Saturday, July 31, 2010

Home from holiday

The last week, the family spent a week in a house in Blean, near Canterbury. We where planning on going into London and Canterbury through the last week but dad hurt his back and couldn't drive, luckily there was a 'spine center' down the road. Anyway, luckily enough, mum could drive, so we did go around a bit. I managed to find a few fairly good model shops. There I bought some paint, scenic stuff and some copper bus bar.
The paints are;
Red – Passenger Locomotives
Dark Green – Passenger Locomotives
Yellow (Flat) – Ffestiniog P.W lining + Welsh Highland Tamper
RAF (Ocean) Gray – Ffestiniog P.W Locomotives and Stock
Metallic Brown – Goods Stock
Black (flat) – Goods Stock Detailing + Roofs
The layout is now steadily being converted to DCC, although I’m still unsure what to do with the points. Also in other news, I have accepted an invitation to two exhibitions, The Porthmadog Narrow Gauge show 2011 (which I attended last year) and also Warley in the NEC in 2012. Hopefully the layout will be fully operational and scenic will be nearing completion.
Unfortunately the planned visit to the Kew Bridge steam museum and Flair Rail in Burnham-on-Crouch didn’t happen because of dad’s back. Doesn’t matter, Mum and Dad has promised we can go on a weekend away somewhere (York Railway Museum?) because it was a (in their words) S**t holiday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quick Update

Last Friday the Dynamis DCC controller arrived, I had a quick look at it, and then I put it back in the box, because the chip hadn't arrived. Wednesday the TCS M4 decoder arrived and was installed in a Tomix n gauge chassis I used to test clearances etc (at the moment N Drive are moving premises and have a few back orders, so after phoning them up, they said that it will be sent ASAP, fair enough really)
I then had a play on the Harbor station extension board, DCC is cool! My plans are to just run the locomotives on DCC, other things such as points, signals, lights and accessories will be controlled the ‘ordinary’ way, all connecting up to a panel.
Also I’m in the stage of designing a website for my layout, updates etc will still be posted here, just info about the layout, stock and the prototype railway will be on it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

DCC system arrived!!

On friday, the Bachmann Dynamis system i ordered arrived, and today (saturday) after work (playing with Merddin Emrys) i started work on transforming my dc layout to DCC. I first began by making some 'pins' to atach to the track that drop down under the baseboard to a busbar that will run the length of the layout.

I soldered a few on in strategic positions along the new Harbor Station board. Now i only need to solder wires from these to the busbar and the power is sorted, only the points need converting now.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

DCC Controller

Just thought I’d write a quick update on the controls.
Earlier on, I bought a Bachmann E-Z Dynamis System for £99.97. It will do in its own now but sometime in the future an additional receiver will be purchased. Overall the system is (in my opinion) perfect for me. The only thing I don't like about it is that there is no knob to control the locomotives, which really isn't that big of a deal.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Prince Progress

Lately I've been concentrating on stock and locomotives because the layout is in pieces around the house. The latest edition is a N Drive 12mm wheelbase Steam chassis. From all the reviews I have read this chassis seems to be very good (like all the others from N Drive Productions).
The chassis that I have bought is just to get a feel of size and it's capabilities (also if it is easy or not to convert to DCC) It will live under Prince, and like the Ffestiniog Railway it will be the first steam locomotive to run (DCC) Hopefully if this chassis is a good one, a few will find their way on my layout, under locomotives like Double Fairlie, Garratt, Mallets and small 0-4-0s (possibly Blanche and Linda)

Here is a picture of the chassis, and after reading Langley's website, it says that the N Drive chassis fits their Prince kit, that originally was made for the Iberten Cuckoo and Fleishmann 0-4-0 chassis. N Drive's website is
Also my DCC plans have changed, I’ve decided not to go for the Digitrax Zephyr, too expensive, I’m considering the Bachmann EZ, Hornby Select or maybe the Roco Minimous. The Roco system looks very nice, but I can't find a place that sells them, can anyone suggest where I can find one? I’ve had no luck on eBay, and they only seem to sell the controller, and not the receiver etc that connects to the track.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Rolling Stock

I've also decided, (forgot to mention in last post), that i have made a rolling stock list. The picture below is the final plan. These are the sets i want to build up. The FR set 1 and 2 will have lights in them, controlled by a hidden DCC chip in the guard section of 124 and 100 (or hidden underneath).

I was also talking to a part owner of a hunslet. And the topic of discussion started at hunslets, then garrats and ended up at the question, what will a hunslet style garrat look like? So about a hour of tweeking a picture of a quarry hunslet came up with this, nicknamed ''Baynermart''

And after thinking about it, I love the idea. So, in the future a Chivers Finelines quarry Hunslet (about £16) will be ordered with two N drive productions 12mm w/b chassis (total cost without work will be about £110) but might need to save up some money first.


Recently I have been wondering how to control my layout, DCC or DC, and I’ve come to a conclusion, DCC. From reviews and a few helpful emails from DCC supplies I’ve decided to go for the Digitrax Zephyr system and soon will buy the handheld (possibly wireless) controller to plug into it.
As of the DCC chips, I’m still a bit unsure. A few of my locomotives will have two motors (only connected with the pickup wires) but they will only have one chip between them. Any suggestions on which chip to use? John De Frayssinet from County Gate uses the Digitrax DZ125 (can anyone comment on this chip?) for some of his locomotives that have two motors (A good example is his scratch built Kitson Mayer
Please can anyone that uses DCC control on their locomotives to comment, especially if you have a locomotive that has two motors controlled by one chip!
In other news we are still clearing out the garage, so the layout will hopefully be in by the end of the summer holidays. Also I’ve got a job at Boston Lodge over the summer (which will pay for a few DCC bits) and in September I will be a Apprentice (but not with Alan Sugar). :D
P.S, sorry for the lack of pictures. I know it looks a bit boring. But I promise as soon as the layout is set up, a album will be made and a link posted here.