Thursday, 31 May 2018

Club Meeting 27 May 2018

Peter Foden

28 May (3 days ago)
to TonySimonRodPaulMartinJudyJackHelenGregGrantGeorgeGeoffmeDerekDavidDavidDaleChristineBarrieAllanAlan
Hi All

The walking wounded are starting to return.  Geoff the Pres was there again, still with piratical patch over one eye but much happier in spirit than a week ago.  Alan, too, now allowed out on his own and looking much better than he has done for quite some time.

I had taken steps to enact plan B for the three-way point, mounting the recalcitrant motor on its own base which had oversize mounting holes to make for easy adjustment.  I mounted it and, naturally, it worked straight away with no further adjustment.  Having totally failed to understand Derek's wiring diagram, I abandoned the point and switched from the digital side of modelling to the analogue.  That is, from things that either work, or they don't, to things that are a matter of opinion - scenery.  In my case, the Stanley Creek yard.  In Dale's case it was anything but the paddock around the shearing shed.  Later there were, as George described them, six cooks gathered around that particular broth trying to find excuses for a creek to disappear.

                                     'Twas a Working Day, Obviously

George and Rod, and Alan too, spent the day at Trossingen, busy with polystyrene, bread knife, PVA glue, and (ultimately) the vacuum cleaner.  Martin was probably responsible for a tree that I had not noticed before, growing on the river flat at the bottom of his gorge/canyon/chasm that has been carved by the un-named river near Mousehole.  There are plenty of such features in Devon - often originally spanned by a Brunel wooden fan viaduct - so we need a suitably west country name for that waterway.  Martin, about to join the overseas members group, has also left us with an over-bridge that is wide enough for a tank engine to pass through, provided that no one gives it an extra coat of paint.  

Geoff the Sec has given us remarkably little trouble recently and continued quietly in the same vein, turning white plaster brown(ish), then green(ish), then vegetated(ish) around the Steward region.

We enjoyed Nancy's cake that I shall describe as chocolate sponge, and Geoff the Pres has offered Diane as next week's benefactor.

Next week, being first Sunday of the month, will be a running day, after we get errant scenery scraped off the rails.

See you

Club Meeting 20 May 2018

Hi All,

Every time that I go out to try to do something in the garden, it starts to rain.  I know when I am beaten, so here I am at the keyboard.

Sunday was one of those days when we at sixes and sevens.  It just depended when you took the roll call.  Geoff the Pres was there, looking very piratical with a big patch over one eye.  Not feeling very jolly, though.  He was trying to decide which was worse - the pain, or the side effects of the pain killers.  We sent him home with Diane and our best wishes.  Best wishes also to Alan who is reported to be making good progress from his operation.  And to Grant, who continues to find excuses for not finishing the church.

Then we were six.  There was a suggestion that we might rename ourselves as the Phillip Island and Overseas Members Club.  Five out of the country at the moment, and another three due to go in the next couple of months.

Of those still marooned on this Island, even George and Rod were away in spirit, working at Trossingen, way back in 1919.  Closer to home, Dale was making life hard for himself, trying to create a creek near the shearing shed.  The hard bit is that creeks have to come from somewhere and go to somewhere.  And water flows downhill.  Above the shed is a double track main line.  Below the shed is a double track main line.  Neither was laid with provision for a creek to pass under them.  My own thought is that the creek could have dried up, and the sheep would be very happy to drink from your typical farm dam.

                                                                   Finally, the Logs Arrive

Martin squeezed a cattle dock onto the short line between Mousehole and the quarry, and Geoff the Sec continued to quietly progress the scenery around Steward.  I checked the 3-way point at Sayer and found that one set of blades works just fine, the other switched in one direction but would not return.  Not admitting defeat, (yet) I had about six attempts at realigning the motor.  By now the baseboard looks to have a severe case of woodworm, borer, or other noxious pest, and the point still does not operate.  Plan B next week.

At smoko I did indeed bring Tim Tams.  Dale has promised us something better for next week.  Thank you, Nancy.  Rod enquired, and Martin gave an update on planning for next year's show.  I quote verbatim: "Visiting layouts that have advised, either verbally or in writing, they will be attending are Grossard Court (HO), Ray Eldridge (Vintage O), Ted Allan (O Narrow Gauge), Shannon Tapia (N American). There are two other layouts that have been invited. One is N Australian and the other HO Narrow Gauge. They are yet to advise if they will be coming. At this stage there are four people requiring accommodation - Ray Eldridge, Ted Allan and Shannon & Krystal Tapia." Just for a change, Bald Mountain will be the biggest layout. In truth, it is quite big.

