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Ross' Workbench - "Magical Mystery Train Tour" : Teak LNER's, King's Cross, DCC++ and layouts


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Anyone know what the contraption above the gangway, on the end of the roof, is on this Gresley?

 

It appears to be a thin horizontal rod with some round red indicators fitted on the ends, supported by two sturdy brackets, and with a third structure (with its own downpipe that goes all the way to the underframe area) that I can only assume is a motor for rotating the rod so as to move the indicators from horizontal to a vertical position.

 

My best guess is that its a visible indicator system to show something like the steam line, vacuum line or electrical connections are connected and operating on that coach - one or the other.

 

Anyone able to confirm that, or shed some light on what it is?

 

Ross.

 

 

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I believe that's the passenger alarm tell-tale - it rotates 90deg when the alarm chain is pulled in that coach so staff can see which coach the chain was pulled in.

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The red indicator flag part, sometimes known as the Butterfly. '' I'll check down the train and see if the butterfly is up ''

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Thanks guys!

 

Another question for y'all...

 

I'm finding that the central part of the bearing holding the coaches together is breaking a lot.   At the rear it has sheared right off a brand new print I just finished an hour ago (grrr) and at the front you can see an intact one, shown with the screw underneath holding the bogie in place.

 

It's nice and strong when the screw is inserted, but without the screw the piece is quite delicate, needing only a little force to break it.

 

The bearing is already about 2x real size, so I don't want to make it any larger, but I'm wondering if a warning not to put pressure on this element until the screw has been fitted, is sufficient to proceed, or if I need to redesign the whole thing afresh and take a different approach entirely.

 

Thoughts?

 

Ross.

 

IMG_0127m.jpg.c4d8eebf6321d4eaafc3d4bbbcccb01b.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

So I got our proposal in on Friday with an hour to spare, took a few hours to relax and then worked until 2:30 in the morning on all the model work I haven't been able to do all this week!   It was a very productive evening! :)

 

I tried a metal sheath for strengthening the main coach bearing and that would definitely work, but I also tried another print design and so far it has stood up to a fair amount of handling, some of it deliberately "rough" (at least in terms of N scale models), and nothing has broken yet.    Woo hoo!   :dance_mini:

 

I've also now integrated all of the little details that I mentioned in my earlier comparison post into these versions and I'm really happy with all of the results.

 

The only things on my development to-do list now are to integrate the ESU lighting strips that came, and design the main couplings on the ends of the restaurant cars.   But getting the detailing right is a major milestone that I wanted to share with everyone, because I'm dead chuffed these!   Here are a load of pictures for you to enjoy too.   And I think this might be the first time I've actually taken any descent pics of the detailing on the undersides, so enjoy those too!

 

Ross.

 

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Edited by RBTKraisee
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Posted (edited)

The question of a kit came up on another forum, so I'm posting the same response here, as an FYI...

 

Some quick back-of-the-envelope calcs and I'm thinking the prices should be around US$25 per coach (body, interior/underframe and appropriate bogies & correct screws - maybe $15-18 without body), which is about GB£20 at today's exchange rate.

Shipping looks to be somewhere around $13/£10 for this three-coach RTS kit which would include everything in the picture below (note that some of the parts in this photo are a bit older, lacking a few details, purely because the paint is still drying on my latest parts and I didn't want to handle them!   Rest assured that anything I supply to a customer will always be the latest and most detailed version).   So this RTS kit would come out at a total of $88/£71, delivered.   You may have VAT to pay on top of that, at your end.

It would be supplied as unpainted black plastic, printed on exactly the same 3D printer, and at the same high resolution as all the other parts I've shown.   It would not include wheels (Dundas Model 7.2mm), lighting kit (ESU warm yellow), paint (various) or decals (Fox Transfers).   I will include the screws for attaching the bogies, to guarantee you have exactly the right size ones.   They come in silver and the heads need to be painted black.   I would provide all the links needed for you to order exactly the same parts for yourself from British suppliers and also links to Mike Trice's brilliant "teaking" technique threads and video's, which are where I am learning to do it myself!

I'd be interested to learn if people think this seems reasonable?

Ross.

