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Member postings for Ron Colvin

Here is a list of all the postings Ron Colvin has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Coronavirus
14/03/2020 11:58:26
Posted by Bill Chugg on 14/03/2020 10:31:31:
Posted by Hopper on 14/03/2020 10:27:53:
Posted by Alan Jackson on 14/03/2020 10:18:13:

I like the advice for shares I once saw, it said

"Buy low and sell high, but if they don't go up, don' t buy them."

Well it worked for me.


That's it in a nutshell.

That's why I spent most of my money on beer, fast women and loose motorcycles. The rest, I wasted.

Over here it is beer, loose women and FAST motorcycles, wink wink


I believe that the beer should deserve an adjective too, strong, tasty etc. wink

Thread: DVLA Scam
01/03/2020 11:54:07

This is not a process that I am happy with, the automatic annual extracting of payment from a debit card once you have used it once.

I used to pay my Model Engineer annual subscription by cheque, and each year received a reminder that the subscription required renewing. One year I paid by debit card instead, and since then it has been automatically renewed.

Maybe there is way to opt out of this procedure, but I would much rather that it was configured so that you had to opt in.

Thread: Old Computers - why do people bother
31/01/2020 19:50:57
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 31/01/2020 19:20:59:
Posted by Ron Colvin on 31/01/2020 18:09:12:


Although I do not have any msdos virtual machines running, if I had, they could also be moved across.



My earliest version of Autocad actually needs to be used on an old machine ... because it looks for the [hardware] Maths co-processor !!


I first used Autocad on a Apricot PC, the computer had neither a hard drive or a maths co-processor. The version of Autocad that I used (v2.03) ran off a 3.5" floppy disk. Later on, to speed things up, l bought a second hand 8087 processor.

31/01/2020 18:09:12

If my old Dell decides to give up the ghost I will be able transfer the virtual machines over to a new machine that I have installed Virtualbox onto. Although I do not have any msdos virtual machines running, if I had, they could also be moved across.

The main problem with running old programs is the ability to access ancillaries (printers, plotters etc.). There will not be drivers available for modern equipment, and if you still have the old appliances in working order, the new computer will not have the interfaces for them (centronics, rs232).

31/01/2020 15:35:44

I am still using a 12 year old Dell computer that was hardly state of the art when I bought it.

The operating system is Windows Vista home. The only program that I have run on this , is Virtualbox.

On this virtual machine I have Autocad 2000 running under Windows 2000. Solidworks 2003 running on a separate Windows 2000, and Lubuntu for accessing the internet and running the few other office and graphics programs that I require (I used to run Ubuntu but later versions became too resource demanding).

This system still meets all my computing needs.

Thread: Learning CAD with Alibre Atom3D
26/01/2020 15:37:50

To edit a STL with Alibre Atom3D you will first need a program to convert the mesh to a vector file that Alibre can import.

Blender can convert a STL to a DXF.

Both Fusion 360 and freeCAD can convert STL's to STEP files.

Thread: Painting! There one day, gone the next!
12/11/2019 13:52:49

When paint does not remain attached to an oxidised aluminium surface, is it the oxidised layer that lifts?, or is there a weak bond between the paint and the aluminium oxide?.

Thread: My really awful week!
08/11/2019 16:49:38
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 06/11/2019 10:31:22:
Posted by Phil Whitley on 05/11/2019 20:46:03:

........ I have actually been dancing to the radio ( well thats what I call it anyway!)

If you don't call it a radio what do you call it? dont know

A crystal setsmiley.

Thread: How to upset the neighbours!
11/09/2019 13:00:51

There is a company that is producing an updated MGB. It seems that it produces to an electrifying experience.


Thread: Scale gauges
22/08/2019 18:37:41

The origin of having a set of standard gauges was introduced by a toy manufacturer in 1891 (Märklin ) . They were gauges numbered 1 to 5

Number 1 gauge = 45mm

Number 2 gauge = 54mm

Number 3 gauge = 67mm

Number 4 gauge = 75mm

Number 5 gauge = 120mm

The only one that has remained to its original dimension is gauge 1.

22/08/2019 14:01:47
Posted by 34046 on 22/08/2019 12:40:53:

That is interesting Ron

i always understood back along when I spoke to Reeves that drawings for locos were drawn to scale ie 0.75 inch for 3.5 gauge, 1 inch for 5 gauge and 1.5 for 7.25 gauge ?

Is this correct please ?


More likely that someone who has chosen to build with a correct scale/gauge ratio has decided to build a model of a prototype for which no drawings or castings are available. There is a lot of extra design/drawing work involved in producing a more authentic representative of a given locomotive from a published standard design. For example see the current ME series of articles by Doug Hewson on updating LBSC's pannier tank locomotive "Pansy".

22/08/2019 12:08:48
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 22/08/2019 10:44:15:
Posted by 34046 on 21/08/2019 19:47:56:


7,25 inch locos and rolling stock are built to a scale of 1.5 inches equals 1 foot.