Hopefully, I will see some of you next week,

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Club Meeting 13 May 2018

Hi All,

Some days at the Club remind me of Garrison Keillor and "A Prairie Home Companion".  He always used to open his monologue with "It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon...".  On Mothers' Day, it was a quiet day at the Club, with only six diehards in attendance.  Acoustically quiet, too.  Alan still not travelling after his operation, and Judy in Japan, so no one doing the rounds making conversation.  And no Jack.

Rod and George were busy in SW Germany again, with the aim of having all the scenery stuck in place before Derek gets back.  That's so that the layout can be stood on end to make wiring easier.  I did ask George the name of the station.  Foolishly, I thought that I could remember it.  Should have remembered that I have trouble remembering my own name these days.  Forgot that, too.

Dale had brought the finished brick wall to close the glaring white gap at the foot of the backscene behind Stanley Creek yard, and that has much improved the appearance.  He was then joined by Geoff the Pres and they continued to tart up Mousehole.  Geoff the Sec busied himself with planting trees, weeds and undergrowth along the main lines behind Steward and the overall appearance continues to improve.

I had another of those "where is he?" days, hiding beneath Sayer yard fitting Hatton's motors to replace the above board Peco point motors that were not up to driving the 3 way point.  Next week I will power them up, and find out whether I was wasting my time.  If all is well, then I can have another happy upside down afternoon fitting microswitches to them and, perhaps, trying to fathom Derek's wiring diagram of cunning wiring that drives each of two motors the correct way to select the desired track with but a single touch.

No mention of goodies at smoko, 'cos no one brought any.  We also forgot to plan for next week, so I will bring the Tim Tams.

'Til the 20th

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Club Meeting 6 May 2018

Hi All,

As is commonly the case, numbers were down on our running day. (Do people think that physical exercise is involved?).  Next week we lose another one as Judy heads for Japan, and yet others are planning for warmer climes in the months ahead.  Rod held out until after smoko, finally succumbing to running Percy in SE Germany.  Up to a point, that is.  He finally gave up trying to figure where the gaps had been built in to the track, and declared that it was Derek's job anyway.  Martin, I think, held out all afternoon, planting weeds in his river.  Geoff the Sec, George, Dale and I did clean track, then drive trains.  Geoff the Pres was a couple of bays to the West helping a grandson get older, but was with us in spirit.  

At smoko we skipped any suggestion of a committee meeting, and belatedly celebrated a year's occupation of the Pool Room with the aid of choccie things surmounted by a four candle power train, and delicious (word of the week) little shortbread and cream devices, all organised by Heather.

I do confidently predict that next Sunday is a work day.  I do not predict what form that work will take.   I doubt that it will raise a sweat.

Until the 13th

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Club Meeting 29 April 2018

Hi all,

Eleven of us gathered around the tea table for a well earned and well catered break.

The well earned bit came from an industrious couple of hours of mostly scenic activity.  Except that Derek ( who, it turns out, had not been near Japan since last year - I must eavesdrop more carefully) spent his time under the bench fighting with the 3-way point at Sayer yard.  I had trouble persuading it to function properly when I installed it.  Even the assistance of Geoff the Pres was not enough, and they gave up the battle at around 4pm.  During Derek's forthcoming absence in Sicily (I think I have it right this time) I will exchange the above board Peco motors for a couple of under board Hatton's units.  Then we shall see how the immovable object deals with the irresistible force.  

The divider between Mousehole and the Stanley Creek yard received some attention.  Dale had brought a tapering brick wall to obscure a startlingly white area and , having proved that it would fit, took it away to finish off.  Geoff the Pres, in between talking with Judy and helping Derek, improved the appearance and security of the edge capping on the divider.   The end no longer reaches out to ensnare the casual passer by.  In the yard itself I continued the broad acre work of laying hard standing, ballast and weeds.

Our shearing shed has been trimmed a little (shorn, I suppose) and lifted a couple of inches to settle into place amidst the snowy white plastic paddocks that have appeared.  A mere wave of Paul's magic static gadget will turn these into swards of green sheep pasture I am sure.    

As usual, to find George or Rod one had to time travel to Baden-W├╝rttemberg.  Martin made the trip when he was engaged as cassette consultant.  David appeared to be out of work at some point, but only briefly.  Geoff the Sec did things around Steward.  

One reason that tea was well catered was the unheralded appearance of Helen with muffins and little square things to add to the cream sponge.  I am not sure who brought the sponge, but it was certainly Rod who took the remains home.  Next week will be catered by Geoff the Sec (really, by Heather).

