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             Rating     Building Yeovil Pen Mill in EM
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241st message | this message only posted: 1 Jan 2019 22:20
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote: Hi Andrew,
I hope the fishplates for 4mm fit a little better than the version that Exactoscale made for 7mm. I had some of the larger ones and they needed a lot of modification to fit if I remember correctly which is why I went onto using etched ones ( which won't be much use when insulation is required of course ).

Thanks for the glasses insight ( drinking not reading ). My whisk(e)y gets drunk from a very old Ravenhead chunky tumbler :D It tastes just the same whatever glass I use......but then I do pollute it with a little water. The whisky is Aldi's Islay malt which is a damn good buy at less than 18 quid a bottle and the stout cardboard tubes are great for storing plastic strip, handrail rail and the like.

Rob


Hello Rob
Like Stephen I ve not had much problem with them in 4 mm other than the odd one splitting or separating, I should say, so that the two sides were no longer connected. But I discovered that this was due to me not fettling the ends of the rail carefully enough. Once I put a mild chamfer on the web of the rail, all was well!

Interesting what you say about the shape not making any difference to the flavour of your whisky. But I think you maybe surprised by how much shape does make a difference. When your thirsty next, humour me, and try it out of some wildly different shapes, a mug a wine glass, tea cup etc and then come back to me and tell me it didn’t make a haporth of difference....you might,  but I doubt it!


Kind regards 
Andrew



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242nd message | this message only posted: 1 Jan 2019 22:25
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Stephen Freeman wrote: I have used both fairly recently without much problem. The only thing I have ever found necesary is to ensure there is no burr on rail web.Easiy sorted.

Available from either EMGS or Exactoscale I think.
Hello Stephen 
Yup I’ve found a similar problem but eventually found the solution. My problem is that they are out of stock, but Graham has very kindly offered me some which will allow me to finish this baseboard. 
Kind regards 
Andrew

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243rd message | this message only posted: 3 Jan 2019 09:13
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from:
Graham Idle
Redhill, Surrey, United Kingdom



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Hi Andrew,
I'm around all day today if you want to ring me.
Regards, Graham
Andrew Duncan wrote: Thanks very much Graham, I’ll ring you tomorrow Andrew


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244th message | this message only posted: 3 Jan 2019 17:33
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Graham Idle wrote: Hi Andrew,
I'm around all day today if you want to ring me.
Regards, Graham
Andrew Duncan wrote: Thanks very much Graham, I’ll ring you tomorrow Andrew

Hello Graham
Thanks very much for the fishplates, I’ve already used four pairs this evening when I got in from work. 

Kind regards 
Andrew

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245th message | this message only posted: 6 Jan 2019 15:29
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello everyone
Another request I’m afraid. I need to dispose of my old 00 layout of Maiden Newton and  a very cut down version of Yeovil Pen Mill. Maiden Newton is approx 12’ long and Yeovil approx 10’long. 

The layout is featured in Iain Rice’s “Railway modelling the Realistic Way” on pages 9, 170, 207, 210, 217, and in his Haynes book “Layout Design” on pages 20, 27, 32. 51, 58/9, 110, 113, 116/7, 129, 138, 156. And both he and I built it over a period of 12 years or so.

The track has handbiult turnouts and C&L track. It’s built to finescale standards employing a 14.8mm back to back and 1mm through the flangeways.  

The buildings are nearly all Rice creations which are I think little works of art. For example he hand painted every flint on the station building and the goods shed and they are all a subtly different colours. The turnout operation is with Tortoises on MN and Seep on YPM. The latter have created problems with the tie bars on YPM and remedial work is needed here. 

And whilst talking electrics the layout hasn’t run in about 4years so will need work to  get it operational again, anything from just cleaning the track to resoldering broken connections is my best guess.

 It doesn’t include any rolling stock. I may include the Scalefour Society lever frame at Maiden Newton. On YPM I’m NOT  intending to include the station building or overall roof as I can reuse them on the new YPM.

 This is an urgent disposal as we need the space for the business as we’re having to move out of our warehouse at the end of the month and use our home to store some of stock for the business  until I can find an affordable storage solution.  

So my reality is that if I can’t get rid of the two stations I will have to break them up and take them to the dump, which I’d find difficult!  So any offers would be welcome, but at the end of the day what I really want is for it go to a good home. 

