There are six hidden staging tracks serving the Louisiana Central. Since the tracks are concealed from normal viewing, I decided to use optical detectors at each track to determine occupancy and the locations of trains. Typically each track has two or three detectors near its end, and one at the entrance marking the fouling point.
Two of those staging tracks are in Monterey, one each for the IC and the T&P. This weekend I completed the wiring for the photo-transistors and infrared (IR) LEDs, and their connections to the circuit board serving this area. The fascia panel with the indicators isn’t built yet, so I soldered a couple leads to a red LED indicator and temporarily jumped it across the various output terminals for testing. I’m happy to report that all the detectors worked perfectly without a single adjustment necessary. This is somewhat a milestone in the electrical/electronics portion of the layout construction. There are two more circuit boards over at the Willis side to handle the rest of the staging tracks. I’ve got most of the photo-transistors already wired, but I need to get all the IR LEDs installed. Benchwork for the Spencer logging operation can’t proceed until that work is done as most of the staging track is below that, and I want the system complete and operational before starting this new benchwork.
I had a busy weekend working on the layout. In addition to the above, Wayne and I got the remainder of the sub-roadbed installed in East Monterey (not an official designation). This area is around the corner from Monterey itself and will support the mainline entering town as well as a couple businesses.
I also got some roadbed laid near the end of the Monterey yard and I took care of a half dozen little tasks that I’d been putting off. Overall, a good weekend.
Finally, my scheduled visit by a guest from Florida was cancelled due to some family health issues, but I got a semi-surprise visit instead from a co-worker, Van Thomas. Van has been hearing about my construction for the past couple years and he decided to come over to see what this was all about first hand. I think he enjoyed the visit, despite the hot and heavy construction going on during his stay.