Sunday 6 April 2008

Wasted Years

Another successful NEAG meeting yesterday on the use of RSUs.
The box with my RSU still contained the packing and the London Road Models receipt dated 28th May 1996!!!
With assistance from Steven Harold and David Long, the wiring was sorted out and connected to give the 1.5v supply, and, full of trepidation, a start was made. I've been told in the past that it is best policy to practice first on scraps of metal before trying the "real thing", but what the heck. I know I've waited twelve years - that's long enough.
Out with the Brake Van kits I started at York Show on the 2mm stand. Damn! Left the three chassis at home!
So, start with the fold-up axleboxes. Steady as you go. Cut one end, bend up, apply solder paste, fold double. Make sure the two sides are exactly lined up, apply the black wire to the etch, touch the axlebox with the tip, and press the pedal for a second or two. A sizzle, let go the pedal, take off the tip - success, it has soldered beautifully. Eleven repeats result in twelve axleboxes ready for attachment - and it is still not teatime!
What next? Well the verandah ends have proved a little problematic in previous kits, so lets try them. Cut the inner leaf out, drill the lamp bracket hole, apply solder paste to the back of the inner leaf and place it on top of the (back) of the outer leaf. After making sure it is correctly aligned, apply the black wire to the etch and work the tip round the leaf, depressing the pedal intermittently until you hear the sizzle. Result - by teatime, four verandah ends produced and within 15 minutes of resuming, the remaining two ends done.
The question now is, why did I wait 12 years to try it? I don't really understand HOW it works but it DOES work, and it seems to be much easier (it is definitely much tidier) than using an ordinary soldering iron.
The moral has to be "Don't put off trying something because it is new to you. Have a go and you will surprise yourself how easy it is." Don't waste 12 years like I did.

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