Next week, first Sunday of the month, will be a running day.  First job, I suspect, will be to scrape all the wayward scenery and glue off the tracks before anything will move.   No suggestions of timetables or schedules that I am aware of, but I think that I will set the Flying Scotsman off on a non-stop run and let all lower forms of life practise hiding in sidings as it comes through.  There is a remote possibility that Geoff the Sec may decide that it is time for a committee meeting.  In case you forgot - every one is on the committee.


Monday, 23 April 2018

Club Meeting 22 April 2018

Hi All,

The question of "When did we start in here?" came up yesterday.  For some time I had been meaning to look at my old "Notes" to see when we were due for a birthday party, but never quite got around to it.  Geoff the Sec hauled out his trusty smart phone and found a photo of an empty room dated April 9th.  I have just looked up the notes, and they indicate that the room was "ours" on April 2nd, 2017.  So we missed our first birthday.

This was the start, April 2017

Yesterday was totally given over to scenery, not that I am too clear what every one was up to.   David had brought Joyce along, so the backscene around the John Falls area was repaired, and blended into the photo scenes on either side.  Nice work.  At one time I saw Joyce judiciously applying sky blue to the back scene, then I glimpsed sky blue floating along on the other side of the layout.  A closer look revealed that Judy had chosen to wear a sky blue top to club.  It must have rained in the hills behind Mousehole, because water has appeared in the nameless river, supervised by Martin.  Paul paid us one of his flying visits, continuing to develop Port Gary.  Geoff the Sec did things around Steward,  George and Rod time travelled back 100 years to SE Germany and reshaped the terrain.   I reluctantly started to apply ground cover to the Stanley Creek freight yard.  That's a lot of area, and I like my scenery in small doses.   Dale is working up a brick wall to cover the gap between the ground and the back scene in this area.

George told us that he held the recipe book open for Jane while she created ?  He forgot to look at the heading, so I can only identify it as not exactly a sponge cake, filled with, and topped off with, things that had been bought at local markets.  I can confidently say that it was very good.  As usual, we forgot to organise for next week.

If it seems to be a long time since we had a running day, that is in part because this year April has five Sundays.  So next week is still a work day.  Word on Grant is that he is making better progress than the church .

See you on the 29th

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Club Meeting 15 April 2018

Hi all,

A slight shuffle of the members pack changed some of the faces this week.  No Derek - he is in Japan - but Rod rejoined us, with 4 feet of platform under his arm.  That kept Geoff the Sec quiet all afternoon, working around Steward.  Paul arrived with a container crane/lifter/traverser thing for Port Gary.  Also a visiting tugboat and sailing dinghy that looked quite at home.  George turned up for an unscheduled session.  He had to be around the island this weekend to take delivery of a new fridge.  Which he does not expect to equal the 37 years service that the old fridge gave.  And it turns out that I was in the wrong corner of Germany last week.  Should have been Baden-W├╝rttemberg, not Bavaria.  (Did you like the umlaut?).  Geoff the Pres fixed a point motor that wasn't throwing properly - some operation that involved being under the bench with screwdriver, spare screws, superglue and dedication.  He then went off to join Dale at Mousehole.

This is what we left behind

Dale had news of one of our invisible members, having met Tony on a shopping expedition during the week.  Tony still has other commitments on Sundays, but one of these days.... .  So yes, footpaths and railings going in at Mousehole.  And a road that comes from nowhere, and goes back there.  A solution will be found.  I think that I have finished servicing all the KaDee couplers currently in residence.   Judy decided that the sensible thing to do was to stay home and turn up the heater.  Not silly, that girl.  It must also be said that at the club we are well looked after by the big unit in the corner that kept us at a comfortable 22 degrees.  Unlike the big hall, where the Greek Association were having lunch.  It seems that some one had turned all the aircons to the cooling cycle, which Alan D did not pick as he tried to get the place to warm up.  After they finished their lunch, we had lots of visitors - all very complimentary.  Martin was also particularly welcome this week, as he brought some of Carol's choc chip biscuits.  Also my thanks to anon, who brought buttered slices of fruit cake.  Next week George has promised us something from Jane's repertoire.  
During the week, David Hall and I took the original Grossard Court layout to Wonthaggi, to show to the residents at Rose Lodge.  Those who know about these things (e.g. David and the lady in charge of such things at Rose Lodge) deemed the visit a success.  Not at all welcome was the news that Grant had suffered a minor stroke.  The prognosis is that it will be a few weeks before he is allowed to drive again.  The silver lining is that he will eventually arrive with the church that he has been going to build for a while.  This has been taken on as therapy to improve co-ordination.  Best wishes from us all.

