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Jon Fitness

Jon Fitness' average 7mm signals workbench.

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18 minutes ago, mike knowles said:

I notice the back blinders on these signals are painted white. I always assumed they were black but some photos of prototype signals I've looked at recently also show white ones. Any idea whether white was always used or could they be either colour.

The vast majority were painted white as was most of the iron work. I have spotted one or two local variations, especially where maintenance has transferred to a different region. Don't forget, upper quadrants were used across all regions (yes even the Western inherited a few!) and all stamped their personalities on them. SR painted theirs mid grey and I think ER ones were black. Even the LMR in later years started painting bits of signal structures and fittings grey too.

JF

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2 hours ago, Jon Fitness said:

The vast majority were painted white as was most of the iron work. I have spotted one or two local variations, especially where maintenance has transferred to a different region. Don't forget, upper quadrants were used across all regions (yes even the Western inherited a few!) and all stamped their personalities on them. SR painted theirs mid grey and I think ER ones were black. Even the LMR in later years started painting bits of signal structures and fittings grey too.

JF

Thanks John.

As the signals I built for our previous layout were ER that's probably where I got the idea they were black. The ones I'm currently building for our new layout are a mix of ex Highland Railway and LMS so probably looks like I need to repaint them!

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A lot depends not only location but also period. If you are modelling LMS you can probably safely leave them black (ground signals apart). At least that is my understanding from Mr Warburtons book.

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On 21/03/2020 at 16:17, Stephen Freeman said:

A lot depends not only location but also period. If you are modelling LMS you can probably safely leave them black (ground signals apart). At least that is my understanding from Mr Warburtons book.

You are right I think. Most of my signals are from the BR period where white predominated but the LMS list the doll Ironwork under the "paint it black" instruction! I presume that includes backblinders:blink:

JF

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Finally got my GW 1942 style bracket test etch finished, fitted out and painted today.

932518041_IMG_20200323_142911647_HDR(600x800).jpg.07f476d9b46cf70a11e3c97d44edeea9.jpg1171057714_IMG_20200323_142940231_HDR(600x800).jpg.4681becaf870a9e4e654a3bc7aac3eb0.jpg845693131_IMG_20200323_143004725_HDR(600x800).jpg.881d569ef81995f35d572396a4030c72.jpg790934113_IMG_20200323_143033549(600x800).jpg.0fb49de1baebbc50b7a5f3f329e31bdc.jpg1483574250_IMG_20200323_143110374_HDR(600x800).jpg.71ec03cac9f8409e24587cfa31e30fd9.jpg

As previously stated, all that is etched is my own work and if I can persuade Nanocad to actually do what I tell it to and not alter my work as it sees fit, I might actually get these etches into production soon. I hope to produce about 4 different configurations of this style of bracket along with a few other previously unavailable GW bracket styles.

More soon

JF

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Signal looks fantastic as always....... Couldn't help noticing that the railway is coming along nicely.

 

When will we have a sneak preview ?

 

Jim 

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1 hour ago, jcarta said:

Signal looks fantastic as always....... Couldn't help noticing that the railway is coming along nicely.

 

When will we have a sneak preview ?

 

Jim 

Thanks Jim. Still at the track only stage at the moment but I'll post a few pix up later. Not sure if it'll be on this page as the layout has no signals on it!

JF

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10 hours ago, Jon Fitness said:

Finally got my GW 1942 style bracket test etch finished, fitted out and painted today.

932518041_IMG_20200323_142911647_HDR(600x800).jpg.07f476d9b46cf70a11e3c97d44edeea9.jpg1171057714_IMG_20200323_142940231_HDR(600x800).jpg.4681becaf870a9e4e654a3bc7aac3eb0.jpg845693131_IMG_20200323_143004725_HDR(600x800).jpg.881d569ef81995f35d572396a4030c72.jpg790934113_IMG_20200323_143033549(600x800).jpg.0fb49de1baebbc50b7a5f3f329e31bdc.jpg1483574250_IMG_20200323_143110374_HDR(600x800).jpg.71ec03cac9f8409e24587cfa31e30fd9.jpg

As previously stated, all that is etched is my own work and if I can persuade Nanocad to actually do what I tell it to and not alter my work as it sees fit, I might actually get these etches into production soon. I hope to produce about 4 different configurations of this style of bracket along with a few other previously unavailable GW bracket styles.

More soon

JF

Absolutely beautiful - smashing job Jon

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That's a wonderful model Jon.

It must be very satisfying to acquire a new skill like CAD and Etch Design.

 

Keep clear of the Lurgy,

Steve.

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23 hours ago, Steve Hewitt said:

That's a wonderful model Jon.

It must be very satisfying to acquire a new skill like CAD and Etch Design.

