The Woodstock Model Railroad Club invites you to come along with as together we build an empire. Stay tuned for progress updates, tips and techniques. All comments are welcome. Email

Monday, February 29, 2016

Wellington City

Glen has done a lot of work to the new city site. The Wellington Street Bridge is in place as well as the approach road. The streets in town are also in place. Once the structures are chosen, repaired, painted, signed and weathered they can be installed and the scenery put down. A lot of work to be done yet.
City roads paved

Wellington Street bridge and approach road installed.

Sunday fun.

As Tuesday is a work night, we dug right in, too much to cover in 1 post.  Glen worked on the city scape at Wellington, more on that later. Tom caught up on ballasting. He found several areas around the layout that needed a touch up and some new track work in Wellington. Jim and I leveled the tracks to and from Oxford, 1 by a half an inch. Jim then removed the code 70 track at Ortona as I painted some more of the backdrop at the Northdale wye. Some missing feeders were also connected in this area.  Glen made a new car card box for the branch line and a 2 slot box was put in at Lincoln for inbound and out bound freight. Jobs for Tuesday night, shoveling snow (snow fall warnings), complete the track work to the sanding racks in Wellington, scenic around Heritage Furniture, decide on the Wellington city plan and scenic the area, decide on the Ortona yard layout and install the track, clean the track that was ballasted on Sunday, talk about lowering the work load at Lincoln by pulling some cards, having a person switching Lincoln, using train orders so we run the OTHER trains, 2 person crews for all freight trains, and by having the person switching Lincoln also be in control of  traffic.

Jim adding feeders to the branch line.

Tom ballasting.

Ballasting around La France and Heritage Furniture.

Ortona yard removed.

Tracks to and from Oxford leveled, the front one by more than a half an inch.

 Right and left hand backdrop painting at the wye.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tuesday Night at the Huff & Puff

Had an expansion problem in Miller, 1 rail on a turnout had warped out of gauge. Cut a gap in the rail on the track leading to the turnout and you could hear it click back into place. Will check out if it needs a new feeder because of this gap. Thanks Barb, more yummies! Without a switching crew at Lincoln it became a bottle neck, there was 2 crews switching in Lincoln and at times 3 freights waiting. I will have to bring up using Train Orders and crews of 2 people, on work night.

 Barb these were great!

Glen switches at Heron's Landing.

Don's 4-8-4 leaving Lincoln.

Freight trains wait at Jutland for clearance
to Lincoln.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tuesday night at the Huff & Puff

Wellington Street bridge

New La France building

New storage shed on lower loop

Lots of guests tonight. Good to see Gary and his brother. I noticed his brother shaking his head, so I ask what he was looking at. He said he just can't get over the detail that has gone into the layout, nice to hear. A dad came up with his 2 sons, armed with lots of questions, and their track plan.  I pointed out that it had 2 reverse loops in it and asked how he was going to handle that, he didn't know that was a problem. It's hard to remember the learning curve we have all gone through, but even still they seem eager. Glen put the new Wellington street bridge into place, nice job. We are also hosting a group of beavers on Saturday morning, that will be interesting, hope the railroad gremlins stay away.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Analog and DCC

Caution: Because the power is actually closer to AC, many DC motors heat up much more quickly than they ordinarily would on an 
analog power source, and some motor types can be seriously damaged with only a brief encounter with DCC track. Many motors will 
buzz and hum when presented with this type of power. Don't leave locomotives that are not equipped with a decoder on the track if possible, 
to reduce the chance of heat damage to the motor. See note below about coreless motors.

Note: All direct current locomotives will respond to the signals created by Zero Stretching. Which may have unintended results.

As locomotive speed increases, more bandwidth will be demanded of address 00, which can have an impact on response times when 
more than 5 DCC equipped locomotives are also in operation. This technique is a bandwidth hog due to the need to constantly send 
packets addressed to 00. 
Great DCC info on this

Fri, 2016-02-12 08:20 — Prof_Klyzlr
Dear ???

