Construction of a Test Track

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
junctionmad

Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby junctionmad » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:47 am

Can I say the thread has been an invaluable source of information, many thanks to the posters

Dave

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Colin Parks
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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Colin Parks » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:14 pm

All wired up!

After a few days of intensive wiring, all the track work is now live and wired for DCC operation. For the purposes of testing, one loco has been converted back to DC control to avoid the risk of frying a decoder if there were any short circuits (which there were not as it turned out).

Here, my Class 73 tackles the tandem. The loco was a bit stiff for the first few minutes, having not been used since 2013 at the Tonbridge show in 00 form on my previous layout. This is the first time it has run properly on its P4 Ultrascale wheels and it does run very well.

IMG_8763 (2).JPG


Admittedly, the wirng of the tandem turnout did present a challenge because the wiring diagram (John Shelley, available at: http://www.finescale.org.uk/pdfs/3way.pdf), showed the plan view from above whereas I had to reverse the diagram in my head to wire from underneath!

IMG_8768 (2).JPG


One strange thing about the Class 73 is that when it was tried briefly on a piece of plain Fast Track back in the Summer, it kept derailing. But now, it has not derailed once since testing began two days ago on this test track. I just do not remember fixing the problem, but I shall not complain.

Attention will now turn to building the crossover on the next board, though supplies of C&L parts are now desperately low. I do hope they send my order soon...

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:32 pm

Colin Parks wrote:
One strange thing about the Class 73 is that when it was tried briefly on a piece of plain Fast Track back in the Summer, it kept derailing. But now, it has not derailed once since testing began two days ago on this test track. I just do not remember fixing the problem, but I shall not complain.



Brilliant Colin :thumb

Didn't I read somewhere that there may be problems with some batches of fast track being under gauge? If so ... the loco obviously prefers you Rolls Royce track ;)
Tim Lee

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Colin Parks
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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Colin Parks » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:44 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:
Colin Parks wrote:
One strange thing about the Class 73 is that when it was tried briefly on a piece of plain Fast Track back in the Summer, it kept derailing. But now, it has not derailed once since testing began two days ago on this test track. I just do not remember fixing the problem, but I shall not complain.



Brilliant Colin :thumb

Didn't I read somewhere that there may be problems with some batches of fast track being under gauge? If so ... the loco obviously prefers you Rolls Royce track ;)


Thanks Tim.

That is the first I have heard about some batches of Fast Track being under gauge. Out of interest, I will check the piece of plain track used last year, but it did seem then to be more of a problem with the loco's leading powered bogie axle lifting off the track.

All the best,

Colin

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Tony Wilkins » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:01 pm

Colin Parks wrote:
Admittedly, the wiring of the tandem turnout did present a challenge because the wiring diagram (John Shelley, available at: http://www.finescale.org.uk/pdfs/3way.pdf), showed the plan view from above whereas I had to reverse the diagram in my head to wire from underneath!.

Hi Colin. You should try wiring printed circuit boards for a living. You are forever swapping between the right way up and mirror image.

One strange thing about the Class 73 is that when it was tried briefly on a piece of plain Fast Track back in the Summer, it kept derailing. But now, it has not derailed once since testing began two days ago on this test track. I just do not remember fixing the problem, but I shall not complain.

Attention will now turn to building the crossover on the next board, though supplies of C&L parts are now desperately low. I do hope they send my order soon...

I suspect that plain Fast Track length may have had a small amount of twist being not fixed down. This can be difficult to detect but will cause a fixed axle loco problems.
Oh, by the way, looking good. Most impressed.
Regards
Tony.
Inspiration from the past. Dreams for the future.

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Paul Townsend » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:18 am

Le Corbusier wrote:
Colin Parks wrote:
Didn't I read somewhere that there may be problems with some batches of fast track being under gauge? If so ... the loco obviously prefers you Rolls Royce track ;)


You did. That's from a chum who worked at the previous incarnation of C&L

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Albert Hall » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:53 am

That would have been me! The undergauging problem was with the C+L thin sleeper P4 flexitrack and seemed to vary with each new batch of sleeper bases which arrived. Typically 18.75mm was not unusual towards the end of my involvement. I did discuss this with the new owner and he acknowledged that he would have to invest some time and money in the mould tool. I never once encountered a problem with the Exactoscale Fast Track bases. These of course are the thicker type (1.6mm) as opposed to the thin ones (1.0mm).

