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  • RMweb Gold

Further progress today - thanks largely to Giles' efforts we managed to get the secondary Control Panel installed and working; in fact it is finished barring a few LED's to be inserted once I replenish my stocks!

 

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I have mentioned before that the layout was very specifically designed for one man operation, which accounts for why everything is crammed into the main Control Panel, however, I later realised that it was possible that visitors might want to take a turn at the controls, and whilst some might be comfortable at the main, fairly complex, control desk, others might want something simpler to look after.

 

Following this realisation I added two 'roaming' controllers that can be switched in to cover the Up Main, the Down Main, or either of the two loco / goods yards, and now this small panel also allows the normally automated control of either of the two shuttle lines to be switched to manual and looked after through this small panel; it is situated on a pull-out 'drawer' half way along the line between Churminster and the tunnel under the RAF airfield - which provides a good view of the two lines concerned.

 

Tony

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  • 3 weeks later...
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  • RMweb Gold

I cleverly arranged for Giles to visit on the two hottest days that we have seen for a while, and so it was that we laboured in some considerable heat - despite the efforts of my ageing and very noisy air-conditioning unit which just can't cope on days like that! (I should stress that it is Giles who does all the strenuous bits - thank you!).

 

Nevertheless, I have progress to report!

 

Firstly we installed the remaining LED's into the new side control panel which is now complete, excepting that I shall give the sides of it a coat of glorious malachite, to match that on the main panel:

 

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This panel is on drawer runners and so it can be pushed back under the layout when not in use.

 

As the track diagram shows, this is set up to allow optional local control of either of the two lines that are otherwise operated via Heathcote shuttle mechanisms, the orange line being the narrow gauge line from Churminster Quarry up to the small station next to RAF Charmy Bottom (which is currently under military control - it being 1938 - 48); the grey / blue line being the requisitioned short standard gauge branch from the main line that brings in fuel, munitions etc to the air base from the wider network. The green loop with 4 LED's will illustrate progress on the Faller Road System but will not allow any control of it; of this, more in due course.

 

The second shot shows the location of this panel, 2/3rds of the way along the railway room beside the line from Churminster Quarry to the line under RAF Charmy Bottom.

 

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Completion of this panel seemed like a simple enough task until we found that both of the two shuttles were mis-behaving, in that points were only firing intermittently; having checked every possible connection that we might have disturbed during our work, we traced the fault to two separate fractured solder joints on the Gaugemaster CDU circuit board (which is standalone and only fires these points). Once repaired all was well - but that cost us about 3 hours!!

 

Moving on, we decided to attack the CCTV project - which is vital because once the remining backscene boards are installed, the operator (i.e. me) will not be able to see the fiddle yards, which will truly be 'hidden':

 

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Longer term followers will recall that our first attempt at installing CCTV ended in tears when we discovered that the cameras that I had bought at great expense (about £3 each!) got red hot within about 2 minutes - and additionally would not focus....... [Lesson = you get what you pay for!].

 

The new kit is really designed for home surveillance but was heavily discounted because all of the latest equipment now has 4K capability which is certainly not needed here. We made very good progress with 5 of 8 cameras fully installed, a 6th connected and located but needing a bracket to complete the job (top right on screen), and wiring for the remaining two cameras all in place.

 

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5 of the 8 locations will require the installation of a strip of LED's so that the stock can be seen in otherwise very dark locations; I had a considerable concern that the infra red capability of these cameras would destabilse and interfere with the numerous IRDOT derectors around the layout but fortunately this capability can be disabled, and we can make up for the loss of 'night vision' through installing some small LED strips.

 

So all in all, two very satisfactory days of progress - it will now take me at least a week to clear up the mess that we made in achieving it!

 

Tony

 

 

Edited by Tony Teague
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  • RMweb Gold

A very brief update today, in that I can report that the canopy for platforms 2 and 3 at Stowe Magna station (see above) is now complete and in the paint shop, whilst a further canopy for platforms 4 and 5 is under construction; I remain undecided about whether platforms 6 and 7 should have a canopy, but it is clear that some form of platform building - toilets or a waiting room might be required to complete platforms 4 and 5.

