7mm Birmingham Moor Street

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Focalplane, 9 April 2019.

  1. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    A week has gone by. Well, I needed a break, the sun was shining (most of the time) and I have spent some time doing more mundane track wiring. Also, I cannot attack the point control until I received some back ordered point levers from Gaugemaster. So, nothing much going on in the railway room. It has been rather hectic until now so perhaps a break is a good thing. I have only one deadline (pardon the pun) so it's up to me how much gets done.

    As to the Stand Up Paddle, I watched some videos last evening and now understand what I was doing wrong. Today the storms arrived so no chance to stand up yet! Besides, I quite like kneeling, I have less chance to fall in!
  2. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    At last, Gaugemaster have the Cobalt S levers in stock and I had to call them today to pay (otherwise they would have assumed I no longer want what I ordered over month ago!) and they will now be shipped. This has been one of the reasons for not progressing the wiring of the 20 points on the layout.

    A second reason is one of those things that can become political. Using Amazon, which I do because of Prime membership, I find a product I need but only on amazon.co.uk. I place the order to be told that the particular item cannot be shipped to France (and the product is not liquid). And I thought we still belonged to the EU until informed otherwise? One of these items are the "press to make" switches for the traversers. I am hoping that two outlets will be able to help when I go to Montpellier on Thursday, again assuming they will be open for business.

    I know eBay exists, by the way, but my experience so far has not been good enough to be called trustworthy.

    OK, grouse over. Exiting news is on the horizon, plenty enough to keep my mojo up and running.
  3. simond

    simond Western Thunderer


    Just a thought, you could use centre-off non-latching lever switches, in place of the buttons, if they’re available. This sort of thing:


    I guess it depends what you want your panel to look like.

  4. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Have you tried ordering from Conrad.de Suchergebnisse

    Main webpage is Conrad | Electronics & Technology online - Your partner for innovative solutions! and you can also switch languages.

    They are the German equivalent of ex-Maplin but far superior. They ship globally except to USA and it's territories, Canada, China, Russia, Iran and Kosovo.

    They have a store in Frankreich albeit in the North.
    Last edited: 11 June 2019
  5. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Good call, Dave.

    I’ve used Conrad in the past. No issues.

  6. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Hi Simon

    I have a few of those in case I can’t get what I really want! Tomorrow will be the day of reckoning.
  7. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

  8. michl080

    michl080 Western Thunderer

    Morning, Conrad ist a good choice, but you need to know that the company behind has more than one Shopfront. Conrad ist the most expensive one, www.voelkner.de the cheapest. Same company shipping from same stock, but different prices.
    cmax, 3 LINK, simond and 2 others like this.
  9. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    I have to say that from here the various Conrad web sites take ages to load and then one of them says they don't ship to France and I should use getgoods.com! But having a new source will always be an advantage when you live in the sticks!
    Last edited: 13 June 2019
  10. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    I was in Montpellier too early this morning to buy the electronic parts I need, but was able to stop in Bessan on the way home just as FB Systems was opening for business. So I got 6 "pressions" or push-to-make single pole switches, three red and three black. Perhaps I can now start assembling and testing the first of three Arduino module for the traversers.

    I also bought a Track Painter pen in Rusty Rail colour.
    simond likes this.
  11. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Good luck!

    The board I used in the videos got modified several times since, however, I must have had a visit from the Captain, as I killed pin A6 on my spare Nano yesterday evening. (You’ll recall that the i2c pins [A4 & A5]on the original Nano had died in the big oops in February). :(

    Happily, the rest of the Arduinos work, though, so they’ll be used in other places, I guess. Time to make a new stepper driver board - well, two actually, as I need one at work too. New Nanos on order.

    I guess the moral is check every connection twice before inserting the chip.

    Ho hum

    (I normally associate “pression” with “1664”...)
    Pencarrow likes this.
  12. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Me too!
  13. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    In the not so distant future I will hopefully have two Castles running past (and occasionally into) Moor Street. Generally, the idea is that they will pull an express from Snow Hill to Paddington, pulling away from Snow Hill Tunnel South Portal and on to the Bordesley Viaduct. The complete train will be stored in the third loop under the city centre.

