2016_08_31 How do you make a better Venetian...eh? blind?

2016_08_31  Making LED light reflectors.

A few years ago I bought 5m lengths of LED strip. And decided on using old recycled venetian blinds as reflectors.  I found some 14 foot blinds in good condition and installed them above Wodonga Coal Sidings.  They were not very successful, unfortunately.
The first thing was that they were too flexible and failed to attach flat to the bearers. As well the self adhesive LED strips did not attach firmly to the slats and after a very short time the buckled slats and detached LED strip had to be removed.
So back to the drawing board.
I tried to reinforce the slats, and as I recovered a hundred or so from the old blinds, decided to laminate two together using overlaps to extend the length.

I tried to join the slats by overlapping, which produced two thickness slats, but it was still too flexible.

So in the finish I had a third layer glued over the top, three thickness dried appeared to be ok.

My son who is a Carpenter swears by anything in a  SIKA bottle, particularly Sikaflex silicon sealer.
So when I saw this one at Bunnings, I thought  Why not? :)  SikaBond TechGrip. Although later on, I found, in the instructions, that it works best when one layer is porous.

 Anyway it was checked this morning, and had a strong bond.

 So  I will try to get a 12.5 m length glued together, today, and will reinforce the LED strip with Sikabond after pealing off the self adhesive cover strip.

Now I need a way to suspend it underneath the top level baseboard. It probably need to hang as I still will need to access point machines and wiring uner that board. The fixed one over the coal sidings is a real pain sometimes. I was thinking about long threaded butterfly clips which would allow me to push the slats aside when necessary? Or perhaps just use picture frame wire or chain?

Cheers Rod

Trying not to reinvent the wheel :)  I came up with this whilst pondering the problem :)

 Not sure if I have enough strip I can recover, as I tossed a lot away already. But this is what controlled the slats and held up the blind when it covered a window. So why not use it again?

Glued or stapled in place might fix the slat permanently in position, and allow the reflector to be focused?

If it covers the led's, I believe I might be able to find a similar string design at Spotlight.
Of course, looking at this picture, I am thinking if I measure the slats correctly and mark exactly where the cross pieces are, I could glue the tapes between the slats and they would not then interfere with the LED's :D


2016_08_29 Sorting it all out (The mess)

2016_08_29.  Moving on. Trying to find a place for everything!

Finally got into Studio for a few hours. Started sorting stuff into areas and clearing down the bench tops.
Aim is to complete existing  track wiring. as well as setting out track in Wodonga yard including turntable area.
Then to lay Albury Yard in place before a running night to be organised in November, with old friends from the Melbourne based Hobson's Bay Group.
So opened the doors up just before lunch and looked at this.....

Need to clear this down, dispose of garbage and store away required items in a place I can find them.
Sometimes I think I am a hoarder. My criteria today, is will I ever use it? Throw It, unless someone else might use it :)

Never got to this corner. I really need to finish the wall. But it is falling back in the order of things.

After sorting out most of the stuff on top of the bench work, I had to find a spot for the two black cases, where I store locomotive boxes that I want to keep. After sorting  through, I actually hung them under the layout, off the floor, and reloaded keepers back into them,

Room to store tool boxes underneath.

So Wodonga side is clear and cleaned off.  Now this reminded me that I had promised Roger that I would get this area finished before he returned. With Liverpool very close now, I need to install the turn table and sheds and lay the missing track, before he turns up.

See how things change around here :(

Its going to be dark under the top level. I already have LED's to install and brighten this area up. So I located them and started to plan out how I would hang them.

I decided to continue on with the Venetian blind method that I was not happy with from using it over Coal sidings. This time I am going to glue the slats in place rather than screw them, which tended to cause them to buckle. As well they drooped between the screws.  To stop it buckling I am going to laminate up to three lengths of slat to make them more solid

These are off cuts. The slats are 7 feet long.

By  gluing the slats together overlapping, I can strengthen the fixture and then glue the strips of LED's down the middle.

I have two types of LED strips. each 5m long one has 300 LED's and other 600 LED's These are 300 strips.

Cant find the glue sticks or the gun, I am going to use to fix it, so will buy some tomorrow so I can complete the job.



2016_08_27 (Continues)

2016_08_27 ok I am mad (as a hatter) :D  Yep I bought another steamer!

And to make it worse, I decided to put sound into it myself :( Not a great idea, I'm afraid)

Anyway here is a pictorial started a month back, and still not finished.

 First thing that I find, is that the builders have filled a bloody big tender with little boxes!!  Why?
I can only guess it makes the thing easier to glue / solder together ??
To cap it off the 8 pin plug is upside down and incorrectly marked (Dot always indicates pin 1 the orange wire!) It appears to have solid bar under the coal load (weight?? why??). The box at front of tender is , or appears to be an empty space.

I wanted to fit a Wow sound with stay alive, but could not find enough room to do so, so have settled for this ESU Loksound V4 installation.

Now this creates a further problem. That is that the tail lights are LEDs in metal containers attached to the circuit board under the 8 pin plug. that has to nestle down in the space right beside the speaker. That means the existing light rods (fibre optics) cannot reach the light boxes.  I will have to glue led's  directly to the lamps on the rear of tender. I can barely get my fingers in there, so job is progressing slowly!   Just noticed a post which shows Eugene has mounted a wow into an A2. Have to ask him a favor :)

You can just see the holes in the rear wall of the tender where the fibre optics poke into the lamp assemblies.


Just noticed I had not shown you my new N Class :)


2016_08_27 I guess I am back?

2016_08_27  The weather is changing, and my health is improving.

This weekend I have decided to spring clean and finish off finding a home for all my junk

I guess the barrow shows a ruthless disposal of junk.  And I have already filled a skip many times. It just keeps on going!  :D

The 10 50 liter boxes  are starting to diminish, and yet the room still looks like a war zone :( This is probably contributing to my depression :(   However when its done I think all will be well ;)

I do use the McKenzie patented Locomotive storage bin (Meat clip-it container) I store locomotives waiting parts, such as sound speakers, or just repairs.  As the parts arrive I put them in the bins with the locos and add them to my to do list.  Most of these are to be fitted sound, which is in the bin. A few are damaged for repairs.

Now looking here you would think, I have not done much? However if you think about it, I need to find a place for all the junk. And it needs to be where I can find it again. So it takes a lot of sorting. I guess I cleaned this table down three times (bottom pic) But it just builds up again. But I will get there.

As the bins fill, they are stacked here under the new bench work. Probably need another 10 bins, as I have not even reached the front corner which I need to remove to finish off the last 2.5 m of wall.

empty boxes, and only another 13 to go!

Al decided to help with the stock yards. Thanks Mate Terry and Al have put together a heap of buildings for the layout. All I got to do is install them.
So a start was to add an extension for the cattle and sheep siding. Going to use Casula platform and cut it all in together and cover it in gravel etc etc. Another Walther's yard is coming and will finish it off with two Model Train Buildings yards

Model Trains Buildings

Just noticed these sitting in Wodonga yard. Did I show them before?  They run really well and navigate No6 crossovers well. I am happy with them, although I need to tone them down a tad.

Ok a few hours of (warm) daylight left. I guess I can fill a few more bins
Rod Young