June 2012 Status - What, its not June

Yeah, this is a bit late. I’ve been distracted. I’m throwing this up so I can summarize what did get done, before moving on.

June started off with the continued apartment building detailing project, and that ran for most of the month until I had one of them complete, then I put the detailing work aside.

The tail end of the month was devoted to wiring work (which I started in April, supposedly, but it really got going when I finished the model work), and while I don’t generally mind wiring this time it’s rather annoying, and so I’m not too motivated. That leads to easy distraction and less work, which means the wiring takes longer. It’s a vicious circle.

The problem is that I’m basically re-doing earlier work. I’d run one pair of “accessory” bus wires under the layout for anything that wasn’t signaling (and a second for the BDL168 and planned SE8C systems). In working on the power panels last fall I realized that I needed to rework this to add a third bus dedicated to the PM42 circuit breaker systems. So now I have the PM42 bus, the BDL168/SE8C bus, and the “all other electronics that aren’t lighting” bus.

And at this point, I’m starting to think a long power strip and individual wall-warts for each box might have been a simpler solution. Even if it did end up costing more in dollars, the time saved would likely offset that in a big way.

But, as I’m already well down this road, I’m going to finish it with the original (now three) bus approach. And that means replacing one set of under-table 6-terminal barrier strips with 8-terminal ones (and moving all the wires over) as there really isn’t space to just add a two-position strip next to the existing one on most of my tables. That’s about 17 terminal strips to replace, working upside down with poor leverage. My power screwdriver works badly here, because with poor leverage I can’t push it up hard enough to keep from stripping screws (which doesn’t stop me from using it, but I may have to go back and do a final manual tightening with a screwdriver since I can’t set it to full torque without stripping things).

On top of that, I also needed to rewire the control panel (which I did last November) and add the new bus wires (being done as I replace terminal strips) and re-arrange the feeder wires to the PM42s (which means re-doing them in places I used one feeder for both PM42 and BDL168). That’s also ongoing.

I’m about half done now. I’m not even going to try predicting when I’ll actually finish, but until I do the wiring isn’t intact, so I can’t operate even the outer loop of track on DC, so that motivates me to not procrastinate forever.

And July will be a month for wiring, which means another month of “it’s really too hot to work on the layout tonight” procrastination intermixed with bouts of constructive effort.

Site Administrivia
My ISP is making some change to their database systems in August that affects my website. I should have everything updated before they do, but if for some reason the comments stop working for a time, it’s because I didn’t get it done in time (I started two weeks ago, but had some software issues) and I’ll fix it shortly. Email to the admin account (see the Admin page) will still work, as that’s independent. My admin mail was actually having problems in early July itself, as Apple’s transition from Mobile Me to iCloud (which I still use for the email, even though the website moved) wasn’t as seamless as expected.

Distractions, all, and not what I want to be working on for the railroad. Which is the wiring. Really. :-)