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Author Topic: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]  (Read 12544 times)

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Offline scruff

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #210 on: October 09, 2019, 10:10:17 PM »
James, try B H Enterprises item BHE110 on page 15 of the product catalogue.. no picture but may be what you are looking for.

http://www.bhenterprises.co.uk/home.html

Cheers
Mark

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #211 on: October 09, 2019, 11:11:08 PM »
James, try B H Enterprises item BHE110 on page 15 of the product catalogue.. no picture but may be what you are looking for.

http://www.bhenterprises.co.uk/home.html

Cheers
Mark


Thank you for your thoughts - I have contacted BH Enterprises am in the process of ordering either these or the cast equivalents (BH420/BH513).
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Offline tunneroner61

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #212 on: October 09, 2019, 11:26:53 PM »
Ratio used to do some nice high intensity headlights in yellow plastic. Don't think they are current production but you might be able to get some in an 'odds' bin. IMHO a much better job than the BHE etched version. Don't know about the BHE cast ones.

Just found these on the 'bay' https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/249-Ratio-Plastic-Model-N-Gauge-2mm-Scale-Diesel-Locomotive-Headlamps-New/174003507724?hash=item28836ad20c:g:lZAAAOSwxktdXAwf

cheers Norman
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 11:33:02 PM by tunneroner61, Reason: xref to ebay listing »

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #213 on: November 14, 2019, 12:27:30 AM »
I have been busy working on the electrics of late, as well as integration with TrainController. I am adding sections and turnouts to TrainController as I go rather than adding all the wiring before adding anything to TrainController to make sure that everything works using my chosen methods before proceeding to use those methods throughout the layout.

I have been significantly delayed by problems with RailCom (there seems to be an odd problem where newer Zimo decoders will not report their address when the locomotive is facing in one direction with one particular command station/booster combination but will work without difficulties with another), with a booster turning itself off apparently at random and with it not being clear whether (and if so how) I can use a certain type of input signalling for positional feedback for turnouts in TrainController.

However, I have made a start, including having produced the track diagram in TrainController for all the track laid so far (I am still waiting for the fiNetrax concrete sleeper turnouts to work on the scenic section), and have added features to control this for the parts that are wired in so far, including two turnouts and quite a number of sections, some with RailCom and some without.



I have also added and tested, and added a control to TrainController, a new type of uncoupler for the Dapol EasiFit couplings using powerful permanent magnets mounted under the baseboard moved closer to or further from the baseboard using a servo motor. I have successfully integrated this with TrainController using a "push button".

The intention is to have two switchboards: one for the fiddle yard, also containing such miscellaneous controls as necessary, and one for the scenic section, although it may be necessary to have a third just for miscellaneous controls if the interface makes me add lots of switches/contacts on a panel to be able to achieve certain functionality.

One thing I have been working on this evening is route proving. TrainController has a feature in which it will not permit a route to be locked through a turnout unless a hardware indicator is set in a particular way. Using microswitches connected to the servo for the points, it is possible to use this (as is intended) for route proving. I have also set it up so that, if the route does not set as expected, a message pops up informing me that there has been a points failure, and an alert sound plays that is based on the IECC error sound (thanks to the SimSig download page for this).

This is a delightfully sophisticated feature, although I fear that I will have to use it in a way which requires two I/O ports per servo, which means that the I/O ports built into the servo card are not sufficient and I will need to use extra I/O cards: my attempts at using a ternary system with a disconnected, +5v and ground state, although working in hardware, do not seem to be recognised by TrainController. Nevertheless, my injection moulded passengers should be reassured by the fact that, whilst more expensive and laborious, this system is at least (marginally) safer than a system requiring only one input.

I am very much looking forward to being able to use more of the sophisticated features of TrainController as work on the layout progresses, but I have still not finished the fiddle yard dropper wires yet, so that may have to wait some more time.

Finally, here is a photograph of a Class 50 renamed "Centurion" as 50040 carried in 1989 ready to run on the layout:

Dapol Class 50 by James Petts, on Flickr
« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 12:31:03 AM by jamespetts »
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #214 on: November 29, 2019, 09:52:17 PM »
I have had some trouble with the electronics of late, which I believe that I have mostly resolved, but which have somewhat delayed progress.

However, this evening I have been able to add a very important feature to my layout: emergency stop. See this video for a demonstration.
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #215 on: March 02, 2020, 12:36:02 AM »
Last year's electronics problems delayed me significantly, and I have had other things to deal with this year (mainly an accumulated backlog of things that needed doing after I replaced my computer last December), but I think that a progress report is in order.

