This is a guide to motorising the Balloon and Railcoach Blackpool trams made by Corgi, using the motor units made and sold by Connexions2011 on ebay (There is no direct link to the specific unit, as eBay items are ephemeral, so you’ll just have to go by the photo to identify the item you need).
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The problem with this 4 lane running smart motorway guff is that its fine until someone breaks down.
Oh PLEASE tell me what can go wrong
I came up with the idea of “Garwick”, a station on a mainly industrial line which still handles passenger traffic. The layout is based mainly on the long-closed Maudlands station in Preston, but with several additions which “just seemed like good ideas at the time”.
Septtember 12th 2015, the 32nd anniversary of my Dad’s passing, and I decided to visit the Ribble Steam Railway, which just happens to be right next door to where he worked. Good call, Tony!
August 22nd 2015 was not a good day to visit the Barry Tourist Railway, as they wer clogged up with a charter train. So not many photos on this one…
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Back when The Doctor was a grumpy scotsman with fearsome eyebrows, took a trip to the Doctor Who Experience in bleakest Cardiff.
Apps such as Garageband on the iPhone allow you to record your guitar noodling and play about with various effects. But first you need to get the guitar connected to the ‘phone.
Looking about on t’internet, there are loads of instructions on how to build a guitar interface for the iPhone, but most involve butchering existing cables.
As the cost of the required AV cables is stupidly high, I decided to just buy the bits and have a go at making one from scratch.
So, lets have a look at what we need:
A 3.5mm 4-pole jack – plugs in to the phone
A 3.5mm stereo socket (case mountable) – for headphones
A 1/4″ mono socket (case mountable) – for the guitar input
Some 3 core shielded audio cable. Sadly, Maplin fucked up and sent me 2 metres of the wrong cable, despite them looking totally dissimilar and having completely different catalogue numbers.
Anyway, sod Maplin, I’m prototyping here. I’ll make do with bits from my wires box.
The first thing to do is solder the cable on to the horrendously fiddly 4-pole plug. Get the most difficult thing done first, that’s my philosophy.
The pin out for the plug now looks like this:
- Green – (Input)
- Yellow – (Ground)
- Orange – (Output Right)
- Red – (Output Left)
Wrap it all up in the casing that came with the plug, and get a “pigtail” lead:
Originally I wanted this lead to be about four inches longer, but this will have to do for the moment. (You can insert a joke here if you really want).
Next, solder up the stereo socket. I went for the same colour code for Ground/Outputs.
Finally, solder-wise, its time to connect up the socket for the guitar input.
Following the same colours from above:
And here it all, all breadboarded up for testing:
After buying a small case, I discovered it was too small to mount the 1/4″ mono socket in, so I had to look about for an alternative.
I haven’t found anything handy yet, but you get the gist.
An old 35mm film container prooved to be the best case I could find. So, now it looks like this:
As it is a year today since I had my pathetic little heart attack (if there can be such a thing), I thought I’d put finger to keyboard about my thoughts on a certain bullshit thing thats going around t’internet like a sawn-off broom handle in a convent (since 1999 – but such shit never dies due to Facetube/Buzzspace/Mybook/Youfeed whatever).
I’m not going to link to it, but its called “Cough CPR”, and the idea seems to be thus: Rhythmically coughing while having a heart attack will save your life. This is obviously horseshit. (I will, however link to the Snopes page about it: http://www.snopes.com/medical/homecure/coughcpr.asp).
Should you think you are having a heart attack, and you’re alone, you really have two options. I shall present them here, so you can choose which one you think is the right one.
Sit down and have a cup of tea.
Look on the internet about heart attacks.
Go and have a dump*.
Try and have a lie down, hoping the pain will go away.
Have a smoke. Things are always better after a smoke.
Look on the internet again.
Have another cup of tea and a smoke.
Realise that you can’t stand up properly.
Ring NHS Direct and get kept talking while they sneakily send an ambulance to get you.
Ring the fucking emergency services right away!!!
And don’t forget to grab your ‘phone and charger, otherwise you’ll be bored shitless.
*Oddly, heart attacks bring on the feeling that you’re about to suffer from diarrhea. This is probably why a lot of people die on the khazi, and certainly why all toilets in hospitals have an emergency alarm nearby.
So, its Rock Festival season again, and because I’m too useless to own a functioning vehicle and as my Rock-Buddy doesn’t want her precious 3 Series bogged axle deep in a morass of mud, piss and stale Tuborg, its time to hire a car.