'Til the 22nd,

Monday, 9 April 2018

Club Meeting 8 April 2018

Hi All,

Welcome back to the little fella with the big operation.  Alan called in for a while and brought Denise along to see what we have been up to.  They did not stay long, but he is up and about and looking good, so I don't suppose the peace will last much longer.

The traffic had slackened off since last week and Derek and David were able to make it all the way to Cowes this time.  As I thought, Derek was able to find some more wires to connect and it is now possible to drive a train in and out of the Stanley Creek yard from the North end.  And to use the turntable at Mousehole.  Dale and Geoff the Pres spent the whole afternoon in Mousehole, polishing up this, that, and the front door knob on the Town Hall.  George occupied centre stage, artistically laying out a pre WW I Bavarian village on our upcoming exhibition layout.  At a first glance it looks quite Tudor English, with half timbered houses in the majority, and this led to a sort of "where have all the trees gone" chat, and why the "New Forest" is so named.  David and Judy were trying to help the farrier get established at John Falls, and wondering about a quiet track of into the forest.  Hmmmm.   I spent the day getting graphite dust on fingers as I persuaded KaDee couplers to behave - principally to uncouple.  They are very clever little units when they are properly set up and little dogs when they are not.  In the course of this I discovered three more wagons had been hiding away on the dreaded plastic wheels.   

And Jupiter must have aligned with Mars, or the like.  I have been thinking for a while that the second noisiest vacuum in the world does a great job on cleaning up the bench, but is not the ideal machine when it comes to carpet - and we now have a lot of carpet.  So I was about to appeal for anyone with a spare beats as it sweeps as it cleans machine.  And there was the Hoover, parked against the wall when I walked in!  Thank you, Simon.

See you next week


Thursday, 5 April 2018

Club Meeting 1 April 2018

Hi All,

It was Easter Sunday on Phillip Island.  There were to have been nine of us, but in the end we settled for seven.  David and Derek phoned through to say that they were about to do a U-turn and go home to play trains.

Those of us that had less traffic to contend with ran trains in a manner that reminded me of our dog - rushing hither and yon with great joy and no purpose.  At one stage Geoff the Pres and I re-enacted the great race to the North.  I had the A3 Flying Scotsman with a rake of blue Pullmans while Geoff had his Dutchess class City of Bristol with a rake of BR coaches that would pass for LMS at first glance.  Geoff the Sec commandeered the 80 class with the track cleaning box car and trundled around with definite purpose.  Dale explored every siding on the branch line with various British outline diesels.  Jack ran his battery powered diesel on the main lines with fewer incidents than usual.

                                                                              John Falls

As the afternoon rolled along Greg had set up the Raspberry Pi, and various associated boxes of electronics and helped Geoff the Sec, Dale and myself to install JMRI Engine Driver on our phones.  Being Pres, Geoff the Pres had to go bigger and better, so installed it on a tablet.  It is not altogether a silly option, the wider spacing makes it easier to touch the thing you want, and avoid the one next to it.  Engine Driver is easy to use, and it is a joy to be able to walk around without being restricted by the length of the cord on the throttle.   At this stage I still prefer the small Digitrax throttle for shunting work, (because I don't need to look at it, and don't need to walk around) but it is early days, so there is plenty of time to change my opinion. 

Our thanks to Judy for the Easter Eggs at smoko, (I'll bring something next week) and thanks to Alan Droscher for the snags.  The Seniors had held a successful garage sale on the Saturday, and a few snags were all that was left from the catering.  He had also called by earlier with serried ranks of family in tow to show them what we get up to.  (Rushing hither and yon with no purpose, in case you had forgotten). 

See you next week for a spot of gardening, er, scenery work, and there are always a few more wires to connect.


Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Club Meeting 25 March 2018

Hi All

It has been a while since I awoke to the sound of rain beating on the window.  And, however much the garden may be enjoying it I feel no inclination to go out there and join in the celebrations.  So I sit here, snug and dry, and think back to a pleasant yesterday afternoon.

