Operation

My COVID-19 Emergency Railroad

I do nearly all my operating at train shows. There have been no train shows since February. There won’t be any train shows until November. There might not be any then, either. How to satisfy my burning desire to watch a train travel around in circles for an extended period of time? (more…)

Suddenly, My Calendar is Empty

I’ve never seen anything like this. Occasionally, a train show gets cancelled for a snowstorm, or maybe some last-minute problem at the venue. But within the past few days, two local shows, and an upcoming NMRA division gathering, have been cancelled for the COVID-19 outbreak. (more…)

Windlenook Gets Its Joystick Throttle

When I took the Windlenook project on its very first outing to the Maker Faire last November, I had to hook it up to an old MRC power pack. I’d attempted to get an Arduino-based joystick throttle working at the last minute, and couldn’t get it to respond. I finally revisited the throttle circuit after New Year’s, and discovered that it was just a few code errors away from working. Oh, well. (more…)

One Last Mall Show

When I joined the club in 2003, we had space in one of the local malls, which we filled with an Ntrak modular layout, and opened up for public display at least once a week. The space had started out as a bookstore when the mall first opened, later was used by an athletic-shoe retailer, and was given to us when the mall found itself with an excess of unrented space. This particular mall had always had trouble attracting business, and it just got worse over time. For a while, there were more community groups than retailers. This was obviously unsustainable, so in 2009, mall management evicted what few tenants remained, and locked the place up. We haven’t been in a mall since, until last month. (more…)