Search found 136 matches

by minipix
Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:14 am
Forum: Scenery
Topic: How to disguise reed switches?
Replies: 3
Views: 75

Re: How to disguise reed switches?

Hmm, interesting idea. The hall effect sensor, I mean, not the mustache. Although that would be pretty cool too. Those little hall effect sensors are certainly more discrete. In fact they look the perfect size to squeeze between the sleepers on OO scale track. Wish I'd known about this before I boug...
by minipix
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:35 am
Forum: Scenery
Topic: How to disguise reed switches?
Replies: 3
Views: 75

How to disguise reed switches?

I have an idea to install some little reed switches around my layout, to act as sensors to activate a level crossing or two. I'll mount some magnets on the bottom of my locos, and use an Arduino to handle the logic. But I wondered if anyone had any goods ideas for how to hide or disguise the reed sw...
by minipix
Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:26 pm
Forum: Electronics
Topic: Improving conductivity and reliability with... a pencil
Replies: 5
Views: 436

Re: Improving conductivity and reliability with... a pencil

Sounds like an ideal sort of layout for this technique. Yes, any art supply shop should sell something appropriate. Failing that, online. And if you do find that you're getting too much slippage, just clean your tracks and the graphite will come straight back off again.
by minipix
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:55 am
Forum: The Workbench
Topic: Taming Smokey Joe
Replies: 20
Views: 682

Re: Taming Smokey Joe

Next, I had to make it all look pretty. I had started with an old Hornby 5 plank wagon, on the basis that it was a fairly short wheelbase, and I didn't really like the look of it anyway - it was in a bright blue livery with "Crook and Greenway" written on it. So I had not qualms about hack...
by minipix
Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:57 am
Forum: The Workbench
Topic: Taming Smokey Joe
Replies: 20
Views: 682

Re: Taming Smokey Joe

They say if you have a problem, sleep on it. I'm glad I did. I made some excellent progress as a result. The first idea was to use a strip of metal to pick up electricity from the tops of both wheels on both sides. I pulled apart an old Hornby power clip that was surplus to requirements, so that I c...
by minipix
Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:11 am
Forum: The Workbench
Topic: Taming Smokey Joe
Replies: 20
Views: 682

Re: Taming Smokey Joe

End2End, those are exactly the sort of axles I'm interested in! My challenge at the moment is finding them within budget. DCC Concepts sells them in packs of 48, which seems a little excessive given that I only want 2! Metal axles are probably easier to come by in smaller quantities, and I can proba...
by minipix
Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:43 pm
Forum: The Workbench
Topic: Taming Smokey Joe
Replies: 20
Views: 682

Re: Taming Smokey Joe

This afternoon I took Smokey Joe apart (again) and soldered wires to the pickups, as suggested. In case anyone's interested, the motor has to be turned over, and you have to remember to cross over the wires otherwise the polarity will be wrong and it'll run the wrong way. I did think of this beforeh...
by minipix
Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:21 am
Forum: The Workbench
Topic: Taming Smokey Joe
Replies: 20
Views: 682

Re: Taming Smokey Joe

Thanks for your comments, everyone. Great to see some more photos of the real thing. I ordered a new motor for Smokey Joe, which arrived yesterday. Installing it was a breeze. It certainly sounds much quieter than the old motor, and I'm pretty sure it's a little slower too. Unfortunately the perform...
by minipix
Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Layouts - Under Construction
Topic: Frontington & Backwoods Railway
Replies: 103
Views: 10794

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Oh, and some other small scenery items I did recently included some low garden walls around the patio, some hedging (visible in the background by the fence) and a scratch-built archway. I made it using a couple of bits of wire, bent into shape using a handle of a tool in the garage, and a piece of t...
by minipix
Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Layouts - Under Construction
Topic: Frontington & Backwoods Railway
Replies: 103
Views: 10794

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

I may be running my layout on DC, but I still like to have sound effects when I'm playing. That's why I created LocoSound, which until now has just run through my phone. But last night I added some Bluetooth speakers! The speakers in question were cheapy-cheapy from a certain online auction site, an...
by minipix
Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:05 am
Forum: Scenery
Topic: What glue for making trees?
Replies: 4
Views: 242

What glue for making trees?

I recently took a few cuttings from a box bush, because the little twigs looked remarkably like little trees, and I thought I could use them on my layout. But I'm having trouble getting clump material to stick. My first attempt was using PVA glue, but it was just too liquid and wouldn't stay on the ...
by minipix
Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Layouts - Under Construction
Topic: Frontington & Backwoods Railway
Replies: 103
Views: 10794

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

A couple of little projects to share with you, all work-in-progress. First up is a couple of trees. I've used some cuttings from a box bush, which looked like it might work well for tree branches. A little cheating was needed to cut off and reattach a branch or two, but otherwise they're as nature p...
by minipix
Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:16 am
Forum: The Workbench
Topic: Taming Smokey Joe
Replies: 20
Views: 682

Taming Smokey Joe

Smokey Joe was one of my first locos, back when I was a kid. It was a great toy, and I enjoyed playing with it. Not exactly realistic, but I wasn't to know. Fast forward a few years, and I've become a "big kid", with a much more grown-up looking layout. But I still have a soft spot for Smo...
by minipix
Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Layouts - Under Construction
Topic: Frontington & Backwoods Railway
Replies: 103
Views: 10794

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

I posted elsewhere about this, but the most recent development on the layout is that I've discovered that the use of graphite on the track can transform the reliability of the electrical conductivity. It's made all my locos silky smooth, which is very satisfying. There's a balance, though, because g...
by minipix
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:51 pm
Forum: Electronics
Topic: Improving conductivity and reliability with... a pencil
Replies: 5
Views: 436

Improving conductivity and reliability with... a pencil

The Problem I'll come clean - my track is far from perfect. It's all at least 30 years old, and second hand. It's not all the same brand, or made from the same metal. Some of it is scratched and pitted. I've got curves on an incline. My soldering skills were almost nonexistent when I started, so th...

Go to advanced search