Prize for question of the day has to go to David "Should I ballast the track...?"  When did any of us say "No" to that?  So the South end of the branch line continues to grow more beautiful by the week.  Other compass points, too.  Geoff the Pres turned up with a truckload of tarmac.  Actually, it was a pot of dark grey paint but nevertheless, under the expert direction of Dale, a road was laid in Mousehole, together with pavements and a school fence.  Out in the wilds of the West, Geoff the Sec was risking life and finger working lineside as the Flying Scotsman thundered past.  I swapped the Scotsman for a couple of old (1950s) model aero engines some years ago.  It is out of place on my home layout, so the Club layout is its new home, ready for anyone who is in the mood to run a mainline express.  Derek would disappear from time to time, create a short circuit, then reappear smiling when all was well once again.  It was all Rod's fault, in the end.  More and more points are responding to having a button on a control panel touched.  Did you know that we have a touchy feely layout?  Not quite the the usual connotation - our touching is done with an electric prodder.  Jack showed up with a cough that he wanted to get rid of, so now you know who to blame.  Martin continued his efforts in his canyon - still looking for Clementine, perhaps, and showed us at smoko his plans for next year's show.  I failed to get Western Packaging to fit into their new site, so the factory has gone away for more drastic measures.

A very welcome visitor was Ron Wrigglesworth, who we usually see at our show quietly making a relic of some Aussie outback building, and cheerfully chatting to visitors.  This chatting feature is not to be under rated.  It is very important is making our event a friendly place for the paying public.  It is a major difference between our show and an art show, or museum, or some other shows I have attended.  And Ron cannot stop changing his own layouts and pulling out last year's scenery.  We already have a number of his superseded buildings (mostly still in Cupboardus Giganticus) and now we have a magnificent shearing shed and yards to complement our farm to be. 

Paul arrived very late bearing a mysterious box - his excuse was that he had been laying decking, but he didn't bring a note so we cannot be sure.  He also produced an almost endless string of reasons that he will not be at the Club next week.  Just to remind you, next week is a running day, and we did get the track cleaned and trains running at the end of the day so all is set to go.  It is also the day that clocks go back an hour, and April Fools get their turn.  Regardless, if you want a piece of raspberry pi, then bring your smart phone and be with us.  Neanderthal carnivores are still welcome - just plug in a Digitrax throttle and away you go.

See you next Sunday

Club Meeting, 18 March 2018

Hi All,

Today's notes are somewhat skewed by my lack of knowledge of what people were up to.

As promised, Martin and I were at the model truck show at the RSL on Saturday and today.  Not at all like our version of a show.  It was essentially a competition - with lots of awards - for builders of plastic kits.  Public attendance seems to have been a very secondary consideration.  Lots of categories.  Predominantly trucks of all persuasions, but also army vehicles, planes, ships, motorbikes and miscellaneous.  Martin is trying to persuade me to 3D print a Dalek for the miscellaneous category.  All proceeds (entry fees and public admission) went to the CFA.  Organised by Renee and Nigel Lowe of Auslowe Models.  (Especially Renee, I think).  They have been in business for 25 years or so, and have recently moved into Cowes.  The "business" is making plastic truck model kits, and bits for them.  The principal common ground for us is that they stock paints (Humbrol and Tamiya) and glues, and a range of Plastruct and aluminium sections.  They are at 249 Settlement Rd, which is a house and shed, not a shopfront.

As for the rest of the mob, they spent their time scoffing Heather's sausage rolls - so I was gloatingly told.  The last point motor got installed and Derek is well on the way to getting control panels wired up.  A couple of roads were laid.  And no sooner did I turn my back than Stanley Creek Yard got bought out by an oil company.  The freight station and timber yard have been summarily moved over to make way for a refinery.  Such is the way of big money operators (i.e. our treasurer).

The collective mob has apparently decided that the first Sunday of a month will be a running day, so next week will be business as usual.  Then, on April 1st, we will run trains - no kidding.  That's when we find out how dirty the track is, which couplers need adjusting, which points don't work and which bits of track never got wired up.  And don't forget to put your clocks and watches back to EST.

Meanwhile, see you on the 25th

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Club Meeting, 11 March 2018

Hi All,

A quiet start to the day yesterday, in that I was the only one there.  For about a minute.  By the time that I had walked round and opened the back door Geoff the Pres was there.  Then there was quite a lull.  Eventually we totalled eight, with every who does not live at Rhyll slowed by heavy traffic.  I hope that you have all made it home again by now.  Would have been an interesting drive home for George who is trying to be kind to a slipping clutch.  He can't get it fixed because the dealer is booked out replacing dodgy airbags.  Last time I had trouble with a clutch totally fail to transmit any torque I was about mid-way between Borroloola and Burketown.  Before satellite phones.

