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January '98
This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during the month of January 1998, as taken from the descriptions posted to the club mailing list.
January 13

John Purbrick demonstrated the switch-throwing capabilities of his electronic control system ("System 3") using a roll of 100 feet of twisted-pair ribbon cable. A stall-motor Tortoise switch machine was used in the demo. The temporary use of ribbon cable conductors for power distribution provided a slighty too "soft" power source, but otherwise things worked well. John also began work on a double crossover that will be a few feet beyond the west end of P-yard.

John McNamara continued the work that Ben FrantzDale has started on Saturday, i.e. installing more flextrack on the subroadbed that Ben had completed around the tower. Speaking of Saturday, Bill Onorato and James Knight installed the support system for the first river on that day, and Jeff Birkner and James installed the cable tray from the System to the layout.

Another Tuesday completion of Saturday work involved Joe Onorato making more progress on some trackwork that Bill Onorato has added to P-yard. Joe also turned up some of the other trackwork.


January 20

Jeff Birkner and James Knight installed the old circuit breaker panel under the new tower on Saturday (or more precisely, Sunday morning) and more work was done on it tonight. Power cables from the new John P power supply have been run through the James/Jeff power tray to the circuit breaker panel, so electrons will soon be flowing under the new layout.

Work is continuing on the trackwork for P-yard and the approaches thereto. This includes a new double crossover that will be located five or ten feet west of the yard. John P is building the double crossover out-of-place on a board to which a computer-plotted diagram of the trackwork has been glued. When it is all soldered together, he will remove the spikes and install it in place. A slight amount of work was done to continue the Ben FrantzDale / Bill Onorato / John McNamara Saturday efforts on the track loops which will encircle the new tower. Additional planning details for that area are needed.

A new Grizzly band saw (weight 45 Kg) has arrived for use in cutting roadbed more expeditously. It was transported from East Campus, unpacked, installed, and tested this evening.


January 27

Some clean-up work was done to remove the accumulated sawdust from Saturday's work. Work was done on another P-yard switch, and additional flex-track was added in the loops around the tower. This photo, taken December 16th, shows a new two-person tower (more may be built) and a turning loop around it. Most of the loop area shown as bare plywood now has track on it. A second loop will be added above the one shown. The tracks in the lower right corner of the picture are the P-yard loop tracks shown in the previous pictures. When the second tower loop has been added, a train will be able to traverse one tower loop, come over through the P-yard loop at lower right, and return to traverse the other tower loop. This will provide so-called Phase 1 operation of the new layout, hopefully in time for a Spring Open House.



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

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