 

Meanwhile the small side control panel now has her malachite livery:

 

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Aside from its potential use by a visitor wishing to control either of the otherwise "shuttle-controlled" lines, there is one key function which can only be controlled from here. If you look at the two blue/grey lines shown at the centre of the track plan on here, you will see that there is a headshunt leading away from the lower of the two standard gauge platforms; access to the headshunt - which is only likely to be used for the storage of vans, warflats or similar, can only be controlled from here as it would be impossible to see what was going on from the main panel, and the shuttle mechanism must be switched out to do this.

 

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Conversely, at the top / fiddleyard end of the same line (where it appears dotted on the panel), a link is shown diverging away from the line; this is an exit connection from the shuttle line into the main fiddle yard and this may only be controlled from the main panel where the overall status of the fiddle yard can be seen. Entry to the shuttle controlled section is directly from the left hand end of the track shown as dotted, and is also controlled via the main panel.

 

Tony

 

 

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  • RMweb Gold
9 hours ago, Jack P said:

Those locos all look the business, the U especially. 

 

How would you compare the Kitbuilt I3 to the OO works I3? 

 

Interesting question Jack, and back in January I covered their relative haulage ability at that time:

 

 

Now that it is fixed, I think the SEF model will easily outhaul the OO works versions and cope with the Sunny South Express, but on a broader basis, neither model is up to what I perceive as being 'modern RTR standards':

 

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Whilst both have cast bodies, so are heavy, and equally are pretty good representations of the overall body shape, but the buffers on the SEF model (2091) look a bit chunky, whilst the lettering on the OO Works model (2023) looks a bit heavy. The OO Works version seems to have sharper, less rounded corners, and a skinnier chimney than I am seeing on prototype images, but it also has a modern coreless motor which is quieter but not necessarily more powerful (it won't pull the Sunny South Express for example).

 

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So for me it is a very close thing, and with No.2091 now having the edge on hauling capability, I think it is that one which will be on the front of the SSE from now on.

 

Tony

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That's nice Tony.

As it happens, I've just received back from the casters the lost-wax castings for the 7mm versions of the C3 and its B2X tender. The 7mm etches for the tender footplate and internal chassis should also be back from PPD very soon. The tender tank and toolboxes are Hi-Res 3D prints but I might get them done by CMA-CSL in resin if I release it as a kit.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Tony Teague said:

First off, Arun Sharma has been working for some time on a kit of parts for the LB&SCR C3 loco & tender which is one of those on my 'Missing List'; during this time it became apparent that the C3 tenders had been exchanged during the 1930's for tenders from older, & by then scrapped, B2X locos. Arun delivered the loco parts a little while ago, and then in the last couple of weeks he has produced the parts for the B2X tender - so now both have been despatched to my chosen builder to await their turn in his build queue

The tender saga regarding C3 and B2X is rather more complex than the above suggests.  The C3 were built with 3,112 gallon tenders, weighing 37½ tons.  The B2X conversions originally retained the tenders they had as B2's, with a capacity of only 2,420 gallons and weighing 32t 13cwt, but they had received additional well tanks which increased the capacity to 2,985 gallons. By 1914 it had become apparent that the C3's were not exactly brilliant performers and were allocated tasks which did not require such a large tender, and by 1919 the whole class had swapped tenders with 10 of the B2X.  After grouping, as the B2X were withdrawn, 3 of the old C3 tenders were swapped back to C3's 303, 308 and 309, in 1930, 1937 and 1932 respectively.

So, from 1906 to around 1916, the C3's hauled their larger tenders; from various dates around 1916 they were coupled to the smaller ex-B2X tenders, and from around 1932, three of them re-acquired their original larger tenders, seven presumably going to scrap in the fifties pulling the older ex-B2X tenders.

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  • RMweb Gold
1 hour ago, Nick Holliday said:

The tender saga regarding C3 and B2X is rather more complex than the above suggests.  The C3 were built with 3,112 gallon tenders, weighing 37½ tons.  The B2X conversions originally retained the tenders they had as B2's, with a capacity of only 2,420 gallons and weighing 32t 13cwt, but they had received additional well tanks which increased the capacity to 2,985 gallons. By 1914 it had become apparent that the C3's were not exactly brilliant performers and were allocated tasks which did not require such a large tender, and by 1919 the whole class had swapped tenders with 10 of the B2X.  After grouping, as the B2X were withdrawn, 3 of the old C3 tenders were swapped back to C3's 303, 308 and 309, in 1930, 1937 and 1932 respectively.

