Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I would just like to express my thanks to those who find my blog of interest. I must say that I quite enjoyed posting in November as the blog and the projects each seemed to drive the output and interest along at a great pace. It couldn't keep up though and I did slow down.
I am taking the break and the first week of January off and hope to accomplish some more. I really should get back to the Cassilis branch terminus and psych myself up to build the last six points (I just checked and I made this promise to myself in a blog post in Christmas 2009 as well!).
I am sure something will eventuate but who knows what? I tend to have a thought about a technique or something interesting to build and away I go, not good at planning and sticking to it.
Anyway, I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season.

Ray

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Back again with another little project

After my previous months flurry of posts I ran out of steam however I was off again when I heard that the Model Railroad Craftsman had received the first QSI Titan sound decoders. Now, those that know me realise that I like to experiment and try new things so off to Blacktown and $135 later I had a Heavy Steam Titan in my hands.
Now, what to do with it? You would think that I would already have a plan after waiting for it to turn up for so long but no. The Titan comes in several versions with different sound sets that can be changed so the Heavy Steam version wasn't a problem as I had a QSI Programmer and the accompanying software and could change it if necessary.
After due consideration I opened the storage draw under the lower staging yard and decided on my NSWGR D57 class so the Heavy Steam sound set was fine after all.
There is a story about this particular model that I would like to tell.
In 1973 in the first year of Chris' and my marriage we were living in a flat at Cronulla and desperate to get a block of land I approached Neil Cram who I had built a NSWGR 25 class 2-6-0 locomotive for and worked out a deal. He assisted us with money for a deposit on our land at Helensburgh and I would  build him the equivalent in locomotives (no actual number was discussed we would work it out along the way). The first loco of the deal was a 57 class that Neil had some brass etchings made up for consisting of the tender, cab and smokebox. Along with the etchings was a 4-10-2 chassis from a brass loco to be used as the basis for the 57. Anyway after a lot of work on a small desk with a Unimat lathe that could be converted to a milling machine the 57 resulted.
About 6 years ago I was in Tom's Hobbies at West Ryde when I noticed something in the second hand display case that was very familiar. Along with it were several other locos I recognised and I guess Neil was cleaning up his collection, a lot of better model locos having been produced down the years. I couldn't afford them all so I bought the 57.
Now to the present, the Titan comes with two speakers as it has stereo output so that you can get sound from the appropriate areas of a loco. The two speakers being 28mm diameter were too large for what I wanted to do so I bought a 18mm and a 13mm speaker and enclosures. The idea was to put the 18mm one down the boiler as far as possible for the chuff and compressor then to put the 13mm one in the cab for whistle, generator, blower, injectors, etc. The QSI CV Manager software has sliders for each sound so that any sound can be directed to either speaker or balanced somewhere between. The speakers placement was accomplished relatively quickly but I had to put the Titan above the motor and sticking into the cab a bit, thanks goodness for the large boiler made from rolled brass (that was fun to make way back when). I couldn't put the decoder in the tender as I has soldered it all up, no way in and the floor was milled from a piece of brass.
Using the QSI Programmer and the accompanying CV Manager software I proceeded to choose from the available sounds to produce what I felt a 57 sounded like based on a DVD I have with 5711 chuffing away. The Titan has a number of different chuffs, many whistles including the Eureka 38, 60 and Austrains 35, different compressors and generators to choose from. The whole sound scheme can have the overall pitch adjusted (bass to treble range) and the chuff has another pitch adjustment as well. Of course with small speakers some of the bass is not really available. I would love to hear the Titan on some larger speakers. I was also able to nominate 6 chuffs per wheel revolution. There are many other adjustments available that I won't go into but do investigate. I should mention that it allows a 'User sound' to be loaded in and this sound can be looped if necessary, I am not sure what you can do with that though, perhaps a more suitable compressor as it is a simpler sound than a whistle for instance. A whistle could be done but it would always have the same length and couldn't be looped as a whistle has a start, a middle and an end that have to dealt with separately to extend the whistle sound.
Anyway, enough talk, here is another rough video of the 57 in action on Bylong.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A bit more on tarp colour

I had an idea tonight (dangerous I know) about how to colour the tarps. Basically I turned the tissue paper over and taped it to a scrap of cardboard then air brushed the back with Tamiya XF-57 Buff. One 'advantage' was that the tissue wrinkled so that might assist in making it look more like an old tarp.
I think that it might do for a start and as tarps end up all sorts of colours from black to browns to the off-white original then different base colours could be used.
The advantage of course is that the NSWGR stenciling and the locations of the tie down points are still clearly visible.


Some weathering of the tarp can be done later after it has been installed on a wagon.
Now, how can I make the attachment of the ropes less boring and quicker?
Somehow I don't think that there is an answer to that one.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tarping an S Wagon - Not a One Hour Project

As a result of Colin Hussey leaving a comment on my last post with the size of a NSWGR tarpaulin (24' x 16') I decided to have a go at tarping a S wagon. A search led me to the following three photos from the Weston Langford collection. Note the brand new tarp on the S wagon and the stencilling of NSWGR with 4 characters, the last two being 44. You can also see the end of a tarped K wagon in the lower left corner which only has the NSWGR so I don't know what the other 4 characters were for.




With the clean tarp picture I was able to estimate where the tie down points were on a tarp and as Colin pointed out in his follow up comments there are some about 4' in from the edge as well as around the perimeter. I drew up a tarp to HO and made a PDF file with three tarps (click on the link to download the PDF). I then then taped some white tissue paper to an A4 sheet of paper, crossed my fingers and printed three tarps on my laser printer. This worked well as can be seen in the following photo.


After cutting a tarp from the tissue paper I used a pin in a pin vise to put small holes at the black dots printed on the tarp. I then threaded some EZ Line through the holes and put a small drop of ACC (Super Glue) on the underside to hold the 'rope'. Twenty ropes later I was ready to give it all up!!!


I then used a number 76 drill and drilled through the sides of the S wagon to the underneath of the floor .


A piece of balsa wood was glued to the floor of the S wagon to replicate the load under the brand new tarp in the Weston Langford photo. The balsa was rounded slightly on the top edge.