By contrast, when the OO gauge thin base mould tool finally gave up following a number of attempts to keep it going, a new one was manufactured with the moulding process itself transferred to the far east. The first batch we received was totally random in quality and part way through we found that from end to end of a sleeper unit (approx 200mm) the width, length and thickness of the sleepers varied by a considerable amount. In the case of the thickness I found some bases varied from 0.8mm to 1.2mm). There was a high rejection rate, possibly as much as 50%. To the best of my knowledge, as the business was being readied for sale or closure and with the imminent arrival of Peco bullhead track, this issue was not robustly followed through.

Roy

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Colin Parks » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:02 am

Re. Fast Track and derailments, I have remembered that at the time, it looked as if there was a wire trapped between the powered bogie and its top-mounting on the loco (this is a much altered Hornby model). From what I now recall the wire effectively prevented the powered bogie from sitting level on the track.
Perhaps in the process of re-assembling the chassis, the wire moved. Anyway, all is now well, so I would rather not imply any fault with a product supplied to me four years ago under different ownership at C&L. It would be wrong to attribute any blame to the track upon which the loco ran, though I will test the track with a gauge just to check.


At least the test track is doing its job!

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Colin Parks » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:52 pm

Right! I have checked the piece of Fast Track upon which the Class 73 did not stay and found no under-gauge issues!

Meanwhile, here is one more photo, showing the track from one end, looking towards the 'station'. The white and yellow patch to the top right marks the area which might one day become the platform ramp. Looking from this angle, the long SB switches do give that certain character and authenticity to the flat-bottom turnouts (thanks Tony!).

IMG_8767 (2).JPG


Having looked at the Templot plan for this track design recently, I was surprised to find that only one of the flat-bottom turnouts is a B8 type, the others are B7s. This does go a long way to explain why one common crossing had to be rebuilt because the angle was wrong. (Well, it would have been, having been made on a jig for 1:8 crossings!)

For a bit of a change, I am going to assemble some of Howard Bolton's etches for the rodding cradles, most of which are to be fitted on the stools running just to the left of the cable trunking. Then I must calculate how much of the Society's third rail to order...

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Colin Parks » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:26 pm

Terry Bendall wrote:
Colin Parks wrote:especially aspects particular to flat bottom track and turnout construction, which are rarely described (unless I have missed a major resource somewhere!)


Not exactly a major resource but you might find pages 4 -6 of Scalefour News 174 useful. (available in the archive on the Society website if you do not have a copy)

Terry Bendall


Hi Tery,

You were too modest to mention that you were the author of that article! The turnout featured does look pretty impressive and must be very robust. I did see some of Colin Craig's pointwork at Demu some years back now and it looked excellent. The only thing that put me off using such a method of construction was the number of tiny detailing parts that needed to be added (for the Pandrol version at least). I would have liked to use BR1 bases for my track, but opted for the easy way out and used the available plastic fittings.

Several questions sprang to mind when reading your description of using the 1:20 angled base plates in the construction of the turnout : how did you form the crossing and wing rails if everything is at an angle? Unless I have got things wrong (again!), the point and splice rails of a common crossing are vertical at the nose end, yet are supported on angled bases, so is there a twist in the rail somewhere? Similarly, if the closure rails are on 1:20 angled bases, how do the wing rails sit flat? Does the wing rail have to be bent downwards?

All the best,

Colin

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:25 pm

Several questions sprang to mind when reading your description of using the 1:20 angled base plates in the construction of the turnout : how did you form the crossing and wing rails if everything is at an angle? Unless I have got things wrong (again!), the point and splice rails of a common crossing are vertical at the nose end, yet are supported on angled bases, so is there a twist in the rail somewhere? Similarly, if the closure rails are on 1:20 angled bases, how do the wing rails sit flat? Does the wing rail have to be bent downwards?

Indeed the complexities involved in the construction of built up crossings and all the associated canted baseplates was the main reason BR changed over to the S&C designs using vertical rail, as is still current practice for 113lb S&C. However the new UIC60 designs have reverted to inclined rails but generally avoid the problems by using cast crossings. The swing nose crossings used for the very small angles I suspect use vertical rail for the vee, but I'm not sure of that. The track design manual does not get down to that level of detail.
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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:22 am

Colin Parks wrote:how did you form the crossing and wing rails if everything is at an angle?


