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Hi TT3. Like you, I am hopeless at woodwork! The previous layout worked well enough but the carpentry was distinctly on the rough side of "dodgy"!!! :lol: Doug has all the woodworking skills I lack - he probably lined up twice when they were handing out the skill-sets!! ;) It has been a blessing having such a good friend so near by. I tried to maximise the use of the space while leaving things as accessible as possible. I may have to duck under occasionally to retrieve things from the tunnels in the event of a disaster but, hopefully, things will remain reliable for a good few years to come. I have done quite a bit of running already with a large variety of stock and the only problems have been one vehicle becoming uncoupled (coupling adjusted and problem fixed!) and one derailment due entirely to my inattention and running one train into the back of another! :blush: :laugh:

 

 

Peter, we'll look forward to seeing you on Saturday (and TT3 if he can make it). I wasn't planning on bringing the EPBs along but since you have asked so nicely I am positively delighted to announce that I'm not going to do it!! :P Actually, I'll bring one or both along and maybe a couple of other locomotives too. I now have sound in Kestrel to show off, amongst others. I don't want to steal too much of Doug's thunder though, as he is getting quite a good LNER feel to his layout now.

 

 

Doug: because I hurt my wrist again I have been drilling holes and putting screws in just a few at a time each day after I get home. Toby has been wrestling the mat inside our front door (he kicks the s*** out of it too!) so we never know what position it is going to be in: I tripped on it in the dark after getting back home from your place on Sunday. He has taken to sitting on the window sill behind the layout a lot lately - he does like the trains. I haven't locked him out of the room yet but once I start putting scenery in i might have to review the situation. As long as he remains non-destructive I'll leave the doors open (previous cat demolished a few of my very delicate Ratio semaphore signals and ate some of the plastic figures, including the school mistress and half a motor cycle!).

 

I may have to take over the BRMA meeting following DougN's as Roger T, the currently listed host, had a heart attack at the exhibition on Saturday. He is recovering but I have offered if he thinks it may be too much for him to cope wih hosting 15 or 20 people in August. At least I have something operational already so I am further along than I expected to be at this stage.

 

 

Rcmacchipilot, I want to do some scenery and I have some ideas in mind already but it will be a little while before I can really start on it. Unlike carpentry, I do have some reasonable skills with scenery and positioning of items for best effect (I think!).

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Well thoughts are with RogerT at the moment. Good idea to take over the meeting as I thnk he might need a break from that. BUT he may be feeling a lot better with the new plumbing to the old pump. Though as you say rest is probably a good thing before the Doctors start on the "new" lifestyle! There is always another month for him to have a meeting thankfully.

 

We will await the response out of the "area disorganiser" to confirm! :yes:

 

BTW we can fix the mat but the solution needs a couple of screws!!!! :rolleyes:

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TT3 if you want a layout like SRmans all you need to do is ask! I can make it quite easily (read spent too much on wood working tools over the years!) All you need to do is send me the plan with dimensions. I will ask difficult questions which might challange your thoughts on operation so it can be exactly what you want. But Woodend I might leave up to you to pick it up from me! If you are comming to the BRMA meeting on Saturday you can look at how I put things together. SRmans is the same style as mine but a different design.

 

Thanks Doug I will certainly take you up on that, :drinks: I have been agonising about baseboards and trying to see how I can save leftovers from previous layouts. I must start a new planning topic for the MK2 version of the 3mm layout. I have a few sketch ideas that would benefit from the opinios of people on here.

Nothing concrete yet though as I am building a new house with a 12 foot square bedroom that will house the layout.

 

I will have to have a look at SRmans boards, I have been trying to see how it is constructed as all i need are frames and legs, I have a few ideas about the tops I want to try out. Also, where abouts are you, Woodend is far away from everyone I have noticed.

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Doug: because I hurt my wrist again I have been drilling holes and putting screws in just a few at a time each day after I get home. Toby has been wrestling the mat inside our front door (he kicks the s*** out of it too!) so we never know what position it is going to be in: I tripped on it in the dark after getting back home from your place on Sunday. He has taken to sitting on the window sill behind the layout a lot lately - he does like the trains. I haven't locked him out of the room yet but once I start putting scenery in i might have to review the situation. As long as he remains non-destructive I'll leave the doors open (previous cat demolished a few of my very delicate Ratio semaphore signals and ate some of the plastic figures, including the school mistress and half a motor cycle!).

 

 

SRman, I see we have similiar issues not to mention the apparent lack of woodworking talent. this was from the old forum but still happens on a regular basis.