 

Keep clear of the Lurgy,

Steve.

Still very much got my stabilisers on regarding CAD! I seem to be fighting with it due to my lack of skills. It sometimes feels like computer hindered rather than aided design!

JF 

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I know there are a few of you out there who can construct these "built up" ladders with etched stiles and wire rungs. Using the supplied jigs and methods they just breeze together and look really good when finished. 

Me? Nope. My efforts have usually resembled badly laid narrow gauge WW1 temporary track that's been run over by an early tank. Then hit by heavy artillery. During these strange times of personal confinement my befuddled mind rashly agreed to fit a few signals with them for a customer so I've had to "get back on the horse" and have another go.

My main problem with them is keeping the stiles at something approaching parallel during the soldering process. I've now come up with the "Laddermatic 2020 mk1" to hold them under tension which actually sort of works. Hopefully the pictures explain my idea but feel free to question both the method and my sanity!:blink:

669774194_IMG_20200404_114138128(800x600).jpg.5322dc680510c18de57c444afc005a3f.jpg1933228026_IMG_20200404_114144938(800x600).jpg.8dcd8cf0aac6eae52310fcd07545072c.jpg1057126932_IMG_20200404_114313651(800x600).jpg.c9dddf5036d63bb3788be63429f84b46.jpg1328356295_IMG_20200404_114431737(800x600).jpg.b9d41049fed10f713d5a097689e453e4.jpg2020410602_IMG_20200404_115610447(800x600).jpg.b6367e58316294230c5f55f0d43d85c1.jpg544268792_IMG_20200403_171701405(800x600).jpg.91c7cc7bee3c48e5696ff831004e4518.jpg1743326297_IMG_20200404_174506316(800x600).jpg.065af00bbcd93e3a5e3897cd9ed697ef.jpg579799684_IMG_20200407_141227321_HDR(600x800).jpg.e1feb0ffbdc97c4097508cf919cbada8.jpg1850918333_IMG_20200407_141237555_HDR(600x800).jpg.286cfe841283a79be4af94f3817d4f49.jpg

I have used Southwark Bridge etched ladders for this project which needed far more preparation than they should. The main problem is that the holes in the stiles were mostly not fully etched and needed drilling out which caused a little distortion which didn't help. The sliding spring loaded fitting did it's best to hold them straight and would have worked better if the etches were straighter in the first place!

I think the end result is a lot better than any of my previous attempts so, every cloud etc:wacko:

More soon

JF

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Posted (edited)

Hi John,

 

I can sympathise with your frustrations over CAD.

 

I was trained on Microstation, which is AutoCAD's biggest rival, with a price tag to match, but then had to convert to AutoCAD which I was not so keen on.

 

Since I was doing quite a bit of etch design at the time, I settled on TurboCad, which I am now happy with.  I use very few of the features that it possesses, as most of my work is still  either 2D laser cuts or photo etches.

 

I upgrade it every couple of years and find that it is money well spent.

 

I'm by no means an expert, but I'm in the process of downloading nanoCAD and I'll have a look at how it compares to TurboCAD.

 

If you let me know what is happening with your drawings, I'll see if I can identify if it is an operator error rather than a program issue.

Edited by Happy Hippo
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I too have Turbocad but only really got it to do 3D stuff, which I still haven't got around to yet. Normally etch design, I use DoubleCad XT5 which I believe is a cut-down version (free). Anyway the main problem I had was finding a file format acceptable to PPD - not all DXF is suitable - there have been so many different versions over the years.

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15 minutes ago, Stephen Freeman said:

I too have Turbocad but only really got it to do 3D stuff, which I still haven't got around to yet. Normally etch design, I use DoubleCad XT5 which I believe is a cut-down version (free). Anyway the main problem I had was finding a file format acceptable to PPD - not all DXF is suitable - there have been so many different versions over the years.

I've never had a problem with sending .DXF files from TurboCAD to any of the photo etch companies I've used over the years.  ditto the files ,DXF to the laser cutters.

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I was very happy with Draftsight when it was free and I was happy to pay for it once that ended. Since then it simply either hasn't worked or or has moments when it works for a while then crashes. Nanocad is broadly similar so I found it very familiar. There are functions on it which I can never rely on working properly, mainly the fill function which is very fussy and random regardless of any settings I alter. It also randomly unfills areas during moving and copying stuff. These same areas then won't refill until I pick them apart and redo them. Even when they filled perfectly before. Don't even get me started on the line extend/trim functions. Fine in the old Draftsight but not very effective in Nanocad. It just makes everything such hard work. Anyway, as all the etchers have suspended operations, I'm concentrating on building rather than designing stuff. Its quite frustrating as I have a huge list of signal related etches I'd like to produce (35 and counting in the planning stage!)

