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About JamesP

  • Birthday 11/16/1986

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  • Location
    Shirley, (Victoria) BC, Canada
  • Interests
    Trains. Trains. Technic. Town to go with trains. :)


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  1. JamesP

    Custom 9V tracks

    Remember 9V picks up from the inside of the track, not the top, unlike every other railway system out there... (well, almost, there is underslung 500vdc used on some subway systems...but that's full sized). James
  2. JamesP

    Has Anyone tried doing an Operating Session in Lego?

    Hi all, As one of the members who was involved in the lego operating session, the facts are mostly as has been laid out- we took over a church basement in Vancouver for 3 days, and did a prototype operating session. In general, things that I found were that experience in using some form of dcc was important, easy to use throttles were important, and that scenery didn't matter. I'd love to do another one, a con would seem in some ways ideal, but it comes down to cost per sq ft, and the requirement to have quite a lot of sq ft to run the layout through. Feel free to ask specific questions- but keep in mind, it is something over 10 years ago since we did it. James
  3. JamesP

    A trip around my railway

    Indeed, thanks for the ride. Rather a different prospective, filmed sideways, from end on. Rather less jolting going around the curves too ! James
  4. JamesP

    Humble beginnings . . . .

    You clearly need more fire stations, and police stations, to deal with the robberies and fires at the gas stations ! James
  5. JamesP

    Humble beginnings . . . .

    I am fairly sure that they came over from Europe for Playmo, rather than up. KW has a huge German population (it used to be called Berlin, pre 1915 or so...) and so I would expect that the playmobile that Hi-way market brought would have been from geobra. All mine is stamped as being geobra, so I would expect that all the Canadian playmo came direct from Germany. I remember the Playmobile displays @ the CNE, which were quite spectacular. (perhaps as early as 1982, but certainly by 1984). Lego had some amazing displays at the CNE, I think 1983 or 84 they had the Alberta pavilion near the firehall. Much later, 1988, Lego had one of the pods near cinesphere/the Forum for lego. There was all kinds of stuff in the kid build lego when we went in there on opening day. (firing cannons, and monorail...). Lego in Canada is an interesting topic, rather poorly covered. I don't think Gary has much time spent on it in his history books, because there are so few of us relatively up here. I do know that there were several large collections of AFOL's featured in Bricks & Pieces. I have my B&P's from the September 1984 issue onward until 1992 or so. Now, with regards to 12V, I knew it existed, but I can't think where I had learned about it. I have UK catalogs from 1983 or 84 on, so it might have been through them. When Simpsons-Sears had the Lego Space show in, there was a loop of it used for the space transporter. We knew about the problems of having UK electric stuff, as we'd moved from the UK in 1979. When I went over in 85 (xmas/new years), I wanted to get a copy of 7735, but didn't...I think I got rather in trouble over it. I knew that it would be hard to get more as my grandmum wouldn't be traveling to the UK as often as she had been. (she'd been providing respite care for “uncle harry”, who her mum had been housekeeper for in the 1930's/40's...)
  6. JamesP

    Humble beginnings . . . .

    I live in Victoria, BC. I'm a Marine Engineer Artificer in the Canadian Navy (now). I am not 100% sure, the other place that _might_ have had 12V is "The Toy Store" on Cumberland Ave in Toronto. (Yorkville). I got my 4535 there in 1998. (I passed up on a monorail in the Eaton center that trip). I'd already bought a pack of 4.5V points in 1992 or so from Simpsons (well, Sears) downtown, as the last relics of 4.5 were going out then. I think I have the largest Canadian 9V home layout. See my threads for video. James P (Member, PNLTC since 1998) I got my 4.5V crossover at the Radio Shack in Uxbridge in 1989 or so. (gray). Not sure how many were made, but you are right. Lego pre 1988 in Canada is a interesting subject,as Sampsonite did some strange things. James
  7. JamesP

    Humble beginnings . . . .

    I think that Hi-Way Market had 12V brought over... I know they had Playmobile brought over. Friends lived in KW. Not me.
  8. JamesP

    Layout: How Much Volume?

