Bachmann Model Trains in Europe

Henry G.Bachmann Immigrated from German to America and took over a company that manufactured products made from horn, ivory and tortoise shell. They obtained Model trains from The Kader Company, the exporters of models and toys. The initial product range was the Branchline series that consisted moulds used to produce the Mainline range.

In 1992, Bachmann Industries (Europe) purchased a continental manufacturer named Liliput and established an office to handle product development, marketing and sales for the Liliput. The Kader Group is now one of the largest known manufacturers of the model trains. Ever since, Bachmann Branchline is strived to bring in the finest OO scale British locomotives and rolling stock.

Bachmann Europe also distributes many other of the essential items that is required by the collector to display his model railway collection. They are the agents for Bachmann American outline products in various scales such as N, O, HO and G and the Bachmann China HO scale. The outdoor railway systems like track, locos and control equipment are obtained from Aristrocrat Garden Railways and the Scenics and DPM buildings are from Woodland Scenics and Scenecraft. Brassworks supply O and 1 Gauge, and the Color corrected Hobby lighting is supplied by OTT-LITE technology. The company is an authorized agent of Liliput HO and HOe scale European models. Under the brandname The Intertrans, the company imports its own range of vehicles.

Bachmann has its own digital command control system for the locomotives and railway models, with a toggle style joystick and 10 function buttons. The controls can be activated for selection of locomotive, operation of sounds and lighting, decoders for points and accessories, etc. Three additional wireless controllers can be attached to the digital command control, and the unit complies to the NMRA standards.

The latest range of intricately detailed models, called Bachmann Blue Riband Range, was introduced in the year 1998, when The Kader Company celebrated its 50 years of existence. The company has come up with latest versions of the Branchline series, too. The Twin Double Deck Car has a close coupling system, highly detailed underside equipment, etched hinged bridging plates and articulated axle boxes. The top deck can be raised or lowered as required. A new 2-car unit model comes with full underfloor equipment and illuminated train headcode panel with internal lighting.

The steel High sided wagons have door securing chains, elaborate chassis and can be used with the steam and diesel train models. The Class 105 DMU has the same old windows from one of the earlier models, but the bodywork detail and the elaborate underframe detail matches the prototypes. They also have separate etched tablet cathcer pads, 8 pin DCC sockets with directional and interior lighting fitted as standard. The Winsdor Castle, the locomotive named by The Queen, has individual numbers, full colour Bachmann certificate.

The Graham Farish series has an addition to its collection, namely the Class 3MT Tank, in the N scale. There are 3 variants of this series and have finely detailed external components and come with accessories like head code discs, brake-rods and others.

All the models, whether past or present can be pre-ordered or purchased from the local stockist in the United Kingdom. The website has railway clubs listed and one can join any or list their own. Various details about getting started with the hobby of collecting rail models are available and news and events are also published.

Motorcycle Tires – A Brief Intro

When we see a Harley Davidson cruising on the roads, one can’t help but admire the sleekness of the machine and the way it hugs and glides along. But what we at that time fail to realize is that the component that helps the bike to cruise along the road with such beauty is the motorcycle tire. Even fewer people are aware that the motorcycle tire is really the brainchild of Robert Thomson who developed the world’s first pneumatic tire.

Robert was a Scottish engineer who was given a patent for this tire in France in 1846 and a year later in the USA (1847).The construction of his tire was very simple. It consisted of a hollow circular belt made of Indian rubber which was then inflated with air. But Thomson did not persist with his invention and soon lost heart, maybe because good quality rubber was not available at that time. He then digressed on to solid rubber tires and allowed his invention to go to seed. Thomson’s failure was John Boyd Dunlops gain, who about 4 decades later reinvented the pneumatic tire for his bicycle. Today’s motorcycle tires can trace their pedigree to this bicycle tire.

This basic design has undergone many changes and mutations during the last century. These developments have led to the modern tire. One of these developments is the radial tire. The first radial tire designs were patented in 1915 by Arthur W. Savage a successful tire manufacturer and inventor in San Diego, CA. Savage’s patents expired in 1949. However Michelin in 1946 further developed this type of tire as well and also made a commercial success of it. This new design was an added asset for a motorcycle as it enhanced the road grip and traction while driving. The difference between the earlier tires and the new radial tires was in their construction. Earlier tires had cross-ply structure, where the threads were woven across one another. Such tires did have endurance but the sidewalls were turgid and the tire could not flex easily, especially while negotiating corners or turns.

Michelin improved on this and produced the rubber threads which were woven radically and this problem was to a great extant solved. The bike thus had better control and improved traction for cornering and braking.
At this time, the concept of pneumatic tire was to have an inner tube, also made of rubber which actually held the air and kept the tire inflated. This design had lasted upwards from the early twentieth century (1920) to be exact. However as technology inexorably moves forward the inner rubber tube was discarded and in 1972 and Dunlop patented the tube less tire.

This was a revolutionary invention, though tubes are still manufactured and are in use sometimes to increase the life of tube less tires.

The changing demands over the years, market forces and customer liking has had an effect on the development of the bike tires and many new types are on the road. Tires cover the entire gamut from high speed racing such as Formula One to heavier tires that move usage vehicles that are as large as a house. We must bear in mind that the tire as a part of motorcycle equipment has a relatively high price compared to other components of the bike. Thus it is important for owners of motorcycles to see that they purchase the correct size for their two wheelers. The basic function of a tire is to give the rider and his pillion on the motorcycle a smoother ride. They must have relative resistance to punctures and most important give a good road grip that is so essential in motorcycle riding. One thing that needs to be emphasized, is that Motorcycle tires are the most important ingredient of a motorcycle as not only they help the machine move forward, but are also critical for the safety of the bike and correspondingly the rider.

