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9 hours ago, WrattingRoad said:

Been working on more ohle masts over the last few nights! Only a couple more pairs to go. 
 


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In the second picture, one of these masts needed a new set of cantilevers made. So I took the opportunity to take pictures to show how I made them. Although I started off with a (messy) Peco H section, the whole method applies to scratchbuilding too. So just pretend that I’m using a fresh clean h section and you’ll be able to see how to  scratchbuild a mk3 cantilever mast. 
 

 

the h section untouched. 
 

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I first measure and drill two holes in the sides of the h section. These are where the rods for the seperate cantilever pieces will slot into. These were made to suit the layout so work with your own measurements and diagrams. These are drilled with a 1mm drill bit using a hand drill. Please excuse the mess :blush:
 

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3 pieces of 0.8mm brass rod were cut to the required sizes. These make up the top tie, cantilever arm and registration tube. 


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slot the  ‘top tie’ and ‘cantilever arm’ rods into the holes. The top tie goes in the top hole and the cantilever arm goes into the hole lower down. The top tie gets soldered straight while the cantilever arm gets soldered at an angle - the masts counterpart in the pair was used to dictate the required angle so they matched. you will have to determine what angle you need. 
 

at this point I didn’t take photos from the side because I totally forgot. But you can see in the photo below that the solder bonds to the inside of the h section making it a strong join. 
 

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next came the insulators. I used some coils that are made for jewellery. These aren’t the best representation of them but they’re not far off - plus it’s all I had.  And a pack of around 30 from hobbycraft only costs a few quid making them very cost effective. 
 

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the insulators are slotted onto the top tie and cantilever arm rods and soldered on each side - one side to the rod and the other side to the h section. be careful when soldering to the h section as you may end up heating the solder keeping the rods attached to the h section. 
 

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When everything is soldered properly and you’re happy with positioning, then the top tie and cantilever arm gets soldered together. 

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Next comes soldering the rod for the registration tube which gets soldered onto the cantilever arm. The position of this was taken from the masts counterpart so it matched and was the same height. use your own measurements to work out where it needs to be attached to your own mast.
 

Note: If you’re making a mast with a ‘push off’ registration arm then be sure to keep the registration tube longer so the registration arm gets installed in the correct place. 

 

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The thin wire that runs between the top tie and registration tube was added next using 0.2mm brass wire. 
 

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And last comes the registration arm, which is the most fiddly stage so be sure to use tweezers!

 

this mast was going on the outside of a bend so it needed to have a ‘pull off’ position registration arm. If you require a ‘push off’ registration arm then it’ll need to be attached next to the 0.2mm brass wire. 

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the photo below shows a mast with a ‘push off’ registration arm. 
 

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this concludes the soldering stage and it will just need the concrete bases attaching to finish off construction - these are available through scale model scenery or can be 3D printed. I didn’t need to do this of course as the Peco masts come with one glued on so it was a matter of putting it in place on the layout to see how it looked and if it would work. I compared it to its counter part too and all was good. 
 

The section gets trimmed down so it’s the same height as it’s pair before finishing off with a light coat of grey primer and then a dash of brown on the insulators. 

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Job done! :declare:

 

not the most accurate looking mast but it’ll work and looks half decent. If I was to critique the mast, it would be the insulators. There’s better options for the insulators such as n brass, sommerfeldt or 3D printing. But the two coils look okay and equate to a few pennies each. I have a load of n brass ones but those are for the headspans! 
 

Hopefully  this post helps a few who want to build some of their own ohle. any further questions feel free to ask :pardon:

 

 

Mmmm this is looking very nice here! I am a fan of realistic catenary so I look forward to it's progress

 

Good luck with this one, Jules

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Last night saw the completion of all of my catenary masts - at last! Soldering is much better this time round and the joints are nice and strong but I will only find out how good they really are when I come round to string the layout and add all the tension!
 

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These are now ready to get installed back on the layout and I’ve arranged them in their pairs so I don’t get mixed up! They’re the same height as are the registration arms and I’ve tested the pantograph heights and positions of the registration arms and all is good! 
Loving how low the wires will be when entering the tunnel, I’ve always thought low pans look cool. 
 