I missed a photo here, but the next step was to thread the 'ropes' on one side of the tarp through the bottom holes in the wagon until it was shorter than needed (so it could be stretched later) and glued it to the underside of the floor. I used accelerator for all glueing and I can't emphasise enough how this speeds construction. It is tricky to get two ropes through the same hole but it can be done, the second rope coming from the higher up tie downs. I continued slipping the ropes through the holes, pulling them tight then glueing them to the floor and folding the tarp around the ends of the wagon. This is hard to explain so if you give it a go you will have to work out the best way to do this. I think that each wagon type will have a different challenge.


Once the ropes were all attached with the tarp folded around the S wagon I carefully coated the tissue with watered down PVA and allowed it to harden.


The last step was to carefully paint the tarp without painting over the NSWGR stencils. I used a light grey and followed it with powdered pastel colours. I am not too happy about the result but it is the first time I have tried to replicate the colour of a tarp.


If you look carefully at the top view of the S wagon you will just see the NSWGR stencils.


ADDENDUM TO PREVIOUS POST

It appears that I am in trouble with the detail police as James McInerney sent an email saying that I had the timber in the wagons pointing the wrong way for the direction of travel (see the video in the last post). It seems that the single central stack should be pointed towards the locomotive to lessen the chance that either of the two outer stacks would strike something, makes sense to me, thanks James.

Here is a photo from Colin Hussey showing timber carried this way.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tracking of K and S 4 wheel wagons with cantilevered timber loads

As a result of the my success recorded in my blog post of 13/11/2011 I managed to do two S wagons with the cantilevered loads and another K wagon with a load enclosed within its sides.
The timber castings for the loads came from two different sources to the load in the earlier post namely, In Front Models and some polyurethane timber stacks I found in a plain plastic bag a few years ago (in Toms Hobbies I think).

The end result is that I now have three cantilevered loads each with different timber stacks in one K wagon and two S wagons plus the normal load in the other K wagon.

Of course the next step was to see if the timber stacks extending out of the ends of the wagons would interfere with each other on curves. I placed the wagon with the wide central load projection next to a S wagon without timber then the others were coupled so that each central stack went between the two outer stacks on the next wagon.

Here is a video showing that there was no interference on my 762mm (30") curves.


The next obvious step is to tie down the tractors in the following S wagons. I will have to paint them and then tie and brace them as shown in an AMRM article by Graeme Brown some years ago (AMRM Issue 229 August 2001). I am sure that the VR way of tying down a tractor in a 4 wheel wagon would be much the same as it was done on the NSWGR.

I also want to try my hand at tarping a few wagons using the EZ Line to stretch the tarps 'tight' but I have loaned my Day of the Goods Train book which has the dimensions of the tarps in it to another modeller. I think a phone call might be in order soon.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Another Small Project

While going through that box of bits last week that resulted in the timber K wagon load, I also found a Bergs Hobbies CV wagon kit that I was given many years ago by my cousin Garry Waugh. Garry is no longer with us and may be remembered by some who have been in the hobby for many years.

I hadn't used the CV as I have several Protype CVs on BYLONG which are superb models, the masters being made by Michael McCormac, the well known modeller who has just released his NSWGR 'dogbox' kits.

Now, Wollar loco depot has a short radial track from the turntable that is very close to the edge of the layout with a 1420mm drop to the concrete floor, not a good situation. This track is to be used by the Cassilis branch railmotor so the answer was to build a shed for storage of parts and light running repairs. Down the decades the NSWGR had used old wagons stripped of their undergear and placed on supports for this and other purposes, a SRC was used at Sutherland  for the CPH railmotors and trailers that were used on the Sutherland to Helensburgh services.

I won't go into the details of construction as they will be self evident from the photo but will say that the wagon doesn't have to be supported by rail and a retained embankment or even stacked old sleepers could do the job.

I have to find more bits and pieces to detail the shed and surrounds along with some nice black oil spillage soaking into the ground, then I really should start (and finish) the Stephen Johnson 400 Class Railmotor kit I have had since the 1980's. Now how did a 400 Class sound and what sound decoder will I need?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A One Hour Project

Last evening I came across a Sydney Hobbies timber load for a K wagon while searching through my 'treasure chest' of detail parts for another project. I didn't have any luck with what I was looking for so decided it was about time to do something with the wagon load kit as I had bought it a few years ago.

I thought I would document this as a blog post as I tried something that I had not done before and thought that it might be of use to others.


I placed the three stacks of timber into an Austrains K wagon which was laying on its side, two stacks one way and the third one in the centre the other way as shown in the photo accompanying the kit, applying a drop of ACC (Super Glue) at the cross point between the stacks.

I then slipped a piece of timber (supplied strip polystyrene) vertically either side of the stacks as shown in the photo aligning them with the hinges of the K wagon doors glueing them to the stacks but not the K wagon body.

At this point I removed the stacks from the K wagon and proceeded to paint the timbers.

I used Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow for the fresh sawn timber and Tamiya XF-57 Buff for the vertical scrap pieces of timber that are tied in place to hold the stacks. I feel that the Desert Yellow does a great job of giving that fresh cut timber look while the Buff gives a slightly weathered colour as could be expected for the scrap bracing timbers.

While the paint was drying I removed the K wagon chassis and drilled No. 78 holes in the tie down rings low down the side of the K wagon (see photo of finished model).

After the paint had dried I placed the load back into the K wagon and proceeded to use copper coloured Berkshire Junction Model Railroad Supplies EZ-Line (from The Model Railroad Craftsman at Blacktown NSW) to tie down the load as per the supplied photo.


I chose the copper colour for two reasons, one is that the line comes in black, copper and green and we don't usually see black or green rope at least not in 1965 and the second reason was simple, I had the copper line already.

The trick is to ACC glue one end of the line to the inside of the K wagon body after passing the line through the hole in the ring. After this it is simple to stretch the line up and around the various timbers glueing occasionally as you go. I use a piece of tissue paper to blot up any excess ACC glue straight away and the use of an ACC glue accelerator solution really assists this work to move at a fast pace (I got my Flashtac Accelerator from Tom's Hobbies).

Where the rope is tied around the ends of the stacks I started by glueing the line end on the bottom of the stack end then wrapping it around as required. I left a few short ends of line hanging loose to indicate knots.
I didn't attempt to tie knots as the stretchy line is interesting to tie knots with, not impossible just interesting. I also couldn't work out how to model the knots on the rings, maybe someone else can work that one out.

