Archive for the ‘Model Trains’ Category

Catching up on things…

July 7, 2013

First things first; Dreamlinux development has ended. I closed the forum last January and that’s the end…No explanations and I may never know really why the devs gave up like that. I’m still running 5.0 along side Sabayon, Ubuntu Precise, Win7 Pro and Win8 and that’s enough hard drive madness for me.

It’s way too hot to be in the garage, so the trains have been out of the question. I did manage to get the backdrop positioned for mounting hardware and change the battery on the System One command station before the heatwave hit us. When it cools down I hope to finish the actuator setup I’ve dreamed up for the patio layout.

The ‘vette just recently went for a $1900.00 transmission rebuild and just the other day, I was read-ended on the way home from work! I’m getting a couple of estimates on the way home and I hope they don’t give me a hard time; it’s the second time “Flo” has paid a claim on this car.

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Well, hello again

December 26, 2010

Another 6 months has passed with many things happening. I was furloughed from the department I was in at work….sigh….I don’t understand this crazy economy. Why is it so hard to keep a decent job these days? I am still working there, but now I’m in housekeeping.

The oldest kids’ mom passed away in August and they both came into some money…they went out and bought me this little toy:

Since it’s 26 years old, it has its problems and I’ve turned it into a father-son project. It’s a blast to drive and the girls love it when I pick them up from school in it.

I built a roll-around workbench/storage unit for the patio layout and I’m working on a new interchangeable module system that could be mounted to it to add some more real estate to the layout.

An update on life in general….

June 23, 2010

Well here it is another month without a posting…it’s like trying to keep a New Years promise. If it had been a job, I would have been fired…LOL

My last day at work was the 10th…it was very sad as there is history with at place and my family. I took a week off…it was badly needed and on the 6th day of my vacation, I landed another job. I’m now a facilities maintenance worker for a large hotel chain. I can see myself going very far with this company and the work is a breeze…I even started out making more than the last job, but there’s a ways to go for the good money.

I bought 3 more structures for the train layout to make a small commercial district in the middle of the layout. I don’t know when I’ll have the time to work on it…maybe when school’s back in session. I love being able to have more quality time with the girls….even Ann appreciates it.

School is going alright after a rocky start with books being late. I’m holding a B+ so far with Business Math being the roughest class. Distance Education is the way to go. I sit down when I want and do as much or as little as I feel like.

Not much more going on…hope all is well in your world.

Getting back to business

April 15, 2010

I can’t believe its been a few months since I had a qualitative posting…life can throw you curves that way. School, work, and family life have taken precedence over my blog, but I’m going to try and make a habit of getting something on here more often from now on.

Work has been my biggest concern lately. The company that I work for announced a month ago that they’re ceasing operations in Lake Havasu within 6 months and moving the work to Las Vegas, which has me beating the streets filling out applications and handing out resumes again. It seems like I just got settled in my job, and I’m out looking for another one…sometimes I feel like Jobe!

My Linux time is very limited as well. I’ve been playing around with animating my desktop in Hardy, which I posted about on LhX this morning, and I’ve checked out Ubuntu 10.04 Beta2 the other day…I don’t like the placement of the window buttons on the left side…why did they do that?; just to throw everyone a curve ball?

My train time has gone by the wayside until school is over…I uncover it for a few minutes every other day to make sure its still there and then quickly cover it up again. I did find another Bachmann F unit on Ebay for $15.00, which was a great deal…5 minutes of fixing and it was good as new.

Well, now you’re up to date with what’s happening in my neck of the woods…what’s new with you?

My Birthday '09

December 21, 2009

What a peaceful day it was…first day of winter and nothing to do but relax and enjoy the day.

I worked on the websites, which was long overdue. I was overrun by an attack from the far East which trashed my logs. There was some cleanup that needed to be done as well from the move from Geocities.

Then I got to play with the layout. I repaired another box car and ran a DCC session to test it out. I had some planning time in there as well and I thought of some new ideas for the right foreground…some sort of freight scene I’m thinking.

