Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths
Model Melbourne trams

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Service Changes (again!)

"Service changes will be in place for Victoria Street all day Wednesday 29 January.
This allows us to allocate the six trams that normally operate this route to other areas of the network in order to provide a more balanced service.
  • Buses will replace trams between The Railway Station and the Racecourse. Where possible replacement buses will stop at existing tram stops. At the Railway Station, buses will use a temporary stop on Victoria Street, opposite the tram stop.
Tram replacement buses will operate to the normal service frequency. However, they may not arrive at the scheduled time. The Tramways suggests you allow extra time for your journey."

The bustitution continues as in life

'Didn't this happen the other week?'
From under the 'decorative' wires,
Regards Glenn.

Thursday 23 January 2014

Some street theatre.

In my time I have observed some unique behaviour around trams, and considering they have been plying their trade for over the best part of a century, one would think that most locals (Melbournians) would have figured out how to interact with them by now.

So, as a form of community service, (not imposed by a court as part of a sentence), I have uploaded a etiquette guide for tram passengers, utilising the punters of Victoria Street.

Here are couple of photos from behind the scenes...

"Places please people, and rolling..."

The old Ricoh takes a lovely macro shot for a point and shoot.

From under the wires and if anybody wants me, I'll be in my trailer.
Regards Glenn.

Sunday 19 January 2014

What we have here is a failure to comunicate.....

While all is well and good with the physical refit of the man cave, then one thing came along and bit me on the arse. The magic that consists of a whole heap of ones and zeros failed to come to the party.

As someone who spent most of his working life beating machinery into submission, the dark arts of data transmission along a couple of pairs of wires has me stumped.

For one reason or another, I could not for the life of me get the engine driver on the smartphone to communicate with JMRI on the computer via Wi throttle on wifi. Which in theory proved that my initial set up for smartphone control of Victoria Street was pure luck, of the lottery kind.

The original setup using the antique laptop that still runs windows XP, that now requires plugging in an external monitor as so to actually see information on a screen, While I could call up a throttle on the screen and use it, therefore the JMRI was working, but the wi throttle sent out server and port information the smartphone could not pick up, even when the numbers were punched into the smartphone (REPEATIVLY!!!!). This also applied to the bride's I phone and I pad.(ARGH!!!)

The smartphone was connected to the wifi, yet neither were playing the game. I phaffed about with firewalls, tried to use set port numbers, googled inane requests for help, and nothing worked. What really sent me spare was that I could use the internet on the ancient laptop via the wifi router!

The original set up.
What went haywire
So in a moment of genius, I thought, what if I loaded up JMRI on the 'good' laptop, brilliant! The program was loaded, a few tweaks, here and there, and bingo, under a trial operation before plugging in the DCC-USB interface, the wi throttle was transmitting server/port details to all available wifi devices.  However, some clown who will remain nameless managed to stuff up the loading of the driver for the DCC/USB interface, so therefore communication between the good laptop and DCC/USB interface no did not work.
From the frying pan and into the fire
This is where a normally very patient man, who can drive in peak hour without an even raising an eyebrow, and follows a football team that has not won a flag since 1954, is about to lose his mind.
Enter the IT guru, (the Bride) with questions like, "Did you read the instructions?" and  "Have you ticked the compliance boxes?"
Within two minutes, the bride has done something that certain clown did not do, and as I witnessed a wry smile on her face, she pulled out her smartphone, connected to wi throttle, ask me what tram number to enter. (812) then proceeded to 'cut a notch' and 812 trundled off along Victoria Street. 
Yes, she is a keeper.
The improved set up
So now I use the ancient laptop for programming DCC, and the good laptop for the occasional  multiple running with wifi.
From one very happy household under the wifi,
Regards Glenn


Thursday 16 January 2014

Service Changes

"Due to operational requirements during this week's extreme weather, trams on Victoria Street will be replaced by buses from first service Thursday 16 to last service Friday 17 January.

Trams replacement buses will operate to the normal service frequency. However, they may not arrive at the scheduled time. The tramways suggests you allow extra time for your journey."

Yes, it is a shade warm in town today (44.C), so the cross suburban services have been sacrificed for the city services.

Keep cool, keep safe from under the AC and the wires.

Regards Glenn

Sunday 5 January 2014

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Finally, I am happy with the study, I am sure that the bride is happy with the study. For two and half days, there was the tear out, the clean up, the obtaining of the shelves, the building and then the fit out.

Here is the overall look.

Clean white lines.

Let's have a look at some of the features.

Glass fronted cabinet, with LED lighting for larger models,
bits and pieces, periodicals and reference books and photos.
The tool cupboard, for modelling materials, long forgotten kits,
basically the old desk clutter, plus the spare computer monitor.
The integrated workbench, with computer/internet,
printers, more storage and flexible LED task lighting.
An under the counter holster for the powercab.
Box framed display cases for short bodied
models,(most are still waiting for DCC!).
The flexible task lights come into their own during
the evening, (the take away boxes on the right
 contain all the cars/trucks that need to be installed).
The trams are obviously providing transport during
a crippling fuel crisis resulting in the lack of cars.
Sitting back and marvelling at his handy work,
Regards Glenn



Friday 3 January 2014

A change is as good as a holiday.(Housekeeping)

There are some times, where you look at your current situation and say this isn't good enough, then there are some times when one needs a gentle shove in the right direction. The man cave/study is a prime example, two kids, five and under, together with a 'study' that has the OH&S of a Dickensian factory, that will put the domestic authorities offside, so far that in the fact that it may offend inlaws and other visitors, now requires attention.

Victoria Street, started off as a test track built on one of those wall suspended Ikea shelves. It evolved, then extended, plus adapted, and slowly converted to DCC. The biggest issue was the storage of reference/modelling material, especially for 'works in progress'.

The 'study' on a good day, (yeah right!)
So when an article appeared in, Australian Model Railway Magazine/ blogspot Dec 13 about utilising flat pack self assemble storage.  A eureka moment! Therefore, after a little of bit of show and tell later with the bride, the seed had been planted for a study refit.
  A work in progress.
(note the hi vis and the beer, it's all safety first!)

The blank canvas.........
more to come.

Stay tuned, from under some wires?
Regards Glenn.