Sunday, March 20, 2011

Second Operating Session on the Welztalbahn

Well, this was a disaster.

I wasn't prepared. Emsingen wasn't ready. JMRI Logix played tricks on me. And there were power problems.

When I installed the yard in Emsingen, I apparently forgot to connect one of the tracks to power. That was easily fixed, once noticed (thanks, Balasz), but it was a bit annoying nethertheless. What was worse, though, was that my spiffy new JMRI panel for Emsingen is over-engineered, has bugs in the routing logix, and only works on the control computer. The over-engineering makes the panel harder to use than necessary. The logix bug causes an endless series of switch commands to be sent to one switch, renders JMRI unresponsive, and apparently managed to burn out the affected output on one of my DS64 stationary decoders.
Finally, the whole reason I created that panel was so that I can drive it via the Web interface from an Android G1 smart phone.  The catch? Sensor button pushes, which were meant as the primary means to drive the panel are not recognized via the Web interface.

We spent quite a bit of time debugging car routing in the Operations part of JMRI. Waaaay too much time for routing 30 cars around. "How did that car get here, and why is it not moving?", was a fairly common sigh.

There were also issues with power pickup in some underground sections, especially in the curves leading to and from the ramp. Staging needs some thorough clean-up and track polishing. At least once the PSX circuit breakers were too sensitive and cut power for what should have been a momentary blip.

I have a lot of work to do...

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