Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Slow Week

So this week has been pretty slow with nothing much of note happening. The later half of the week has seen some model railway related activities with a few other things thrown in. It started on Wednesday with a couple of E-bay sales ending. Also on Wednesday, PK picked up a couple of decoders from the Club for me and he delivered them to me at work on Thursday. So Thursday night I had to decoder one of our Club mates’s Austrains DL class with an NCE D14SR decoder. It took me about 10 minutes to get the loco out of its foam box. Talk about a tight fit. Then another 5 minutes getting the couplers off so I could get the shell off the chassis. So once disassembled, it was an easy task to remove the 8 pin plug and replace it with the D14SR – my decoder of choice. So after a trip down to the shed and changing the loco’s number, followed by a quick test on the Powercab test track and all was OK.
So with Friday being a day off and I attended my daughter’s district cross country carnival. She ended up 43rd out of 95 in the 3km race for her age group. She was still third in her school, behind the two girls that beat her in her school trial. One came second and the other was 41st. So after the carnival I was the acting medi-cab driver and took one of her friends back to school with a sprained ankle in the car. My daughter and another class mate came with me for the ride. It was lucky that the sports field, where the districts were held, was just across the road and down the road about 300m from the school. So after these events were finished I packed up the E-bay items and posted them off, so with a bit of luck they should be arriving at their new homes tomorrow (Monday). I then convened to the Shed and did a bit of plaster painting on the layout. I hit the area near the Bonalbo Ballast Siding, the area near the Lismore Loco area and also near the Lismore Norco siding.
On Friday night while attending to my email on my laptop, I heard a pop and could not work out what it was, until later when I was turning off my laptop and realised that the power brick had bricked! That’s no good. I can’t power my laptop anymore until I get a new power supply. So on Sunday morning I went to Jaycar and sure enough I found a replacement. It is now working again just like a bought one.
On Saturday, it was Soccer, followed by Hobby Shop, and then Club day. My son got flogged 3-0 in soccer, all three from penalties. Two were absolute shocking decisions (in my oppinion), and the third was only marginally better. Give the referee some understanding of the rules and some discretion when applying them. Anyway off to the hobby Shop and still no decoders in – Argh! That is about 9 weeks now I’ve been waiting for some N14SR’s. So over to the Club, we had some discussions about the staging yard layout of the main Yard, how it was to be electrically controlled (the points that is) with a control panel (or two) and an NCE Mini Panel just like I do at home. We also discussed about a fly over for one junction and then devised some high level plans about the track plans and types of siding layouts on one side of one of the peninsulars. So that is starting to come along quite well. We are still just lacking about $2000 worth of track. I think we need about $1000 worth of DCC items. I think it will be a number of years before we have all the track laid on the bottom level, as we just can’t afford that sort of money, with the N scale guys within the Club, about to launch their layout extension as well. Besides this we are also looking at funding a 4 bay trailer parking shed in the back yard of our leased area. That will get the three Club trailers we have out of the Clubrooms. That will allow us to perhaps use the current trailer parking area as a workshop to do all the various timber cutting for the two layouts as they progress.
On Sunday between various family duties and getting my new laptop power supply, I went to the shed to do another strip of scenery. This was near Bonalbo Ballast Siding. I think it has come out quite well. I will await the comments from the Tuesday Night crew who will be coming around to my place this Tuesday. This week was supposed to be at Shelton’s, but he has had to swap oncall weeks with someone at work, so he can’t hold it at his place. There has been quite a bit of scenery been done since the last visit, so it will be great to get some feedback. 
I also have a couple of club members coming over next Saturday to understand various aspects of my layout and how similar techniques can be applied to the new HO Clubroom layout. This will include cab bus, power districts, mini panels with various distributed layout facia panels and a few other items that might take their fancy. Who knows we might even run a train or two. Some times it is hard to explain to people, why I have done it a particular way, and some people have only built and operated on a 6 x 4 DC only layout can’t comprehend why and how. So I will get a few guys over and show them and they can contribute to a number of people who have seen it down this way and understand why some 6 x 4 concepts will not scale. An update on this next week.

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