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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: Mon Dec 12th, 2011 09:14 am
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ddolfelin
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That looks very good work to me, Jeff.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 4th, 2012 11:44 pm
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SRman
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After putting it off for a long time, I decided to resurrect my old Bachmann London Transport 0-6-0 pannier tank. Now this model was one of the old split chassis types so converting it to DCC required hard-wiring a decoder and creating a way for the chassis halves to connect to the decoder red and black wires.

Pulling it apart was quite easy, as even the chassis halves are only held together with two screws and two spacers. There were no bits that needed grinding off as the motor brushes simply pressed against each of the chassis halves and relied on the pressure for contact.

I chose a 9 pin connector that accepts several different types of decoder and cut off the white, yellow, blue and purple wires and shortened the red, black, grey and orange ones (there are never going to be any lights fitted to this model!).

Soldering the grey and orange wires to the brushes was straightforward, remembering to include a little heat-shrink tubing to slide over the brush connections to insulate them from the chassis completely.

I drilled a couple of holes, one each to the rear of each chassis half, sized to accept a 12BA brass screw. These screws were to allow me to solder the red and black wires to the chassis halves (one wire per chassis half). One of the screws was a little tight and actually sheared off but that was OK too, as I was still able to solder the wire to the brass stub.

Before soldering the red and black wires, I reassembled the motor and chassis. This was a bit fiddly as the spacers kept shifting before I could tighten the screws but I eventually managed to get it all together. I then soldered the red and black wires to those screws (or stubs!) mentioned earlier.

This is where the 9 pin connector comes in. I tested the set up with an old Digitrax DH123 decoder that has burnt out its lighting functions but still works for driving a motor. This decoder is expendable, as far as I am concerned! Anyway, it all worked perfectly first go. I tested on the programming track first and all seemed well, then tested using low voltage DC current and the wheels went round, so then I placed it on the main lines and ran it back and forth.

Having established that all was well, I swapped the decoder for a newer Train$ave budget decoder which also uses the 9 pin connector. While a little larger than i would like, it *just* fitted into the pannier's cab. Being black it is well hidden - there was little cab detail to see anyway as the motor/chassis block intrude well into the cab to start with. I had to grind away a little of the wheel splasher mouding in the cab floor to allow my solder connections on the sides of the chassis to clear them but all wnet together smoothly after that.

It is trundling happily around the layout even as I type this. It always had a bit of a rocking motion, in spite of my trying several different wheel sets quite some time ago. I settled on the best combination of wheels I could find, hence the appearance in the phot with the centre wheels having their rims painted out but the newer replacement wheels still having polished rims.

All of that took place last night. My final tasks this morning were to replace the solid buffers as the fairly close couplings were causing derailments on tighter curves due to the buffers coming into contact. I replaced them with some standard Bachmann round sprung buffers. I had to drill out the holes a little to allow fitment. A touch of glue, some red paint on the shanks, and a bit of matt black on those shiny wheel rims and it is now complete ... until I do a little more weathering on it.

The photo shows it before I painted the wheel rims and replaced the buffers. The BR van was a stop-gap to prevent the buffer problem untill I replaced them on the engine.





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 Posted: Thu Jan 5th, 2012 10:11 am
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SRman
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Just adding an updated photo pf the LT pannier tank with paint now touched up below the footplate and sprung buffers added. I have been able to dispense with the BR van with longer couplings acting as a spacer.





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 Posted: Thu Jan 5th, 2012 05:40 pm
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Bob K
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Interesting little project and looks like you have managed to get it running too, which is always rewarding. I had not heard of the trainsave decoders. I wonder why they decided to put 9 pins on them as they will not fit any of the standard DCC ready locos?

Bob(K)

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 Posted: Thu Jan 5th, 2012 08:35 pm
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SRman
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The 9 pin harness is a standard connector for the decoder end of harness. The other end can be an 8 pin plug or loose wires for hard-wiring as mine was.

It is.quite rewarding to get an older model like this one going. I do also have one of the latest DCC-ready Bachmann LT panniers on the way but it is nice to have a choice of locomotives to add variety.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 24th, 2012 06:36 am
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SRman
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I have just received my Dapol/Kernow weathered class 22, D6315. Inspired by this, I decided to start weathering my Silver Fox version. While not yet complete, it is starting to look the part - that's the Silver Fox one in front! You can also see my new retaining walls from International Models and the asphalt-effect on the platform surfaces (more coats needed yet).








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 Posted: Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 05:37 am
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SRman
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At long last, I'll have some more Underground trains to run on DCC.

Spent several hours this afternoon soldering a TCS T1 decoder into my Harrow Models F stock driving motor coach, after receiving a second Black Beetle motor and fitting that with a home made plasticard adaptor arrangement. As I have already proved with the CO/CP stock, one decoder is perfectly able to cope with two Black Beetles. The operation took rather longer than I thought it would but it works perfectly on test.