    Na Zephyr, that's where the boys stand to run the trains ! I have to leave a clear path through the lego room for getting to the laundry room, as that is the door that we use mostly to get in & out of the house ! Next thing from a lego standpoint is probably putting up a small table (3x2 plates) for the falcon to sit in. (grawwo, or something like that from Chewie ). That, and taking buildings out to display at a range of VICLUG events. James
  9. JamesP

    Floor-Layout at ZueriHB's

    Very nice. I haven't had track on the floor since...I think 6 years ago or so. All on tables here...which makes for a different experience. 512 straights=into the intermediate level of lego layout building :). I have a few more than that in my layout, but not that much more. James
  10. JamesP

    Layout: How Much Volume?

    So, almost 2 years later, I present: an unedited view of the layout. When edited down, to make it into one trip around all the way down, it takes about 4:30 to travel from the start to the end. Unfortunately, my computer is still too flakey to get it to work for editing. At some time I may try with my son's Ipad to make a better edit of it... James
  11. JamesP

    Maintaining Constant Voltage Around a Large Track

    Max from the motor site is 950mA, and I have burned out enough 1A decoders to believe that at 12V, I can draw more than 1A (RMS numbers) with the motors. I tend towards very heavy trains, so... Again, from where I am sitting, 600mA is about the most I would want to run them at, and those give some good values for voltage drop. I don't generally worry about measuring the current, I just do it based on # of cars that I am pulling. 600mA*9=5.4W, and that means about 2w each motor for tractive effort(based on the motor web site). 4w isn't that much when you have 3-5 kg trains. I use 4x motors on my Super Chief, in order to get enough power to climb hills-total of 8w mechanical available, and that would imply a rate of climb around: 746/8=.01hp, 33600*.01hp= 360 ft/lb/min /7.7 (lbs) =46 vertical feet/min. Trust me, the Super Chief doesn't climb 46 ft/minute ! It might make 5 vertical feet in a minute though...which is probably a reasonable assessment of what actually happens. A lot of the numbers I did are on LUGNET, around 1999. (why yes, I did the research a while ago...). James Powell
  12. JamesP

    Maintaining Constant Voltage Around a Large Track

    V over R/I Lego track has a resistance of about .02 ohm/section/way. (or .04 ohm/piece total). That was when new values- I'd suspect them to be higher than that due to the connectors oxidizing over time. That means each 25 pieces equals 1 ohm of resistance. 9V mmotors draw around 650 mA stalled, so a 2 engine loco can draw about 1.2 Amps So, 25 pieces of track away from the power plug in, 2 motors, 1.2*1= 1.2V loss in the track, or 7.8V maximum at the loco... Best solution, is to add feeders. If you add one every 50 pieces or so, the maximum resistance the train will see is 1 ohm, but only 1/2 of the current, so 1/2 the voltage drop (or about .6v loss, leaving 8.4V at the loco). A lot of this becomes vitally important when running DCC, because I have up to 60w on the track (12v/5A). And with 4 motors, the draw can be up to 2.4 A on any single area, or 1.2A/direction, and 25 pieces of track is about the practical limit for it. I use a lot of different methods for connecting track, some of it uses fixed wires, some uses wire/lego plate, and occasionally I use the offical lego connectors. I have straight, curved and turnouts with electric feeds- my home layout is quite a convoluted arrangement for just using the lego feeds, and with ~930 pieces of straight track, if I just used the lego feeders, I would need 40+ connectors. James
  13. I'll post in detail, but the best reading is going to be the reports on 614T (USA, 1982) , the solid fuel road vehicle report of 1948 (UK), and the writing on Jawn Henry (USA, Turbine Electric). Please realize I have a professional opinion on this, as I operate a oil fired steam ship, and have been playing with steam since 1980 for fun. I own a 4" to the foot model road traction engine, 3 3.5" gauge live steam railway engines, and a few other steam things... James Powell
  14. JamesP

    Layout: How Much Volume?

    Video of the spiral, with a medium sized lad trapped inside it. (Don't worry, I freed him after he was done cleaning the track) James
  15. JamesP

    Long Trains.... Show 'm !

    A Video of a pair of longish trains (well, one's much longer than the other...) 26 car container train, and 7 cars of Metroliner goodness. James