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Chelford, Oxsea and Battenham - OO Scale - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Fri Dec 11th, 2015 04:38 pm
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BromsMods
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Hi Peter

Have taken a peek at your layout thread and you product range and have to say I'm mightily impressed.  I would have preferred a single support for each canopy rather than the double provided in the Metcalfe model but I couldn't find one suitable.  Sadly I hadn't looked at your site but in all honesty I don't think I could have afforded everything I would have wanted from your range.  I like the fact that you can add individual parts to the structure in order to build it up as you want.

I agree that the planks seem overscale but I'm not sure why they couldn't have printed them the right size.  I'm guessing that there would be a market for true-to-scale scale boards but they would have to be economically priced and an exact fit between the support beams in order to attract a large enough market for you.

I'm very tempted by 3D printing - having been at the cutting edge of a number of things during my lifetime this is the latest thing that really grabs me as having real potential but, as you say, the cost of a quality setup at the moment is certainly out of my price range and, in any case, I'm not really sure that at my time of life I have the time, money or commitment to invest in what would be a substantial outlay.


Mike

When I did the Windows 10 upgrades on the 2 main computers I currently have in use I disabled options to send Microsoft data on various things, saying NO to each of the items it offered as being desirable (not sure for whom, though!).  I agree that in some ways the automatic options seem to be a bit of a pain but to be honest I have been grateful for them being done and not having to go through the hassle of selecting/checking which updates I want/need.  You can still see updates that have been done and this morning I have removed one of the updates done on my wife's machine on Wednesday and have now managed to get the email software to work, running the software as Administrator.

I've had more of a hassle setting up network printers - each computer has a different printer connected, one black/white and one colour.  Getting each computer to see the printer on the other has been a nightmare.  I thought it would have been very straightforward having set up a Homegroup and got each computer joined to it but no, I had to go out from the Homegroup and link them using a different strategy.  At least it now works!

Having been involved with computing for almost 40 years now I have always treated system upgrades with trepidation.  I did delay upgarding to Windows 10 as long as I could but decided to bite the bullet hoping all of the bugs would have been ironed out by now and (touch wood!) most things have so far been trouble free. (I know, it's fatal saying that.......!!!)





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 Posted: Fri Jan 1st, 2016 08:52 pm
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BromsMods
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Work has been continuing on the layout, if at a pedestrian pace!  I don't have much to show you at the moment, but I have been working on both station canopies and the main station building, adding bits and pieces as time has allowed.  I'm getting to the stage where I am positioning wall lights and thinking about how internal lighting will be located, using DCC Concepts lighting control boards.  I will use two control boards inside the main building, one for controlling the external lights and one for the internal LED lighting.



Today I used a few minutes to finish off the station flower beds.  The flowerbeds themselves were purchased from Ten Commandments, I think, and a few weeks ago I painted the soil, thus........




The completed flowerbeds, using products I purchased from Gaugemaster and Greenscene look like this.........






I have had great difficulty geting the photos to load into the Photo Gallery!!  Firefox would get as far as letting me select the photos to upload, then hung, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Opera all failed to get as far as showing the upload window telling me that function was not available in the software.  Eventually I managed to use Internet Explorer to upload the photos but then it wouldn't let me place them!  Finally I went back to Firefox which then allowed me to place the photos as they were then saved in the Photo Gallery.  Not sure quite what is going on here.......!!!








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 Posted: Tue Jan 26th, 2016 01:30 pm
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Apologies for the lack of updates but there hasn't really been much to update on during the last 3 weeks.  During the first two I spent most of the time trying to convert hundreds of historic negatives, which my wife found, going back to the early 80s, into digital pictures.  In general a successful operation but very time consuming.

I did manage to set up a test of the external lighting on the Oxsea station building with the DCC Concepts lighting control boards and these seemed to work well using an external 9v power supply.  Once all of the external and internal lights are in place I might need to increase the supply to 12v but I'm using an adjustable supply so that shouldn't be an issue.