So the new technique was the use of the EZ-Line for tying down loads, nice and thin, more or less the right colour and it looks tight as it should.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Making an Exhaust Chuff Cam

In my last post I mentioned that I would explain how I make exhaust chuff cams for my locomotives so here is a technique that anyone can do.
1. Place the loco upside down in a cradle.
2. Connect power to the loco and clean the rear of the rim of the most likely candidate driving wheel, this is usually the rear wheel on the left, looking towards the front and with the loco upside down.
3. Apply power to the loco while it is upside down in a cradle and bring the side rod crank of the wheel uppermost (where it would normally contact the rail).
4. Make two marks on the rear of the rim wheel three spokes apart (the crank is usually aligned with a spoke) with a very fine marker (0.5mm line width).
5. Move the wheel to the next quarter position by counting the wheel spokes and make the next three spoke set of marks and follow through with the last two sets.
6. Using a sharpened toothpick carefully apply ACC glue (Super Glue) between the three spoke marks at each quarter location and allow to set for a couple of days.
7. Mount a piece of printed circuit board (PCB) to the under side of the chassis either with a suitably located chassis screw or with glue, if glueing the PCB, clean any oil from the chassis thoroughly.
8. Solder the cam wire from the sound decoder to the printed circuit board.
9. If using a chassis screw to mount the PCB ensure that the copper of the PCB where the wire is soldered on  is not in contact with the screw head or chassis by removing copper between the screw and the decoder cam wire.
10. Solder a piece of phosphor bronze wire or strip to the PCB near the decoder cam wire such that one end bears against the rear of the rim of the wheel with the ACC insulated segments. I used Slaters 0.12mm (0.006") phosphor bronze strip on the Austrains C36 but I have also used phosphor bronze wire.
11. With power applied to the loco rub the point of a 8B graphite (lead) pencil to the rear of the rim, this smooths the tracking of the wire/strip.
12. Place the loco on the programming track or main and set the sound decoder to use the cam, this is easily achieved using JMRI Decoder Pro.
14. Adjust the strip/wire to lightly touch the rim until a good clean chuffing sound results.

Here are some photos showing the C36 installation.





If you have followed the above you should now have a loco that chuffs four times for each wheel revolution.
If you have a slightly uneven beat then one or more of the ACC glue segments is a different length but this is not an issue a locos may have a slightly different beat with one chuff being slightly longer/louder than the others. Of course if the chuff sound is really out of balance then you will have to scrap the ACC glue off and redo it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Missing in action but back again...

Things have been quiet on the blog for the past month as I have been off work looking after my wife Chris as she had a hip joint replacement, makes you suddenly feel old. She had been having increasing leg pain over the previous year and we put it down to sciatica as she has a bad back. Eventually we got her to see about it and after the usual weeks waiting to see the specialist he went through the roof and scheduled her for the operation on 6 October. Now that obviously didn't happen as he rang us two days after that first visit to ask if she could be in hospital the next day, it was that bad.
All is well now, she can manage quite well and I returned to work today but she won't be back to work for another month or two.
Although I was the apprentice chief cook and bottle washer I soon got things under control and managed to get into the garage now and again. My previous GSV sheep van chassis post  was done during one of these moments.
What have I been up to since?
Well, I have been playing with Decoder Pro and the Soundtraxx Tsunamis in my steam locos trying to extract more of the good stuff from them. I now have several locos that will chuff heavily as they move away and then the chuff will almost disappear as they start to cruise along. Also if they come to a grade they will start to chuff heavily again as the Tsunami senses the load coming on. Similarly if the chuff will drop away as they drift down a grade. All very satisfying and I want to point out that when the chuff drops to a drift and increases again I am not changing the throttle unless of course I was starting or stopping.
Here is a quick and rough video of the effects.
I had been trying to achieve this effect for some time and finally worked it out.
First up you need to put some momentum into the loco and as I use the NCE ProCab I used 6 in the 0 - 9 range accessible from the momentum button. I should also mention that the NCE command station can be set up to have half the momentum acceleration setting when decelerating or a one to one relationship, I use the one to one so acceleration and deceleration settings are the same if using the ProCab momentum button. Note that the use of the momentum button on the cab will overwrite any CV 3 and CV 4 momentum settings in the locomotive but I use the button to try to replicate the load that is behind the locomotive, I use a low setting of 2 or 3 for just the locomotive when running 'light'.
The difference this time around is that one of the BEMF CVs has to be set to 0, this is CV 212 which is the Motor Control Intensity CV on the Advanced tab, then CV 188 on the DDE tab (Dynamic Digital Exhaust) has to be adjusted until you get the right responses, this might come down to adjusting CV188 by as little as only one or two once you are in the 'ballpark' area.
It seems that CV 212 turns off BEMF to the motor as the response returns to being like a no BEMF loco but some sort of sensing of the motor load is going on so maybe it is only half turned off, who knows?
It really comes down to adjust CV188, test and listen, then do it again and again until you zero in on the right value. I found that around 60 was a good starting point.
Other DDE sound CVs also need to be adjusted and there is no easy way to explain this, just try it out.
Here is a link to my Decoder Pro file for my Austrains C36 set up for auto chuffing.
The down side of the auto chuff is that without the BEMF it doesn't keep in time too well and I installed a can chuff arrangement which is much more realistic.
And here is a link for the same C36 set up for a cam operated chuff (perhaps a subject for another blog).
It appears that as each model loco is a bit different that you may have to play with the CVs for your own Austrains C36 but have a go you might like it.
If you don't like it then just use Decoder Pro to reinstate your own settings (assuming the you saved them in Decoder Pro first.
Other locos I have done by copying and modifying the C36 file are 2 Trainorama C32s, and 2 brass D50s so it will be interesting watching at the next Bylong operating session when the boys start to run them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A not so new GSV sheep van