    The question has always been where I might obtain a suitable rake of coaches. Well, I found them recently and they were delivered today. Having no suitable Western loco to pull them I brought in another 7P ten wheeler from Bushbury Shed, complete with Midlander head board. Obviously the hybrid train must have come about by some mishap on the LM Region and no suitable loco was available from Stafford Road. Knowing the rivalry between the two sheds that sounds most unlikely but then this is my world.

    The coaches are all Bachmann Brassworks Mark 1s and have never been used in earnest. This is highly likely as the scale couplers need to be eased and lubricated. Otherwise they run perfectly when being pulled. The corridor connections lack some sort of flexible concertina connection and I will see if the Sidelines design will fit, perhaps with some trimming down. I may eventually adopt MagClic couplers (the ones with a swing down magnet) but no decision needs to be made at the moment; they allow easy pushing back with no risk of couplers uncoupling or buffer lock. I have taken some video clips which, when uploaded, will be added to the thread.

    IMG_0637 copy.jpg

    Needless to say, other work has come to a temporary stop.
  14. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Slow internet today, so no movie of the hybrid "Midlander", but here is a photo:

    Rob Pulham, 3 LINK, Lightman and 7 others like this.
  15. Compton castle

    Compton castle Western Thunderer

    Looks just like the Devonian
  16. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Yes, so it does! One of the nice things about modelling Brum is that you can mix and match. I could just about justify a B1 on a fish train from Immingham, for example, and certainly add a West Country - Battle of Britain light pacific on a football semi-final day at Villa Park. Push the era forward to the end of steam and Saltley took over (heaven forbid) so a real free for all can be entertained with Clun Castle on Banbury good trains, etc.

    But in truth, it's just nice to be able to see my favourites moving around the railway room!
    Compton castle, 3 LINK and Pencarrow like this.
  17. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Can't remember if I already asked, but what is your sharpest radius?
  18. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Good morning, Larry. The tightest curve on the main lines is 1.8 metres which is 6 ft. The two coach sidings are somewhat tighter in order to fit them in. Lee Marsh locos are designed for 6 ft but he admits they can run on slightly tighter curves. However the Jubilee didn’t like the curve that included the Peco curved point which was one other reason why I ripped Penmaenpool up and started again.

  19. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    I have always admired Andrew Pearce's movies from his S & D Bath Green Park layout and this morning decided to open up iMovie and edit two clips plus some "titles". The completed 2 minute movie was then uploaded to vimeo.com (I prefer their quality to the "more popular on line app"). And here it is.

    Needless to say I forgot to open the cylinder cocks before starting and the hooter is a bit repetitive, but hopefully you get the idea. If I decide to get serious with monthly movies (like Andrew) then I am going to need a new computer as mine is around 8 years old and still works for the usual chores. But it is a bit slow running iMovie.

    Incidentally, the last run on the movie was at 80 out of 126 steps on the DCC controller. The straight track on which the train was filmed represents the area from the South Portal of Snow Hill Tunnel onto the Bordesley Viaduct. There was a speed restriction in both directions for several reasons - the approach to Snow Hill, the severe gradient crossing the "Birmingham Fault", the proximity of the Moor Street Junction and the divergence of the 2 tunnel tracks into 2 Main and 2 Relief tracks beyond the Moor Street signal box. (The Relief Tracks will not be modelled due to space restrictions).
  20. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    While uploading the movie (previous post) I did do some more work on the first traverser. The mechanical hook up seems to be working now with a fairly rigid connection. I am using a metric thread which screws in to one of the four nuts on the linear drive carriage, locked with a second nut on top of the carriage. This then passes through a hole in the traverser (the first hole interfered with the undercarriage but both will be covered by plasticard "steel" plates). This is a reasonably tight fit and if all goes well I will bond another metric nut underneath the traverser table. At the moment the traverser can be lifted off easily though its weight keeps it in place.



    The view from underneath tells a better story. The screw thread passes through one slot. the other will be to carry wires from the centre track so that locomotives can move (an interlock may be introduced down the road):


    The next job will be to fit and connect the micro switch end stops. I plan to use a simple cam to adjust the switch position so that the Arduino knows when to stop at the right place.