- April 3
John Shriver layed down the lattice stock into the carbarn. In order to
accomplish that he began by shimming the lattice stock with one WECO card
at one end, and FOURTEEN at the other! This way the carbarn floor and the
entrance tracks matched perfectly. Bill continued to work on the bridge at
the east end of Gifford City, and the vegetable oil facility next to the
bridge. He is starting the brick walls in the building. Alvar put together
one of the City Classics model buildings, which was modified during the week
with an extra story. During the week he also put together another building,
of the same kind, but one story shorter (get the idea :-).
James continued to work on the new computer system at TMRC by adding new
desktop manager options and also JAVA. The installation of Java is a good
step into making the TMRC computers interface with the rest of the world,
and some day we'll control the layout that way! Jeff dropped by too, and
updated the TMRC clocks to daylight savings time, so next time you come to
the club, you know the time is right!
- April 7
John M finished weathering the rear wall sections for the roundhouse. The
next step is to create the matching interior walls. Andy worked on doors
and baggage elevators for the Gifford City passenger platforms. During the
past few days, he has used a color laser printer to make some very nice
signs for the platform area. John P installed an under-the-tracks
uncoupling ramp near the baggage/express siding. He also worked on the
necessary hardware and software for wayside signals.
- April 10
We had a meeting! And during the meeting we agreed that there will be
two dry-runs for the open house and one final check: dry-runs will be
Sat 4/17 and 4/24; the final check will be Wed 4/28.
Outside of the meeting, people did lots of work. Andy worked during the
week on the Gifford city platform baggage elevators and began the
construction of the large boulevard across the station. Saturday he began
to put together the girders for the boulevard. Bill continued to work on
his oil facility by cutting out most of the front brick cover of the
building, and weathering it. John P brought in a new small signal bridge,
and began to put it together. Dick Lord helped out with several scenic
details around Gifford City.
Alvar, James, and Jeff worked hard on the computers at TMRC. The old control
computer had a dying hard-disk, with intermittent hangs all the time - a
sign that the hard disk was soon to crash. Being smart, a full backup
of that hard-disk was created, to save all the information contained
therein. A new very large 8.4Gb hard-disk, and yet cheap, was acquired, and
was installed in one of the new computers. The 2.1 Gb hard-disk from that
computer was then transfered to the old control computer and the system was
up and running again at 3:24am TMRC-DST. Alvar also worked on installing
Windows NT on one of the new computers (the one with the big disk), which
will be used to capture video and some day have live video feeds over
- April 17
Bill began to cut out the windows in the brick material for his vegetable
oil facility. John P. continued to work on the 100th street bridge,
putting down the sidewalk material. Andy worked on the Paulson Blvd
bridge over P-yard, starting to put together the thru girders for the bottom
structure of the street. He also painted some plugs to cover the old holes
in the P-yard platform, so that he can make holes in the correct positions
for the boulevard. Dick Lord began to help with cleaning up the P-yard side
of the layout, so that it look nice and clean for the open house.
Meanwhile Alvar began to test System 2 and System 3 so that trains can get
around the layout and that we can have not only one 'infinite loop' but
also some switching around during the Open House.
- April 21
John M constructed the walls for the machine shop that will be at the back
of the roundhouse. Andy worked on the Paulson Boulevard over-pass that will
provide the grand entrance road in front of the Gifford City station. John
P worked on the final touches for his bridge next to the produce warehouse.
Alvar ran a train around in preparation for the Open House 10 days hence.
He encountered and debugged a number of dirty-crosspoint and other
problems. More attention will be needed.
- April 24
Bill began to paint his vegetable oil facility. Andy worked a lot on the
Paulson Boulevard Western bridge. The support structure now has diagonals
to reinforce the columns. He also painted the whole bottom section,
including the supports for the bridge that go into the platforms.
James and Alvar created positive pressure inside the room, by using
two fans, lots of duct tape, and garbage bags in the side door. Then,
using the high pressure section of the air hose, they cleaned System
2 as thoroughly as possible. Jeff then took over, and fixed the last
couple of bugs --- also due to dust, but all the way inside relays that
even high pressure air could not reach out. After that he began to
study the problems of Cab 2, which decides to 'overload' after just
a couple of minutes of apparently good operation.
Dick Lord and Bill helped a lot with the cleanup of the layout,
transforming Gifford City into an urban area, instead of a construction
zone. Later on Alvar cleaned up the main working table. This sets the
club quite ready for the Open House.
Finally, Jeff, Andy, James, and Alvar all helped test the track, system,
and trains for the Open House. We made sure the Aaron Burr actually ran
around the tracks continuously, with both the track and system behaving
nicely. Both the Aaron Burr and the 50th Anniversary train will be
featured during the Open House!
- April 28
On the Tuesday Emergency session John P, John M, James, and Alvar all
worked together in making a 4'x12' drop poster to advertise our
upcoming Open House this Saturday May 1st.
The poster features the TMRC wheel from the logo, a large 'tmrc'
name, and all the information to get people here. Plus, its made
general enough so that we can re-use it next time! You can admire
the poster in the MIT Student Center stairs.
On Wednesday night John P. and Alvar continued testing the system
as much as possible. Cab 1 is now working perfectly; Cab 4, the
remote controlled one, is working in the big loop setup, which is
what we tested, with a few minor intermittent problems. Jeff tested
Cab 2 on Sunday, which appears to be working fine! Cab 3 has not
had problems, but we have not had time to 'de-dust' its contacts
by running trains using it (I guess we are crossing our finger
it will work :-).
And, at the end of the day, Alvar ran a cable from the tower. This
is a second RS232 cable that will go from the system to a computer
in the tower, so that the dispatcher can in fact be in the tower, seeing
the trains and layout, while creating routes and assigning trains! JP
will fix the ends Friday night.