New board on chaski.org devoted to Miniature Railway Signaling?

This forum is dedicated to Riding Scale Railroading with propulsion using other than steam (Hydraulics, diesel engines, gas engines, electric motors, hybrid etc.)

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Atkinson_Railroad
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New board on chaski.org devoted to Miniature Railway Signaling?

Post by Atkinson_Railroad » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:39 am

Has the “outdoor” Miniature Railroading Hobby matured enough to include a board devoted to Railway Signaling on chaski.org?

The subject matter is intrinsic with the era of steam; electric, diesel and most of all, the young and electronically inquisitive.

To date, there is no venue on the Internet devoted to the many challenges confronted by the outdoor railroading avocation related to “signaling”.

Is there any [remote] interest on the subject matter that could merit a new board here at chaski devoted to the topic?

John D. Atkinson

https://youtu.be/UI-mqoX-SDk

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ccvstmr
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Re: New board on chaski.org devoted to Miniature Railway Signaling?

Post by ccvstmr » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:59 pm

Hello John...don't think the moderators would have a problem with a new "tab" on the bulletin board. Where there is a problem is getting someone to "moderate" that board. I made a suggestion earlier this year about starting another bulletin board tab for 3-D printing. Certainly there's enough "talk" about that. But again, the moderators appear to be overloaded and they're looking for some relief.

Personally, I liked your semaphore signal. Like many things...those that find the subject interesting will follow and maybe contribute. Others will just steer clear. And as I pointed out...a signal system is ONLY as good as the people using it. Bottom line though...a signal system must operate FAIL-SAFE. If there's a problem, the signal needs to display the most restrictive aspect it can. Trade-offs are not (usually) acceptable.

Don't want to sound like I'm busting your balloon. Just sharing my experience when I inquired about a new subject tab. Carl Baskin
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
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Re: New board on chaski.org devoted to Miniature Railway Signaling?

Post by Harold_V » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:10 pm

Yep!
What Carl said. If a guy would like a new sub-forum created, one way to encourage the change is to volunteer to moderate. If you take note, there's only a couple guys who do much in that regard, and Marty is always looking for new blood. Those who offer tend to drop out after a while, so there's never enough eyes keeping watch. Fortunately, this board is known for politeness, and is frequented by folks who have a keen interest in keeping the peace, so there's not really much for a moderator to do, for which I'm thankful. We have the best readers on the internet on this board, something I know all too well after having frequented the likes of RCM, as well as having moderated other venues.

If there's enough interest shown in ANY new sub-forum, Marty will consider the addition. He is the board administrator, and makes the final decisions.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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Re: New board on chaski.org devoted to Miniature Railway Signaling?

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:04 pm

While I don't doubt that there's plenty of interest in ABS for large scale railroads, I'm inclined to believe it will be more in the the visual aspects (no pun intended) than the technical ones. I can't say with any certainty how many Chaski frequenters are conversant with signaling technology, I'd bet not many would have the experience of making ABS work on a 7-1/2 gauge railroad. The moderator, methinks, would have to be someone with the requisite expertise in signaling technology.
Science makes it known. Engineering makes it work.

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Re: New board on chaski.org devoted to Miniature Railway Signaling?

Post by Harold_V » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:55 am

BigDumbDinosaur wrote: The moderator, methinks, would have to be someone with the requisite expertise in signaling technology.
While having technical knowledge and experience is an asset, Marty is more concerned with proper operation of the board, so he does not demand either of those qualities. Readers, it is assumed, would provide the expertise, and it appears that we have such individuals on this board.

Marty's concern is that moderators watch for spamming, for improper behavior, bad language, and so on. Anyone who is a regular reader and is concerned with the welfare of the board qualifies. Those who don't show up are of little value to us.

Some may not understand, but this board does not permit foul language, religious discussions, or political discussions. I can think of precious little that can create acrimony like them, so we simply don't allow them. No flaming, either! :wink:

H
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Atkinson_Railroad
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Re: New board on chaski.org devoted to Miniature Railway Signaling?

Post by Atkinson_Railroad » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:31 pm

Thank you for sharing all of your replies so far. Knowing the board can become dormant at times, it’s possible
more may chime in at a later point if the topic has further interest in discussion.

There’s no balloon here to be busted. I don’t believe I’m naïve to the realities of the hobby activity, for I’ve been around it for a long time.
It’s been a while since I’ve tallied up the quantity of outdoor railroads, and understand the number is subject to vast error for outdoor railroads
do come and go.
Over 450 miniature railroads are listed at Jim O’Connor’s web site. Other sites may have a comparable roster.
Obviously, some of the roads highlighted are defunct, and others currently under construction are not listed.
The 450 number does however provide a reminder about the fringe-like hidebound activity for what outdoor railroading represents.
It is a “single metal chip” in relation to the many other recreational activities one can participate in like boating, dart throwing or
restoring old cars to give some weak examples.

I can comprehend the overload factor moderators have. Another board tab does present an additional chore of monitoring.
I’ve long been impressed Harold has made it as far as he has here. He and others have a thankless, unpaid chore of keeping the peace,
and making sure topics are fallen in line.
There’s no praise in being a moderator, and occasionally we all need to thank them for their continued spirit.