I recently noticed that Casula Hobbies had released four axle packs of 10.5mm disc wheels in 23.8, 25.0 and 26.0mm axle lengths which gave me an idea. Spoked 26mm axles are also available and I heard a whisper that spoked 23.8mm axles may be available in the future which would be great for this project and others.
Some years ago I purchased a number of Austrains S trucks so that I could use their removable chassis on my Protype four wheel wagons. In my usual fashion I converted a CV van and stopped there.
Now though I had an idea and bought some 23.8mm axles from Casula Hobbies.
My idea was to try them out under a Camco NSWGR GSV sheep van as the original chassis was made very wide to suit the axle lengths available when first produced.
Now the S truck chassis is wider of course but as it is removable I used a motor tool with a wide (approx. 1mm) stone cutting disc to cut it down its long length through the centre of the chassis. I also filed the edges of the steel weight to fit within the new narrrow chassis.
The two longitudinal ridges on the underside of the GSV floor that represent the inner chassis members of the GSV were clipped off with small transistor side cutters and then filed flat to the rear of the coupler mounts, the mounts were left as is.
The 23.8mm axles were held in place between the S truck chassis pieces and marks were made on the under side of the GSV floor in the four holes at each corner of the S truck chassis.  I attached the S truck chassis to the floor using a small self tapping screw through each of the four holes at each corner of the chassis. The rest of the van was assembled as per the instructions and painted dark grey.
After painting I applied some clear gloss to the number boards and chassis areas where the van numbers were to go. I found that the decals needed a coat of Microscale Liquid Decal Film, a clear liquid that gives an extra coating to hold old or suspect decals together.
I fitted Kadee scale head whisker couplings and followed this with some pastel dry colour weathering and here is the result compared to a GSV built as supplied.
Yes, I know, I will fix the brake handle now that the GSV looks so good.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Amazing what you find on the net

While cruising the net this evening I stumbled across these two videos on YouTube.

Video 1      Video 2

Although I have driven through the Bylong area about 15 years ago and have some video I didn't notice the reddish colour of some of the soil so I will have to add a little here and there to correct this on the layout.

I also note the large number of small trees and bushes close to the track, I might add a few more to the layout but since 1965 was in drought I think that most of my scenery will be fine, although my backscenes are too green apparently (not that I knew about the drought when I painted them).

That's about it for the moment.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Austrains FS/BS Rolling and Weight Problems Solved

Rolling
I have been working on my Austrains FS and BS carriages to reduce their weight and to improve their rolling capability.
The following is a simple and quick method to achieve this.
Begin by disassembling the coach, a little bit of leverage on the bottom edge of the body will release it from the retaining clips. Remove the two screws that hold the lighting board on then do the same with the three very small screws that attach the interior partitions to the chassis.
At this stage you will see two long steel weights that also act as part of the pick up circuit for the lighting.
Unsolder the two fine wires, you will need a hot soldering iron or alternatively snip them at the solder joint with the steel.


Next cut four small pieces of shim brass (clean and polished) about 25mm long and wide enough to sit in the floor groove (see photo below).
Super glue the shims over the holes where the small pickup springs come through the floor, you will need some weights to hold the shim against the floor while it sets.
Solder some wire between the two brass shims on each side. I used straight brass wire that I made by stretching some picture hanging wire between a vice and a pair of pliers. Finally solder on the wires from the switch.


I took the opportunity while the coach was apart to paint the interior a mid-brown wood colour with maroon seats for the FS and dark green seats for the BS.
Reassemble the coach.
Now to improve the rolling, turn the coach upside down and using a small jewellers screwdriver lever the inner brake shoe casting up and out from the two retaining clips.
Chamfer the inner rear edge of each brake shoe (closest to the wheel flange) as it appears that this is where the brakes are touching the flange and where the resulting squeaking comes from.


Clip the castings back into the bogie and you are ready to see it roll.
The casting can be tricky to get back into the retaining clips and the small screwdriver can assist in pushing it gently until it clips into place. It has a tendency to want to lay over but perservere and you will get the trick of it.

Weight
The coach originally weighed 155 grams but now only weighs 105 grams.
Now as it comes the mass of this coach is to the HO NMRA Recommended Practice RP-20.1 which is 1 ounce of weight plus another half ounce for each real 1 inch in model length.
The FS and BS are 9 inches long so that is 5 1/2 ounces which is 155 grams, spot on.
However, as we have found, this is too heavy for our HO NSWGR steam locomotives even without the built in braking.
I use wagon and coach mass formulas that are the result of experiments carried out with Terry Flynn back in the 1980's on my BYLONG layout with 4 wheel wagons at the front of very long trains on 1 in 40 falling and climbing grades.
The formulas were developed to try to get realistic train lengths with model NSWGR steam locomotives as the NMRA weighting formula does not work for our small steamers and also doesn't work for 4 wheel wagons and is overall, too heavy .
For passenger coaches I use a weighting formula of 1.8 grams per foot of body length +/- 10% so the FS and BS just pass the minimum mass of 105 grams, a little more mass could be added with some HO scale passengers.
I also use a goods wagon weighting formula that is 2 grams per foot of body length +/- 10%.
Terry has similar formulas on his web site here (just close the pop up windows that are a part of his free web site).
As trains on my BYLONG layout are banked from the rear over much of the mainline length on grades of 1 in 40, I feel that this is a formula that works.
One proviso - Get as much weight as you can into 4 wheel wagons as an empty wagon can be a challenge to even get to the minimum of my range let alone the NMRA RP-20.1.

Operation
I tested these FS and BS coaches in a passenger train with an Austrains NSWGR C36 class and found that I could not get 1 Austrains FS, 1 Lima MBE, 1 Powerline FS and a Powerline MHO up my final ruling 1 in 40 grade. This grade start out as 1 in 40 but has a curve near the top which challenges the locos.
After the above modifications the C36 could pull the Lima MBE, Powerline FS, 2 Austrains FS, 1 Austrains BS and the Powerline MHO, quite a change.
I should note that the C36 had the front bogie spring removed and some sheet lead in the cab roof for both tests.

Here is an Excel spreadsheet that calculates the formulas for a range of existing passenger coaches and wagons.

I leave the above weighting formula for you to ponder on.

Monday, July 11, 2011

More Roundhouse Information

Well, "ask and ye shall receive", James Black has come to my/our rescue with two plans of this type of roundhouse and a series of photos of the Cowra loco shed taken in 2005 that show the lights between the last track and the side wall!
Thank you James, this information is very much appreciated and I am sure that there will be others out there who will be able to make great use of it.
Here are links to the two plans, click on the magnifying glass between the rotate icons to get a high resolution plan and then right click and click on Save Picture As to save to your own PC.
Plan 1
Plan 2
And here is the link to the photos of Cowra roundhouse in 2005.
Photos Untitled24 and Untitled25 show the side lights suspended from a beam that is between the wall truss and the next truss towards the track in the shed.
Another detail I notice is that the timbers aren't black as I would expect but more a dark reddish colour with an 'overspray' of black, just in time for my spraying.
Now James has caused me another problem! A couple of photos show the belt drive for lathes, etc. mounted on one end wall. I think I might draw the line now or I will never finish the shed (this wall will not be easily visible on the layout).
Thanks again James.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wollar Loco Shed - The next stage

While working on ideas for the lighting of the loco shed I had been pondering the construction of the smoke flues that sit above the end of the tracks to direct the smoke from the locos up and out of the shed.
I spent a few hours over the weekend building the smoke flues from Evergreen strip and scribed styrene.
The flues turned out to only be a small challenge and not as bad as I had been dreading.
Mounting them in the rafters was tricky however as the plan in Byways 7 shows the flues suspended between two trusses at around 6' apart but the kit rafters are 8' 6" apart. Without a full plan it is hard to know if the kit has the right number of rafters or if the Broken Hill shed in Byways 7 is simply a variation to the shed modelled in the kit.
Here are two views of the flues, one from the front and another through the rear windows.


