - https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/Katsu-100080-Mini-Bench-Drill-Press-180w-220v-50hz-7000rpm-Fit-Max-6-5mm-Bits/1955852756?_trkparms=aid%3D666006%26algo%3DPRP.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20161103085654%26meid%3D1037593fcb6c4836842a9d0e4ffff652%26pid%3D100697%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26&_trksid=p2349526.c100697.m4697 All the machine vices appear to be the same - but the price varies considerably!
  4. Well worth keeping an eye on this!
  5. Interesting. Is there a drill/milling machine to match anywhere at a similar price level suitable for 4mm work?
  6. Thanks for the comments above. I always thought a 'ballache' was some kind of French bread loaf.................. I've also tested a few wagons - and the best running of them all is a rigid Mainline tank wagon with replacement P4 wheels. I'm using this as a test vehicle when fettling track. I think I will 'convert' all my boxed Mainline and Bachmann wagons in a similar fashion (I've got more than enough to populate the layout!), possibly fitting them with Dingham couplings at the same time so I don't have to mess about trying to change existing 3-links. The locos may well be a problem though as the majority of 3-links on them are securely fixed in position.
  7. Is that correct? Even after several years? One of mine suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason and now has a rattle inside it as if something has come adrift. I'll have to 'phone them to ask.
  8. I have a couple of Ramblers which I think is a brilliant controller - when it works! Mine have stopped working and nobody is prepared/able/willing to repair them. A Rambler would be ideal for my latest small shunting plank. The reversing relay seems to work (a slight 'click' when the direction is changed?) but control is non-existant. Len Rich did repair one for me once but sadly, as someone has already said, he didn't leave any details for us to work from. Is there any hope of reviving them? I've no aptitude with electronics and my knowledge of electrics is that current flows from negative to postive (or is it the other way round!?) and that high currents can kill you if you're not careful! BTW, one of the Ramblers is a 'new in box' unused one that I bought 'pre-owned' at an exhibition a couple of years ago - but it doesn't work either.
  9. i have a couple of the AGW 401 feedback controllers which I find very good and bulletproof in use. The other day I was testing some locos on my new layout. Most of these have Mashimas of varying sizes and I became aware that one loco, with a small Mashima, was 'buzzing' even when the control knob was fully in the off position. I checked the output with a multi-meter and discovered that there was still a small amouint of current being emitted. Thinking this may have been a fault developing I tried my standyby controller, identical in every way but very little used, and the same was happening. There is insufficient power being emitted to move the loco(s) but I am intrigued. Is this a common situation with feedback controllers? I have been using these AGW ones (and others) for many years and not knowingly experienced this before. In the general noise of an exhibition it would not be noticed at all but in the quiet of home it is. Any comments?
  10. Now the wiring is complete I have been trying out the various locos that I hope to use. They all work but each one seems to have a little foible on different sections of track. A couple basically run everywhere with no problem but others stick or lurch at totally different places! Generally a quick wipe with a fine file of the offending rail joint, wing rail knuckle, check rail etc. sorts it but the worst spot was the curve on the left hand 3-way. A couple of locos came off in a facing direction and, after a detailed investigation, I realised that there was a degree of gauge narrowing over the first inch or two of the curve. I have managed to sort it but there may well be a surfit of ballast in places to hide the result of the sorting! Good job it's on the side of the track away from viewing. One thing to mention is that I was thinking that the 6-coupled locos wouldn't go round the curves. I was wrong. Both 'Rum' the 0-6-0 Hudswell diesel and 'Lord Percy' the 'big' Bagnall 0-6-0 Saddle Tank negotiate the 2 end curves but the smoothest runners are the YE 0-4-0 diesel in the photo, the DJH 0-4-0ST Barclay 'starter kit', 'Melchett' the Kingdom Kits 0-4-0ST and 'George' the Planet. So long as they stay on the track I'm not to bothered about a bit of 'lurching' and 'banging'. It is industrial trackwork after all, not the ECML! Here are some shots of the wiring and how the layout looks at present. The underside of the board showing the rat's nest of wires! All leads are taken to tag strips in case of remedial action being required! The track completed and the controller shown in its 'hole'. I have left gaps for the 3 lengthways sidings to pass through the backscene should I decide to do this. The backscene in place. The blue is part of an old sheet glued to the plywood to cover the grain and the joins. It will provide a base for painting in due course. Some stock is positioned to give an idea of scale. I'm going to have to get on with the 2 fiddle yards for either end. Now the weather is (slightly) warmer the garage will be pressed into use again. After this the lighting rig needs some thought. I want it reasonably light so LED strips will probably be used.
  11. Having sorted the the short circuit mentioned above I discovered another at (nominally) the other end of the layout. When I selected the left hand inner curved track the whole layout shorted out. All the wiring was checked, re-checked, wires were disconnected to see if this had any effect and eventually the switch was replaced in case it had gone faulty. All to no avail but I did find out that the fault seemed to disappear when one of the feeds to the second diamond was disconnected. When visually investigating this above baseboard I realised that I hadn't cut gaps in the copperclad sleepers of the siding on the other side of this diamond, track that I had only just electrically connected up. So simple!! But it resulted in a couple of hours extreme frustration and industrial strength language. All is now running and I spent an hour or so fettling track joints, wing rail knuckles, VEE tips, point blade tips etc. to improve running, a process that will undoubtedly continue for a while.
  12. Just followed up on this and visited the Shapeways page where it is stated that the finish is not very good - but no mention of a super fine detailed print. A lot less expensive than an etched kit but does it make up well?
  13. IT LIVES!!!!!! Wiring completed this morning and 'Geoffrey' moved over (well, most of!) the layout. However (there's always a 'however'!) changing one of the points shorts out the whole layout. I've obviously crossed a feed somewhere or a couple of wires are touching where they shouldn't which, with the rather tight confines of the terminals of the TPDT switch operating it, isn't outside the bounds of possibility. Once I've got over the excitement of seeing a loco run (and finished my mug of tea) I'll gird my loins and try to find out where I've gone wrong. I can't blame anyone else......... EDIT - sorted it! It was a non-existant gap in a copper-clad sleeper between a stock rail and a check rail that bridged an insulated rail gap. Quick saw with a razor saw and all is well! Next is fitting the inlaid 'concrete' and ballasting.
  14. Joining the Industrial Brotherhood are you Steve? We'll have to teach you the secret handshake Looks an interesting plan with plenty of operating potential. Will it be all 'mainline' motive power or will you have some private locos? And what era? Presumably 00 - but would you consider anything else?
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