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Everything posted by Regularity

  1. Didn’t it take them until the fourth release to get the 37 right? Or at least acceptable.
  2. I believe that consist is used on the modern railway, probably as a result of the adoption of TOPS, which was created by the Southern Pacific.
  3. I share your concern, the more so as when I was sniped on ebay* for a rare copy of a minor railway’s rule book, it obviously went onto the shelves of a collector of rule books, as nothing has been seen or heard of it, not even amongst those with a genuine interest in the Railway. My intention had been to scan it into a pdf file and share it, but that was not the case of the hoarder who bought it. But there is no way I can demand that anyone else do the same, no matter how noble an act that may be: if it has been obtained via legal means, it is entirely up to them what they do with it. * Not the best time to lose both WiFi and mobile phone signal!
  4. That’s international in scope: no one wants these things in their normal parcels and mail services. Shipping by sea might be a possibility. The other solution would for some enterprising individual in Australia to act as an agent, sourcing batteries locally, and importing the rest. I suppose it depends on how much modellers in Australia really want them.
  5. It is more likely to be related to WiFi approval. If it used radio waves in the gsm band, then all they would need to do is use a different ic to generate the signal, and approval would not be required. Unfortunately, there is as yet no agreed conformance standards for WiFi, and to ship to Oz, ProtoCab would need to be tested and approved by your national agency responsible for such things. This is not cheap. I am having the same issue with the rather nice diesel throttle being developed in the USA: it is simply too expensive to get conformity testing for Europe when balanced against likely sales, so it may not be available here. This is why trade negotiations are so important, and so complicated: if country A has more stringent requirements than country B, it will not permit items from country B to be imported. In retaliation, country B may simply say, “Until we have an agreement, your stuff can’t come here either.” I doubt if this is directly a case of U.K. H&S being obstructive (although that may be part of it - we do go a bit bonkers at times) but simply the cost of conformance approval.
  6. That’s right.The individual members with detailed knowledge owe it to everyone else to systematically collate and organise their sources of information, digitise and scan it, and make it available to the whole world. And if they get specific enquiries, they should drop everything else - even their paid employment - and answer them immediately. Why hadn’t I realised that before? The GERS is in fact a very good Society in terms of sharing information outside of its membership, but they cannot order individuals to cough up the gen.
  7. Havn’t printed it out for some time, and indeed have lost it. Must re-check! Ta.
  8. I have used Crossover, after nasty experiences with Parallels. Since I only use it for Templot, I don’t buy a new one every release, nor every year: if it works, it works, and it is not one of their supported programs, so I have no qualms only over buying it twice in the 8 years since I gave up on Parallels. Besides, since Templot is free, it us but a small expense.
  9. Hi Martin, I can use control-shift-F3, but not control-shift-F4. Similarly, control-shift-F8, but not control-shift-F7. As these are “paired” operations, I don’t mind using the keys to select the shift transition start point, and to then click on the toggle button for the paired functions to adjust the transition length, etc; similarly I can select rotate group with keys and switch to shift group. Not a major problem, as things go, and I would rather not be able to use certain key combinations rather than have non-standard key combinations that confuse should Apple’s arrogance finally get too much for me. (The Mac I use is now over ten years old, and only just starting to show its age. Turned out to be great value!)
  10. With one or two exceptions due to key combinations already being allocated to other actions, yes it does work.The exceptions are nothing that should be laid at your door, Martin, and are simply a consequence of running Templot on an unsupported and unintended erasing system. Happy to put up with the odd conflict.
  11. The answers have been coming quite quickly. Are you a member of the GERS? If so, have you asked on their forum? If you aren’t, why not join?
  12. ...heel in the sand? (See what I did there? Heel, toe? Turnout... I’ll get my coat...)
  13. I am glad to hear it, my good captain. The combination of sausage gobbling and nutbush was eye boggling.
  14. Hi Simon, You may be confusing this with Stanton S-Cab, which is available off-the-shelf to North Americans and Antipodeans with Soundtraxx decoders. Tam Valley is device agnostic, but as you say, is not a single board with 8-pin or 21-pin sockets and plugs. It doesn’t even require another Bernd Lenz: no protocol needs developing, just a circuit board to be placed between socket on the engine, and plug on the decoder.