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I’m still enjoying the layout as diesel only mind you so I may leave them out for a little longer. Ran some more diesels over the week as running trains and music provides some nice background noise when working. 

 


 

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and some rather nice or strange panoramas which always makes things interesting. 
 

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11 hours ago, Squirrel Rail said:

Hi Jack, the masts look great and look forward to seeing them installed. great pics and  It looks like the Wratting Road wash plant and cleaning team have been working overtime on the locos!! Cheers Jerry


Thanks Jerry. 
 

The locos are in desperate need of a weathering! May have to send them your way :wink_mini:

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The wait is over for you @Squirrel Rail;)

 

The ohle masts are now back on the layout in their original positions. They’ve been tested to check the registration arms line up with the pantograph nicely which they do. 
 

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I won’t be adding the wires this time though. These will be done when the rest of the electrification has been made which will be in the form of headspans. Speaking of which...

 

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The first headspan was made over the weekend and this was fully scratchbuilt using brass H section, 0.45mm nickle wire, 0.8mm brass rod, N Brass insulators and 3D printed concrete bases.
 

Measurements were taken from drawings by Clive Mortimore who has done a few threads on ohle which are well worth checking out. I found a headspan on google which has a return wire running through the centre inbetween the upper cross span wire and the headspan wire. Note the tube/rod and insulator in between the left and centre registration arms. Rather unusual considering both return wires are normally on the posts of the headspan.

 


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As I model the return wires, and have the layout of the track the way it is, it made sense to copy this mast and after double checking with some experts, I went ahead.

 


this was my first go at making it with no trial runs beforehand. Very happy with how it came out!:D one down, eight to go!

 

 

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Edited by WrattingRoad
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2 minutes ago, WrattingRoad said:

 

The wait is over for you @Squirrel Rail;)

 

The ohle masts are now back on the layout in their original positions. They’ve been tested to check the registration arms line up with the pantograph nicely which they do. 
 

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I won’t be adding the wires this time though. These will be done when the rest of the electrification has been made which will be in the form of headspans. Speaking of which...

 

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The first headspan was made over the weekend and this was fully scratchbuilt using brass H section, 0.45mm nickle wire, 0.8mm brass rod, N Brass insulators and 3D printed concrete bases. 
 

this was my first go at making it with no trial runs beforehand. Very happy with how it came out!:D one down, eight to go!

 

 

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Looking great- nice work Jack!

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Something else that happened over the weekend...

 

I acquired a Hornby 153 in Greater Anglia livery. Been after one of these for ages. I was offered a sound fitted one by a friend a couple of years ago which I VERY foolishly said no too. You can imagine how much it hurt kicking myself ever since!

 

nonetheless, I finally have one and I got a very nice result with it. On Thursday, I saw two up for sale on eBay.  First one was second hand in a bidding war so stuck it on the watch list. But below it, was one at a fixed price of £99 being sold as new. I couldn’t be bothered with the auction so quickly snatched up the ‘new’ model after checking the seller and their reviews. AC Models with very good feedback so I had my hopes up. Model arrived on Saturday, box was in good condition and the model was nicely wrapped up in its clear film with an unopened bag of extras which was a good start.  Not a single scratch or mark on the model upon inspection so I was immediately happy. So what happened to the other one? It ended up going for £150 with 30+ bids placed on it. I felt I done well with this one :lol:

 

 

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I took the model apart to fit a decoder (the body felt as if it had never been taken off) and to look at what would be needed to make it more prototypical as I model Abellio era. I spent some time improving the direction lights by modifying the fibre optics so only the headlight is on and filled the marker lights on the side. The real AGA 153s have the taillights and marker lights on bi directional bulbs. They have a weird ‘alternative marking’ set up where both marker lights are illuminated while shunting but when the headlight is turned on, the marker light next to the headlight turned on, turns off. Does that make sense? :laugh:

 

Different to other AGA trains that have both marker lights illuminated but it is what it is. So where are the models marker lights? Well...  In the vast majority of photos I’ve looked at, the marker lights on the real AGA 153s are incredibly dim to the point they don’t even look on.

