A few bits of news to report.
We've been a bit quiet here whilst we all took it easy over the Christmas break. Back to the grindstone now however! (At least for our regular day jobs!) This weekend I made a few changes to the shop on the RRRG site. I added a few new products and also comprehensively revised the Past and Present books in our used books section. I added scans of a few sample pages from each one so you can see what you're buying, and also the maps from each volume showing the areas covered - again, so you know what you're buying! The most significant change to the shop is the addition of second class postage options for some products and insured delivery for our higher value products. I am personally a first class postage man, prepared to pay a premium for express service, but we realise that it makes sense to give the option of a cheaper service if you aren't insistent on having your items arrive quite so quickly. This is only available for some items because items over 1kg in weight can't be sent second class, plus some models are more expensive than the insurance level offered by second class post. However if an item from the shop is eligible for second class postage then the option will be presented when you check out. We will be adding more merchandise over the coming days so keep checking back!
Dave spend the day cleaning the brake chain & mechanism in the no 1 cab of Renown, Ian, Pete & Chris B removed the 12 remaining fuel pumps to be sent for overhaul & I tidied some more completed cable runs in the cubicle of Repulse, started to bend the fixing bolts for the board mentioned last time & examined the three boards with the wheelslip relays & their resistors. There are three wheelslip relays & three resistors on each board & one board is required per loco. One board seems to have been removed from a 50 rather roughly, as the one corner is broken off where the one fixing hole was, so that one is not usable. The other two boards are intact but someone had tried to remove the resistors before we acquired the boards, and sheared off their fixing bolts level with the boards in the process. Many of the cable fixing bolts for the relays are similarly sheared and can be replaced with brass ones, but the resistor bolts will need further investigation, so I brought one board home to see if I can devise a way to re-secure them.
Tim & Dom did housekeeping duties around our vehicles, then started hoovering accumulated debris from under the cab floors of Renown & the rad compartment passageways. Ian & Pete fitted the last three big end bearing caps into the power unit. Dave started to free off the siezed handbrake mechanism in the no1 cab of Renown and cleaned & painted more cab parts. Now Steve & Sarah have recovered from their car crash enough to be more active, they visited site & I discussed various options with Steve for replacing severed cables inside Renown. They then removed some of the flooring alongside the elec cubicle and by the brake frame & started removing accumulated debris from under the floors. We had a quick look to see if any of the severed cables could be matched with their 'other' ends, and we think we may have identified those to the DSD relays. I test fitted a small relay board inside the electrical cubicle of Repulse, but the fixing bolts need bending a little to bring them back into alignment with the board's mounting holes. I also fitted the Battery Charge Diode. Kev Hand made a surprise visit & returned both reversers he was storing for us, as we are now in a position to permanently fit the proper one into Repulse.
Chris B cleaned the exterior and honed the interior of three more brake cylinders, Ian & Pete fitted three more pistons to the power unit, Dave fabricated a second drip tray that goes under the turbos, as the originals are quite badly corroded, Mark B brought some of the latest Booths acquisitions for storage, while I fitted the connecting bars between no.s 1 & 2 field divert contactors & started sorting the large cables that go between the field divert resistors, contactors & the reverser into their correct positions. Once this is done, they will be removed, properly cleaned & fitted permanently.Chris B cleaned the exterior and honed the interior of three more brake cylinders, Ian & Pete fitted three more pistons to the power unit, Dave fabricated a second drip tray that goes under the turbos, as the originals are quite badly corroded, Mark B brought some of the latest Booths acquisitions for storage, while I fitted the connecting bars between no.s 1 & 2 field divert contactors & started sorting the large cables that go between the field divert resistors, contactors & the reverser into their correct positions. Once this is done, they will be removed, properly cleaned & fitted permanently.
Chris & Tom Thorn continued sorting spares in the coach and the shed, then made an inventory of what equipment we have for the brake frame, and found we appear to be missing nothing for Repulse and have a good quantity of spares. Pete & Ian were intending to fit B3 piston & conrod, but discovered the oil ring was damaged, and as we have no spares at the moment, they decided instead to fit the cylinder head to B7. Chris Bodell & I cleaned the steel workbench, then we all moved it over to the coach and manoeuvred it inside to its allocated spot. Chris & I then re-built the 'Dexion' racking and secured it in place, then I fitted the last socket. Apart from two more fluorescent lights still to fit, the coach is now usable as a workshop.
Dave, Ian & Pete removed the piston & conrod they were using as a test for the new stretch bolts, then successfully fitted A8 piston & mated the conrod to the main crank, but not before discovering the snow that had fallen on site had pushed the tarpaulin down into the Vee & frozen, leaving a 21/2" thick six foot long iceberg which we had to smash up & remove, and then had to bale out gallons of water underneath the ice, which fortunately was contained by the tarpaulin & had not got into the power unit. Mark Burrows continued weatherproofing 29's no.2 cab. Chris Thorn & his brother Tom did a sterling job continuing to sort the spares in the coach (they had also attempted to do the same yesterday, but found the lock on the coach frozen, so they tidied up the shed & started assessing repairs needed to 29's cabs), and by the end of the day, the coach is now much tidier. I continued installing sockets and lighting in the coach and successfully tested what I have so far fitted.