Sunday, May 22, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing.....

Raymond has been spending up overseas again. Monday 9 May another parcel arrived from the United States.

This contained several more laser-cut kits from Raggs to Riches. This time he purchased the Ouray Depot (station); Durango Depot; Durango Coaling Tower and a Maine Two Footers, Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes, Sanders Water Tank. Raymond has become a regular purchaser of Raggs kits and each time he receives a purchase he also receives an encouraging note from Joe Fuss, the owner of Raggs to Riches

Durango Coaling Tower by Raggs to Riches
Durango Station - Raggs to Riches Ouray Station - Raggs to Riches
Sanders Water Tank - Raggs to Riches

I thought we had left enough space to locate the Ouray Depot between the wall and the track through the station area. We now have an On30 NMRA clearance template. It turns out we did not leave enough space as the platform is 11 inches wide. We looked at the Raggs catalogue and find their Placerville kit has a 9 inch wide platform which should be just right. Joe at Raggs to Riches will think Raymond is a prolific modeller when we eventually order the Placerville kit. He has already made a comment in his notes to Raymond along those lines. The trouble is Raymond hasn’t even started any yet.

I have the plans for a Queensland Railways 2-road carriage shed with a round roof which I hope to scratch built for the two carriage sidings at our first station. We are certainly going to have a variety of buildings as well as locomotives and rolling stock.

Raymond also now has on order a fine scale modelling magazine from SPV in the UK, a set of four D&RGW green Jackson & Sharp coaches by AHM and a Limited Edition On30 D&RGW 6000 Series Flat Car fitted with a D&RGW Ford Pick-up truck by the San Juan Car Co. These two latter purchases are from his regular supplier in the UK – EDM Models in York. Raymond corresponds regularly by e-mail with EDM.

Today (Sunday 22 May) I went down to Bunnings at Browns Plains and purchased another tool trolley similar to the one we purchased some time ago. The first trolley is being used for our woodworking tools and screws for the baseboard construction. We found that this trolley is very helpful in being able to be located near to where we are working and, provided the tools etc are placed back on the trolley when finished with (so that they can easily be found again), it has proved very useful. Now that we have been wiring the layout we have found we are accumulating tools and bits and pieces on the top of the baseboard. These tools get in the way and “get lost” when you move them from one part of the baseboard to another as well as incurring the possibility of damaging the trackwork or rolling stock. Raymond has been using a couple of the Namco plastic stackable chairs we have to hold the soldering iron and other tools. This latest trolley is intended to be used for the spools of wire purchased for wiring the layout, the soldering iron as well as the other tools and parts (fishplates, dog spikes etc) needed for track laying and wiring as well as the scenery supplies, glues and other paraphernalia for making our scenery. We intend to start the scenicing of this first station before moving on to building the next section of baseboard and layout.

Some of the tool clutter on the layout.
The carpentry trolley for baseboard construction. All the tools and sundry parts are ready to hand

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Much Progress.....

I finished last time saying that we had laid another three points for the layout in the few days following the Narrow Gauge Convention.

But the following weekend was the Labour Day long weekend – time for the annual Australian Model Railway Association’s Miniature Train Show at the RNA Showgrounds. This was the thirty-fourth year of this exhibition.

Raymond and I acted on security duties over the three days. This did not give me much time to admire the layouts or take photographs even though I had my camera with me each day.

Raymond and I now had the week following the Miniature Train Show off as holidays as my youngest daughter was getting married on the Friday. Tuesday, was a day of rest after having been on our feet pretty much from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm each of the previous three days. However, Wednesday we spent wiring and laying the track in the freight yard section of our first station and yard.
Looking along the yard from the front to the back. The two points on the left have still to be wired and installed and then the two middle tracks extended.

Another view of the yard.

Thursday morning was spent mowing the grass, getting haircuts, and buying shoes for the forthcoming wedding. Thursday afternoon was spent running two additional bus wires along the length of the layout and then attaching the dropper wires from the track to the Bus Wires using IDP (Suitcase) Connectors. We also installed the Cobalt point motors to the three points we had installed the previous week.
Who said the wiring for DCC is simpler than DC? A view of the Cobalt motors and Suitcase Connectors

An NCE Switch8 points’ decoder unit previously ordered from Austral Modelcraft was available at their stand at the Miniature Train Show.
The NCE Switch8 installed

The wedding went off very well and my daughter looked stunning. My speech, as Father of the Bride was well received and got a lot of laughs.

Saturday, 7 May was a bit of a washout as Raymond had to go to his grandparents house to help clean it up ready for sale.

Sunday 8 May we continued work on the layout with Raymond installing the NCE Switch8 and wiring the three latest points we had installed. The eight points at the yard throat are now all wired through the Switch8 with nine points wired up altogether. We ran trains through all the yard sidings to test the points and the track. Everything was perfect which pleased me a great deal and I think Raymond even more.
Another view of the wiring under the layout

With the nine points under power, a set of lighted Bachmann Jackson & Sharp coaches and several locos on the track it was only drawing 0.3 amp. A lot different to the other decoders we had tried.
K-37 No.499 tests out the pointwork.

We have a further two points to install at the left-hand end of the yard and one set of points in the Carriage Sidings. We are looking forward to next weekend when we hope to complete this work.

We are now thinking scenery for this first yard and I am planning out the purchase of timber, steel brackets and supports for the next section of the layout, which will be across the back wall and then along the right-hand side of the shed.