Sunday, 24 May 2009

Railex 09

With the dust settled on my trip to Railex 2009 in Aylesbury, I have had time to reflect and take in the show. The journey started at Marylebone Station, which I have never been in, but past many times below on the Bakerloo line, with trip up the Chiltern Line to Princes Risborough. One change needed due to work being carried out on the line I believe and then a short hop to Aylesbury found me in time to hop on the refurbished Routemaster bus for the final leg to the stadium.

I have to say that the level and quality of the show was very high and being my first visit I was unsure of what to expect. Located in the stadium of Stoke Mandeville Hospital it was a roomy venue and not too many places of congestion. This may have been due to arriving after lunch and the main crowds having died down a bit.. I spent some time wandering around looking at the layouts and then headed round the traders. I rather foolishly or wisely, depending on how you look at it, didn't take any cash with me. This was probably a blessing as I have a mountain of things to be getting on with. For me the highlight was seeing Catcott Burtle and finally seeing it proved it was even better that the pictures. Truely a model of excellence and the subtle use of colour and effects go to make up a completely magical and almost real atmosphere. Anyway, here are some of my pics of the day.

Images of Catcott Burtle, Pempoul, Blea Moor, Bleachy Dock, Welton Down, Glendale.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Plans afoot

Here starts my plan and experiences in building my first etched kit, obviously this is going to be a long process and I have picked a simple loco (Tmf2_2) to start off with at least I think so though the engine and gearbox placement will have to be carefully thought out. I have started by using Adobe Illustrator to start creating the etch plans and am going to build up the etch layers so that individual components can be checked and refined. Once these plans are completed then tests can be carried out using 3D CAD to check space and tolerances. I am going to be trying out a couple of packages, but this is a little further down the road. So there is quite a steep learning curve for this and the ultimate goal is to produce a couple of kits for my own personal use and then to move on to some more stock, but I am not getting to carried away with this.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Small motors and DCC

Whilst looking around for decoders and upgrading my DCC kit I found these small motors on DCC Supplies website, and think they may coming in handy for future RhB projects. Although I had originally earmarked Faulhaber ones fot the Tracktor project. Am going to build a test bed for one of these to see the load capabilities and whether it would be suitable for loco duties. I am also going to try some the CT and Zimo decoders as have only used Lenz up to now to see how they perform. The compactness and size makes them ideal for my Swiss projects to as the are designed with Z and N Scales in mind.

I have finally narrowed down my DCC platform choices to the Digitrax DT400 and the ESU Ecos, and interestingly the new Ec0s is based on the Linux platform thus apparently allowing open source software developments. I am now on a quest to try out both systems before commiting real moolah..

Monday, 11 May 2009

TouchCab App

Found elsewhere on the web is a neat app TouchCab for iPhone/iPod touch for controlling the Ecos DCC command station. Looks a nice simple interface and has some nice features. You can even try for free before you buy! Unfortunately I don't have an Ecos system but really like this app and pondering if the likes of Digitrax and Lenz would ever bring out such an app!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Birthday pressies

Finally I have got hold of my birthday pressies and these books were part of that. I have for some time been looking for decent drawings with measurements of RhB stock both old and new. For some reason there seems to be very little information freely available, or maybe I am just not looking in the right places. So with these 2 books the plans for producing some TTm scale loco and stock moves every nearer. I am starting off on a small scale with one of the Shoma built Tmf 2/2 tracktor units as this is an easy box shape to replicate. Having spoken to my friend with considerable knowledge and practice in making and building kits, the suggestion is that the loco be made up of an etch brass/NS kit and the motor be mounted in the engine compartment of the kit. I am going to put together some drawings and then go from there. Having just got CS4 Illustrator and Photoshop to aid in the task of making the plans I can now make changes to plans much more easily and also all ething companies prefer drawings in digital format making it cheaper to provide the etches. But at least I have the reference material for loco and coach plans now. Also I plan to travel to Switzerland this year to experience the RhB for real! and get detailed prototype information for my self. So more to follow on this soon.

Monday, 4 May 2009

014 Possible plan

Whilst trawling through old CD's of backups form last year I came across a plan that I knocked up for a modular layout concept that never really got off the ground, but in the back of my mind I always liked the idea of of a forestry narrow gauge line. I kind of think that it would be a freelance setting based in the highlands of Scotland as that seems to be the most possible senarios. I realise that this would take a huge amount of trees to make and that might be restrictive time wise, but I guess once you get an idea in your head.. I think the challenge to this is also that the lines enter either side at the same heights but there would have to be some gradients in order to carry the line over it's self. There again if the lines entered at the rear then that would make the problem a whole lot easier. Some more plans and variations need to be worked on I think to get this how I want it.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

DCC choices

Ok for my final ramblings for today, I need to settle on a DCC platform. Having tried and brought both Lenz 100 Set and a Digitrax Zephyr amongst others, I am now looking to settle on one make. The two units I have selected are the Digitrax DT400 or the NCE Powercab.

I am thinking more about the Digitrax DT400 as I like there eco system and without going into great details.. but I have heard good things about the NCE, so I need to try it out before I make my final decision and then there is all the decoder testing to do.. And on that happy note..