Kind regards

Andrew




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246th message | this message only posted: 6 Jan 2019 17:43
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Here are a few photos that show firstly Maiden Newton looking south down the line towards Weymouth. 





And here’s the goods shed



Hers an overall view of Yeovil Pen Mill




And lastly a view over the roof of the Brunel train shed towards the MPD and south towards Maiden Newton and Weymouth 



Andrew



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247th message | this message only posted: 8 Jan 2019 00:34
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Ok onward and upward. A photo or two of turnout building progress and in particular this new tiebar arrangement copied from Mike Norris with amendments from Howard Bolton. 
Seven out of the eight turnouts now have switches fitted and new unobtrusive tiebar installed as well and, because it’s easy to do with servos topside, I’ve also connected them up to their switches and so far it’s all looking good.



Below are few photos of the new tiebar during construction. I must say that I’m very enamoured with them so far: so much less obtrusive than the moving sleeper that I was using and not difficult to build. 
So firstly there is the copper fibreglass strip suitably gapped once in the mid point on one side an naturally twice on the other to not introduce a thin weak point ( thanks to Howard for this subtly that had passed me by). A couple of holes drilled through for the operating wire tother end of which one solders the switches to.



And here’s the completed tiebar ready to be installed. I tried to make gentle bends on the .45mm wire using pliers with round jaws to reduce the chance the metal snapping with metal fatigue. 




And here’s a side view of how the wire sits in the web of the rail. Very neat!



Andrew


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248th message | this message only posted: 13 Jan 2019 23:25
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello everyone 

Progress in the last week has been steady rather than startling. The basic turnouts have been completed less their check rails and as you can see from the photo I’ve now made a start on them( check rails).
 
What I’m finding though is that they are all under gauge at the crossing by a smidgen, but it’s enough to stop the check rail gauge sliding nicely into place when setting out the checkrail,  so I’m finding myself sliding a sharp knife under a number of chairs (either side of the check rail area ) that are holding the stock rails, to ease them out a tad. 

There’s lots been written about this and I’m pretty certain it’s inclination of the rail in the chairs that’s being held upright by the roller gauges, whilst the glue sets, that is causing it. Perhaps I should make a couple more of the simple brass block gauge that I also use which has no clamping action, to allow the rail to sit naturally in the chair at 20 degrees(?) whilst the glue sets. 

Has anybody got a favourite method of avoiding this problem?



 

That’s it for tonight I think. 
Kind regards 
Andrew

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249th message | this message only posted: 13 Jan 2019 23:48
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Hi Andrew,

I don't think it will work very well with the rails inclined by 20 degrees :( 1 in 20 is more like it.

As to the rail being held by the gauges and then easing itself back when the gauges are removed it depend on what depth of the rail is held in the gauge slots and how tight the gauges are on the width of the rail head. Remind me what size turnouts these are ?

Time for a dram of Aldi malt in my chunky Ravenhead glass - some people never learn :D

Rob


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250th message | this message only posted: 14 Jan 2019 00:09
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email or PM.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
Andrew Duncan wrote:  What I’m finding though is that they are all under gauge at the crossing by a smidgen, but it’s enough to stop the check rail gauge sliding nicely into place when setting out the checkrail,  so I’m finding myself sliding a sharp knife under a number of chairs (either side of the check rail area ) that are holding the stock rails, to ease them out a tad. 

There’s lots been written about this and I’m pretty certain it’s inclination of the rail in the chairs that’s being held upright by the roller gauges, whilst the glue sets, that is causing it.
Hi Andrew,

If you are using inclined rails, it is important that the gauge slots are deep enough only to engage the rail head. Because of the corner radius on the head, the rail can then easily rotate to 1:20 inclination in the slot:



If the slots are too deep, the easiest solution is to wind some fuse wire into them until they are not. A tiny smear of paint will seal the loose end of the wire.

The gauge of the track should have no effect on the positioning of check rails. If you are using multi-slot gauges having more than 2 slots, please don't. Please?

This is how the gauging of check rails should work:



More information about gauging is here, just add 2mm to everything there for EM:

http://4-sf.uk

If using combined check rail/stock rail chairs (as far as I know there are none such available for EM, despite the Exactoscale web site describing 0.8mm check chairs as "EM" -- they should be 1.0mm for EM), it is important to set them using the check rail gauges and check rails. The stock rail can then be left to its own devices through them, regardless of its gauge.

cheers,

Martin.

