DFR Telecoms Diary


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I went to the DFR for the morning, mending one of the DMU lights and sealing cable ends of those cables in the caboose. Many of them are now stored outside.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I went to the DFR and spent the day with John Roffe clearing out and tidying the caboosh. It now looks different and we can walk up and down it. I had a good conversation with Peter Adams and now know what is required for phones and cables to Parkend.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A cold day and quite bitter at the DFR. I spent the day with John Roff clearing out the walkway over the museum. I got a load of 700 tele parts to bring home.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

I spent the day wiping up phones. I have seven 700 type for the DFR, a couple to sell on eBay along with a bellset 26.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A hard day mostly in the Caboosh getting in some racking that became available. Nice to have some space in there. I did other odd jobs as required. I helped John Metherall to move cabinets etc and I sorted out a couple of heaters for John Hatton.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I went to the DFR to check on the exchange which was supposed to be out of action. All was well. I got in with the aid of John Hatton but I took the keys round and got duplicates cut so that I can get into the exchange myself when the shop is shut. We also took 14 phones back to the DFR, labelled them and got them tucked away in the caboosh on the new shelves.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

We had a new guy, Martin Lunn, start. I worked with him getting cable tray and cable in for a milling machine in the workshop.

Wednesday, 15 February 2006

I went to the DFR and with Martin got the duct in at the 10.25 mile crossing. We came back to continue work in the machine shop.

Wednesday, 22 February 2006

I spent the day with Martin finishing the cabling to the surface grinder. A good job to finish. We still have to find the fuses for it and to get the thing tested.

Wednesday, 1 March 2006

John Hatton was absent with a cold and Bernard has apparently had a heart attack. I hope he recovers OK as he is too valuable to lose at the railway. Martin, Norman and I sorted ourselves out for the day, I ended up starting Basic Auto with Martin.

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

I put an extension from the shop phone into the office first and they seemed very happy with an old dial phone. Then Martin and I spent time trying to find out why level 4 was not working to Lydney junction. We have a cable fault. We tried to break it down at the town crossing but gave up in the rain in the end. We went to get a key cut for me. Then we went for coffee at Martin's. I found that the 63volt battery in the tester was duff.

Saturday, 11 March 2006

I went to the DFR for me to collect the line plant records and whilst there we cleared a fault at the Town Station and got the circuits down the line tested. Today only the junction is not working, but then it is fine and dry.

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

At the DFR Martin and I spent much of the day tracking down a fault on the Lydney Junction cable. In the end it turned out to be a corroded BT 20/12 in DP3A which I had to replace. We also carried a length of orange pipe up the line to the crossing. We covered a fair bit of railway in the course of the day.

Sunday, 2 April 2006

We were up early to get to the swapmeet at Avoncroft by about 9:45. We were quickly settled in and during the morning got rid of most of the gear, especially the big heavy items we wanted shot of. We made 43 in the end but I also spent 6.50 on some small bits for the DFR. We left about twelve and got home after shopping at the PO by about 1:30. Quite a successful morning. We met John Metherall and his wife Jean, and also Andrew Hurley while we were there. Didn't do too much during the rest of the day.

Wednesday, 5 April 2006

I did lots of messing around but we did manage to get the armoured cable in from the consumer unit to the post by the DMU area. I also went to try to meet Peter Adams at Parkend, but he went missing after he had found that he had lost his wallet. .

Saturday, 8 April 2006

We went to the DFR to check the PA, I had to alter the mains clock to summer time, and to change a dial on a museum phone.

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

Jean and I went to the DFR together. Jean started her under-gardener duties. I changed the BT phone in the signal box.

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

I changed the top on a cabinet that had been vandalised at lake side and went on to check the bell at the junction. I need to go back when I can get hold of a ladder. I also fitted a new BT phone at Parkend. Not too productive.

Saturday, 22 April 2006

I spent a very hard day at Parkend with John Hatton, Peter Adams and Phil on the digger getting the various ducts in around the site. A bit chaotic particularly when we cut the water main and the first train came in while we had the platform covered with spoil.

Wednesday, 26 April 2006

I spent most of the day with Martin at Parkend pulling in telephone cables through the ducts we laid last Saturday. A hard day again.

