Sunday, June 19, 2016

Where Did The Weekend Go?

Saturday morning I scootered over to Arthur’s place for a quick visit as this was the venue for the local NMRA meeting.  I think it was my first meeting.  I’ve been a member for almost two years.  I could only stay a short time as I had made other arrangements in the arvo prior to finding out when the meeting was to be held.  Because the meeting was at Arthur’s place and I thought a couple of Tuesday Nighters would probably be in attendance, and as Arthur’s place is just up the road (sort of) as well as on my way to the next location, I made an appearance.  I spoke to many railway friends while there, but the main reason was to check out the layout again.
I never get tired of watching the trains circulate on Arthur’s layout.  I always learn something each time I visit as well.  There is always something that I see for the first time, which causes a question to be asked and then Arthur just fills us with the reasons and details behind why the item in question is there. This time it was about the blow down board in the loco area in Westgate.
So the second stop for the day was over at Anthony’s place for an operating session at Anthony’s Border District layout.  The crew was pretty slim, just three others and the host.  It had been a while since I’d last attended a session and it showed.  The first train I ran I forgot to pick up the car cards and I got caught out by Anthony – Doh!  But I didn’t cause too much havoc, I ran through in set of points in Tatiara Downs Yard and also put one wheel of a bogie off the track in a storage siding, so all in all everything ran well, and I did not disgrace myself too much.  The company was pretty good as well.  I'm still learning about the car cards that Anthony uses.  This hobby is just great.
We were all amazed at some of the progress on the layout.  Anthony was the recipient of a few new building at Jameston.  These buildings were very, very nice.  Although modelled in low relief, they fit into the scene very well.  The detail on these buildings is just great.  I’m sure there will be some photos of these buildings on Anthony’s Blog very soon, if not already.  There is a short update about the session already there.  Anthony's Layout Blog
Today we did some family things all morning until early afternoon and that was followed by some time in the shed.  I was starting to work on testing the updates to the version of JMRI on the Pi.  These were put together by my JMRI Consultant Greg.  I have now confirmed that the fastclock is displayed on the engine driver throttle.  I have not yet tested the Apple – wi-throttle flavour of throttle.  But I assume if one is working all are.  However, what is being displayed is the local server time and not the time from the NCE system.  No matter how I set it and change the parameters, it is not being set correctly.  Once changed, the settings for the NCE system to overrule the local time, does not seem to get saved.  Yes I am saving it!  So when I restart JMRI, the fastclock time keeps using the local time again.  Frustrating!  I’m sure my JMRI Consultant Greg will be able to tell me what I have done wrong when he next visits.  I was also having all sorts of issues with the throttle also controlling the train.  I’d change direction, turn lights on and off and not everything was reflected in the train.  Maybe the Pi was still setting up lots of other things and was not running optimally.  Maybe if I left it for a few more minutes activity would settle down.
My wifi enginedriver enabled phone that I was testing with then ran out of juice, so I called it a day.  Besides, the shed was starting to get too wet as the rain had set in.  I had planned to do a little bit more work around Nammoona Ballast Siding, and add some detail weed clumps between the tracks at this location and also on the stock platform.  I had also planned to start work on the ballasting in another area and detailing around that zone.
I had the boss buy some cheap flickering candles when we were out this morning.  I plan to hook them up to a power supply delivered from the DCC bus and have the flickering light reflected inside some old drums and camp fires located in a couple of fettlers camps around the layout.  Another item added to the ‘to do’ list.

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