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251st message | this message only posted: 14 Jan 2019 13:18
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote: Hi Andrew,

I don't think it will work very well with the rails inclined by 20 degrees :( 1 in 20 is more like it.

As to the rail being held by the gauges and then easing itself back when the gauges are removed it depend on what depth of the rail is held in the gauge slots and how tight the gauges are on the width of the rail head. Remind me what size turnouts these are ?

Time for a dram of Aldi malt in my chunky Ravenhead glass - some people never learn :D

Rob

Hello Rob,

20 degrees? Well perhaps not ! I could tell you it was late in the day, but you might think that an excuse? I could tell you that I had just a senior moment...but surely I'm too young for that! I could tell you amongst all the O levels I failed, that I failed maths miserably and completely ( and my failures in education were quite impressive), and that might sound a tad more likely. Or maybe I just didn't stop to think. what everthe truth of the matter thank you for the correction. 

As to size of turnout they are quite sharp being between 5.5. to 6.00. Why do you ask? 

Now as to your drinking habits, I see it as my task to shed a little light!

Whilst you, in your youth were evidently studying complicated long division sums and  geometry, obviously, I was sampling the delights of various forms of fermented fruit which seemed to have a greater appeal  and relevance to my life at the time. Long story short this leads me to conclude that drinking whisky out of a Ravenhead tumbler is not quite where "it" is.

If I promise to never lay my rails at 20 degrees again,  I challenge you to do the same with your tipple!

Odd where conversations about model railways end up really.

Kind regards

Andrew


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252nd message | this message only posted: 14 Jan 2019 16:06
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Hi Andrew,
Just curious about the turnout sizes, that is all. Do you use 3-point gauges at all or just roller types ? Martin's comments re filling the slots in roller gauges apply also to the 3 point types.

As for my boozing habits in earlier years - we used to frequent the pubs and knock back the ale before turning to the beauty of the grape at a later hour. Reason ? Simple, the pubs called last orders at 10:20 but the wine bars ( serving food :? ) had late licences. We did have a period of just doing the wine bars and skipping on the pubs but the first house purchase ( mortgage rate 13% :( ) put paid to going out and we swapped to home brew and Scrabble........

If you don't stop laying your rails at 20 degrees I will send Network Rail's grinder along to level the tops for you. In return you may throw charity shop Ravenhead tumblers at your garden wall in the hope that voodoo makes mine turn into a fine glassware item.

Bottoms up.
Rob


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253rd message | this message only posted: 14 Jan 2019 22:46
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Martin Wynne wrote: Andrew Duncan wrote:  What I’m finding though is that they are all under gauge at the crossing by a smidgen, but it’s enough to stop the check rail gauge sliding nicely into place when setting out the checkrail,  so I’m finding myself sliding a sharp knife under a number of chairs (either side of the check rail area ) that are holding the stock rails, to ease them out a tad. 

There’s lots been written about this and I’m pretty certain it’s inclination of the rail in the chairs that’s being held upright by the roller gauges, whilst the glue sets, that is causing it.
Hi Andrew,

If you are using inclined rails, it is important that the gauge slots are deep enough only to engage the rail head. Because of the corner radius on the head, the rail can then easily rotate to 1:20 inclination in the slot:



If the slots are too deep, the easiest solution is to wind some fuse wire into them until they are not. A tiny smear of paint will seal the loose end of the wire.

The gauge of the track should have no effect on the positioning of check rails. If you are using multi-slot gauges having more than 2 slots, please don't. Please?

This is how the gauging of check rails should work:



More information about gauging is here, just add 2mm to everything there for EM:

http://4-sf.uk

If using combined check rail/stock rail chairs (as far as I know there are none such available for EM, despite the Exactoscale web site describing 0.8mm check chairs as "EM" -- they should be 1.0mm for EM), it is important to set them using the check rail gauges and check rails. The stock rail can then be left to its own devices through them, regardless of its gauge.

cheers,

Martin.
Hello Martin

Thank you for your very clear reply. And in particular thanks for the tip of reducing the depth of the gauge slot  with wire, simple and I hope straightforward to do. 

