Saturday, March 18, 2006

Track Laying

Laid the first track in the area that will eventually be a tunnel and hidden staging yard. Glued down the roadbed material and then glued the track to the roadbed. Installed a tortoise for the main yard turnout using hot glue gun. Had to mount the tortoise off to the side since I didnt want the switch machines hanging from the bottom of the module. See the photo below for details.

Tunnel Trackage

West Staging Throat

Tortoise Install

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Profile Contoring

Continued construction of west corner module. Cut contours in profile boards and added remaining riser for the paper mill spur. Beveled the risers one half inch and covered them with plaster cloth. Next step is to prepare the tunnel trackage and the hidden staging yard.

Profile Contours

Plaster Cloth

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Construction Begins

Started construction on west corner module. Added profile board and risers for the mainline trackage. Also added connector plates and cut access holes for connector bolts. Cutting of access holes was complicated by the amount of tracks crossing the edge of the module. Had to custom fit the risers around the access holes and notch them to support small bridge sections of half inch foam scraps.

Profile Boards

Riser Installation

Access Holes

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Track Plan Layout

Next, I laid out the track plan on the base sheets. The corner modules are actually two sheets of 36"x18" material that had to be glued together first. First, I laid out a 3" squares and then transferred the track plan to the syrofoam using a black Sharpie marker. Then, I outlined where the Subterrain riser sections will be placed. The corners of the corner modules still need to be cut off. The next step is to install the profile boards around the modules.

Track Plan Layout

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Initial Track Plan

I finally managed to come up with an initial track plan. A simple water wings plan with a hidden staging yard and space for some of my Walthers Cornerstone buildings. I've got the Glacier Gravel Company pretty much complete and have the Superior Paper Company still sitting in the box. I'm not really to concerened about prototype accuracy at this point but was thinking about northern Minnesota in the early 1980's. This simple track plan could work for almost any time and era.

Initial Track Plan

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Decoder Programming

I downladed Decoder Pro from the JMRI project and played around with it for a while this weekend. I set up a circle of track and got the decoders programmed and configured. I tried out the speed tables and different lighting effects. Everything went smoothly. I also wrote some initial test code and was able to monitor LocoNet traffic through the LocoBuffer II. I was also able to turn the power on an off from my test program. I was just a simple communications test but it's a start.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Initial Decoder Testing

In a rush to try things out, I jury rigged a piece of test track and fired up the Digitrax Zephyr DCS50. After screwing around with the buttons for a while, I finally gave up and dug out the manual. I followed the startup tutorial in the manual and was quickly up and running. It took another trip to the manual to get the lights working. I had forgotten that the lights were under function control. The speed was uncomfortably fast so I will probably need to change some settings to limit the speed. I only shot it off the end of the test track once ... :-) I also need to figure out the address settings. I would like to have them respond to their road numbers, 8301 and 8302.

Maiden Voyage Under DCC