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Tuesday 22 September 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 28

 This is amazing. Continuing my quest for simple electrics how about this for lighting 0 gauge buildings? Bought from Poundland for £1 is a solar LED light.

The lens simply unscrews leaving the can with integrated electronics, solar panel, power switch and a string of four LEDs. 

Here it is installed in McBoatys Marine Engineers building: The LED string can be bent to any position and the can fits into the apex of the building roof completely unseen from the outside. No modification required. The can is temporarily held in place by a cardboard wedge allowing its removal for battery recharging in natural light. The LEDs give off white light.

Each building has its own installation. The downside to all this is having to remove the kit for battery recharging and unable to turn the lights on and off from outside the building. This could be overcome by extending The LED string so that the can is held off-stage for a more user-friendly installation.




Simply placed on the ground

Hung from a hook on a purlin

Placed on the floor. One for each level.

Quay lamp posts are to be considered later.

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 27

 I needed to isolate a couple of sidings in order to hold a loco on the layout whilst another is driven (analogue control). Those to be isolated are the middle tracks at the bottom and top of the layout shown in the photo.

The idea is to isolate the power to the bottom siding where the Terrier loco is held whilst the Class 33 and its wagons are driven from the Branch Line to the top siding. Power to the top siding is then isolated and power turned on to the bottom siding so that the Terrier can pick up the wagons and shunt them to other areas of the Quay.

I did not install the power switching at the track laying stage. I waited until after the track was buried in tarmac. There was some logic to this because all track sections are independently wired to a bus bar underneath the layout and there are no fishplates joining the sections. In theory all I had to do was disconnect a siding rail wire from the bus bar and fit a switch between the bus bar and floating wire; this being done for each of the two sidings in question.

Where to locate switches took some head scratching. The thing is, the layout can be operated from either side. A fixed control panel therefore, would not be appropriate. A control panel would need to be hand held. Furthermore, the layout is spread across two portable baseboards. This would need cabling with plug and socket between boards and an umbilical cable to the hand held controller. I went as far as making brackets for D type connectors before thinking this was going to defeat the objective of keeping electrics simple.

My final solution was to fit two switches for each siding, one to each baseboard side. The switch on the side of the layout that is not currently operated from is held off and the one on the operating side controls power to its siding.

The next issue was the decorative quayside wall. I did not want this spoiled with a thumping big toggle or push button switch. I choose a miniature sliding switch as being the most unobtrusive and instead of screw fixing it to the wall I fabricated a holding panel that is glued behind. If I ever wanted to reuse the switch I guess I could break the panel glue bond to retrieve the switch.
Switch located in line with the siding it controls.
A second parallel wired switch is located
directly opposite in the other side panel.

So far so good. With switches in place I tackled the wiring. Disconnecting the first siding wire from the bus bar I tested that the track rail was now isolated. It wasn't. Clearly the rail was touching the live rail of the next track section! How the hell was I going to resolve that now the track was nicely buried in tarmac!

I had to carefully razor saw at the rail join to break the connection which also left a saw cut in the tarmac - to be repaired. Thankfully, the rail join in the second siding was already isolated, as intended.

To Part 28.

To Part 1.

OK, why worry about a switch showing with
a large hinge in view? Good point.
(BTW. This hinge is at the non-
decorative fiddle yard end.)

Tuesday 8 September 2020

East Anglia Transport Museum

I always try to visit a heritage railway when on holiday but where we were staying in south east Norfolk there was not one close by. We did find the East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Colville near Lowestoft

Famed for working trolley buses and trams they also have a narrow gauge railway. The diesel locomotives came from quarry or industrial workings and the passenger coaches were made at the museum.

We were very lucky that our holiday coincided with the first day of opening since lockdown (currently only open Sunday and Thursday afternoons). No need to book and pay in advance (unlike many other venues during the pandemic). Just turn up and hope they have not had to close the gate due to capacity being reached. I thought it would be crowded on the first day of opening but it was not and I don't think anyone was turned away. I was told the visitor numbers were typical for a Sunday when fine weather encourages people to visit nearby Lowestoft beach instead of the museum.

The museum occupies a small site with a large variety of vintage vehicles, mostly housed in reproductions of vintage garages. An adjacent field has been purchased to expand the museum to more than double its current size.

One vehicle that caught my attention was a Thornycroft J class lorry, many miles from its Basingstoke manufacturer base. These are very rare today, despite over 5000 being manufactured in the early years of the 20th Century. I understand the engine has been restored to working order and further bodywork restoration is in progress.

It caught my attention because I modelled the J class for our Thornycroft Sidings N gauge layout

A trolley bus built in the 1950s and a 1927 tram that once operated in Blackpool were offering rides during our visit. 

Another surprise for me was trolley bus number 696 (built in 1938) showing a Dartford destination, Dartford being my home town during my childhood years. I vaguely remember trolley buses in Dartford but buses I travelled on to go to school were of the modern kind.

This museum is well worth a visit and I would go again when in the area.

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