 

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:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: I love that face just inside the tunnel mouth! Can you imagine the expression on the train driver's face as he approaches??

 

 

TT3, DougN and I are both in Blackburn South, only a few minutes from each other. The baseboard construction for Doug's layout and mine are both the same in principle, using the 'L' girder structure with cross-beams for board supports, although mine has the 90 degree bend as well. Doug put both layouts on castors so they can be moved, although neither could be said to be truly portable. If you are able to get to Melbourne on Saturday, Doug is hosting the BRMA meeting so you could have a look at one or both layouts.

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Blackburn South isn't that far away. I will have to see what we are doing on Sat, but if memory serves me right myself ans SWMBO are off looking at white goods for the new house as there are a couple of sales on this week :rolleyes:

 

I have a long way to go before baseboards are needed, just need to paint the house, put the carpet in, install bathrooms, wire up the lights and electrics....but I I made a new topic with a scematic and track plan so it is the 'offical' start to the project.

 

Anyway, after that there is the 4mm project to fun the triang/dublo, a space of 5m X 5m....

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I spent most of Thursday evening, after work, rewiring and soldering two DPDT switches in to the track feeds, to allow me to connect a DC controller to each track. There are no isolating switches at this stage and the DPDT switches were what I had to hand and don't have a centre off position - ideally, when I set up the conrol panel, I'll add even more wiring to allow each section of track to be isolated as well as being able to switch each circuit to DC or DCC.

 

The DC controller is an old but very reliable Hammant & Morgan Duette.

 

The reason for all this was that I hosted a BRMA meeting on today. I volunteered at short notice because the original host, my very good friend Roger T (BRMA members will know who I mean) suffered a heart attack at the Brandon Park exhibition in June. While he is recovering well, we thought it was not wise to put on him the extra strain of holding the meeting so soon after the event. Incidentally, I bought the previously mentioned H & M Duette off of Roger a good many years ago. It was nice that Roger was able to attend today, too, so he is recovering nicely.

 

While I was not entirely ready to host, I managed to fumble through. The main thing is that the trains are operable and those who brought along normal DC locomotives were still able to run them, although it meant clearing any other locomotives or motorised items off the selected track. As I refine things, though, I intend to tidy the wiring properly. At least the colour-coding helped me to do the reconnections without too much difficulty.

 

We had nearly 20 people here today and the layout behaved perfectly, including the DC operation. I got to run Gwiwer's new weathered green 2EPB from Lord and Butler for a while. It made an interesting contrast to my pristine green EPB which arrived two days ago but to which I only fitted a decoder last night. Mine was actually still doing a running-in turn as the first guests arrived.

 

This morning, before anyone arrived, I trimmed the upper board at the end to nearer the correct shape and part-painted it.

 

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The bridge in the foregound and tracks curving round to the left are purely to give a rough idea of the alignment of the upper level tracks when I get to lay them properly. The bridge will, of course, be double tracked. The "proper" curves will be a little gentler than the third radius ones I have used for show.

 

Here's another shot but with the green 2EPB still running-in - it had been running continuously fo a couple of hours by this time but still exhibited a little tightness that was not apparent in any of my othe EPBs/CEPs.

 

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Here are a couple of overall views showing how it now looks, as prepared for the BRMA meeting. Once again, the green EPB is travelling around.

 

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And finally (for now), the temporary switch panel. It is a piece of 20 thou plasticard, hot glued to the boards, with the two DPDT switches screwed in. I printed up labels this morning to help avoid any confusion.

 

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I know the village "road" sort of peters out into nothing but, until I start getting some real scenic modelling done, this is purely for effect - a sort of window dressing, if you like.

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Hi Jeff,

It was a good meeting, and great to see Roger looking well.

It was good to see the layout in the flesh and thanks for the play,:D I do like the sound of those Cromptons.:drinks:

 

Cheers Peter.

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I have now been running trains and leaving them to run for several hours a day over the last week. This has allowed me to sort out any troublesome locomotives or stock. Thankfully, I have only had to set aside a few items for fixing, anything from lubricating them to sticking coupling mechanisms to dirty or faulty pickups.

 

I can now confidently leave things running and walk away, coming back later to find all is still well. It has been fun running a variety of stock, old and modern, some of which hasn't had a proper run for quite some time.

 

Today, I cut a piece of MDF and some supports to fill the upper section between the end of the lifting section of the fiddle yard and the fixed corner board. It is not yet screwed down nor is it painted.

