ad to go out to the club and wait for the alarm guy so I decided, since I haven’t run since thousands of people required my assistance for every little thing, I’d run a switching session on the Tuscarora. And to make it fun, I’d run the full tower (using signals) too!
The main thing was to see how my SW-7 would work. Right before the NMRA convention the chip croaked (three weeks out of warranty). I originally had a Paragon 3 sound decoder installed (it’s what it came with). New ones are shipping with 4s – Craig LeVasseur noted that the chip was different, so the thought was that I might have gotten 4. It was rumored to have a keep-alive capacitor in it. So imagine my delight when I set up the layout, gave it a quick clean and then ran the diesel around several laps without a single hesitation (my original engine/chip with occasionally cough a furball before continuing). No, with the new chip, the engine ran smooth as silk. I eventually ran the entire session without a single hiccup. It was nothing short of amazing. Just as big an advance was sound was will be this keep-alive technology. It was a pure joy to run.
So yes, the crew on the ground ran through the switching moves, using horn signals and blowing at the crossing. And in the tower, we were setting signals and aligning turnouts. I did goof a move (the local forgot to pick up a car and spot it for the through freight so a special order had to be passed up to get them to pull the car out of the siding and put it in their train). But overall it was a fun session.
Fifteen minutes after I completed, the alarm guy showed and quickly ungraded our system. Overall, it was a pretty good day in the coal fields.
Oh, and I really like that new building face with the darker brown.