 

IMG_0152m.jpg.c456718255fd5e0d6f68c6bddef522b6.jpg

Edited by RBTKraisee
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I just wanted to confirm, that a single ESU lighting kit that I'm using for this Gresley RTS kit is sufficient to light all three coaches and the on/off/brightness/flickering for each coach can still all be controlled independently!

 

I'm working on the redesign of the bodies to fit the kit elements, but technically it works great on my electronics bench!

 

The first three LED's and control unit go into the Kitchen car, and four LED's then go into each of the restaurant cars.   I'm working on a fitting to the articulation to allow wires to be passed across to the next coach and looking good.

 

I hope to have some pictures in a few days.

 

Ross.

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Long hours at work, but finishing the week off on a high because all the bits I need to redesign the articulated bearing into a smaller unit and also the materials needed to wire the three carriages up for DCC lighting - and allow the three coaches to be separated - are now all here!

 

It sounds like Saturday's Styrian GP Practice and Qualifying sessions are likely to be rained-off, so I should have a nice block of time to work on this stuff this weekend too!

 

Ross.

 

IMG_0192m.jpg.23cc0c085479d3f5443bcc691cd6f291.jpg

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Posted (edited)

I've been continuing the redesign work.   The lighting strips now all fit the carriages and I've been assembling the wiring loom that will go through the coach underframe, and will run cables under the bogies, allowing the three coaches to use the single DCC controller on the ESU lighting strip to control the brightness (and any flickering effects I want!) for all three units.

 

The redesigned bogies will be able to secure up to 4 wires hidden under the bogie, and will prevent the wires ever rubbing against the wheel axles, or the electrical pickups in that area.

 

I'm including some tiny electrical connectors that will be located in the bottom of the the restaurant coach underframes, that will enable them to still be quickly and reliably disconnected/reconnected whenever needed.

 

The black resin finally arrived too and the first coach body prints look good, though it will still need a coat of black primer on the inside, because being this thin, the black is still a bit translucent.

 

IMG_0199m.jpg.9ae550e1026029edbbec2589bdcae2e7.jpg

 

In the background of that image you might also spot that I've started building a collection of maroon paints!   These are Badger acrylics that came in from Midwest Model Railroad today to help me select a matching shade to go with my Farish maroon Mk1's that will be dragged behind my Hogwarts Castle (Hall).   I can't get Phoenix or Rail Match paints over here in the US, and because all paints are classified as hazardous materials the cost to ship here is utterly insane, so I'm hunting for something already here, that will match.   I've got some swatches of these paints drying right now and I'll compare them in sunlight tomorrow.

 

On Saturday I completed a small commission job for a chap in Ireland who wanted some arches from a specific building reproduced as 3D prints:

 

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I actually met the Irish chap because he was selling a whole load of GF Royal Mail Travelling Post Office coaches, and as some of you know, I have an interest in replicating the train used in the Great Train Robbery of 1963, for a respectful diorama.   Anyway, I couldn't resist, so I bought 10 coaches from him and they got here amazingly fast - just 5 days, including a weekend!

 

While I wait for my next paycheck to allow me to go hunting for a suitable Class 40, I'm running them around my programming track behind Cranmore Hall, which is the loco that will 'magically' be turning red soon enough :) Interestingly, to replicate the 1963 robbery train, many of these coaches will also need to be repainted maroon too.

 

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The Travelling Post Office coaches got me considering my next projects to follow the Gresley triplet...

 

Aside from my long-term King's Cross station designs (which are progressing, just slowly), I definitely want to build a full range of singles, doubles, triplets and even quad Gresley's.   It would also make sense for me to make new bodies, over the same underframes, to replicate the Silver Jubilee coaches too.

 

But I now also want to try to design a working catch-net and delivery arms for the Post Office Sorting (POS) vans!

 

I'm going to need to reach out to Phil (on this board) to see if I can get reference images and dimensioned drawings :)   And I now really want to see the working TPO set on the Grand Central Railway even more than ever!

 

I've got 6 of these POS vans here, so I can afford to experiment with at least one.   I'm thinking about possible designs for a mechanism that triggers the net extending, and then retracting again after - and also the smaller arms that deliver bags too.   They could be mechanically triggered like the old Hornby TPO coaches, or maybe an electronic system could be used instead, perhaps DCC controlled or using track-embedded IR sensors.   I'm just mulling different approaches right now, to figure out the pro's and con's of each.   When I think I've got a bead on each approach I'll settle on one to try and see if it can be done in N!

