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Noel last won the day on March 15

Noel had the most liked content!

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About Noel

  • Rank
    Großadmiral Yachtmaster


  • Biography
    Planes, Trains and Boats (++bicycles, --cars).


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  • Interests
    Marine, Equestrian


  • Occupation
    Retired company director

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  1. I've identified the addressing problem. The Roco treats addresses in the range 100-127 as long addresses. My locos had their addresses assigned to decoders by another DCC system which assigned them correctly as short addresses (ie < 128 as per NMRA) so the Roco could not address the locos until the addresses had been re-assigned by the Roco system as long addresses. Once I reprogrammed the addresses on the Roco the locos became addressable and operable again. Just another DCC quirk (USA v European manufacturers different and incompatible specs and interpretation of NMRA specs). DCC is so 1970s technology, built upon 1970s electronics. It's due a refresh IMHO. Anyway thanks to the Multimaus cab the Z21 is now functioning and useable but I'll be avoiding the touch screen phone app for shunting operations.
  2. Hi Bill Thanks for the info. Yes Piko SmartControl looks an attractive option for a top end quality DCC system with the advantage of customised function buttons for sound on touch screen use, but a physical rotary knob for throttle control. Win/Win. It is in effect the same Cab as the ESU Mobile Control II which costs about €350 per cab but being wireless only one should suffice most layouts. The Piko SmartControl is retailing at €352 from German online retail sites or about £301 pre-tarrifs. The UK retail prices are not attractive always seem inflated above eurozone pricing. I switched to using various German model retailers a few years ago and found their pricing better and service exceptional. In the UK Hatton's are one of the few retailers who tend to have competitive pricing for any product ranges they carry. https://www.modellbahnshop-lippe.com/produkt/PIKO/15-7-0-235376-003003-0-0-0-0-0-0-grp-gb-p-0/ein_produkt.html
  3. Fab photos, thanks for posting. 186 looks so different in Grubby black unlined ( or possibly grey with a lot of dirt)
  4. Z21 could not communicate with locos in address range 100-127??? Due some bizarre confusion between what constitutes a long or a short address.
  5. Cheers. Source? - who ever has the lowest prices at the time. The last few orders were from Hatton's and gaugemaster in the UK. Hattons tend to only have the NEM kadees, but gaugemaster have all the other stuff inc draft gearbox whisker couplings for converting older non NEM stock, magnets etc. Fitting Between the rails magnets on code 75 track? I am just about to find out as I am laying code 75 track at the moment. I may have to recess the magnet slightly into the sleepers. Will report back in due course.
  6. Words fail. So real and reeks of atmosphere. You should be the new set designer for LucasFilm or ION productions next Bond movie. You could out do Ken Adam's famous sets.
  7. Pals at WMRC gently hinted that a change of back scene might look better when photographing models off the workbench or out of the paintshop so here are one or two updates. Thank you WMRC pals for the present of a roll of back scene.
  8. Spend the last few days tearing the hair out of my head in immense frustration with a new Z21 system. There is nothing wrong with the Z21, it actually seems a very good system just totally unsuitable for my needs on a new shunting layout. Totally my own mistake for choosing the wrong system. Easy peasey to hook it all up and get it working, but the first main problem was attempting to drive trains using a touch screen phone cab user interface for shunting and uncoupling stock using kadee uncoupling magnets which require a degree of precision that touch screen throttle just does not give compared to the tactile feedback of a physical cab with either throttle buttons or knobs. Normally I can hold a physical cab in one hand without having to look at it, but using a smartphone a) needed more eyes on the display distracting me from watching what the train was doing, and b) my fingers found it difficult to routinely and reliably control throttle one speed step at a time. When shunting I like to stare at the train, just think what I want it to do and let my hands make it happen via the tactile feedback from a cab in hand but out of eye line. I repeat my gripe was with the 'Z21 Mobile' apps touch screen user interface for precise throttle control, not the Z21 hardware which seems a good DCC controller and a flexible system. Luckily I managed to buy an inexpensive Multimaus cab on eBay which saved the day as soon as I plugged it in to the Z21's X-Bus port. Not very intuitive cab (ie you have to read the manual to get started with the basics), but with the physical buttons and throttle knob at least I was able to shunt precisely enough to reliably uncouple kadees, which I could not do reliably with the daft phone throttle app. Relief that I was not going to have to put the heap on eBay tomorrow and replace with a system that has physical cab controls for throttle. Two big advantages of the 'Z21 mobile' app are a) its an inexpensive wireless cab that will work on most smartphones and tablets and b) you can custom label each function with mnemonic description and symbol which is great for sound locos instead of remembering function numbers. Another advantage on a club layout would be members using their own phones as cabs and same for visitors to a home layout. Most the guys in WMRC love the Z21 system. Anyway the sledge hammer did not come out late last night and Multimaus saved the day for my shunting layout (under construction). At least now I can drive the locos. Lesson learned for a shunting layout one really needs some form of physical throttle control that gives tactile feedback to the operator allowing eyes only on loco and single handed use. The Multimaus does this albeit not as quite well as an NCE PowerCab but well enough. Had been tempted to try the Piko Smart control or another NCE. If not shunting using kadee magnets I'm sure many folk would love the Z21 system and its touch screen cab apps, especially for sound locos with personalised function buttons. One weird little funny us the Z21 cannot easily drive locos in the address range 120-127 which is why I could not get it to drive any of my 121 locos. Found a convoluted technical solution to it anyway and managed to get the 121s moving and shunting with their correct addresses.
  9. Indeed And yet they managed to fit a knuckle coupling while retaining all the buffer beam detailing. PS: Curious what function does the catch point serve other than killing somebody in the car park? Is it back to front?
  10. Noel

