Saturday, October 19, 2013

Progress Report 49

This year has so far been quite eventful on the Peckforton Light Railway. I have spent a fair bit of time and money exploring the feasibility of battery power for the railway. My aim has been to construct a complete roster of battery powered locos to be able to run an operating session.

So far I have constructed four battery powered vehicles:

A railbus, based loosely on the early Ford railmotors which ran on light railways in the 1920s. She now has an MFA Como gearbox motor, a 12v li-ion battery and a Deltang receiver/controller.

She works well now, although the gears do make a fair bit of racket. However, as it actually sounds a bit like an early Model T Ford engine I'm quite happy! (See How I constructed a railmotor)

An 0-4-0 diesel loco (now christened Wynford). This was constructed from an IP Engineering kit (Jessie) but I've replaced the original gearbox with one using 00 locomotive metal gears. (See How I constructed an IP Engineering diesel) Hopefully it will last a bit longer than the original plastic geared version.

She has 10 x AA NiMh batteries, a Deltang receiver and a Brian Jones Mac Five receiver. She has also recently had a sound card added (see below).

An 0-6-2 Manning Wardle steam loco (No. 4 Bulkeley) based on the Southwold Railway No.4 Wenhaston.

She is based on an LGB motor block (from a U-Class loco), with a 12v li-ion battery and a Deltang receiver/controller. (See How I constructed an 0-6-2T loco)

She is a very smooth and responsive loco - currently the pride of the line. She too has recently had a sound card fitted (see below).

 A petrol driven platelayer's trolley, based on an IP Engineering kit (Lollypop Railcar - See How I constructed an IP Engineering railcar).

This has a 3-6v motor, 4 x AA NiMh batteries and a Deltang receiver/controller. I've not yet added a sound card to this model but am considering something very small and cheap.

A 2-4-2T steam loco based on the second Southwold Railway loco No.1 Southwold (see How I constructed a 2-4-2T loco inspired by a Southwold Railway Sharp Stewart) is presently under construction. Power is provided by an 0-4-0 Playmobil motor-block and, as with the Manning Wardle (see above), the body is constructed from plasticard.

As you can see, she is more or less complete and about to enter the paint-shop. She is powered by a 12v li-ion battey and controlled with a Deltang rx60 receiver/controller. She will also have a MyLocoSound soundcard fitted in the bunker.

Adding sound

Until now I have resisted adding sound to my locos, but as I've become more interested in battery power, it felt like a natural progression. I started first with the diesel loco and invested in a Digisounds card from Peter Spoerer (see How I added a diesel sound card to Wynford).

Having found this experience rewarding, I decided to try adding a steam MyLocoSounds card to the 0-6-2T loco.

What I like about this sound card is that the volume of the sound varies dependent on whether the loco is accelerating or decelerating. The only issue is trying to sychronise the beat of the cylinders to the speed of the loco.

Rationalising resources

To fund these developments, I decided it was time to rationalise some of the gear I had accumulated over time. As I am intending to move over to battery operation, I felt the track cleaning loco was an unnecessary extravagance. As these have risen in price since I bought to over £600 to buy new, I hoped I would recoup the money which I paid for it when I bought it secondhand.

It realised over £350 which was slightly more than I paid for it and so this added substantially to the battery loco kitty.

I also decided to pass on the Jigstones moulds which had been bought for me several Christmases ago. I had used some of them to mould some blocks but decided that there was actually very little space on my railway for more buildings and so, before they deteriorated with age, I decided they needed to be passed on to someone who would make better use of them.

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