Wednesday, 3 May 2006

Visiting loco Bradley Manor

Martin and I worked together during the day, first changing the bell at the junction, then covering the electrical cables between the rails outside the Severn and Wye room and finally changing out the BT20/8 at DP2B for a decent external one.

Wednesday, 10 May 2006

9681 back in sewrvice

I spent the day at Parkend getting the BT phone through to the signal box.

Monday, 15 May 2006

I went to Parkend to finish the signal box work. I did go back to Norchard to eat lunch with Jean and Rosie. The only work left at the signal box now is to wire up the D phone and get it working.

Tuesday, 16 May 2006

I tidied the exchange first and then got round to converting two finals to incoming selectors and then recovering all the jumpering associated with Lydney junction 2. Quite a good day.

Wednesday, 17 May 2006

I spent the day on odd jobs ending up with Martin starting to get four lines jumpered up ready to go to Lydney Junction to replace the Minimaster.

Thursday, 18 May 2006

I spent the day in the exchange finishing the jumpering for the lines to Lydney and then looking at the junction relay sets.

Wednesday, 24 May 2006

General view of Norchard

Martin and I sorted out the telephone arrangements in the shop for Kay and then went to Parkend to complete the work on the D phones. We got them working before we left.

Sunday, 28 May 2006

Sunny when we got up early to go to Medstead station. We got there about 11:20 and loaded the car as far as we dared with items, especially a split selector shelf. Chris Hall has a set of cells for a 48 volt battery but they were too heavy to take as well as all the rest.

Wednesday, 1 June 2006

The exchange battery has failed and it needs replacing. Martin and I sorted out the jacks first then the split duct for John M and after lunch we put up a PIR for the floodlight at the far end of the shed. We still have to do the connections at the mains end. Jean and I went to Parkend to try out the cordless phones. The analogue phone seemed to work down as far as the points so I left it there. We came back to see Ian Godsave of C&W who will let us have four 12 volt batteries to replace the failing exchange battery.

Friday, 2 June 2006

The batteries arrived, amazingly fast. We went on to the Thomas day at the DFR so that I could pick up the charger for the 48 volt battery.

Saturday, 3 June 2006

I was called to the DFR as the mains had been off and the clocks and PA were not working. The battery has failed but by the time I got there everything was back on so long as people dialled 6 first etc. I showed the three ladies there how to set the clock and switch on the PA.

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

I went to the DFR early picking up Martin on the way. We spent most of the day trying different arrangements of the power plant and battery using four twelve volt batteries from C&W. I think that we established that the power plant will only work as designed and will not work with a 48 volt battery. It needs 22 or 23 cells plus 2 cells to work satisfactorily. In the end we finished with a mix of the old batteries and those from C&W, otherwise we ended up with over 60 volts on the exchange. Whilst the batteries bedded down Martin and I also put the split duct over the power cables between the rails and covered the duct with scalpings.

Wednesday, 7 June 2006

Martin and I replaced the green duct at Upper Forge with orange pipe, though we had to go to the Junction to find a length as we could not locate the length at the site. Afterwards we surveyed the aerial cable route and found that we could attach the drop wire at the bottom step on each pole. After lunch I went to Lakeside to replace the rotten top on the cabinet there. It's pretty neat now.

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

I spent the morning with Norman sorting and retesting the cables on drums and getting them listed and marked up with paint. John Hatton wasn't there as he has had a bit of a heart scare and was still feeling tired. So when the signal box lost their token circuit Norman and I had to change out batteries under John's telephone supervision. Finally we cut a duct in half longitudinally for use at the rail crossing near the footpath.

Thursday, 15 June 2006

Bright and sunny this morning. We left at nine to go to Alresford station to pick up eight 6 volt batteries. We had them in the car by 11:30. We had an easy but slow run home in view of the weight we were carrying.

Sunday, 18 June 2006

I spent the morning checking the new batteries, which are excellent, and repairing the cabinet.

