Monday, October 26, 2020

Watch straps

I like watches.Wearing one for many years, my wrist feels odd without one. Truth is, my collection of pretty cheap* watches is huge and some of them actually work. 

In recent months, the need to know the time has pretty much evaporated so my day-to-day watch was attached to a pretty unhappy strap when I recently had a chance to put it back on. The leather had dried up, the loops for the strap had broken and it was in a poor way. I know it went with me to Australia 7 years ago, so I suppose that's probably not too bad. 

I'd also bought a new watch with a nice looking face recently. When I bought it, I felt a green strap would suit it better and as it turns out, the supplied one feels like it's made of cork and has a cheap and rubbish catch. Amazingly, it's the right length - I always need long straps - so I'll stick it in a drawer as a spare.

So, over to eBay for some shopping. For under a tenner I picked up replacements and when they arrived, spent a happy few minutes changing them over. A pair of pointy tweezers compresses the bars through the strap nicely and the results look like much more work than they really are. It's one of those simple and satisfying jobs that we all need at times like this. 

*I like watches but can't get my head around something costing hundred of pounds. You can't do DIY wearing one of those can you?

Sunday, October 25, 2020

My top 5 tools


A few weeks ago, James Hilton posted about his favourite tools. Well, I thought I'd do the same, but used the idea as a chance to experiment with some video. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Saturday Podcast Club: Kids Making Kits (with Maggie Gravett)


Not a video this week. Sit back and enjoy a Railway Mania podcast with Maggie Gravett talking about how she runs the kids making kits area at Warley and York.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Layout mascots

Layout mascots 

Digging in my stock box last week, I found my layout mascots. These travelled with us to hundreds of shows and occupied the rear corner of our stock display box. 

Lots of layouts have mascots - odd things that cart around and display to amuse themselves and confuse the public at exhibitions (remember them?). 

The little metal Edward is because he's my favourite Railway Series character, and I have been known to write under the pseudonym "Edward de Blue Engine". I don't remember where he came from, probably a second hand stall. 

The monster doesn't have a name, but I dug him up in our garden many years ago. Once the earth was cleaned off him, I decided that rather than adding him to landfill, I'd apply a coat of paint and varnish. That and an "I love Playing Trains" badge. 

Come to think of it, he looks like he might be a member of RMweb...

Thursday, October 22, 2020

What goes in a model boat?


James asks: 

Years ago I built a static model based on a Glyyn Guest design - I didn't know at the time but the prototype I chose actually worked on the River Welland just a few miles from where I now live. 

Anyway, after a gap of 30 years, I'm tempted to have another go at one of his designs. I guess it is nostalgia, and despite being surrounded by dykes I suspect I might never get to sail it. 

The design I like is his a US Fleet Tug "Chumash" I've got the plans and the original article from RCBM back in 1990. It is 4" beam, 25" long and he reckoned came out at 2kg displacement. 

His recommendation was a 540 motor and a Graupner 2308.35 prop. So if I was building it today what would be the basics I need in terms of RC? I'm presuming a basic esc, a mico servo and a reliable 2.4 ghx rx . I'm presuming any Rx will bind with any 2.4 ghz Tx? and batteries? 

I really want something that will be rock solid and simple, and cheap obviously. 

Or for a one off that will hardly get any use should I just buy a cheap RTR boat/crocodile head and cannibalise it? 

My suggestions:

1) Don't go the cheap boat route, you end up with rubbish steering and speed control.

2) I'm using a RadioLink T8FB now (ignore the Planet receiver in the photo above, you can't get these now). You can't bind any transmitter to any receiver, they need to be the same make. RadioLink seem to have the longest life and lots of people use them. Hobby King will do them if you aren't in a hurry, but there are UK suppliers. It seems pretty reliable and the transmitter aerial is robust.

3) You need a speed control (Viper 15A for brushed motors) which is about 20 quid and a servo. Batteries for a Tug, I'd go for a jelly cell since you need weight anyway and they will sail for hours on one charge. Component Shop are good, but others available. If you prefer Ni-Mh's, definitely Component Shop. Very helpful people.

4) Any servo will do the job. There are loads of options but they are all cheap. Again, CS above will sell them and the motor.

Hope this helps. Good luck and let me know how you get on.