Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths
Model Melbourne trams

Thursday 27 December 2012

Settlement Day - The aftermarth.

Settlement Day,(1) a term used by bookmakers in the racing caper, on that occasion all balances were settled between each other, then the true account of the race day could be recorded, usually one or two days after the meeting.(2) a term used by me to describe the eventual outcome of Christmas Day, 'outlay versus return'.

The running of a blog spot is not only for my amusement and to share my efforts with like minded souls, it is also a great insight into your wishes, aims and outcomes that your significant other can mine for gift ideas, as I found out.

Armed with a smart phone, the bride with two kids in tow, secretly hit a premium model railway store in a Melbourne seaside suburb with a cunning plan.(however that the two kids under four managed not to either spill their guts or tear the shop apart, is the biggest mystery)

So instead of making do with the usual Christmas takings of card, plastic box top and other potential materials like, the tokenistic flashing LED Christmas crap found in some Christmas crackers(only marginally better than the paper hat and the bad joke). The family delivered a couple decoders (*6 light function!), some cars and other bits and pieces, in the end a great result.

So what is the future for these 6 light function decoders.......Here are a couple of ideas, trams with indicators....

even better now that I have plans.
and an early Z class.
(note the classic 70's colour!)
So, now I have a few projects that need attention this year, which will drag Victoria Street into the fashionable 70's.
From under the wires,

Friday 14 December 2012

That time of the year again...

A bit more than a week out from Christmas, and how much of the past year has flown by. As part of the online tradition, here is this years Christmas Card.

Above all enjoy the season, tolerate your family and try not to spoil the kids. (Who know, Santa may slide a few more decoders into the stocking), so therefore keep safe, try not to eat anything bigger than your head and hangovers still do hurt.

From under the wires

Wednesday 5 December 2012

The Pancake Parlor

As the DCC transformation of Victoria Street continues forward, the conversion of my fleet of W class trams powered by the cheap and cheerful Bachmann Brill trolley mechanisms has offered me some few and interesting moments. As these trams are powered by the rather retro 'pancake' motor as opposed to the more 'recent' can motor, there are a few things that need to be sorted out.

The power pick ups of the Bachmann Brill trolley assembly need to be isolated from the brush assembly for this DCC concept to gain traction, as the pancake motor is fed by contact prongs that touch either of the two halves of the motor bogie. (This unreliable method of electrical transfer has led to many a premature 'death' of a Bachmann Brill trolley).

My method of fitting DCC to these dinosaurs is to disassemble the pancake, remove/isolate the prongs and direct solder the orange/grey wires to the brush assembly, and connect the red/black wires in parallel to either side of the motor bogie and to the non driven bogie. It ain't pretty, but it works.

With the DCC conversion of the two Cooee Collectable RTR W class (964 & 812), the installation and programing of the decoders was easy, being can motors and smooth running at low speed; however the Bachmann Mechs (800 & 870) are completely different. Not only is the wiring unique, but all the phaffing around required when sorting through the CVs, for they can need a good kick in the arse to get going, then need a subtle touch on the throttle to stop them racing off at breakneck speed.

The other issue with installing decoders in the Bachmann Mech W class is the amount of real estate these units take up inside of the saloon, even more so when installing the lighting options as well. The W5 800 with its open three door drop centre section, per side, full of punters, really set the mind thinking of how to install a decoder, offer directional lighting and saloon lighting, all with one end of the car taken up by a pancake motor bogie...... (in the end, I think I may have nailed it.)

W5 800 (Bachmann Mech with NCE D13SRJ Decoder)
The underside of W5 800
So that's what I have been up to lately.
From under (amongst) the wires.