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Platform 1

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  • Location
    : a bit west of Bristol
  • Interests
    Scales OO & N;
    Western/south-western 1960s steam, 1980s diesel and SR EMUs;
    electronics, radio.

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  1. In the absence of other reports, I'd just like to say how much I enjoyed this show. An excellent selection of layouts, society stands and suppliers was on offer - all for the price of a nominal donation. Lots to see - everyone was very friendly, being more than happy to chat. Lots of fascinating old photo displays to browse too. We couldn't stay, but did anyone attend the talk upstairs? I gather the scheduled 2pm slot was quickly fully booked, so the organisers arranged for a repeat! Well done Newton Abbot library service!
  2. A bit more information on the project is in this useful piece by the diamond geezer. He quotes extracts from papers prepared for an Elizabeth Line committee meeting last week. It seems reliability issues surround on-train software, comms and tunnel ventilation, which means Trial Operations has been split into two phases. TfL look like having a poorer future by the week...
  3. Brilliant video from Network Rail just published - turn up the sound!
  4. Giant bee buzzed Crowcombe Heathfield...
  5. And they're off... But they're putting them back on again!
  6. Good to see people returning - shame about the weather...
  7. Muchos activitos at Williton!
  8. Over a year without posting anything! Disgraceful - dunce's cap firmly on. Despite the pandemic, lock-downs and other distractions, things haven't developed very much recently. The first lock-down was taken up with long summer walks and home-based IT work for a local charity. By mid-summer it was much too hot to work for long in the loft - 30degC plus some days. Then suddenly it was cold again! Work restarted before Christmas (2020!) looking at the design of servo point motors. Having previously successfully used solenoid motors, they didn't look or sound very realistic. Small servos are (were?) inexpensive so how to make a compact but adaptable assembly to put under the layout? It needed to be cheap, easy to make with limited tools and easily repeatable - thirteen are required. Various scribblings and mock-ups were tried, eventually producing this not-very-original design. The servo is a tight fit into the aluminum U-channel, and butts up against a short piece of balsa or similar softwood, on which the frog polarity micro-switch is mounted. My baseboard is just 3mm thick ply, so the pivot is mounted a few mm away in order to provide enough throw at the point blades. The bracket can also be mounted on its side if needed. There are screw mounting holes in the U-channel, but I found that double-sided black sticky pads normally used for affixing car number plates worked really well. A thin coat of PVA or paint on bare wood assists the grab of the pad. The material used in this U-channel is tough and quite difficult to cut, so I also made a bracket using PVC U-channel. It isn't quite as rigid, but seems firm enough to resist side-movement from the servo. Here is one such: The wire pivot bracket (out of focus at the back) still needs to be placed and glued onto this version. These servos will be controlled by an Arduino and two LED/servo driver boards connected via an I2C bus. This has the advantage of few wires as mentioned in an earlier post - two data wires and two power wires in a screened cable. So happy times were spent during Christmas restrictions programming an Arduino Nano to move the servo by about 90 degrees - enough to move the point blades and reliably operate the micro-switch. The prototype mock-up works, so things a re looking hopeful. Wiring track has also been proceeding as a background task, one board at a time. The corner board is now being worked on, with only a few droppers to fit. This is what it looks like so far: So once the track power feeds are all soldered in, it will be time to re-assemble everything and do some test running - I can't wait! The next few stages will include: make more servo brackets fit servos to baseboards fit the control electronics complete I2C wiring. Watch this space!
  9. By coincidence (?), Goose grey (BS 00A05) is a very close match to the old BR Rail Grey (BR Spec 81)* seen on countless coaches back in the 'seventies. Nice to know RAB was first! Not that it matters now, but from memory, I'd have agreed with some of the comments up-thread, that the bridge was a darker grey during the 'sixties and 'seventies. One of the upper layers in the Network Rail pic. Your model is stunning so far, looking forward to seeing the intricate girder work - rather you than me! * There's a BR blue/grey chart on my blog if it's of interest.
  10. I wonder Kris, did you find this pic on the Network Rail site? Quite a kaleidoscope!
  11. I think it's another postcode lottery, because our regular Hermes man is brilliant. Always cheerful, keeps his distance, nothing's too much trouble, even accepting the occasional outbound package for us. But on the rare occasions someone else delivers, it's a different story!
  12. In case it helps, RM have a Service Update web page that may throw light on delays in the system: https://personal.help.royalmail.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12556 Given the comments in this thread and at my local PO counter, their status wording is rather optimistic!
  13. Not sure I'd want delicate parts flung around at 90mph!
  14. Same at Nailsea & Backwell - last time I alighted, I was lucky not to fall over!
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