Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Name’s Craig, What’s Your Handicap?

Monday this week, I decided that I did not like my platform base I was going to use for my case store. I decided to build a new one in Styrene. I built it during the day and I just had to installing an operating sliding door in the sealed section of the building. As I was doing this, my son was totally absorbed into how I was doing this. He kept yelling out – Mum – come look at this, the door works. Anyway he was playing with his soccer ball and I advised him, don’t use that around here, don’t throw it up in the air, don’t bounce it, put it back in the play room. I then adjourned to take down the external Christmas Lights and those around the Christmas Tree and around the lounge. When I came back in before dinner, I looked at the model on the kitchen table and I was puzzled, as to how the post holding up the main support beam, had a very severe bend in it. I put two and two together and asked the likely culprit. "Kyle, Were you playing with the Soccer ball near my model" – "Why?" he says. "Answer the question" was my response, "Maybe!" he responded. I then said "Did the soccer ball sort of land on the model by any chance?", The response was a sheepish "Yes". So the main support beam now has a huge bend in it Bill Clinton would be proud of. One of the external roof support beams has a marked bend in it as well. It is nothing that cannot be fixed though. Maybe I should have moved the model from the table before I attended to the lights. Oh Well! We live and learn.

Now to the reason for the title of this weeks Post. After completing the Case Store last Monday during the day to its current phase, mid week on possibly Tuesday I decided to look at installing lighting in the shed. I drilled holes in the model with a pin vice to run some enamelled wire through. This will run through the building, and under the layout and via some plugs so the building can be removed from the layout. I will use some sort of stationary decoder to control this item and the lights on all the items on the layout. I ran the wire through the micro holes and then decided I’d test some surface mount LED’s – the 0603’s and some 0804’s that previously I acquired from Brendan. I used two AA batteries in a battery holder and with about 2.7V available, I tested the first LED and it was a red light. Not wanting to have the wrong sort of people being attracted by this shed, I then started looking for a warm White LED. I grabbed another surface mount component and applied, voltage to it, in both directions and the B..... would not light. I thought it could be faulty. So on Friday night we just happened to have a modelling night at Geoff’s. There was Geoff, Darren, Peter and Brendan in attendance. I showed off my model, told then the story about the surface mount component not emitting light. I gave it to our resident electronics expert – Brendan, and asked what voltage should cause this component to light. I thought it might need more than 2.7V. Brendan responded about 240V, I was stunned, and then re continued – It’s a Surface Mount Resister you Dork! At that point, our two pot screamer host who had consumed 4 soups by that stage almost fell off his chair. Geoff, who has a history of slurring his speech (and writing) after consuming a few scotches (just ask the Northern River Boys after our last Exhibition last August) commented – that was the best thing he will hear in 2012. He was happy to move straight on to 2013. I’m blaming my deteriorating eye-sight. I then found a White LED in my collection and tested it successfully. Guys – just don’t tell PK or I will never hear the end of this story. Mind you if we do – we might have to relive some of the stories from that night in the shed – Hint Hint!

After this, I talked Brendan into giving us an impromptu session of how to solder these surface mount components onto a piece of double sided circuit board sleeper strip. A test after this and the white light works. Whoo Hoo!

I then stained the two platforms that I built last weekend, and spent some time watching the others. Geoff was doing some great scratchbuilding of a Goods Shed for Splitters Swamp Creek, Darren assembling a kit, Peter was assembling some white metal truck kits and Brendan was cleaning up a SJM kit before assembly. It was a great night.

During the week at work, PK complained that he needed 5 sets of hands when running on the layout. These were to hold his PROCAB-R, his timetable board and to plug his headsets into the headset plug-in-points. If he needed to also do some shunting and uncouple some wagons, you needed another set of hands. So on Saturday I attached lanyards to about 12 timetable boards. These can now be hung around your neck while trying to plug in your headset.

PK also complained about some of the plug-in-points moving when you plugged in. So you needed another hand to hold it steady while you plugged in. So on two of the boards that are definitely wobbly, I braced behind them with some wood.

Saturday I did a bit of tidying up. I decided to try and fix the level crossing near running creek that the naturalists visit. So I sprinkled some ballast around and installed some sleepers to assist the four-wheel drive cars to get across the tracks. The ballast was dampened with wet water and then glued down with diluted PVA from a dropper.
Running Creek Crossing.  A few sleepers are seen laying around and in the distance out of focus are a few naturalists.

Close up showing the N scale ballast  I added.

I then attached the white LED light to the wiring in the case shed and installed the LED circuit board between two rafters.

Saturday night I cut up some Slater's brick sheet for the brick bund around the upright petrol tanks for Old Cassino.  On Sunday I installed the bunds around a base.  I then decided to make two more buildings for the Oil Siding.  I needed a gate house for when trucks arrived at the premises and I needed some sort of office/ammenities room for the workers.  So I knocked then up around lunch time today.  I then decided to make the Case Store larger and added the roof.  I still have not added the installed the stumps and the bund around this building.
Old Cassino Oil Siding.  The case store on the left, a platform at the rear and the two vertical tanks on the right.  At the front is the card holder for the wagon cards when the oil tanks are shunted in. 

Sorry for this poor photo, (not enough light in this area and I didn't have the flash turned on), but it shows off the gatehouse and Office.  I still need to install the window glass in these two buildings.

This afternoon before I went for a bike ride with the kids, I ran a further two-hours of the timetable.  Three trains completed their runs, and there are now four trains still running on the layout.


  1. As for the soccer ball
    Thats why some species eat there young !

  2. Well it seems that a little deflection away from Craigs antics on the evening have been typed into this post. Nothing more need be said on the matter I where did I put my 240volt LED's??????

  3. Craig - I need 6 hands (not 5) at a runing session - you forgot the hand required to hold the liquid refreshment!.