The third week (last week) we spent most of it in Bristol.  Weather was cold but clear and the views were spectacular,  as were the markets on Wednesday.  Whilst walking around the edge of the shopping centre came across Antics - I have been there before but I thought they had ceased trading as a group.  Anyway, managed to pick up a couple of little things to use in the not too distant future.




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 Posted: Mon Feb 15th, 2016 02:45 pm
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No photos yet, I'm afraid, but I have spent small sporadic amounts of time over the last week in trying to get the Oxsea station buildings nearer to completion.

I'm having difficulty in getting the canopies of the two Metcalfe building kits to merge together to form a single structure, but I'll get there sometime this week.  Also need to complete LED and lamp installation and wiring before I can put them in place on the station.  Also working on platform canopies and these will also be completed this week, I hope!!

I have also been in discussion with DCC Concepts about their Cobalt Alpha system to see whether there is any way of using some of their components to simplify wiring to the three mimic panels I will eventually have.  Not looking too promising at the moment, but more on this as time progresses.



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 Posted: Mon Feb 15th, 2016 05:38 pm
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Phil.c
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Try Photobucket John, it's easy to use and all you need to do is copy the image URL and paste it here.

Phil



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 Posted: Mon Feb 15th, 2016 05:48 pm
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Hi Phil

I've been quite happy using the image facilities within YMRC until the reported problems above, but the last photo loaded without any issues, so I think I'll stick with what I know - when it works it is really simple!  I have never used Photobucket and I don't really have the time (or, I suppose, the desire!) to learn something new, unless I'm really forced to!!



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 Posted: Tue Mar 22nd, 2016 06:42 pm
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Apologies for the lack of updates.  There isn't really much to report as I have been tied up with other things, such as trying to get the garden sorted out before my wife and I start our numerous trecks this year.

I have managed to finish constructing the station benches from Metcalfe.  These were a nightmare for large fingers; I also tried various glues to make construction less of a sticky enterprise but, alas, nothing prevented me coming to a sticky end!!  The parts are so small and fiddly and the piece they provide for enabling the parts to be assembled don't hold the frames sufficiently tightly, so they move around whilst trying to stick the seats and backrests.

I have also managed to give the seat frames a coat of paint and given some of the Oxsea station fencing a coat, but this didn't cover very well, so I'll try to find time next week to go over that again.

Station canopies on the two buildings are now, I hope, aligned and ready to put in place but before doing that I need to finish preparing the wiring for the building and station canopy lights.



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 Posted: Tue Mar 22nd, 2016 08:56 pm
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Hi John

Good to hear you're still up and running...

I've just put together a load of Metcalfe buildings and used 'Roket' card glue... which made assembly a good deal quicker as I wasn't waiting for glue to dry or set... it's great stuff and gives an almost instant bond... bit like superglue for card and paper.....



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 Posted: Tue Mar 22nd, 2016 09:11 pm
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BromsMods
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Thanks for the tip Mike.

I was trying to make use of the glues I had, though.  Superglue with a fine nozzle would have been good if it hadn't soaked into the card so quickly and I really wanted to use that.  Trouble was I got a little worried about having a bench permanently stuck to my fingers!!  I did try tweezers but they weren't too successful either - hands too shaky it seems for anything involving fine detailing!



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 Posted: Tue Mar 22nd, 2016 09:27 pm
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BromsMods wrote: Thanks for the tip Mike.

Superglue with a fine nozzle would have been good

Sounds like Roket is just the job then... it acts like superglue - but not 'til you press bits together - and the bottle comes with an extremely fine three inch long nozzle... you just snip off the end if it gets blocked up... the glue is very runny, milky white colour a bit like dilute PVA and you only need the smallest amount in use.

I won't be using other glues for card and paper anytime soon... not now I've found this stuff.....



