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March '09
This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during the month of March 2009, as taken from the descriptions posted to the club mailing list.
March 7

A new doohickey for a Tortoise(TM) switch machine! To replace one that, um, unfortunately became lost.
Experimental radio cab circuits. Gee whiz, this thing may actually work.
Greenery in Middle Heights.
Trackwork in East Berkmannville is complete! But now it all has to be wired.


March 21

We had some trouble with Block Card 10. Quentin is fixing JP's fix to this item.
Christina and her friend Cydnie have a talent for producing trees--the forest is growing!
Quentin helped out too.
Here they're drilling the holes for planting.
Quentin rigged up a nozzle for the vacuum cleaner to remove dust without damaging the vegetation.
Finally he simply sprayed the whole area with dilute India ink.

Quentin also added a feature to the system that causes trains whose speed is brought to 0 to be electronically braked using the freewheeling diode on the block cards. Some locomotives now can stop within an inch when running at full power.

If we showed a picture of the coding process, it would just look like a guy at a computer, but we're showing pictures of our models, so why not show Quentin's work?

Index: tmrc/railserver/picnet/BlockController.java
===================================================================
--- tmrc/railserver/picnet/BlockController.java (revision 333)
+++ tmrc/railserver/picnet/BlockController.java (revision 335)
@@ -5,6 +5,7 @@
 public class BlockController extends CardController implements EventReceiver
 {
        Block[] blocks = new Block[8];
+       int oldspeed = 0;

        public int getTypeId()
        {
@@ -50,9 +51,22 @@
                if(cardPos == -1)
                        return;

+               boolean direction = b.getDirection();
+
+               // E-braking. If the block is at 0 but assigned, invert
+               // the polarity so the freewheeling diode will stop the train more quickly.
+               if ((b.getOwner() != null) && (b.getSpeed() == 0) && (oldspeed != 0)) {
+                       direction = !direction;
+
+                       // Re-enter after a delay to reverse back
+                       Age.installDelayedEvent(new RealEvent("setSpeed", null, b), 500, this, false);
+               }
+
                int[] data = new int[] {
                        cardPos,
-                       b.getSpeed() & 0x7f | (b.getDirection()?0x80:0x00)};
+                       b.getSpeed() & 0x7f | (direction?0x80:0x00)};
+
+               oldspeed = b.getSpeed();

                sendPacket(BLOCK_SEND_SPEED, data);
 //             System.err.println("Setting speed of "+b.card+" "+b.cardPos);


March 28 [pictures]

We now have revenue service to East Berkmannville!

And the card pockets are a little narrower.

This weekend we also hosted a RailRun session, where experienced operators from all over the area came to operate on our layout. Pictures are available under the link above this post.



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