Colin

In the kit the common crossing comes ready made as a complete assembly so these problems do not occur. As Keith has said, on the prototype the rails were vertical and I think I am right in saying in the kit the rail is vertical throughout the turnout although having checked the instructions I cannot see this mentioned. The idea is to make things easier and avoid the problems that you mention. Because the common crossing is assembled there is no need to bend the wing rail downwards.

Colin Parks wrote: The only thing that put me off using such a method of construction was the number of tiny detailing parts that needed to be added


Yes there are a lot of details but that is true of everything that we model and it is up to the individual how far you want to go. The turnouts described in the article were used on Elcot Road which features quite a lot of other small details. These sort of things happen to be what I enjoy doing. Examples on Elcot Road can be seen at https://www.scalefour.org/scaleforum/20 ... _7228.html
https://www.scalefour.org/scalefournort ... ad-05.html and
https://www.scalefour.org/scalefoursout ... tRd-2.html

and on the other layouts that my son and I have built which can be seen on the other show retrospectives.

Terry Bendall

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Tony Wilkins » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:53 pm

Colin Parks wrote:
Several questions sprang to mind when reading your description of using the 1:20 angled base plates in the construction of the turnout : how did you form the crossing and wing rails if everything is at an angle? Unless I have got things wrong (again!), the point and splice rails of a common crossing are vertical at the nose end, yet are supported on angled bases, so is there a twist in the rail somewhere? Similarly, if the closure rails are on 1:20 angled bases, how do the wing rails sit flat? Does the wing rail have to be bent downwards?

All the best,

Colin

This is quite a big subject and perhaps I should start a special topic for some detailed information on Flatbottom pointwork.
From the 1956 and 1964 editions of British Railway Track, Design, construction and maintenance by the Permanent Way Institution handbooks.

109 lb FB rail had the switch rails inclined throughout. Both straight cut and semi-curved types were available, but as the semi-curved type was the BR standard, a table of dimensions is only given for this type. The crossings had vertical rail at the nose but was twisted between adjacent baseplates to restore the 1:20 cant. There is a table given in the Pway hand book. For 1 in 4 to 1in 5 3/4 crossings, this took place between the B and C baseplate; 1 in 6 to 1 in 9 crossings between the C and D baseplates; 1 in 9 1/2 to 1 in 13 between the D and E baseplates; 1 in 14 &16 between the E and F baseplates and 1 in 18 &20 between the F and G baseplates. As both the closure rails and wing rails were inclined, this makes the knuckle bend an interesting piece of geometry requiring a conical bend. The check rails were also inclined toward the running rails at 1:20. A departure from bullhead practice.

When the 110A rail was introduced in 1959 several changes in turnout design occurred. The stock rail remained inclined, but the switch rail changed to vertical for the moving length with a twist to 1:20 over a length of about 15" between the last sliding baseplate and the first fixed one. A set of curved switches were added to the range resulting a further variation in turnout geometry.

The introduction of the 113lb rail section was accompanied by a change to vertical rail for all P&C, which simplified matters somewhat.
Hope this answers your queries.
Regards
Tony.
Inspiration from the past. Dreams for the future.

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Colin Parks » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:45 am

Terry Bendall wrote:
Colin Parks wrote:how did you form the crossing and wing rails if everything is at an angle?


Colin

In the kit the common crossing comes ready made as a complete assembly so these problems do not occur. As Keith has said, on the prototype the rails were vertical and I think I am right in saying in the kit the rail is vertical throughout the turnout although having checked the instructions I cannot see this mentioned. The idea is to make things easier and avoid the problems that you mention. Because the common crossing is assembled there is no need to bend the wing rail downwards.

Colin Parks wrote: The only thing that put me off using such a method of construction was the number of tiny detailing parts that needed to be added


Yes there are a lot of details but that is true of everything that we model and it is up to the individual how far you want to go. The turnouts described in the article were used on Elcot Road which features quite a lot of other small details. These sort of things happen to be what I enjoy doing. Examples on Elcot Road can be seen at https://www.scalefour.org/scaleforum/20 ... _7228.html
https://www.scalefour.org/scalefournort ... ad-05.html and
https://www.scalefour.org/scalefoursout ... tRd-2.html

and on the other layouts that my son and I have built which can be seen on the other show retrospectives.

