May 31, 2011

Cedar Point steamers

No RGS news today, except that I've been completely swamped by end-of-school year and work busyness - so updates to the RGS site are lagging.  And the basement suffered more water - but it was less than an inch and did no damage, to the layout or the rest of the basement.  It's been raining a LOT here in the Midwest!

I did, however, just return from a very fun weekend chaperoning our high school's music dept trip to Cedar Point amusement park, in Sandusky OH.  I - and the kids - went mostly to ride the many awesome roller coasters in the park, but there is a narrow-gauge connection there.

If you weren't aware, the park has a wonderful narrow gauge steam railroad, with no less than FIVE steamers running on it.  All are very small industrial loocos, mostly rebuilt from 0-4-0Ts, but it's still nice to smell the coal smoke and hear steam whistles while waiting in lines.

May 24, 2011

RGS Goose 4 rebuild progress

If you haven't been aware, Telluride's Galloping Goose - the last of the remaining original 6 that's not yet been restored - is being restored.  There details and photos about the rebuild effort on the Ridgway Museum's site.

There's some photos and discussion of the engine in this goose on the NG Disc List lately, which is a GMC 361 from WWII vintage (surplus, and delivered new to the RGS).  Some thought these were built for WWII half-tracks, but that's not true.

May 23, 2011

DigiTrax install coming along

I've been slowly finding time to continue w/ the DigiTrax DCC installation on the layout.  I know have all the UP5 panels wired - each with a feed to a 12v power supply, and the track indicator LED wired into the track for that town.

Each town is supplied by a DCC Specialities PSX or (for Telluride) a PSX-AR unit.  There's just a little bit of work left to finish the PSX wiring, break the Keller system, and tie the PSX's into the wiring for each town.  Soon... in the meantime I'm still running a train w/ the Keller system, just to the track sorta clean.

And, both command station and aux booster are wired into transformers left over from the Keller OnBoard system.  The transformers are putting out 20v AC, which is at the top of the range for the DigiTrax boosters, but hopefully they'll work ok.  They're in spec per the manuals.

And - I've FINALLY programmed my first loco.  I installed a DH123 in a Bachmann 2-8-0, and connected the PR3 to my Mac, and programmed it w/ JMRI's Decoder Pro.  A little bit of a learning curve on both the software (free) and the decoder settings, but it seemed to go well.

But, because the Keller system isn't completely disconnected yet, I haven't actually powered up the DCC system yet, and also haven't tested yonder newly-programmed steamer.  I think I can run a throttle w/ JRMI and test it on the workbench that way - haven't tried that yet.

It's a fun time - learning lots of new stuff.