Sunday, June 4, 2017

6029 Finished


Once again, it has been a while since updating my blog. These days I find Facebook a little easier to keep updated as Facebooks photo and video sharing features are much easier to use.

Since my last installment, I have finished the Garratt, including the sound file, presented at MRNSW and hurt myself.


I have shared some of the photos and information contained in this update in previous posts. I thought I would consolidate 6029s build in this one blog entry.

The Garratt, particularly the sound file has exceeded all my expectations. While the audio side of things isn't bad, it is the way in which I have developed the operation of the sound file that I am most happy with. The file incudes a slipping feature, where if the driver is too heavy on the throttle the front engine unit will slip. To arrest the slip the throttle needs to be shut, then re-opened slowly. The slipping feature can also be enabled/disabled by function button, just in case it gets tiring.

The Garratt project, like all my other steam projects has throttle controlled chuff intensity/duration and coasting features.

I had spent quite a few hours recording 6029 at various locations. As with nearly all my files I am never quite 100% happy with how they sound. I think its a speaker thing, something that will most likely not change much for the smaller scales.

My 6029 is a Mansfield model. I bought it from a friend and immediately stripped the paint. A few little things needed fixing and while disassembling the chassis I noticed there was room and provisions for plunger pickups. The Mansfield model as delivered was fitted with wiper pick-ups for the non chassis power side. While wiper pickups aren't bad, my model was missing a few and on other models fitted with similar set ups I noticed they were sometimes misaligned.

I wondered, why would Mansfield Models have had the holes in the chassis sides for plunger pickups and not used them? I checked the alignment of the holes to the back of the insulated driving wheel rim and they were spot on. Not only were the holes in the chassis but the insulated bushes were fitted also. I checked my unpainted Garratt and what do you know, the bushes are fitted to it also!

I went about making four pickups for fitting into the bushes on both engine units. After painting it was all assembled and seemed to work.

Original Wiper Pickup - Inboard

Plunger Pickup Construction

Completed Plunger

Plunger Pickup Fitted to Inboard Position

Plunger Pickup Outboard (front)

On to the sound install. The model is fitted with two Loksound V4s, two Zimo sugarcube speakers and two ESU powerpacks. The Decoders, power packs and speakers are fitted into the boiler section with 4 pin TCS connectors joining engine units to boiler. I wanted the 4 pin connectors secured to the engine units so as to make connecting/disconnecting easier. I made up the looms and then a soldered a brass keeper onto the inboard bogie retaining nut.

The decoders and speakers were fitted to machined Delrin mounts. These mounts were drilled, tapped and then secured into the boiler unit utilising existing holes. I hate DCC installations where everything is just thrown in the boiler or sticky taped down. It's just something that bugs me ha ha.

The two sound files that are loaded into each decoder are slightly different. One causes the wheels to spin with large throttle inputs while the other decoder locks the electric motor into the speed where the slip began. This literally took me months to achieve, mainly in making it easy to use. The hardest part by far was maintaining the appearance of both engine units travelling at the same speed once the throttle was shut. This was a real challenge.

Anyway, enough talking. Here are a few more photos and a couple of videos. Please excuse the videos, they were taken on my iPhone.

I Painted the Garratt with Mirotone Etch Primer


On to something different, I recently presented at the MRNSW (Modelling the Railways of NSW) convention. It was my first time presenting at a modelling forum but I had a blast. My topic was on recording and building sound projects for locomotives. I had severely underestimated the amount of time a subject like that could consume. I only made it half way through my presentation during the first session. The sessions that followed were crowd driven, trying to discuss points of interest. In reality, I could have spoken all day on just the ESU LokProgrammer. I was kidding myself trying to squeeze the whole lot into hour long sessions ha ha. Lesson learned.

I have to thank the organisers of MRNSW as it really was a great day. Thanks!

Other Stuff

The main reason I am actually updating my blog today is that I have plenty of time on my hands. I hurt myself badly last weekend while riding a moto x track. I am very fortunate in that I can still walk. Many things ran through my head that afternoon while laying on the ground. I am a very lucky bloke in that I will recover and I have a wonderful wife who is looking after me while my mobility is limited.

Lucky for trains I guess as the hobby is keeping my mind ticking over. I am currently trying to sketch out a drive flow for the NSWGR CPH railmotor. I am trying to build something that closely replicates how the real thing operates. More to come on this soon hopefully.

That's about it for now.

Thanks for looking,



  1. Hi Linton, as usual your work amazes me, I haven't watched the videos yet but will soon and get back to you on it.

    I am more and more getting frustrated with the speaker situation for HO modelling especially for our puny oz steam loco's, even the room that is in what is likely to be about the largest smokebox its very dissapointing what we can get from what is available, and even with factory sounds they are not able to get the justice deserved with the sounds.

    A little while back I heard the whistle selected in an 0 Gauge 38cl, naturally the speaker was larger and the sound was totally realistic and spot on, helping the sound was with the speaker in the smokebox and pointed upwards through a partially drilled out funnel, was wonderful indeed.

    Then came a HO model, same sound decoder and a speaker that was basically forced into the smokebox of a HO DJH 38 with some work being carried out to get it into the area, the sound of the whistle was nothing like that of a 38cl, same sound file and all, but the sounds were phft.

    The only thing that is encouraging is that even the sugar cube speakers are getting better.

  2. Brilliant work, Linton. Looking forward to your CPH project!

  3. Doesn't sound good with your injury, keep modelling and inspiring us all, stay safe mate and get well soon

  4. As always Linton exemplary work,I look forward to seeing the install
    on the CPH,will you be using an ESU V4 decoder and power pack. Hope your injury is not too serious and you make a full recovery. Peter

  5. Good work on the AD60, sorry I didn't make it to one of your convention sessions, I couldn't easily get away from my 3D signal clinic. Take your time getting better.

  6. Ouch Linton! Know the feeling too well, as I sold my surfboard at the start of this year after ongoing bursitis from a dislocated shoulder. Hope you may get back on the bike in time, but if not, at least model trains don't leave us with injuries. Hoping its nothing too serious mate, but enjoy some train time as part of the recovery.