Sunday, August 27, 2017

27 - 8 - 2017

Hi All,

Another quietly industrious day at the Club.  We welcomed new member Bernie, who will not be reading this because I don't have an email address for him.  In fact, it is possible that nobody has.

I had gone in thinking that I might "help" Derek with the command station / booster problem.  However it seems that Derek had decided that Greg was the man to solve this, and so devoted himself to wiring Stanley Creek point motors to the first of our new control panels.  Looks very smart, and very practical.  Funny thing - I tested the points and motors as I installed them, using a little 12v plug pack.  When Derek connected them to the 16v dedicated supply they did not work.  Various theories are being explored, fortunately none involve requisitioning my plug pack.

Rod continued to lay track at Mousehole, eventually saying something along the lines of "Oh, was I supposed to put insulated joiners on these points?"  I saw him later, laying track at John's Falls, and did not ask what had happened in between times.  Geoff the Sec, having finished with the nameless station, was also advancing on John's Falls from the other direction.  Helen arrived with about 10 feet of USA rolling stock and a nice Co Co diesel, and tried to run the consist.  Essentially, what it proved was that locos need clean wheels.  Judy had also arrived, wrapped in as many layers as Helen, and complaining just as much about the cold.  Bernie, having spent some time trying to figure out what we all doing, went off the the long room to help Geoff the Pres and Dale with their wrecking/dismantling activities.  There is now a sizeable space in there.  The layout of the Sayer freight yard has now been settled, an exercise made more interesting by having eight right hand points but only one left hand point to work with, and track is starting to go down.  Both Sayer and Mousehole await the turntables that Greg has foolishly offered to assemble.

That's all, folks - see you in the Spring (that's next week).


Peter

Sunday, August 13, 2017

13 - 8 - 2017

Hi All

On a beautiful winter's afternoon we had a near complete turn out of our very own G men - Greg, Grant, George and Geoff - lacking only our other Geoff.

Greg, back from his inspection of countries to the North, "assisted" Derek with transferring the Digitrax Command Station and Booster from the old layout to the new.  And then they tried to connect these to the new layout in a manner that would make things run.  Greg is probably still waking in the small hours screaming "Why does it say 'Trk=Idle'?"  It made me so glad that all I did a few weeks ago was to hook up the Zephyr unit, and simply run trains. 

This week, I stuck to my plan and finished the track at Stanley Creek Freight Yard.  Even installed point motors, right up to the time when the penultimate combination refused to work.  Three point motors later, I fear that the point is the root of all problems.  So, having had the immortal cup of tea, I went home.

Martin continued to combine pieces of cork into a facsimile of rock faces along the walls of the chasm that has opened up between the quarry and Mousehole.  George, after a brief session at the quarry with a very tiny saw, went off to join his fellow G men on the learning curve.  Looking in there later on, I found that they had spent the afternoon turning a once nearly finished layout into some thing that looks like Donald Trump's preferred vision for North Korea.  We are now well on the way to handing that area back to the Seniors Committee to fill with their own junk.

Don't forget it is our AGM next week - don't worry, it won't take much longer than our average tea break.


Peter

Sunday, August 6, 2017

6 - 8 - 2017

Hi All,

As I sit here, listening to the rain pounding on the roof, I can't help thinking "Thank goodness for the roof".

We were pretty snug yesterday, too, with the door shut and the aircon pumping out warmth.  Good to have a healthy Geoff the Pres back with us.  He and Dale have made very visible progress in fitting the fascia trim around the inside of the layout.  Geoff the Sec continued with his mission to fill the store room with shelves.  Grant was there, dropping pearls of wisdom and bits of fascia hither and yon.  Derek was dropping droppers, fixing the dead spot we had found and ultimately creating a short.  I was beginning to despair of that ever happening.  

Paul came with photos of a mockup he had made, to show his vision for Port Gary.  Then he innocently asked what colour droppers he should attach to the tracks on the wharfs (the tracks will be flush with the wharf surface, so we cannot just solder them on later as we generally do).  This provoked a howl of anguish from Derek, because there is no plan drawn up for the branch line and he did not know the answer.  We did sort out the answer but I won't repeat it here because I have already forgotten it.  Looking at Paul's photos, I feel that the gauntlet has been thrown down to our regular scenic specialists - David, George, Grant, Martin, Simon, et al (Al always turns up), not forgetting our tree ladies Helen and Judy.  

This absence of a plan for the branch line put me in mind of the creation of the universe.  We started with a great formless swirling mass of dust.  This has now started to take form and gather around discrete nucleii (called Geoff, Paul, David, George, Martin and Dale), all in orbit around the main line.  The next step has to be interplanetary travel, hence Derek's anguish.

Meanwhile, I do have a plan for Stanley Creek and continued to lay tracks in that yard.  Should be finished next week.  Which brings me to the yard at Sayer.  The passenger facilities are already sorted, with a main line carriage siding and branch line parking bay for railcars at the south end.  To the north lies the freight yard - another swirling mass of formless dust.  We have said that it will include loco facilities - water tower, coaling stage or tower, ash pit, turntable, oil tanks.  What else - looking for suggestions.

At tea - thank you to Nancy for the cake, and to some one for the chocolate snowballs - we spoke a little of the seniors open day (October 14th) and agreed that a few of us should come in on the Friday afternoon to set up Bald Mountain.  And Geoff the Sec has promised to send out a formal notice reminding members that our AGM is set for the 20th of this month.

The rain has now stopped and the sun is shining - maybe the dust is settling at last.

And I noticed that every one who drove to Club was driving a diesel.


Peter