It’s 2019: A new year, a new video!

Happy New Year! It’s 2019: a new year and a new video. After a break of a couple of months, we’re back to with a general layout and channel update.

Watch to hear about progress on the layout, modelling studio developments, background projects and the layout card board. I also talk about layout lighting and my new control panel.

Ringfield Adaptors

If you’d like to get a notification when the Lima ringfield adaptors are available to buy, please click here to join my mailing list.

Layout Cards

If you’re after a Strath Junction layout card or you’d like to send me one for inclusion on my board, click here.

Railway Modelling Community links

Visit Kirkton Road Junction:

Visit Strathpeffer Spa Railway:

Join the Model Rail Network:

Visit MRYCG:

Strathpeffer Junction YouTube Model Railway Channel Layout Cards

I was chatting to Paul at the Galgorm Hall model railway layout a few weeks back about railway modelling on YouTube, and model making and creativity online more generally.

One thing that we both loved about other maker channels, particularly amongst the woodworking community, is that folk share ‘shop cards’ with each other as a way to support other channels and give visual ‘shout outs’.

So, we decided we’d knock up some ‘layout cards’ for our own respective model railway YouTube channels and share them with each other to get the ball rolling.

And no sooner had we exchanged cards, when Simon from Liverton Central dropped us a line to get involved – and so it began!

I’ve also put together a small noticeboard, which I’ll hang on the wall in the loft and fill up with cards as and when they arrived. I’ve put together a short video explaining the thoughts behind this initiate – link below – and we’d love it if you’d like to get involved.

How to get a Strathpeffer Junction Layout Card

If you’d like a Strathpeffer Junction layout card, please click on the link below to send me your details. Please let me know if you’d prefer a magnet or sticker. Both variants now feature the Strathpeffer Junction station sign and YouTube design (see image above).

I originally had 50 cards to send out free of charge and with free UK/EU postage initially. I only have a handful of that batch left. Once the initial 50 have gone, I’ll happy send out the remaining cards in exchange for a stamped addressed envelope or contribution towards postage, or in exchange for your own card, which I’ll happily add to my wall of layout cards.

To get your Strathpeffer Junction card, please click here to send me your details. Make sure to include a UK/EU postal address. If you live further afield, I’m happy to send out a card if you cover the postage.

Got a layout card for your own channel?

I’d absolutely love to collect layout cards from other model railway YouTubers – be they in the UK or further afield – and add them to my board. If you’d like to send me one or you’d like to exchange one for one of my own cards, please drop me a line.

Wiring Diagram for DCC Decoder Test Board & Rolling Road

This is a wiring diagram for the decoder/loco test boar and rolling road featured on this website. Your own test board wiring requirements will vary depending on the components that you use and also the specifics of your design. The diagram provided above is only a guide and you must work out your own wiring needs yourself to avoid costly damage to programmers, testers and decoders.

Making a Test Board & Rolling Road for Analogue & DCC Model Locos

I’ve been doing an increasing number of DCC decoder installations and model locomotive repair jobs – both for myself and others – and setting up my tester and rolling road each and every time I needed them was becoming a bit tiresome (not to mention the rat’s nest of cables).

After pulling what’s left of my hair out for the final time, I decided to put together a small loco and decoder test board, incorporating my LokProgrammer and SPROG, as well as accommodating off-board control integration (DCC and DC/Analogue).

The board also features a rolling road, using DCC Concepts rolling road modules, and my own take on a means to permanently integrate them into a test set up and improve usability, using acrylic sheet, spacers and screws.

You can download a PDF version of the wiring diagram for the test board featured in the video via the link below:

This is only one way of approaching a decoder test board setup and there other examples out there. I do recommend that you consider something like this if you’re intending to do a lot of decoder installation and maintenance – it saves a lot of time and hassle!

CORRECTION: in the video, I mention the acrylic/perspex sheet as being 6mm when it is actually 4mm. A thickness of 6mm is likely to be too thick and may interfere with the wheel flanges.

