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A customer has suggested using a spirit-based felt-tipped pen to blacken the
couplers. This works well. Birchwood Casey Gun Blue is also effective. Despite
what the instructions say, this product will blacken nickel silver but its great
advantage over the Carr's nickel silver blackening solution recommended in the
Dingham instructions is that it also blackens solder. Birchwood Casey Gun Blue
is available from Eileen's Emporium.
Feedback Tip No 3, 14 October 2000
Recessing the Underside of Baseboards for Electromagnets
The electromagnets provide a stronger magnetic field if the pole piece
extension is kept as short as possible whilst still keeping the top of the pole
piece just above the sleepers. On layouts with thick baseboard tops, this can be
achieved if the underside of the baseboard is recessed to accept the body of the
electromagnet (the steel "box" containing the coil). This is done most
easily by using a wood drill giving a flat-bottomed hole of at least 33mm
diameter. The drills sold for recessing kitchen cupboard door hinges are most
suitable for this job. They are easily controllable and produce a flat-bottomed
hole 35mm in diameter. However, be very careful to stop drilling well before the
drill penetrates right through the baseboard material! Whatever you do, don't be
tempted to use the "flat-bit" type of drill -- the ones with a central
spike and a flat projection with cutting angles ground on at either side. These
are most uncontrollable and almost guaranteed to damage the track above the
position where you are drilling.
Feedback Tip No 2, 14 October 2000
DINGHAMS for Coupling Gangwayed Stock
Several customers have reported using the Autocouplers to replace screw
couplings underneath the corridor connections of gangwayed rakes simply to
overcome the difficulty of hooking-up the screw couplings -- a notoriously
frustrating task. There is, of course, no need to use the latch unless automated
uncoupling is envisaged. One customer reports using Dinghams on a 14-coach rake
on an outdoor layout. Another customer compresses the sprung buffers on his
stock whilst coupling the Dinghams. Apparently, the coupler loops haven't bent
yet in either case.
Feedback Tip No 1, 15 May 2000
An Alternative Method of Fitting Type 1 Latches
A customer in Coventry has passed on the following tip. When fitting Type 1
latches, solder the pivot wire into the hook in exactly the same way as for the
hook with loop. Clean excess solder and flux off carefully, then bend the latch
over the pivot wire. Next, hold the "eyes" of the latch together over
the hook with a pair of tweezers and fill the tip of the latch with solder.
Smooth off any excess solder from the top and bottom of the latch.
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