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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2016 07:52 pm
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One of the things I have been thinking about with Battenham is how to keep track (!!!) of what is in the fiddle yard.  I decided that a couple of small cameras, one located at each end, would be a good idea and on Friday I took delivery of (what I considered to be) a cheap little Zmodo ZH-IXY1D camera.  Today I set it up.

Well, it took a little longer than I had anticipated as I had an issue with the wifi speed my phone was using (you need a phone to set up the wifi connection on the camera).  The phone was using 5Ghz but the camera can only use the 2.4Ghz wireless connection.  eventually I got it sorted............



The camera can be seen to the left of the laptop, attached to its fixing bracket which will be attached to the underside of the Oxsea end board.  I wanted to set the camera up and test it in the house before venturing up to the shed.

Having proved it all worked correctly I then took laptop and camera to the shed.  I intend having a laptop in the shed permanently at some future point in time so this gave me an opportunity to check that the wireless connection worked as well.  The camera seems to work OK under the Oxsea board and it switches to "night time vision" as light there is limited. I think I might enhance the LED lighting I have under the board as this will undoubtedly improve what I can see but I think the experiment has been a success and I will probably invest in another Zmodo in the near future.



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 Posted: Sun Apr 10th, 2016 08:05 pm
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Today I have spent some time installing the wiring and a switch for the Oxsea station lighting.  I have also tidied up the wiring and fixed a multiway in position to allow the camera and lighting to work off its sockets.

I have also painted some of the insulators for the 3rd rail - I decided I had to install the third rails in the station area before I finally fixed the station buildings in place to have prepared some of the insulators in order to find out how easy (or difficult!) the process is going to be.

I received some OO scale station self adhesive advertisements from Trackside Signs for my recent birthday and have placed some of these on the station buildings - it's amazing what a difference they make, making the somewhat bland buildings far more realistic.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 11th, 2016 10:12 pm
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Well, having painted the fixings for the 3rd rail I wish I hadn't!  The easiest part of installing the 3rd rail has been drilling the holes.  The fixings to the Code 60 rail are extremely tight and the paint just gets in the way.  The parts are also extremely small and I had to use an investment I made a few years ago, a large illuminated magnifying glass, in order to feed the parts onto the rail.




It was much easier without the paint on pristine parts and I also think they look better in white!  It is going to be a painstaking job to complete the installation of the rest of the 3rd rails on a large layout..........  think I'll tackle it in small stints!



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 Posted: Thu Apr 14th, 2016 10:34 pm
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I have now installed most of the conductor rails in Oxsea station and they do add to the realism of this fictitous location, I think.





I need to do a bit more research on the actual colouration of the conductor rails but as I have said above I am not a fan of following the Peco instructions to paint the fixings before installation. 



The left hand side of the furthest track shows some of the parts painted  before installation.......... 

Installing the conductor rails is a time consuming task but having done a few now my strategy for installation is a little different to the Peco recommended procedure.

First, I measure out the length of rail which is going to be required.  Then I drill the holes in the sleepers, drilling every fourth sleeper.

Next I take the sprue containing the plastic parts..........



and cut away some of the excess (the left and right sides on the photo above).  This allows better access to the very small parts.



Then I make a release the top of each chair from the sprues by making a cut each side of the chair (which holds the rail and is a very fine moulding) but do not cut it completely from the sprue - it is easier to keep the parts still attached and have something more substantial to hold whilst trying to push the rail through the very tiny gap in the chair.

This is where I use the magnifying glass to feed the track into one chair at a time..........



Once the track is correctly inserted I then cut the whole chair assembly from the sprue and slide it along the rail.

When the correct number of parts has been assembled onto the rail for the section being installed I then position the conductor rail onto the layout and align the pins on the chair assemblies with the holes in the sleepers. Once everything is in the correct position I remove the rail, turn it upside down and try to place the baseplate discs onto the upturned pin of the chair.  This can be very frustrating as the baseplates are very small and light and can flick anywhere very quickly!  I use a pair of tweezers to lift each one and I have improved my manipulative skills no end whilst carrying out this task, even with my shaky hands!