First of all, here are some update pictures of the wiring beneath the track:

Underneath baseboard by James Petts, on Flickr

Underneath baseboard by James Petts, on Flickr

The red and white wires are used instead of red for the live connexions to RailCom sections so that I know which droppers need to be connected to RailCom block detectors:

Underneath baseboard by James Petts, on Flickr

The droppers here have not all been wired in yet, but we see the non-Railcom block detectors:

Underneath baseboard by James Petts, on Flickr

Underneath baseboard by James Petts, on Flickr

Secondly, I have been working on TrainController customising its interface to make it look and behave as closely as possible to an IECC. Here is what it looks like now:

Traincontroller panel for Oxcott fiddle yard by James Petts, on Flickr

I have managed to replicate the behaviour of an IECC in having the locomotive number as the train describer when a locomotive is running light and then using a four digit TOPS code for an actual working in a schedule, which is very satisfying. I even have the real IECC error screech sound from a SimSig installation playing whenever TrainController detects a points failure (I have installed microswitches on ever turnout for position indication).

This is just the fiddle yard, as this is all that is laid so far. The scenic section will be a separate panel. I have been delayed in laying this as, aside from the Kickstarter kits, the British Finescale flatbottom turnouts are not available yet, which I need for laying the main lines of the scenic section, which I will need to lay before laying the sidings, etc. in the scenic section. However, I still have plenty to keep me busy with the fiddle yard wiring for the time being.

I have also installed a Bluetooth adapter to connect to my computer to avoid having to trail USB cables over the door frame of my shed with Blue-Tak, but I am finding the connexion with this to be somewhat intermittent. I wonder whether the in-built Bluetooth adapter in my Intel i5 Skylake NUC is more feeble than it ought to be, but it is difficult to know without carrying out controlled tests. Does anyone have any experience of built-in Bluetooth in desktop computers? My mobile telephone can detect the model railway's Bluetooth adapter at the front of the house (the layout being in a shed in the back garden), but I get an intermittent connexion with the computer ~2m away.

Finally, here are some photographs of some "Network Express" sets and some oil tanker trains running on the MRC test tracks recently (I still need to get around to renumbering my NSE class 50s):

47715 by James Petts, on Flickr

50037 by James Petts, on Flickr

50033 by James Petts, on Flickr

50040 by James Petts, on Flickr

47573 by James Petts, on Flickr

50031 by James Petts, on Flickr

N gauge oil train by James Petts, on Flickr

N gauge TEA wagons by James Petts, on Flickr

N gauge TTA wagons by James Petts, on Flickr
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Online Graham

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #216 on: March 02, 2020, 12:49:27 AM »
really coming along apace. enjoying watching your progress.

Cheers
Graham

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #217 on: March 16, 2020, 01:39:39 AM »
Further progress this week-end: I have spent many an hour soldering dropper wires in the fiddle yard - still not complete, but much progress has been made.

I also noticed that British Finescale had started selling the CV-10 and EV-15 turnouts, but templates for these are not yet available in the SCARM library, so I have had to use the .pdf templates provided printed on paper overlaid onto the SCARM printouts to see whether these will fit into my planned layout. This process has been helped by now having an A3 printer, which makes it much easier to print track plans in full size:

Model railway track planning by James Petts, on Flickr

I have so far worked only on the eastern end of the layout, which is more straightforward, but preliminary indications suggest that these will fit, albeit with a little adjustment/trimming of the webbing:

Model railway track planning by James Petts, on Flickr

Model railway track planning by James Petts, on Flickr

Model railway track planning by James Petts, on Flickr

It is interesting to compare these turnout templates (mostly CV-10) with photographs of real class 47s on actual turnouts at the time:

47842 St Denys 4-7-91 by Southern  Modellers, on Flickr

47583 'County of Hertfordshire', Paddington by nigelmenzies, on Flickr

Comparing this with some photographs, especially this unembeddable image, it seems that the CV-10 turnouts (templates pictured) are somewhat shorter than, and the EV-15 turnouts are somewhat longer than, those used south of Oxford at the time. However, they do seem perhaps just about long enough to pass muster and be plausible for the era.

I just hope that I have estimated correctly that I will be able to modify/bend these CV-10 turnouts sufficiently for them to be able to fit into the space.

I also took the opportunity to assess the size/scale of the station as against the rakes of rolling stock that I have assembled. Happily, they all seem to fit:

Model railway track planning by James Petts, on Flickr

Model railway track planning by James Petts, on Flickr

Model railway track planning by James Petts, on Flickr
« Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 01:42:04 AM by jamespetts »
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #218 on: March 23, 2020, 11:34:50 AM »
I spent some time yesterday printing the remaining scenic section track plans and fixing them into the correct place.

I then printed out templates for the new British Finescale CV-10 flatbottom turnouts and stuck them on the plan in the appropriate places using PVA glue, cutting and bending the templates in some places to represent how I believe it is possible to cut and bend the actual milled bases to allow the CV-10 turnouts to fit into spaces originally planned for C9s.