 

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(all photos are taken from flickr and don’t belong too me)

 

 

for now, I feel like I can get away with what I’ve done. I don’t think it looks bad at all. I’ve looked to see what would be required to get the fully correct lighting set up but it looks to me like it’ll be a big job to do for what seems a little reward. It won’t be a job I’ll do myself if I decide to get it right so I will have to approach a professional who will know what to do! 
 

Here’s some closer up photos of the fronts of the model. Note the Great Yarmouth and Norwich Destination blinds. Perfect!

 

 

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For now the lights will be left as they are. But other plans will be sound (providing I can get Anglian announcements) interior lighting, fully painted interior, passengers, driver and of course, branded up as Abellio. A C3 decal is required underneath the left light clusters on both ends and the bicycle access decal needs to be changed to a red one. 

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2 hours ago, armleyroad said:

Very impressive catenary work, you must be happy with the 153 too, a good model for adding lights etc. 


thank you very much. 
 

was very happy with the 153 got an idea to further improve the directional lights. Will look great once finished hopefully!

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Great result on the 153.

I was looking to buy a camera lens a few years back. I watched a few go for £100-£150 then found the same model for £67 which was in great nick & had a few extra filters which were not mentioned in the description.

 

I notice one of the photos is from Brundall? This is an unusual station. It has staggered platforms & a level crossing which are not that unusual, but the stagger is usually there to allow trains to clear the level crossing before stopping, but Brundall's platforms are staggered the opposite way. I went there before the re-signalling to find out why it was built this way but I saw no obvious reason for it.

It also has a footbridge, which seems to be less common when the platforms are staggered.

 

Good work on the OLE too. I built some for a previous layout but was unhappy with the result (but I will want/need to re-try it again fairly soon).

My biggest problem was wire tension. Even with 0.6mm piano wire which looked way overscale, it needed to be so tight that the masts could not take it for very long.

Regarding your wire tension; I was advised by Andi Dell (Dagworth) some time ago that RTR pantograph spring tensions are way too fierce. He suggested that a very short pencil was a good guide. If they could just about hold this up, then the tension was about right.

This would allow you to keep the contact wire at a manageable tension.

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5 hours ago, Pete the Elaner said:

My biggest problem was wire tension. Even with 0.6mm piano wire which looked way overscale, it needed to be so tight that the masts could not take it for very long.


My wires are the Peco ones which are made from copper and are around 0.4mm thick. A tad over scale I believe, at least for the contact wires. But I’ve spent the money so I’m going to use them and will use a better, more scale alternative next time. I hear guitar wire is good and tensions really nicely - different materials require more tension than others based on research and from what I’ve been told.

 

I done a small test where I knocked up a block of wood, layed some track and tested the Peco wires to see how they’d cope with tensioning. The track was just over a metre long and had the ‘sprung/tensioning’ mast, a few cantilever masts I’d modified and a piece of h section on its own for an anchor on the other side. 
 

 My masts I modified, I drilled holes into the sides to slot the cantilevers into and soldered which created a much stronger and better join than soldering it straight to the side of the mast.  So the masts were somewhat tested as well.  I used smiths coupling springs to apply the tension but the test wasn’t that great due to using my ‘termination’ mast and soldered the spring onto it. The mast had become a bit flimsy as it had started to become loose from its base. I’ll need to have some solid structures behind the backboards to get the best results. 

despite this, there was no uplift of the wires upon testing and everything was holding itself nicely.

 

The only electric locos I have at the moment are the Bachmann 90s which are very softly sprung. Using its DCC pantograph proved useful because it can be raised and lowered back and forth to see it push upwards and against the wires to see what happened. DCC control means the pantograph has CVs which control its maximum height so if you have wires that stay the same height through the run, you can set it so it just touches them and has no/very little upward force. Which takes the worry out of ‘not enough’ tensioning. However, like the real thing, my wires raise and lower - lower when approaching the tunnel and bridges and raise a little when out in the open. I could always set the pantographs for the 90s to touch the wires at their highest point on the layout. So they will still always be in contact with the wires and there will be very little upward pressure when it runs underneath the lower wires. This time round, I’m having my wires raise and lower much more realistically and I’ve measured the heights of the registration arms from all the masts and the headspan installed so far and the difference in wire height between the lowest point and highest point is 5mm. As the remaining gantries will be on the approach to bridges, there will be less than a couple of mm difference from here on. So in short, the pantographs will change in height only slightly while running around the layout. So I will most likely end up tweaking the pantograph CVS on the 90s so their pantograph only raise up enough to touch the wire at their highest point. 
 

anyway, back to the test.  I was happy with the results so hopefully, everything will be okay but I suppose it’s a matter of time will tell. 
 