  15. I have 3 issues with ProtoCab, after initially thinking it might be the bees-knees. 1) It is taking a long time to come to market, and the simpler starter system has delayed production of the original idea with the concentrator, which was supposed to come out in 2013; this is linked to 2) It is very much a small family business. Development is slow, and there is a massive risk of unsupported obsolescence due to “key person risk”; 2) I can’t use it to drive my existing DCC sound unit-fitted locos. On the first point, I am slow to progress so maybe not a major problem, but I was looking forward to their bring a software solution enabling me to use a cheap tablet or laptop as both network provider and concentrator, with the expenditure being on the loco components and controllers (I don’t personally like phone-based throttles). But this really focuses the mind on point 2. Second point. What are the business continuity arrangements/long term viability of the company? I realise that some of this would be confidential, but I am not the first person to raise this concern. I really buy into their concept, and really want to support small British industries, but at the same time I don’t want to spend hundreds of pounds on a non-proprietorial system that ends up being thrown in the bin. Which brings me to point 3... Third point. Aside from the cost investment, there is a great variety of digitally recorded sound available for DCC. Tony has told me at various shows that sounds could be stored on the concentrator and broadcast directly to an on-board speaker, which would be wonderful, but when will get this (see points 1 and 2) when will I have access to the variety of sound projects currently available? Will ProtoCab engage in licensing arrangements with various people and companies? To bring those points together, ultimately I think we will see a simple to fit solution which includes sound, etc, but also has sophisticated capabilities so that there is a combination of sound recordings, back-emf and user-defined parameters (I.e. we enter information about the train load, just as a guard would inform the driver - “18 vehicles with a load equal to 24, 4 fitted at the head”, with the driver aware of the power output of his steed, e.g 4F, C, “type 2”) so that there is simulation of the effects of inertia and gravity, with increasing time for acceleration and braking and slowing down on gradients and curves, just as on the real thing, with the exhaust sound being part of the reaction to these effects. All powered on-board and controlled remotely - hopefully via a central command system to (a) keep information about engines and their settings; and (b) prevent chaos. To a large degree, DCC is already there, but the protocols are based on 1980s technology and physically doing it requires shopping around and an element of dedicated DiY. There is a great opportunity for the right alternative, should it appear. The question is, is that alternative going to be ProtoCab? I hope so, but... Sorry: I am going a bit OT here.
  16. Guess what? After asking, I went and looked at the video, and saw which battery it was.That suggests you should get about 2.5 hours of running at maximum current draw, which is very impressive. As I said, there are other solutions, such as DC-DC converters, which allow for the use of a single cell (makes charging simpler) but they only offer part of the solution - mind you, if they offered a full solution, then who would buy their other products?The reason for the increased voltage requirement is that DCC needs a minimum of 7 volts without sound, and 8 volts with (based on reviews of sound and silent models running on DC) and with a nominal 3.7v per lithium cell, 3 cells are required to get safely over this hurdle - or a step-up circuit with associated power losses. I agree, but a friend who has fitted these things to all his locos argues that this is precisely why he needn’t consider wireless BPRC!
  17. Almost always the case with anything new. But that’s the point, isn’t it, of things like RMWeb? Sure, find inspiration (other layouts and models), items for sale, and information, but ultimately it’s about support and friendship. And really bad puns, and going OT as much as possible.
  18. A working model, with the sides the same length as each other?(I had a very negative experience with a K’s Terrier kit in the early 1980s, although there were two positive outcomes. Firstly, I changed to S scale where any problems are my own stupid fault, and not someone else’s. Secondly, the castings were melted down and provided quite a few GE open wagon bodies for East Lynn.)
  19. Simon, You can already do this, with the Tam Valley DRS system (http://deadrailinstalls.com/tam-valley-information/) available from Digitrains and Coastal DCC. You need one transmitter, clipped across the DCC output, and one receiver per engine. Plus you would need to source some reliable batteries, charging circuits, etc, if you wanted battery power. None of these items are particularly expensive, and some of the 18650 (18mm diameter x 65mm long) lipo cells packed quite a bit of power, so you could install one of those in an 0 gauge boiler, and use a step-up circuit to get roughly 11-12 volts out of it, at a cost of running time from the battery. (Allowing for energy losses, you would get say 1,000mAH out of a nominal 4,000mAH cell. And yes, I know that 1,000mAH is 1AH.) If someone produced something similar which had a single board, with a standard DCC plug at one end, and socket at the other, and with connections to a cell, which included a WiFi transceiver, charging circuit, step-up circuit, and DCC translator from WiFi to DCC, along with a simple transceiver for the DCC output, then I think this single-board solution would sell really well, as one could use any existing DCC system, but no longer have to worry about boosters, wiring, reversing loops, safety cut-outs, power districts etc. I wish I knew more about electronics and circuit design... That’s a really neat and compact solution you have there, Chris. What battery unit is fitted? Having both observed and controlled on-board powered models, the way that they keep moving without even the slightest hesitation is eerily smooth, and really does give the impression of true power in a way that frankly every other solution, even DCC with keep alive/stay alive circuits don’t quite manage. I have no idea why this is the case, but to me it is as big a step forward as when I first drove a DCC engine, and my mind had instantly changed focus from driving the train on the track to driving the train according to where the track was going to take me. (To anyone who has never tried ought but straight DC, you have no idea what you are missing.)
