Last Saturday, an old friend of mine and I held a small operation session at his place. 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!
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.
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.
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. …
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.
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.
After I finished the powerpack the next opportunity was seized to perform an extensive test run.
First the pack was connected to the charger and fully charged. To be on the safe side I placed the accu pack in a fireproof bowl and thanks to the fine weather I could move the whole setup into the garden. In case that a cell had been damaged, it would have spared me the troubles of toxic fumes in my workshop.
Test run under severe supervision.
All went well, so I could plug the powerpack into the existing R/C circuit. The results were stupefying: almost three hours of solid mileage with 40% capacity remaining. Now I’m convinced that I can get up to two hours of operations out of the powerpack without overtaxing it. Next step will be the assembly of the DelTang transmitter.
As I’ve already written in my post concerning the removal of my garden railway, I got hopelessly lost during the last years both from a financially and contentwise.
Today I’d like to explain to you the consequence I’ve drawn. In one word, it is:
It’s been more than one and a half years, since I last posted on the garden railway. In the meantime I decided to remove it. The reasons are simple: no time, no money, too many ambitions.
Garden railways are expensive on both accounts. Paul Race recently published a very good article on his wonderful website: Which Comes First, the Garden or the Train? One of his core arguments is:
Initially you should plan to spend over twice as much on track as you do on trains. And over twice as much on your garden and landscaping as you do on the trains and track put together.
I concur. Besides the financial aspect I didn’t (couldn’t?) take enough time to work on the railway. And so it came during spring that my wife mentioned the perpetual construction site, which really was no pretty sight to see.