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Modellers from Kent, Sussex, Surrey and South of the Thames

cromptonnut

SECAG Modular Meet

Pick a date...  

8 members have voted

  1. 1. Which date(s) are possible for you?

    • Saturday 9 May 2015
    • Sunday 10 May 2015
    • Saturday 16 May 2015
    • Sunday 17 May 2015
    • Saturday 6th June 2015
    • Sunday 14th June 2015
    • Sunday 21st June 2015
    • Saturday 27th June 2015
    • Later in the year would be better


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Dear all

 

At last I have an option on a few dates in May and June for our first SECAG Modular Meetup.  Please use the vote buttons attached to indicate which date(s) - if any - would be suitable for you or whether other dates (later in 2015) would be preferable.

 

Based on the voting above which will remain open until 14th January, if there is a clear runaway winner then that will be the date, if there is no obvious winner then I will pick one based on the best available for the venue. 

 

The venue will be at Merstham, Surrey, which is on the A23 between Redhill and the M25/M23 junction (use the local post office RH1 3ER as a nearby postcode if you want to check out distances).  As this is a 'closed' invite-only event, the full details will only be provided to those attending.  Whilst normally guests would be invited, as it is our first 'dry run' it may be best if we keep numbers low on this occasion.  There is plenty of on-site parking available. 

 

I envisage the cost being £10-20 per head depending on the final numbers, which would be payable in advance to reserve your space and guarantee attendance :)  Attendants will then be able to "register interest" from late February by submitting the boards they plan to bring with them and providing payment by the end of March, which will enable me to figure out the best arrangement of boards for the space available.  It may be possible to add people after this date but I want to give myself plenty of time to work out the possibilities with what we have. 

 

Once us in SECAG have picked a suitable date, I will then post on the main modular forum inviting those a bit further afield but wishing to make the journey if there isn't already a suitable expression of interest from ourselves.  For those travelling some distance, due to the proximity to Gatwick there are plenty of low-price hotels available in the area should you wish to stay over.

 

Boards do not need to be complete, but must have at least the "through track(s)" wired up and working to 'the standard' even if scenery is incomplete or not all track is laid or wired.  Sufficient numbers of legs, clamps and banana plug cables must be provided by each attendant to cover all of their boards. It would probably not be practical to do any "work on the boards" during the day apart from any emergency repairs that may be required - anyone got a decent toolkit they can bring?

 

The main intention for our first meet is to prove that the theory of modular works more than anything else. I would guess that we would aim to meet about 10am and be running from 11am, packing up at 4pm and leaving by 5pm. 

 

I hope to provide tea and coffee facilities but please bring your own lunch.  If there is sufficient interest we may be able to arrange a "pint and a curry" or similar afterwards.

 

Depending on who brings what, there may be opportunities to be drivers, signalmen/station masters, yard shunters or just sit and watch the trains go by during the day.  I wasn't planning on operating to a timetable on this occasion.  It is understood that there is bound to be plenty of incompatibilities between geographical areas, train companies, stock and eras on the day - but who cares!

 

Unless there is a better option offered, I will use my Lenz equipment as the control system, so any compatible handsets are welcome - if you have any adaptor plates and/or leads you can bring to spread out the xpressnet bus, that's great.  I may have managed to get my wireless setup working by then so 'traindriver apps' via JMRI may be an option too. 

 

We won't necessarily be able to run every train that is bought so it's probably suggested that each participant brings just 2 or 3 complete trains that we will all get a turn running during the day.  If you are at all concerned about other people operating or handling your expensive kit-built stock then perhaps it would be best to leave it at home at least on this occasion.  Maximum train length will be 8ft, based on the capacity of my 6 road storage yard module (unless someone has a larger storage yard they can bring!).  There is a 3ft independent 'programming track' on this module if there is a need to reprogram chip addresses or similar on the day.

 

Any questions, comments or suggestions?  Reply to this thread and we'll talk.

Edited by cromptonnut
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As long as its not the 6th of June i can come. That is my daughters Birthday so no chance I could make that. Although she does know how to use a Lenz system lol. I can also bring a Lenz controller. A decent soldering iron and some 60/40 pre fluxed lead solder if it could be useful. I actually have an update to do on my Hailsham module at some point when I get time after receiving the Cuckoo Line book for Xmas so may be bring that module along.