Simultaneously, I have been building and painting an F stock single-ended driving motor (unpowered) and I still have to build two (or three) centre trailers to make a four car (or later, a five car) unit.

I am also going to do the same thing with the Q23 driving motor coach, likewise now with two Black Beetle motor bogies. The wiring will be less symmetrical in this one as I intend to hide the decoder in the end non-driving (guard's?) compartment. I have had this one running around on DC with its four other coaches (another Q23, a Q27, a Q31 and a Q38, to make a five car train) quite happily now for an hour or so. Will tackle the decoder fitting this evening.

While all bar the original double-ended F stock motor are not yet glazed it is an encouraging development for me. With storage or running space for five LT trains, I can now (or, at least, after this evening!) muster four full and one half LT trains on DCC: the five car Q stock, five car CO/CP stock (with a sixth trailer still in its box), two out of four or five cars of F stock, and two LT pannier tanks with assorted wagons.

Still to be converted to DCC are two motorised tube trains of 1938 stock (EFE).

Still to be built are an A60 stock train of four cars, 2 x C69 trains of four cars (Little Bus Company and Fleetmaster kits), while still to be motorised is a four car 1959/62 tube train (EFE).

Not all of these will fit on the layout at once but I am happy to be able to have a full roster on the LT lines whenever I want to now. However, until I get the high level tracks running, the LT lines will continue to host my main line stock as well.

 



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 Posted: Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 05:57 am
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ddolfelin
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More interesting stuff, Jeff.

(I do like the colours on that tank).



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 Posted: Sun Mar 4th, 2012 12:43 am
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SRman
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Photos of the above (and thanks for the kind comments, ddolfelin).

First two show one of two the Q23 motor driving coaches I have - this one is unpowered and the other has the two Black Beetles on board - and the 1938 CO/CP stock. The lack of glazing shows up badly here!






These next two pics show all three passenger EMUs, Q stock at left with Q27 driving motor (unpowered) leading, Q27 trailer car next, then the powered Q23, followed by Q38 trailer and unpowered Q23 DM. The numbers refer to the nominal year the coaches were built. To the right, in the platform, are the two coaches of 1920 F stock, and on the right of the platform is are the two trains of 1938 CO/CP stock running in multiple to make a five car train.









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 Posted: Fri Apr 13th, 2012 01:51 pm
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SRman
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Returning to the 'Tin' HAL unit, I decided that the separate jumper cables I fitted a while back were too thick so I have now fitted finer wire jumpers and repainted the affected areas. The new jumpers may now be a fraction too spindly but a layer or two of paint will thicken them up a bit.



While I had the wire, the cutters and the pliers out, I spent an hour or two doing all the front end handrails and the windscreen wipers, plus the front lamp irons. The result is shown here.



Next major jobs are to do the glazing and lower the power bogie mounting a little (the earlier SPUD motor sat  at the correct height but the replacement Black Beetle needs a cut-out in the floor.

Then, there are all those door handles to fit!




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 Posted: Fri Apr 13th, 2012 02:08 pm
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Petermac
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That looks really good Jeff and, whilst I'm not an officianado on this "green stuff", I don't think the jumpers are too fine at all - they look just right to an LNER/LMS guy ............:thumbs



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 Posted: Sat Apr 14th, 2012 04:58 am
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SRman
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Thanks Peter. The centre jumper should be quite a bit thinner than the outer ones on the SR units which used the 1930s electrical systems, such as the 2HAL, 4SUB, 4LAV, 2BIL and so on.

Inspired to keep going, I got up this morning (after a sleep-in!) and cut out the floor section over the Black Beetle motor bogie. I modified the seating unit to allow the motor bogie to mount onto that instead where it forms the van section floor and that seems to be sitting at the right height now. Later today I'll see about wiring a decoder to the motor and adding extra pickups on the trailing bogie.

Once that is running successfully I'll see about rigging a working coupling between the two cars. That should then inspire me to complete the glazing of the unit.

EDIT: Addendum: I hard-wired an NCE decoder with a 9-pin JST connector so I can swap to a TCS decoder later without rewiring it all. No extra pickups yet so running is a little hesitant on curves but it has completed several circuits as a 1HAL!



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 Posted: Sun Apr 15th, 2012 02:15 am
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SRman
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Just thinking about that last little bit, I realised that technically, since the motor coach has no lavatory access, while it was running around on its own it was a 1NOL !

Anyway, I have now rigged extra pickups on the trailing bogie of the motor coach and, unusually for me, run the wires very neatly through holes drilled in the upper corners of the compartment partitions.

Next, I rigged a simple hook and loop coupling system using some stiff brass wire drilled into the floor at right angles to the coupling plane. This tended to swivel a little initially so a notch was filed into each headstock and the couplings seated a little deeper into the floor; this was very successful, although the distance between coaches is a little greater than I would like, it negotiates the tightest curves comfortably with just a little clearance between the inner corners of the carriages (no variable couplings here, although it would be nice to use the system Hornby and Bachmann use on their units).