Being white and close with a lot of other framing running in all directions they were difficult to get the camera to focus on but I think you get the idea.
I needed to do the flues before the suspended lights as the lights will be very prone to damage and if bent will probably short out the LEDs due to conductive silver paint method I will use as per my previous post for the street lamp.
As can be seen from both photos I have yet to extend the tracks in the shed, I will probably leave this until the shed is finished as I also have to work out a plug and socket method of getting power to the shed LED lighting as the shed will be removable.
The kit as supplied has the floor and track bed built as a solid part of the shed which is good for track alignment with the turntable but it also means that a method has to be worked out if you want to get access into the shed. I think it would be best not to glue the floor to the walls which would make it very tricky when first starting to build the shed until the frame gets sufficiently cross braced to gain some strength. Tell me how I know this   ;-)
The next step will be to spray all the trusses, frames smoke flues, etc. prior to fixing the lights.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yes, I got distracted

Well, I ended the last post with a mention of the hanging lights in the pictures of Lithgow shed. Investigations revealed that these were standard of course however I have been unable to find photos of the lights between the side of the shed and the first track. The lights in the Lithgow shed photo are on a main truss between each track and they only show at Lithgow because at least one bay has been removed opening up the inside to daylight. If anyone has a photo showing the lights towards the side walls I would be interested in seeing it.
While researching the lights I started to work out how I was going to light these shades when they are suspended on a thin piece of electrical conduit.
As an experiment I have produced the following.
The first photo shows the new Wollar level crossing with a power pole and street light.

The second photo is a night scene.

How did I do it?
I used a surface mount 603 warm white LED with a Tichy lamp shade, some brass wire and some conductive silver paint to get the power to the LED.
It involves conductive silver paint from one contact on the LED out, up and over the shade to the wire conduit and then down the pole to a 1K Ohm resistor and power wire. The brass wire conduit is then coated with super glue and allowed to harden for a day after which the conductive silver paint is painted from the other LED contact out and up over the lamp shade, over the coated wire and down the other side of the pole to power wires under the pole. The power source is 12v DC.
Pretty cool!
I always was going to light the layout for night operation and this is my second light, the first being the Wollar loco depot yard light. I will slowly add lights around the layout. The more that you think about it the more places you realise that you needs lights for.
The loco shed will be next but I also have to make three smoke flues that aren't included in the kit. luckily there is a plan in the article on Broken Hill Loco Depot in Byways of Steam 7.
Here is a photo of a smoke flue I received from Alex Nadalini. The actual chimney part has been removed as this shed is being torn down (Orange I believe - Cowra actually, see comment below from James Black).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

An Interesting Challenge

Well, I didn't have much time last Saturday for a quick trip to the Epping Exhibition but managed to sneek in almost 2 hours between 11:00am and 1:00pm. I had a big weekend ahead of me with family flying in from Townsville for a BBQ on Saturday afternoon and into the evening and a christening on the Sunday. I really wanted to get there to pick up the latest Australian Journal of Railway Modelling, check out the Austrains 4 wheel oil tankers and Anton's OZ KIT 3 stall NSWGR roundhouse kit (and the layouts of course).

I thought that Geoff Knott's scenery clinic was sensational and teaching the kids and others how to do it was a great idea. Bowen Creek was back and what a great layout. I wanted to catch up with Andrew Campbell and Ian Millard but they didn't seem to be around each time I passed, sorry fellas, next time. There were a number of other interesting layouts as well but others have covered the exhibition well so I will leave it alone.

First AJRM was a delight, especially so when I found reference to my Bylong layout and this blog. I think Brad may have a rather inflated view of operations on Bylong. We do operate and I try to build in as many aspects of the NSWGR as I can without getting to the difficult bits. I think a balance needs to found between the 100% prototypically correct operations and enjoying yourself. Of course there will always be those who strive for the ultimate in any endeavour, me I'm an 80% plus man.

I checked out the Austrains 4 wheel tank cars but was disappointed to see that the Shell version was not available due to difficulties with obtaining permission from Shell. I was also concerned about the poor detail on the chassis, particularly the axle boxes. Now I know that these are the Austrains Basix range but it isn't any harder to get the axle box looking correct, the cost of the die doesn't change with extra detail. I have since found out that the tanker is about 86grams in weight which is way too much and would potentially have caused me problems when banking trains from the rear up the grades on Bylong. I can't afford to have the wagons jakknife and derail as at one point there is a 1200mm drop to a concrete floor for about 2400mm on a 100mm wide roadbed inside a tunnel. It could be difficult to reduce the mass as it will be inside the tank I guess and opening it up without damage could be problematical. When banking it is best that all wagons are of a similar mass in ratio to their length and I use the 2 grams/foot of body length formula which works well to give suitable prototypical train lengths for our model NSWGR steam locomotives. On this basis the wagon would be about 20 ft so 40 grams is the mass I would be after. It can be difficult to get this amount of weight into an open wagon like an S truck. I am currently doing a survey of models that are or have been available and will publish when I have it together.

I also checked out Anton's engine shed and decided that it should work nicely with the 75ft turntable of his that I have installed at Wollar. So $285 later I headed for home. I did take a few photos but will not post any as they just didn't work, exhibitions are not the place to take good photos.

Now, the challenge.

I opened the kit on Sunday night and spread out the parts, very impressive bit of casting in polyurethane. After a little while the penny dropped! This kit was made for the turntable alright but with the track arrangement as per the prototype which is 60 ft from the edge of the turntable pit to the front of the shed and my tracks were shorter due to a lack of space!

