Archive for February, 2018

Pannier Progress

Posted on February 7, 2018. Filed under: Project progress |

The first proper trials of 1649 (still with masking tape around the panniers and plastic sleeving “crankpin nuts”) took place at the end of last month on “Little Stoke”, Allan Smith’s fine, freelance layout set appropriately somewhere on the ex-GWR main line in the West Country.

1649 180130 4715       West Country panniers

Using phosphor bronze wire pick-ups on the backs of the wheel rims, as Allan had shown me on 54458, 1649 was still a hesitant runner. That is until he showed me how to fine tune the pick-ups with a pair of very finely-pointed tweezers. With power to the motor, 1649’s twin beam and rocking axle compensation was able to do its job. 1649 has rather more side-play on the middle drivers than I would normally have, allowing it to successfully negotiate Little Stoke’s much tighter curves and points than on Kyle of Sutherland.

The next step with the chassis was to improve and simplify the wiring. I used two-pin micro-connectors for the first time with two sets of red and black wires going from the motor to pick-up pads at the front and rear of the chassis. I found the 10/0.1 wiring quite bulky (1649 has a very small diameter boiler), especially with a micro-connector for each pick-up pad. The wires were also over long at this trial stage and spilled over into the cab and bunker. Allan showed me how he used stripboard to wire up some of his locos. 1649 now has red/black wire pairs from each pick-up pad soldered into a single piece of stripboard bolted to the chassis directly under the firebox. A single red/black pair of wires from the motor now goes to a micro socket, without intruding into the cab or bunker, and pops onto the pins of a micro plug soldered through the stripboard.

Having sorted the wiring, I continued to detail the body. It’s by no means finished (there’s also a host of detail to add to the footplate and chassis), but the loco is starting to take on the character of the prototype.

1649 180206 4723       1649 visits Culrain

And then there’s the motor, which I’m still not happy with, to look at another day.

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January Progress

Posted on February 1, 2018. Filed under: Monthly progress |

January was devoted to 1649 in the hope that it will be completed for Railex. It had its first comprehensive field trials near the end of the month on Allan Smith’s ex-GWR layout, which were very successful (with Allan’s help). I’m now in course of improving and simplifying the wiring, and I’m also considering a change of motor. More about that soon in Project Progress.

I did, however, take a little time out in the middle of the month to improve the trackwork on Kyle of Sutherland. My rolling stock has certainly benefitted, and stock that was previously troublesome is now running much better.

All of this has given me more confidence for Railex, which now seems very close.

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    The epic struggle to build a model railway exhibition layout at 4mm to the foot


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