Abrail 2017 Club Exhibition

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Stop Press

Heritage bus service from the car parks to the exhibition

Date & Time

Admission Rate



18 March 2017

Opening 10:00
Closing 17.00

Adults £8

Children under 16 with paying adult £0

White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre

Audlett Drive

OX14 3PJ


Parking Transport Bus will be provided from signed parking areas.










3 points A Tale of two halves Red Hook Bay  Lesobeng City basin goods  Lincoln  Tennessee Extraction Company Railroad
Leavesden  Bradfield GS  Symonds green brewery  Langstone harbour bridge  Sankei Kansen
 Sodor Island  Southwick  Kanjiyama
 Garsdale head
Hinksey yard



Horsethief Bridge




Neil Cresswell Model Railways (sh)
Brunswick Railways Ltd
Kevins Trains (sh)
Ians Trains (sh)
Sunningwell Command Control
Medway Queen Preservation Society
Ceynix Artistree
Berks Dolls House and Model Co.
Radley Models
BH Enterprises/Buzz Models

DCC Power bus connector

Posted on Posted in Electronics, How to guides

The most cost effective way of interconnecting boards is to look at the connectors in the IT industry.

currently the IT industry has a standard 6 pin for PCI-E to power expansion boards like GPU’s with protections to prevent incorrect connection.

the extension cables provide pre wired plugs and sockets.

each lane is rated to 7.5 amps of which the connector provides 3 allowing 22amps to be carried over the connector.

sourcing cables ebay

sourcing in bulk via aliexpress

Standardised – DC controller connector (5 pin din)

Posted on Posted in Electronics, How to guides

ADMRC 5 Pin Din Standards 2016

In 1990 a letter was published in the Model Railway Journal asking if there was a standard for connecting Hand Held Controllers to baseboards/control panels.

Several clubs and manufacturers replied.

Although there appears to be no standard, the majority use the same 5 pin 1800 type ‘A’ DIN plugs and sockets as described below

The Plugs and Sockets

DIN (the German equivalent of the British Standards Institute) has standardised plugs and sockets for audio applications. Good quality ones are rated 2 Amps at 100 V AC/150 V DC and so are very suitable for the 16 V AC input and 0-12 V controlled DC output of model railway controllers.

There are three types of 5 pin DIN plugs (not to be confused with the miniature DIN range), the ones considered here have the pins at 450 included angle (1800 total) and are known as 1800 or type ‘A’. They have become the MIDI standard for connecting computers and musical instruments, and so are likely to remain cheap and readily available for some time.

Latching connectors are available – the latching ones only latch with their counterparts, but will nevertheless mate (without latching) to other connectors of the same pin configuration. They are particularly useful with curly cables, allowing the cables to stretch rather than becoming unplugged.

Sockets are available with hexagonal nut fixing – suitable for sheet metal – and also with screw holes for either chassis mounting or fixing to wooden baseboards.



The cables

The cables are not attached to either the controllers, or to the baseboard. The advantage of completely separate cables is twofold. Firstly it makes for easier storage, and secondly it allows cables to be quickly swapped if a fault develops during an exhibition.

Ready-made leads are available with plugs at both ends, but care must be taken to ensure they are not reversing types (i.e. pin 1 should go to pin 1 etc.). Ready-made MIDI leads are suitable; some Audio leads
do not connect pin 2 – this may not be important. The type of lead where two screened wires are used is not suitable, and for model railway use a low resistance is very important.

A quantity of curly computer keyboard cables was purchased some time ago (sadly these are no longer available). These conveniently had 15 wires, and by soldering 3 to each pin it was possible to get a reasonable current rating. They have been fitted with latching plugs and have proven very successful with several exhibition layouts.


Rear View of Plug

Rear View of Socket

With the exception of 3mm scale, when looking forward from the driving cab of a locomotive it will move forward if the right hand rail is positive with respect to the left hand rail. The baseboard above illustrates how this relates to pins 3 and 5.

If the hand held controller has a slide or toggle switch for direction, the locomotive will move in the direction of the switch when operated from the “operator” side. If the same visual feedback is required when on the “audience” side, a DPDT switch can be incorporated in the baseboard to swap the track connections from pins 3 and 5.

A common practice for track wiring is to use “common return” whereby rails from several tracks are electrically bonded together. This has no effect on the wiring of the DIN plugs, but it is worth mentioning that
controllers requiring external mains transformers must be fed from separate transformer windings.

Pentre Road

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Club Layouts

Our new 00 gauge continuous-run layout. It has a double track mainline with a small through-station and goods loop. Trackwork is code 75-based, with hand-built pointwork in the scenic section. Baseboard construction is mainly open-frame ply.
Pointwork in the fiddle yard is also hand-built enabling longer fiddle yard sidings and the potential of at least a 30 wagon train! All track is now laid apart from the two cassettes on the outer fiddle yard roads. One baseboard has still to be wired up to MERG units and point motors. Point motors [ Fulgurex] are now all installed.
Control Panel built and working in either Dc or DCC mode using MERG units, fiddle yard also tested and working. We just need to integrate the two halves with more MERG units and then test and start scenery.

Leicester (Belgrave Road)

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Club Layouts

OO  gauge  based  on  the  Great  Northern  terminus  at  Leicester  in  the  late  1950’s  early  1960’s.The  layout  will  be  25ft  x  7ft.

Location history
The Great Northern entered Leicester from the east in 1883 with grand ideas, and built a six track station with twin overall roof like the one at Kings Cross. They could only manage four


trains a day to Peterborough (until 1916 when it ceased) and six trains a day to Grantham (it was faster Leicester to York than via L.M.S. or Great Central because the express – J6 0-6-0 with non-corridor coach – connected with the ‘Flying Scotsman’ at Grantham.

The main passenger traffic was the excursions to Skegness and Mablethorpe and in 1953 when the local services were lost; this alone remained until closure to passengers in 1962.

Freight was more successful with the goods warehouse well used until closure of the line in 1964. Even after this fatal blow the link at Forest Road (truncated since 1900) was reinstated to provide access to the goods depot until 1969.

Nothing remains of the station, goods warehouse or any associated railway buildings, even the Catherine Street Bridge is no more.

Modeller Altered History

Leicester (Belgrave Road) was a great success with express trains via Peterborough to Kings Cross and via Newark to the north as well as excursions to the east coast and local services to Grantham, Nottingham and Market Harbourough.

Freight services flourished (as in real history) with large movements of coal, oil, scrap metal and a vast amount of merchandise traffic in vans and open vehicles.

The station entered the diesel age with a refuelling and service depot and this is the period we choose to model (1950’s and 1960’s) when steam locos in their twilight rubbed shoulders with the new diesels in resplendent green


Track information


The track plan was one devised by Eric Young which had evolved over a three year period. The initial idea was for a

terminus to fiddle yard large enough to accommodate 8 coach or 25 wagon trains.

The main line was in the shape of a U with a connection across the centre forming a reverse loop for loco turning. Each train arriving from the fiddle yard would require several movements in view of the public before returning out of sight. The tree operators should keep three trains moving at all times.

At this stage a prototype was required and after researching many Termini, Leicester (Belgrave Road) was discovered and the basic track plan was altered to suit the prototype as closely

as possible without losing the operating potential of the layout.

The view from Catherine Street Bridge towards the station and goods warehouse is fairly authentic while the engine shed, although prototypical in content is on the wrong side of the main line, and forest road crossing as a diorama is correct it faces the wrong way.

The high level LMS line is a convenient way to hide the approach to the fiddle yard, the bulk of which is hidden by the goods warehouse.



Layout Status

Open for exhibition bookings