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Sunday, 1 May 2022

May Website Cover

 Distant view from Misterton main line of Station Cottage on Clark's Lane.

View the cover here.

Sunday, 24 April 2022

Why has my Hornby Class 700 motor failed so soon?

Bought new and after a relatively short period the engine would not run due to a failed motor. A new motor was purchased from Peter's Spares, who had a vast stock of them, possibly indicating a common fault.

So why did the original motor fail?

I needed to gain access to the inside of the motor can to find out. The four arrows in the photo show the cleaved flaps that were twisted away to allow rear panel removal. I used electrical cutters to hold the boss and lever off the panel from the can.






Attached to the rear panel are the armature contacts. The contacts are four extremely fine (thin) metal fingers. Some were deformed from both the feed and return and had moved away breaking electrical contact with the armature.

I carefully bent the fingers back to a position of likely contact and reassembled the rear panel.

Applied power and voila! the motor ran. I cannot recommend this as a fix as the fragility of the design will undoubtedly cause it to fail again.

As to the new motor installation I shall have to run the engine only for special occasions and hope this will extend its life.

Postscript

I wondered if I could strengthen the contacts. With a lot of fiddling I was able to push the electrical contacts out of the housing. I then lightly soldered a strip of thin phosphor bronze strip to cover the fingers and reassembled. This has provided more robust and worked perfectly well. I could not reinstate the cleaved flaps to hold the rear panel in place, which is no big problem as the motor is held in the engine such that the rear panel cannot come loose. So, now I have a spare motor in case the other one fails.



Sunday, 13 March 2022

BNHRMS Exhibition

After a two year hiatus, due to the pandemic, and with some excitement we visited the Basingstoke show once again. I was struck by how familiar everything was. Warring nations and pandemics lost from our minds with only the occasional face mask wearer reminding us of reality. 

This time we went in the afternoon to avoid excessive early morning crowds and lack of car parking. Afternoons are a much more civilised time to visit. 

The usual mix of high quality layouts and the same traders were on show. It seemed to me that there was, however, a subtle shift in layout presentations in so far as the intricate animations of cameo scenes that were becoming popular at the last few shows we visited - things like moving people and smoke effects were absent (unless I missed them). It was a return to traditional railway modelling. I did not even hear many sound effects.

Three of the 20 odd layouts appealed most to me were:

Brankstone (00 gauge) was inspirational because it made optimal use of only about 2 metres length. It is a two level scheme where the foreground contained a locomotive depot and the upper level a separate end to end run. The loco depot is accessed from a gap in the retaining wall of the upper level and beneath this level was the fiddle yard. The upper level is a single track with storage sidings at each end hidden by the buildings. The operational interest is mainly  limited to the movement of locomotives in the yard whereas the upper level provides an unexpected appearance of a train appearing between the buildings on its run from nowhere to nowhere.

I seemed to think I had seen Bodmin (N gauge) somewhere before. Indeed it featured in another of my show reviews for Andover 2018. I'll repeat what I said then:

"Bodmin (N gaugestruck a chord with me as I visited the prototype. I remembered walking along the platform, chatting to the signalman at his box about the T9 languishing in the shed a little further down the yard. Now with a helicopter viewpoint I see the entire station complex with all the recognisable structures but in miniature."


My best in show goes to Dillmouth (0 gauge). It captured perfectly the atmosphere of a country station aided by the best layout lighting I have ever seen. Halogen or LED?  miniature flood lights bathed the scene with the most natural bright summer sunlight.


Of the three items I wanted to purchase only one was found (solder). But, I did come away with a prize from the tombola (Metcalf stone sheets).

Also, said hi to Steve Flint, who was peddling his Peco publications. He remembered our layout that he voted best in show in 2014 and latter published in his magazine.



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