Saturday, 19 October 2019

Sandy Shores - Preparing for ExpoNG

What's this? A blog entry?! Yes, I know; surprising, but there is reason for my absence and my subsequent return...

Long story short, I've actually been rather busy with various things; two of them model-making related. Firstly, I was invited to write an article about Sandy Shores for the August 2019 edition of BRM. Needless to say this is a very proud achievement of mine! Secondly, I've actually been involved in a commission for the first time. You'll see the fruits of my labour in December...

Anyway, back to today, and the reason for the sudden blog entry is that ExpoNG is only a week away, and I need to fix a few things on Sandy Shores before I take it all the way to Kent! First things first, back at our little exhibition in Woodgreen, one of the point motors developed a fault that prevented it from throwing in one direction. Unfortunately, this is the most crucial point (and furthest from the control panel) so it was absolutely crucial that it was fixed before Swanley/ExpoNG.

As you'll also see in the photo below, the CDU had become somewhat detatched (it's actually dangling behind the panel here), pulling some of the wires out. The power socket also came out at Woodgreen, and some wires also a little bit too loose for my liking. The CDU has constantly fallen off, but rather than glue it, I just tried to hold it in place with sticky pads and the wires! Needless to say, it's about time that it was glued down for good...

Back to the point motor, and confirming that it was still only throwing in one direction, and that the wiring was not to blame, I took it off. I was about to throw it away and replace it with a new one when I realised that one half of one of the coils had actually broken free from the circuit board. Bingo! That explains why it would only throw in one direction.

After a quick soldering job, and half an hour of swearing trying to glue and screw the point motor into place, I'm pleased to say it is now working perfectly again. I suspect that the motor had moved due to the sticky foam pads that it was partially mounted on. Despite also being screwed down, it seems that it had perhaps moved enough that it broke the copper contact. Perhaps after ExpoNG I'll make some new wooden mounting plates so that I can be sure there is a reduced chance of movement.

During the week, I expect to make a few additions to the layout; nothing crazy; perhaps just a bit more vegetation to hide the scenic exit, and maybe some more detailing and wagon loads.

So, those of you near Swanley next weekend, I look forward to seeing you there! I will be operating alone as always, and I will of course be more than willing to answer any questions, or let you loose at the controls. I'll also appreciate any visiting locos and/or rolling stock; which reminds me, there are a few clearance issues for skirted/low slung locomotives which I need to address before the show.

Oh, and if you can't make Swanley, I'll also be exhibiting at Narrow Gauge South in Eastleigh next year!

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