Terry Bendall

Hi Terry,

Mant thanks for the Elcot Road links. It is the first time that I have seen such hi-res photos of the layout and it ceratinly is a fine peice of work. Re. the Colin Craig turnout kit, it does seem to be simpler than I had at first thought, given that the crossing is pre-assembled and the rails are vertical.

All the best,

Colin

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Colin Parks » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:55 am

Tony Wilkins wrote:
This is quite a big subject and perhaps I should start a special topic for some detailed information on Flatbottom pointwork.
From the 1956 and 1964 editions of British Railway Track, Design, construction and maintenance by the Permanent Way Institution handbooks.

109 lb FB rail had the switch rails inclined throughout. Both straight cut and semi-curved types were available, but as the semi-curved type was the BR standard, a table of dimensions is only given for this type. The crossings had vertical rail at the nose but was twisted between adjacent baseplates to restore the 1:20 cant. There is a table given in the Pway hand book. For 1 in 4 to 1in 5 3/4 crossings, this took place between the B and C baseplate; 1 in 6 to 1 in 9 crossings between the C and D baseplates; 1 in 9 1/2 to 1 in 13 between the D and E baseplates; 1 in 14 &16 between the E and F baseplates and 1 in 18 &20 between the F and G baseplates. As both the closure rails and wing rails were inclined, this makes the knuckle bend an interesting piece of geometry requiring a conical bend. The check rails were also inclined toward the running rails at 1:20. A departure from bullhead practice.

When the 110A rail was introduced in 1959 several changes in turnout design occurred. The stock rail remained inclined, but the switch rail changed to vertical for the moving length with a twist to 1:20 over a length of about 15" between the last sliding baseplate and the first fixed one. A set of curved switches were added to the range resulting a further variation in turnout geometry.

The introduction of the 113lb rail section was accompanied by a change to vertical rail for all P&C, which simplified matters somewhat.
Hope this answers your queries.
Regards
Tony.


Thanks for the very thorough reply to my query Tony!

You have now made clear some aspects of track construction which had been unlcear to me. Having already completed the one piece of bullhead pointwork on my test track, at least I will not have to make those tricky knuckle bends. The Peco Pandrol fixings are not inclined, so the rest of what has been made (and to be made) will have vertical rails, which while not prototypical for the period of my rolling stock, makes construction much easier.

All the best,

Colin

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Colin Parks » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:10 am

Testing, Testing!

Here is the longest train that will fit on what has been completed so far.

This 08 is a work in progress, with a set of Ultrascale wheels fitted but still have some attention to the crank pins and their rather over-size nuts. The tension lock coupling bar has since been removed. The wheelsets were absolutely perfect right from the start, but much tweaking has had to be done to the pick ups, which are difficult to access on this model.

IMG_8770 (2).JPG


Running this loco up and down the track formation did reveal one tight spot on the leading switch toe of the tandem (not in view here). Close examination showed that the set-bend was not very well executed. At the moment, the stock rails on the bullhead tandem are not fixed to the slide chairs. This has caused no problems so far, because apart from the aforementioned bad set-bend, the rails were pre-shaped before laying.

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Le Corbusier » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:22 pm

Colin Parks wrote:Testing, Testing!

Here is the longest train that will fit on what has been completed so far.

This 08 is a work in progress, with a set of Ultrascale wheels fitted but still have some attention to the crank pins and their rather over-size nuts. The tension lock coupling bar has since been removed. The wheelsets were absolutely perfect right from the start, but much tweaking has had to be done to the pick ups, which are difficult to access on this model.

IMG_8770 (2).JPG

Running this loco up and down the track formation did reveal one tight spot on the leading switch toe of the tandem (not in view here). Close examination showed that the set-bend was not very well executed. At the moment, the stock rails on the bullhead tandem are not fixed to the slide chairs. This has caused no problems so far, because apart from the aforementioned bad set-bend, the rails were pre-shaped before laying.


Any chance of a short video? .... for self gratification purposes of course :D - Seriously though, it would be fun to see it running.

Tim
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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Colin Parks » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:55 pm

Hi Tim,

It has been on my mind to post a video, but I have had some difficulties in setting up a YouTube account. The stumbling block appears to be that Google want to text me a six-digit code to activate the account. We have no mobile signal here, so I am unsure how to get up and running. Any suggestions?!

