Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hello Old Friends..

Back while I was building the layout with an eye towards running with battery power I felt funny.. It seemed surreal laying track and not doing all the wiring that goes along with it.  When I was building my N Scale L&HR layout, I had gotten quite good at wiring, and it was second nature by the time I finished with that part of the layout building process.  And when it was time to start a new layout in my new home, the East Broad Top based one just before this current layout, I was comfortable in the knowledge I would have no problems wiring it.  The funny feeling I was having with this current layout was almost a guilty feeling, crazy as it seems.  This was way to easy, building without wires.  All of my friends were still using the tried and true system of wiring for DCC.  I was somehow cheating.  I know.. it's crazy, but if the battery system would have panned out for me, It would have saved all the work of wiring.  It just didn't feel right though.

But now that I've finished dropping all the feeders ahead of schedule, I took out the crates that contained all of my DCC components, and all of the bus wires that I set up for the EBT layout.  As I spread everything out on the floor and took inventory of what I have on hand, a warm feeling came over me as I remembered the struggles of putting these components together for my last layout and everything I learned building that layout.  All the memories of the guys coming over and working on the layout with me: the fun, the camaraderie, the constant flinching every time I heard something bang or crash and the words that followed- "Don't worry.. it's only Ted's layout!"  It all brings back happy thoughts of times past.  Maybe it's just that time of year but as I looked at all my DCC components I felt like I was seeing old friends again.  A comfortable, but also exciting feeling came over me that things are moving quickly now, and soon this layout will be up and running. :)

It was like friends who I haven't seen in years.  I was feeling happy as I took inventory of what I had on hand for DCC components.

An idea taken from my friends who are involved in N-Trak is to use Power Werx, Powerpole connectors between modules/sections.  N-Trak had been using what was called Cinch-Jones connectors for many years.  But as they become more hard to find and expensive to boot, they needed another easy way to connect modules at shows.  The answer has been the Powerpole connectors.  I had set up a bunch of 4' plus long bus wires with these connectors on each end for the EBT layout that never got built.  I'm leaning towards keeping this setup, but I'm worried about them accidentally getting disconnected during a session.  I might also just run new bus wires and if the time comes to move just cut them. 

Power Werx Powerpole connectors.

Easy connect and disconnect makes it simple to isolate a section of the layout if needed and also makes it easy come moving day.. if that ever happens.

I think the relief of finally knowing which control system I was going to employ on the layout has given me the inspiration to move quickly, and get more accomplished.  Feeders are all in, bus wires going up, DCC system is being installed, I found the 4 Frog Juicers I misplaced (with two more to come shortly). I'm in a happy place.. Till of course the first time a train stalls out on dirty track.. ;)

Happy New Year everyone!  The best from my family to yours!

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