Author Topic: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"  (Read 172074 times)

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Philip H

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1665 on: July 06, 2019, 08:51:09 AM »
0
Having seen York a couple times before @Ed Kapuscinski moved, I can attest to the effectiveness of that approach.
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1666 on: July 07, 2019, 01:41:22 PM »
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... Robyn has promised progress on the trees, to which I respond, "Well...?" :D  ...

Last night I was tired and grumpy after banging my head against JMRI, so I missed a choice photo op. We'll have to do with a mental picture: Robyn sitting on the floor in her studio having just emptied several cabinet drawers full of Super Trees supplies - the starter kit and numerous bags of flocking - all spread-out around her as she pores over the instructions and takes stock in what she has. "According to the instructions..." on which I interrupt, "You're already ahead of me, so you're on your own." Of course, I get the look:  :RUEffinKiddingMe:

:D  :D  :D

The JMRI project was upgrading the railroad from a Raspberry Pi 3B to a 3B+ for the performance gains. The 3B+ would not boot from the 3B's memory card, so I had to build the system from scratch and figure out how to transfer the JMRI configuration files. Not difficult, just tedious, and another opportunity to (attempt to) understand the inner workings of JMRI and learn a little more about the Raspbian world. Upgraded to the JMRI beta while I was at it, which fixed an XML editing problem I was fighting. The transition was successful in that the railroad runs fine and I now have a means to sneaker-net between my Macs and the RPis, but the roster files are still a minor mess by virtue of false starts with Decoder Pro long ago. It will get fixed...

...with the next upgrade. :x  No sooner did I receive the 3B+, the held-close-to-the-vest Raspberry Pi 4B was released. It's enough of a performance leap to do ASAP. More memory, fixes a USB BIOS bug that was causing (me) issues, a jumps-higher-runs-faster processor, and dual monitor capability built-in. Not available from the online sources yet, but the 1GB RAM version is in stock at a local-ish (STL) brick-and-mortar. Won't have the time to kill an entire day for the shopping run, so it'll have to wait; I'll want the 4GB version anyway in case of memory ceilings for dual monitors.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

Specter3

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1667 on: July 07, 2019, 07:17:29 PM »
+1
Mike

You know you will end up killing yourself if you get into that “gotta have the new one” tech syndrome.

Ryan

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1668 on: July 07, 2019, 07:42:21 PM »
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The transition was successful in that the railroad runs fine and I now have a means to sneaker-net between my Macs and the RPis, but the roster files are still a minor mess by virtue of false starts with Decoder Pro long ago. It will get fixed...

What is the role of the Mac (and sneaker-net) in your scheme?  Do you use both the Mac and the Pi to run the railroad, or just the Pi?   In my setup, I just use the Pi as a Loconet server and connect the Mac to it using Loconet over TCP.  The Mac then does the heavy lifting of running jmri and CATS, without requiring a wired connection to the layout.

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1669 on: July 07, 2019, 10:58:41 PM »
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The Mac has no active role here other than being my main box at home, a single RPi runs the entire RR. As much as I like toying with the RPi, the overall UI isn't quite as smooth, so one of my soft objectives was to move JMRI editing functions to the Mac since I'm twiddling with XML and graphics directly instead of relying on the clunky JMRI tools. I hadn't bothered with an "easy" path between the two systems until loading the ExFAT drivers on the RPi to use USB sticks as my transfer medium.

Yes, there was certainly FTP, but I keep the RPi on an isolated network. Also - purely a personal quirk, if we want to call it that - I am desperately avoiding repeats of my experience in managing Linux systems and a recurring frustration I came to call "permissions rage".  :facepalm:
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1670 on: July 07, 2019, 11:17:16 PM »
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You may have covered this already, but how are you planning to dispatch?  Do you intend to use any jmri panels in that capacity?

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1671 on: July 07, 2019, 11:36:52 PM »
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Yes, JMRI. My thinking in the current build-out is KISS - soft renditions of traditional MRR schematic panels for operational ease as I construct and debug. My mood may change as the layout settles down a little and operations are incorporated. At that point, I figure that my modeling era (~1970) will set the tone. Mainline dispatching will likely be with a US&S-type lever panel sim, as will junction and yard towers.