 

6 hours ago, Pete the Elaner said:

I was advised by Andi Dell (Dagworth) some time ago that RTR pantograph spring tensions are way too fierce. He suggested that a very short pencil was a good guide. If they could just about hold this up, then the tension was about right.

This would allow you to keep the contact wire at a manageable tension.


As stated above, I only have Bachmann 90s at the moment which are nicely sprung and even on my old set up with no tensioning, there was uplift but it didn’t break the wires.  Hornby models would have brought the masts up :laugh:


The only other models I’ll be getting will be the upcoming Heljan 86s. The layout will be gone by the time I start going down the route of gathering emus.  I hear the new models (86s) pantographs will be sprung unlike the older model which just had a posable pantograph. So you manually raised it and once it got pushed down, it stayed down. I never owned or seen one in the flesh though, I’m just going on what I’ve seen in videos. Hopefully the new model’s pan is as nicely sprung as the Bachmann 90 but it’ll be on a clip so it’ll be at its highest point when I clipped until it touches a wire causing it to be pushed down. Again, a matter of time will tell.

 

The info has proved useful though so thank you. Best of luck with your future catenary!

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I have a couple of Bachmann 90s too. I am impressed they got a decent looking pan to work as well as they did. I didn't think they would pull it off.

I have a few Hornby 86s, 90s & a 91 & some Lima 87s. I also have some new Hornby 87s but the pan looks very fragile on that as well as being poseable in 3 positions only. The older Hornby BW pan was sprung very fiercely but it also looks very overscale.

I will also be interested to see the new Heljan one. I was unaware their previous one was unsprung.

 

I had wondered about EMUs on your layout. Do 321s still run over there? It is a shame the TOC didn't want corridors on their Desiros or else you could have used a 350. Maybe Bachmann will make a 360 in the future?

I have some Bratchell 321s to build & they go together well.

 

I built my catenary from brass before but that was 20 years ago & I didn't even think of weakening the pan springs so the contact wires had to be very taut.

Piano wire is pretty stiff too. I guess it may be similar to guitar string because they are both intended to do the same thing: play musical notes.

Because there were junctions (at which I incorrectly joined the wires instead of terminating one at the side of the track), it was a case of tensioning one wire, which made the next one slack so that needed to be re-tensioned .. then it made the first one slack. The whole lot ended up being so tight that the masts bent & solder joints popped apart. I am also more fussy about appearance now so I hope to do a better job next time. I hope you do a better job than I did first time around. It certainly looks like you are.

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28 minutes ago, Pete the Elaner said:

 

I have a couple of Bachmann 90s too. I am impressed they got a decent looking pan to work as well as they did. I didn't think they would pull it off.

 

 
the Bachmann 90 is totally flawless model, everything about it is superb from the running, functionality, detailing and even the dcc fitting! :laugh_mini: makes it very user friendly and it’s easily one of the best (if not the best) models ever produced. The annoying sound of the servo is a minor let down but that’s all I have to say about it! The servo itself has seemed to inspire other manufactures (Accurascale 92 comes to mind) to include the same thing so who knows, perhaps servos will get put in models more often to operate movable objects - opening doors on coaches and units sounds quite cool! 

 

 

34 minutes ago, Pete the Elaner said:

I have a few Hornby 86s, 90s & a 91 & some Lima 87s. I also have some new Hornby 87s but the pan looks very fragile on that as well as being poseable in 3 positions only. The older Hornby BW pan was sprung very fiercely but it also looks very overscale.


I’d never entertain an old Hornby model for the reasons you stated. I would however get some old cheapos to do up as dit runners. You can get upgrade kits for the 90 and get new pantographs and pose them down so having those behind a loco being hauled as DIT would be a nice touch. Or maybe one at the back of a train with a flashing lamp. 


