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November '00
This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during the month of November 2000, as taken from the descriptions posted to the club mailing list.
November 11

Sorry for the lack of updates, we've been working on the layout until too late at night and I've been too tired to write the reports. But, here goes a summary of tons of progress since the last report:

Remember those switch cards we were building? Well, they are all installed in the layout now. Plus Switch Card #7, the first one into staging from Gifford City, is now 80% wired! Between Jeff and Alvar they developed the full wiring diagram for all of staging. This is making it much easier to actually install all the feeders, terminal blocks, and wiring in general. We may have everything wired by the Open House! (which means that with all the switches 'normal' we should have a working loop in staging by the Open House!)

And how about Berkmanville? Its comming along! Further design work went into it, to make sure that its feasible to have the paint area and BK. Meanwhile Malcolm and Alvar have been working on the down slope for the BK cuttoff. Malcolm has also began to design the support for the mainline helix.

Then there is the Coca Bubblie area and Gifford City. Ed installed 1/4" plywood on all the area under the telephone building, so that the buildings have a foundation to put them level with the street. Plus, he refinished the building next to Coca Bubblie. Meanwhile Bill continues the detailing of the Vegetable Oil facility. JP has been working on the ramp up 100th street, including the installation of the fake troley track. He also has worked on detailing other sections of the Gifford City area, including adding signals in some areas.

John Shriver has finsihed the main wiring of all the blocks of the trolley system! A trolley can now run all around the system non-stop. Therefore, he began to test methods for paving the streets again. The street paving should give Gifford City a finished look really fast!

James has been working on the software and hardware for System 3. He already has an alpha version of a display and track. There is lots more to do, but it seems that System 3 is becoming a reality! The real test will be when System 3 is used to operate the Staging Yard... the yard will not be wired to System 2, it will be the testing ground for System 3. Of course, if anybody else wants to get involed with the System 3 design, I'm sure James will appreciate the help!

Alvar continued the painting of the Green Building elements over a weekend, with quite good success (a little too yellow this time, maybe). But the elements are now ready to begin the construction of the front faces of the building. Maybe a partially built one will be there by the Open House?

So, in summary, over this past month the trolley system main loop has been completed and pavement work has started. The Staging Yard electrical work is well under way, with the posibility of functionality by the Open House. And Gifford City continues to gain detailed all over.


November 15

Ed Drozd did some repair work on the Coca-Bubblie building. Stefano Curtarolo brought in a DAT tape unit for backing up the club's server. John Purbrick completed the construction of a 3-aspect, 3-head signal mast for use on a signal tower that will be installed near his produce warehouse. Now all he needs to do is build another one (the signal tower takes two). Alvar Saenz-Otero did wiring work on switch card #7, which is under the throat of the staging yard. Andy Miller worked on a new building that will be the back side of the existing "Caveat Emptor" department store. John McNamara installed new wheelsets on his TNP-painted superliner cars; tracking was not improved. A cat wandered into the clubroom twice during the evening.


November 18

Ed, James & Alvar began the day by entretaining a Boy Scouts troop. It was almost a mockup Open House, with up to 20+ people in the clubroom at once! The show went really well; the parents and kids were all very amused with the layout.

Then the work began. Malcom made the first major cut for the helix by creating the downslope from staging to Berkmanville. This section will hold the two mainline tracks out of BK going up to Sawyer and 'the rest of the world'. On the other side of the room Ed continued to detail the Coca Bubblie area, Bill worked on the vegetable oil facility, and Andy on Caveat Emptor. Ed also took two bags of empty cans and got our deposit back from Star.

James worked on System 3 design; he and Jonh Barrington discussed a GUI for it. The GUI is still on the preliminary design stages, but the main background processes that do all the work are close to completion!

Alvar worked hard on getting the Staging Yard wired. All of the feeder wires are now installed. All of the X-block relays are also in place. The next step is to connect the terminal blocks to the switch cards. Jeff assited Alvar towards the end of the day (or night).



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Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
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