So, from 1906 to around 1916, the C3's hauled their larger tenders; from various dates around 1916 they were coupled to the smaller ex-B2X tenders, and from around 1932, three of them re-acquired their original larger tenders, seven presumably going to scrap in the fifties pulling the older ex-B2X tenders.

 

I'd better be careful what number I choose!

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  • RMweb Gold

A very productive visit by Giles over the last couple of days made for good progress!

 

First we finished off the CCTV installation started further up this page, by adding the remaining camers and illuminating the darker nooks & crannies with LED strips; the latter will prevent the cameras switching to night mode and emitting infra-red light which would be likely to interfere with the numerous IRDOT detectors around the layout.

 

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This is now what the operator sees at the main control console (the untidy wiring was never designed to be seen on the big screen but is unlikely to be re-layed!), so there will be little excuse for not knowing what is happening or whether a train is moving according to instructions.

The CCTV control box has recording capability but I can't for the life of me think why I would want to replay a particular train movement!

 

With this job completed we turned our attention to the Faller Road system - the running track for which has been in place since very early on. The route loops around Churminster Market Square and then runs the full length of the room / layout before descending to a turning circle hidden beneath RAF Charmy Bottom.

 

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So this was our starting point, and we first fitted the space with our last remaining camera so that the operator will be able to see the status of the turning circle.

 

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We then removed the turning circle (which is cut from 6mm ply) and fitted it with side "safety barriers" made from plasticard off-cuts - although no vehicle so far has ever managed to fall off! - plus 4 Faller 'Parking Stop' devices and 4 miniature IR detectors (one detector only shown here):

 

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Now re-installed, this set up will facilitate the running of up to 4 road vehicles in turn, along the roadway and back, with fully automated control being achieved via an Arduino and a bank of relays linked to both the detectors and the electro-magnetic coils within the Faller devices:

 

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We managed to complete and fully test the installation, with only some refinement of the Arduino program left to be completed, however, as the eagle-eyed will have noticed, one problem remains - which is that Faller only make HO vehicles of faily modern vintage, and so whilst I can run the system, there is a significant amount of work to do in converting vehicles to my 1938 - 48 era of choice!  I'd welcome hearing about any experiences ffrom others having done this!

 

Finally - the road turning circle as seen from the Control Console:

 

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Tony

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Andy

I think the answer is yes!

I'm delighted that you are still willing to take it on. :clapping:

There is a box out there marked "S11" which is promising - I'll check the contents and report back, so that if there is anything missing I can source it.

Will get back to you and then work out how I can get things to you.

Best wishes & have a great Christmas!

Tony

 

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Fantastic update Tony, lots done and lots more in the works.

 

I'm very keen to get my hands on one of those kits of C3 parts!

Were you aware that PDK are working on an S11 kit? Probably less likely to be around before the one Andy's offered to work on though!

 

Happy holidays to you, I hope all is well on your side of the world!

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1 hour ago, Jack P said:

Fantastic update Tony, lots done and lots more in the works.

 

I'm very keen to get my hands on one of those kits of C3 parts!

Were you aware that PDK are working on an S11 kit? Probably less likely to be around before the one Andy's offered to work on though!

 

Happy holidays to you, I hope all is well on your side of the world!

Hi Jack

Thanks, and no I wasn't but I shall keep an eye out.

Are you aware of an L12 kit from Terry Page? See in the link below:

https://timhalesblog.blogspot.com/2021/10/return-of-l12.html

I am well so far......have a great Christmas!

Tony

 

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  • RMweb Gold

I'm not normally precise about numbers - usually I represent 3 or more as "several", but before continuing the review of 2021, I thought I'd just throw in a few interesting stats - well they're interesting to me! :crazy:

 

I will get to the C &SM control panels in due course but following a quick count up, they utilise (approximately):

     140 toggle switches

     190 push button switches

     225 LED's

 

Helping to control the layout are (approximately):

     120 IR detectors

       60 Relays

       24 DCC Concepts lever switches

       13 Gaugemaster controllers

 

I have not been able to get an accurate number for points and point motors, whilst estimating the total length or wire used is completely beyond me - but it is all done on the "2 wire" basis - 2 wires to everything!

 

I must need therapy! :rofl:

 

Tony

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