I pondered this for a couple of hours and came to the conclusion that I could extend the existing tracks about 50mm off the rear and could get the shed front 50ft from the pit. OK, so far so good, this kept the back walls the correct width (which would be impossile to change anyway) but the front post spacing would have to be thinner due to the closer placement. I worked out that I could thin down the openings between the front posts and still manage to make it look OK.

Monday morning came all rainy and wet so with nothing to do I sat down and started. The instructions need some work requiring a bit of careful interpretation and the supplied proof sheets of photos weren't much better as they were a bit muddy and needed to be bigger (maybe when Anton gets his web site working again he could make the photos available for downloading). After a careful read and study I began and followed the instructions as best I could keeping in mind that I was changing things. I couldn't use the floor pieces or the supplied inspection pits and these are used as a base to build off!

I carefully worked out the placement of the lower wall pieces on the layout and Super glued them together with a piece of balsa across the front opening. I now had a semi-rigid 'base' to work from.

I followed the instructions after this and everything proceeded very well. After about 10 hours work I had the frame as in this photo.

I managed to find a few photos of this shed style and the Lithgow shed photos below were a bonus as the end wall and some stalls had been removed and there are pictures of the inside (EDIT: The pictures are from Graham H's flickr site, I hope you don't mind Graham - Thanks Darren for the link). I also found some inside shots of the Cowra shed on the Intranet.



When I studied the Lithgow ones I saw the suspended lighting, now here is a challenge I thought. Needless to say the shed construction has paused while I work out the lighting, nothing would look better than to have the inside lit with the dropped lights as per the prototype. So this is where I am at in the build so far.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Arrival and Departures at Wollar

A comment by Ian Phemister on my last post about the Austrains FS and BS coaches and requesting a video of same led me to quickly do this video tonight.

Operationally we see 3390 bringing a Cassilis branch goods into the small Wollar exchange sidings as 5085 shunts the goods siding on the other side of the yard.
Shortly after 4908 on a passenger working pulls out of the Wollar main platform heading towards Gulgong.
On the way out of the yard 4908 passes the last limit of the town at the level crossing and then passes the flour mill before heading towards the 1 in 40 grade.
As you will notice on a relatively narrow two level layout taking a video without seeing the edge of the layout or the top of the backscene is a challenge, this is why I am working to raise the height of the backscenes to 600mm and yes, in my usual manner I have stalled.
It seems lately that the house requires a bit of maintenance so it is going to have to come first, I'm replacing a second downpipe tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Austrains FS and BS Arrive

There was an interesting package waiting for me when I got home from work tonight, yes they seem to be here although no announcement has been made as yet. I must be one of the lucky first mailings.
I have taken a few quick photos, not the best but I think they will show the detail, etc.
One thing to note is that if the lights flicker then the power pick up springs on the bogies (see pic below) might be squashed or bent. These springs are made from soft wire so care will be needed to re-shape them. I think they might be able to be replaced with Kadee knucle coupler jaw springs, I will have to check.
I like the actual light colour and lack of intensity, just as I remember. The real carriage lighting could be a challenge to read by.
The colour rendition of the interior walls in the photo is not correct.
It was also difficult to get a good night time shot.
The slight curvature of the carriages in the photos is not the model, just the photo.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Level Crossing and a Backyard

Lately there has been a bit of discussion on the Yahoo Aus Model Rail Newsgroup about interest in laser cut buildings which led to some talk of backyards so I present a backyard I have been working on.

The yard is question is at the back of a shop at a level crossing at the west end of Wollar yard.

I had been pondering on how to treat a 'drawbridge' section of my layout at the door into the garage for some time and had decided that I wanted a level crossing and some buildings. The buildings were to represent the other end of the Wollar township, the eastern end being near the locomotive depot and previously pictured with the dirt street and shops. The main part of the town being in the operating aisle in front of the Wollar yard.

Over my Christmas/January three week holiday I attacked it with some vigour and managed to almost complete six buildings on the 1160mm x 330mm area.
I have been wanting to document this new area on my blog for some time but wanted to surprise the Ramblers which I managed to do a couple of weeks ago.
I am quite happy with it but still have a few things to do like the level crossing gates, fences, signs for the Farmers Co-op and to complete the rural mechanics building, so here are a few pictures of the area.



Saturday, April 23, 2011

An Impromptu Operating Session

As our normal night at Werris Creek clashed with Ron (Eureka Models) going to Hobson's Bay exhibition I had the rest of the Ramblers over to Bylong for a bit of a run.

Not an operating session as such with timetable and all but I did set up the Up and Down Pickups and the Cassilis Branch Mixed.

Gary Laker had the Down Pickup, Marcus Amman had the Up Pickup and Bob Lynch had the Cassilis Mixed. Now of course in the way of things they all managed to end up in Wollar shunting at the same time!

Towards the end of the chaos I realised that I should have taken some video so I grabbed my camera. By this time Bob Lynch had completed shunting the Cassilis Mixed and had put 3390 to bed in Wollar loco depot after dropping the ash, re-coaling and watering.

I managed to get a shot of a through goods driven by Layne Hardie and Marcus left Wollar and proceeded to Bylong in the early part of the video. This left Gary with the Down Pickup alone in Wollar and the rest of the video shows 4908 shunting and then leaving Wollar.

Everyone else ran trains with the usual interesting meets occasionally, there being no dispatcher.

If you pay attention you will notice a new scene, more on this later.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just a little resistance

For decades (since the 1980's) I have been interested in the possibilities of some sort of computer based control of my trains. With the advent of DCC this has moved much closer in recent years.
My idea is to be able to drive a pickup goods while the computer sends trains along the main line from staging yard to staging yard. This of course is just for me to operate alone. Now, that is not to say that I want to always operate alone but it is more the challenge of doing it in the first place.
I am one of those people who like to try things out and am quite happy to build say one BWH wheat hopper but don't ask me to make the rest of the kits I have stashed away (thankyou Trainorama for rescuing me from that dilema).
A couple of weeks ago I found some SMD (Surface Mount Device) 5.1K ohm 1/8 watt resistors at the Model Railroad Craftsman at Blackown NSW. The brand was Ngineering and there were 20 for $2.50 in the pack. I bought the only two packs that Gary had and then the fun began.
What are the resistors for? They are used across wheels in a wagon to trigger a track detector (NCE BD20) so that a computer or other circuit can know that a train is in a block (or section).
Since Bylong is set in 1965 the wagon of choice is the guards van or passenger brake van, the locomotive is already capable of being detected due to the resistance of the motor, DCC dceoder or other circuitry.
If I was modelling the later no guards van period then I would have to consider adding a resistor to at least two axles on every wagon.
The idea is to connect the resistor between the two metal wheels on an axle. My first attempt at using the resistors involved coating the metal axle with super glue as the resistors have solderable contacts at each end but also on the top and bottom so insulation from the axle is the first priority.
Next the resistor is picked up with fine pointed tweezers and super glued to the now hardened glue. The last step is to use some solver conductive paint to make a connection from each metal wheel to each end of the resistor. I used a pointed toothpick to apply the paint and as can be seen from the picture below I ran the paint up the spokes to the rim to ensure good contact. I will of course spray paint the axles later.

