Thanks for the kind comments chaps. And AC in the house - in the UK - you must be joking - almost unheard of! Mind you, we have been sitting in the car for a while with the AC full blast there, very refreshing for body and soul!
Doug, I need a/c in the garage with my layout...otherwise it might be 98 degrees or more and you can imagine what heat does to code 83 rail, much less what it does to a 70 year old dealing with track problems all the time!
Woodie-loves that cool indoor air (we have had some 100-110 degree days lately)
____________________ It doesn't matter if you win or lose, its' how you rig the game.
Well Woodie, I guess it's been proportionately as hot here as where you are compared to normal expectations and Updah has the same track expansion issues. Nothing dramatic but a very slight movement in, of course, the most inaccessible spot which causes driver slip on the grade and means only lightly loaded trains operate at the moment.
No doubt things will contract to their original setting when the ambient temperature has had a chance to return to normal and I guess one of this winter's exercises will be to think about making expansion cuts in the rail in preparation for our probable hotter summers in future.
So, me being a gizmo freak, the latest bit of nonsense in Updah is to try to let him be heard. In the first instance a greetings card recordable sound module was purchased at the exorbitant cost of £1.85 ($2.35) on which a 30 second track can be imposed.
I found a convenient 30 second track on the 'net and successfully uploaded it to the module then removed the speaker and reconnected it, having given it a proper enclosure and the quality and volume of the sound has improved dramatically.
This unit is a light sensitive one and although it works OK, a manually operated version would be more reliable so, in view of the minimal cost, I've treated myself to a double button version which is somewhere on a slow boat from China.
The idea is that, as the crew car approaches Updah's small station, Fraser will be heard playing and getting louder, continuing for the full 30 seconds or such shorter time as befits my mood and in any event, ceases as the crew car leaves. I'm playing with the idea of using latching reed switches and magnets to activate and deactivate the module with the magnet attached somewhere on the crew car trailer and the reed switches on the approach to the station and then either in the station roof or further down the track.
The reed switches would be connected to the "play" button and possibly to the power cells as an on/off switch but the detail I've yet to work out. As I said, another bit of Updah nonsense but it's all good fun!