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November '98
This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during the month of November 1998, as taken from the descriptions posted to the club mailing list.
November 4

Jeff, James, and Alvar worked on wiring design and documentation for the control of switches. The layout switches are now fully documented, making the installation of the switch cards much more easier.

John P worked on adding "corrugated tin" roofing to the produce warehouse and also improved some P-yard switches. John M paint-matched the floor in another extended section of roundhouse flooring.


November 5

The Building 20 Presentation is back online in the Live Presentation Page


November 7

John P. and Jeff continued to work on the interface between the PC and System 2 in order to enable call-on directly from the PC. This will allow us to have one single 'dispatcher' terminal again! Dick Lord put together the boards necessary to create 'X1', 'X2', and 'X3' swing blocks, which completes the electronics necessary for swing blocks for phase one.

Bill Onorato continued his work on the vegetable oil facility at the East end of Gifford City. He also brought in many sheets of brick and stone material to work on scenery! Alvar did a lot of work in the new section of Gifford City. He installed all the roadbed, both for the trolley line and the sidewalk, all the way to the main passenger station. Also, he began to work on the bridge to 105th street, and the pedestrian tunnel under it.


November 11

John P. and Jeff worked on the assignment system, which is making excellent progress. The new assignment control allows the PC controlled microprocessor system to do cab assignments with System 2. This design completely eliminates the need for the PDP 11-based "S-board", which has been decomissioned as of today. Jeff also did some System debugging- or better put, de-dusting.

Alvar built a covered cable trough to convey control and power wiring from the new electronic switch-throwing system and the new power supply to System 2 and the tower (signal and power distribution centers, respectively). He also installed a 'power-on' LED directly at the new power supply, to easily see when power is on.

John M installed another replacement section in the roundhouse floor. Now that test painting has been completed, final painting will occur when all the sections are in place. Andy Miller performed coupler re-alignment and other corrective surgery on the Aaron Burr cars.


November 14

Andy began to paint the stone walls that go all around the old sections of Gifford City. He used a technique that gives the stones a light background and a dark foreground. John Purbrick continued work on his produce plant, now that there is enough brick material!

Alvar prepared the wires for the next switch card. John Shriver first transfered the center lines to the roadbed that Alvar placed down one week ago, and then began installation of girder rail for the trolley line. After some tests he said : "It will lay MUCH faster than the old way, that's certain." Jeff and James continued work on System 2, doing more and more de-dusting.


November 18

Now that computerized assignment, computerized switch-throwing, and The System are all operational, various layout wiring and block gap problems are more evident. Jeff and James did some trouble-shooting on the layout wiring and block gaps to deal with these problems. John M extended the flooring in another roundhouse stall. John P prepared another section of brick wall for the produce warehouse.


November 21

Bill and John P continued to work on their respective buildings (the vegetable oil distributor and the terminal, both on the east of Gifford City). John McNamara worked on the round house- he has only two more bays to go before finishing the floor additions (painting is next).

You'll soon see a big update of the Progress Gallery.

Jeff, James, and Alvar worked on installing the last three switch cards. At 5:00am Jeff and Alvar called it quits, after fully installing #5, doing 70% of #4, and 40% of #6. This means that with one more session all the cards should be in! And, finally, the great news: John P brought in a new version of this Sys3 program that allows GRAPHIC SWITCH THROWING. That is, by 'clicking' on a switch in the monitor, the switch changes on the layout! The next and final part for a 'beta release' of the system is to integrate assignment...

On Sunday Nov 15th an article on Model Rail Roads around the Boston area appeared in the Boston Herald. We have a copy of the article for you to read.

Also, today, James and Alvar both brought in digital cameras, and took lots of pictures of the layout (over 50 of them!). These were added to a Progress Gallery which they added to the web-site. This gallery contains many pictures of the layout as it grows from the ground up.

Finally, the links page has been added links of web-pages of club members.


November 28

Bill continued work on his vegetable oil facility. Alvar finished wiring all the Switch Cards, and ran power to the last three. John P. installed a new version of the graphical interface which allows both assignments and switch throwing.



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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