Friday, December 31, 2010

Getting Closer to Ops

The engines have now been tuned for DCC. Time will tell how well I did. I expect some to change as they get some run time. The new engines seemed to take a high starting voltage to get rolling.

The cabooses have one resistor wheel per caboose, which is all I have. I did order all the stuff necessary to make my own wheels so that every car will have one resistor wheel on each truck. I would only have to make about 500 hundred of them.

I was able to get Rockland track work completed and all the turnouts are working. I do have to finish the local panel, but that has already been started.

The industries have been named and located. The CC & WB's are ready to print. I may do that today.

I still need to fix some of the staging tracks in St. Albans. It's about time to pick a date.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Getting engines ready

I brought out the engines that I previously converted to digitrax and some of them weren't running so hot. I had trouble programing the engines until I reread the directions and realized I missed one step.
I got concerned about having enough engines so I ran the the Choo Choo Shop and bought a bunch of N & HO scale decoders so I would have a mixture for my engines. I also had some previously ordered Z scale decoders also came in.
I was slow in getting started, but I did end up doing four before I quit and I straighten out some issues with the previously completed ones. I will have to test run these on the layout to ensure they are ready for Ops. I do know that one steam engine does not like the layout because it stops at all the fogs I tested it on. It also has sound so that makes it more annoying. I have not powered the frogs yet, but it looks like I'll have to if I want to run steam. (Oh joy).
Today I'll continue on and see how many more I can get done. Who knows, I may even get even done to run with two engines per train.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Panels and engines

I got the last two panels installed. A two day project that took five. I ran out of crimp connectors so I have two lights that don't work, but once I get the connectors that problem will be solved.
I started work on the engines to see if I had enough for an op session. I already tested some of the engines and I knew they were OK, but now I had to bring out ones that I changed decoders on. The steam engine with the sound did not like the frogs at all. Some of the diesels didn't want to take a program change so they will have to be looked at. Needless to say I am short on engines.
I did order some decoders and they were delivered today. I also ran down to the Choo Choo Shop and picked up a bunch more. I know what I'll be doing in the near future. I have a good selection of Z, N and HO decoders so I should have plenty to choose from. This should give me plenty for an Op Session and maybe even some double header consists.
While I was at the Choo Choo Shop I asked if they could program my two F3's for the engine number, because I wasn't able to do it for some reason. They were able to get the job done for me. That is one less set of engines on the default settings.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Op Session on the horizon

I decided to call for an an Op Session with a small group, to further test the lower level. This will surely get you going to finish the details that need to be done. The car cards are ready to be printed, cars have been tuned and placed on the layout. I have leveled some of the sidings that needed it. I need to find resistor wheels for the cabooses. I will need to make sure I have enough engines ready to go.
I did start work on a control panel which will make the dispatchers life a little easier because he won't have to control a towns sidings near staging by himself, for the local switch job. The panels will also have the staging track local controls in them, which is only a convenience for me between sessions.
Aaaaahhhhh talk done, back to work!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Track Testing and Benchwork update

It has been awhile since I updated. I had a few issues in my busy life that kept me away for awhile. I had been working some on the connection between the upper and lower level. From Rockland to Searsport the roadbed has been put in place and the benchwork for Searsport has also been put in. With a little height adjustment I was able to get it in with no helix required. At the other end of Searsport I started a two turn helix to get the rest of the way to the upper level. I'll be checking grade and placement on this before it gets put in permanently.
Today Ralph and Phil came over and we tested the track and controls to see how everything worked with a small crowd. We pulled and pushed cars all around the layout and tested every bit of track and controls. They were very few issues to report. Some were fixed on the spot and some will be looked at. I had one interesting one where a turnout track had bowed and caused a misalignment of the rails. I tried moving it over and holding it with track nails, but actually appears to have pulled the rails away from the ties. Now I'll have to see if I can use spikes on the rails to fix it, or is a new turnout in order.
All in all a very succesful test.