Digital Command System for Trains

IMG_0555Last 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.

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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.

Stay tuned…

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Except the Dying

1521690Goodreads asked how many books I planned to read in 2019.  I said I would read 10.  Here is the first one : Except the Dying.  It’s the first book in a series of murder mysteries by Maureen Jennings set in the 1890’s in Toronto.  I became interested in the author because of the wildly popular “Murdoch Mysteries” television series, which I can’t seem to get enough of.  Except the Dying was the title of the first TV episode.

Except the Dying is Jennings debut novel and it’s a good one.  She takes her time revealing subtle clues linking the reader to the detective as the story unfolds. Having watched five seasons of “Murdoch Mysteries,”  I was already familiar with the lead characters Detective Murdoch, Constable Crabtree and Inspector Brackenreid of Toronto’s 4th Constabulary police.  For me, part of the appeal of the book and the show is getting a feel for the turn of the century way of life and the language used.

The story begins with the discover of a murdered young women in her late teens who turns out to be with child.  Who was she?  Once the women is identified, the list of suspects begins to pile up.  The murderer is not revealed until the end with surprise ending.  A very good read indeed.