On Friday night the complete compliment of our modelling group (Darren, Geoff, Brendan, Grover and myself) turned up at Simon’s for his scheduled modelling night. We were joined by 5 others and Simon himself for a great evening. A couple of other guys came in for a short period and left again. I was again working on more 40’ Container flats, but this time, it included a number with a thicker container base. I also picked up a Bergs model RDH in Tuscan livery from Brendan on Friday night as well. I thought it was a very nice model and will look good on my passenger trains.
With an 8:00am Saturday morning cricket game on, as well as being on the other side of town, I made great use of that situation, as I just continued onto the Club for the meeting after the game. That meant that the boss also had to travel over to the cricket game to pick up the young cricketer when we finished. Next Saturday will be interesting as that will be the last game of the season and a game between two undefeated teams for the premiership. Apparently there are 9 teams out of the school’s 34 cricket teams that are still in with a chance of a premiership. There are three in my son’s age group, the 7A’s, 7B’s and 7C’s. I’m not sure if the other year 7 teams - Green, Gold and White teams even compete for premierships. But that is a great effort. The 1st XI has already sealed their premiership due to other results.
So on Saturday while at the Club after the meeting, the IT literate brains trust were sitting around one of our new meeting area tables having a chinwag. That was very relaxing, discussing the issues with JMRI’s decoder pro and how these perceived issues are affecting my Operating Sessions. My issues relate to the Fast Clock not taking information from the NCE base station if you set that up as the master. A few weeks back I posted on the JMRI forum on Yahoo and no one responded, and as far as I know, no one is looking into the code in question.
While at the Club I did see that work is progressing on the track laying on the top deck of the HO layout. Both standard gauge and narrow gauge track is being laid. I did see a diamond crossing that allows both 12mm and 16.5mm track to cross wired up incorrectly. Someone at the Club did mention that they were experiencing shorts in that section of track so they disconnected it. I just shake my head sometimes. I swear that sometimes it is the blind leading the blind. I wish people would ask someone, instead of just doing something and not knowing what they were doing. Enough of a rant!
On Sunday morning I ventured over to the UPMRC (Union Pacific Model Railroad Club) for their open day. I knew they had some table sales happening there, and while I didn’t buy anything, the NSW modeller would not have been disappointed, as there were some absolute bargains - e.g. a weathered NPRY $22. I was on the lookout for a PECO large radius Y point. But my second hand seller mate who was selling stuff at the event did not have any with him. He thought he had one at home, so he will bring one to the Tuesday week Buy and Sell night. That will be good, as I can then work on the last standard gauge point for Clapham Yard. At this time, it will also allow me to concentrate on adding all the required droppers into the Yard so trains can run between all the tracks without running into a dead section.
While at the UPMRC today, their open day attracted quite a few people and they gave up their gold coin for the privilege of seeing some trains running. The things that interested me where the strings of multi-colour LED’s around the edge of the layout room controlled by a remote. The colours that they ran were red and blue, but I was told they also use a yellow colour as well. This colour LED worked quite well, when the layout room lights were turned off, and with a very well illuminated layout, with locos, passenger cars, various street lights, yard lights, building lights, flashing advertising signs, etc. all generating background lighting, it was very affective.
Also being used for the session by the operators, was a PABX system. This allowed drivers to phone up the dispatcher for permission to move to the next section of track, or for the dispatcher to call a loop and wait for someone to pick up the phone. If the despatcher is busy talking to someone, you can’t call. But you will know if he in on the phone or not as the light on your phone will tell you. This seemed to be working very well. I would very much like to go down this path in the future on Cassino. I would love to replace the current headset set up, which has a push to talk feature. That will make the drivers jobs so much easier, as they don’t have to carry their headset around from location to location, or it won’t matter, as occasionally, drivers walk off with it still plugged in and it rips the headphones off their head when they reach the end of the cord length.
Also being used on the UPMRC layout, was a small LED monitor screen that was connected up to 4 video cameras. That was used by the dispatcher so see what was occurring at four locations on the layout. I’m not sure I could use something like that, but I do occasionally (and more often many visitors lose a train on the layout), so that might allow quicker finding of the said lost train.
This arvo, I spent some time in the shed and also got the aquadhere out and used this to attached the windows to the recently purchased RDH carriage. This car will be able to run on both my Brisbane Limited set or my Gold Coast Motorail set. So that will be a good addition to my fleet. That reminds me that I must go back and complete my FAM sleeping car, which will also be able to be added to both the Brisbane Limited consist or the Gold Coast Motorail consist.
Last weekend the list of presenters for the 34th Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention to be held on the 20th May this year came out. I know that Darren and Geoff have already booked their accommodation and registered. I booked accommodation for 5 at the same motel, with 3 of us (PK, David and myself) driving down leaving Brisbane on Thursday and John flying down from Toowoomba on Friday, and Darryl driving up from Nowra from work and bunking with us for the two nights. I also hear that the Toowoomba guys have also booked two rooms at the same hotel - someone should really tell them that they have booked the double bed rooms and not the two bed rooms. Hehehehe! Now given that we might end up having 11 hard core NSW modelling guys from Queensland in attendance at this event, you may not want to stay at the same motel as us. We might be a bit loud at night. We had a ball last year, Thai food, pizza, great drinks, great company and plenty of laughs. This year I’ll bring a carton with me for the trip down and back, Darryl has already said he’ll have a couple of bottles from a local vineyard. All we need now is some invitations to attend some local layouts or Clubs on the Friday and/or Saturday nights (maybe even Sunday morning) for a quick operating or photographic session from our mates down in Sydney, as we will have three cars for us all to get around with this year. So let the challenge begin if you are game!