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September '06
This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during the month of September 2006, as taken from the descriptions posted to the club mailing list.
September 1

TMRC participated in the Activities Midway today. This is a chance to recruit new student members, something that is always important. Davids Lambeth and Dalrymple and Tom helped to set things up. We brought the portable layout and Green Building Tetris game with us, and had a computer running the SCab program to allow remote operation of the layout. We did not try to have live video to accompany this as we have had trouble with the available network bandwidth at the Midway in years past. We also brought the crossing signal, which attracted no undue police attention this year (unlike the last two years). Unforunately, the control system for the portable layout was not working correctly, leaving Tom to explain to prospective members how cool it is when it does work. With a bit of luck we'll remember to fix it before the next midway. Adam showed up during the midway and helped to take everything back to the club.


September 2

Adam tested out his new HO scale steam locomotives and reported great progress with his live steam engine. He also experimented with the use of crumpled aluminum foil as a rock mold, getting decent results. JP is still trying to fix problems with the touch screen controller for F-yard that started when it was accidentally reprogrammed a few weeks ago. Tom attached detail parts to the Kato Amtrak equipment given to the club by Hiroshi Kato himself. The trains look great and run even better, but have a tremendous number of fiddly little parts that need to be attached, which took much of the evening. Bill worked on a building to go in F-yard near the tower.

On a sad note, a discarded Coke machine was seen by the dumpster; it was a larger model than the clubs machine, but numerous important parts had already been removed, like the refrigeration unit and some of the bits that dispense the cans. While there was some foolish talk of taking it to the club room for some poorly defined purpose, cooler heads prevailed and we let it rest in peace. Until that is, the fraternity next door decided to beat on it with sledgehammers. Oh the imhumanity!


September 9

David Lambeth continued working on the new building for the area next to the roundhouse, including paving the area around the siding. David Dalrymple worked to develop plans for project he can do with his lab, the Center for Bits and Atoms. Tom considered plans for the currently undeveloped industrial areas in Berkmannville and made mockups of some track plans for the area.


September 16

Quentin, David and Tom discussed projects to incorporate David's research on something called Internet 0, which is a way to connect small devices using the TCP/IP packets. The leading candidates are an automated control system for the trolley system (currently controlled by a DC power pack), and a new control system for the subway (currently controlled by nothing).


September 20

Tom and Adam discussed plans for a 60th anniversary club car. The leading candidate right now is a covered hopper, which can be ordered in relatively small quantities (as few as 50) from Accurail. The markings would probably be close to the regular TNP scheme, with a smaller logo about the clubs 60th anniversary. The anniversary and club logos would be less prominent than those on the 50th anniversary car, which featured a big gold banner with the number 50 in it. We don't want to overdo it, or it will be hard to top in 15 years...


September 23

There was a large pile of soda in the club room (only partially shown) thanks to Adam, who took full advantage of a sale at Star Market during the week.


Adam consulted with Bill about the best way to build the rocky hillside he has planned. The new approach shows promise. Quentin and Tom talked about possible projects, focusing on ways to control building lights. Trains were run, including the Adams steam locomotive and heavyweight passenger cars, and the club's new Kato Amtrak equipment. The system was somewhat mischevious, with a circuit breaker tripping for no good reason, and doing its best to stay tripped.


September 27

The club received a few visitors and trains were run. John Shriver continued hanging trolley wire in front of the passenger station in GC. John McNamara did some work on the scenery in the mountains. Hugh paid a quiet visit wearing bedroom slippers because he didn't like his new shoes. Quentin stopped by briefly before heading off to work on problem sets. Tom updated the progress reports which had gotten rather out of date.



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Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
MIT Room N52-118
265 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

+1 617 253-3269
x3-3269 (on campus)
Email: tmrc-web@mit.edu
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