 

Gary

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I'm not 100% of my availability, but early May is not an option for me - dangerously close to Mrs Dreyfus' birthday! June should be fine however...

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Understood re date :) Obviously the date that suits the most people is likely to be the winner but we will see what happens - we've got 2 weeks where hopefully enough people will see it and be able to sort something.

 

I have a number of units in various states of construction, so depending on what else is offered I may only bring a few along as clearly there's no point in loading my car to the roof to the point where my wife (if she's going to be tealady for the day) has to come by bus!

 

I'm hoping that any 'leftover cash' can be used to make a refreshments float for our next meeting (I'm hoping that we can alternate between up here and somewhere more south if someone wants to look at organising a venue and date in the latter part of the year) although it may be that during the summer we can get together in two's or threes in members gardens if the weather holds (or garages if it doesn't).

 

Hopefully there'll be enough flexibility in the modules so that the whole layout doesn't end up as "one train in steam" all day.  I know lots of people have straight boards in mind so I'm hoping that there will be at least one more 90 degree corner offered even if it's just a plain "fields only" scenic board.

 

I've got Tim Horn cutting me some odd shaped boards that will enable me to make an octagon to make a 'run round loop'  which can represent "the rest of the world" for trains to go out, then back again.  The bits should be with me in January so it is possible that it will be up and running by then.  The big question is where on earth did I put my reverse loop module...?

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Too early to have a preference on dates. I can't do the last weekend in June (bluebell) and end of May is wedding anniversary so think firstt two weekends in June are best

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There will never be a date that suits everyone perfectly but we'll have to go with the 'least bad' option if necessary - hopefully we'll get more responses as people come back from being away for Christmas/new year and we'll see what happens.

 

I was working on about 8 people in total for worst case scenario costings, but if we don't have enough people there may be a smaller room available we can use (with lower cost), defer to another date or agree to pay a little extra to cover the costs.

 

Naturally I'm keen to make this happen to "prove the concept" and show others what can be done - but I can't do it alone :)

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Dear all

 

At last I have an option on a few dates in May and June for our first SECAG Modular Meetup. 

 

Once us in SECAG have picked a suitable date, I will then post on the main modular forum inviting those a bit further afield but wishing to make the journey

 

The main intention for our first meet is to prove that the theory of modular works more than anything else. 

 

 

 

Been from out of the area I was waiting to see what develops as above, though currently my 2 available dates are joint bottom in the poll...

 

I have been working since December 27th but hopefully progress on my module should resume later this week... :good:

 

 

Steve

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Well done cromptonnut for leading the way again. I'm afraid Kenton's Curve has fallen well behind any progress (rather obviously). Still the intention is there to at least have something the trains can move through. Once things have settled down here I should be able to dust it off and get at least to the stage where nothing falls through the open frame baseboard. I have added my dates as I see them now, including a tick for any later date - but ignore that, I'd rather have an incentive. I was anticipating have more than the curve in a fit state by now but events simply have interfered with the best laid plans of mice.

 

The estimated cost is certainly not an issue for me, though being outside the immediate area it all comes down to time or an overnight (again not a cost issue) but becomes more of a problem to manage. What sort of start/finish time were you expecting.

Edited by Kenton

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I can't see me having a module ready in time with another layout currently under construction but with the venue being so close to me and I can have a good guess at the venue, I will do my best to come along.

Will check on what dates I can do and let you know.

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Even a get together with a just few modules and a few along just to opearate or see it would be worth it as you can test out ideas quickly :)

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Kenton - I was envisaging arrive for 10am to start running from 11am, and last train of the day at 4pm to clear the hall for 5pm, although if we have a lot of people we may need to adjust that slightly.

 

roundhouse - I bet you're wrong :) It's not the village hall where the Narrow Gauge lot had their show.

 

PaulRhB - exactly, if there's just a few of us we can prove the concept but it's just sharing that cost that's the annoying bit.

Edited by cromptonnut

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Kenton - I was envisaging arrive for 10am to start running from 11am, and last train of the day at 4pm to clear the hall for 5pm, although if we have a lot of people we may need to adjust that slightly.

 

roundhouse - I bet you're wrong https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_smile3.gif It's not the village hall where the Narrow Gauge lot had their show.

