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I survived!

January 11th, 2009

Well, the show is over! An early start on Saturday morning, leaving home at 7am to be at the NMRA British Region’s Winter Meet at Benson in Oxfordshire by 8am. All the fields and trees were white from the frost, and there was a thick mist in the air – the poor car heater was working overtime, and just about managing to keep the cold out!

With help from fellow Seaboard Southern members, we got the layout up and running in time for show start at 10am. A good start to the day, everything worked as it should have. Well, apart from one block detector, but I found out it actually helped if the controlling DS64 was actually plugged into the power! Doh!! Thanks to the careful adjustments I had done earlier in the week, all the track joints between the boards behaved themselves and we had no derailments. The only problem we had was with two tortoise motors that were not throwing all the way across – these were the cause of a few derailments, but we made sure the points were fully across before sending a train across. Later in the afternoon we had a strange problem of two dips appearing on the crossover on end board B (the farm board is end board A). I will have to have a look at that sometime, possibly ripping out the points and re-laying them.

The computer system (Railroad & Co.) behaved itself, and the demo ran nicely for those who wanted to see it, apart from one time when I ran the DC Amtrak (still need to get controller for that) during the demo. This seemed to confuse the system and it ended up throwing the points for the Amtrak loco, not the computer-controlled one…! But you have to learn somehow 🙂

So, apart from those few problems, I am very happy with the way the layout ran, considering this was its maiden showing at an exhibition. It seemed to go down well and I received very positive feedback, with a lot of people interested in the Railroad & Co. system.

At the moment the layout is still boxed up in the conservatory, and will remain so for a while as I am going to be starting work on the two industrial switching boards inherited from my friend Jim Bainbridge who is now living in San Francisco…thanks for doing the hard work (ie. tracklaying), Jim! Much appreciated! :-) Now just to wire it all up and get started on the scenery!

The next outing for Rochelle Intermodal is in September at the annual Seaboard Southern exhibition. More details can be found on the Seaboard Southern website.

So, here are some photos from the show – as usual, just click on the photo for a larger image and a description:

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Quick update…

January 5th, 2009

Just a quick update this time…

I’ve finished all the final wiring to the block detection and tortoise motors, and have tested it all using Railroad & Co – it works nicely, allowing you to follow the trains around the layout on the screen and also allows me to set up basic automation, which I will do for the show. I will set up a basic demo to show everyone how it all works and what is possible using DCC and computers.

All the boards are now up and connected, and I have been running trains checking all the joints and block detection. So far only 3 joints needed adjusting, so far so good! There are two places still causing a slight problem with some rolling stock, but I think that is more to do with the rolling stock than anything drastic, so will make sure I test all the rolling stock before approving it for show running.

Now on to the final bits of scenery. I picked up more supplies from Model Junction on Friday, so now have everything needed to complete the scenery. I hope to have all completed by end of Wednesday, allowing me a final sprucing up and then a final run through to make sure everything works.

Another update tomorrow or sometime on Wednesday.

Just a reminder that Rochelle Intermodal will be making its debut at the NMRA BR’s Winter Meet at Benson this Saturday (10th Jan) – more details here > http://www.nmrabr.org.uk/meets.asp – looking forward to seeing you all there!

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