Next station

Grubbe Street 220115A few days’ work on the model railway plan. I realised I need to compress the horizontal (East – West) arm as it was 6m wide! I coud fit it, but it would dominate the width of my lounge. I’ve cut 1m out of it without losing anything.

So now I have a through main line (red) and a branch line (blue) going through the lower station complex, which I’ll call Sydney for the moment. The yellow lines are a terminus station which I’ll call Perth. I’ll choose more imaginative names later.

The next step is to work out sensible routes so that I have meaningful operations. There’s no point just having a train chasing its tail around one route all day. That will almost certainly mean more changes. This is good stuff.

Here’s a closer look at the level of detail the software gives:

Grubbe Street 220115a

Grubbe Street 220115bIt’s taken a week to get this far and I’m nowhere near finished. It keeps me off the streets.

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Wow! Last year I got a flyer through the mail from iiNet offering fibre optic internet. But when I checked the government’s NBN installation plan, it shows this area as not connected and no date for when it will be. Disappointed, I didn’t take it any further. I have ADSL at 1.3Mb/s but I can’t get ADSL2+. Still, after all those years at Trigg with wireless broadband at not much more than dialup speed (56Kb/s !), my present connection is not bad.

But this morning I got another email from iiNet asking me to sign up for fibre. Huh? So I had a chat with them and it turns out that this whole Butler Brighton Estate is fibre connected, via a private company called Opticomm Fibre. It must have been done ten years ago when the whole area was established.

So it appears I can have fibre after all, 25Mb/s with a 200GB per month plan for $64.95/month. Bloody hell, I wish I’d known this in April 2013 when I moved in. Maybe now I’ll be able to watch video clips without them jerking and stopping.

As well, I saw a friend’s new Sony TV last week. It’s a latest model 4K (4x Full High Def, i.e. 3840 x 2160 pixels). I wasn’t really interested in this before, as there’s no material available for it.

But when I saw it I just about fell over backwards at the quality. Then when saw the internet TV services available on it, I changed my ideas. If I had fibre, so as to be able to access these on-line channels, that changes everything. The new US distribution channel Netflix starts up in March, and they do offer 4K material. Hmmm. So firstly, I’m going to sign up for fibre asap. I’ll think about a new TV later. Price? For a Sony 50″ 4K internet TV, $1795 approx.

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Another thing I’m thinking of – I’m driven mad by paper clutter. I have piles of articles, magazine pages, bills, receipts, notes, etc etc. I have four filing boxes full of documents.

Fuji Xerox makes a device called the ScanSnap iX500. This is a double sided top feed paper scanner which scans both sides of a sheet in one pass and saves it to an editable PDF file.

Hmmm. I do wonder if I need all these papers, but I prune regularly and I’ve still got piles left that I feel I need to keep.

The scanner costs $519 plus freight. I could drive it from the laptop next to my table, so that it’s always right there at my elbow. Hmmm.

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Amazing stuff these days. In planning this model railway, I want platforms and buildings at N-scale 1:178 or 2mm = 1ft. A UK company called ScaleScenes sells extremely detailed designs in a web site at this scale or other scales.

You just choose your design on the web, pay on-line for it by PayPal, then within seconds you have an emailed link to download your detailed PDF file. You print this (on your high res inkjet printer) and you have paper parts that you cut out and glue to stiff card. Assemble them with glue and you have your building. Cost? Average $8.50 per building. Add more detailing if you want to make it more realistic, e.g. window and door frames or film plastic windows.

Then today, I walked past a shop at Clarkson that I’ve walked past and ignored many times before. Then I realised it’s a craft shop. I went in, and they sell all the modelling things I need! Sheets of heavy card, balsa wood, modelling clay in many different colours, paints, cutters, lengths of wire of all kinds, and so on. I don’t need them yet, but there they are, only 5Km away. Nice.

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I bought another 9 CDs today to add to the 12 I bought last week. Huh? Well, when they are 3 for $10, it’s pretty good value. These are classical music, all the back catalogues of Decca, DGG, Philips, Archiv and Lyre Bird. They are 70s and ’80s recordings, but that’s OK. I already have the music of some of them, but not these specific recordings.

One on offer today was a boxed set of Handel’s works for the same price – 3 for $10, with this entire 10 disc box being counted as one disc! I didn’t buy it today, but I’ll probably go back and get it. One good thing about having tastes like mine (classical recordings and obscure books and DVDs) is that things tend to be there when I go back.

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Obscure things?The local newsagent just down the street keeps a semi-monthly magazine for me, BBC Music. It comes with a CD of classical music on the front, all for $16.95. She only sells one copy each month in this area, one to me and maybe one more.

Then I bought an 11 disc CD set of Samuel Pepys’s diaries last week. It’s a BBC Radio production, more than 11 hours of old Sam’s diaries dramatised and voiced. Excellent. “And so to bed.”

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