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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Updates to the Traffic Center, BDL's, DS64's, DCS100 blowouts, etc.

Yep, it's been a while since I've posted.  And unfortunately it seems like two steps forward and 1 step backward...and then another step backward!

I was on a mission to get all the BDL's, DS64's, Torti, etc. connected and working in the Traffic Center (TC Room).  Worked dilligently like a dog.  Was to get it all done in a couple of days.  Well, you know how things electrical go so I'll spare you the details and just tell you that I actually took a couple weeks off of work at the end of July and beginning of August to get it completed and the TC room organized and cleaned.  Darn, I wish I had a picture to post here.  Think tornado in the train room!  It was so darn hot (a normal hot day in my neighborhood would be 75 degrees) but it was about 85-90 degrees and humid, so working on the RR was just not happening on my vacation.  I did manage to get a couple days in toward the end of my vacation however.

During those couple days I smelled smoke while I was working on the RR, then saw smoke.  Not a lot of it but some.  So shut the whole thing down and walked out until "another day" when I had more patience and it was cooler.

This past weekend was that opportunity so I dilligently worked for a couple days to get everything completed.   A friend of mine, Lloyd Lehrer came over and we spent several hours trying to figure out what was burning (if anything) and why certain functions would not work on the layout.  Of course, just like when you take your car to the shop, everything worked fine!  Damn!!!

This could go on forever so I'll cut to the chase.  As of tonight, I have the (spare) DCS100 connected and sent the other one to Digitrax for repair...whatever that may mean and I hope they can give me a clue as to what was wrong.

As of this past Sunday evening, all worked fine.  The system turned on fine on Monday morning, however, I was unable to select any turnouts to throw them.  No clue why, rebooted, opsw39, etc. and no changes.

I didn't notice this on Monday, but as of today I still cannot select a turnout...we sort of.  Pressing the SWCH key doesn't do anything except change the Fn notation to Sw.  So to throw a turnout, I press the SWCH key, enter a SW number (which I cannot see the numbers as I enter them), press either t or c to throw or close the turnout (the direction does not show) and watch to see if the turnout has moved.  No clue as to why.  To get out of this mode, I need to press Exit.

If you have suggestions, please e-mail me at or call me at 310-344-9145.

Another issue that has come up is that 6 of my Atlas #7 code 55 turnouts have broken a switch point about 1/4 in from the actual point.  Just snapped right off.  All of them have been in a while, and all are right hand turnouts.  Could have been a bad batch?  I plan to send them to Atlas for replacements. Fortunately I've had spares to replace them.

The good news in all this is that all Torti, DS64's, and BDL's are installed and operable.  I spent about 5 hours on Monday hauling everything out of the TC room, dusting, tossing, cleaning, vacuuming and so now the room looks awesome!  I love being in here.

The next project, other than addressing the DCC system issues, is to re-clean the main train room.  I've been selling off things I don't need so things are a little messed up in there, empty boxes, etc.  But I'll get to that soon.

My goal is to have all this done and the DCC system issues sorted out so I can host the Belmont Shore RR Club guys on Oct.9th.  We'll see!