Here is a photo of a Trainorama PHG with a couple of different ways to mount the resistors, on the left are the axles with the coating of super glue while on the right are two different size resistors mounted at an angle from the axle to the insulated bush on the other wheel, this is the easiest method but you need to watch out for the runny paint (see below). The small resistor comes from an alternate source but is extremely fiddly. The source was Altronics, an electronics supplier who had them in different sizes at 10 for 85c or $21 for a reel of 5000, I bought the reel figuring that some of the other Ramblers will want to do the same.
I checked each wheel set with a meter set to resistance. Easy enough? Not as simple as I found out. I kept ending up with short circuits as the silver paint ran around the resistor by capillary action and joined the other end (yes they are that small). Or, as I found out, the solvent in the silver paint was strong enough to eat into the super glue and get enough silver paint through to the axle. Now, the reason for this I think was that I was impatient and if the glue had been allowed to go off for say 24 hours then it probably would have been OK.
Why not use water based glue or paint so that this doesn't happen? Easy, water based glues and acrylic paints are of course going to be conductive until they are very dry, yes, I tried it also, same result, a short circuit.
Is it all too hard? No, I soon got the technique sorted and the success rate climbed but you can usually save the situation if it does happen by scraping away the silver paint and trying again.
I ran a series of tests on the layout while I was doing this, I tried one axle, no go, intermitent, two axles, yes if the wheels were spotless but intermittent even if not too dirty, so four axles which worked well.
The easiest axles to do were some Walthers Proto 2000 36" wheel sets that have plastic axles, dead simple.
Well, I have done 9 guards vans so far and have 18 guard vans and brake vans to do in total so I am going to have to get over my resistance to just completing one thing before moving on to something else (I still haven't finished the hand built points for the Cassilis branch terminus yard).
For those who are interested, I am using JMRI and Panel Pro on my computer which is interfaced with my NCE DCC system. I can see trains in the Bylong yard and on the main to either end and I also have a signal acting as a starter for the top staging yard that indicates if a train is in the block outside of the yard as it is about 24' long, that's all for the moment though.
Don't wait for the next installment it could be a while.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Main Western Line Video

A few weeks ago Chris and I visited John Brown, who is the builder extraordinaire of the Main Western Line layout that models the NSWGR Main Western from Tarana to Bathurst with the branch to Oberon.
I was invited up to take some pictures and video of this huge layout. I keep forgeting the exact dimensions but it is I think 70' x 33' in a room that is something like 80' x 45'. Apologies for the lack of metric dimensions but the old measure just seems to give a better idea of the size.
The layout is a U shape with two teardrops at each end of the U and the staging yard at the base.
I only managed to video two trains, one each way in the 4 hours that we were there.

Here is a short video of a western line goods passing through Locksley and then through the well known three arch road bridge.
Unfortunately, John was asked to build short backscenes so that the owner's wife could see out the large picture window at one end of the railway room (a hall really) and this makes shooting a video less than ideal. Still pictures can of course be edited to make the walls, windows, etc. disappear and while it is possible if the video camera doesn't move it is no where near as easy.
Chris and I drove via the road from Tarana that follows the railway which was very interesting, at one stage as we were leaving Tarana we crossed a bumpy bit of road with two cracks across the roadway and realised it was all that was left of the beginning of the Oberon branch, very sad.
The road is very narrow and I was glad that we didn't meet any cars coming the other way as I was too busy with one eye on the railway line.
At one stage we passed a large brick retaining wall that seemed strangely out of place at the time as the railway was out of site well above us.
We hope to visit again and with a bit of planning to get a better video view of the layout.

Monday, February 21, 2011

An Addition to the Roster?

On a recent Saturday morning I had to mind my 4 year old grandson and Chris suggested that I take him to Casula Hobbies for his first outing to a hobby shop.
OK I thought this could be fun.
We set off to Joe's shop at Liverpool with Cameron asking the odd question that showed he wasn't sure what the trip was about.
When we arrived, Joe in his usual friendly manner introduced himself to Cameron and I then introduced him to Therese, Laurie and Kerroby Bob. Well his eyes popped out as he made his way around the store, straight to the cars first; as he explained it to me a couple of months ago "You like trains and I like cars". Cameron is often with me in the train room and likes me to run the trains while he plays with the HO cars on the layout, I find them in all sorts of places later.
He then started asking a lot of questions about many of the things he saw in the shop as is the habit of 4 year olds.
At one stage Laurie showed him a chocolate and asked him what he wanted, his answer? "A train"!
Laurie was so stunned that he had to come and tell Joe and I about this 4 year old who turned down a chocolate for a train.
Well I was planning on buying him a small car for his collection and thought I might ask him if he would like a car later before we left.
I did and he took me to the Thomas range and pointed at James!
I thought OK but you need a carriage to go behind it, so I included a small 6 wheel green passenger car.
So now I present you with a video of Cameron having his first drive of his first locomotive. I should point out that this is the first time he has driven any train on Bylong or used an NCE Procab.
After about 10 minutes he was driving slowly with only a couple of promptings from me and stopping the train in the station and all, I was impressed at the concentration and care he took but then I am his grandad.
I should also let you know that James being in OO and not being an actual model of a real locomotive had a couple of clearance problems as it progressed around the layout. The cab roof hit a tunnel entrance which was removed (not yet glued in place) and then it hit the bottom of the secondary branch post on the bracket signal at the branch junction (it projects out over the track at the correct height). So it will be restricted in its running rights.
I had a look at it to see if I could lower the cab roof but it isn't really a candidate unfortunately.
I don't know if this interest will last but we will see.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A question about the 44 video

Iain S asked why the 44 seemed to jump away as it started to move in the first video of my last post.

