This list of PDF files include my Operations Orientation Manual and several scratchbuilding articles I wrote for The Keystone Modeler e-zine. Contact me with your feedback; I'd enjoy hearing from you!
Here is the Trackplan for my Model Railroad. It has been under construction for 28 years so the scenery is 95% plus complete.
The Blast Furnace has received a rebuilding to back-date it to 1915 which is more in keeping with the 1920s period that we're modeling. This rebuild entailed replacing the entire top works of the furnace. Take a look in the photos section for a few images.
As of December 2014, I am changing to an NCE DCC system! Yes, after all this time we're bringing the control system into the 21st century.
As you can imagine, I'm finding all sorts of stuff under this 30 year old model railroad. And dust, wow do we have dust! Those layout skirts hide a lot.
It's August 2015 and it's time for an update. The new NCE DCC system is now operating perfectly! I'm very pleased with it. I still have 2 sections of the layout that are reversing tracks and they are automated with a Digitrax AR1 module. It took awhile to figure out how to make all the parts function together but we're there. It turned out that the EB1 circuit breakers were tripping faster than the AR1 relay could react to the momentary short when an engine reach the end of the reversing section. The solution turned out to be to slow the speed or the EB1 reaction time to allow the AR1 to see the short and reverse the polarity and correct the short before the EB1 would trip. The instructions that came with the EB1 clearly tell you how to do this. The instructions just didn't tell you why you would want to have a reaction time slower than the stock 16 msec. changing the reaction time of the EB1 also solved the problems with the old Atlas custom line turnouts. In that case the very brief short caused when a loco wheel bridged the 2 rails in the frog tripped the EB1. By slowing the reaction time, that problem was eliminated as well. Now, everything performs as it should. The interface between the NCE system and my laptop was also effortless so the JMRI software runs well. Lots of learning curve left but we're having fun and having defect free operating sessions. I would recommend the 5 amp NCE system to anyone looking to convert to DCC.