In the below picture is depicted the station approaches from the up direction with the templates added.

Track plans on baseboards by James Petts, on Flickr

Since the taking of the photograph, I have also added these in the down direction. I think that this all fits, but it is difficult to be entirely sure of precisely the parameters within which I am working. Nonetheless, I should be able to order some track and turnouts quite soon and make some progress with laying this.
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Offline jamespetts

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I have taken a brief break from wiring to do a little work on carriage lighting. I am keen to have DCC controllable carriage lighting partly because carriage lighting looks thoroughly splendid and partly because it provides a clear visual cue as to when a train is running in service as opposed to running as ECS, which is of significance on a computer automated layout focussed on operational realism.

Having started with the easiest of the lighting tasks, being adding Dapol light bars to the HSTs (which do not need DCC control as I do not believe that these will need to run ECS) - see here for a video of this, I determined that I could not start on the most difficult of the projects - lighting hauled carriages as I needed to order more pickups, so I have commenced work on an intermediate level project: lighting a Graham Farish class 108 DMU.


First of all, see here for a 21 second video of this in operation. Unfortunately, a large part of the motorised coach is missing an interior because of the way that the motor works, so we shall just have to imagine that it has a faulty light in this part of the carriage. The flickering, incidentally, in the rear carriage (the DMBS) is the high frequency flickering of the LEDs used there (a different type than in the front carriage (the DTCL) and is not visible with the naked eye.

Because both carriages in any event use a decoder for the directional lights, that decoder can have one of its spare function outputs used for the carriage lighting. I use a Zimo MX622N in the DMBS and a Zimo MX681N function only decoder in the DTCL. In each case, I have mapped the function output from whatever function output is actually being used to the F4 key to ensure consistency across all decoders in use on the layout: the F4 key is intended to be the standard input for all interior lighting functions.

For the DMBS, I used a strip of thin stick-on LEDs from YouChoos for the lighting. For the DMBS, I used spare parts from an ESU DCC fitted light bar. These light bars are very long (intended for scales between and including N and 00), but can be cut short to length. I had placed the part with the DCC function decoder in a mk. 1 brake carriage before pausing that project on account of not having the right pickups. The parts removed could then be wired, through a 10k ohm resistor, to the function output of the decoder. (I wonder in retrospect whether a 6.8k ohm resistor would have been better as the lights are a little dim).

The ESU bar had to be cut into three sections to fit into the carriage and the gaps bridged by soldering wires. This was quite time consuming. However, although using the YouChoos flexible strip was much easier, I will probably end up mostly using the ESU bar leftovers for DMUs as I have many, many more hauled carriage to fit (6x rakes of 8-10 carriages for Network SouthEast hauled services alone), and will thus have a large surplus of bar parts for the DMUs.

I will probably not use the Dapol light bars in the Dapol class 121s, as these will need to have their plugs cut off and be wired to the decoder to allow switchable lighting (all of my 121s have the 6 pin decoder sockets), apart from one already so fitted, so the advantage of the ease of fitting of these light bars will disappear. I will use my stocks of light bars instead to fit the third and final HST and use spares from the ESU bars in the DMUs.

I have also been told that most of my order of the British Finescale track for the scenic section (apart from some kits for points for the carriage sidings which are awaiting crossing frogs) are about to ship, so I will be able to start on track building in the scenic section before long.
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #220 on: April 05, 2020, 08:58:34 PM »
Having received a large box of British Finescale track last week (thanks to Wanye for sending it out promptly), I have begun the task of laying the track in the scenic section of the layout, and have so far installed the first panel of track successfully:

Laying scenic section track by James Petts, on Flickr

This interfaces well with the Peco code 55 track by simply having an additional 1mm cork sheet underneath it:

Laying scenic section track by James Petts, on Flickr

The difference in the refinement of the British Finescale (left) and Peco code 55 (right) is very obvious. An N gauge carriage travels over this joint without problems, but (as intended) no electricity is conducted between either adjacent rail.

For the droppers, I have soldered these underneath the rails so as to be as near invisible as possible:

Laying scenic section track by James Petts, on Flickr

The plan is to have droppers soldered in this way for each individual panel of track to avoid the need for any means of conducting electricity between panels of track on the layout itself.

Hopefully, the ballast and weathering will fully disguise these droppers.

Now, only the whole rest of the layout to go...
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #221 on: April 07, 2020, 12:32:34 AM »
I have been doing some wiring to-day so as to get the newly laid small section of track in the scenic section connected. Here is a video of the first powered train movement on the scenic section.

Here is a video of an HST moving between the scenic section and the fiddle yards.