All the best,

Colin

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Colin Parks » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:03 pm

A brief note to say that my two C&L orders turned up yesterday!

It has been just under six weeks since the two orders were paid for, with the larger order of the two placed back in September (and not paid in advance at the time). If this is the new system at C&L, then it suits me fine and well done Phil - we need you to succeed!

There will be much sticking of sleepers to the other two base boards this weekend...

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Le Corbusier » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:13 pm

Colin Parks wrote:A brief note to say that my two C&L orders turned up yesterday!

It has been just under six weeks since the two orders were paid for, with the larger order of the two placed back in September (and not paid in advance at the time). If this is the new system at C&L, then it suits me fine and well done Phil - we need you to succeed!

There will be much sticking of sleepers to the other two base boards this weekend...

I can feel the excitement :D
Tim Lee

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Le Corbusier » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:18 pm

Colin Parks wrote:Hi Tim,

It has been on my mind to post a video, but I have had some difficulties in setting up a YouTube account. The stumbling block appears to be that Google want to text me a six-digit code to activate the account. We have no mobile signal here, so I am unsure how to get up and running. Any suggestions?!

All the best,

Colin


Strange ... I don't recall having anything texted when I set mine up ... it was all via e-mail.

If you have a family member with a mobile where there is a signal you might use that asking them to forward the relevant code? Once up and running you should be able to change the contact on line.

Tim
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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby JFS » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:19 pm

Colin Parks wrote:This 08 is a work in progress,


Looking excellent Colin, and looking forward to the video.

Just a small query - should it not be an 09 for the Southern :?

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Will L » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:24 pm

Colin Parks wrote:It has been on my mind to post a video, but I have had some difficulties in setting up a YouTube account. The stumbling block appears to be that Google want to text me a six-digit code to activate the account. We have no mobile signal here, so I am unsure how to get up and running. Any suggestions?!


I think you can get Google to send their second authorisation to an second email account, should you have one. I have one account I don't often use with my ISP and one I do use most of the time with an independent provider, so next time I switch Internet Provider I don't need to go round changing my email address everywhere. Of course my independent email account was with Freeserve/Orange/EE until EE decided they weren't in the free email account business and killed it off, but the amount of hassle I had switching to my new independent provider showed my how right my basic approach was.

Alternatively you can give them your landline number as most phone providers have a nice little voice generator that will read out any SMS sent to a land line. Better have a paper and pencil to hand though.

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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Noel » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:59 pm

JFS wrote:Just a small query - should it not be an 09 for the Southern


Class 09 were introduced for the SR in 1959, with dual air and vacuum brakes and with the air pipes duplicated at waist level, plus motors regeared for higher speeds. The waist level pipes were so that they could connect to and move 'dead' EMUs. However, the SR also had quite a few 08s [which were built VB only], for jobs which didn't need the expense of all the additional air brake equipment, including local goods workings and shunting. D3220 was one of these, allocated to Norwood Junction and then Brighton in the mid-1960s.
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Noel

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Colin Parks
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Re: Track Construction for a Test Track

Postby Colin Parks » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:51 pm

Will L wrote:
Colin Parks wrote:It has been on my mind to post a video, but I have had some difficulties in setting up a YouTube account. The stumbling block appears to be that Google want to text me a six-digit code to activate the account. We have no mobile signal here, so I am unsure how to get up and running. Any suggestions?!


I think you can get Google to send their second authorisation to an second email account, should you have one. I have one account I don't often use with my ISP and one I do use most of the time with an independent provider, so next time I switch Internet Provider I don't need to go round changing my email address everywhere. Of course my independent email account was with Freeserve/Orange/EE until EE decided they weren't in the free email account business and killed it off, but the amount of hassle I had switching to my new independent provider showed my how right my basic approach was.

Alternatively you can give them your landline number as most phone providers have a nice little voice generator that will read out any SMS sent to a land line. Better have a paper and pencil to hand though.


Thanks for the advice Will.

Re. the code, I did submit the landline phone number, but no SMS message came through. BT do provide the SMS voice messaging service here, so that cannot be the reason why nothing happened. No to be beaten, I shall try registering again at the weekend.

All the best,

Colin


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