Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths
Model Melbourne trams

Sunday 17 June 2012

Lights, Camera and even more distractions

Here is the video I was trying to create, using the small cab mounted video camera and the family camcorder, together with Windows Movie Maker.

The video features W5 800 travelling from the railway station to the racecourse and back again, the in cab footage was shot from Y 469.  Other trams include SW6 870, SW5 812 and SW6 964.

So sit back and enjoy three minutes that you may never get back again.

From under the wires, Glenn

Sunday 10 June 2012

Service Improvments

The W class fleet has recently been expanded, after acquiring two, 'motorised' Cooee Collectable trams courtesy of a 'scatch and dent' sale, both cars were deemed inoperable therefore offered at nil reserve on ebay.

SW5 812 & SW6 964

After delivery the faults were as follows, 812's bogies were separated from the body, and after 10 minutes of refitting them, ran like a treat. 964 looked intact on initial inspection, but on removal of the shell, signs of 'well intended tinkering' proved that the wires had been disconnected from the motor, a quick heat of the soldering iron, and 5 minutes later, another success

I have always been interested in these RTR models, but bauked at the full retail price ($220+ AU) per unit. So I bought the static version of these models and motorised them with the cheep and cheerful mechanisms from Bachmann Brill Trolleys. This allowed to create the myriad of variations that exist within the class range from W5 though to W7, with center doors, weather blinds, multiple marker lights, saloon window configurations and paint schemes.

Here is the How to video...

The pair of SW5 812s, The RTR version at the rear with the wrong door,incorrect windows
and the 'filled with brown' to the window sill line. The Bachmann powered
unit highlighting the clear drop center section of the tram.

The pair of SW6s, with the similar issues as the SW5s.

 The inner workings of the RTR version.

The inner workings of the Bachmann powered version which
allows the drop centre section to be filled with punters.
W5 800

The RTR trams weigh in at 265grams (9.3oz) compared with the light weight Bachmann units of 187grams (6.5oz), also the RTR are fitted with directional and saloon lighting as bright as burning magnesium that would render any travelling punter as blind as a welder's dog, this will addressed in time. The RTR trams also negotiate both the crossing square and the bend on Victoria Street with ease.

W5 795 at Bylands

As for the future of the new cars, RTR 812 will become W5 795, and its mechanism will be swapped with my Restaurant Tram 939 ( as it has no window glass in the lower door), as for RTR 964 the doors out 812 will be installed and austerity retro painted and decaled with MMTB monograms and non pc (cigarette) advertising.

The roll call
W5 800, SW6 964, SW6 870, my SW5 812 & RTR SW5 812.

From under the wires, Glenn.

Sunday 3 June 2012

Lights, camera and distractions

Sometimes we wish to view our layouts from a different angle, and then curiosity gets the better of us.

    -What if.........I could get a cab view.?
    -How could I fit a video camera ?

Well for a bit of fun I obtained a small digital video camera from an electronics retailer, and for $50, (I have dropped more on a Saturday afternoon at Flemington races and have ended up with a lot to less to show for it.) therefore I would give it a go.

So this is Part 1 of the process.

The camera specifications are:
   - 640 x 480 res at 30 frames per second (not HD)
   - 4 GB flash memory
   - USB interface/recharge
   - 82mm long , 22mm diameter
   - 30 gram weight

The crude proof of concept prototype.
parked outside the Railway Hotel looking a lot like a North Korean missile launcher.
(camera mounted on Bachmann Brill chassis with Blu tack, real classy)

Which showed some promise, as long there was enough natural light, as it failed to provide a decent picture in the evening run.

 Then I thought it needs to run in a actual model, enter Part 2 of this caper, the candidate.

As my MMTB Y class (Y 469) is actually built form a reworked Bachmann Brill trolley and chassis, that the Y class were the only MMTB cars built to the Peter Witt style meant there were no bulkheads between the cabs and the saloon, unlike my stable of W class cars.

The shell of MMTB Y469 with camera mounted and in the process of being 
charged by the USB lead from the computer. (note the window glass has been removed to facilitate
the access to the camera control buttons.)

Y 469 giving to railway station crossover the big eye.
(The leading trolley pole has been removed to utilize the hole to mount the camera
with a M4 screw and nut.)

Now for the fun part, the camera works like a treat stuck on a bogie with Blu tack, but fails to to offer a decent picture when mounted in the Y class. Go figure!
The promising unedited video complete with flaws, stalls and the big hand.
(note to self, clean wheels before running a tram that has not run in 12 months)

More to come, from under the wires,  Glenn