Friday, 24 March 2017

Next operating session - 28th March

I've invited a crew over for another operating session next Tuesday (28th March.)  It will probably be the last session I have for a few months (until May, at least) as I want to pull up the track at Gene Autry and re-lay it to provide better switching opportunities at the Ardmore Air Base.

I usually have trouble getting a crew together for week-day sessions because half the guys who come on Friday nights still have to work for a living.  Next Tuesday is no exception, so I've invited a couple of gents who've not operated on the GC before.  One of them has never tried CC&WB operation at all, and the other has had one session (we operated together on the last session of Brendan's previous D&H layout.)

This is the crew call board that we'll be operating under:
As with the previous session, I've now included the branch line trains that were previously run by the yard operators in the list of trains to be run by the general pool of operators. I've also prepared new and amended instructions for the trains that are affected by this change.

Fixing stuff ...

Since the last session I've finally fixed a problem that has annoyed me for quite some time. After converting the layout to DCC I decided to use car lamps combined with PTC fuses for short circuit protection.The plan was to have one of these devices installed to protect each town, so that a short circuit wouldn't shut down the entire layout.

Sadly, when I originally rewired the layout for DCC I got lazy as far as the hidden track that allowed continuous running is concerned.  The electrical blocks for that track are very long, and each has several sets of droppers (power feeds). Instead of running the power feeds all back to a single aggregation point, I simply connected them up to the nearest town's aggregation point. Consequently, power districts that were supposed to be isolated from each other were actually electically connected, and some short circuits could still shut down most if not all of the layout.

After several hours of crawling around under the layout I think that I've now sorted out the wiring, and that the short circuit protection will now work as intended. The big test will be on Tuesday.


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