As with most technical things, there's
- the Theory (the underlying premise/design-logic, which is worth knowing for diagnostic purposes)
- the Exceptions (the individual situations/specific-combination-of-conditions which may happen to work "onsie or twosie" style, which may give the impression that something is possible,
thus reading to a very slippery slope and widespread pain/anguish...) 
- and the Simple Rule (IE that covers the vast majority of practical situations/deployments, 
and presents a "fail-safe" approach if/when things don't work the way a previous-experience "Exception" example may have lead the modeller to believe to be "...the way things always work...")

In this case:

- The Theory is that the DCC specification has room within the spec tolerances for a technique known as "zero bit stretching". This is a way of messing with the data packet timing, such that over an given time period, the digital signal sum-result "average" appears to have a "DC Polarity" and "Voltage Potential". (Kind of like a very brute-force square-wave "PWM" analog throttle.).

With this "out of balance" DCC signal on the rails, an analog loco
(motor literally wired direct to rails,
NOT a "Decoder acting in analog mode", that's different!)
will commonly buzz like a mongrel, likely get very hot,
but _should_ move in a reasonably predictable "Forward is forward, speed is variable" way.

- The Exceptions is that very few DCC systems actually implement "zero bit stretching" at all, let alone "properly" (where "Properly" is defined as "with the best interests and smoothest, most controllable, and reliable operation of the Analog loco in mind").

Furthur, even if they do, the high peak voltage at the rail, slamming back and forth in potential polarity, thru the electromagnets which are the motor coils, is a recipe for motor-killing heat.

Furthur, some modellers have identified the "shake" or "judder" of an analog motor rocking back/forth very very fast as a cause of additional mechanical driveline strain.

Even if "zero bit stretching" control is not currently enabled/active/being used,
(IE any/all analog locos sitting on the track are effectively seeing an averaged "zero volts",
because the sum of the DCC signal over time is equally +ve going and -ve going per-sec)

any analog locos sitting on powered rails are still having their motor coils subjected to the aforementioned "rapid polarity-changing voltage", with associated magnetic-field create/collapse Back EMF heating a unavoidable physical result.

- Ergo, the "Simple Rule" to avoid damage to the motors and drivetrains of _Analog_ locos is,
it is very Unwise to place, leave, or attempt to control them for any length of time on a "DCC powered" layout.

(SOME DCC systems may support and allow ZBS control, 
SOME analog loco motors and drivetrains may be capable of handling the electrical abuse subjecting them to a DCC signal is in real terms,

but the "Simple Rule" in this case safely covers ALL systems and ALL locos,
with No Risk of damage to anything).

As a wider-application statement, DCC is a Digital Command Control system, It is predicated at both end of the rail-transmission-path on the idea that:
- there is a Circuit (Command-station/booster) transmitting a Digital Signal,
- and a matching circuit (loco receiver) picking up that Digital signal and acting on it,
while also converting the relatively high signal voltage into usable controlable "traction power".

In both cases, the circuit and associated software/firmware design would be sooo much easier for the DCC manufacturers if they did not have-to support:
- Command stations/boosters which had to put out a "pseudo analog control" voltage of controllable average DC voltage and polarity (That many DCC systems do NOT do "ZBS" is a clear and present hint). 

- Decoders which had-to-be-able-to recognize when sitting on some form of "Analog Control",
(flatline filtered DC, PWM, etc) and react as-if they were "normal analog locos".

It's worth keeping in mind. Just because one can "bend the basis of DCC",
does not mean it's a good, reccomended, or reccomend-able approach for long-term operation and reliability...

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr

​PS in the same "Simple Rule" category:
- Wire Turnout Frogs : even with a simple microswitch, the time spent to wire a frog will repay for ALL locos for the future of the layout, and that goes for both Analog and DCC controlled layouts.
- Always use a resistor when wiring Decoder Function Outputs : If there is _any_ doubt, a 1000ohm series-connected resistor will keep LEDs, low-volt bulbs, and the decoder itself safe from over-volt/over-current conditions. At worst, the LED will only light up dimly, but it will not be _damaged_,
and the modeler is on a "safe ground" confirmed starting platform from which to carefully reduce the resistance to achieve the desired brightness.