  20. Here’s the funny thing with Peco points (Excepting their US outline points with specified angles, e.g #5. Probably - never looked at them this closely.)Normally, if you do such a thing, you should also ease the crossing vee angle, for geometrical reasons. As Peco use a common angle, this doesn’t matter.
  21. Very rough sketch (‘O’ level art result, D, a fail, which nevertheless was described by my teacher as the best achievement over ability he had seen so far in 12 years in the job!) of a filing jig, from at the most 4 bits of wood (could all be cut from an off cut of 4”x1” pse) some glue and a handful of screws, plus a washer.
  22. These are Ian Pusey’s words on filing switch blades, taken from the March 1982 S Gauge MRS (as it was then) Newsletter, and incorporated into section D of the S Scale Handbook - a free download to all members of the S Scale Model Railway Society, s-Scale.org.uk. To achieve this result, you need to file along the length of the blade. You can also put a sawcut from a hacksaw blade into the base, to accommodate the remaining foot when the rail is turned over. The rule is: bigger file to remove most of the metal and get the shape right, tidy up and polish with the smaller (2nd cut needle) files. You don’t have to have an expensive over-centre Destaco clamp, it’s just a handy tool which applies a lot of grip. You may achieve a similar result with a piece of wood fixed to the board to stop the blade moving when filed, and another piece screwed to clamp the rail and stop it moving sideways - a couple of grooves to match the rail head and foot would help. How thin should the tips be? As thin as possible. Sharp enough to prick the end of your finger, according to the late Norman Pattenden, who really did test them out this way! (When he called it bl00dy track building, he wasn’t swearing, just stating a fact!) Note that Ian says that a joggle is not necessary: as Caley Jim pointed out, this is not the same as a set. If you don’t mind the observations, any criticism aimed entirely at helping you improve on a very credible first effort that puts my tyro creations of nearly 40 years ago to shame, I have cropped one of your photos and ringed some areas of concern. I am looking here at the turnout road, and but you need to consider these points (sorry about the pun!) for the main road, apart from the set. 1) The blade needs to be straight and even: filing along the length of the rail from the end will help here. On straight track, the stock rail would diverge from the main road at a constant angle along a straight line ( at 1:48 as Don says), following a set at point 2. In the case of a curved turnout, apply the curve after you have made the necessary adjustments required for straight track. 2) Put the set here, slightly in advance of the blade tip - that way, you won’t have to get the switch blades as sharp as a knife point, just very close to it. 3a) and 3b) you have bumps in the planing of your switch blade, probably because you filed cross rather than along the blades. These are absolute no-noes. The opposite blade looks OK, so you can obviously do it, but failed to implement a quality assurance test. 4) There seems to be a bump here, which might be tight to gauge, but as you are in 00, you are probably OK, but it would bug the living daylights out of me on aesthetic grounds. In terms of points (3), you need to unsolder the blade, slide it out, clamp it to some wood and address it with a file for a couple of minutes, then put it back in. 10 minutes tops, I would say - less time than it has taken me to download and edit the picture, and then write this. Re the set, it might be possible to put a slight tweak (1:48 is gentle) into the stock rail. You may need to move the slide chairs slightly. I have found, using C&L plastic chairs, ply sleepers and solvent, that it is usually possible to slip a single edged razor blade between the two materials to break the bond. Any plastic which has leached into the wood grain remains there and helps with rebonding once the small adjustments - less than 0.24mm/10 thou - are made. For a first turnout, I must say I admire what you have done and learned, and wonder why on Earth you ever doubted your abilities.
  23. Cyril Freezer, mid 70s, Railway Modeller.Not sure it was as low as 10 mph, but it was a legacy - like York and Peterborough North - of being early on the scene, when short wheelbase stock running at low speeds was normal, and virtually no one had any vision about the potential for railways to provide high speed services.
  24. You don't appear to have “set” (slight tweak) in the turnout road stock rail, and the turnout route starts to diverge about 5 timbers later than as printed. Personally, I would go with Jim’s suggestion about using a track gauge to find the sweet spot, remove the blades, shorten to match and re-insert.
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