Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Week in Review - Reveals More on the To-do List

My 44 Class loco from Tom's Ebay store turned up on Friday.  I gave it a test run on my short test track and it runs well as you would expect - very well indeed.  I now have to wait until maybe Tuesday for the sound decoder to turn up.  This coming weekend I will install that.

During the week, I also missed out on an 80 Class loco on ebay.  Some bugger pipped me by $2.50 with about 2 minutes to go in the auction while I was in the shed on Tuesday night.  It didn't worry me that much.  However, while telling the guys in the shed that I had lost, Darren mentioned that he had a couple of 80 Class locos that he wanted to sell.  They do not fit his era and he does not need as many as he has.  So we agreed on a price he wanted for them.  However, Darren continues to eye off some of my 3 letter coded OnTrack models.  The three letter coded wagons don't really fir into my era, but I always thought that one or two might have slipped through re-coding into my layout era.  It is my layout and what I say goes - remember Rule #1.  So I might hand over the cash for one of Darren's 80 class locos and do a swap for 3 wagons for the other loco if he is amicable to that fact.  I plan to pick up a 4-pack of decoders this weekend if the LHS has them in stock.  So these two 80's will receive a decoder the weekend following swap over.

I went for a drive down the coast today to pick up a phone that I had plans to use on my layout for the phone circuit.  However, on closer inspection once I got it back home, it may not be compatible.  Oh well.  While out last night I missed an auction that was ending and that phone went for $0.99.  Bugger!

On Tuesday this week, we had a cosy time in the shed.  Eleven guys turned up.  Geoff, brought along his recently tuned 49 class to show off its sound.  It was very nicely configured.  So well done, that three other guys in attendance who had a 49 class with teh same sound chip installed wanted a copy of the JMRI file Geoff used for that loco so they could import it into their systems.  Brendan brought along the current incarnation of the brains for our intercom system.  We plugged in 4 headsets and had two guys speaking.  It worked very well.  I've done some calculations, and I will have up to 22 plug in points scattered around the layout as well as North Coast Control on the system.  I hope that does not throw Brendan's design out of kilter.  However, it only has to have up to 8 headsets plugged in at any point in time.

Yesterday morning I spent a few minutes down the shed fiddling.  I decided to try and remember why an old 49 class (whitemetal version) was on its side near the work bench.  It had been in this state for well over 10 years.  I pulled it apart and the motor ran when I made power connections direct to the motor.  That was a good start.  But one set of drive wheels was not turning.  I realised that the universal was free wheeling on the motor shaft.  So I hit it with a touch of superglue and let it dry.  Gave it another test.  Well it worked.  Fancy that.  I took it over to the Club later that afternoon to give it a good run in.  It ran like cr@p.  I think it is the two wheel pick up on each bogie.  So I will look at installing additional pickups next weekend. 

While still in the testing mindset, I pulled out an old mechanism that came with a 85 class chassis many many years ago - it had to be more than 10 years ago.  It was labelled that it did not work when I purchased it and I never tested it.  It was always a future project.  I was looking at moving shell and non working mechanism on myself.  But I thought I would give the motor a test.  Well it ran when I attached probes to the motor terminals.  Fancy that!  It was an Atlas mech, and it does not have a connection from the two bogies to one side of the motor.  That is all it needs - well apart from converting it to DCC.  So I might look at that in the future.

I also have an old Lima mechanism from one of those South African diesel locos that I kitbashed to power my first Berg's 80 Class Loco.  This 80 was painted up as a Bicentennial 8010.  With the Austrains 80's available this loco was never converted to DCC and has never run on my layout.  I gave it a test on the test track and it still runs very well.  Hmmm!  While I did a pretty good job of my first masking paint job, about 10 years ago maybe more, I never wanted to modify this shell.  But I am now thinking that I might paint over this shell so I can get another 80 class loco into service with this hybrid mechanism and put another DCC chip in.  I think I will give it the Blue all over colour.

Not much time for trains this week as I'm spending time on a job application, as there are some higher paying jobs advertised at work that close this Friday.  And you know what they say - "you have to be in it to win it".  I think I will need to relax next Friday night and next weekend after the stress of completing the job application this week.

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