September 16, 2017

They came from a land down under

Lachlan runs an engine into Falmouth while Garry videos.

This evening Garry Glazebrook and Lachlan McGuire visited  Alicia and I in Alexandria, VA. 

Garry and Lachlan are from the Southern Highlands of Australia near Burradoo.   Both Garry and Lachlan have layouts. Lachlan described  his as "small" and currently stored in a shed, while Garry has an extensive model railroad called the Newcastle to Fassifern. It includes an large steel mill, a harbor area, and over 200 turnouts. Lachlan helps Garry with the wiring, a fact that would come in handy later. 

After a quick introduction to the layouts, they had  a chance operate both  Aquia Line and the PoLA.  
They had the honor of running the first train on the new tracks. Like most new operators, the double slip stub turnouts caused some confusion. 

Since the tracks at Aquia Landing are not yet fully wired, they ran a battery powered loco.  They were the first operators to turn an engine on the wye at Aquia Landing!

Lachlan discovered that the locos and cars were shorting as the crossed the boundary between the new booster we added last week and the old booster. Fortunately, Lachlan is a bit of a wiring guru. We spent about an hour debugging the problem. In the end we concluded that there was something wrong with the new booster. No matter how we wired its output wires it caused a short at the boundary. But otherwise it worked fine. At first we suspected that since they were from  down under, that may be contributing to the short. But we eventually ruled that out. We could not find any crossed polarity feeders. We also could not find any feeders that would have been causing two boosters to feed one section of track. In the end, we removed the "new" third booster and reverted back to a two booster system - one for PoLA and one for Aquia. Then everything worked fine. This is another case of, "to err is human, but to really foul things up takes DCC." Anyway, it was a good test of the system. At least it is working now.

It was fun to compare notes with Aussie model railroaders. Perhaps we need to make a visit to the Land Down Under.

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