Sunday, June 5, 2016

Making Sleepers

Late Friday afternoon, I went down to the shed to re-arrange the trains in Grafton Yard so they were all in the correct tracks and the wagons were facing the correct way around in preparation for the next operating session coming soon.  No sooner had I started when I had a request to kick the soccer ball around for a while.  So we did that until it was dark.  Later after dinner I went back down to the shed and completed the various movements.  I also added one wagon back into the container train at Murwillumbah.  I still have one other to add, but it does look quite long.  So I will reconsider that train length over the next few weeks.
I also planted a couple of trees and then distributed about 60 sleepers around two fettlers camps at The Risk and Border Loop.  I then cut up another 200 sleepers out of balsa and stained them. 
On Saturday afternoon, I popped down to the shed for about 20 minutes to listen to some footy on the radio.  That was a bad idea.  The Broncos were getting flogged.  While there I cut up 155 more sleepers and stained them.  All the sleepers are now drying and will also be distributed around the layout.  It is amazing how many sleepers you can deploy and the layout still looks quite bare on detail.
On Friday morning at work Greg popped in and delivered a new version of JMRI on a micro SD card that I gave to him a while back.  The plan was to test it this weekend.  This version has the NCE fast clock enabled and is also running the JMRI webserver.  So operators running with smart phones can now supposedly see the time on their phones.  I also plan to eventually get around to installing two cheap tablets on the walls at either end of the shed so that the fast clock time can be displayed on them as well.  So this arvo late I did get the chance to fire up my Raspberry Pi and configure the new JMRI version.  However, a timing issue between the Pi starting up before the USB hub powering up had me scratching my head why I could not find any serial ports.  So a restart of the Pi fixed that.  I got it working, but when I tested it on my phone I also got some weird results, with run away trains and others not working.  This is just the same as what occurred last time I ran trains via JMRI on my phone, so I guess everything is working well.  I did not however get the fast clock time displaying on the phone.  So maybe I need to load a later version of the app on my phone.  But again, it could still be an issue with the version of JMRI not syncing with the serial interface of NCE, or I may have done something and the webserver has not started.  I will see what others get when they fire up their phones on Tuesday night.
During the week, I did put together a list of jobs to complete, but I can’t find it now.  I know that I have to fix a wire in tube point throw at Cassino.  This point takes trains from the Loop to the Yard.  This requires a trip under the layout.  So I will do that during daylight hours - over the next couple of weeks.  I had quite a few items on this list.  So I might have to check my desk at work, in case I took it to work during the week.
The Toowoomba Model train exhibition was on this weekend, and I could not go, given that I was supposed to have soccer on Saturday morning and a Christening to attend today.  The recent weather event cancelled the soccer and there was no chance I was going to drive 250km in that weather we had on Saturday morning, but the weather certainly cleared up in the afternoon and today.

The guys are coming over on Tuesday, so I best clean up the shed a bit.

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