And then it was time for dinner….spinach lasagna and for dessert, chocolate cake with cherry filling.

I couldn’t have asked for a nicer day…..

Train time again

August 20, 2009

Well, it’s another Thursday and I’m out on the patio fixing a loose soldering connection I attribute to the high temperatures of late. I couldn’t figure out why things were derailing and taking a sled ride down the hill rounding the curves. I found one of the soldering joints on a track joiner had a bad solder job…a little reheating, a little more solder and things were rolling smoothly again.

sf1

The break was right between the 2 container cars. I tried out a few more locos and cars to make sure I wouldn’t have any more problems that would have me breaking out the soldering gun again.

sf2

sf3

sf4

Here’s a tight shot of my coupler conversion car. It’s a Katy line (K-T-Y Line) boxcar that I had to change one coupler to Kaydee style so I could pull older cars with newer equipment.

katy

Trains and dual mode control

August 12, 2009

You hear so much about DCC these days and rightfully so. DCC offers many enhancements to a layout. I was bitten about a year ago with the DCC bug. After looking and comparing many systems, I found a Wangrow System One on Ebay for a great price. The System One, which is comparable to NCE, had everything I wanted; Computer interface, slow clock, along with a few other features.

I was all ready to install the system when I started thinking about my older DC equipment and what I would have to do to get them converted. The sad part was that nearly half of my current roster would not make the conversion for one reason or another, but they ran fine and I still wanted to run them alongside my new DCC equipment.

Now it is possible to run DC equipment on DCC, but it’s not the best idea to do so. After thinking about it, I thought, why couldn’t I run either or when I wanted? A trip to the local Radio Shack gave me some ideas. I found some Double-Pole Double-Throw (DPDT) center off switches at an Ace hardware store. The reason I chose them was that they were lighted switches, making it easier to tell which system was in use at any time.

Wiring the switch was a simple matter of attaching the center lugs to the track bus and one side to my System One and the other two lugs to my MRC power pack. Unfortunately, The layout went into storage before I could finish it and test it out.

So when I built the patio layout, I decided to try it again, only this time, with an Atlas Commander/Generator set.

dcc2

In the above shot, you can see the switch mounted in the table frame. I built a frame on which the Atlas Commander mounts to the table on. The two screws correspond to holes on the bracket and it hangs on the table at a nice angle for operating the layout. I connected the Commander to the layout by a male/female Molex plug (the white plugs used to hook up hard drives inside of computers) for quick hookup and storing of the Commander. To the right of the switch is the programing track. it is mounted by two pieces of threaded rod that slip into holes on the frame and is also connected via a Molex plug

Atlas

It's Train Time!

August 6, 2009

It was nice to get out on the patio and watch the trains running last night…its been awhile since I’ve really ran anything. I had to convert one boxcar to dual couplers to accommodate my fully converted Kaydee style coupler equipped cars so I could run cars with my Atlas engine.

climb

duo

overhead

My Folding Train Table

July 29, 2009

I wanted to share how my 5 X 7 folding layout came about…After our move to Arizona from California the layout went into storage while we house hunted. When the layout finally came out, it had suffered a great deal of damage.

After a month and a half rebuild, I built a table to mount the board on with a 8 Ft. length of black pipe and mounted a marine actuator, used on boat engine hatches, to fold the layout up on its horozontal. A touch of a switch operates the actuator which runs off of a 110V to 12V converter that’s mounted on the table.

Table1

Table2

Table3

The actuator can be seen in the last photo. It worked out so well that I made the control panel slide out with a mini 4 inch actuator. It’s really impressive and counters the “Oh how cute..you play with trains” that I hear so often.

Another day…

July 27, 2009

Well, the theme is ok…I’ll know better when I get some pics up…like these that never got on the website:

This is the DCC controller on the patio layout

This is the DCC controller on the patio layout

My big layout before it went into storage

My big layout before it went into storage

Well, they don’t look too bad…I’m going to have some new shots of my H15-44 before the weekend….did I say I would tell drunken stories?…I’ll save one for tomorrow…