12 with modules: me, Ed, Dave, George, Tim, Fred, Chick, Bob B, Bill K., Dr.
Bill, Martin, and Carl, helpers included Frank C., Barry, Andrew Y., Chris Y,
Matt Y, Matt P, and Matt F. (Three Matts?) who just came out to help.Dave brought the trailer at 7:30. Due to the many hands on deck, the layout was
up and running when the museum opened at 10AM. We had no problems, and the green light was lit.?
Trackmaster Ed Beaver designed the layout and had input from John Harper. Thanks to them we had a nice layout that was interesting to the eye and enjoyed by the visitors. I had in advance requested people bringing modules to decorate them
with holiday scenes and most were. The result was great, very Christmasy.I also asked for everyone in advance to test and charge their locos at home
before bringing them to the show, this resulted in a lot less drama this year as
most trains on the layout fired up with no drama, a big improvement.We had great performance from the layout, all the systems ran great. The DCS
signal was strong, allowing for loading engines from the track and fine control
such as measuring track voltage, odometer reading, etc. TMCC/Legacy ran great
too. Several of us (including me) enjoyed using the DCS wifi from our IPhones.I owe a great deal of gratitude to Ed, and Dr. Bill for being acting Trackmaster
a few times when I couldn’t be there due to work, and due to my father having
had two heart attacks that week and being in the ICU. Thanks friends.?
Many Trackers popped in during the week to run and we had two trains per track
most of the time. Many Trackers enjoyed the Tracker Perk of Cab rides on the
Problems were few, but we had two:
Near the end of the day on Tuesday, a short popped up on the inner loop, Ed and
Chick isolated it down to the Geezer Gate, it was a broken center rail insulater
causing the short, and some electric tape solved the problem on a temporary
basis. However, once put together there was another short on the inner loop, the
repair team retired for the day and we got in early the next day to tackle the
problem. Carl and I walked around the layout, I quickly saw a inside siding on a
module that was uninsulated, with cars, Carl quickly spotted a car that was
derailed causing the short. Problem fixed. (The siding should be isolated, with
an on/off switch)
On Wednesday Carl told me outer loop was not receiving power. I checked the
Z-4000 outputs with a multimeter, and they were putting out power. I then
checked the inputs on the TIU, they were getting power, checked the outputs on
the TIU, and noted one was not putting out power. My first thought was to turn
down the power on all Z-4000’s, and pull the auxiliary power input from the AIU,
rebooting the AIU. I left the AIU powered down for a minute, then plugged in the
auxiliary power, voila power came back to the Outer loop. We had no more trouble
with the AIU, but it should probably be inspected by MTH.
Again due to the 17 Trackers helping at take down, the museum closed New Years
Eve at 4PM and were on the road at 5:05. Unbelievable.
Thanks to everyone who helped and ran this week. The Museum and Museum visitors really enjoyed our layout, attendance was good, I saw smiles on the faces of
kids of all ages, the visitors put $126.55 in the collection boxes.
Personally, I had a wonderful time and enjoyed running trains with everyone, and
chewing the fat. You won’t find it in the by-laws, but fellowship and friendship
is a big part of the National Capital Trackers experience, and that’s what makes
all the work well worth it for me.
Thanks everyone for a great show,