August 2015

THE MONDAY NIGHT MAIL TRAIN

for Monday 10-8-15  on the Kanunda and Emu Flat Railway.

PROGRESS

A few bare patches on the layout facia have been painted picnic green so the facia looks better now. I have finally purchased a decoder for the new Train-O-Rama 830 class. I bought a Digitrax SDXN136PS N scale sound decoder from Trainteknix in Queensland. These are tiny little 16bit decoders with a 1amp power draw and with six different diesel sounds GP38, GE evo diesel, SD70, GP10, RS1, C420 and two steam, 3985 and K27. Also you can load your own custom sound if you wish. Having an eight pin plug all I had to do was pug it in to the loco, cut off the decoder’s small speaker and solder the red and black wires to the wires of the larger 8ohm speaker factory fitted to 858. I stuck the decoder and it’s capacitor in using blu tack as I usually do. Being so small it was an easy fit even in a small diesel like the 830 class. The Digitrax sound decoder cost me A$107.30 from Trainteknix not much more than it would have cost from one of the US suppliers. For a You-Tube of a test run of 858 watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2KL8ngWy24

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 858 at Wooldowie level crossing.

THE SESSION

We had a great roll up this month, eight operators including visitor Frank and myself. The crew was made up of number one road crew Sol and Frank, road crew two, David and Peter S, road crew three Rod, Jeremy was Kanunda Yard Master, John P was Hostler and I was controller. We got started about ten minutes late. All of the locos ran well even though we did have some issues getting some locos to respond a few times. Most of the time it was the operator doing some thing not quite correctly. It is easy to go haywire under a little bit of pressure, but we did eventually get all locos to perform. David and Peter ran 858. David commented that the sound level could be dropped a little because it could be heard from one end of the layout to the other. I will drop the engine sound level a little. I does not need to heard right at the other end of the layout just enough to be heard above the ambient sound of an operating session and so that operators can still hold a conversation with out having to raise their voices. Many sound equipped locos are too loud. Twice during the session Sandiman Switch caught operators out both Peter and Sol threw that turnout while a train was passing over it so the current nicname for Sandiman Switch is SolStarr switch. The Overland started out three minutes late very good since the hostler connected the locos to the wrong end of the train. The last train out the Up Mt Gambier goods also ran late so the session ran over time slightly. This was partly due to some coupler height issues in the previous train the tank train. All cars and cards finished up in their correct position except for one open wagon left in Kanunda yard and not spotted at the goods shed crane. The Kanunda Yard Master reported that even though his yard got pretty full it did not clog up. I now think that I have the optimum number of cars on the layout now. No more will go on to the layout. I will just replace with better cars and up grade those that are on the layout from now on. Every one seemed to enjoy the session even though some had to sit out from time to time because we rotated the road crews. The session finished with tea, coffee and muffins and some chat. Any comments and criticisms welcome. Regards Ken. 

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858 arriving at Maranalgo with a brake van.

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 Part of the crew working away during the session. The grain extra can be seen picking up at Wooldowie.