Last month I attended a local model train show for some much needed inspiration. I hadn’t touched my train layout for almost three years due to Mom’s declining health and dealing with her affairs following her death.
At the train show, watching what others had done to their layouts stirred a passion lying dormant inside me. I spent the balance of December clearing the accumulation of boxes and other debris off my train layout. Since I consider my layout under construction, I have little to show to company should they ask to see it. I vowed to change that this year.
When I first set out to build my railroad empire I dreamed of having a DCS system (digital command system) to run my trains. I wanted to be able to walk along side an engine pulling a string of cars as it visited various industries and control the action by remote control. Additionally, with DCS installed I could run several trains at the same time on the same track.
Before I started laying track down on the benchwork, I researched the recommended method of wiring my layout should I happen to acquire a DCS system someday. For the technically inclined this involved dividing up the track into blocks and insulating each block from the others. Several blocks are grouped together into power districts. Each power district is fed by a transformer. It would take 3 transformers to power my layout. Enough about wiring.
This Christmas Santa brought me a DCS system. Imagine my excitement as I rushed to the basement to hook it up. (Yes, I was as giddy as a child.) Over the years, I accumulated a number of steam and diesel engines sold by Mikes Train House (MTH). I unboxed one of them and set it on the track. When I powered up the DCS system nothing happened! I set another engine on the track, and then another, still no response.