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1338Spring 2013

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  • jmac_han
    Apr 5, 2013

      The maple sap is running here in Gatineau, Quebec...sign that there is new energy about to emerge in our gardens... which has probably motivated me to post a message to VECRR.


      I have done quite a lot of work on the Gardenville Shortline over the last year and now that the snow has almost melted off the landscaping (the ponds are still frozen solid) I am getting excited about the prospects for further improvements to the garden part of the layout. The trackage of the GSLRR has been upgraded to large radius LGB motorized turnouts and all of the joints are firmly secured with brass clamp joiners.

      The first train of 2013 ran a full loop around the layout last March 27. As far as I can tell, there is only one tiny electrical issue requiring my attention on a turnout I installed last Fall.

      Once the ponds thaw, I will be able to clean out the dead leaves and install the pumps and filter to get the water effects running. I am happy to support a large population of young songbird families with my feeders and the ponds and streams. At the moment, despite the early Spring cold, I have observed Black-capped Chicakees, Cardinals, Gold Finches and woodpeckers of several species scoping out nesting spots in the back yard.

      The next projects on the garden railway are to complete my planting design with 3 more dwarf Alberta Spruces and to improve the ground cover vegetation. Buildings and accessories for the railway are pretty much complete although I still have two structures that could use a solar lighting upgrade.


      My HOe layout has progressed to the point where I have look hard for inspiration for further projects. I have installed 3rd generation DCC decoders in the entire motive power fleet (DCC Concepts small decoders all equiped with a Stay Alive feature). I have found a recycling project for the last generation of decoders that are now suprlus. I will install them in my fleet of 6 2-axle passenger cars. They are already equiped with interior lighting but the DCC decoders will allow me to turn the cars on as a rack and to control the brightness from my control station.

      I have been taking photos of the work in progress just in case I decide to post something to my web site.


      Speaking of the web site, it had been practically offline for the last 8 months due to a phasing out of the server that it was hosted on. I only discovered that the server was no longer being maintained when I tried to upload some files and could not log on the my FTP site.

      I finally figured out how to transfer my domain to a new hosting site and have made the move. I am using the content move to the new host to rewrite some texts, add photos and streamline and organize the site. There is still a lot of work to be done, especially regarding the Library section. It should be available in about two weeks time.

      My efforts to restart the web site have been slowed by an outdated FTP client. I have an old Windows XP computer which has given me great service over the years but I have discovered that software upgrades etc. have pushed its CPU and memory to the limit. I have found a good mobile computing FTP clinet that I will install and test on my Nexus 7 tablet. I'm all for portable computing environments.

      If I can get the Nexus 7 to fulfill the role of single entertainment and web maintenance platform, I will most likely become more active in my posts and, who knows, maybe reconnect with the model railroading community.


      I feel as though I have reached the point of no return in my efforts to complete the Master Model Railroader requirements. I have 5 of 7 AP certificates and I am in the process (I kid you not) of printing out and collating my paperwork for AP #6 Chief Dispatcher. If I don't get this done this summer, I will never finish!


      I hope that anyone reading this is enjoying a great Spring and I hpe to share more thoughts with you shortly.

      Best regards,
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