News archive for 2017 (none in 2018)
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After the poor reaction to the shunting layout at the previous AGM, I decided not to attend any more until I have new locos ready to go.
I have also decided that my design schedules were too optimistic – SolidWorks was supposed to speed things up. Unfortunately this is not yet proving to be the case – maybe this will change as a lot of the time so far has been taken up by designing standard components which can just be plugged into future designs. It does, however, enable me to produce a model that should just fit together on the first pass at designing the etch, although getting the etchable shapes back out of SolidWorks as 2D shapes can sometimes be problematic. It also enables me to provide exploded diagrams with the assembly instructions.
Now for the good news – the LSWR T9 is about to go off to the etchers (second go, the first preceded SolidWorks), the GWR 14XX ditto, and I am finally putting together the LMS 3F prototype (nearly there). I have slightly redesigned the 14XX so that it can now take a modified ARM1G cylinder block – the latter required a lot of hacking to reduce the upper part to a width that will fit within the narrow smokebox saddle. All of my newer tank locos will be available with the OSM (Oscillating Steam Motor) as a lower cost option.
The website has had a redesign to bring it up to date with current prices and production.
All my future production locos (both kit & Ready-to-run) will come complete with a computerised radio control system. This has minimal effect on the prices as I can delete the water level display unit and the pressure gauge. These are now displayed on the R/C handset.
The R/C handset will be about the size and weight of a mobile phone, and like the latter it will have a touch control screen - no joysticks, switches (apart from on/off) and minimal weight.
The reason behind making all locos R/C goes as follows -
Manual control requires obtrusive levers and a pressure gauge that make the model look unscale. The R/C version has all the controls hidden and looks far more like the real thing.
Retaining the manual controls imposes too many constraints on the design and construction.
The handset provides information that is available to a real train driver, but cannot be seen on a fast moving model.
The handset will display speed, boiler pressure, pump bypass status, distance travelled, reverser position, gas control and regulator position amongst others. All of this is user programmable.
The handset can be programmed for multiple locos (limited only by the memory available) and can control several locos simultaneously. Only one handset is required for any number of locos.
More details will appear here as the design progresses.