Lotterywest Grant for New Patio

Damaged Patio Shadecloth

Three years ago (to the day!) the simple shade-cloth patio protecting a portion of the outdoor area at the club was destroyed in a storm. Since then we have been trying to figure out a way to replace it.

Damaged shadeclothThe original was built by our senior club members over a long period of time using salvaged and second-hand materials. There were two problems with adopting this approach again: 1) Clearly cobbling something together using second hand materials isn’t strong enough to stand up to storms and 2) our senior members are now too senior to contemplate this sort of activity, and our less senior members either don’t have the necessary skills or time to be able to contemplate it.

Lotterywest SupportedWe applied to Lotterywest for a grant to build a new patio and yesterday we were successful! We should receive the grant within a week allowing us to book a contractor to complete the work at the first opportunity.

A big thank-you to our President, John Kinson who was the driving force behind getting quotes, completing the mountain of paperwork and liaising with Lotterywest.

 

BHP Billiton Model Donated

BHP Model

The club is delighted to accept the donation of a very nice model of a North-West construction camp from BHP Billiton Iron Ore that is now surplus to their requirements. The model is approximately 1:100 scale — close enough to HO 1:87 for us to be able to make good use of virtually everything on our main HO Gunyidi layout.

The model has been very professionally produced and the WAMRC gratefully acknowledges BHP Billiton Iron Ore for donating this model to the club.

Is that the time?!

New clock

The clubrooms have a new BIG clock — now easily read from anywhere in the main layout room. It has a flat glass cover which doesn’t result in light reflections like the old small clock which made it hard to read.

Free to the club — saved from a rental house clear out where it was destined for the tip!

N Scale progress

The N Scale boys had another good evening last Wednesday putting together one of the larger end pieces of the new layout and then attaching legs and bolting the modules together.

Still haven’t got around to doing the last minutes or sending out the notice of next general meeting — must get on to that!

Dry-cell Battery Recycling

With the explosion of electronics in use in Model Railways in recent years, the club is finding itself going through more and more dry cell batteries. Peter Tullis recently obtained a ‘Dry Cell Battery Recycling Container’ and has placed it in the library for anyone to use.

When replacing dead batteries, please put the old ones in the container rather than throw them in the bin. You can even bring them in from home as well! The types of batteries accepted include:

  • AA and AAA cells (single use & rechargeable batteries)
  • C and D sized batteries
  • Button batteries (e.g. from watches)
  • 9V batteries
  • 6V batteries (e.g. lantern/torch batteries)

Any broken, damaged, leaking or corroded batteries should first be placed in a zip-lock bag (use one of the old mug bags).

Once the container is full, it will be returned to the recycling depot. From there, the batteries are sorted into single use and rechargeable types. Single use batteries are sent to NSW for recycling (by AusZinc), while the rechargeable types have to be sent overseas (France or Singapore) as Australia currently has no recycler for these battery types.

Lead acid batteries (both sealed rechargeable and vehicle batteries) cannot be placed in the container. These types of batteries should be disposed of at Household Hazardous Waste depot, or directly with a scrap metal dealer.

For more details, see the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council’s Household Battery Recycling page.

New clubroom number & updated membership list

The WAMRC club rooms has a new mobile phone number: 0451 186 010

This phone is in the club rooms and switched on all the time — but there is no answering machine or voice mail. It will only be answered if there is someone at the club (which is normally only on Wednesdays and during the day on Saturdays and Sundays).

For other ways to get in contact with the club, see the contact page.

A new membership list is now available in the members’ area (restricted access to members only). There are quite a few updates on this latest version (including Rowan’s mobile, Cliff’s address & mobile, Paul’s address & mobile, Chris’s mobile, Gary’s mobile and Brian’s mobile) so I encourage you to update your records accordingly. I’ll also print out a bunch of hard copies to leave in the club rooms.

As we are coming up towards the AGM in July, I’ll also be sending out copies of the current membership register in conjunction with the usual call for nominations at the beginning of May.

New Container

WAMRC Container

The long-planned-for container has finally arrived and has been installed behind the clubrooms. When I was last at the club rooms during the busy-bee last Saturday, it was all hands on deck painting it to match the clubrooms, installing a door through into the main clubrooms and welding supports in place internally to support the work benches.

This is a fantastic addition to the club’s facilities and credit must go to all those who have been involved — particularly Harry G. for finding the container in the first place, Paul H. for organising transport and the crane and Mark B. for negotiating access through Bradkens and being the driving force behind the subsequent modifications. A brilliant team effort!

Chris K. took some photos on his phone during the operation to lift it into place — head over to the galleries to check them out: Container Lift Photos

Zanthus pictorial display

Zanthus photographs

A clever pictorial display of the “Zanthus” building has been put together by the G-Scale group for display inside the clubrooms (click on the picture above to see it in more detail). It shows six historical pictures of the building as it was in-situ on the Trans-Continental Railway, one picture as it is now — relocated and reconstructed just outside our clubrooms — and three pictures of the G-Scale scale model of the same building built by Stan Major.

This pictorial record is now on display in the public viewing area of the main clubrooms.

WAMRC Air Conditioned

Air conditioning plenum

The WAMRC main layout room is now air conditioned with two powerful evaporative air conditioning units, courtesy of a $6,600 grant from Lotterywest. They were commissioned on the 22nd January 2008 in the middle of a heatwave, and the immediate difference they have made to the club rooms is truly incredible!

Great thanks go to Mark Butler and Paul Heaney for preparing the grant application, completing all the paperwork, getting numerous quotes and arranging the actual installation. And of course, huge thanks got to Lotterywest for supporting the club financially in this way!

There was some initial concern about how the air-conditioners had been wired into the club’s main power switchboard, and whether our routine practice of the last person out turning off main power as they leave was going to interfere with the normal shutdown operation of the air-conditioning units — or whether they could be inadvertently left on. So we conducted some simple experiments and also contacted the manufacturer (Jarrahdale) to get some answers.

It turns out the air-conditioners are wired into the switched master circuit of the club — when you turn the master switch off as you leave, power is cut to the air-conditioners as well. This is a good thing as it means the air-conditioners can’t be accidentally left on!

The air-conditioners automatically drain their water (about 10–12 litres) when they lose power (in other words they require power to hold their water during normal operation), although a pressure relief valve in the system means that it can take up to a minute after power is lost before water actually begins to drain. There is nothing in the design of the air-conditioners or controllers that means turning the power off abruptly is necessarily worse than turning them off at the controller (the service guy I spoke to says that is routinely what he does when servicing them), but even so, for normal operation he does recommend turning it off at the controller first.

The air conditioners hold their water for about 5 minutes after being turned off at the controller. So he suggests as a general rule of thumb we should aim to turn them off at the controllers about 10 minutes before the last person leaves the club and the power is switched off — but if that doesn’t happen and the power is just switched off at the master switch while the air-conditioners are still on it will still be OK — the units will still drain their water even without power.

Below are some more pictures of the installation. Click on any thumbnail to view the picture.

Both air-conditioning plenums Air conditioning control panels and instruction sheet Air conditioning unit Air conditioning units