JF

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I’ve used TurboCAD since forever for 2D drafting, both at home and work, I also have Solidworks at work which I can use for any 3D stuff I want to do.

 

Transferring date between the two is possible, but somewhat annoying.  The etched parts I’ve designed for work ended up being designed in both, which is not ideal.


I’ve found TurboCAD to be a bit quirky, but pretty much reliable.

 

keep well!

Simon

 

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If Jon justs wants it for etching DoubleCad Xt5 will do the job, it's free it's from makers of Turbocad, Turbocad will do 3D as well but you have to buy it. I have never used Solidworks in anger though they still keep trying to get me to use it!

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On 09/04/2020 at 15:08, Stephen Freeman said:

If Jon justs wants it for etching DoubleCad Xt5 will do the job, it's free it's from makers of Turbocad, Turbocad will do 3D as well but you have to buy it. I have never used Solidworks in anger though they still keep trying to get me to use it!

Thanks Stephen, I think I'll download DoubleCad and give it a try.

JF

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Stephen,

 

Solidworks was one of those difficult purchase decisions.  The company I joined had TurboCAD but there had been no staff training and the guy that used it was not a mechanical engineer (b* good electronics tech, but not a designer!).

 

I had done ProE training some years back, but my previous work was all “concepts, schemes and costs”, I hadn’t needed to produce drawing that people actually work from since about 1987, so in deciding what to buy, one of the first questions was “can I get staff who can use this without having to go on training courses?” and the answer was that pretty much every university uses SW, so new recruits come ready trained, experienced and capable.  This is not true for ProE or Catia, both of which are highly regarded, but are more specialist in their applications.  AutoCAD, Inventor etc, are perhaps in between.

 

So, cutting what has become a long story short, I purchased SW and “converted myself” from ProE, the concepts are more-or-less the same in all 3D - the question is always “where’s the ... command for doing that?”.  And I can now ask my junior engineers how to do stuff!

 

its expensive, initial cost £5k or so, and then an annual licence as well, but if you can justify it (or have access via work or whatever) it’s excellent.  There are student licences which are cheaper, I’m not aware of a hobby or home licence scheme.

 

keep well

Simon

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I've downloaded and installed DoubleCad XT5 thanks Stephen, so I'll give it a go over the next few days. It all looks familiar on the interface so I should be able to stumble my way round it. Hopefully it'll open some of my previously done drawings and prove possible to work on them without starting from scratch again...

Anyway, I've finished the first of a batch of early pattern GW wooden post signals..

1745279766_IMG_20200413_132654181_HDR(600x800).jpg.2d397b6e1a31852424b18e8fb1e2b34a.jpg1223933505_IMG_20200413_132728585_HDR(600x800).jpg.439c4ed5c65257a4c358f528704bb7c6.jpg

No lamps on these but they'll be servo operated and all fitted with built up ladders. I must be mad. I blame the lockdown!:blink:

JF

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On 09/04/2020 at 15:08, Stephen Freeman said:

If Jon justs wants it for etching DoubleCad Xt5 will do the job, it's free it's from makers of Turbocad, Turbocad will do 3D as well but you have to buy it. I have never used Solidworks in anger though they still keep trying to get me to use it!

Well, doublecad is installed but won't touch any of my previously done drawings...:mad:

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You need to have the files in a format it understands, there is a large variety. By trial and error I found the 2007 version acceptable to PPD. I am trying to download Nanocad (without much success at the moment) to have a look.

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39 minutes ago, Jon Fitness said:

Well, doublecad is installed but won't touch any of my previously done drawings...:mad:

Do you mean natively or that it has problem with those exported to a common format? Searching on the web suggests nanoCAD only handles DWG whereas both Draftsight and DoubleCAD claim to be able to import and export a wide range of formats including DNG, DWG, DXF, and SVG which are usually the most popular for exchanging drawings.

 

I have had issues with different packages putting different interpretations on DWG, particularly disagreeing on the scaling of a drawing. Also should you try Inkscape it took me a while to discover it's idea of saving as an SVG wasn't quite the same as everyone else's. Like Stephen I ended up exporting from one package in every format, and version thereof for some, then importing these into the other package until I found one they agreed on, or didn't in some cases.

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having had a look I can say that:

 

1) Nanocad will open files I have done in Doublecad, you would think it would work the other way as well, of course mentioning no names but they may have that foible in common with other software, which most of us use every day.

2) Nanocad only appears to offer 2 options Autocad dwg and dxf 2013 compatible. Neither are export options on Doublecad so I don't know at the moment.

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I have now registered Nanocad and lo, a whole host of other formats are available! I was able to create a very simple drawing, which I saved in Autocad 2007 DXF format.

I then managed to open it OK in Doublecad.

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