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Newsletter May 2011

As many of you may have noticed, I am slowly working through the website. It has been online for over 10 years and there are many loose ends that need tying up. The formatt is staying roughly the same but I am standardising pages to help navigate the site. You should see the new banner appear on pages as I trawl through them. As it is just me doing it on a shoe string, it takes time.

In the next month or two I am hoping to combine the price list and product index page. I personally like to know prices before seeking further information.

Feed back is much appreciated, do keep it coming.

New Products

Vacuum Pump

We have managed to source a supply of 12v dc vacuum pumps which are ideal for operating train brakes. They are not cheap but they are quiet and very efficient.

My problem is the out lay to buy them. I need to buy 10 at a time. I have 4 left and I may not possibly re stock them.

So if you want one - be quick. 160 each

12v dc vaccum pump
DC Digital control  
PGDT 140i controller For 10 years we have recommended 4QD's Pro 120 controller. While this is a perfectly good controller, we felt our customers were not getting the service they deserve.

We are now supplying our locos with new digital controllers. We have spent many months sorting out the settings and after extensive testing on 5" and 7 1/4" locos, we feel this is a far better product.

At the moment we are supplying hand controllers and fly leads built by ourselves. These have 8 pin plugs and sockets which leaves 3 pins spare for use to operate horns. Unfortunately the coiled flex is only 6 core so we can only offer straight flex if you require horn operation.

The fly lead (below left) comes with two toggle switches. One for on/off and the other has been set to turn on a speed govenor. We set this to 50% so, when on, your hand controller will operate 0-50% across the full swipe of the potentiometer - no dead spot.

New Hercules  
With more and more Hercules finding their way to club tracks the trip to the club involves lifting the enigne in to a car. Not a problem for most of us, but the bogies and chassis still weigh in at 34kg.

At this weight, it really should be a two person lift.

If you do not have a second person we have designed a Hercules where the bogies can be removed for transportation. In doing so the chassis is the heaviest part at 12kg.

Bogies are droppped off by removing the nyloc nuts with a box spanner and unplugging the two connectors mounted on the bogie from ends.

We have opted for use of two pairs of Anderson connectors. While not cheap they are rated for 50amps continuous. Plenty for our loco.

Prices to follow.

In a bit of a shake up Hercules no.4 will be up for sale to be replaced by Hercules no. 85 on the Middleton Garden Railway. As it is a private sale we might put it on ebay.

New Bonnet Grills  
You may have read in the last news letter about making grills for the large scale Captain Howey. This got me thinking about making some for our smaller locos.


After a bit of development we are now producing two new types of grill -

1 - 4 louvre slots to represent doors

2 - 8 louvre slot grills

These are made from 1mm steel as against the previous aluminium gas grills. Prices to follow.

Point Motors  
Not exactly new to our range, but new model at a cheaper price. In previous years we had a supplier of similar motors who modified them to a 20mm throw. If I bought 10 they were 85 + vat each.

Expensive but then top quality. We didn't re order as the price went up to 145 + vat.

We now have a supplier who can supply them at a cheaper price. Although they have a throw of 50mm they can be modified by moving the limit switch, but a simple lever will also work equally well.

12v operation or if you want faster throw they will work off 24v. Simply reverse the polarity to reverse the throw.

Merstham Model Steam Show

Once again it was a very enjoyable weekend show and it was nice meeting so many people who follow our company on this website.

Business was pretty good but mainly it was an excuse for a weekend camping with lots to see and do.

The challenge for me was to build a 7 1/4" gauge engine to take along. We have always had fun with the Merstham Valley Railway but after so many years I couldn't keep using their lovely petrol tram.

I aready had a pair of our power bogies, but with less than 10 days to go I sat down and did the drawings for a tram engine. It only got one coat of paint but the weekend gave us a lovely opportunity to test out the power bogies being driven by our new digital controller.

We managed to push 6 coaches and two hydraulic locos for a few yards so I think it had enough power.

I must say a big thanks to all the organisers of the show. We enjoyed ourselves which is the most important thing.

We hope to start marketing the tram in the coming months. As they say "watch this space".

Middleton Garden Railway

I haven't given an update to our railway for years. Mainly because we are showing amazing restraint by not expanding or embarking on any new structures. In fact now most of the work is maintenance work.

With Clark, Jasper and Faith all growing up fast they all seem to like railways (can't think why).

After a short break to the North East Clark (now 7) was inspired by the drift mine at Beamish Open Air Museum. On getting back to grandad's garden he cleared out the shed siding to create "Clark's Drift Mine".

To him this is the latest attraction and and he is now able to offer tours of the mine. There are a couple of draw backs - it is tight and if you don't keep your head down you will end up with a major headache.

So if you are attending our open day on June 18th - please don't ask him for a tour of the mine - especially if you are of the larger build.

All the best for now

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