Monday, 19 June 2006

I have been laying out telephone cable alongside the railway. Not a quick job. Norchard, in the middle of our railway has two platforms, one low level and one high level. We started with the cable drum on a hand trolley at the low level. We had to push the trolley half a mile south, change the points and come back half a mile north to end up opposite from our starting spot, but twenty feet higher. That took an hour in the drizzle. A quick cup of tea and the weather improved and we had to go a further mile north to start laying the cable alongside the track. We had the worst drum of the lot today and as it rotated on the spindle it broke up and fell off the trolley. We had a heck of a job to get the rest of the cable untangled and laid out but we ended up getting 430 metres closer to our target. Then it was push the trolley back to the start point. We have to walk the next two cable lengths on Wednesday and decide how to lay the cable but that should get us to our first target of Whitecroft where we need a phone at the level crossing. We also have to take some rods with us to check whether or not the duct under the level crossing is still OK to use. They have done road works recently at the crossing and we don't know what sort of state the ductwork is in.

Wednesday, 21 June 2006

I spent the morning walking the Tuft's Bridge to somewhere north of Whitecroft sections surveying the cable route. The next length looks easy but the last length to Whitecroft will need a bigger gang to get the cable back against the edge of our land. I also saw Mervyn Thomas at Whitecroft and got a lot of agreement with him as to what was to be done at Parkend. After lunch I sorted out two small cabinets and got the mounted onto posts and ready to be installed.

Monday, 26 June 2006

A miserable wet day all day. I went to the DFR on my own and Bob Hawker and I got two lengths of cable installed in the rain so that we are now as far as Whitecroft. Now we have to get it jointed through. We got soaked particularly as the long grass was wet through and soaked our trousers, shoes and socks. Miserable. But nice to think we are through to Whitecroft.

Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Bernard came back to work and he went off to DP5D to terminate the cable going on towards Parkend. Martin and I went on to Whitecroft to sort out cable 4. It took us all our working time to get the cable into position with a couple of simple duct crossings included. We did go back to Norchard for lunch as we wanted tougher spades for digging. We gave up when the cable was in position and went back to base to pack up.

Wednesday, 5 July 2006

Martin and I went along and planted two more DPs before lunch. I got Bernard and Norman going on producing two more small cabinets. After lunch Martin put the fuse box up outside the exchange door while I sorted out bits for Parkend.

Monday, 10 July 2006

I spent the day putting in cable grips and trunking and in starting the power cabling.

Wednesday, 12 July 2006

Martin and I went to plant the DP south of Whitecroft while Bernard terminated at DP5E. We picked him up for lunch. Afterwards Bernard and Martin went back to finish the terminating while I laid the extra duct near the crossing. I came back to do more work on the power cabling and to test with Bernard after he had finished the terminating. DP5E is now complete.

Monday, 24 July 2006

I went to the DFR to locate a cable fault near the park. Martin and I found that quickly enough and made a temporary repair. John Hatton turned up as well. We tried to find a fault on the St Mary's Halt telephone line but gave up as it got too hot.

Wednesday, 26 July 2006

I spent the day back on the cable fault at the Park. We managed to encapsulate the joint and had the wasp nest destroyed but could not clear the 525 fault. It's 106m back from the DP at the halt. It will wait.

Monday, 31 July 2006

I finished the 50 volt power cabling and put the telephone back on the wall on the platform.

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

I tried to locate a spare for 525 but all the spares in the cable were damaged. A bigger locating job is required. After lunch I surveyed the mains power supply for the new rectifier with John Hatton and agreed what we should do. I then changed the light fitting in the museum office and had a look at a cabinet that needs to be lit. Bernard and Martin went and completed DP5F, getting on towards Whitecroft.

Monday, 7 August 2006

I put in the mains cabling and components for the PA switch and the rectifier power. Now we are ready to change over to the new batteries.

Wednesday, 9 August 2006

John Hatton didn't turn up so I was boss. Bernard and Martin went off to terminate DP5G, Norman and I checked out the situation at Parkend and Whitecroft and then fitted a light in a museum case.

Monday, 14 August 2006

Martin and I changed over the battery and power unit. All went well and it seems to be working OK.

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

Martin and I got the temporary telephone at Whitecroft working. We got the cabinet up on the train and it was erected by twelve. The cable tests out beautifully so we are hopeful that there are no faults.

Wednesday, 23 August 2006

I got the old rectifier to pieces ready for transporting. Martin and I also walked a bit of line to find a cabinet with a broken door.

Saturday, 26 August 2006

We went to the DFR for me to meet Geoff Bawdsley and his son, also Geoff. We had a look round the museum and exchange and then got the rectifier and power unit out into his car. We also transferred the two big ringers that I got from Val and Dave to his car.

Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Martin and I mended the broken cabinet at DP5D, walked the line between Whitecroft and Parkend and with Bob Hazell got the cabinet up at Whitecroft.

Sunday, 3 September 2006

I was called in to the railway to clear a fault on the station master's phone. It was in the dead extension wiring down towards the signal box. I disconnected it.

Monday, 4 September 2006

I made up a backboard and terminations for the main Whitecroft cabinet.

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

We spent most of the day trying to sort trouble on the token system but in the end did not find a real fault. Martin and I also checked the lengths of cable left in the yard. We seem to have quite a bit but some is now in a heap on the floor after a drum collapse. We also checked what was happening at Parkend. The space for the exchange is nearly cleared.

Wednesday, 20 September 2006

Martin, Les, Bob Morris and I got together at ten at my home and managed to load the two racks onto a van. Hard work. We also filled Martin's car with selectors. We all went to Parkend where we got the racks in and stood up. Very heavy. During the morning we got them positioned and secured with tie bars overhead to the walls. We went to Norchard for lunch where we found the power unit cooking away and the ringer running constantly. However we had to go back to Parkend to get our tools but also to meet Peter Adams. He promptly vetoed the partitioning that was going up and we had a long discussion about procedures etc as we thought he was all OK with the proposal. In the end we had to go along with a much reduced space which incorporated the exchange and electrics into one. We have to move the racks!! We had to quickly tidy up and get the selectors etc into the building before going back to Norchard to check the power unit and ringer. We had two problems. A group selector was not quitting with the time pulses and the PA phone on the high level platform was off its rest again. However the power unit was cooling somewhat.

Wednesday, 27 September 2006

I spent most of the day at Parkend with Martin. We got the racks properly in place and tied back to the walls. We fitted a socket near the exchange and got a bit of charge into the batteries.

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

We connected up the new passageway clock first and then after lunch Martin and I went to Parkend where we connected the power across to the switching rack and cleated part of the external cables along the wall. Not a very productive day.

Friday, 13 October 2006

I spent most of the day at Parkend with Martin getting the exchange back on but there is still a lot to do.

Monday, 16 October 2006

I spent my time at Parkend with Mervyn and his group. I got the furniture installed, clock, phone and some external cables terminated.

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

John H was away so we did our own thing. Martin and Norman spent the morning down at the junction checking portable apparatus. I fitted cupboards at Norchard exchange then put the backboard into the Whitecroft cabinet I went on to Parkend and got things moved on the wall for the ceiling upright. After lunch Martin and I walked down to Middle Forge to look at the phones. Couldn't get into 504 but on checking 533 found the bell coil dis. We recovered the phone and will need to take another one down next week. I finished by clearing faults in the Norchard exchange, I had to change a group selector afflicted by silver migration.

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

We changed some faulty light tubes and I went to Parkend first with John Hatton to sort out various electrical bits. I went back after lunch to move several items on the wall and the cupboard to allow Mervyn to get two four inch uprights in without any trouble.

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Martin and I mended the Coaches cafe PA and a couple of the night lights in the hallway. After an early lunch John H and I went to Parkend to plan the electrical supply for the exchange. When we got back I recovered the supply to the old rectifier mains switch and put up our notice board in its place. We also had a look at the linefinder arrangements on rack A1 but could not make them display the fault.

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

I went to Parkend to fit noggins for the lights, tried to locate a tower for use against the car park light and got some mains cable in the duct between 9681 and the signal box. I called back to Parkend to drill holes in the noggins for the lighting cable.

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Martin and I finished getting the cable between the signal box and the 9681 coach. We got the cable into the signal box consumer unit and also walked down to Middle Forge to change out extn 504.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

I called at Parkend to put the batteries on charge then went on to change a cord pull in the disabled toilet. I cut up our old wooden ladder after getting a new fibreglass one. After lunch I went testing the cable below the town crossing. I have ideas of where the faults are, but we will need to go back and dig up some of the cable for a good look. I called back at Parkend on the way home to switch the battery off.

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

I spent the day getting the three auto auto relay sets working and the two incoming and two outgoing junctions jumpered up and connected back to back. They seem to work although I am not sure about the time out facility doing what it is supposed to. I don't have a diagram of the relay sets so life is difficult.

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