The traffic volume of a tab devoted to signaling would likely be sporadic and “sleepy” at times. Perhaps similar to the Antique Stationary Engine board. At this writing, there has been no post there since January 28, 2017.
All Things CAD and CAM has been a slow moving tab as well. It may demonstrate, “one’s best idea was our last idea”, and that idea didn’t work out… so let’s try this instead. It’s entirely possible a signaling tab would often be dark. I'll grant that.

The subject of signaling does strike me as mechanical, electrical, electronic, antique, and state-of-the-art.
It draws upon multiple knowledge disciplines as mentioned earlier in another thread.
Jimi at Boston Locomotive Works working on his highly detailed style B semaphore castings is looking great. Chuck Hackett’s incredible amount of computer interface work he has achieved with his surface mount technology circuit boards is a long overdue contribution. Dave Sclavi’s signal constructions have not gone unnoticed.
And many others who have occasionally piped up with circuit inquiries or suggestions deserve note as well.

Carl, I understand your emphasis on a signal system having the attribute of being “Fail Safe”.
Reliability Engineering is something that could be discussed and advanced within the hobby.
The thing one has to remember however is the word used at the end of the above sentence.
Outdoor miniature railroading activity for the most part remains a hobby.
Fail-safe mechanism discussions could easily overlap to locomotive and rolling stock construction if one
really wanted to provide equal time emphasis devoted to redundancy/reliability engineering. I hear ‘Ya Carl. I do.
Thank you for your compliment on the semaphore too!

In replying to BigDumbDinosaur's APB comments, I'll post a jpeg that may help in reflecting additional thinking on the subject.

The recent signal chatter related to relays, signal suppliers, wig-wags, and semaphores prompted the new board idea forth.

Any additional thoughts yea or nay will not bust a balloon here.

John
Attachments
DSC078B.JPG

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Atkinson_Railroad
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Re: New board on chaski.org devoted to Miniature Railway Signaling?

Post by Atkinson_Railroad » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:44 pm

Push, nudge, push a little more ; )

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: New board on chaski.org devoted to Miniature Railway Signaling?

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:06 am

Atkinson_Railroad wrote:Push, nudge, push a little more ; )
Doesn't look like there's enough interest in setting up a new subforum for this.
Science makes it known. Engineering makes it work.

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Atkinson_Railroad
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Re: New board on chaski.org devoted to Miniature Railway Signaling?

Post by Atkinson_Railroad » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:13 am

I'll note that. Thank You.

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Re: New board on chaski.org devoted to Miniature Railway Signaling?

Post by Harold_V » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:48 am

The harsh reality is that the topic will eventually be placed on the back burner. Right or wrong, that's how it goes once the issue has been well discussed. However, that's not really a problem, for if those who contribute are wise in the definition of the subject matter, a quick search by readers will result in easily found posts, even threads, concerning the topic.

We have a volunteer to moderate, and I'll always look over any new additions. I read every post, every day, as that's what I pledged to do, and I am rarely away. Still, adding another sub forum that is likely to languish unused for the majority of time simply makes no sense. We already have fora that should probably be eliminated. The simpler we can keep the board, the more likely it is to be used.

Interestingly, back in 2002, when I accepted the offer to moderate, the board changed software. Prior to the use of the phpBB software, there were no sub-fora. All topics were discussed (that were acceptable) in line---so it was difficult to find anything pertaining to a given subject. The change, which then provided sub-fora, resulted in a large number of readers abandoning the board, as they didn't like the format. Needless to say, none operate much differently now, but it's still wise to keep things as simple as we can.

If, by chance, this topic grows, continues to draw attention, and warrants a new forum, I'll propose the idea to Marty. It's not beyond possibility, but we'd prefer it be added only if it will get used. We all have plenty to occupy our time, so any changes that might be made are, hopefully, really of benefit, not just something new that won't be used.

Mean time, continue to post your comments, instructions, opinions and advice.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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Re: New board on chaski.org devoted to Miniature Railway Signaling?

Post by ChuckHackett-844 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:05 am

I noted in the Page Image you posted:
Atkinson_Railroad wrote:{in the image} "More recent developments include Global Positioning Satellites and the use of computers in locomotive cabs."
One of the projects my company worked on was the Advanced Train Control System (ATCS) project at Union Pacific. My part was the network management system that controlled the 900MHz data radios and managed (data) communications with the locomotives throughout the UP system.

One time I received a request from UP that I implement an alarm if I could hear health data reporting from the locomotive but no "heartbeat" from the conductor's terminal (a hardened laptop mounted in the cab). When I asked them why, they said that they suspected that the conductors were aggravated that the terminal (work order system) kept them busier now and kept them on the locomotive (they could no longer hang out in the trackside shack doing paperwork and drinking coffee) and the laptops were mysteriously "going missing".

After several alarm investigations it was discovered that conductors were throwing them out the window at a particular trestle. The practice was brought to an end ...
Regards,

Chuck Hackett, UP Northern 844, Mich-Cal Shay #2
"By the work, One knows the workman"

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Re: New board on chaski.org devoted to Miniature Railway Signaling?

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:20 am

ChuckHackett-844 wrote:After several alarm investigations it was discovered that conductors were throwing them out the window at a particular trestle. The practice was brought to an end ...
The computer age equivalent of a brick on the deadman's pedal. American railroads: 175 years of tradition untouched by progress. —Carl Baskin
Science makes it known. Engineering makes it work.

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