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My Railroad, Railfanning,Other Model Railroads


CTC dispatcher panel on the OWNRy

We have developed a method to dispatch via Internet. 
To the left is a computer screen shot of the latest version (June 2006) of my CTC panel. This is taken from the operational CTC panel on my computer. Feedback occurs from Tortoises and we have the little side levers to allow DS to restrict turnout control by crews and ambitious yardmasters. 
This is made for use with"Panel Pro", a part of Decoder Pro the JMRI computer interface that can interface with Digitrax and other DCC systems. I am using the Digitrax Signaling system with SE8C and BDL 162's which is quite simple to install.
The Panel itself is a .GIF made from exporting from the original MS Visio document. It was tricky to get the correct size for the LCD screen. The levers were morphed in Photoshop from some other levers There are actually 3 levers and which one shows up depends on the switch state as determined by the XML and show up based upon clicking. Same with Red and Yellow indicator "LED's. Switch numbers are odd and signal numbers even as per convention. We will add additional signal "LED"s soon. 
The signal dept has wired up the Digitrax SE8C and BDL boards for CTT signaling. Signal wiring and mounting using magnetic strips and pin connectors with Terminal Mounting Strips (digitrax TMSK)
We use the Panel Pro server mode.  The dispatcher has a copy of the panel and scripts installed on his computer and connects by IP address to my IP address.  trick here is to negotiate through the firewall I have on my computer. 
Since  2004 we have been using FRS radios for two-way communications between road crews and dispatcher. Since the dispatcher lives 600 miles north, I have figured out a way to transmit the voice over IP (VoIP) connection on hte internet so the road crew can talk with DS using FRS radios and headsets and the DS uses IM voice. We use Skype or MSN Messenger for computer to computer.  The trick is to connect a VOX FRS radio mini-jack, to the computer sound board mic input and speaker output.  it requires a special wire connection which may vary depending upon your FRS radio and computer jacks.  

This has


Model Railroads in Portland.

Last weekend I traveled up to Portland. OR area for Meet N March and had the opporturnity to view and operate on several layouts, both HO and N scale.  All layouts here represent high quality modeling.  There were other layouts I viewed but didn't take photos.  If ever you are up in Portland, these are worth visiting. Since i was operating on these layouts, I didn't get a lot of good photos but here are a few.

- Jim Younkins' N scale "Mud Bay & Southern Ry" in Olympia, WA
- Dave Bond's HO scale "Never Come Never Go (NCNG) railroad in Chehalis.  Also the historical society layout in Chehalis depot.
- Rob Carey's N scale DRG&W "Tennessee Pass" near Portland, OR
- Charlie Comstock's HO scale "Bear Creek & Western" near Portland, OR

link is


Portland Industrial District

The Industrial district is complete.  Hopper on siding industrial distric 17 new car spots.  scenery, background, buildings. track, turnouts, ballast.  It even runs well.  thank you Jim.





SP1374 switcher on duty above Portland SP TerminalAdded new tunnel to Eugene staging next to industrial district 


Hoyt Industrial in Portland

One of the key design elements of the OWNRy is lots of switching.  On the west end of Portland is a little industrial area comprised of Railway Express Agency, Post Office, Oil distribution and railroad car repair shop.  the mainline to Eugene passes through here as does the lead to the new Portland Industrial section.  Here a switcher pulls some cars west through the area


Daylight on the Rocklin Sub

Railfanned on the HO Rocklin Sub last Friday night. The Daylights ran first before my train so I got a chance to shoot some video.  Nice backdrops and scenery.

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