Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths
Model Melbourne trams

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Some more distractions

What can I say, I'll do anything than tackle outstanding work on the work bench. The annual leave/household maintenance has come and gone, then closely followed by the Easter school holiday, these scenarios are the thief of modelling time. 

While there is not any pressing issues that require attention on the layout, the rollingstock (anyone remember 821?) are trundled from one end to the other to keep the rails clean and the mechanisms moving. 

When it comes to recent achievements, I have finished the distraction that is the per way loco, introducing SEC 1. 

Nothing like a bit of imagineering. 

The other side project features an aspect of interior design with a tramway theme. Framed genuine W class tram route numbers. 

 82 (Footscray to Moonee Ponds) and 
57 (West Maribyrnong to City via North Melbourne) 

These take pride of place at the top of the stairs leading to the study/man cave with full approval of the bride.

I did manage to tidy up the study.  

From under the wires at the clean work bench looking at 821 on blocks. 


Monday, 13 March 2017

I'm too easily distracted.

I'm currently on a spot of annual leave from work, so along with the responsibilities of the school run, I have been reliably informed of tasks around the house the require attention, this tends to stifle creativity on and around Victoria Street.

The shell of 821 still resides on blocks at the moment with the chassis hiding in the in the back of the shed, as there is no real hurry to introduce another W class to the roster.

However I have phaffed about with other (non Melbourne) distractions.

Like fitting this powered bogie from a Bachmann San Francisco cable car to this little open platform tram. (Still DC at the moment)

This one of the many static models courtesy of the Atlas release that have inundated the European market and are eagerly motorised by the model tramway community.

We need a bigger tram

Another side project is this obscure steeple cab shunter which was made by Lima. While this does not have any relevance in MMTB operations in history, this will become a per way loco that will be part of the tram depot/museum that is Westside.

A drop in ride height along with new paint, decals and some trolley poles.

A while ago I obtained two Bluerail decoders that operate on the Bluetooth frequency from an app on your smartphone or tablet. One was installed in SW6 870 and after a few teething issues (dirty wheels/track) operates quite well, the spare unit has been fitted into a translucent zippy box with a socket and four LEDs as an ad hock DC controller.

Trying to make it look tidy.

Also it plugs into the 'standard' D.C. Controller socket on Victoria Street.

The red led shows power in, the green led highlights track power going out, and the lower blue LEDs indicate direction. Both the red and green LEDs are fed by rectifying diodes regardless of the power or the polarity. The translucent lid allows the status green led on the Bluerail board to be observed.

This now allows me to operate wirelessly all my DC rollingstock* that I haven't or won't convert to DCC. 

* only one at a time!

Looking and doing everything else under the wires except finishing off 821.

Regards Glenn.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

A short update.

Not much to report, 821 is still up on blocks in the workshop (the workbench), then 800 decided to have an episode, so a quick trip to the Go-Box combined with some harsh reeducation and all is well.

One thing I did do is have a fidgit with the smartphone, I shot some video and then to proceeded to phaff about with an editing app to deliver this rather slick/sloppy clip, so sit back and waste about ninety seconds of your life.

From under the wires, behind the smartphone all going well.

Regards Glenn

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Rolling along

I cannot believe it's nearly four and half years ago that the empire expanded to five W class trams*, yet to have all in service at once has not yet really been achieved.

The family portrait from then.

A lot of decoders and exhibitions have trundled by, along with the extension to the running lines and an inclusion of a depot. After a summer break that did not engage the usual serious intervention*, the consideration once again looks to rollingstock.

The static W5 812 was roughly fitted with a rolling DC chassis at the time but was left like a wallflower on the shelf as the other W's were retro fitted with DCC and lights. This W5 812 was earmarked to be re-imagined as W5 795, but with a little research W5 821 was the only canvas two door W5 painted in the then new corporate green and gold of the metropolitan transit authority, this now saves me a paint job. It was also unsuccessfully fitted with trolley retrievers to the apron, another little detail to differentiate it from the rest. here is my work in progress.

Work in progress

The chassis (Bachmann Mech) with the NCE 13SRJ decoder fitted under the drop center.

W5 821 going for a trundle down Collins St in the City .

The decoder was appropriated from my SW6 870 (since fitted with Blu-rail chip) which also runs the retro fitted Bachmann mechanism that 821 operates.

As with most things, the more you adapt things, the more you learn to simplify the process. The time to prepare the LED sub assemblies with the correct wire colour, planning where to run the fibre optics for the marker lights and developing a simple method of connecting the lighting options to the decoder, all make it enjoyable.

LEDs at the ready.

Plug and play.
(Reworked 8 pin IC socket)

This foray into rollingstock is due to the fact that I believe that I have finished* the layout, as the only outstanding work required was to clad the last bay of the depot roof with corrugated iron, this has now been completed.

The depot is complete.

"We need a bigger shed"

From under the wires with the smell of hot solder.


*As if a layout is ever finished!