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> St Albans South Signal Box, Work on a 1:1 scale
dwb
post 11 Jun 2008, 16:48
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QUOTE
but were able to see a 'virtual' train pass through the station by the lights on the diagram


With some appropriately located sub woofers, you might be able feel and hear it too? The Dash-9 sound in Microsoft Train Simulator makes some of my furniture vibrate!

David


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John Webb
post 11 Jun 2008, 20:35
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I'd wondered about doing something like that as well. But I think we'll get the levers and instruments working together first!

Regards,
John
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Brian Considine
post 12 Jun 2008, 07:18
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QUOTE (John Webb @ 11 Jun 2008, 11:33) *
One large problem is going to be how to fit microswitches to the levers to tell the computer what position the levers are in so that the appropriate actions are taken.

Hi John,

Another possibility would be to use reed switches & magnets ?
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John Webb
post 12 Jun 2008, 10:06
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Thanks for the suggestion, Brian. The main problem is how to fit any sort of switch to the framework of the lever frame with:
1. The minimum of interference with the historic metal-work (over 100 years old and listed!)
2. The minumum of effort - there are 44 levers less 4 detonator levers and a couple of spares, but a switch is required at each end of the lever travel, so we are approaching 80 switches to be fitted.
But keep the ideas flowing in; it's all appreciated.

Regards,
John
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dwb
post 12 Jun 2008, 16:52
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QUOTE
But I think we'll get the levers and instruments working together first!

Definitely a case of get the main parts working before adding the "Bells and whistles"!

QUOTE
The main problem is how to fit any sort of switch to the framework of the lever frame with:
1. The minimum of interference with the historic metal-work (over 100 years old and listed!)
2. The minumum of effort - there are 44 levers less 4 detonator levers and a couple of spares, but a switch is required at each end of the lever travel, so we are approaching 80 switches to be fitted.
But keep the ideas flowing in; it's all appreciated.


You know, this is not unlike the kind of setup required by an electromechanical church pipe organ. I was thinking of how the pedal board clicks a switch to activate a switch which opens a valve or whatever. Maybe a chat with an organ builder might be worthwhile. It would have to be someone who was sympathetic to "non tracker action" activation. The divide between the two camps is as emotive as the DC / DCC debate in some circles wink.gif

David


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John Webb
post 12 Jun 2008, 18:09
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QUOTE (dwb @ 12 Jun 2008, 16:52) *
Definitely a case of get the main parts working before adding the "Bells and whistles"!

The bells are no problem -we've had two Midland ones for some time and have recently got two BR block instruments to replicate what was in the box in the early 1970s prior to closure.
QUOTE
You know, this is not unlike the kind of setup required by an electromechanical church pipe organ. I was thinking of how the pedal board clicks a switch to activate a switch which opens a valve or whatever. Maybe a chat with an organ builder might be worthwhile. It would have to be someone who was sympathetic to "non tracker action" activation. The divide between the two camps is as emotive as the DC / DCC debate in some circles wink.gif...

44 levers = half a standard 88 keyboard - I should have seen the potential connection, being interested in church organs myself!

Regards,
John
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John Webb
post 21 Jun 2008, 09:07
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QUOTE (BRITHO @ 11 Jun 2008, 12:39) *
I hope all goes well during the visit and that you at the very least get entered - even better if you win an award!


Thanks for that. It turns out I'd misheard our Chairman. It was actually a couple of dozen members of the local '40+' club - the follow-on to Round Table or something similar? So we split them into two groups - one lot sat downstairs for a talk on the history of the box, the Trust and the restoration route, the others upstairs for a look at the lever frame and a quick demo of the rebuilt illuminated diagram and one set of block-bells. After half-an-hour they swapped over and we went through the process again.

We still await to hear when the visit from the judges for the Railway Heritage Awards takes place.

Regards,
John
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John Webb
post 13 Jul 2008, 16:15
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Heritage Open Days - September 13th/14th 2008

I'm pleased to say that we shall be open between 10am and 4pm on both days. The whole box will be open now the major repairs and redecoration are completed. Admission will be free and light refreshments will be available.
There will be a small-scale signalling demonstration and my model railway showing both semaphore and colour-light signals. (And hopefully some Hornby live steam!)

We are in Ridgemont Road, St Albans, off Victoria Street, 200 yards south of the Platform 4 entrance to St Albans City station; parking by the box will be free.

If you can't get to us on either day, we hope to be opening regularly before the end of the year.

Regards,
John Webb




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Thunder
post 13 Jul 2008, 18:10
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I was lucky enough to vist this signal box today by invitation, and must say that i was impressed with the quality of the the work that has been carried out, to bring this piece of railway architecture back to its former glory. Many thanks to the guys i spoke to there today, who took the time to show me the internal workings, and also the prosesses of its reserection, avery enjoyable event, and well worth the vist.

regards John smile.gif
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John Webb
post 4 Aug 2008, 21:52
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Hi, Thunder! I was there from around 2.30pm onwards, so we might have passed each other.

Another major landmark was passed last week when the mechanical work on the restoration of the frame was completed.

Come and have a look on the 13th/14th September - see post #23 above.

Regards,
John Webb
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John Webb
post 18 Aug 2008, 18:31
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Just a few photos to whet the appetite for September, now that I've gone broadband.

View after external works were completed early this year:


Interior of the first floor in September 2006:


And how it looked a couple of days ago:


The reconstructed track diagram:


(With a 'virtual train' leaving on the Up Slow line (top line) as shown by the red lights.)

Regards,
John Webb
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dwb
post 18 Aug 2008, 18:53
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Now that looks really excellent. clap.gif

I'd better check my diary for that weekend.

David


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Brian Considine
post 18 Aug 2008, 19:02
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Fantastic progress John - thanks for the pics.
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John Webb
post 19 Aug 2008, 09:59
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I'll be with the model railway layout in the ground floor of the box most of the time; any MRF members who come - please make yourselves known! There will also be continuous videos running downstairs showing the box in use and a few other things. Upstairs they will be running the signalling demo throughout the day - we can only allow about twenty upstairs at any one time because of space constraints, safety etc., so we're hoping everyone will be able to see it eventually!

Regards,
John Webb
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7113
post 21 Aug 2008, 19:15
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The interior looks superb - I just hope you can keep the taggers out in future

Regards


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