I have nothing against CATS other than what I've seen of the computer-screen dispatch UI modeled from modern 1:1 practice.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1672 on: July 08, 2019, 01:27:41 AM »
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I have been completely remiss here with an acknowledgement - apologies to all and especially to Rodney @rodsup9000 and his lovely wife Kristi, who took the time to drop by by the layout last week and visit for a few. They made a slight detour en route to the NSE convention in Chicago. Rodney was so kind to let me rummage through his "toy box" of Photon samples, and left me with the signal pole crossarms he did in green transparent that I have wanted to try for quite a while, and a cool stake truck. Thanks again, Rodney!

In other news... a representative of the local NMRA chapter will be visiting this Tuesday to check out the layout as a candidate for the St. Louis national convention layout tours one year from now. I am soooooo not ready. Yeah, there's been progress, but there's really not a lot to show yet other than 350' of running track on pink foam and steel, and the barest beginnings of scenery. Plus the sky, and lighting system. I hope they can accept a "see where we are in December" before making a final determination. A big issue for them to consider is we are about 75 miles east of the convention venue, and I've already heard that so far it's a challenge gathering enough layouts in communities between here and there to justify the bus run. Next closest layout I'm aware of is a half-hour away, so sitting on a bus for a total of an hour to see one measly not-nearly-done over-ambitious N scale (for crissakes!) layout is not a way to win friends and influence people.

I'm not going to drive myself crazy, however, trying to do a million things in prep for the visit. There are two wiring fixes to connect feeders at the far ends of power districts; the feeders are in but I was putting off the full bus runs pending electronics panels in between which will have the detection circuits. Anyway, 40 feet of bus with temporary connections will smooth the running and at least make it appear I know what I'm doing. :|  Cleaning up supplies around the scenery progress area will also help.

Gary's thoughts about how I'm using the computers prompted a rethink about operations, and that I might be able to make that leap sooner than expected. I have overlooked that the first phase of development includes three industries, a grain elevator, refinery and cement plant, plus a depot with a service siding and team track. The primary obstacle at the moment is lack of a yard, which will come in the next phase with four 1/2-scale-mile tracks at Yermo and roughly 20 feet of holding capacity at Kelso. Anyway, something to sleep on.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1673 on: July 08, 2019, 03:31:58 AM »
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Yes, JMRI. My thinking in the current build-out is KISS - soft renditions of traditional MRR schematic panels for operational ease as I construct and debug. My mood may change as the layout settles down a little and operations are incorporated. At that point, I figure that my modeling era (~1970) will set the tone. Mainline dispatching will likely be with a US&S-type lever panel sim, as will junction and yard towers.

I have nothing against CATS other than what I've seen of the computer-screen dispatch UI modeled from modern 1:1 practice.

Yeah, I was thinking that a US&S-type panel was the right approach for you.  No need for CATS.  Nonetheless, the question to consider is where that panel (and its human) will reside and how it interfaces with the layout.  You probably have plenty of space to have the d/s in the same room as the layout (unlike me), so a physical connection between the jmri machine and the layout is fine.

For local schematic panels, I highly recommend tablets that just display panels via the jmri web server.  There is no additional software to fuss over, you just have a central panel server (the Pi) and pick the appropriate panel to display at any given location.  Of course this is only useful if you have DCC-enabled turnout motors and/or sensor info to display.

I think you're right to be leery of an organized national convention visit, but perhaps you could arrange for something more informal, like an open house for folks willing to drive themselves.  I would make that trip if I were attending the convention.

And, of course, I would strongly advise you to try out operations as soon as there is anything for a crew to do.  They'll find things you hadn't thought of that will likely make you tweak your plans.  ("If only I had a RH crossover at Mojave..." :P)

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1674 on: July 08, 2019, 03:53:11 AM »
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...For local schematic panels, I highly recommend tablets that just display panels via the jmri web server.  There is no additional software to fuss over, you just have a central panel server (the Pi) and pick the appropriate panel to display at any given location.  Of course this is only useful if you have DCC-enabled turnout motors and/or sensor info to display. ...