Progress at CSCC?  Every point on the layout now has a motor fitted (bar one).  Every point in the Stanley Creek yard is now fully functional (bar one).  Beginning to sound more like a wild west ranch than a train layout.  However, now that he has mastered his first 3-way point, the ones at Mousehole and Sayer should be sooo easy for Derek.  George worked the quarry for a while, then made templates of various parts of the layout that we know will never be finished.  David laid ballast at John Falls, then he and I failed to find why his X Class will not go.  Neither will anything else on his home layout, so there has to be a magic button that needs to be unpressed.  (no, not the 240volt one).   Dale and Grant discussed scenery, without actually doing anything.  Judy laid out Geoff's mint Tim-Tams for us to enjoy at smoko.

Next week Martin and I will be flying the Club Flag at the RSL exhibition, and encouraging any one who shows interest to call in at the club.  Can you please keep the extension leads under control.  Or even clean up the main line near the tunnel and have a running day.  Times for the exhibition are 2pm to 5pm Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sunday.  (I think)


Club Meeting, 4 March 2018

Hi All,

In contrast to the previous week, this time we had lotsa hands on deck.  A full complement of executives, plus Judy, Derek, George, Greg, Paul, Rod and this scribe.  The usual suspects - Martin, George and Paul - got stuck into scenery.  (George was really stuck in, finger painting with PVA glue.)  To this we could add Geoff the Pres rearranging the buildings along Mousehole Main St and Geoff the Sec getting serious about his coal mine.  When he turns up with Davy lamp and pick axe I'll know he is really serious about coal mining.  Derek spent the afternoon getting back to where he was at the start of the session - three way points offer an interesting challenge when wiring up motors to operate in the correct sequence, and indicator lights that indicate something useful.  I made a late start on retro fitting under base Hatton's point motors at the East end of Sayer.  With two double slips and three points still to go, I need to develop a much better technique.

Late in the day we finally parked Bald Mountain in its allotted space under the baseboards, and promptly filled the space in the middle with the portable HO layout that will become our "This is how you do scenery" exhibit at shows.  George - being OIC this project - set Rod to work on it then went home.

Which brings me to shows.  Martin has been building up his stockpile of exhibitors for next year.  His appeal to members a few weeks ago produced layouts from Simon, Greg and myself.  Then there are three Club layouts - Bald Mountain, U-drive and the above scenery demo.  Ted Allan wants to bring his new narrow-gauge O scale layout, there is Shannon Tapia with an N scale layout and there is the new layout from Grossard Court.  We have had Hollowglen and Eyarth before, but both these have been extended, and both would like to return, so I think we can fill the Centre once again.

Geoff the Pres has offered to bring the Tim Tams next week - see you then (long weekend)


Sunday, 25 February 2018

Club Meeting, 25 February 2018

Hi All,

There I was, (thinking about) digging this hole, hole in the ground.  Then I realised just how hot the sun is.  So here I am, sittin' in the shade etc., writing some notes.

Yesterday was a quiet day at the Clubrooms - put that down in no small measure to the Superbike races.  That was Paul's reason for coming early and leaving early, having checked that the new warehouse will fit on its appointed site at Port Gary.  George continued with building fences in the paddocks around the quarry, and tells me that his prize Jersey herd is now safe from the ravages of whatever stud bull David has introduced to the neighbourhood.  Rod arrived and looked rather lost without facing five scale km of track waiting for him to lay.  I think that he and Dale then went off to decide how they would fit Hattons sub-baseboard point motors to various 3 way and double slip points still needing such things.  Greg and I chatted for a while about how on some Sunday arvos the right thing to do is stand around and chat.  Then, armed with a laptop, JMRI and a PR3, he went off to chat with Geoff the Pres's 4-6-0 whatever.  It, however, was not in the mood for a Sunday arvo chat.  Other locos did chat both with JMRI and the Digitrax sound loader so we knew the system was OK.  Back to Geoff to find what we guess to be a wiring problem, perhaps between loco and tender.  Judy made sure that we took time out for smoko, helped along by Nancy's muffins.  That some muffins went home again is a testament to how few of us were there.  Not long after that, most went home to dodge the traffic.

I had no traffic to dodge, so stayed on to tidy up a bit.  So, usual caveat that these notes are one man's view of the world and not official Club policy.  BUT, now that we have a very nice room, and an operating layout, can we keep it that way?  

Usually, Rhyll can be mistaken for Sleepy Hollow, but next weekend is the Wooden Boat Festival.  Up to 15,000 visitors expected, so don't come that way - unless you want to make a day of it and look at wooden boats.  You might need to park at my place.

See you on the 4th

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Club Meeting, 18 February 2018

Hi all

Peter away this week so no note of any note, just to say thanks to the efforts put in by everyone in building this rather large layout.  Again all the people on site just went about their business under the watchful eye of Dale and things just happen.
Of importance, Grant came good with his promise to supply Tim Tams for arvo smoko, and Dale has offered to bring some Nancy goodies next week.

