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September '97
This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during the month of September 1997, as taken from the descriptions posted to the club mailing list.
September 2

Jeff and Jonathan completed the wiring of track feeders between The System and the new terminal board (which will provide the ability of The System or System 3 to power the tracks). The next step is construction of ceiling mounted cable trays to distribute track power wiring to the layout.

John McNamara and Joe Onorato, with the assistance of Howard Gorin and George Mitchell (TMRC alum visiting from Washington State), added substantial quantities of track underlayment for the curve at the exit of P-yard. This underlayment continues to a small suburban platform about 10 linear feet from the end of P-yard. Joe Onorato redesigned the switch alignments for this area to improve their build-ability. The next step is beveling the edges of the underlayment where required, and the creation of drainage ditches between the tracks using wood putty filler. After that, ties can be laid.


September 9

Jon Reed completed the spiking of the second through track in the expanded P-yard, and with the assistance of John Shriver cut down some more wires on the System wiring distribution panel. John Purbrick, with the assistance of Joe Onorato and John McNamara, mounted a Signals and Power reference materials cabinet (that had been on the S&P desk) above the desk so as to provide more desk space.


September 16

John Purbrick brought in his new -48, -24 power supply all neatly packaged. All parts are mounted except for the terminal strips, and the internal wiring is about 1/4 completed. He and Alvar will work on it later this week.

James Knight installed additional rails across the 18-inch addition in the middle of P-yard. John McNamara added to the stock of pre-cut ties.


September 23

John Purbrick brought in his new power supply, which supplies -24 and -48 in sufficient quantity to operate "The System". The power supply also provides some additional voltages. After an initial no-load power-on test conducted by John P and John M, it was decided that a load test should be performed. What better load than The System?

Two System circuit breakers popped, and The System behaved somewhat strangely. Jeff arrived, and with the assistance of Howard and Alvar, found three problems:

  • a cab was needed (Jeff finished wiring Cab 1)
  • two wires were touching in the lower portion of the jack field (they had been pushed together by a cable bundle during transport)
  • there was a short at the minor alarm bell, where the process of moving had rotated some parts into electrical contact.

After about 1.5 hours work,

AT 9:57 PM EDT ON 09/23/97, THE TMRC SYSTEM CAME TO LIFE AT ITS NEW LOCATION AND RAN A "J-TRAIN" VIA THE MOVEMENT OF PLUGS IN THE PATCHFIELD. THE SYSTEM LIVES!!

Of perhaps even greater import, on Saturday 9/20, Alvar Saenz-Otero appointed a committee consisting of Andy Miller, Bill Onorato, Joe Onorato, and John Purbrick to produce an agreed-upon Phase II plan for Club approval on Saturday 9/27. They met at Andy's house last night and have achieved that goal!


September 30

The new Purbrick power supply has been enhanced with a protective plastic plate over the high voltage terminals and a contactor to turn the unit on and off. The new power supply was mounted on the wall near The System and Jeff ran neater power wiring between it and The System. Since this unit is very quiet, Jeff and James installed an indicator light on end of The System to indicate when power is on. It is the same 3-light "beehive indicator" that was used in 20E-214.

Mike Newman brought in and installed a NetPhone PBX-on-a-board. It has a total capacity of 6 trunks and 18 phones and seems to work very well. The only drawback is that it requires tone phones rather than rotary dial phones. We also need to accommodate access to dial switch-throwing somehow, but we're sure the system can be programmed for that.

Howard Gorin added some ties to the mainline track exiting P-yard. About six feet has had the ties installed / sanded, ties stained, and ballast added.



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Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
MIT Room N52-118
265 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

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Email: tmrc-web@mit.edu
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