Sunday, February 26, 2017

Powering Along in Clapham Yard

Yesterday I picked up some styrene as I was planning what I was doing to do this Friday at the modelling night organised by my local Hobby Shop at Simon Says Hobbies and Games.  Quite a few of our local group head over there for a night of modelling.  I’ll be making another 4 or maybe 5 of the 40’ container flats that I have been making.  That will bring me up to about 20 container flats.  I will then also make some gates for the container flats.  I hope to be able to get through a complete set of 10 gates for a single wagon.

Just after lunch, I decided to start working on building 6 of what I call my power supplies that I use on my layout.  These take DCC track power and rectify the voltage and with a capacitor, and a small resistor, will allow an LED or in some cases many LEDs to be illuminated.  In this case the LEDs area going into a few of my incinerators to be installed around my layout and those of a few mates.  I picked up 12 flickering LED candles over Christmas period and while the button battery in each LED candle is good for about 72 hours of burning, I’d have to have a stash of button batteries to go around to replace these when they go flat.  So my aim is to connect these up to the track bus and they will draw less than 0.01 Amps and can flicker away in all of my fettler camps.  The flickering candles along with my incinerators made from styrene painted rusty brown look really good on the layout.  I use this technique in a few areas around the layout - particularly the Staff machines in each section of track between crossing loops.

I have completed two power supplies today and given them a test by connecting them  to the track power on the layout and yes they do work.  I have 4 more power supplies completed ready to just solder an LED and resistor to.  I still have parts for another 5 power supplies and will probably build some more after that.  The limiting factor in these flickering devices is getting my hands on the LEDs that I need.  The ones in these candle sets just flicker at the correct rate to make them look like a fire is raging away inside my 44 gallon drums.  These seem to have a random flicker compared to a constant on/off in some LEDs.  I will give some of these to a few mates when I next catch up with them this week or next.

This afternoon I went down to the shed and was working on cutting and installing the extended baseboard at the southern end of Clapham Yard.  This will allow the proposed changes to the southern end of the Clapham Yard to be catered for.  So a few extra dead-end sidings will eventually be installed.  Now that the baseboard has been completed, the next phase in the plan turns to track acquisition.  I need a few lengths of flex track and a few more points.  The plan is that none of these points will be motorised.  They will be worked by hand only.  I’m thinking of scouring the next few Buy and Sells in Brisbane on the lookout for the required track items.  This baseboard work has meant that a few existing point motors need to be moved around and the staff machine for the Acacia Ridge to Clapham section and Clapham to Dutton Park section needs to be moved.  I have a bad feeling that I will need to extend all four wires for one of the staff sections (if not both) as the existing wires may not reach to the new location just a couple of inches further out from the wall.  But that is a job for next weekend.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Creative Juices Have Been Piqued

The week didn’t start off too well for me, as I was home crook on Monday.  What better medicine than to sit at the kitchen table and build another 11 gates for my 40’ container flats.  Later that afternoon, I was cutting up the old flyscreen that I removed from my front screen door and making 99 sheets of HO scale reinforcing.  These sheets of reinforcing are about 20’ x 8’ in size.  These will be destined for various loads on some of my 40’ container flats. 

On Tuesday this week I ventured up the road to Lefty’s place.  We had a good rollup and we all spent quite some time trying to get Lefty motivated to lay some more track on his bottom deck and then venture into building his helix up to the top deck which does have track on it.

On Friday night, four of us ventured over to Brendan’s place for a Friday Travelling Modelling Group get together.  Brendan put on some very nice BBQ snags on bread with cheese, onions and a selection of sauces, and with us all bringing our own flavour of liquid poison, it was a good night.  We then hit his modelling table and we were all working on many different projects.  I was the first to go for the night, and I think Darren ended up staying the night, with the theory being that Geoff was to give Grover a lift home. 