 

Over on another forum I've seen mention that nobody currently does a Mk1 Post Office Stowage van (POT), and given that I will need one for the diorama, that's a project I'm considering doing too - though not until (most) everything else on this list has been completed.

 

If anyone here is interested in a working N-gauge POS catch-net kit, or the POT van, please do let me know, so I can gauge interest levels :)

 

Ross.

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Posted (edited)

Okay, I've been studying the POS vans that arrived and GF did a great job of detailing all the little panels and hinges around the net area.

 

IMG_0203m.jpg.868a7f025b87b9e885595241fd9001a0.jpgIMG_0200m.jpg.5023098982a86a5a6fae7852c6ea3566.jpg


Unfortunately, I need to replace all these elements with bits that actually work!   So, my choices are:

 

1) Design some elements that simply fit over the existing ones.
2) Sand the existing pieces down and replace them.
3) Cut the door section out entirely and replace it.
4) Design a brand new coach with the elements designed-in from the get-go.

 

Option 1 would be the simplest option, but to add a mechanical triggering mechanism I'll still have to drill a number of holes in the body and the underframe, so the work involved in options 2 and 3 start to look a little less drastic!

 

1526281036_TPOPOS64ft6in001.JPG.6382cdf79d8b3c335e81ba54b38705a3.JPG

 

Given that I've already been designing the Gresley's, option 4 actually appeals to me.   It would give me a lot more freedom to design everything specifically for the purpose, instead of trying to retro-fit it.

 

But I'm interested to hear from others, so what do you think?

 

Ross.

Edited by RBTKraisee
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I'd go with option 4. That way you can build in the bits you need to make it operational instead of maybe having to add bits on and would come out cleaner.

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Cheers Phil, that's the first vote on that question, and I hope to hear from others!

 

I went out and bought some tiny mesh net materials this morning and will cut a few samples out to see which look realistic or not.   I'll try to take some photo's of the samples later.

 

 

Another question I dohave, is whether people would be interested in an electrically operated net, or mechanical?   Electric might be a bit more expensive, but I think it would work more reliably and more accurately.

 

I'm thinking a track-embedded IR system with a receiver in the coach (or perhaps DCC) would be a good trigger.   Then a small motor could be used to deploy and retract over a few seconds, which would be much more like the real thing and would avoid the 'sudden' slam-deployment, which is one of the main things that make the Hornby TPO's "toy-like".

 

Due to the extremely tight confines of the carriage, the doors, the delivery arms and the receiving net will probably need to all work off the same mechanism and at the same times, regardless - I don't think I could make them operate independently.   I suspect most people would be fine with this though, so I'm happy.

 

I'm also trying to think of any means whereby received bags caught by the net might be routed down the coach to the delivery arms without human interaction.   I do suspect that's asking a bit much, but it *just might be feasible* if the bags contained a small magnet to help orient them correctly when they come into contact with the delivery arms inside the coach body, before being deployed.   I'm making no promises on this idea though - if I were to try to quantify it, I suspect we're talking about maybe, at best, a 10% chance of making such a complex thing work!   But I'm going to give it a look-see, just in case!

 

Ross.

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Have a search on that well know auction site for ultra micro servo and ultra micro linear servo, don't know if they'd be any help.

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Cheers Phil,

   I found a few options that should fit, even in the N gauge coach.   Based on the size of the doors (and assuming they will all have to slide the same way), it looks like I need something with at least an 8mm throw, so something like the Spektrum S2000 might be a fair option.

 

   There are also some really small servo controller boards such as the Trinket Mini - and that would provide a lot of capability.   If I need something even smaller, the DasMikro DSK-142 has potential too.

 

   I'll grab a couple of examples and play around to find a suitable combination.   Finding a reliable source that won't dry-up too quickly will be an important factor.

 

   The next month or so is likely to be quite busy for me at work, but I'll gradually pull this together whenever I have time.   With the F1 season running, I should get at least 8 hours to work on this stuff each week! :)

 

Ross.

