here comes that moment in a session where things go wrong. Anyone who has been to a session has been there. Every host has too.
Usually its at the beginning – when everything turns on and the booster chirps, the clock won’t run, a bank of turnouts won’t throw, everything stops. Something’s gone wrong. And everyone gets really quiet and helpful until it’s fixed.
Happened today at the TY&E – engines started shorting a booster for no particular reason. The boys all stopped their jokings and everyone got really helpful. Bill and I watched the trip lights to see if they were kicking on. Frank tried dialing up other locomotives. Bruce just got really quiet in the corner. Everything was dramatic tension.
But eventually the line came back up (we’re not sure what was going wrong – the booster seemed to have tripped funny coming up and gave us all sorts of crazy logical faults). None of it made sense. Anyway, once we shut everything down, really down, cold down, the railroad came up and everything was fine. The crew ran the full session without a single booster chirp.
That’s something I don’t like about DCC – you’ve just added an incomprehensible layer to what was originally powerpack->wiring->track. Back then, we could figure any problem out. With the reliance on DCC, suddenly we’re back to trying this and that, all while under the pressure of providing a session. In a way, it reminds me of Star Wars V.
[trying to fix the hyperdrive]
Han Solo: Horizontal boosters. Alluvial dampers? Ow! That’s not it, bring me the Hydrospanner. I don’t know how we’re going to get out of this one.
[the ship is hit, causing the tool box to fall on Han]
Han Solo: OW! Chewie!
But the TY&E ran like clockwork after that. Everything was fine, the trains ran on time, and the snacks were very, very good. I’m sure JW cleaned out the rest of the beer from the cooler… after we left.
It might not have felt this way to him, but Great Session, JW!