I am using multi slot roller gauges but only use the outer slot for holding the rails to gauge. And I’ve filled away the inner slot completely on two of them so that I can still use them in the crossing area. They’re from C&L I think or it may have been the EM society? See photo below. I’m not using the check rail chairs either as they’re not available as you say. 

I am using the checkrail gauge for setting the checkrails off from the crossing and the one I use is also in the photo. 

Thanks again for your help and advice
Kind regards
Andrew 







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254th message | this message only posted: 14 Jan 2019 23:25
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote: Hi Andrew,
Just curious about the turnout sizes, that is all. Do you use 3-point gauges at all or just roller types ? Martin's comments re filling the slots in roller gauges apply also to the 3 point types.

As for my boozing habits in earlier years - we used to frequent the pubs and knock back the ale before turning to the beauty of the grape at a later hour. Reason ? Simple, the pubs called last orders at 10:20 but the wine bars ( serving food :? ) had late licences. We did have a period of just doing the wine bars and skipping on the pubs but the first house purchase ( mortgage rate 13% :( ) put paid to going out and we swapped to home brew and Scrabble........

If you don't stop laying your rails at 20 degrees I will send Network Rail's grinder along to level the tops for you. In return you may throw charity shop Ravenhead tumblers at your garden wall in the hope that voodoo makes mine turn into a fine glassware item.

Bottoms up.
Rob

Hello Rob

There are some evocative memories in that picture you paint. I certainly remember the extortionate interest rates which I seem to remember taking taking rather for granted at the time and making 5 gallons of wine at a time and never getting round to bottling it. Just siphoned it out into a jug and that was as good as it got!

Well, back to track building and no I don’t seem to get on with three point gauges. I use the roller gauges i referred to in my reply to Martin and a home made flat brass plate about 40mm long that just sits between the rails. Those plus the little strips of nickel silver 1mm thick gauging the flangeway in the crossing about sums up my armoury. 

Just finished the remaining checkrails tonight and my track testing wagon thing with the long brass arms went through all of them with barely a murmur. Impressive or what!!

I can see I’ve a way to go on the booze receptical front, but in a gesture of goodwill I’ll undertake to never lay anymore rail at 20 degrees. :)

Kind regards 
Andrew



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255th message | this message only posted: 15 Jan 2019 06:42
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from:
Stephen Freeman
Sandbach, United Kingdom



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Hi,
The grooves do look deeper than those on the gauges I have. They came from C&L some years ago and only just hold the rail head, though as far as I know they never made a separate checkrail setting gauge.

Andrew Duncan wrote: Martin Wynne wrote: Andrew Duncan wrote:  What I’m finding though is that they are all under gauge at the crossing by a smidgen, but it’s enough to stop the check rail gauge sliding nicely into place when setting out the checkrail,  so I’m finding myself sliding a sharp knife under a number of chairs (either side of the check rail area ) that are holding the stock rails, to ease them out a tad. 

There’s lots been written about this and I’m pretty certain it’s inclination of the rail in the chairs that’s being held upright by the roller gauges, whilst the glue sets, that is causing it.
Hi Andrew,

If you are using inclined rails, it is important that the gauge slots are deep enough only to engage the rail head. Because of the corner radius on the head, the rail can then easily rotate to 1:20 inclination in the slot:



If the slots are too deep, the easiest solution is to wind some fuse wire into them until they are not. A tiny smear of paint will seal the loose end of the wire.

The gauge of the track should have no effect on the positioning of check rails. If you are using multi-slot gauges having more than 2 slots, please don't. Please?

This is how the gauging of check rails should work:



More information about gauging is here, just add 2mm to everything there for EM:

http://4-sf.uk

If using combined check rail/stock rail chairs (as far as I know there are none such available for EM, despite the Exactoscale web site describing 0.8mm check chairs as "EM" -- they should be 1.0mm for EM), it is important to set them using the check rail gauges and check rails. The stock rail can then be left to its own devices through them, regardless of its gauge.

cheers,

Martin.
Hello Martin

Thank you for your very clear reply. And in particular thanks for the tip of reducing the depth of the gauge slot  with wire, simple and I hope straightforward to do. 