 

The train running past has a Bachmann BR Standard class 4 2-6-0 76069 hauling a short mixed goods train of the 1960s. Included at the end of this train is my kit-built SR "Pill Box" brake van, of the type that was recently announced by Bachmann for release this year or next year. Mine is a Cambrian kit.

 

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Also, the same train, as seen from the other end of the layout.

 

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At the time, I had a Hornby class 50, 50 035 "Ark Royal" running in the other direction with a blue/grey set of Bachmann BR mark 1 and 2 stock.

 

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The overbridge is there purely to give an idea of the upper level track alignment.

 

Earlier on, I was running several Hornby/Lima hybrid class 73 Electro-Diesels. One of these, E6012, in the early BR blue with grey skirts is seen on an engineers train of ballast wagons, topped and tailed by "Shark" ballast plough brake vans. The heavily weathered one at the end of the train is also a Cambrian kit, and just ahead of it is a kit-built "Grampus" wagon with no markings on it (must get around to doing that!).

 

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The same train at the other end of the layout.

 

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And the one I thorughly enjoyed running as being a little different; the LSWR M7 0-4-4T, 252, with a three coach SR Maunsell set (Hornby) in fully lined out livery.

 

321_310137_090000003.jpg

 

 

 

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All looks good Jeff,

 

Must come and visit some day. I have a M7 but in BR black, which I picked up for $68 from UK (including Postage), but the LSWR livery looks very nice.

 

I remember seeing a SR Pill box brake on the Bluebell rly in April. If I have a photo I will send you a copy, but you probably have all the details since you built one.

I have about 6 or 7 wagon kits to build when I have the time. All LNER of course.

 

The light signals look like the Model Dockyard VR signals I have. Since its a UK layout and southern region, would you go for Eckon or other UK signals. Mine will be ratio LNER signals, possibly working, not sure yet.

 

regards

 

MArk

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SRman I hope you are doing the cutting properly <_< It is looking really good and I am glad the stock is running well. Do you need any MDF for the next section As I have a fair bit of spare time comming up soon so i might be able to give you some time to get the upper level going a bit faster :D

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Hi Jeff,

I have some transfers for your Grampus if you want them.

 

Cheers Peter.

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All looks good Jeff,

 

Must come and visit some day. I have a M7 but in BR black, which I picked up for $68 from UK (including Postage), but the LSWR livery looks very nice.

 

I remember seeing a SR Pill box brake on the Bluebell rly in April. If I have a photo I will send you a copy, but you probably have all the details since you built one.

I have about 6 or 7 wagon kits to build when I have the time. All LNER of course.

 

The light signals look like the Model Dockyard VR signals I have. Since its a UK layout and southern region, would you go for Eckon or other UK signals. Mine will be ratio LNER signals, possibly working, not sure yet.

 

regards

 

MArk

 

Hi Mark. You are welcome to visit whenever you can get over here.

 

I actually built two of the Cambrian kits (they allow for quite a few variations) but the second one is still on the workbench awaiting handrails. Any photos can help with modelling, even after a model has been "completed" - there's always something missing!!

 

Most of the colour light signals are Eckon but a had to use a couple of these VR style ones to fill the gaps as I needed only two-aspect signals for the LT lines. None arewired, as yet, neither are they in anything like final positions. Like the bridge, they are there for show.

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SRman I hope you are doing the cutting properly dry.gif It is looking really good and I am glad the stock is running well. Do you need any MDF for the next section As I have a fair bit of spare time comming up soon so i might be able to give you some time to get the upper level going a bit faster :D

 

Hi Doug. I did use the power saw and marked it all out first, and I used the proper protective gear, except having the face mask on meant my glasses fogged up so I couldn't see a thing!

 

I probably will need some more MDF so any off-cuts or spare bits you have would be welcomed. And, of course, you are always welcome here, whether it be for work or otherwise!! :lol:

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Hi Jeff,

I have some transfers for your Grampus if you want them.

 

Cheers Peter.

 

 

Hi Peter. Many thanks for the kind offer. I may possibly have some already but if I can't find any, I will take you up on the offer. I hope you realise that you have already contributed: that Shark van is wearing transfers you gave me a while back!! :D

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Hi Peter. Many thanks for the kind offer. I may possibly have some already but if I can't find any, I will take you up on the offer. I hope you realise that you have already contributed: that Shark van is wearing transfers you gave me a while back!! :D

 

No worries, gald the Shark ones got used.:D

Cheers Peter.

