Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths
Model Melbourne trams

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Little details

With the three trams fitted with DCC running exceptionally well, the thought of lighting comes to mind.
For some reason W5 812 is running a NCE D15SR decoder that has six function light outputs, (two extra outputs) I considered this not only a waste, but also a challenge.

So I lit up the multiple head/tail light assembly on the apron on each end of the tram.

812 indicating the turn from Victoria St into Epsom Rd.

Multiple head/tail light assemblies started making an appearance in the early 70's as part of a road safety push, the same time wearing seat belts became compulsory and driving after downing twenty beers in the pub also became frowned upon.

The layout of the lights on the trams is simple enough, three lights either side of the main head lamp, fitted to a fibre glass profile. The initial sequence from top to bottom was clear (front running), red (tail lamp) and clear again. Later when the Z,A and B classes were introduced, turn indicators and brake lights then became the norm, the W classes (which were being phased out except for the city circle line, #35 and #30 and #78/79) were retro fitted with turn indicators and brake lights within the existing light profile. The sequence from top to bottom is now clear (front running), amber (turn/hazard) and red (tail/brake).

It is the later profile that allowed me to use all the light functions of the decoder.

The LEDs that light the Multiple head/tail light are in the tram body and the light is transmitted through fibre optic threads to the apron, the LEDs and fire optic thread are attached using heatshink sleeving, the beauty of heatshink/fibre optic thread is that space is saved, and it allows easy connect/disconnect when untangling the inside of the tram.

 Some of the madness within.

964 with the original painted marker lights, 812 with hazard lights
on ready to negotiate the crossover.

The other end of 812.

Also, not to be outdone, 812 also has interior lights and cab lighting that also run off the decoder.
While not exactly true to the timeline of Victoria Street, The other trams with marker lights will run the original layout.

Yes, even my wife thinks that I am nuts.

From under the wires

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Dylan goes electric.

A bit like the post title, Victoria Street has crossed over, it now has added DCC!

I have finally accepted that for Victoria Street to improve operationally, it had free itself of the shackles of cumbersome (and extensive) block wiring.  While I could run scenarios to a fast clock, it lent itself to a repetitive rhythm of flicking switches and throttling a dubious DC controller and keeping an eye out for the section breaks in the trackwork.

So with a little birthday money and a little bit of online research, I have settled on the NCE powercab.

The new toy for the boy.

The first three candidates SW6 964, SW5 812 (both RTR versions) and X1 460.

"It's alive, mah ha ha ha ha!'
SW6 964 now fitted with DCC decoder (note light functions leads are shrinked wrapped until 
all that motor CV caper is figured out.....)

So with now these three trams running prototypical Melbourne like on Victoria Street, (nothing for ages, then three run Indian file trying not to rear-end each other). 

The decoder list now will have to blow out to suit another 4 W class cars, 3 other non standard MMTB trams(a U, an X, & Y class) , plus 2 blow ins from the bush (Ballarat 28 & Bendigo 29), not to mention my other exotics from Japan, Germany and the U.S.; therefore I will be up for a small fortune in decoders.$$$$$$.

Above all, I love the slow speed handling, and operational scope of this 'dark art'. (What the f*@& was I thinking with bog standard DC?)  

From under the wires, amongst the decoders and burnt by solder.


Saturday, 6 October 2012

Chinese whispers.

As part of the illumination and interior detail project, LEDs were retro fitted into the buildings at the Railway Station Module of Victoria Street, and as I do (quite often) then take photos of them and then post them to my Flickr account.
Well you could image my surprise, (and to my wife, much amusement) when a group on Flickr called Chinese Restaurant Worldwide Documentation Project invited this photo of the early evening in Victoria Street.
for a closer look
This group collect photos of Chinese restaurants that are not in China/Taiwan that sort of culture clash/mash themselves in their adopted environment.
The questions I ask myself is "Do they realise that this only a model?" and then "Who am I to question someones interest into something I think is somewhat obscure, for I do model and photograph trams" 
The world is a broad church, and things like this only adds to the rich texture of life.
From under the wires