Like Merlin I'm confused slightly by scale and gauge.

A scale of 1½" to 1' is 1:8 so standard gauge ( 4'8½" ) rail track should be modelled 7¹⁄₁₆" apart. Not that it makes any difference, but why jump to 7¼" or even 7½" as is popular in the USA?


Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 22/08/2019 10:45:12

With passenger hauling model locomotives it is the gauge that is important, the scale is nominal. If someone is a stickler for having a correct scale/gauge ratio, they can tweak the scale accordingly. With small scale scenic model railways the scale is generally kept constant, and it is the gauge that is adjusted by the purist.

Thread: Electric Cars
11/07/2019 14:16:57

I foresee five years from now the uptake of electric vehicles being no where near the figures being currently predicted. In fifteen years nearly every new road vehicle will be an electric.

Edited By Ron Colvin on 11/07/2019 14:17:42

Thread: Coal Merchants Wagons
20/06/2019 17:02:10

I remember as a lad, seeing in the windows of coal merchants, large scale models of railway wagons (they could have been 7 1/4 inches gauge or even 10 1/4 inches), painted in the livery of the company. After a brief search on the web, I have not found references to these models. Were they a wide spread phenomena?. Does anyone know of any that still exist?.

Edited By Ron Colvin on 20/06/2019 17:06:30

Edited By Ron Colvin on 20/06/2019 17:09:19

Thread: Making a Start in FreeCAD
20/06/2019 15:22:18
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 20/06/2019 14:33:53:
Posted by Versaboss on 20/06/2019 13:40:37:

... I really wonder every time why Onshape is never mentioned here (except by me I think!).

I just did SOD's example in Onshape, and it is so much easier. ...

Kind regards,

Hi Hans,

The only reason I've never taken an interest in Onscape is the price. The Standard license is $1500 per year and Professional $2500. But is Onshape like Fusion360, with a free version available for hobbyists and students? (Fusion don't exactly make it clear they have a no-fee license for hobbyists, students and small businesses.)

I'm not attempting to convert anyone to a particular package. FreeCAD suits as way in to 3D-CAD because it's Open Source and avoids license problems and the fear that free access to a commercial product might be taken away later. Playing with FreeCAD might waste time but it won't cost money!

Alibre, Fusion, Onshape and others all have significant merit, not least that FreeCAD isn't as slick, advanced or bug-free as any of paid-for products. I switch to Fusion for complicated modelling, multiple parts and joints.


Onshape is free to hobbyist the biggest restriction being, that the free subscription only allows public data. in other words anyone has access to your work.

FreeCAD has the advantage over Alibre, Fusion and Onshape, in regards that , you do not find yourself waiting for the other shoe to drop, and what has been "free" up until now, you are suddenly charged for.

Thread: DraftSight no longer free
09/06/2019 15:02:08
Posted by Barrie Lever on 08/06/2019 18:40:25:

Fusion 360 will be next, now that the stupid little spat between Dassault and Autodesk is probably over.

You will hear the cry's all over the country then.

Maybe not. I use Onshape rather than Fusion 360, but the free use for non-commercial users is pretty much the same deal. I do not believe that model engineers, that are predominantly older chaps (Not being a sexist here and I realise that one of most accomplished model engineers in Britain is a woman) are the principle targets for these free arrangements. The vendors of these products are trying to win over young people with design aptitude, being well aware that once someone has invested time and effort into learning a program they have an incentive to stick with what they are familiar with. These youthful users may well be in commercial positions later on to specify the software the companies that they are working for will be using.

Thread: Why a round bed?
02/06/2019 14:42:32
Posted by Nicholas Farr on 02/06/2019 07:16:50:

Hi, have you read this **LINK** it may help you to understand some of the reasons for the design.

Regards Nick.

Tried calling Guildford 153, but so far no response. I wonder if the M.O.D. still have some in storage that they would be willing to sell off at low cost.

Thread: Chinese Lathes
09/05/2019 15:12:28

Sorry, I double posted.

Edited By Ron Colvin on 09/05/2019 15:14:54

09/05/2019 15:11:01
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 08/05/2019 22:05:49:
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 08/05/2019 18:01:23:
Any lathe is better than no lathe, which is more than can be said of wives!

Darn right!

Lathes don't get jealous if you've got another one, or more, on the side

Lathes don't moan if you ignore them for a period

Lathes don't complain if they don't get serviced as often as they should

Lathes don't get headaches

Lathes are ready to perform immediately after power on

Lathes don't go on shopping sprees, but love it when you buy accessories

Lathes don't get pregnant


Pregnant lathes!, so you would never have to buy another one. Pity though that they would be out of commission for 9 months.

Thread: "Screwing" a car round a corner!
28/04/2019 14:25:58

The late James Hunt former Grand Prix world champion, owned a Austin A35 van. He was quoted as saying that it was his favourite road car because he could drive it at the limit without driving illegally.

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