A little oil on the motor gears and axles and off it went. Tweaked the CVs a little to get smooth and consistent starts and it has now been happily trundling around for an hour.



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 Posted: Sun Apr 15th, 2012 02:17 am
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It sounds like an elegant solution, Jeff.

Are you able to show us a photo or two?



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 Posted: Sun Apr 15th, 2012 02:23 am
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SRman
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Hi Max. Yes I'll take a photo or two to show the progress as well as the coupling solution. They'll follow a little later today, all going well.



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 Posted: Sun Apr 15th, 2012 02:28 am
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Lovely.  :thumbs



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 Posted: Sun Apr 15th, 2012 05:24 am
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SRman
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Here we are, as promised; some photos.

The first group show the coupling system bent up from stiff brass wire. The hook is a simple 'Z' (or 'N' if you prefer!) shape with one end stuck into the floor and the other projecting downwards. There is a small groove cut into the headstock to locate the hook and stop it from swivelling. The loop is also sitting in the floor and a slot in the headstock but is made quite wide to allow for the end throws of the coaches on curves - by sheer luck I got this right first time.








... and coupled together it looks like this:




The second group of photos shows the unit as running at present, still with no glazing, no transfers and some detailing still to go but operational. At the DTC end only I have fitted some Roxey Models etched brass headcode stencils, although they have picked up some of the resin filings from my work on the unit, something I hadn't noticed until I took the photo! Sorry the depth of field is not very good on these - the shot I took from the other end of the unit was unusable. The stencils needed quite a bit of trimming to fit and even now are still a little oversized for the aperture - not sure if the model is undersize or the etchings are oversize.

I am seriously considering drilling out the headcode at the other end and fitting a directional LED to light it up in the forward direction.








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 Posted: Sun Apr 15th, 2012 09:16 am
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I'm sure others will like this, Jeff.  :thumbs



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 Posted: Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 09:44 am
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SRman
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While work continues on the 2HAL, I have followed a quick diversion into something more modern. On Friday I received a Bratchell Models kit for a Class 455 four-car EMU in Network SouthEast (NSE) livery. While the Ayjay 2HAL was listed as a "simple asembly" kit (which it largely is), the Bratchell kit comes pre-painted in the complex NSE livery, complete with coach and unit numbers and all logos printed on.

The first photo shows the body shells already assembled (sides, ends and roofs are all separate components), with one coach fitted with the windows (which are pre-printed with the chrome/aluminium surrounds), and the other still to be done. A few of the windows are shown in front of the coach.



These kits are largely made of ABS plastics so a good solvent is needed to join everything properly. For the windows, though, I used Micro Kristal Klear liquid glazing as the glue. Using this substance as the glue, any slips or errors will dry clear.

To motorise the EMU, Bratchell recommend two Black Beetle motors but, encouraged by the success with a previous DC Kits' 4EPB kit, I chose to use a Replica Railways motorised chassis, originally intended for their BR(S) Motor Luggage Van (MLV). For the 455, though, 12mm wheels have to be specified. Bratchell did advise that if using the Replica chassis, the bogie wheelbase would be 1mm out, which means cutting-and-shutting the bogie side frames if one wishes the axleboxes to line up with the axle ends. Because the Replica chassis bogies have clip in dummy side frames, it is quite easy to glue the modifed kit side frames to these and then file down any excess bits of plastic showing through, yet have a strong result because the original side frames are reinforcing the modified kit ones.

I ordered the wheel and coupling pack with the kit, and assembly of the bogies was reasonably straight-forward, with most of the trailer bogie sides requiring the end steps cut off beforehand. The kit instructions are mostly quite clear, although the hand-drawn diagrams sometimes leave a little to be desired.

I have temprarily clipped the bases into the sides without any additional weights, and sent the unit around the layout for a few turns.



What you see in the photo is the result straight from the kit with no painting apart from a small touch-up of the yellow at the corners of the front ends. Still to be done: fit the Scharfenberg couplings to the front ends (that's them sitting to the left of the track), add all the underframe equipment, add weights, add seats and paint the roofs and underframes, then add the front jumper cables, horns and handrails (not included in the kit). I also intend improving the printed-on lights.  I will also print up some destination screens to glue inside the apertures above the windscreens. The ride height of the Motor Second Open (MSO) coach, second in the photo, needs to be lowered very slightly.

These kits are not cheap but I am impressed with the general forethought that has gone into the design and fit of the various bits - I have done very little cleaning up of flash or moulding pips. Bratchell do advertise a "ready to motorise" assembly service for another 47 GB Pounds for a four car unit.

Further down the track, a little weathering of the front end and underframes and roofs will complete the model.




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 Posted: Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 10:55 am
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ddolfelin
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Although it's a kit, they still need the care you have shown, Jeff.



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