Saturday 25 April 2009

SWING-ing in Bognor

No, I've not been out on the town ... but I did get a last minute oppotunity to go to the St Wilfreds Industrial and Narrow Gauge (SWING according to the organisers!) show in Bognor today, albeit with 2-year-old in tow so I didn't get decent pictures of every layout, but I published the better ones here:

I think this is a new show, and it could be said that the hall was a little crowded, it was a bit tricky to move around the layouts, and there wasn't much trade support. However there was a great selection of layouts - 12 in total, focusing on narrow gauge and industrial railways in a good range of scales - not a dud one amongst them. Most are rarely seen locally too, though 2 were from my local 009 group and I had seen 3 or 4 elsewhere, 2 of then at EXPO-NG which I think is a testament to the general qality of layouts. Well worth the trip!

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Another new arrival!

OK, so it isn't anywhere as significant as the last post, but a small parcel arrived in the post today (along with various parcels of little pink dresses etc.) containing the Paul Windle Hunslet loco I ordered at EXPONG back in October (actually it arrived earlier than expected, Paul had suggested May). And what a super little loco it is, with a rather elegant outline. Here's a photo of it pulling it's first passenger train out of Awngate. 

Paul suggests that some ballast would improve running, so I shall have to fit some lead, but it does seem to run smoothly. Also, like several of my loco's, a crew wouldn't go amis! However Paul has even fitted the microtrains couplers already, so it is literally "ready-to-run", just as well given my available modelling time at the moment!

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Monday 20 April 2009

A New Arrival!

Lucy Ann
19th April 2009
Weight 10lb and 15oz - that's almost 5kg!
Mother and Baby doing fine. Dad is well chuffed!
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Sunday 12 April 2009

Increasing My Magnetism

At the Haywards Heath show I picked up some magnets sold for uncoupling Greenwich couplers. These are of the "rare-earth" (neodymium-iron-boron, I believe) super-strong magnets, similar to those I bought a few months ago but bigger, this time about 5mm diameter by 2.5mm. The idea was to improve the uncoupling magnets on Awngate. As the Microtrains couplings need a magnetic field accross the track it was clear that the magnets would need to be used in pairs, so I set up a piece of track on the workbench and armed with lots of blue-tack and a couple of wagons, started experimenting with them in different positions.

Now these are STRONG magnets, if placed just under the track the wagons shot toward the magnets and up-ended on to their couplers, which stuck to the magnets! Yet spaced apart and well under the track they didn't seem strong enough, what is probably needed is a block of steel between a pair of magnets. Then I thought, well rather that replace the magnets I had already placed under the tracks, why not just increase their magnetism? So I put a pair of the new magnets onto each pair of cupboard-catch magnets, as shown in the photo below. Well, actually I only had enough to do 5 of the 8 magnets, but some worked OK anyway.

The result is surprisingly effective, the magnets are certaily strong enough now - even through the ballast, but not so strong to up-end the wagons! (they can roll toward a magnet if left very close). I wouldn't say all uncoupling problems have been solved - I still need to check all couplings are mounted correctly and well lubricated with graphite - but if things don't uncouple, it's not the fault of the magnets.

(Note: the three magnets to the right have the additional Greenwich magnets added to them, seen as small silver discs)

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