I am using multi slot roller gauges but only use the outer slot for holding the rails to gauge. And I’ve filled away the inner slot completely on two of them so that I can still use them in the crossing area. They’re from C&L I think or it may have been the EM society? See photo below. I’m not using the check rail chairs either as they’re not available as you say. 

I am using the checkrail gauge for setting the checkrails off from the crossing and the one I use is also in the photo. 

Thanks again for your help and advice
Kind regards
Andrew 








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256th message | this message only posted: 15 Jan 2019 08:07
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Over the weekend I was party to a discussion between C&L and their roller gauge supplier/manufacturer and to some extent the penny is starting to drop. New gauges are being ordered and will as you expect will be plastic chair compliant

There is some hesitation removing the inner slots on roller gauges, they can however see that as they stand without flats being made at one end on the outer rim and at the other on an inner rim, the former to allow gauging over the common crossing, the latter over the switch end. They are now exploring the supply of wing rail gauges

As for 3 point gauges, I have successfully adapted an older EM gauge (large round pin version)by removing the rear part of the pin.

For some time I have used my newer style of Exactoscale P4 gauges which only have inner flanges, gauge widening is done manually and no instructions were available as to the radii and amount of widening to use. In the past I have erred on the cautious side by mainly using the smallest one except on the smallest of radii where I use the smallest two sizes

A quick heads up with C&L, a new website is expected to be live within a week or so, until the website changes visibly always phone as the existing website has a known glitch. Phone after making an order, and if waiting for an order phone them, this is on their home page

Due to technical difficulties I am unable to do any administration work within the website this includes stock numbers, pricing and the printing of orders from 19739 dated 21-09-2018.
I do have a work round on these orders which can be placed as usual and follow the same payment process, but it is essential that you call me during my normal office hours with your order number. If you come across stock item reading zero please call me.
Apologies for the inconvenience caused, a new website is being worked on but currently do not have an implementation date. Update last weekend hope to go live in a week or so
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257th message | this message only posted: 15 Jan 2019 22:47
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello John
It’s  good to hear that C&L are going to be supplying gauges that won’t force the rail to the vertical and that they’ve a new website in the offing as ordering from the current site is quite a challenge and long winded. 

Kind regards 
Andrew

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258th message | this message only posted: 15 Jan 2019 23:04
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello Stephen 

If yours with shallow slots are C&L then I think mine must be from the EM gauge society ...probably ?
Kind regards 
Andrew

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Stephen Freeman
Sandbach, United Kingdom



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I bought mine some time ago, when it was run by Brian Lewis, early 2000s so could have changed since then. Just checked, EMGS sell  a whole gamut of gauges so most probably theirs. They do appear to be out of stock of 3 point gauges.
Andrew Duncan wrote: Hello Stephen 

If yours with shallow slots are C&L then I think mine must be from the EM gauge society ...probably ?
Kind regards 
Andrew


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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Stephen Freeman wrote: I bought mine some time ago, when it was run by Brian Lewis, early 2000s so could have changed since then. Just checked, EMGS sell  a whole gamut of gauges so most probably theirs. 
Hello Stephen

Yes I think you right about the provenance 
Andrew

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261st message | this message only posted: 28 Jan 2019 22:02
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello everyone 

So the baseboard that was not meant to have anything underneath ....well it didn’t quite work out that way, but it’s far less then on previous boards and there is little or nothing that needs adjustment underneath and that is a real plus!

Here’s a photo of the underside with “only” servo power leads and crossing polarity leads evident. I also tried to keep the two apart and to not have them running parallel when they’re close to each other. Instead I’ve crossed them at right angles ish where it’s necessary. 





And the little white tags you can see are the cable numbering labels with each wire identified at each end using a Brother Ptouch labeller that I think Andy recommended? Nice bit of kit if you can understand the instructions, which generally I can’t and this time completely defeated my poor brain. 

However I have a very cooperative wife who usually can fathom these things out but in this case it even got the better of her. So child number one had to come to our rescue. Hes a computer programmer and he struggled a bit. However in the end the fiendish brain of whoever wrote the instructions was no match for the combined might of the Bluett- Duncan family who eventually triumphed! 

And, I discovered it could do sequential labelling as well. Fanatastic!