The British Finescale code 40 track used in the scenic section looks very much the part, and the technique of soldering droppers underneath seems to work most effectively.
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #222 on: April 17, 2020, 01:34:04 AM »
Some progress on two fronts: track laying/building and rolling stock.

First of all, I have installed the scenic section's first crossover using the new British Finescale CV10 turnout kits:

Track progress by James Petts, on Flickr

Crossover from above by James Petts, on Flickr

Crossover (detail) by James Petts, on Flickr

Getting the alignment right and making sure that the teeny bits of rail just beyond the frog are powered was not easy: as will be seen, I chose on one side to extend the stock rail up to the frog of the next turnout, and should probably have done that on both. I presume that this is why British Finescale sell crossover kits for some of the more popular types of turnouts, which should hopefully make this somewhat easier. I have some of those kits for the bullhead track for the not so main line parts of the layout (the yards and the branch), and may well build one of those next.

As to rolling stock, I have been working on a class 47. I have wanted a class 47 in rail blue for some time as I distinctly recall (as supported by contemporaneous photographic evidence from Flickr and Martin Loader's website) that there were a number of class 47s still operating in rail blue at the time. The trouble is that the Graham Farish examples readily available are either 47/0s in 1970s guise without high intensity headlight or 47/7s with the extra cab jumpers, all of which would have been in either ScotRail or Network SouthEast livery by 1989, and those in the Thames Valley would be working Network Express services rather than the cross-country services on which I recall seeing the rail blue class 47s.

So, last year, I bought one of the rail blue 47/7s to convert into a 47/4 by removing the cable jumpers at the cab end and swapping the fuel tanks with an Intercity mainline liveried class 47/4 to make the rail blue locomotive a class 47/4 of the type that would originally have had dual heat and the Intercity mainline liveried class 47/4 into a class 47/8, which subclass were just coming into service in 1989 and whose fuel tanks were indistinguishable from those of the 47/7s.

The example that I have chosen to model is 47544, for which 1989 was its last year in service:

47544 Ais Gill 270389 img1491-1189ME-a by Tony Woof, on Flickr

Class 47 47544 - Daisyfield, Blackburn. by Martyn Hilbert, on Flickr

IMG_20140902_0014 by grahamcarnson, on Flickr

As we see, that locomotive has the same fuel tank and (by now disused) steam heat tanks as the "University of Dundee" model produced by Graham Farish.

This is what the Graham Farish model looked like when I bought it:

Farish class 47 by James Petts, on Flickr

I am currently part way through the conversion. I have started by removing the numbers/names and repainting the cab ends:

Farish class 47 in conversion by James Petts, on Flickr

Farish class 47 in conversion by James Petts, on Flickr

Note that I have temporarily removed and not yet reinstated the light guides.

Having had problems with the quality of finish on the 121 where I removed the high intensity headlight, I have tried brush painting these ends. The finish is not as smooth as I might like, but it does at least avoid the heavy layered effect of using an aerosol can and masking tape.

Remaining tasks to be done on this locomotive are:

(1) add overhead lines warning flash decals;
(2) reinstate the light guides and buffer beam steps;
(3) add a new number;
(4) add the cantrail stripe;
(5) add a surround for the high intensity headlight (I am trying to obtain one from BH Enterprises);
(6) apply varnish;
(7) add DCC decoder and stay alive, wiring for independent head/tail lights;
(8) add the bufferbeam detail, or as much as will work with working couplers; and
(9) (possibly) add weathering (I have not yet tried weathering anything yet, so this might be a way off).

I am a little unsure whether I should proceed to the next steps or try again with the paint to get a better finish, but I am not sure how I might go about getting a better finish in the circumstances when I need to cover black with yellow.
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Online njee20

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #223 on: April 17, 2020, 09:25:14 AM »
I feel like we should keep track of the number of times it's been suggested you buy a airbrush... ;)

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #224 on: April 17, 2020, 11:39:06 AM »
I feel like we should keep track of the number of times it's been suggested you buy a airbrush... ;)

I know that this has been mentioned before - I am reluctant to do so because of the space that the compressor would occupy and the enormous amount of work necessary to clean it after every use.

However, what I am still struggling to understand is how this would in practice be better than an aerosol can in dealing with the specific problems that I have had with spray painting, viz. that enough coats of paint to cover the black of the underlying plastic is so many that there is a large height difference between the painted and unpainted area which is visible.

An airbrush I know can be somewhat more precisely targeted than an aerosol can, but not so much so far as I am aware so as to allow the area in question to be painted without masking, thus allowing a smooth transition between repainted and factory painted areas of the same colour, as allowed by brushing, which is the only thing that could affect the ridge issue.

Can anyone explain how an airbrush can assist with this specific problem?
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