My main modelling project for the night was the raised platform on which the signalman stood to perform the staff exchange.  My platform is destined for my Glenapp Loop.  I was also discussing a project with Darren that I am keen to implement on my layout.  Along the back of Cassino station, I plan to model and install all the houses that back onto the railway line.  In one of those houses, I plan to put a couple of the 20’ x 8’ sheets of steel reo to use.  I intent to have a mini scene in one of the houses, where a new driveway is in the process of being built, with the driveway all boxed up with wooden boxing in place, and the reo being installed.  There would of course be a pile of dirt where the dirt from the driveway had been dug out to, and also a pile of gravel and sand and of course a model cement mixer.  I’ll also need a couple of wheel barrows and some helpful scale HO mates about to assist.  I’m just trying to work out what house will be getting this upgrade.

Yesterday was supposed to be our Operating Session at Anthony’s place.  I believe there was a good representation there, but alas I could not go.  While I thought my son had an afternoon cricket game from about 2-5, we were surprised that he had a very early game from 7:30 – 9:55am.  We ran slightly overtime, but they recorded a very big win – 4/161 to about 7/83.  Kyle was 6n .o. at the end of the innings and took 1-8 from his two overs.  He could have had more wickets if two LBWs were given and if the guy at fine leg caught a sitter which ended up going through him for 4 runs.  His team played very well.  What made this early start a shock to the system, it was at the farthest ground from home.  So we left at about 6:20am on a Saturday - my sleep in day.  While the day was sort of developing for a surprise appearance at Anthony’s, my daughter had a party at attend in the afternoon, so I would have been leaving Anthony's early to get home to stay with Kyle as the boss took my daughter to her party.  The day was also the local NMRA meeting at Eddie’s place, and I would have liked to attend that as well.  Sometimes things just don't go your way.

Today after doing the mowing, some tree trimming and the gutters on one side of the shed, I went down to the shed to do some running.  Yes, I decided to give my Brisbane Limited consist a run from Grafton Yard until South Brisbane Interstate.  The train has only made it to Clapham Yard and few things have caused this.  When the train was approaching Clapham Yard, one of the Auscision sleeper wagons derailed on my dual gauge diverging track.  I think one bogie has under gauge wheels.  I will check this out in the future.  When the train was leaving Clapham Yard, the locos jumped a bit as they went over the point allowing for locos to diverge into Loco Pilly.  Upon inspection, I discovered that the point motor actuator, was sticking though the point too far and hitting the bottom of the bogies on my 80 class locos.  So out with the dremel tool and the actuator was shortened by about 1mm.  The locos now seem to run through this now.

When I parked the train in Clapham Yard, it brought back memories of a few things that I have not completed in this yard.  I need to install two sets of points at the northern end of the yard.  So I must buy one more point to complete this.  So I will be trying to get around to this over the next few weeks at a local Buy and Sell or I might see what a local hobby shop has on sale.  Now this observing, also reminded me that I also needed to buy a couple of 12mm points to finish off the narrow gauge yard.  This is a longer term plan.  This will allow a couple of narrow gauge dead end sidings to be installed.  But while thinking, I discovered that if I could put a HO set of standard gauge points at the southern end of the yard, and by slewing the narrow gauge track slightly, I could obtain a small loco storage road for my standard gauge locos.  Upon further contemplation, If I used one of my existing dual gauge diverter tracks, and used another 12 mm set of points, this locos storage track could be dual gauge.  But I will need to move my existing southern yard entry back by about 12 inches at least.  Now this thinking thing, is pretty dangerous!  I was now contemplating moving the southern yard entry down a few more inches and then I could reroute the narrow gauge entry a bit earlier and make a couple of narrow gauge dead end sidings at the same time.  To accomplish all this i will have to do a bit of cut and bash on the baseboard.  I am looking at adding a new baseboard piece to the existing baseboard, supported somehow and thus allowing all these changes to occur.  The creative juices are really starting to flow at the moment.  They are all costing me more money as I need to purchase about 6 sets of points now.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Heat Up Here!

