During the month of May, progress the layout basically came to a halt. I
started the construction of my model for the contest at the Lone Star Region
(NMRA) Convention in San Antonio. Progress was going well and then, 10 days
before the show, it all fell apart. I had the building I was working on
basically together at that point. I was giving a clinic at the Division 3
meeting on the ways contest models get judged and the use of the scoring matrix.
Thatís when it dawned on me that the project I was building wouldnít be
considered a ĎComplexí model and wouldnít score very well. I drove home
and set that one aside and started working on a new version of the same
building. This time I went board on board with a full stud wall construction.
I spent all that night building jigs and all the next day building stud
wall to frame out the building. I had taken the week off for the show so I had
all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to finish the model. I needed all of it. I
literally stayed up all night Wednesday night and took the model with me to the
Convention unfinished. When we checked into the hotel I went up to my room and
put the finishing touches on it. The next morning I attached the sign to the
building and took it down to enter it in the contest. I was very pleased that it
merited, which leaves me only 3 more to complete Structures, but it also won
Off-Line Structures. (Insert Link here).
Progress began again after the convention and Iíve been making good
time. Over the last 5 weeks or so Iíve installed the DCC system (Easy DCC) and
Iíve installed a decoder into a PFM K-27. Track testing began and Iíve done
a little tuning to Timberline. Iím going to change the bracing under one
corner of the mainline and it will be ready to ballast.
The staging yard is also taking shape. I finished the wiring for the drops
and the return loop. The reversing module is in place and the control panel has
been wired and mounted. I have tested the turnouts and LED colors and all of
that it perfect. Iíll be cleaning track and testing my kill switches over the
next few days.
Once all of that passes muster, and the curve has been re-braced, Iíll
ballast and call the judges. With any luck Iíll have Civil and Electrical OKíd
sometime in August.
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