 

37 minutes ago, Pete the Elaner said:

I had wondered about EMUs on your layout. Do 321s still run over there? It is a shame the TOC didn't want corridors on their Desiros or else you could have used a 350. Maybe Bachmann will make a 360 in the future?

I have some Bratchell 321s to build & they go together well.


EMUs are vital for setting the GEML scene so yeah, I will 100% get a few. But by the time that does happen, Wratting Road will probably be dismantled. And hopefully, the new layout will be in the making. 321s do still run but they’ll be getting replaced very soon. 
 

Ive spoken to someone about commissioning me a Bachmann 350 conversion into a 360 which will include making it a fully prototypical model and I did get a very good price. It’ll just be a matter of getting hold of a 350 in the first place. Perhaps it’ll be one for this year...The bratchell 321 I’m starting to consider because there’s  no other way of getting a 321 and won’t be for quite some time. I’ve been told their kits are perfect though for them and for AGA ones, it only requires a slight modification to the roof. it’s just the cost and the fact the kit looks rather basic ( IMO) and would involve a lot of work to get to a good standard. A well detailed rtr model would be cheaper by quite a long way. One of my friends has spent an absolute fortune on his one and I’m not prepared to spend that amount of money but I will see when the time comes. Knowing my luck, RTR one will get announced as soon as I’ve finished building one! 
 

It frustrates how overlooked EMUs are in general, a huge huge gap yet to be filled. I hear all sorts of excuses but to me, none of them make sense or are logical in anyway. It’s almost comes across as ‘I don’t like them so I don’t want them’ or ‘I don’t like them so we don’t need them.’ The demand for them is going up from what I can see so I suppose it’s only a matter of time...

 

 

46 minutes ago, Pete the Elaner said:

 

 

I built my catenary from brass before but that was 20 years ago & I didn't even think of weakening the pan springs so the contact wires had to be very taut.

Piano wire is pretty stiff too. I guess it may be similar to guitar string because they are both intended to do the same thing: play musical notes.

Because there were junctions (at which I incorrectly joined the wires instead of terminating one at the side of the track), it was a case of tensioning one wire, which made the next one slack so that needed to be re-tensioned .. then it made the first one slack. The whole lot ended up being so tight that the masts bent & solder joints popped apart. I am also more fussy about appearance now so I hope to do a better job next time. I hope you do a better job than I did first time around. It certainly looks like you are.

 

At the end of the day,  it’s a lesson to be learned which everyone goes through. Experience, confidence and knowledge of how to do things would have greatly increased in that time so I’m sure you’ll pull your new catenary off. 
 

I would go full beans on modelling catenary but that’ll be for the next layout once I’ve for A large enough space to play with. Then I can build everything from the ground up with realism in mind. I’d personably like to model an overlap sequence or a feeder station (or both!) 

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Only little bits and bobs this evening. 
 

I’ve decided against going for the marker light mods on the 153 and have instead came up with the next best thing by painting the right hand marker/tail light white to make it look as if there’s a dim marker light illuminating. It works quite well, especially when plenty of light is shining on the model.
 

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It doesn’t effect the tail lights which is good. 
 

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Now I just need to get the sound sorted along with the other bits on the list. 

 

 

 

And the other thing I did tonight was make a dummy tensioning pulley for the electrified siding. It just needs the balance weights which will be getting 3D printed and then it’ll be ready for priming.
 

The mast is from an old Peco mast which was used in the siding before but was just a rather basic one based on those at Ipswich depot. But I noticed I needed one like this.  Brass rod was used for the supports and the wheels are snap fasteners from hobbycraft. 0.45mm wire was used for the wire bending around all the wheels. 
 

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it’s looking a little crude but I’m happy with it - it should look better once primed. I’m chuffed I could make it because I attempted one a couple of years ago and really struggled and didnt know what to do. But in those two years, skills and confidence have come a long way so within a couple of hours, I knocked this one together quite smoothly. 
 

Some photos of it loose in situ on the layout. 

 

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once this is finished, all my existing ohle will be done and ready for stringing. Meaning all that remains will be the headspans. I’m holding fire on those for a little while as I need advice and I’ll most likely get one of the bridges built and installed first. 

 

Edited by WrattingRoad
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