Saturday, 3 November 2012

Trials

Today the weather was reasonably dry, the railway was covered in leaves that needed removing before they turned into compost, and I needed some fresh air and exercise. I also had a few things to test on the garden railway which couldn't be done with the facilities I have indoors.
  • Move the wi-fi network extender to the summer-house and use it as a local-only network with a stronger signal everywhere on the railway.
  • Try out an old ipod given to me to use as a second walk-about controller with WiThrottle.
  • See how well Tornado performs after modifications to improve on its original 3 coach limit up the 1 in 50.
The trials were all successful. A train can now be controlled from anywhere on the railway, with no dead spots. The ipod controlled trains - for five minutes after which the battery gave up. At least I now know it's worth considering whether to spend the £59 needed to fit a new battery. And Tornado romped up the 1 in 50 quarry bank with eight coaches.

Tornado romps up the Quarry Bank, watched by the local wild-life.

Tornado, about to enter the tunnel. (Photo with permission of the railway authorities.)
As can be seen from the first picture, the trackside ground-cover plants are doing reasonably well - especially since some of them were not planted until the end of the summer. The fourth green patch from the camera is the most interesting; it's self-set moss, and it seems to be spreading nicely.

Having said that Tornado managed 8 coaches up the 1 in 50; it did twice, then the air suddenly got colder and damper as dusk approached, and from then on the engine started to slip as soon as it got a couple of coaches onto the bank, even when I reduced the train to 7 coaches. I can only assume that a thin film of water was condensing from the air onto the cold rails, and reducing the adhesion. Bachmann don't yet fit their engines with working sanders!

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