We’ve closed down the layout for a few months to really focus on some overdue construction projects. In order for us to build out the lower deck under the Hudson River, we need to complete the scenery work on the upper deck while we can still easily access it.
So, we’re generating foam bits and sawdust at a pretty good clip…
But in a few months, we’ll have a considerable portion of the upper deck scenic’d as well as having lighting installed (We got feedback that it was too dark during the open house this year, so we’re getting that done as part of the upper deck work underway.
We’ve also got a pretty major wiring update underway. We’ve been experimenting with the use of Arduino microcontrollers and LCC as a way to set up block detection and signaling on the layout. The first step in that process is to wire in detection modules into all mainline blocks on the layout. So we’re adding plywood panels near the booster stations around the layout that let us activate detection, but also clean up the wiring that was done in an expedient way rather than being a little better organized.
Here’s a picture of our prototype signals in operation. We’ve got a lot to do, but we’re on our way. I would expect to see quite a few of the interlockings on the layout actually having working signals by RailFair ’17.