Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Holiday Snaps

The last post rather gave the impression that I spent 6 weeks wiring up the layout! Actually it probably took around 10 evenings of work, between 1-3 hours at a time. Still a fair ammount of time I guess, but at least the layout is small enough to be up-ended on a small table in the lounge and worked on sociably / in front of telly.

There have been other distractions in the meantime, not least a weeks holiday in Wales back in June. We took rides on the Ffestiniog (of which I am a member and used to volunteer many years back), and the Padarn at Dinorwic, we also took a trip up the Great Orme by cable tram, though as you can see from the photos I managed to snap a few other lines in passing.

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Thursday, 24 July 2008

Wiring Complete

Well, finally the wiring was completed last week. There were a few teething problems, the main one being that I had forgotten to cut the copperclad on the sleepers at the baseboard edge! Other than that a point motor going the wrong direction, and a couple of forgotten wires, were easily fixed!

At the baseboard joint I didn't want to have to have a plug and socket - apart from the extra hassle there simply isn't space, the way the main board slides snugly into the alcove. So I soldered to the ends of the final extra-wide sleeper a couple of brass squares, the ends folded down and the inner corners folded up to a Vee. On the fiddle yard I soldered brass wires to the copperclad sleepers to make contact with the brass plates when the boards come together, the way the board slots into place makes this work surprisingly well.

Also on the fiddle-yard I soldered brass sheet strips to the cassette-end of the lead track, this makes contact with the copperclad strips accross the ends of the cassettes.
So all works well? No, not quite. Test running has shown that while the Microtrains couplings flick over as they pass over the burried magnets, they don't actually uncouple when coupled up! I've used these magnets under the track fine on Pen-Y-Bryn Quarry, but not here. I'm not sure why, perhaps the granite ballast is too dense? I've chipped some away but little improvement. Maybe the Homebase magnets are weaker than the B&Q ones? I don't know how to address this problem yet ...
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Monday, 14 July 2008

A Day Out at the Amberley Gala

Last Saturday we had a family day out at the Amberley Museum. It was the Gala Weekend, so there was loads going on - two engines in steam plus loads of I/C engines, inluding 10 working Listers. My 19 month old boy loved it, especially the buses (I'm still educating him!)

I didn't get many pictures of the trains - as I was too busy holding on to an excited little boy - but I did get some pictures of the model railway show, they are on my photopic site:

If you are intersted, the Amberley website is - and my friend Steve got a good set of pictures which you can find here:

Progress on the layout is being made - I have just about finished the wiring and had a loco move under it's own steam (electricity) the other day. Update soon.

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