The 44 is not mine and was one I had just finished installing the Tsunami decoder in and giving it a weathering job. I suspect the lurch was caused by paint on the wheels and then the power breaking through suddenly. I gave it a wheel spin in some CRC 2-26 later on when it stopped occasionally as it went around the layout which solved it. My44s do not have this issue.

Perhaps I should have redone the video after cleaning the wheels.

If you have a problem locomotive the Tsunami does allow adjustment of the BEMF CVs but this is best done using DecoderPro after you have saved the settings in your loco as the BEMF can get a bit confusing and needs to be adjusted carefully. Download the Tsunami technical documentation and manual, read it and well done if you can understand the BEMF instructions. A case of someone who knows what they are talking about not being able to come down to the level of most users when trying to explain things.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Now for a little noise and movement



4429 outside McCauleys Hide Merchants at BYLONG

I have been working for a while on trying to come up with a suitable set of parameters for DCC operation of diesels, to, as much as is possible within the constraints of the various decoder specific features and CVs, give us realistic operation.


I am reasonably close now and have decided to share my findings.

This video shows a Trainorama NSWGR 44 class (4429) fitted with a SoundTraxx Tsunami TSU-AT1000 Atlas form factor (board shape) Alco v12 251 sound decoder that has been adjusted to show the current state of my investigations. For those that are interested I retained the front Trainorama speaker but used an enclosure sold by Gary at the Model Railroad Craftsman at Blacktown NSW.

I use JMRI DecoderPro to adjust the CVs and have saved various set ups as templates to enable me to download them into a new diesel in seconds.

The NSWGR used to state the continuous tractive effort of each of their diesel classes the the maximum load and speed attained on a 1 in 40 grade.

Here is the data for the main NSWGR diesel classes:

Class    Maximum Load and Speed
40        400 tons at 15 mph
42        720 tons at 9 mph
421      630 tons at 11.25 mph
422      630 tons at 11.25 mph
43        510 tons at 12 mph
44        600 tons at 11.75 mph
442      600 tons at 11.75 mph
45        640 tons at 11 mph
47        490 tons at 8 mph
48        450 tons at 8 mph
49        470 tons at 7 mph

Note: mph is miles per hour for the young ones ;-)Now I know there are people out there who have driven diesels but I am trying to keep this relatively simple as the current state of decoder development doesn’t allow us to drive our models realistically.

A diesel achieves its maximum power when the diesel engine is in notch eight, the control of the engine having eight notches.

I initially set up one of my 44 class diesels to give 10mph in notch eight to replicate an average of the above conditions for a heavy goods load.

The Tsunami has two different ways of controlling notching:

It can be set up so that the engine notching noise can be changed separately to the speed of the locomotive (as in real life), the speed of the locomotive being controlled by the electric traction motors.

Or, it can be set up so that notching increases will occur at a set number of speed steps, e.g. every 10 steps, but the train can increase speed between these steps of course as it is the diesel engine notching up separately to the electric traction motors.

I initially tried the first method but quickly found that I would have the locomotive doing one thing while the engine sounds were doing another, mainly due to my distraction by other things happening on the layout.

As a result I chose the less realistic second method (the real drivers and purists will probably choose the first method).

Now I use the NCE DCC system and have standardised on the ProCab with its many options. One option is the use of buttons to control the locomotive speed and the ProCab has to sets of buttons, one set for small increments (1 step per press) and the another set for large increases and decreases (4 steps in 28 step mode and 10 steps in 128 step mode).

I use the 128 step mode and as such each press of the large buttons will notch up the diesel engine but will also display 10, 20, 30, etc. which tells you what notch you are in.

In combination with the notching I have set the maximum speed at 56 mph which can be reached by continuing past speed step 80 until speed step 126 (max. step on NCE) is reached.

Now we move to a really useful feature of most NCE cabs and that is that they have a momentum button that allows you to adjust the momentum of a train very easily. It is best to do this when it is stopped of course, like when you first couple up to your train. The momentum button will accept a number between 0 and 9, 0 being no momentum and 9 being the maximum.

A further aspect is the ability to use speed curves that can be programmed into a decoder and the Tsunami is set up with a special speed curve that I have devised.

The end result of all this is that you can start the diesel with a press on the small increment button and hear the diesel engine start to crank over and then fire. I then press down 1 speed step back to 0 to idle.

Next set the momentum for your train, I have been working on counting 2 - 3 bogie wagons in the train per increase in momentum number. I use a base of momentum 2 to represent the inertia on the diesel locomotive itself (light engine). The determination of the number of bogie wagons per momentum number is really a function of your layout, mainly its size and hence the length of the trains that you run.

Now, number boards on, headlight on as appropriate then hit the horn and start to notch up. If you have a momentum above 6 then you can notch up the engine to notch 8 if you wish and wait for the train to slowly move away as it takes the load.

One night when the Ramblers were at my place I had set up three locomotives one at 10mph notch 8, one at 15mph notch 8 and another at 20mph notch 8 and I asked them to drive each and we would decide on a suitable version. The decision wasn’t unanimous with most liking the 15mph and a couple the 20mph, it was decided that the 10mph was too slow at east for my size of layout (possibly good on a small layout for a slower run).

I have since driven at the 15mph notch 8 and feel that maybe the 20mph might be better, less realistic perhaps but more suited to a locomotive that is used on both goods and passenger trains.

The final bit of realism is supplied by the Tsunami decoder itself as it can actually brake a train. The decoder has a brake on Function 11 that will slow the train without reducing the throttle, just like the real thing. This braking effect is adjustable through a CV and needs to be set through trial and error after the above aspects are set up.

Function 11 on the NCE ProCab though is awkward to use so I re-mapped the brake to Function 7 where strangely enough there is a brake/wheel squeal noise, so now I can hit the brake and get the brakes squealing as the train pulls to a slow stop even with the throttle still on. Once the train is stopped I can release the brake and if the throttle is still open the train will slowly regain speed.

Another feature of the Tsunami is that by pressing Function 4 you can turn on dynamic braking when on a grade. The Tsunami can be set to drop the engine to either notch 1 or notch 4 while the dynamics are operating. As NSWGR diesels use notch 4 this is what I set it for.

Watch this video and listen right at the start for the engine to drop to notch 4 then the dynamics come in, you can of course combine this with actual braking, brake squeal and all.

So there you have it, not perfect yet but very driveable and great fun as well.