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I've only got a very basic loop of track so far, really just a program track fitted on a temporary foam base.   Until just recently I had hardly any rolling stock, so hadn't invested much time in getting the DCC electronics working - although I have been gradually building up stocks of all the bits I will need.

 

I finally got around to tackling the DCC++/JMRI install two days ago.   It was very frustrating at first, being unable to get my Zimo and ESU decoders to respond, but I have finally solved all the issues (well, the ESU units still won't acknowledge anything back to the Arduino DCC++ controller, but it still accepts the programming and does everything it's supposed to do).   Everything now appears to be working!

 

And it was just in time too, because my A10 Flying Scotsman in Wartime Black (which will be the main hauler for my Gresley's including RTS) just arrived - as did the Rapido couplers that I know a few of you have been waiting to see!

 

So, right now I have a Hall, an A4 Mallard, this A10 Scotsman and my ESU lighting system for the RTS, all configured and working properly - and they're all controllable from my phone! Woo hoo!! :drink_mini:

 

I still need to configure my Octopus III servo controller for up to 8 turnouts - but I think I need to get some turnouts first ;)

 

And now that the Rapido's have arrived I'll start working on the couplers for the RTS - which should be the last major task before I can look at a 'release'.

 

Ross.

 

IMG_0222m.jpg.5b1a6e11bbd79d2dd6f12c8dd83c6e16.jpg

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So my latest design for the electrical connector appears to be working brilliantly

Thought I'd share a couple of pics...

*Follow-up: The wires sticking down from the bogie won't stick down like that when in use - you just push them up into the Kitchen car, and if necessary, you can fill the recessed area with some blutack.

Ross.

 

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IMG_0225m.jpg.f07cc6c4e7d26898afa5f8a3844397c8.jpgIMG_0224m.jpg.e21f308aca00baa677dadadc5ef7dd65.jpg

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Posted (edited)

LOL!

 

Actually, in all seriousness, I know loco's were repainted black - I just picked up a WT Black Flying Scotsman - but was any rolling stock ever repainted (black or other colours) during the war, too?

 

Ross.

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Another couple of deliveries came in today :)

 

First, from US supplier Streamlined Backshop I received a used, but perfectly working, DCC Concepts PSX2 pair of circuit breakers to protect both my main and programming tracks at the top level!

 

IMG_0237m.jpg.718c909b5f008ba1c43b2ff8e43246c4.jpg

 

In addition to that, I ordered a pack of 27 watt 1156 car bulbs for localised short protection of individual blocks, plus two sockets (one for main, one program tracks) to start me off with.

 

The same order also included some conductive paint for my wheelset pickups on the Gresley RTS kit.   I also got a tiny little micro linear servo motor for me to experiment with, intended to motorize the doors and net deployment on my forthcoming Travelling Post Office!

 

IMG_0235m.jpg.b66e90f2d8513cc073dac2d81f28c6f8.jpgIMG_0236m.jpg.e9b862ad05acb321e5257ae3a9bf6bf6.jpg

 

A few days ago I also received a bolt of brass 40-gauge mesh for the TPO nets too, but I haven't taken a photo of that.   The wires and holes on this gauze look to be just about a perfect match for the real thing and I hope to make a few test parts this week.

 

So my various kit plans are currently prioritized this way:

 

1) Gresley LNER Teak Restaurant Triplet Set (RTS).

2) Travelling Post Office Sorting Van (POS) with working doors, deployment arms and nets.

3) Travelling Post Office Stowage Van (POT).

4) King's Cross Station (actually working on this all the time, in amongst everything else).

5) Sleeper Bases for custom track (a new project that will really help with a complex layout that I'm making).

6) Silver Jubilee RTS.

7) Additional Gresley's & Silver Jubilee coaches to make full rakes.

8) Other stations.

 

It's building into quite a list :)   Should definitely keep me busy and out of trouble!

 

Ross.

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I've gone and broken a part of my 3D printer (stripped the hex of one of the screws holding the FEB film onto the bottom of the vat), so I'm going to have to wait for Amazon to get me a replacement before I can make much more progress on any of my projects.   Might be a week or two before I have any real updates :(

 

Ross.

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