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01 Porter pulling 101 Stake Wagon.

Winter Operation Session 2020

Last Saturday, an old friend of mine and I held a small operation session. The weather was fabulous, we had high temperatures for february, around 14°C and lots of sunshine.

It’s been a huge success: multiple trains running simultaneously, shunting, test drives, lots of talk on lots of topics. But most important: a train-load of fun!

Triangles glued, body painted.

Shunting Dice for Operating Sessions

The operation session which a good friend of mine and I are planning is approaching. It’s going to be a premiere in more than one aspect: we haven’t done joint operations for a long time; it’s also been a long time since we did some shunting; and we’re going to try and let children participate.

So the question stands: How can we combine interesting operations with as few rules as possible and as little preparations as possible? Enter *drumroll* the shunting dice.

Loaded and secured.

Timber Cargo for Stake Waggon

In preparation for the next driving session at a friend’s of mine, I focused on Stake Waggon #101. (By default, which other waggons do I possess right now?)

The little darling is supposed to serve as a coupling adapter (knuckle coupling at the front, LGB’s “bottle opener” at the rear). So that it can excel in the task, the waggon needs some additional weight, which I provided by means of a timber load. And in order to keep the latter in place, some fastening had to be added.

Threaded rods are screwed into the wood.

Porter and Tender: Coupling-Maintenance

My faithful Porter had some work to do during this winter, for which it was transported to different places: Into the garden, at my parents-in-law’s, even at work. Of course, these transports always entail boxing and unboxing into transport crates, which lead to considerable wear regarding the coupling between loco and tender on the one hand, and the conductor’s platform at the tender’s rear end on the other hand. Thus, we’re going to focus today on ever-occuring maintenance and possible improvements.

Joyrider: Undercarriage

With the fuselage finished it’s time to focus on the undercarriage. I’ve got two major objectives concerning my model: I want to have the capability to take off from smooth runways and I need a suspended undercarriage in order to dampen jolts during landings.

That’s quite an order on such a small model. Since I don’t want to put tundra wheels on a biplane, I probably won’t even be able to take off from mowed grass runways, but tarmacs should do. As a principle I don’t want to omit the undercarriage because on the one hand it offers some protection to the propeller and on the other hand it’s just part of a prototypical look. In fact I only know of one biplane with retractable gear, that being the Polikarpov I-153 “Chaika”.

Deltang Tx22 Completion

Wiring the ground first.

After assembling the transmitter, I proceeded with soldering the parts. This turned out to be a fiddly affair, which kept me from taking pictures. In return, there’s a video of the final testing! 🙂

Overall one can say that the manufacturer’s documentation works very well. Once you’ve found your way around the diagrams and schemas, the assembly is easily done in a few hours’ worth of time.

It is really helpful to plan the wiring in levels or layers. At the bottom, I placed the ground connectors. There I connected the potentionmeters, the main switch, its LED and the bind switch. The two function switches remain untouched for the moment because after soldering they will partly block access to the potentiometer.

Joyrider: Nose

After framing the fuselage, the nose had to be tackled. This was the first time my skills got stretched to their limits and I had to rebuild repeatedly.

The main challenge was the quite accentuated curve that I expected the stringers to follow. I did manage to bend them accordingly on the fuselage’s halves while they were fixed to the construction board and the fixtures seemed to be stable. However, while trying to join the two halves I overtaxed the wood glue.

DelTang Tx22 Assembly

As I have already mentioned in my post on powering my porter loco with Li-Ion accus, I’d like to experiment with the DelTang system. There’s a lot of positive feedback from other model railroaders and all my requirements seem to be met – with further room for improvements.

Unfortunately, with the upcoming Brexit the demand for DelTang components has skyrocketed at the moment (meaining autumn 2019). I was lucky to get my hands on one Tx22 transmitter and two Rx65c receivers. It will suffice for the moment, but I will need further components, especially spares.