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Jeff's (SRman) work bench and projects - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Fri Oct 20th, 2017 09:49 am
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SRman
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For my pre-grouping trains, I rather admired Hornby's forthcoming Crystalate wagon, but the catalogue illustrations showed the huge, clunky coupling. I had rather hoped they would use something finer, but when it came out very recently, sure enough, clunky and chunky couplings were present. However, a little bit of investigation showed that they were of the Dapol-style clip in type. A while back, I discovered that the first release new-style Hornby Pullman couplings were a direct clip-in replacement for the larger couplings. As the all of my early Hornby Pullmans were modified with the slightly later NEM pocket couplings and revised bogies (parts that Simon Kohler, in Hornby's name happily supplied), I have a reasonable supply of these finer couplings. 

The original coupling type, removed from the wagon:




The replacement ex-Pullman coupling:




The underside of the wagon with the replacement couplings in place.




And the wagon as it is now. I'm much happier with it with the finer couplings. Perhaps it could do with a little weathering, but then again, a lot of my other P. O. and railway company wagons also need that.



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 Posted: Wed Oct 25th, 2017 11:53 am
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SRman
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Well, I got cracking and fitted the Kadee #20 couplings to both units. I was also going to perform a decoder swap with another (completely different) unit that I had recorded on my spreadsheet as having a Lenz decoder, but only requiring two functions. However, on reading the decoder on that unit, it turned out to be manufacturer 48, i.e. Hornby, which means I have now located my second Sapphire decoder! The result of this was that the Zimo MX634D decoder had to remain in the TC for the time being, so I decided to have another go at programming a Zimo to work the lights properly in these TC units. 

I am extremely proud to announce I got it to work.

I started by programming a value of 3 into CV8, then 3 into CV 124 (actually already in there but I wanted to be sure). Then I moved to JMRI Decoder Pro to read the functions, and changed a few checkboxes. The screen shots below were actually a dummy run to duplicate the settings as I didn't take screen shots while I was actually doing the programming. The first shot is the "before" and the second is the "after" - the area with the orange highlight is the section I was playing with.





The upshot of all this is that both units now have operable interior lights. The following shots and video show the combined train in action, with blue unit 416 (with Lenz Silver 21 decoder) leading blue/grey unit 404 (with the Zimo decoder), propelled by Heljan 33/1 D6520 with legomanbiffo sound (ESU LokSound). The video also shows bif's drive lock feature in action; the speed is held while the engine has been ramped up to full thrash. The interior lights on the Lenz decoder work on F5, while the Zimo one works them on F3. I didn't want to tempt fate by fiddling further to try to get them on the same F keys!










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 Posted: Wed Oct 25th, 2017 12:19 pm
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Passed Driver
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Hi Jeff.  Good work as usual. I am still faffing about with screws for Kadee , my growing dislike for eBay and my goods travelling half way around the World to get here usually Hong Kong or similar , Perth WA being the latest along with the waiting for the stuff to arrive.  Best wishes. Kevin



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 Posted: Sat Dec 23rd, 2017 12:19 pm
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SRman
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As if I need more rolling stock, I have been doing another quick kit-build, this time it's a Parkside BR/SR plywood sided CCT, which were actually built in BR days to the same basic design as the previous SECR and Southern Railway versions. I pre-painted the sides before assembly to allow easier adding of the window glazing and bars. The bars are just plastic micro-strip, although the thicker ones are actually a fraction too wide, but they were the closest I could get. The first pic shows it in a raw state, with a few bits still to add, while the second shows it in nearly complete form awaiting a few paint touch-ups and some transfers.






This gives me yet another minor variation on the SECR/SR style CCTs and PMVs.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 4th, 2018 12:29 pm
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SRman
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Yet another older locomotive has now been converted to DCC. This one was quite a decent runner to start with, but is an earlier Bachmann class 45 chassis, with an even older Mainline body. 45 048 has the giveaway moulded roofline that allowed Mainline to separate the roof colour on the BR green versions - Bachmann themselves used slightly updated mouldings with that raised line correctly eliminated from the cabs back.

I needed a fairly thin decoder but the footprint was unimportant as there is lots of room in that regard; a Lenz Standard+ decoder with the 8-pin plug cut off was what was required. I analysed the fairly simple PCB and wiring to see what was needed. The brush wires were easily identified and desoldered, then the orange and grey wires were soldered to those. The track feed wires were soldered to the PCB bus tracks at each end, again easily identified and left alone. The red and black decoder wires were soldered to the relevant PCB tracks (red to the right).

The trickiest bits were isolating the headlights, which had a small side track on the PCB and what I thought were resistor in line, but were more probably diodes. I cut the side tracks with a slitting disc in the Dremel, then soldered the white wire to the point where the diode connected to the headlight wire, and did the same with the yellow wire at the other end. The blue common return was connected to both ends, to the desoldered return wires for the headlight bulbs. 

A test showed that the motor worked on DCC, but the wheels desperately needed cleaning. That task accomplished, I then tried out the directional headlights; forwards worked but reverse did not. At that point I decided that I had done enough for the night, so ran the loco back and forth a few times on the main lines, then took the photos. For some reason all of the photos came out slightly fuzzy, but they'll do for now. I'll deal with the non-working light tomorrow.






After this, I need to cut off the body-mounted buffer beams and put them where they should be, on the bogies. I'll see if I can eliminate that bogus gutter line too.



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 Posted: Mon Jan 15th, 2018 11:07 pm
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SRman
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A while back, I bought three Slaters Private Owner wagon kits from an eBay seller. These are very easy to build kits, so I finished the first two fairly quickly. I substituted Hornby or Keen-Maygib metal wheels for the plastic ones supplied in the kits. The Hornby ones, being slightly larger in diameter, required a small amount of filing the brake blocks to ensure clearance.




the third wagon has been sitting around for a little longer, but I chose to do it last night as a 'quickie' job. I'm still painting the underframe bits, but it is coming along rapidly. All that remains to do is a little retouching of the ironwork on the wooden underframe, and the fitting of Parkside NEM coupling adapters and some suitable Bachmann or Hornby couplings.



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Jeff Lynn,
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 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2018 11:22 am
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SRman
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I have been doing some preparatory work for extending the upper level track to its final, full extent. Conditions have been too hot in the last couple of days to go outside and actually cut the wood, although I have marked some of it out, ready to cut or trim.

In the meantime, we have just had an air conditioner installed, which has meant I could do some indoor modelling in the cooler environment (over 40 degrees C outside). I started tackling the second of the two Cambrian Kits Sturgeon A wagons I bought over a year ago (maybe even longer). While not a difficult kit, it does have some fiddly and repetitive stuff to do - 28 handrails to be bent and fitted, 28 door bumpers and 28 door stop springs at solebar level. The first wagon took me ages to do these, but this one has progressed quite quickly, with some swearing when bits pinged off into the carpet, or failed to stick after several attempts at gluing while holding them in position. The First wagon was posed behind it, more because I was using that to see what I had done before where the instructions were a little unclear.

Anyway, the first three pics show the wagon under construction with the sides and handrails fitted, and some of the parts still on sprues, while the last two also show the door bumpers in place and a close-up of the detail in the mouldings (also showing my less than perfect fitting of the parts!).











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