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I dont have the precise heights for Mallaig but am working on a building a platform that will be 17 mm high. The May 1983 view of the platform shows how low it is, using code 75 track the lowest point of the buffers on a class 37 measures about 16 mm high from the baseboard.  

 

37 033 at Mallaig (May 1983).

 

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29 minutes ago, young37215 said:

I dont have the precise heights for Mallaig but am working on a building a platform that will be 17 mm high. The May 1983 view of the platform shows how low it is, using code 75 track the lowest point of the buffers on a class 37 measures about 16 mm high from the baseboard.  

 

37 033 at Mallaig (May 1983).

 

That's great information. Thank you.

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Frustrating day on Mallaig today. Payback for a successful day yesterday I suppose. This morning I was pondering how to build the platform faces with a few different ideas popping up and either being discounted or being put on the back burner for now.

 

This afternoon I decided to get on and fit the electromagnets for uncoupling. I have a few of the PK MAG units in stock so I fitted one to the layout and wired up with a 'push to make' switch. I turned the power on and placed two vehicles that were coupled together with Kadee couplings. The couplings did some mild shaking. When I pushed the switch they stopped. Obviously I was expecting them to uncouple. So I changed the wires over expecting this to change the polarity but the same happened. I decided to make a test section up on the workbench and this behaved exactly the same. I have push to make switches that push to break. Headbanger! It did teach me that these electromagnets will not uncouple Kadee's tho. Searching the web the only information I could find for Kadee's were normal magnets. Do any of you use Kadee's and electromagnets? If so what do you use? I was unsure what coupling type to use and I also have some Sprat & Winkle type in stock. Included in this stash was a pack of 4 assembled units. So I test fitted one of these to a MK1 coach. Only minimal butchery was required. Once the coach was reunited with its bogie I placed it over the magnet on the test section, held the switch in and turned the power on. On releasing the switch the coupling dropped. I played with this for a while as it gave a lot of satisfaction. I like the look of them. I need to sort out the switch though so any advice from the more experienced would be hugely appreciated.

 

 

IMG_20200616_180310.jpg

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This photo shows the extent of the butchery to the bogie. I should of taken a 'before' version but those of you familiar with a Bachmann MK1 will know the beast. I also had to reduce the depth of the headstock slightly but that's barely noticeable.

IMG_20200616_175436.jpg

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I once bought a batch of switches that were advertised as push to make but some turned out as push to break.  It might be worth checking the others.

 

I use S&W with wagons (fixed rakes of coaches with tension couplings at each end) but with fixed magnets.  I was wondering about electromagnets before I ballast but find the fixed ones work ok.  Why did you go for electromagnets?

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I went with the electromagnets because they are discreet. Do you hide the fixed ones effectively? Interesting what you say about finding both types of switches in the pack. I bought mine from Gaugemaster so I wouldn't expect this to be the case but I will have a test. Thanks.

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I use the small neodymium magnets - only a few mm in diameter but very strong (and cheap). They are so small that you can bury them in the baseboard between sleepers and once ballasted they can’t be seen.  The only issue with them being quite small is that you have to be quite accurate in positioning your couplings - an issue when you’ve hidden the magnets so well..

 

You may well not find a mix of types of switch.  Mine were quite cheap and purchased from a supplier regularly seen at exhibitions  who has stock like that laid out loose and you just count out the number you need.  I suspect it would be easier for their stock to become accidentally mixed.

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I will have a look where to get neodymium magnets and try them. I don't know which couplings I'm going to use yet. I was pleased with the Kadee's as there was no buffer lock on the tight curves of the off stage / non scenic section. However I did find that all 4 items of rolling stock they sat at different heights. Class 37 and MK1 coach were about the same but the inspection saloon was quite low and the TTA was quite high. Not an insurmountable problem but annoying when the NEM pockets are supposed to be a standard height. By the way anyone thinking of using this type of coupling please note for the Bachmann MK1 you will need to use the #20 longer shaft version.

I need to fit a second vehicle with the Sprat & Winkle and see how they behave on my off stage curves. Probably the TTA as this will be mounted to the chassis 

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I resolved the problem with the push to make switches. I'd wired them up wrong. I don't know what I was thinking yesterday. Easy fix. 

 

I've been playing with the Sprat & Winkle couplings since. How on earth do you make the loop to fit to the locos though? The brass wire I have in the pack was in a coil and refuses to go straight. 

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For locos I use wire from straight lengths bought in a pack but...

 

....not for the faint hearted...

 

Secure the wire securely at one end and strongly grip the other end.  I use a few wraps around long nose pliers. It helps if you can do a clove hitch.  Now, pull quite firmly. Just before the wire snaps (that’s the interesting bit) you can feel it give a fraction as if it has stretched a little.  You will find it no longer coils but is slightly more brittle.  I’m not sure of the science behind it but it works on the different wires I have used it on. I haven’t tried it on brass but it should work.

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Thanks for the explanation. I will see what's available if I decide to go down the S&W route. I did make a loop for the loco just as a test. It wasn't pretty or straight but it served a purpose. The result sadly was not a great success. My curve on the non scenic section was to tight causing the coach to either uncouple or derail. I'm pretty sure that if the loop was attached to the bogie it would solve the problem but then I wouldn't be able to have snowploughs on my locos. So for Mallaig I think after two days of experimenting I will discount S&W couplings. I will try them again on a future project that I've also collected some stock for which will be a 60s Southern region branch or secondary route inspired by the Cuckoo Line but that's a whole different thing.

