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The Randall Museum in San Francisco hosts a large HO-scale model model railroad. Created by the Golden Gate Model Railroad Club starting in 1961, the layout was donated to the Museum in 2015. Since then I have started automatizing trains running on the layout. I am also the model railroad maintainer. This blog describes various updates on the Randall project and I maintain a separate blog for all my electronics not directly related to Randall.

2021-01-18 - Pending Work on the Layout

Category Randall

I started a project list one year ago and it’s time to look at what has been accomplished, and what’s left to do. Note that this is basically a snapshot of the same task list which is available in the layout presentation document here.

Task

Impact

Work Load

Stockton Station dedicated Circuit Breaker [done]

Need

Medium

Low

DCC Mainline turnouts for Napa yard approach  [done]

Need

High

Medium

DCC Mainline turnout for Bridgeport yard  [done]

Need

High

Low

Grade crossing lights at Fairfield Station [done]

Need

High

Medium

Napa yard clean & usable by operators [done]

Need

High

Very High

Bridgeport yard clean & usable by operators [done]

Need

High

Very High

Fixing dead spot at Sultan

Need

Medium

Medium

Fix the Fairfield-Lodi approach

        Status: Replacing turnout motor for T905

Need

Medium

Medium

Layout “cab ride” Cameras & Display for Public
        Status:
Proposal / Demonstrator Project.

Want

High

High

Computer monitoring of all Circuit Breakers
        Status:
Experiment with NCE AIU and EB1s.

Want

Medium

High

Finish DCC control Mountain Turnout Panel

Need

Low

High

DCC control Stockton Passenger panel

        Status: Station has its own DCC power district.

Need

Low

High

DCC block detection on Valley panels 1 & 2

Need

Low

High

DCC block detection on Mountain panel 1

Need

Low

High

Automation of Fairfield area
        Status:
Powered via DCC power district. Cleaning.

Want

High

Very High

Automation software “Conductor” v2

        Status: Experiment on-going.

Want

High

Very High

Notation: The “need” vs “want” column is highly subjective based on what I believe needs to be done here. “Impact” is from the perspective of the Saturday Operators and/or the Automation from a public point of view, e.g. would visitors/operators notice this work has been done. Low impact does not mean the task is not important -- it’s the “behind the scene” stuff that enables more to be done later. Ironically low impact often equates to a higher amount of work.

There are two new tasks added in this list. It’s satisfying to be able to mark six tasks as being fully done, and some serious progress has been done on six other tasks.

For contrast, back in 2019, I managed to accomplish zero tasks, as the whole year was all about maintenance to keep the automation and the operators running. Of course 2020 was different since there was no such running.

A very important difference is that I was able to allocate almost two solid weeks at the end of December to work on projects -- which I had been unable to do the year before since the museum was open and automation had to be running at all times.


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