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

Ed Drozd worked on the foundation of the building next to Coca-Bubblie. I (JEM) believe this building was originally built by Ed Sproles and called "Olivieri Typewriter". Ed also tested a new locomotive of his and found that someone had disconnected part of the layout from System2. It is suspected that John Purbrick did this as part of his System3 throttle testing.

John McNamara glued two more of the roundhouse door assemblies to the front of the roundhouse. They were originally attached with double-sided tape, but they have been falling off. Styrene cement seems to work well, despite the painted surfaces.

Jeff Birkner brought in a monitor. It will probably be used in conjunction with a spare computer of Alvar's to serve as the dispatcher's terminal. Jeff also enjoyed an article on B&M communications systems that was in the B&M Historical Society Bulletin that Ed brought in for the enjoyment of telephony fans.

Alvar Saenz-Otero has just returned from a trip to Mexico. He supervised our work, checked work done in his absence, and filled us in on Mexican politics.


July 15

In the past weeks "mlaughlin" (sorry, but I don't have the full name!) started to lay down the latice stock for the staging yard. This Saturday Alvar, Bill, Alan Kotok, Ed, and Howard continued to work. Bill brought in all the necessary switches for the yard, so the work could start on the throat. While Alvar finished to nail down the latice stock, Bill and Ed began to work on the throat... Alvar used the eyes in his back to supervise (according to Ed) :-). While they finished the throat Alvar took track #17 out of service and got rid of the horrible kink that used to exists right after switch 11. Then Bill and Ed finished the lattice stock for the throat. Meanwhile Alan used a nailset to drive all the nails far in, and Howard followed with the sanding block to make the lattice stok nice and even. *** WARNING to those using the layout: Switch #11 is OUT OF SERVICE, and so is Track #17. They will be for a couple of weeks, since they are the access to staging, which is being worked on. Meanwhile, working in the background was James. He got the PIC programming software and hardware to work... using our three computers! (One to edit, since it has emacs; another to compile, since it needs windows; and one to program, since it needs DOS :-) He then programmed a debugger that lets him 'peek' into the memory of the PIC processor.


July 18

Jared Jonas, Vicki Steinberg, John Purbrick, and Alvar Saenz-Otero worked on the miniature video camera that will be locomotive-mounted and used to provide Activities Midway visitors with a live-on-net "Cab's Eye View".

Ed Drozd contemplated the installation of a diesel servicing track in the roundhouse area. This is somewhat complicated due to the short distance between the mainline tracks and the turntable.

John McNamara began the installation of some interior walls in the office area of the roundhouse. The new walls enclose a small restroom.

Andy Miller painted some models, the fencing for the REA/Amtrak Package Express parking lot, and the aforementioned walls for the roundhouse restroom.

TMRCie-emeritus Peter Samson visited as part of his East Coast vacation. Ken Terrell ran some trains.


July 25

John Purbrick added several lengths of track to the staging yard. Despite his efforts, there is still LOTS more to do. John McNamara did first-pass painting on some "damaged" 55-gallon drums that will be used in scenicing the roundhouse area. These drums, and some shiny new ones for inside the roundhouse, were purchased by Ed Drozd. John and Ed also checked the on-line Walthers catalog for some details for use in the roundhouse office area. Ed did some additional work on the Art Deco office building he has been building in Gifford City, adding bronze door and window trim on the first floor. Jared Jonas and Vicki Steinberg continued work on a garage that will be located in the trolley loop near the roundhouse. Andy continued work on the parking railings for the REA/Amtrak Package Express building.


July 29

Phase II work continued: Malcom and John B. continued to lay track for staging yard; meanwhile Alvar, James, Bill, and Ed worked on the design of the exit ladder for staging. Lots of different versions came by, and the design continues to be modified: there are six main staging tracks, and four exits, we want to maximize the in-out possibilities (there are two other tracks in staging, for a total of 8, but these two are mainly for Gifford City Staging). John P. did his part by thinking of some changes to the loop below the tower (at the other end of staging), to maximize the possibilities when using the loop to turn around a Tuckerton train. All these changes are still on the thinking stage, but some will soon become reality as the tracks in staging get closer to be finished.

Jeff worked hard on the electrical part of the staging yard. He began real design of the layout schematics, and to assign block and switch numbers. He also began to make some block gaps in the new staging track, since they were already causing trouble in mainline!

John Shriver worked on completing over 90% of the trolley loop! The big trolley loop will be finished really soon, with only two straight sections missing! But he is running out of track stock, so he is going to pass on the 'scenic' track for now (the 'scenic' track are the sections that will never be used, but are there to make sense out of the loop).

Jared and Vicky brought in an assembled 'camera car' to run a cabs-eye view! The car is a standard flat car with a dis-assembled 'X-10' camera. They currently provide power via the main source, and are awaiting arrival of a matching battery transformer (previous experiments with direct battery voltages allows the magic smoke to escape from several components!) in order to have a fully operational cabs-eye-view system. The whole setup will be ready to show new students the clubroom at the Activities Midway! (More details will be available in late August)

Ed began the construction of a wood fence for the barber shop next to the Railway Express parking area. Bill continued a few details of the vegetable oil facility. Both tested some locomotives.

Alvar, Jeff, and James filled up new orders for TMRC 50th Anniversary Cars.



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Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
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