    Class 121

    Rich 1) I posted a link not the images 2) you seem to only post negative or sarcastic responses to my contributions on here and 3) please get off my back. It is getting tiresome, I’m sure face to face we would probable get on well. Noel
  11. Noel

    Class 121

    RMweb MM 121 https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/106996-murphy-models-to-produce-121s/&tab=comments#comment-3487664
  12. Here's a CIE golden oldie from Cork. We'll not that old as pallets and fork lifts are in evidence as well as modern bogie fertiliser wagons, but wonderful atmosphere watching the shunters marshall wagons. A train going through the streets of a city with a flag man walking ahead of it to keep traffic on a one way street out of the way is a sight to behold. Pure nostalgia gold. A short clip out west steam era 1950s. On a poignant note few people in the clip are probably still living except the younger children.
  13. Yes prior to pallets&fork lift trucks and containers it was very inefficient, but very alive and nostalgic. I remember as a child watching stock being shunted and handled like this albeit on a smaller scale in places like Galway station, Limerick, Newbridge, etc, two axle goods wagons were the backbone of the railways back then but despite the labour intensive element, they had highly efficient systems for arranging formations so wagons could be dropped off and picked up with minimal movements, and systems that ensured a single carton of tomatoes got to a specific destination grocer. This had died off here around 1974 when modern era bogie stock started to dominate along with containers. CIE tried various interim hybrid crossover wagons such as pal vans, etc, but they were short lived. There are some good YouTube of goods merchandise being transferred to trains at Cork docks.
  14. Hi Doctor Gerbil-Fritters. The problem with wobbling Cravens in the past was not wheels but the way the bogie connected with the body. This caused a serious wobbling occilation when running. The newest release of the Snack Bar had this problem as well as the RPSI Cravens all made by the same factory. I replaced the wheels on one of my wobbling RPSI BLue’n’cream livery Craven but it made no difference. Murphy models released a fix through retailers which was a sprung brass shim that fitted between the bogie and the coach body underfloor. Marks Models have a stock of these shims. I made my own spacer washers out of very thin plastic card (ie like thin washers). The original production batches of MM Cravens did not have this problem. It should be an easy and inexpensive fix. FYI, I popped the bogies off my wobbling RPSI Coaches and rolled them along straight track sections but the wheels ran true without wobbling the bogie. If wheels needed for any project I’d recommend Alan Gibson wheels Nice photos BTW. I really like my MM Craven set. Noel ps. Looking forward to more posts as your layout develops.
  15. Glory days of manually handled goods traffic 1957 two axle goods traffic handling .
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