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Work is still continuing but at a slightly more "relaxed" pace. This is partly due to my having a pinched nerve in my neck which has affected my right arm and index and second fingers. I am avoiding the heavier carpentry work but I have been busy painting the rails and adding card covers over all the baseboard holes under the points.

 

I have completed painting around 80% of what will be visible track on the Underground. I will be measuring up and ordering some code 60 rail shortly to do the third and fourth rails (more @#%$^@&$ rails to paint!!!). DougN, who did the major part of the board construction, is currently winging his way to Britain and Europe; included in that trip is a visit to the ScaleForum exhibition, so I have given him some money with instructions to purchase some of the ScaleFour third rail end ramps (he is a member of that society anyway).

 

The other minor improvement I have made, however temporary, is to prop some of my brick retaining wall mouldings up at one end of the station area, towards the tunnel mouth, plus pasting some old Superquick brick paper to the piece of wood acting as a bridge support. This gives me a better backdrop for photography and I have a few more pictures, posted below.

 

As soon as I figure out how to extract them from the video camera, I also have a couple of videos taken on the layout. My desktop computer is currently blue-screening (yes, that's right, the dreaded BSODs ... Blue Screens Of Death!) due to a hardware fault that I haven't quite pinned down yet. I am working through a process of elimination and I strongly suspect it is the power supply unit at fault. The problem here is that most of the software I need for extracting the video and editing it is on that desktop computer. I am posting from the laptop. which is a competent computer but doesn't have all of my really powerful software (I deliberately keep it less cluttered and encumbered as it is also used occasionally for my work in IT Support at a high school).

 

Even as I type this I can hear the trains running happily around the layout - I have turned the sounds on for both the BR Standard 5 and an Electro-Diesel currently hauling Pullman train and a slightly anachronistic tanker train, respectively.

 

A few days ago, I left the Hornby Arthur Sir Gawaine running with two utility vans and a Maunsell 3-set while I went off and did other things. I came back an hour later to find it still running perfectly well with the locomotive and utility vans pushing the 3-set of coaches around - the coupling between the last utility van and the coaches had obviously let go at some point and the engine had come around and buffered up (no coupling on the front) and just kept going. The sprung buffers on both locomotive and coaches must have absorbed the impact and there was no sign of buffers overriding each other or locking, which means my transition curves must be working properly (which is nice to know!).

 

Firstly a night shot with the Bachmann 2EPBs occupying the station. Also running were a Bachmann 4CEP and a train of Hornby Pullmans, all with lights on. The rear one is running solo but the front pair of units are running in multiple (consisted).

 

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Next, a Lima Electro-Diesel but fitted with a Hornby mechanism and Howes' sound, hauling a train of tank wagons from a slightly earlier era. This shows the newly painted track and also the new cover plates of card over the holes where the point motors are fitted. I have also shifted the temporary programming track so it is less obtrusive.

 

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And now, two shots of the Bachmann 2EPBs, also showing the painted rails, etc.

 

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Painting the rails has alerted me to one advantage of wiring the points fully for DCC with the microswitches: I can paint the point blades and stock rails completely without having to worry about keeping any electrical contact between them.

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Hi SRman,

 

Good progress on the layout. Painting rails takes a while if you paint them by brush, but is worth the effort.

 

Doug is in the UK/Europe, how nice for him. We had fantastic weather in April-May when I & my wife were there. Got to got to the Bristol show and see an O gauge southern rly layout, but only one LNER layout. I had orgainsed to see The Gresley Beat and The Gainsborough MRC and Chester MRC. Our time was too short and I would like to go again, but will have to save for that.

 

I will add a photo below of my layout. It is a bit messy at the time of the photo, but have tidied it up since, so it is easier to work on. I have ballasted most of it and painted most of the rails. I have laid out the buildings so I can see where they go and see how the landscape forms.

 

I have just bought my first DCC sound loco, the Hornby A4 Sparrow Hawk in BR Blue which you can see. I don't have a DCC controller yet, but will get one one day. If you know of a cheap Hornby/Bachmann unit going somewhere could you let me know?

 

hoping to get down in October sometime, but otherwise will be at Frank's in December.

 

also added a photo taken at the Kent and east Sussex Rly of Maunsell for you.

 

regards

 

Mark

 

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Looking good, Mark. I like to do the same thing regarding positioning of buildings and features, although, at the moment very few of the things I have placed on the layout are anywhere near their final positions!

 

That Maunsell coach looks lovely. The full lining out really suited them. I took a few pics of similar vehicles on the Bluebell Railway in 1999.