This week I saw my Auscision car carriers arrive.  I had to pick them up from the local Post Office yesterday morning as my wife was out on Friday when the courier was trying to make the delivery.  My delivery of 4 packets get split amongst 4 people, with various sets divided up according to people's requirements.  So I have already put one of the Motorail wagons into my Brisbane Limited set and the other will go to into the Gold Coast Motorail Express.  I think I will need to introduce a new train into the timetable that departs from Acacia Ridge and heads to Grafton and returns about 12 hours later.  That way I can add some more carriages to this train.

On Friday, the whole of my son’s Saturday school cricket competition had their matches cancelled due to the temperatures expected, so that gave me an opportunity to ventured across to the Banyo Library and went to a presentation arranged by the Local MERG group.  Visiting Scot, Davy Dick, who is out here on his yearly house swap gave a presentation on adding sound to a layout.  The presentation was very informative it has got me thinking about adding sound to my layout through the use of various small recording devices, with local speakers.  There were 5 current Club members and one past member as well in attendance who decided to attend this air-conditioned library meeting room instead of to the hot clubrooms - as it was our monthly meeting day.  It was good to talk to some of the people there, and boy did it make me feel small in the electronics space after listening to these guys talk.  I wonder if I can download some sort of plug in like you can for a browser to get me up to speed in this space?  My brain hurts!

Today with the outside temperature even greater than yesterday, after a small shed stint in the morning playing with JMRI before I posted some questions on the JMRI Yahoo group, I decided remain in the air-conditioned house to build up another 10 sets of gates for a 40 foot container. I used a combination of 0.035” evergreen styrene rod and 0.025” evergreen styrene rod for these gates.   I think they have come up quite good.  They currently need painting.  That might be a task for next weekend.

With all this heat, I can’t get motivated to head down to the shed and do much there.  I still have a huge list of things to do to finish off some projects as well as a stack more new projects on the 'to do list' that I could start.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Trying to Finish Some Projects

I’ve been kept quite busy this week.  On Tuesday evening I ventured up the road to Shelton’s place for our fortnightly get together.  Shelton has done some fine tuning to his layout and the changes are looking good.  It proves that some small scenic items can actually lift a layout by a huge amount.  Shelton has some fencing near a couple of oil sidings and these looked really good.

On Friday night this week I went to our local hobby shop – Simon Says Hobbies and Games for the usual first Friday of the month get together for the modellers.  Initially I was working on my gas refuelling structure.  Following that I spent some time drilling holes into one of my 40’ container flats so I could put 5 gates on each side. 

Yesterday was spent at my son’s cricket match which they lost on the last ball of the second last over, but they played quite well.  Today I got down the shed early, but only did a small amount of spray painting.  Firstly I painted some Tulle grey and then sprayed 5 container flats and 11 gates the same colour.  It was quite hot in the shed, so I adjourned back up stairs.

Later this afternoon I attached the tulle to my hen house gate and then some more tulle to the four walls of the hen house.  Yes I still need to make the nesting box.  I then ventured back to the shed and fired up the Raspberry Pi and proceeded to do some testing of the fast clock and it syncing to the NCE fast clock.  What I have not done is look at the code, but there must be some dodgy code written around that function.  I will post some comment on the jmri group later in an attempt to get someone to look at the code.

The Gas Loading rig.  This supplies a water quenching facility around the gas tanker.  The two pieces of styrene at right angles to the structure are there to keep the two sides the correct distance apart until they are glued onto the layout and covered in scenic material.

My hen house is starting to take shape.  Yes it needs some nesting boxes to provide cover to the hens.

The almost completed 40foot caged container flat.  I need to put a cage on the left hand end.  All the side gates are removable.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Running Session Photos from Bill Dunn's Layout

A while back now I promised to publish a few photos of a Running Day at Bill Dunn’s layout in Maleny from the 15th of January this year.  I did eventually get the photos off my phone and put them on a USB key.  But where was the stick?  I found it and here they are:-