Already done and tested. So far I have one inexpensive Android tablet setup in a kiosk web mode over WiFi for local towers. It's pretty slick. All turnouts have those cheap servos as switch machines purely out of the ease of mechanical integration - no linkage to adjust, nothing below the benchwork other than the wires to the DCC servo controller.

The DS desk will be in the layout space, but it doesn't have to be hardwired - the DS panel(s) can be web pages, too, with JMRI operating faceless although I don't really plan on it that way. The current WiThrottle version supports web pages. While I can control the layout from the phone with the web GUI, it's less satisfying than the larger touch screen, though it's convenient for debugging.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

pdx1955

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1675 on: July 09, 2019, 12:34:27 AM »
+1

I think you're right to be leery of an organized national convention visit, but perhaps you could arrange for something more informal, like an open house for folks willing to drive themselves.  I would make that trip if I were attending the convention.

And, of course, I would strongly advise you to try out operations as soon as there is anything for a crew to do.  They'll find things you hadn't thought of that will likely make you tweak your plans.  ("If only I had a RH crossover at Mojave..." :P)

Actually, the NMRA Layout Design SIG would probably  be interested . I'm  in Salt Lake City now for the convention  and they do have self guided tours to visit layouts. Some of these are 50-70 miles away. You have an interesting plan plus everything  that goes with it including all of the techniques  that you are using. You also could give a clinic on what you are doing too ...a summary of this thread so to speak.
Peter

"No one ever died because of a bad question, but bad assumptions can kill"

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1676 on: July 09, 2019, 02:58:57 AM »
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Actually, the NMRA Layout Design SIG would probably  be interested . I'm  in Salt Lake City now for the convention  and they do have self guided tours to visit layouts. Some of these are 50-70 miles away. You have an interesting plan plus everything  that goes with it including all of the techniques  that you are using. You also could give a clinic on what you are doing too ...a summary of this thread so to speak.

Ah! A purpose! I didn't even think about the SIG aspect. Yeah, I'm breaking with conventional wisdom (was that a pun? :D ) all over the place, so I'll bring that up with the contact if he doesn't mention it first.

Thank you!
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1677 on: July 09, 2019, 03:07:11 PM »
+1
"I'll tell John [StL convention organizer] this needs to be on the tour. Amazing."

And there you have it.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

rodsup9000

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1678 on: July 18, 2019, 04:10:34 AM »
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I have been completely remiss here with an acknowledgement - apologies to all and especially to Rodney @rodsup9000 and his lovely wife Kristi, who took the time to drop by by the layout last week and visit for a few. They made a slight detour en route to the NSE convention in Chicago. Rodney was so kind to let me rummage through his "toy box" of Photon samples, and left me with the signal pole crossarms he did in green transparent that I have wanted to try for quite a while, and a cool stake truck. Thanks again, Rodney!


 Well Thanks for letting us see the little world your are creating. As said then, it's going to be a super nice railroad to operate on.  I've made the commitment to host my first OPS session Sept 7th, so I've been very busy getting a lot of track wiring and more trackwork done.







In other news... a representative of the local NMRA chapter will be visiting this Tuesday to check out the layout as a candidate for the St. Louis national convention layout tours one year from now. I am soooooo not ready. Yeah, there's been progress, but there's really not a lot to show yet other than 350' of running track on pink foam and steel, and the barest beginnings of scenery. Plus the sky, and lighting system. I hope they can accept a "see where we are in December" before making a final determination. A big issue for them to consider is we are about 75 miles east of the convention venue, and I've already heard that so far it's a challenge gathering enough layouts in communities between here and there to justify the bus run. Next closest layout I'm aware of is a half-hour away, so sitting on a bus for a total of an hour to see one measly not-nearly-done over-ambitious N scale (for crissakes!) layout is not a way to win friends and influence people.


 Also, you can set up a date with the OPSsig for a OPS session and have a day set aside for just operators. Most would drive that far to just to operate. I can plan on being around to help you out if need be, or just be a operator.
Rodney

My Feather River Canyon in N-scale
http://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=31585.0

Philip H

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1679 on: July 18, 2019, 08:02:42 AM »
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Shite.  Now I wish we had been able to swing by too.

I had been quietly considering St. Louis for an NMRA visit as it is on the way to the in laws in Green Bay . . . . Hum.

All  that said - pics or it didn't happen.
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B