Until then

Geoff b, sec

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Club Meeting, 4th February 2018

Hi all,

In very benevolent weather (I had the top down on the EOS) about half of our members arrived at the Club for a pleasant Sunday arvo of messing about with trains.

As to what happened - that's a bit harder.   Both Geoffs and Dale had a bit of a blitz on the store room which included putting one of the cabinets out of the layout room in there.  The corner cupboard seems to have become the home for all things electrical.  The shelves now hold a range of tools and scenic materials.  A box of "Help yourself, we don't need this" has materialised.  George went off to the quarry again. The dark side of the Club went about their business.  Their efforts with concocting a raspberry pi appear to have borne fruit (ugh!), in that I did see Greg driving a loco from his mobile phone.  One day, they will let us all in on the secret.  If it involves a smart phone, there lies my own first problem.

Port Gary

Speaking of problems, Dave and and I had a review of problems relating to convincing beautiful brass locos of 1980s vintage to join us in the digital age.  Specifically, fitting a DCC sound decoder into his Samhongsa (BGM) VR X Class Diesel.  With some help from a 3D printer, I think we will get there, apart from the lights at the short hood end.  That's a brazed/soldered closed box, and it's such a beautiful bit of kit that I simply refuse to take a Dremel grinding disk to it.  VR generally ran long hood forward, so at least it will have lights at the front.

Turntables are now in place at Mousehole and Sayer, and the loco facilities sidings are in place at Sayer.  Finished, except that I might add a couple more stub lines off the table to give somewhere to park out of service locos.  It's now over to Derek to do the electrickery bit.

As threatened, Geoff the Sec rolled out a list of things to discuss over tea.  Proper minutes will appear on the notice board at the Clubrooms one of these days.  Bits that I recall were that, while Martin has the final say, we thought that dates and prices for the 2019 show will be unchanged.  Gingin will be renamed, simply as "Steward".  Our Sec will talk to Jack about G gauge and to Paul about a web site for the club.  We will struggle, and I think fail, to get a layout to Stawell for their show this year, but will able to support them next year.  Still not too late for some one to stick their hand up.  Helen had packed up all of her cake tins ready for her move Mornington way, so the farewell feast was strawberries, melon and grapes.  Not the only reason we will miss you, Helen.  There is a trestle bridge that relies on your supports, and one day fairly soon the Helen/Judy forest will take root on the layout.  On the medical front, Geoff the Pres's sister is now recovering well from her close encounter of the equine kind, and we wish Alan well with his upcoming operation.

At our show, the club was donated the remains of a Triang Minic train set (circa 1947).  Geoff the Pres, an inveterate collector of archaic things mechanical also has one that does not work.  We decided to donate the Clubs bits to Geoff to see if he can make one working unit from the combined remains, on the condition that he brings it to our Show as a working "novelty".  At 70 years old, everything old is new again!  Some (many) of the early plastic bits have cracked/broken/distorted so it may be the 3D printer to the rescue, and everything new will be old again.

Late in the day, George's extended family came to collect him and made complementary noises when they came in and had a guided tour of our work in progress.

That's plenty for now, see some of you on the 11th

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Vale Bob Steward

Dear Colette,

We were all saddened on hearing the news of Bob's passing.

He has always been a valued member of our club.  His knowledge and experience of modelling both railway and scenics has helped us in building our current Club layout.

Bob kindly donated a "station building" with platform and lighting which has taken pride of place in a particular location on our new layout.  It is disappointing that he will not be able to see it.

As has become traditional in our club, Bob will be remembered by having a location on our layout named in his honour.

On behalf of myself and all Club members please accept our sincere condolences.

Yours sincerely,

Geoff Newman,
President, Phillip Island and District Railway Modellers, Inc

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Club Meeting, 28th January 2018

Hi All

Eight hardy souls battled their way to the Club, plus one visitor who was in Cowes anyway.  What a day for traffic!  Australia day weekend, Classic Motorbikes at the circuit, last weekend of the school holidays.  40°c in the shade.  The poor old tourist road was not in the shade, and melted.  Great lumps are presumably stuck to somebody's wheels - they're certainly not on the road base any more.  Traffic at a standstill from the koala reserve to somewhere past Grantville.  So the story goes - I did not check it out personally.