Most of the tire manufacturers have become house hold names like Dunlop, Michelin, Pirelli and Bridgestone etc.
These are global corporate and have their plants spread from China, India to Europe and the USA. Some of the important bike tire manufactures who have molded the tire industry are worth a look.

To start with we have Michelin, a marquee name in the tire industry. It was incorporated way back in 1889. Michelin tires have a global presence and as part of their expansion acquired the American BF Goodrich Company in 1988. Incidentally Goodrich also traces its lineage to 1870.To further buttress its numero uno position it also took over Uniroyal Inc. in 1990, a business founded in 1892 as the United States Rubber Company. Michelin is the world’s largest manufacturer of tires and can trace its history to1830 in vulcanized rubber.

However the pride of place must go to Dunlop Tires. Its first factory opened in Dublin in 1889. Dunlop Tires makes a large variety and types of motorcycle tires for all vehicles. Dunlop also has a close association with motor sport including motorcycle racing. Dunlop tires are now available all over the world. It’s important to remember that the heritage of Dunlop will live on forever in the “(inch)” measurement still used all over the world as measure for the diameter of a wheel.

Breathing down the neck of Dunlop is the Bridgestone tire company. This is a Japanese company and started manufacturing tires much before the advent of the second world war-1931 to be precise. As Japan manufactures and markets some of the marquee motorcycle machines in the world like Honda and Yamaha it stands to reason that a large percentage of bike tires will emerge from Japan. The name Bridge stone is derived from the Japanese word Ishibashi which translates to stone bridge. Currently it’s the worlds second largest tire manufacturer in the world next to Michelin. Bridgestone has a vast range of motorcycle tires and are found all over the world

The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is another name that has history behind it. It is over a hundred years old when it was started by Harvey Firestone. They have digressed into manufacture of motorcycle tires and are in a class themselves.

However with recession trends surfacing all around the globe with resultant reduction in the production of motorcycles the two wheeler divisions of these companies have to look to new and innovative methods to get out of this economic quagmire.

How to Choose the Best Wireless Access Point and When You Need It

An access point (AP) is basically a network-capable device containing a transceiver and antenna for transmitting signals to and receiving signals from the remote clients. The access point thus provides a “point of access” to the wired network for the remote clients. The access points allow wireless clients to be quickly and easily connected to a wired LAN.

Wireless Outdoor Access Point

Generally wireless AP is designed for indoor purposes where the environments are not harsh. But deployment of the wireless APs in harsh environments should have specific design. For outdoor or harsh environments, the device must be manufactured with rugged housing and industrial-grade components to allow the devices to operate under extreme temperatures ranges for example from -30~70 degrees C and embedded with the surge protection, weather-proof, water-tight, and rust resistant.

When We Need Wireless AP

Basically in home usage you require a wireless AP if you want to share your broadband Internet connection wirelessly with many computers within the household. You can connect the wireless AP to your existing modem router to create a wireless network for internet sharing. But you must assure that your modem includes the router or firewall NAT feature. If your current modem is a pure modem without a NAT firewall feature, you need a wireless router for Internet sharing. Unless there will be one client computer only that can connect to the internet.

In business networks when you require providing wireless connection to areas where running network cables is impossible, you can use the wireless AP for wireless access to the network. Or when you require providing mobile devices wirelessly access the network, you can create hotspots with security segregation. Or in harsh plant environments you can create point-to-point, point-to-multi point, or mesh networks, you require wireless outdoor access points.

Which Best Wireless Access Point

Technology makes life easier. Manufacturers develop new better technology with introduction of new products with better performance. Choosing the best wireless AP is a moving target because there will always come new introduction of new products with better technology and innovation. For now how to choose the best wireless AP you should examine the manufacturer specs to include the following features:

Multifunction Modes

The wireless AP should be able to work with different operational modes: Access point, Repeater, Network Bridge, and wireless Client mode. In the Wireless Access Point Mode, the device allows for any existing wired network to go wireless by simply attaching the device using the Ethernet cable to an open port in your router or switch.

In the Wireless Ethernet Bridge Mode or Client mode, the device enables any wired Ethernet-ready device to connect to your existing wireless network. Connect your PC, notebook, printer, network camera, or even an entire wired network to the AP device via a Switch and establish a wireless connection to your wireless network. In repeater mode, you can add other AP devices to extend the wireless network without the need to run backbone cables.

WDS Support

Best wireless AP should support the Wireless Distribution System (WDS). WDS allows a wireless network to be expanded using multiple access points without the need for a wired backbone to link them, as is traditionally required.

WDS allows you to build wireless infrastructure completely because the network equipment no longer has to be connected to a wired LAN. The WDS features you can create large wireless networks by linking several wireless APs with WDS links. WDS is normally used in large, open areas where pulling wires is cost prohibitive, restricted or physically impossible.

Wireless N

Best wireless access point should be powered by new wireless technology standards – the wireless 802.11n. 802.11n standard is the latest and fastest wireless technology available in the market today. With the wireless N and MIMO technology, the AP device provides the speeds of up to 300 Mbps or faster and longer distance coverage.

When you use high-intensive bandwidth applications such as High Definition Video streaming and voice, you should also consider the dual-band version of both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands.

Advanced Security Features

The best wireless access points should support advanced security features including latest industrial wireless security Wireless Protected Access (WPA/WPA2), MAC filter and SSID Broadcast Control. For deployment in the corporate networks, the AP should support advanced wireless protection (EAP-MD5, EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS, and PEAP), and also support RADIUS authentication. And for easiness of the wireless security connection, the AP should also support the Wireless Protected Setup (WPS) for effortless installation.

By Ki Grinsing