Sunday, 1 December 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

A belated happy Thanksgiving to anyone who is reading this.  I've been far too busy doing other stuff this year to pay much attention to this blog, but I would like to give a big shout out to Ohkwari Sales who doggedly worked to get my Atlas Burlington boxcar to me despite Atlas's taking a lot longer to get this model to market.

All I can say is thank you to the owner of Ohkwari for his diligence in getting me this boxcar.  I could have asked for no better service.  I highly recommend this eBay dealer.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

I'm Okay, Im Writing a Novel

I had an email from one of my MRR friends this week inquiring if I was okay and what has been happening to me?

The answer in general is I'm okay and I'm very busy writing my second novel.  Not that the first one is published.  In fact it still needs a second draft rewrite to tidy it up, but my plan is to learn how to write novels by writing novels, because practice makes perfect.  The detail are to write everyday, for definitions that means Monday to Friday, and just write for a year.

At the moment I'm averaging around a thousand words a day and the first draft of my first novel stands at 94,000 words and the first draft of my second novel has 57,000 words is still a work in progress.  Been rather focused on writing to exclusion of all else, but I have been looking at Burnham Yard and starting to think about doing something, which is called procrastination.

So no updates on the under floor drives, or modelling in general.  So you all have to make do with a picture of me in the cab of an EMD FA diesel taken a few years ago when I was last over in California.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Progress Update

The good news is that there has been some, the bad news is that the outcome doesn't meet all the requirements for a commercial drive.

Let me explain.

The prototype gear box was made with cut gears, which were expensive and we had to look for alternatives.  A Chinese manufacturer said they could produce what we wanted by printing the gears on their machines.  After a prolonged period of exchanges this turned out not to be the case.

We went and looked elsewhere and a different prototype designed for P4 is in the process of being brought to market using printed gears.  The bad news is that they will be sold with the proviso that the gears are not designed for sustained running, which is not what I wanted.

This is a problem that money could make go away, but I fear that he market is so small that the money required is far beyond my means.  Rough ball park figures of around £10,000, or $15,000.  This would probably mean producing 10,000 sets of gears to get the unit costs down.

So the project is now on hold until we can come up with alternatives.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


I've just had an update from the supplier of the gears for the axle hung motors and we've hit that problem that comes from only wanting a low production run, rather than thousand of gears, which would be a doddle.  For definitions of doddle that mean having enough capital to invest in an injection moulding tool being made.

So it is back to the drawing board for this.  There is a solution, but as the old adage of cheap, fast, quality, choose any two applies.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Slipping into the New Year

Can you see the problem?

Well this is very much work in progress, and what you see here has some bugs that still need working on.

Oops, I've put that axle  in the  wrong way round.
To answer what it is going in. North Shore Suydam EMU.
I plan to put the chip behind the battery boxes/resistors.

The problem to correct is that the new bogie bolsters are putting the side frames slightly too wide for the axle lengths. Hence the axles drop out of the trucks. However, the motor runs, I just can't show any running of the unit along track at this point in time. So new parts for printing out on order. Gears for a production run are the next project goal, and that looks like February, due to money.

So Happy New Year to everyone who reads my blog. Remember patience is a virtue, and virtue is a grace, and Grace is a little girl with dirt on her face. :-)