The original AGM took place on 25th October, but we were inquorate - only five members showed up! But discussion continued especially on the cost of heating the club hut which on our current tariff will quickly swallow all subscriptions.
It was decided that a subscription of £35 would be required immediately (decision authorised under special instructions given to Treasurer at previous AGM). This will be regarded as an interim payment with a further amount due sometime next year once it is clearer what the status is of our use of the Old Chapel for the year 2022/2023.
And considerable discussion took place about recruitment of new members - with no specific conclusion.
Basic "rules" in the resumption of activities phase are:
- wear a face covering if it makes you or your fellow member on the Club premises feel more secure
- please check in with the QR code if you have the NHS app on your mobile phone, or sign in just in case help is needed in tracing if someone tests positive
- socially distance as you and others feel comfortable with
On the '0' gauge layout (Dewhurst) work has now started on replacing the backscene between the running lines and the storage yard along the whole length of the layout. New backboards have been constructed by PeterM and JohnB. They incorporate a roadway directly in front of the backscene and this allows one of the storage lines to run through under it.
On the 00 gauge layout we have had a lot of problems with the heights varying on the 'new' station baseboards. They seem to have shrunk vertically by over 2mm. It is probably due to last year's long hot summer but it has concerned Geoff who made them with Malcolm a few years ago. We may be victims of our desire to be able to lift the boards up (they are hinged along their long side) so we can work underneath them. This means we cannot use dowels to lock boards together horizontally where they join; so they are free to expand and contract vertically. The unexpected result is misalignment of the tracks across the join, despite being firmly soldered to PCB strips - in a lot of cases one rail has become out of line, very puzzling.
More scenery has been completed with static grass fibres applied around the station platforms, the area to the right of the station and up behind the West Yard, where Geoff has installed the coal staithes. He has now moved on to the station platforms with improvements to the surfaces. At the same time he has started work on the lift up flap improving the look of the level crossing. He is getting ready to plant Fred's little crossing keeper's hut alongside.
The branch line is now energised. It has also been tested and proved OK to be driven by DCC. MikeB has loaned a Gaugemaster Prodigy handset that plugs into the normal controller socket, so DCC is a bit crude at the moment! A simple remote control operates the points in the branch side of the station and provides on/off switches for the sections.
MikeB is still struggling to complete the control for the station area. He intends to provide two control panels, one for the goods yard together with the inside main line; and the other for the Branch and outer mainline. The problems of control stem from the requirement to be able to cross from mainlines to either the yard or the branch without having to change controller. It is this complexity of providing different controller supplies to each of the many sections in the two areas vthat is delaying the installation. However MikeB is hoping MERG's CBUS system will come to the rescue, partly by reducing the number of control wires to each baseboard and by providing some simple automation to the switching between controllers. In addition this CBUS system will provide point position indication on each control panel, and enough connections to have plenty of track sensors and uncouplers.
In the meantime MikeB has put together temporary control panels without any automation for the goods yard and the branch.