The Observation car - October, 2018
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The Observation Car...

Next Meeting - 

Saturday, October 6th, 9am
Sump Memorial Library
222 North Jefferson
Papillion, Nebraska

Here's a list of topic ideas for the coming year - (more will be added)

 - Painting with an airbrush
 - Weathering (always a favorite topic)
 - Operations-101" & "Operator-102" course lessons
 - Reliable layout wiring for track and switches
 - How to install a switch machine so they work correctly (both mechanical & electrical types)
 - Programming decoders (BEMF, CVs, consisting, trouble shooting...)
 - DCC systems Show & Tell  (those who have a Digitrax, NCE, Lenz, Easy DCC, MRC system) bring your throttle and system (if possible) to show us the pluses and minus of each system and how to use each of them!

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Next Meeting -

Saturday, October 6th, 9 am

Sump Memorial Library
222 North Jefferson Street
Papillion, Nebraska 68046 



Bob Schramm


By now, most of you have probably heard our long time member, Bob Schramm, passed away at the end of August.  Bob was born in Ohio and grew up in Alton, Illinois.  He spent most of his working life with the railroads. Among them were the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio; the the Illinois Central Gulf, the Chicago & North Western, the Rio Grande, and the Southern Pacific. The merger with Union Pacific brought Bob to Omaha. Bob was a founding member of the GM & O historical society.  He will be missed. The officers have suggested our division donate $100 to the historical society in his honor.  There will be a short business meeting to vote for approval.

Meeting Agenda

- Item 1 - Clinic (part 1) An Inexpensive DIY DCC Command Station

A DCC command station for about $50? That's not a typo. If you're a good shopper you can do it for even less. A DCC++ command station can be assembled from 3 parts and 4 wires. It's brought to life with one downloaded software file.  I put this one together in less than an hour.  It's been running trains around my test loop for a few weeks.  Here's a short video of the initial power up test.  You may be surprised at how simple this project can be. The presentation should last about 15 minutes plus time for questions.

- Item 2 - Clinic (part 2) An Inexpensive DIY Computer for JMRI

Is that old computer you are using for JMRI on life support?  You can build a new computer for about $50. This project is even easier. A few, snap-together, parts and another downloaded software file. Steve Todd has built JMRI and all of the software you would need into a single image. All you need to do is plug it in and turn on the power. Again, this is pretty simple. The presentation should last an additional 15 minutes plus time for questions.

These two projects work very well together. The DCC++ command station could be an inexpensive starter system or be used for a smaller project.  The Raspberry Pi/JMRI computer can be used with any brand of DCC system and is powerful enough for all but the most complex layouts.  

I'll bring a small switching layout that will be run as a demonstration.

- Item 3 -

Show and Tell - by the time the October meeting rolls around you'll have had plenty of time to find, research or even make something interesting.  Bring it to the meeting and pass it around.  Show and Tell has generated some of the most interesting discussions. 

See you at the meeting 
Thanks, gs  

Last Month 

No meeting last month, but that doesn't mean nothing happened.

Bob Finkenbiner has been working a control panel for his layout. He's using JMRI for the simulation and it's looks very nice.  Here's a snapshot of the screen as it looked at the end of September. Bob reports there is more work to be done, but it is coming along very quick.

Here's a shot of the DCC++ system and Raspberry Pi computer installed on my test loop. As I said above, there's not much to it.

New Fun Stuff this month - 

You might think this video is odd because the subject is weathering a WWII tank turret so it looks like a burned out hulk.  But - we have all seen locomotives showing significant fire damage. This technique looks like a great way to simulate that fire damage.  Just pretend that tank turret is a locomotive and you'll be fine.  If you missed the video showing an interesting rust technique scroll past the photos. I've repeated it this month.

Have you ever wondered why that bridge in Iowa is named for Kate Shelly?  Here's a two minute video from the Smithsonian explaining the history.

Repeats from the last newsletter  - 

The August meeting was held at Rusty Westermeir's home. The main event was a tour of his S scale, Fawbush and Miller, railroad - Ron Brozanic provided the following photos.

The National Train Show - 

In August, several of us drove down to KC to see the NMRA National Train Show.  We managed to run into a couple of our officers playing with trains.

Photo by Keil

And of course, we stopped by one of the many train shops. (After waiting for a train at one of the many RR crossings.)

Fun Stuff - 

I could link to a bunch of videos from the national train show, but really, just type "NMRA NTS 2018" into the YouTube search box, you'll have plenty to choose from.

Instead, here's a video on making very realistic rust.  I'm no weathering expert.  I've seen similar techniques. But I think this guy has creatively combined a few techniques to give a result that is very convincing.  He's a wargamer, but don't let that put you off.  Just pretend the big pipe he's weathering is a tank car.

See you next time, gs

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