Sunday 20 May 2012

Single core or stranded feeder wires

Spent the afternoon soldering all of the feeder wires to the track - took hours and the bit of the soldering iron snapped.

The big decision was whether to use single core or stranded wire.

Single core is said to be easier to solder into position, but it can snap when bent around corners AND is less likely to make a good connection when using snap lock connectors.

That latter issue was uppermost for me and so stranded wire of the following gauge was used: 16/0.2mm 3 amp.

The next issue related to how to solder the feeder wires to the track. Watched numerous excellent youTube videos on the subject - but all made contradictory recommendations.

So, the procedure I adopted was to 1) tin the end of the feeder wire ie twist the strands together and melt some solder on them.  2) Then, melt a dod of solder on the side of the rail where the feeder was to go, 3) clip the wire to the rail with a small bulldog clip and finally, 4)  press the tip of the soldering iron to the locus on the rail and hope for the best.

And then direct the wire down through the adjacent hole.


Although his cello concerto and  piano concerto I've played to death over the years, I have never indulged much in the solo piano works of Schumann. That continues to puzzle me because one would think that the pleasure and solace that Schubert and Chopin provide would be the same as that provided by Schumann.

I was reminded of this fact today when listening to an archive recording of Desert Island Discs with the English pianist Clifford Curzon (1907 to 1982). He described Schumann as, "that most comforting and consoling of composers."


Although I have no difficulty spending large amounts of time on my own, indeed I love it, I cannot stand silence.

Periods of silence are much recommended by mystics of all religious persuasions. We are all familiar with the concept of a retreat and of a retreat of silence.

Over the decades I have attempted such retreats and even sat in the privacy of my own front room with the intention of experiencing a period of silence. All this in the pursuit of religious truth.

Unfortunately, I can't stand it. I'm bored within a couple of minutes and after 10 or 15 minutes of silence I'm in pain.

Even sitting alone in a church, something I love to do and do frequently, needs to be accompanied by the sound of the organist practising or someone cleaning the alter steps or the noise of voices off-stage, as it were.

BUT, I think I need to advance my Christian demeanour and understanding and have vowed to try out some short periods of forced silence ie just sitting in a chair in the front room and either  staring straight ahead or at a religious icon of some kind. If I shut my eyes, I know I would nod off. Will start off with 15 minutes and work it up from there.

Last night's dinner:

Chicken with Rosemary (from the garden):

Accompanied by mushrooms and courgettes:

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