Archive for April, 2013

One step inspires more progress

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
A view of the wiring tasks.

A view of the wiring tasks.

I worked on the layout over this past weekend and completed the electrical wiring on the yard throat module. While surveying the work, I realized I had not made much progress in the last 4.5 months. Of course, I do consider wiring to be sheer drudgery, yet it is a necessary evil to complete in order to make the trains go. I guess I’ve just been avoiding this work as the fun factor is quite low. It’s a basic human trait to avoid the stuff we don’t like to do.

A terminal strip is used for multiple connections.

A terminal strip is used for multiple connections.

Over just a few days, I’ve completed the following tasks on the yard throat module.

  • installed feeder wires on four tracks
  • spray painted the rail and ties
  • installed leads on seven SPDT momentary contact switches to control the frog polarity
  • attached all feeder wires to the appropriate buss wires
One view of the module surface.

One view of the module surface.

Successful completion of this work inspires and motivates me to keep moving forward. This is how my hobby ebbs and flows. I’ve rarely achieved a straight line progression in task completion. There are often bursts of activity followed by a quiet stretch. At this point, only one module remains to be electrically completed. I hope to wrap that one up in the next week as the B&O Wheeling Freight Terminal project moves closer to operation.

Everything looks a little better with a few freight cars.

Everything looks a little better with a few freight cars.

I welcome your comments. All comments are reviewed and approved before they appear here.

RPM-East a success!

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
An O scale model on display at RPM-East.

An O scale model on display at RPM-East.

Wow, the month of March just blew right by in a blur of travel and activity. I returned to western Pennsylvania to visit with family and friends for the Easter holiday. I also attended the RPM-East prototype modeler meet in Greensburg, PA. I’ve been attending since 2001 and always enjoy the event. My weeks before the event were filled as I balanced work and family tasks with preparations for my presentation, Prototype Inspired Layout Design for Limited Spaces. Much of the talk focused on similar themes that I’ve been posting here on the blog. The feedback was strong and I had extended conversations with a few people to help them with their layout planning. I gave a second presentation on Modeling Railroads of a pre-Depression Era that opened a few eyes to the different look of rail equipment and city scapes of the first few decades in the 20th Century.

It was wonderful visiting my old stomping grounds and renewing many friendships at the RPM-East event. I’ve posted a gallery of images I captured in the model display room. About 400 models were on display. The image above is a fine O scale effort that Larry Kline displayed. Overall, about 150 hobbyists attended. There were 40 presentations, several vendors, and eight home layouts to view.

I’m back in El Paso and can’t wait to get back to work on the railroad. I have another track tip up my sleeve as well as a layout update that will be shared here very soon.

Please feel free to leave some thoughts. All comments will appear once approved. Gotta keep the spam in control, ya know!