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  1. Change in direction (pun sorta intended)

    So, after some time off to work on the house, and some trips that had to be taken, I'm ready to dig back in. One of the problems with my first layout design is that it's complicated for the space. And the two parallel tracks at the top can't really ever be used. For this reason, and because I want to continuous run this, I'm going to make some changes. Instead of the top parallel, I'm going to make that part of the larger loop with more room for scenery and a small passing lane with a siding to ...
    Tags: design Add / Edit Tags
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  2. First real run

    OK, so I've been inconsistently working on my track the last few weeks. Cleaning has been a problem/chore, and I've tried a lot of different solutions. I tend to like the Woodland Scenics solution a lot, but the inserts are pricey. Because my track was so dirty to start, I've been using the wand and the two hard cleaners, and then using paper towels for the soft stuff since I've ruined the included soft inserts. After a few weeks of elbow grease (not total, but like clean, test, clean some more, ...
    Tags: cleaning, metra, track Add / Edit Tags
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  3. Wiring Woes

    So, I've been hacking away at a running layout the last two weeks. Frustrating, but got it done. I don't love how I did the wiring installation, wires tend to go everywhere. I have a spoke and wheel setup, which isn't conducive to clean wiring that I have yet to discover. Each hub is a 6 point distribution block out to the feeders and the point motors. Since each hub is roughly in the middle of it's area, there are wires everywhere. If I keep thinking about it, I might get to a way to make this ...
    Tags: dcc, wiring Add / Edit Tags
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  4. More micro controller work

    So, a while back, I found a guy on Ebay in China who made n scale traffic signals for road traffic. The assemblies themselves are very nice, and everything I have purchased so far just works.

    So, I decided to control them with a micro so I could make it act like a US traffic intersection. The video included shows the results. Works like a charm. For this, I used an Adafruit Raspberry Pi Pico in the feather form factor, and created a ...
  5. More of a technical post about using Just Plug from Woodland Scenics

    So I gotta say, I love the WS Just Plug led system. The lamps themselves look very nice to scale, and are very easy to use. Overall, the system is a solution to making a layout pop. However, it has some downsides. The controllers are pretty big, require a big power supply, and need to be manually interacted with to turn them on and off. What if you could turn them on and off just using your wifi network at home? That's what I decided to do.

    I put together a feather form factor daughter ...