This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during
the month of June 2002, as taken from the descriptions posted to
the club mailing list.
- June 12
While System3 performed well at the recent Alumni Open House, there are still
enhancements to be made. James Knight and Tom O'Reilly worked on these. John
Purbrick continued his work in the Berkmannville area. However, he has switched
from trackwork and switch wiring to scenery. He installed the "water level" for
the stream that runs through the Berkmannville area. John McNamara has turned
his attention from the roundhouse to the low portion of the Digital Widgets
building and has pretty much completed one section of the front wall. Tonight he
installed two more windows in the second section of the front wall. Andy Miller
was the third person involved in scenic projects this evening. He installed more
sidewalks in Gifford City. The sidewalks are not only for the convenience of
pico-pedestrians, they are an important precursor to trolley poles, trolley
wire, and real live overhead operation. Stringing wire will doubtless be the
task of John Shriver, who has just completed the mechanical work on the carbarn
ladder switches. Now all he has to do is wire them to the controller cards ;-)
Malcolm Laughlin did some more layout design work using 3rd PlanIt and a more
primitive set of tools - paper and pen. Lastly, Ken Terrell continued a number
of his personal car painting projects.
- June 19
John McNamara worked on the second side of Digital Widgets, which is currently
clamped by vast amounts of lead.
John Shriver worked on connecting the MITCo carbarn ladder switch machines to
the switch card. When doing some testing, he unplugged the power cable to the
card. (You can't solder to the switch machines with power on!) When plugging
it back in, he missed by one pin for a moment. This caused the release of the
magic smoke. He turned on wired circuit breakers until they all stayed on.
(Took a few tries on one.) Finally a large puff of magic smoke was noted under
the layout near the turntable controller, leading to fears of it's demise. This
wasn't the case. Voltages were measured on the card, and it was seen that there
was no +12V. So a new regulator was pulled from the drawer, and the soldering
iron and solder sucker taken to the scene of the crime. But there was no +12V
regulator on the board! With some investigation, it was found that it had
gotten so hot that it had melted the solder, and fallen out of the board. It
melted itself into the side of the cable spool sitting on the floor under the
switch card. Alvar arrived (wearing the Charles River) with a digital camera in
his backpack, so this has been documented!
- June 22
James, Tom, Armond (James's friend), Roger, and Alvar worked for long hours
Saturday night to move the System 3 power supply from the east wall of TMRC, to
under the tower. The new supply fits inside a single cabinet, placed
immediately next to the circuit breaker panel (also under the tower). Because
the IMP controller (controls switches) and several block cards are still mounted
in the east wall, they left a bundle of power cables to return to the east wall
temporarily. All the block cards and the IMP will be moved under the layout in
the near future. Alvar and James also rewired the 120Vac supply for System 3,
since the new supply feeds from a single phase, rather than the three phase old
supply. The new wiring is closer to implementing the desired operations of
lights and power in the clubroom: a circuit that is always on (server), a
computer circuit that turns off only until the day is over (so that we don't
reboot computers when going to dinner - this function is not yet implemented), a
circuit which is on only when lights are on (general use), and a circuit
dedicated to system power, which turns on via a new large pushbutton switch; the
huge red pushbutton was mounted above the dimmers for the track lights.
John Purbick, Tom, and Alvar moved all the lumber and conduit from the floor to
the shelf that remained from the System 2 frame, freeing up space around the
clubroom. John also worked on Berkmanville Scenery, together with Bill and
Malcolm. Malcolm began to study the rolling stock storage situation of the
clubroom, and hopes to come up with a plan on how to store TMRC's rolling stock
under the layout, rather than in boxes around the room!
Tom continued to work on the System 3 interface, fixing a couple of small bugs
and generally updating the software. He also tested a color monitor we had
hidden under the layout, to place it in a visible location to make better use of
our Camera car.
- June 26
Malcolm Laughlin mounted the snazzy new Berkmannville control panel and
cleared an area under the staging yard "for exclusive Car & Loco use."
Andy Miller added yet more sidewalks to Gifford City. John Purbrick
continued his work on the helix between the staging yard and
Berkmannville. John McNamara cemented more brickpaper onto the Digital
Widgets wall section upon which he is currently working.
System2 is now almost completely on casters
ready for its trip to The Telephone Museum on 13 July.
Tech Model Railroad Club of
MIT Room N52-118
265 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
+1 617 253-3269