Thursday, October 23, 2014

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Who?

I have heard through the grapevine that some of the blog's fans are wondering about me.  It's nice to feel appreciated.  Anywho, I'm still here.  October is a really busy month for us with my daughter's birthdays and life in general.  It is like this every year.  

So, between doing life events, I have been operating the layout on a solo basis.  I wanted to see how the tabs were working out.  I for one love them.  It is not easy keeping up with 50 sand hoppers that all look alike.  You start pulling cuts of cars, weighing them, setting off over loaded cars, and it can get messy quick.  The tabs make it much easier.  So, I completed my solo op session and had the spreadsheet spit out random requests for the next op session.  I will re-stage soon.

In other news, I have been focusing my attention on speed matching.  Allen's blog post got me thinking about speed matching my locos using JMRI and a LocoBuffer from RR-CirKits.  Part of the equation is purchasing a test track.  I did purchase that and set that up tonight actually.  It's a small 13 3/4" radius loop track by Kato for allowing locos to run and warm up.  I set it up on the craft table in the room and ran a pair of jumper wires over from the layout bus.  On my point-to-point layout, it hasn't been possible to run the locos much to warm them up.  This simple addition helps keep the fleet running better.  Before diving full scale into this project, I had concerns that I wouldn't be able to load speed tables into my Bachmann GP7s which I have a lot of.  I mailed a set off to Allen in Nebraska to test for me.  Once I have the results this weekend, I'll know if I should pull the trigger on the LocoBuffer and speedometer I need to complete the equation.  Thanks to Allen for being my test laboratory this weekend.

In other news, I had two NCE throttle panel jacks go bad.  They carried the current of the loconet for the throttles to other jacks further down the chain, but wouldn't power a throttle.  I replaced them and haven't had any issues since.

Speaking of donuts, I haven't had any other electrical issues since reporting the bizarre behavior earlier this month.  Thank goodness!  I have no idea what caused that, but glad it's resolved (at least as far as I know).

So, that's it from the ROCK.  If all goes well with testing this weekend, I will be speed matching locos next week.  If not, I will probably start back on scenery.  I have my eye on the Franklin Farms scene behind Ottawa Yard.  

Other projects in mind are structures, build more trees, and paint and detail my car kits.


  1. Steven, great to read that the Rock is active. Hehe "Grapevine" nice description ;-)

    1. LOL! Yes. I need to get back to work on the layout. I have been a slacker lately.