You may not need to reset because of ZBS, but I find that you need to reset your Digitrax system from time to time to clean out any "junk"  the system has pickup (locos not dispatched, consist no longer in use, ...).  I use my system on our show layout, so I reset it  after each show.

Doug W


Joan Henwood

Post a picture of your favourite purchase from Paris Junction Hobbies on our facebook page. 
Be creative – put yourself in the picture or a scene where you are using the item.
Person who posts the best picture will receive a $50.00 gift card from the store.
If you’re not a facebook user, find a friend who will post for you but make sure your name is included.
Good luck to all.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tuesday night at the Huff & Puff

Flu got the best of me, so no post from me. Did have a thought for everyone. The old Sunset siding could be made into an industry. Some ideas, move the junk yard there, which would also make  the siding for Hillside Lumber bigger. Make it a ghost industry like Sifto Salt, so all you see is the sign for Sifto Salt, not the industry it's self. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tuesday Night at the Huff and Puff

Well people were huffin and puffin as it was work night. We cleaned and organized stuff under the benches. We took out 4 boxes of old sedum, 4 boxes of old, empty containers, half a dozen burnt out lights, a pile of cardboard, and 3 bags of garbage. Thankfully Barb sent in some delicious mini muffins to keep up our energy. Thanks Barb and thanks to all for a job well done. We even got some feeders put in and some scenery done. At the meeting several topics were discussed. Nice to see more people speaking up. Ralph reminded us that during the concept meeting the layout was to be CN and CP during the transition era. We have let that slip but will try to keep that in mind when bringing in new rolling stock. The new card system also came up, specifically the loss of delivering 1 car here and picking up 1 car there, under the new system you always pick up and deliver at each industry as you go. We decided to stay with the new system because you can't mess it up, as 1 person put it, "it works". The yard at Ortona was a hot topic, I think we decided to change it, but I see no one touched it for now, hmm. The argument is that it is not the track but the pie cutter wheel sets on some of the equipment. The shorting problems of the turnouts can also be fixed with switch machines. We then turned to the topic of the club it's self. Many clubs have failed because of politics be we have no officers running it, which helps, but we have to be careful to let everyone have a say. Next up was show and tell, Mike had a large scale passenger car shell he has been working on to show us, wow great job.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Sunday fun

On Friday, Glen and I worked on some scenery. I continued painting the backdrop and rock work in the tunnel area near Trent's hill as Glen mudded in the bottom of the cliffs in the new Wellington town site and around the upper loop. Glen also checked out the height of the bent he had made for the Wellington Street bridge. On Sunday I continued painting the tunnel area and installed a barricade in front of the abandoned tunnel. Ballast and grass was applied to the remaining ties and track leading to the tunnel. Jim installed 2 switch machines on the upper mainline, behind ADMand wired them up. He also wired up the last 2 switch machines on the upper loop. Tom worked on roads, crossings and scenery at Lincoln. Don started installing the sanding rack but found he needed to remove and rearrange some track and turnouts in that area. We also decided to move La France and use that track as the caboose track for Wellington. The water tower was also remove to get access to the sanding rack area. Work will continue on Tuesday night. We also set up switches at the Ortuna yard to see if we had enough and to give a visual of what it would look like, up to the group to see if and when we change out the code 70 track.

The rock wall at Jim's Cut had to have some material removed for clearance and needed some touch up along the bottom and the one edge.

 Glen finished the bottom of the rock wall behind the town.

The rock wall repainted.

Tom adds scenery to upper loop, Jim wires in the switch machines as Don works on the sanding rack.

Sanding rack positioned. The road will cross the main line beside the turntable

Switch machines put in and painting finished.

Barricade at the old tunnel

Tom starting to fit in the road crossings for team track area.