Project Components

You can buy some components for this how-to project via the links below. Buying via Amazon affiliate links means I get a (very) small donation and helps to support the website and channel:

– DCC Concepts rolling road:
– Red and black wire pack:
– Green 2-pin terminal plugs/sockets:
– Peco straight track:
– A4 clear acrylic sheet (4mm thick):
– M5x8mm black nylon spacer:
– A4 plywood 12mm:
– A4 plywood 3mm:
– ESU decoder tester:
– SPROG dcc module:
– Green power panel-mount socket/plug:
– DC power-style socket:
– 3 position, 2-pole switch:

3D Printer STL Files

If you’ve got a 3D printer, you can download STL file for the 3D-designed parts for free and print yourself a copy:

Switch box/enclosure:
SPROG3 cradle:

Please note: If you choose to follow any of the steps or suggestions outlined in the video, you do so at your own risk and any damage or injury to yourself, your models, your equipment or others is your own responsibility. Your own test board wiring requirements will vary depending on the components that you use and also the specifics of your design. The diagram provided above is only a guide and you must work out your own wiring needs yourself to avoid costly damage to programmers, testers and decoders.

Layout Update: August 2018 – Baseboards, Track Plan & Cataloguing Rolling Stock

It’s been just over two months since I posted a layout update. Despite the incredibly hot weather and other distractions of the Summer, I’ve still managed to make some reasonable progress up in the loft.

In this layout update video, I take a look at the track plan for the Strathpeffer Junction layout, as well as where I’ve got to with the baseboards, my initial thoughts for DCC busses and some sorting and cataloguing of rolling stock and locomotives.

I’ve had to jettison the idea of a two level layout with large fiddle yard below due to space constraints, so now it’ll be mainly one scenic level, albeit with an upper level TMD at one end with a small fiddle yard below that.

The station layout is loosely informed by Dingwall station during its heyday (click the map below for a larger image). There’s also a great thread on RMweb that looks at Dingwall’s layout in years gone by. You can read it by clicking here.

The plans show what I’ll be working towards, but are by no means set in stone. I’d love to know what you think about my plans and ideas, so please feel free to leave any thoughts, comments, suggestions and questions in YouTube’s comments section.

EDIT: In the video I put up text on the screen mentioning two booster units for my two power districts. I should have written one booster. The one district will be run run from the DCC controller itself (in my case, a Z21 black), and the one from a booster.

500 YouTube subscribers: it’s competition time!

In April 2018, the Strathpeffer Junction channel reached the awesomely dizzy heights of 500 subscribers…and, this week, we’ve just passed 700!

It’s been amazing to get such fabulous support from so many people out there in the YouTube community, and we’ve really enjoyed chatting and interacting with everyone in the comments section, messages and on social media.

As a thank you to everyone for their support over the past few months, we thought we’d run a little competition to pass on our appreciation and give a little back.

We don’t want to cut our non-UK supporters out of the competition, but it does cost a lot of money to ship prizes across borders. So, we’ll pay to ship one prize outwith the UK, but any further prizes paired with non-UK addresses will be re-drawn.

The Prizes

1. Metcalfe Mainline Station kit (00)
2. Rail Rover – Scotland in the 1970s and 1980s book
3. £10 Gift Voucher
4. Strathpeffer Junction mug
5. Strathpeffer Junction mug
6. Strathpeffer Junction pen
7. Strathpeffer Junction pen

Bonus prize: All prizes also come with a Strathpeffer Junction fridge magnet.

How to Enter

The video contains full details. On or before 14 May 2018, please:

1. Comment on the YouTube video linked to above to tell us what type of diesel locomotive is featured on the mug (pre- and/or post- TOPS is ok),

2. If you have a Facebook account, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and

3. Like our Facebook page at:

Please also state your country of residence in your comment. Winners will be selected at random and announced on this channel around the 21 May 2018.

The Rules

1. Anyone can enter, but only one entry/prize per person.
2. Entrants must complete all 3 entry steps outlined above on or before the specified date.
3. Winners will be selected at random.
4. Only one prize will be given to entrants located outwith the UK. If further non-UK winners are selected for a prize, the draw for that prize will be re-drawn.
5. Non-UK prize winners must pay any import duties or tax liabilities themselves.
6. The gift voucher is only available to UK residents. If it is drawn against a non-UK entry, a different prize will be selected.
7. If a prize is damaged in transit, it will not be repaired or replaced.
8. No guarantees or warranties whatsoever are given for any of the prizes.
9. Winners must email with their shipping address within 7 days of the prize winner announcement, otherwise a re-draw will take place and the prize allocated to someone else.

Strathpeffer Junction Mugs

To celebrate reaching a fabulous 500 subscribers on our YouTube channel, we’ve produced a number of limited edition Strathpeffer Junction mugs to give away in a competition.

We’ll release details of the competition shortly in a forthcoming video, but here’s a sneak preview. We’re really chuffed with them and think they look great…particularly with a nice, freshly-brewed cup of coffee!

Update: we now have a limited number of mugs available via our online shop.