Here are a couple more photos of progress to date. Having wired up the stockrails to the to the relevant switch blades, the crossing feeds through to the blue relays controlled by the Megapoints boards and the servos also wired up to the Megapoints boards, I’m getting close to testing the track under power. Very exciting! 

And yes I know it looks like nothing on earth at the moment, but with a can of Halfords grey primer wafted over it in a week or twos time, it’ll take on a more homogeneous feel I think?🤪 less Battle of the Somme more Seurat or Manet. 



And here a last picture of a close up of my crude colour coding for the three different “ Districts “ that split the board into Up Line, Down Line and GoodsYard. So the wires are buried in trenches in the cork and the colour coding hopefully means I’ll connect the correct wires to the right switches. 

Ive just realised that I actually need to build that switch assembly before I can fire the thing up and see something moving. 



Kind regards 
Andrew



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262nd message | this message only posted: 21 Feb 2019 20:16
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello everyone 
A brief update. 

In two words “it works”. And no one is more surprised than me! But yes it’s working ok and I think that it’s my best yet in terms of smoothness of running through the crossings in particular, which is very pleasing!

I’ve just today given the trackwork a waft over of Halfords grey primer which has improved the look a little and now I need some fine weather to take it outside to spray the sleepers a light / medium brown grey and the sides of the rail a more rusty colour. 

Here a picture of it’s current state



And here’s one of the baseboard temporarily in position on the layout. Only one more baseboard to go and that’s the station almost complete trackwise. 




Kind regards 
Andrew



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263rd message | this message only posted: 21 Feb 2019 22:52
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from:
Nigel Brown
 

 

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Always think track looks best when it's in that state. Mucking it up with ballast, paint and other scenic stuff ruins it!
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Nigel Brown wrote: Always think track looks best when it's in that state. Mucking it up with ballast, paint and other scenic stuff ruins it!Hi Nigel
Yup I agree it’s really tricky getting  the ballast looking good/ lifelike. Haven’t achieved it to my satisfaction so far. 
Andrew

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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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I got out my Iwata Neo trigger operated airbrush first thing this morning and had two goes at spraying the sleepers firstly , as it turned out a slightly browner grey than Halfords grey primer and actually maybe I should have left it at that. 

At the time I didn’t think it looked very different to the primer so I then experimented with more brown and a shade or three darker. In strong sunlight it look pretty good. So then I tried ever so gently and sparingly sparying the side of the rail a sort of rust colour. 

I then put it in place on the layout to photograph and suddenly it became ever so dark. Quite extraordinary the difference and I think far too dark probably. Below you can see my problem. 



Once ballasted of course that will lighten it. Time to let it “sink”and see how it looks in a bit. 
Andrew



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from:
Nigel Brown
 

 

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For sleeper colour it may be about right; I use a sort of graphite on mine. When ballasted you'll only see the sleeper tops. It also depends on what sort of lighting you intend to use, if any.

For rail I tend to use something distinctly lighter, a lightish greyish brown. A lot of layouts these days seem to use a sort of pink, which looks horrible. Rail sides and chairs quickly weather to a greyish hue, rather than bright rust.

Nigel

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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Nigel Brown wrote: For sleeper colour it may be about right; I use a sort of graphite on mine. When ballasted you'll only see the sleeper tops. It also depends on what sort of lighting you intend to use, if any.

For rail I tend to use something distinctly lighter, a lightish greyish brown. A lot of layouts these days seem to use a sort of pink, which looks horrible. Rail sides and chairs quickly weather to a greyish hue, rather than bright rust.

Nigel
Hello Nigel 
 I’ve been thinking more about your opinion on track colours and wondering if in fact grey might not be that far off for sleeper colour. I’ve always tried for some sort medium light grey brown colour in an attempt not to copy the real thing up close, but to give an impression as viewed from 50 odd scale yards (so about two feet) away.

Like you, I don’t think bright orange or pink convinces as rust on rail unless you’re right up close and even then it has to be oh so subtle. 
More thought and experiment are needed me thinks. 
Andrew


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Stephen Freeman
Sandbach, United Kingdom



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Sleeper colour is one of life's variables. The wooden timbers started out life freshly cresoted, so would be black. Weathering would turn them lighter, add to that the effect of rust coming from the chairs. At places with standing locos, the track as a whole would probably be darker due to leakage of water/oil/grease. Braking locos etc would also have an impact (probably not too heathily either). Fishplates should normally be black as long as the PW staff remembered to oil them!

