Aug 23, 2019
It's even worse when you go buy it, then go to put it away, and there's another one already there!
Doctors tell me it's a sure sign of aging.
From what I read, it's not misplacing things that is a worrisome sign, but finding them in odd locations, like the car keys in the freezer.
I think trouble is often set in motion by distractions. You're fixed on a task and the phone rings, or something catches your eye when you're walking to another room to get something. My work life evolved into navigating a river of endless distractions and it made me crazy. Now that I've retired, I often have a choice to stay on task and I take it.
So is a heart beat...
I found the DT Viaducts! They were on the floor, behind a bin of train stuff that I had painstakingly looked through before for them. Missed them by that much!
Still don't have AR to use them for the reverse loop... I didn't loose that; I just never had it. But I did notice the new Pi SPROG 3 Plus (with 2nd track output for AR or programming, etc.) is now available in US! Hmmm... "Christmas is coming; the goose is getting fat!"
Gotta love a Maxwell Smart reference!
Thanks you made me chuckle a bit when I read #4 it seems that it is in conflict with #3. The good news for me is I already know I'm less of a modeler than everyone here and I'm OK with that.
"In the freezer" and I was worried I was the only one.
"In the freezer" is bad but how about finding your keys in your pocket? I always put my car 'keys' in my right front pocket (actually with the new cars it's a FOB). So, one time I was going somewhere, so I checked to see if I had my car 'keys' and they were not in my right pocket. I looked all over the place and came up empty. I finally found them. They were in my left pocket where I never put them. Now I'm left wondering how they got there!
I spent hours looking for the fob. Shook every jacket checked the right hand pocket because I also always put it in the right hand pocket. Gave up took my other car and did what I had to do. Came home started the search again and found them in the left hand pocket. I'm sure my wife borrowed them and just put them back in the wrong pocket, at least that's the story I'm sticking with.
One day I was looking for my box of turnouts and couldn't find them anywhere, a couple days later found them on my layout in plane sight. My short time memory is shot but can remember things from years ago. I've done the keys thing too.
This is hitting depressingly close to home... At least I know I'm not alone!
What bothers me the most is not DCC, but the companies that claim to be DCC.
Digital Command & Control
By definition, command and control requires dynamic feedback, every engineering program requires a class in control systems theory where this is clearly defined. Digitrax and NCE and all but the European systems fail by definition.
Dynamic feedback is when you send a command, the recipient returns a message that the command was received. Only systems that support RAILCOM have this ability. Currently ESU, Zimo and TCS are the only ones that support RAILCOM.
Yes it is a pet peeve, but accuracy is important at all times. This probably does not matter on small layouts but on large layouts, at shows including the National show here in Sacramento a few years ago, the lack of feedback can and has been the source of runaway trains and the collision of either an oncoming train or running into the back of another one. This especially happens in areas of hidden track.
Guys who think that I have to weather my stuff just because they like to weather theirs.
Well said, but control theory does not dictate end-end feedback in control systems (however you wish to define the "command" end). After all, should the control system seek to verify that where the throttle is set, and the loco addressed, is where/which you really wanted it set?). At some point we have to assume communication links are reliable, or make them suitably so.
How many users don't even enable BEMF to close the far end of the loop?
Can railcom signal the command station that BEMF is not as commanded, and thus not operating in a closed loop?
If railcom could respond with actual (motor) speed, would the command station automatically adjust the commanded speed to compensate?
Are we willing to rely upon motor speed as an indication of locomotive/train speed (ignoring wheel slip)?
How many users set the decoder's command timeout to something safer than the suggested 20 seconds?
In the accidents mentioned, how many trains were being controlled by the same DCC system (requiring a long decoder timeout just to keep running)?
Command and control systems often use multiple approaches to system reliability, including redundancy (e.g. command repetition and error detection) in the command communication channel, as DCC does.
But when safety is critical, then independent, redundant systems are the rule. In model railroading, that might be accomplished with track occupancy detection and control via JMRI or similar (if you have time to set that up for a train show). But again, how many modules (and railcars) are set up for that?
I don't know the particulars of the accident to which you refer, but how would railcom have helped, unless the command station was set to shut off track power upon confirmed lack of feedback? Do/can any command stations do that?
And since the only ultimately reliable way to stop a locomotive that is not responding with railcom is to kill track power, are we willing to shut down a large modular show layout simply because a locomotive fails to respond via railcom? At what point is the system too safe to run reliably?
As you can see, merely having every DCC system and decoder support railcom is simply not sufficient to eliminate most such accidents while remaining reliably operable.
Otherwise, I agree that the North American DCC system producers are behind the world-wide (esp European) curve. They are producing to a different market/price-point, as is their privilege given the standard as it exists. But, besides TCS, the European decoder suppliers tend not to support "drop-in" decoders (that simply replace the factory light board) for easy conversion of DC locomotives to DCC. Some N scale loco manufacturers do provide for standard modular decoders to be simply plugged into the factory light board on some models, and more should do likewise.
Isn't the freezer where you're supposed to keep keys?
And, as far as brake hoses go, I like to pretend a bunch of kids came along with some cans of copper and brass colored paint and painted all of the hoses. Darn juvenile delinquents, anyway!
My most sophisticated piece of "RAILCOM" equipment is an MRC Tech III 9500 or maybe my old, still like new, MRC Controlmaster X. Throttle up - train goes. Throttle off - train stops.
Today and for about four months that is were mine will be. It was 30 degrees this morning. Snow tonight.
Electric bike and bus pass aren't warm. Though I do enjoy the discussions outside stores and my snowmobile and motorcycle keys were always out there.
Pet peeve with trains as of late is that stores don't carry anything. We seem to be drifting away.
With RAILCOM, if you send a message the decoder responds with message accepted. Being an engineer that has worked on guided missile designs, C&C is very important to telemetry correction etc. So true Command and Control is near and dear to my heart. Hence why it is a pet peeve. And yes it the locomotive is going too fast, RAILCOM will slow it down automatically on the throttle poll event. (as I call it). Not only that it makes for a more robust capability of location detection. I have a decoder in the last car of the train that is also RAILCOM and I always know where the end of the train is as well.
Actually, hand shaking, polling, strobe speed, and parity bits, are just as important as the data, itself.
Otherwise, it's like yelling for the kids to come in for supper and hope they hear you.