 

I haven't seen any cheap DCC systems locally but with the very favourable exchange rates currently available, it would be worth your while to check out some of the better US and UK dealers. Even with their expensive postage it can still work out cheaper than buying locally.

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During the last week, I decided to try out some new ballasting materials on a small section at one end of the LT circuit. I'm not yet happy with the result, although this is only the first layer and is a bit uneven anyway. I think I need to darken the colours a bit as well as weathering the ballast.

 

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Then, today, I decided to get stuck into trimming the upper level back to its final shape. It was out with the jigsaw, after first clearing all the stock and track off the upper boards. I had already marked it out with a pencil a few months ago and I also enlisted some help from my wife to hold the hinged section open while I trimmed off the vertical support board.

 

I also trimmed a bit off the overhang where the LT track loop runs through behind the island platform line. The next job will be to paint the hurricane grey over all the newly exposed timber.

 

The majority of the triangular end section became the lower level in-fill as shown in the next photo and the last few shots.

 

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There is my usual mixed-up period combination of trains and road vehicles.

Edited by SRman
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Hi SRman,

 

I have just bought my first DCC sound loco, the Hornby A4 Sparrow Hawk in BR Blue which you can see. I don't have a DCC controller yet, but will get one one day. If you know of a cheap Hornby/Bachmann unit going somewhere could you let me know?

 

Mark

 

 

Mark,

 

Can I make the suggestion that you look further than the Hornby and Bachmann dcc systems. Having used a few I can say with a fair degree of certainity that the Hornby controllers are far from ideal, and personally i find the Bachmann system a little counter-intuitive to navigate, not withstanding that, it could be an okay system, however I put it down pretty quickly.

 

I would look further into some of the other dcc brands such as digitrax, NCE, guagemaster etc... There is plenty of info out there on DCC systems, also utilisation of each comes down to user preference and feel.

 

SRman,

 

Good to see your layout coming along quite well. When it comes to weathering the ballast, one of the best techniques that I have seen involve spray painting the while grey and then staining it all with a dye.

Its really hard to use weathering powders or paints on ballast IMHO. Which is why dyes seem to work well.

 

Hope you have a merry christmas from the other side of OZ,

 

Owen

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Thanks Owen.

 

While I didn't want to 'push' my preference for the NCE DCC system that I use, I do agree with your sentiments regarding the Hornby/Bachmann systems - there are better overall systems around.

 

As to the ballast, I have deliberately stopped at a small section to get it right before I do the rest. On my previous layout I used grey granite chippings (N scale size) but this came out a little too dark. The other thing I need to do is add some other textures and colours for the surroundings as that hurricane grey makes the light coloured ballast look even lighter in contrast.

 

Wait until I get my airbush out this Christmas. DougN and I are going to have a spray-painter's equivalent of a model kit-bashing and hacking session to learn the ins and outs of using our airbrushes!

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OK SRman, seems I have to pull you into line again.....

1 I hope those cuts were done safely and SWMBO has all her fingers and other vital bits intact!

2 I hope it is straight or I will take marks off!

3 Weathering track. I have been watching the Right Track scenery DVD and the colour to wash over the track is 50:50 of Humbrol Leather and Matt Black (33) let down with a lot of thinners. this can be brushed on and the ballast will suck it in. I was thinking of getting some larger tins mixed of both colours in enamel from a paint shop. I think we could go through it!

4 Weathering the sides of rails.... no easy way round that one. Colour is a thin mix of chocolate brown.

 

Spray painting, I almost got every thing out yesterday for a go. But in the end just went back to building some D&S horse boxes followed by Dinner when the posty turned up with a box of more D&S coach kits.... needless to say I have now a LOT of etched brass to get on with...let alone paint in the new year! Umm I think when is my next box comming from Hattons?? for the OO layout!

 

See you on saturday night!

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In order:

 

1. The cuts were done as haphazardly as I could manage, standing on one hand, juggling a chainsaw and drinking a glass of water, and SWMBO is now minus a few non-vital bits and pieces.

2. Crooked as ...

3. ...

 

 

:lol:

 

 

Hopefully, we'll see you Saturday or before.

 

Cheers.

Edited by SRman

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Hi Jeff & Owen,

 

In regards to the DCC Controller, I have doen some investigating and have decided on NCE. I was thinkng of buying cheaply, but that is throwing money away when the NCE here in Bendigo is around A$200 so will be looking to set up the layout over the Christmas -New year and look to purchase sometime in the new year.

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