Sunday, June 9, 2013

South of the Border

Well, I did it again – planted myself a few thousand miles away from the basement layout room again. Spending a Sunday early afternoon sitting at the computer working in another hotel room on another startup – this time in Queretaro, Mexico for one of our major logo clients. The intensity of the 3PL business coupled with the associated travel requirements pretty much dents what little time I've had lately to model. Still, I thought I'd better update my blog to let everyone know my whereabouts and status.

I spoke with my wife this morning and it sounds like my friend Tom the carpenter will soon be dropping off the sections and benchwork material for the Burlington Sub in my idle train room in the next week or two. She's planning on having him mount one or two of the sections at my desired 50" from the floor – so I can see what he's engineered, and if approved he'll put up the remaining benchwork shortly thereafter. After getting pulled down here on an emergency basis – we had another project manager quit – my boss has promised me a couple weeks off post-project, having had to cancel scheduled vacation for the umpteenth time. Hopefully after catching up on some sleep I can start some tracklaying around the yard – and with a couple of alligator clips get an engine or two running.

Speaking of running, I alluded to DCC in my last post. Well, I finally caved when one of my online "pushers" (dealers) advertised the North Coast Engineering Power Cab for a Benjamin-and-a-half on sale – and it was the updated firmware version. Bye, bye analog DC and so goes the "Dear John" letter to block toggles and the like. Now I need to pick up a Soundtraxx Tsunami board for one of my UPY SD38-2 Kato units and do a little switching once some track is down. I can't wait to crack the throttle.

Speaking of sound, after operating at a few sound-equipped layouts over the years I've found that too many sound-equipped locomotives running at once can be beyond irritating – at least to my ears. My plan is only to equip the switchers and passenger power (F40's) with sound – and let the freight road power run in "mute-mode" for now. When switching it's cool to notch up and down during drilling moves, and the F40PH "screamers" pretty much call out for sound since you can't avoid the noise with the prototypes. I think I'll leave it at that for now with the noisemakers.

Also, for some graphic content I have my "pike ad" done and should be published in the next issue of the NMRA North Central Region Hotbox – our region's quarterly publication – as well as this year's NCR Convention program. Now to finish up here in Mexico, and get back north to the Midwest – where the RR is waiting for the track crew.

Adios – Te veo despues.

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