Mark has since moved to the Atlanta area and John has transitioned to being a tool junkie that supports model railroads. John is notionally modeling the RGS in HOn3, but what he really enjoys is building stuff for the model railroad hobby. And he has a serious set of tools to do that in his shop. The hobby is a big tent!
|John demonstrating his throttle prototype|
When I asked John if he wanted to run some trains he said, "no thanks. I could care less about operations." What he did show me was a new Wi-fi throttle that he is developing along with two other engineers for TCS, the DCC company. You can learn more about the throttle here. John went on to explain how he likes TCS decoders because of their high fidelity sound. Now it was my turn, I said to John, without rancor, "I could care less about having correct sound in my engines if it means more complexity. To me diesel sound is just industrial noise." I referred him to my now classic DCC rant previous posted on this blog. I love complaining about DCC.
The throttle did have a nice feel to it. John designed and produced the throttle case with 3D printed plastic. The plastic had a slight grain that made it non-slip. The wi-fi throttle uses JMRI and a wifi net. Unfortunately, I was not set-up to run it, even though I do have JMRI. For now, I'll stick with my EasyDCC system.
|Fusion 360 demo, my dispatcher's desk is proving handy for multiple|
John also showed me some of the videos he did using injection molding machines. He was a CNC router that he can use to make aluminum molds. He has two injection molding machines, so he can make styrene parts. It goes on, he also has tools to rapid prototype printed circuit boards, including some machines, such as a pick and place machine, that he built himself. I now have some serious tool envy! We really need to convince John to move to the DC area.
To follow more of John's work see his blog https://trains.socha.com and his youtube channel.