I am going to focus my efforts on using the Kadee couplings but with fixed magnets. The type of electromagnets I have are not suitable for the Kadee's and anyway the fixed ones won't require such accurate stopping to get the coupling over the magnet. Perhaps I'm trying to run before I can walk. A Kadee magnet is now on order so hopefully in a couple of days I can test that system. Frustratingly I will have to lift track and get the router out. No drilling holes between the sleepers as I thought. 

Learning all the time.

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On 15/06/2020 at 17:44, BoD said:

Your panel looks really neat.

 

I’m not sure how easy it will be to chamfer ply without it splintering.  I quite like the way the platform was created on Glenluig although some chamfering was needed.  It looks effective.

 

 

 

Hi Bod, that's going back a bit!, from what I remember I would have chamfered the edges with a wood plane, then sanded them smooth, splintering not been too much of an issue as it was all covered up in masking tape after, hope this helps. Nice project by the way

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1 hour ago, sixteen 12by 10s said:

Hi Bod, that's going back a bit!, from what I remember I would have chamfered the edges with a wood plane, then sanded them smooth, splintering not been too much of an issue as it was all covered up in masking tape after, hope this helps. Nice project by the way

Hi Gary, thanks for popping by with advice. I think I will use your method to build the platform as I can't find the material to build it the way I hoped. I've been looking for 45° plastruct or similar section which has been a forlorn task. I was sure I'd seen it somewhere but I must be confused. Your system looks like it gives it the the correct shape and any ugly bits will be hidden behind the masking tape. Thanks for the drawing on your Glenuig thread. 

You probably won't remember me but we have chatted at length a couple of times. Once at Wigan and again at Warley. In fact Glenuig was the reason I went to Wigan. Slight detour on a journey from Coventry back home to North West Wales.

Did you ever finish Bridge of Orchy?

 

Andy

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nice to meet you again, I have not posted on this forum for some time, but, decided to have a look round this morning and spotted the alert. Bridge of Orchy, now there's a story, I got it as far as the testing stage, and found out how impractical the circular boards were. I eventually scrapped it, and started again with more conventional boards, and got the track to quite an advanced stage, then I got distracted, and built a OO gauge Black country cameo, and an O-9 15” pizza layout, I shall be getting back to BoO in the near future.

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4 minutes ago, sixteen 12by 10s said:

nice to meet you again, I have not posted on this forum for some time, but, decided to have a look round this morning and spotted the alert. Bridge of Orchy, now there's a story, I got it as far as the testing stage, and found out how impractical the circular boards were. I eventually scrapped it, and started again with more conventional boards, and got the track to quite an advanced stage, then I got distracted, and built a OO gauge Black country cameo, and an O-9 15” pizza layout, I shall be getting back to BoO in the near future.

And you Gary. It sounds like you've been busy. It's a shame that the circular boards didn't work out as you had put a lot of work in to them. I guess even the experienced can still learn. Good luck with BoG mk2 and I hope you'll be posting progress reports when you get started. In the meantime I hope to do justice to the Hinson Mallaig extension platform patent.

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On 17/06/2020 at 14:20, mallaig1983 said:

 

I've been playing with the Sprat & Winkle couplings since. How on earth do you make the loop to fit to the locos though? The brass wire I have in the pack was in a coil and refuses to go straight. 

Hi, 

only started reading this thread this morning and finding it very interesting.

 

As regards the S&W couplings I ditch the wire what comes with them and use nickel silver rod (not wire).  Much easier to deal with!  No doubt brass rod would do just as well.

 

Roja

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Thanks for the info Roja and thanks for your interest.

I've decided not to use S&W couplings on Mallaig as my off scene curves are to tight and I would need to mount the loop on the locomotive bogies. They will however be used on a future project.

I am now using Kadee couplings as they have ticked all the boxes. Perhaps not as pretty as the S&W but they go round the curves perfectly. I've fitted 4 Kadee magnets to the layout and tested them (perfect excuse to play trains) and I'm very happy with them.

Platform building is next on the list and then I can start the ballasting.

Getting there.....

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21 hours ago, mallaig1983 said:

Platform building is next on the list and then I can start the ballasting.

Getting there.....

 

Slowly. But it's progress.

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Gosh, is it really that long since I posted last? Progress has been slow over the last month but there has been some. Work and the easing of lockdown restrictions (finally I've been back to the beach) are mainly to blame. That and endless platform head scratching, test samples, prototypes and bin filling. I'm currently working on a test piece for what I think is the MK4 version. If this doesn't achieve the desired effect then a simpler version of this effort will suffice but more on that as and when. 

I've finally got all the ballast down, well there's bound to be a little bit of snagging once dry. I've done the primary weathering as I've gone as in I've applied paint to the glue mix. This required two different glue mixes, one with grey paint and the other with black. It's pretty obvious which road is the oil dock. Taking baby steps as this is my first proper layout and so much to learn. Anyway an update photo for those who are interested.

 

Andy 

IMG_20200802_162228.jpg

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I can't seem to upload more than one photo at a time. This is perhaps due to the fact I'm using my phone. If I try and send a second I'm told I can only upload 100mg. Not to worry. The photos are taken on my phone too and the lighting is just a lead lamp with 40watt bulb. I guess I should start thinking about some proper lighting for the layout now.

Andy

15963854031461667888042133968848.jpg

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Hi Andy,

 

Good to see your progress with the track

 Looking good!

Cheers

David

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Hello David,

 

Nice to hear from you. Thanks for the kind comment. Onto the scenery next with nervous excitement.

 

Andy

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I am way behind you. I have loads more track to lay yet on GQS. Then comes the wiring!?

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Grab the bull by the horns time. I really enjoyed the track laying but saw the wiring as a necessity. Track laying is the exciting part. I've enjoyed the ballasting too. Scenery will I hope be a pleasant experience. At least once I get the platform solved. 

Keep up the good work yourself.

. Andy

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