That's a great airconditioner in our layout room.  Two turntables arrived under Greg's arm and are now in place.  The one at Mousehole is well advanced, thanks to Rod, while the one at Sayer is less advanced, thanks to me.  Geoff and Geoff did stuff with the coal loader thing near the soon to be renamed Gingin.  Dale found things that no one else could find, Judy chatted and organised us for tea, Jack flew a drone - fortunately in the main hall, so the layout was safe.  Our visitor (lives in Sunshine, so not a prospective member) thought the layout was great, particularly impressed by ease of access, and ability to run long trains.  Then went off to collect his family and enjoy the drive home.

                                                                 In memory of two legends

Geoff the Sec wants to discuss a few things next week to find out in which direction we wish to head - he will be sending out some hints about the topics this week.  Usual story - if you can't be with us, then send him an email.

See you on the 4th


Thursday, 25 January 2018

Club Meeting, 21st January 2018

Hi All,

I have to start on a sad note.  We learned today that Bob Steward died just before Christmas.  Geoff the Pres will organise a card for anyone who is with us on the 28th to sign.  Bob has been getting less and less well for a few years, and we have seen little of him since he and Colette sold their house on Stradbroke Ave.  He has, however left his mark on our new layout even though he never got to see it.  He built the station building that is now at John's Falls.  The 3 unit DBB EMU, and the single car DB diesel railcar were both donated by Bob.  And it is now time to come up with a new name for Gingin.

We were also short two Geoffs today.  The Pres had to leave early (before I arrived late) to attend a sister who had fallen off a horse.  I have sat on horses twice that I can recall, and the ground looks to be a long way down.  The Sec has back trouble that goes beyond it not wanting to leave the bed.  Best wishes for a speedy recovery to all.

What did we actually do?  Derek made a lot of noise and mess, but the outcome is that we now have places to plug in throttles around the outside of the layout.  And the mess got tidied away.  David unpacked a host of cars that we got at mate's rates from Christine at the show.  Finding somewhere to park at John's Falls is now a problem.  And he is still looking for some tray trucks and a fire truck.  Dale and I unpacked an host of Scaledale buildings that also came at mate's rates, and planted these here and there.  Some have relevance to as yet unlaid tracks in the Sayer yard.  Jack came late, and played trains.  So did Dale, later, although he pretended that he was checking out the new loconet panels that Derek installed.  George, Martin and Rod did something on the other side of the divider,  Judy tidied up various loose ends with Dale, and Helen supplied us with coconut macaroons.  One should have been enough for anyone, but I had to have two.

Over tea we talked about our show.  The Show itself made a reasonable profit and should cover our expenses over the next 12 months.  We walked away with less than that, because Dale could not resist mate's rates, but we would have spent that money anyway out of our bank account, so the swings took care of the roundabouts in overall terms.  Attendance was down a bit, and George suggested that we missed out on the wives and kids who escape from Dad at the Kustom Nationals.  Last year, same weekend, this year not.  We are trying to dig back through history to see if there is a correlation before we lock in our dates for 2019.

We have had an invitation to the Grampians Club show, on 7th & 8th July.  They always support us very well, so, can anyone go?  Either to take Bald Mountain, or a layout of their own.  Last year Judy F and I took Bald Mountain, and a couple of years ago I took Zillerbahn on my own, but this year I expect to be away.  And if anyone is building a portable layout, please tell Martin about it.  George is, but it won't be ready, and he is otherwise engaged so that's no help this year.  By next year, we hope to have the "This is how you step up from Thomas" layout ready to go - but that is next year.  Let me know, we need to give Colin an indication within the next couple of weeks.

'Til the 28th

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Club Meeting, 7th January 2018
Hi All,

Good to see so many of you looking fresh and frisky in this new year.  As predicted, a few of the workaholics did some work.  Most of us did not do anything too serious either before or after the tea break..

A friend of Paul (another David) from Kilmore called in for the afternoon.  An enthusiast of the LNER persuasion, he must have one of the best equipped workshops outside of a factory - looking through his photos of projects I could see a decent lathe, a hydraulic press, pieces that must have been milled and items that demonstrated competence with a welder.  How many all steel turntables do you know of in 4mm?  Drool, drool.

Serious business of the day was confined to finalising show arrangements and jobs.  On Friday (12th) it would be good to have a couple of able bodied blokes at the Seniors shortly after 9am to load up Bald Mountain, the U-Drive, and all their associated bits and bobs.   If it is raining we will move everything in my van, if it is fine then utes are useful.  Dale will be at the Cultural Centre by 10am (unless he tells some one else to be) to collect keys and open up the Hall.  Most of you can go straight there.  I don't expect any of the visiting exhibitors to show up until the afternoon so the morning should be clear for us to concentrate on setting up our own stands.

So, until Friday, or Saturday, or Sunday,

See you