|O Scale - Future Projects -|
|Updated: October 26, 2015|
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- A computer interface prototype has been developed for O Scale (OSCI). It is based on the free open source software -JMRI- (Java Model Railroad Interface). The prototype has the Departure panel including all signals, turnout controls and indicators, and block indicators. It uses a DCC bus to communicate with DCC accessory decoders and sensors, and is connected to a Mac Intel Mini via a USB bus. The system is designed to allow either manual, DCC, or OSCI to operate the layout. To fully implement, the turnout and block toggles on our control panels will have to be replaced with pushbutton controls to allow the dispatcher panels plus local and remote manual operations to interface with OSCI. In addition, some manual mode route control will have to be implemented using relays. As of April 2012, the Arrival, Departure, Post Rd., Midway, Zenith and Pt. Richmond Passenger yard panels are controllable by OSCI.
- Here's a OSCI view of the layout as seen on one of the O Scale computers - click image for larger view:
DCC Signal Control
The major project for Winter 2007 was the rebuilding of the Departure East lead to convert to #8 turnouts. This was needed to realign and remove some of the initial poorly installed turnouts on the lead. The rebuild will improve traffic movements thru the lead and also enable trains to be backed into the lead.
We also completed plaster webbing under and around the Arch Bridge canyon area.
The Midway panel was rebuilt to show the new engine facilities.
In Mar 2012, it was decided to convert our ISS analogue signal controls to DCC signal control.The main advantage is that all the signal logic is done on OSCI and only the OSCI accessory bus is needed for control. With OSCI one could change signal logic from Automatic Block Signaling, to Absolute Permissive Block signals if desired. Also, OSCI train dispatcher can set signals for entire routes. Signal wiring will be greatly simplified and easier for anyone with minimal JMRI experience to maintain. HO and N scales are also using JMRI, so backup knowledge and support are available. ISS inter board wiring is very difficult for our turnout configurations, requiring many hours of debugging and checkout.
As of Oct 2014, all signals are now converted. In 2015, all the analogue signal control wiring will be removed.
Midway Industrial and City Construction
- The industrial and city landscape areas along Midway tracks 27,28 needs design and construction. Expect to begin these projects during the 2008 run season.
Midway Block 5 to Block 7 return and yard
- We have had initial discussions on building a 4 track yard connecting Midway block 5 to block 7. This will allow storage of additional member trains and provide a looping capability for the Midway division. At our Dec 2014 scale meeting, we decided to go ahead with this project during the Winter 2015 break. The first section, block 7LMain is operational as of April 2015. The plan is to have a two track extension from block 7 to block 5, much like the two track block 5 extension. The second section, block 7LSiding will be ready in 2016.
- Continuation of scenery and electrical work including DCC. The lower Eurkea yard was raised (2006) to provide easier access to the Point Richmond Passenger yard leads. During 2010-11, the entire yard was re-planned, new track and turnouts, and a turntable added.
If you are interested in learning how to become an O Scale member of the East Bay Model Engineer's Society click here.
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