Once all of the baseplates have been put into place I drop a spot of liquid glue on the end of the pin to try to secure the baseplate in position.  I then lift the rail into its approximate position, initially on its side whilst I align pins with holes and then turn it vertically to push the pins into the holes.  It takes some care to carry this out successfully as the white plastic on the pins bends very easily.

I have most of the layout still to do but I will complete the Oxsea part of the layout first before moving on to install conductor rails on the Chelford boards.



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 Posted: Tue Apr 19th, 2016 10:29 pm
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Over the last couple of days I have installed six DCC Concepts station lamps across the two Oxsea platforms, wired them to the DCC Concepts control board for lamps/LEDs and powered them from a separate regulated adjustable power supply.  Now I need to tackle the lighing in the station buildings!



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 Posted: Sat May 21st, 2016 08:19 pm
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Apologies for the lack of updates but until today there has been nothing to report on as I have been abroad for the last 4 weeks.

Today, though, I have been installing more 3rd rails, this time on the folding boards across the shed doorway.  So far I have managed to complete both tracks on one of the folding boards.  I have modified my technique a little from that described above by first cutting off all of the parts from the sprues then holding each insulator in a pair of pliers and inserting the track.  This seems a much quicker process.  I have also improved the technique for placing the baseplates by just licking my index finger then placing that on a baseplate, which then sticks to my finger, then place it over the protruding pin of the insulator and, when in position, spot a small drop of glue on the assembly.  I find that the finger is more precise than holding the baseplate in pliers as I can get the finger right over the protruding pin with more accuracy and less shake!

Doubt that I will have time tomorrow to progress further, but hopefully next week will see this 3rd rail task completed across the shed doorway boards.



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 Posted: Thu May 26th, 2016 02:53 pm
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Yesterday I managed to finish installing 3rd rails across all of the tracks on the folding section across the shed door, installed a Traintronics red/green signal and programmed the TT301 control board and also patched up some of the loose ballast which had moved when I lifted a couple of the layout boards.  Didn't enjoy wiring up the signal and control board as I had to do some soldering under the layout - not very keen on working upside down!!

Not sure what my next task will be - probably finishing the station lighting for Oxsea - but I have some gardening to do before that before we get any rain!



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 Posted: Thu May 26th, 2016 06:05 pm
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BromsMods wrote: Yesterday I managed to finish installing 3rd rails across all of the tracks on the folding section across the shed door, installed a Traintronics red/green signal and programmed the TT301 control board and also patched up some of the loose ballast which had moved when I lifted a couple of the layout boards. 

Is that all :mutley

Making me feel guilty John, I seem to be getting nowhere fast.

Sounds like you've got a lot further with your 3rd rail than I've got with OLE.

Any pictures of how far you've got with the 3rd rail?


Ed



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 Posted: Thu May 26th, 2016 06:23 pm
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Hi Ed

I'll try and take some pictures next week - I also experimented the other day with painting a little of the 3rd rail with some weathered black paint.  Not sure if it works or not, but I can always paint over it later if I can find a better colour.  I often find 3rd rails have a lot of grease (at least it looks like grease) along the edges.  I also want to paint the 3rd rails on the folding boards across the doorway before I take any photos (but I also need to tidy up the boards a bit as they have all sorts of rubbish over them as well!).

Haven't managed to get to the layout yet today - did some gardening this morning and think I overdid it a little whilst trying to remove a conifer plant with some very deep roots.

I think my next task on the layout will probably be to install a couple of ground signals I bought many years ago, produced by a company called Tramway Systems (Electronics) and hook them up to TT301 control boards.



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 Posted: Thu May 26th, 2016 06:49 pm
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Yup, from memory the 3rd rail always looked greasy on my trips on the underground or Southern from Putney in the 60s.

Good luck with the ground signals.



Ed




 



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