Track would also be subject to various "deposits" both randomly and in specfic areas.

Whatever you choose an all over colour is probably not going to be realistic.
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello everyone 
It’s been a while and indeed  I’ve not been idle, but a lot of it’s been rewiring  the junction baseboard and building my first Merg DCO (district cutout) which I fearbI’ll never get to work. But that’s probably just me and my complete lack of knowledge of such things. It certainly won’t be because of the lack of really practical advice. Merge have a forum very much like this one, where a complete starter can ask the simplest most basic of questions and get very practical help. So far so good. Tomorrow I’m intending to do the final testing to see if it works with the ICs in place. I’m not sure what an IC is but there are dire warnings about the consequences of installing them the wrong way round!

Wish me luck
Andrew 

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Judi R
Sutton-on-Sea, United Kingdom



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Don't forget that MERG do offer a "get you going" service which is mentioned on our forum. If all else fails, then our Technical Support Manager will look at it and get it going for you if you post it to him.

Judi Rastall
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Judi R wrote: Don't forget that MERG do offer a "get you going" service which is mentioned on our forum. If all else fails, then our Technical Support Manager will look at it and get it going for you if you post it to him.

Judi Rastall
Hello Judi
Thanks for your message, I'm hoping that my pessimism is misplaced and that everything will go swimmingly. I suppose I said that I feared it wouldn't work because in electronics I have no experience of fault finding. Indeed I find tracing a short circuit on one of my baseboards, a long drawn out process that sometimes can takes me days to track down and that's with something that is a simple + or - that I've designed and built myself. 

You can probably imagine therefore that the thought of  tracing a problem on a tiny circuit board that seems to talk a different language and has things on it that have more in common with magic than any reality I understand, is a big leap. Having said that I've been very impressed by both your (Merg) support and, that I've got through the first stage of testing successfully!

So keep your fingers crossed that I make it through the last stage without blowing the thing to kingdom come!

Thanks again for you help on the Merg forum
Kind regards
Andrew
PS I wasn't aware of the get you going service. Excellent service to offer.









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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hooray it worked!

It’s a bit of a long story but in the end I got the DCO working ok (with a,little more help from Geoff on the Merg forum)I think. I say I think because it’s not yet been tested out in anger, but all the signs suggest it’ll be fine in use. 

Andrew 

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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Ok so here are few pictures of stuff that I’ve been up to in the last couple of months. 

Below is a picture of the control panel I’ve just made that holds the ZTC 511 controller and all the power supplies needed for it and the servos. The switches you can see ( two missing at present) are the district switches, UP MAIN, DOWN MAIN, MARSHALLING YARD, BRANCH LINE which as the title suggests cut out any one of these power districts. And on each board each district can be switched out locally for that board which makes trouble shooting easier. There’s a LED below each switch to show its live. 




The control panel is mounted on a pair of drawer runners and behind it (you can see in the picture below,)  it pulled out showing where the power supplies live. 





And here,s a picture of my collection of azaleas which are about to burst into bloom ...sorry just couldn’t resist





And here is one of our cats trying to help me understand complicated long division sums that the Merg site refer to as basic electronics!!! Truffle, the cat, (all our cats are named after food, I should say that I run a company selling cookware and my wife's French and loves cooking, my middle daughter’s a pastry chef so I mention this so you don’t think my life’s all beer and peanuts.) couldn’t make head or tail of it either and eventually left in search of more interesting tit bits.  In fact I think in this photo he was already getting distracted, probably by the catnip which he’s very partial to. 




And here is the junction baseboard still with its relay electrics in tact....but not for long. The relays that control the crossing polarity have been very iffy for some reason and in the end back at the end of March I finally got fed up with them and replaced them all with Gaugemaster Autofrogs ( frog juicers). Huge reduction in wiring! I’ve still got an intermittent short circuit on the branch line on that board but the change has made most of the board pretty reliable...just a little way to go. 




I think that’s about it for tonight. Time for a wee dram before bed perhaps?

Kind regards

Andrew

PS in the end it turned into a couple of madeleines dipped in the apricot jam, washed down with some cooking brandy and a mug of tea. Heady stuff. 







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