 

PaulRhB - exactly, if there's just a few of us we can prove the concept but it's just sharing that cost that's the annoying bit.

Yes I got that wrong!

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Getting the wireless up and running would be good as it would allow more throttles than those with Lenz as smartphones are common. I could probably supply 2-3 if it's a day I can make it as I have installed the withrottle app on the ones I use for my Z21.

One thing is you will need the sizes of the modules beforehand to so you can make up a plan that will fit. If it's anything like the US meet it also means you might get a couple of late modules built to help fit more in. I built 2 45degree ones because we knew we were short of curves.

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Kenton - I was envisaging arrive for 10am to start running from 11am, and last train of the day at 4pm to clear the hall for 5pm, although if we have a lot of people we may need to adjust that slightly.

 

roundhouse - I bet you're wrong :) It's not the village hall where the Narrow Gauge lot had their show.

 

PaulRhB - exactly, if there's just a few of us we can prove the concept but it's just sharing that cost that's the annoying bit.

I spent £120 for a hotel plus the meeting fees and quite a bit on food for a two day one and still enjoyed it so turning it into a sort of mini members day to see the modular in action might encourage a few more to help lower the cost. We could bring along a few different dcc systems and let them get hands on on a small plank?

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Somebody offered to help me set up wireless throttles through JMRI ... must dig through my messages  folder and see who it was...

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I've found two types and not sure on compatability. I think there is one that is specific to lens and one generic one. I managed to get my prodigy connected at the weekend and will do the wifi in the next week or so. It seems straightforward but as always the devil will be in the detail but found a couple of posts and guides online and can see the menu in JMRi. Happy to have a telcon with you to discuss if that would help once I'm done.

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I've managed to get the web server running and the web throttle working but not been able to connect a wifi throttle yet. Going to be away for the week so will have to get back to this next week. I can't see why the throttle isn't working but assume it's something in the PCor JMRi configuration as I'm not seeing the throttle panel come up properly.

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I've dug my laptop and router out as well, so once I've got some track down on this new river bridge board that I'm working on and it's tested fine from the DCC controller I will then get JMRI talking to it (a "new" laptop which I obtained for £25 as it was old but Windows Vista works fine on it, and it's got more than enough power for JMRI), I'll then see if I can get my traindriver app working - and that seems to be the point you're stuck at.

 

If it can be got working that will be tremendously helpful for whenever we manage to get a meet going.

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I'm using withrottlle lite at the moment. Touchcab seems to be the lenz variant but hopefully withrottlle works as this should mean anyone with a android or iOS device can download that software and have their own controller.

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http://www.withrottle.com/WiThrottle/Home.html

 

Managed to get this working yesterday, not sure why but it just started working, may haven been after a reboot. Connection was stable and through my home hub so all good here.I have a wireless access point for shows and will test this at Erith this weekend. Downloading the full version now and want to see how the dual controllers, mimic panels and potential section from the dcc roster works.

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I'm using withrottlle lite at the moment. Touchcab seems to be the lenz variant but hopefully withrottlle works as this should mean anyone with a android or iOS device can download that software and have their own controller.

 

Wi Throttle is for iOS. Costs a fiver but you cna use it on an umber of devices registered in your own account.

 

 Engine Driver is for Android and is free. A little more cluttered screen than Wi Throttle but one advantage is that speed can be controlled via the volume buttons on your smartphone.

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Hmm I wonder where everybody is?  Not many votes in so far.  I'm really hoping that this doesn't fall apart, it could get expensive with just the four of us... time for a prod in the main modular forum methinks.

Edited by cromptonnut

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Hall hire and refreshments £150 split between participants.

 

Public liability insurance via the venue (included).

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I don't eish to pick a date as at present I won't have a module but if available on the selected date I will happily attend and help split the costs.

However if a date later into the year is likely then I will try do build something.

 

Just too much else to work on at present.

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Understood.  If numbers become too many I'll need to give priority to those who are able to bring modules but if spectators help split the costs to make something happen, then it seems sensible.  I sadly can't risk that amount of money from my own pocket in the vague hope that we get enough people to cover it.

 

I should probably have stated also that any "surplus" (if there is any) will be held safely to subsidise future meetings.

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