There has been a long time and a long summer without any postings on the blog, but there have been some development on the layout, both when installing some turnouts with motors, and a lot of time have been used on the JMRI-software, to be familiar with the software and decide if I want to use it to control the layout.
The basement structure for the skyline city behind the High Line and above the hidden station are put in place. The trackbase for the High Line are also installed and soon the track can be finished on the High Line. I still need to construct the structure for the High Line, and I need to select how to build it; using brass, laser cut material, styren, molded structures or printed paper structures.
JMRI-software to control the layout
I really love the JMRI-software and have used DecoderPro before to run trains on the layout with my NCE Power Cab DCC-system connected to the computer with the USB-interface. Now I have also started to use PanelPro, to create panels to show the tracklayout. The software is good to use even if you only want to have a nice image of the layout, but I have decided to use it also to control the turnouts on the layout. Then I do not need to build any physical switchboard, but instead I can use a virtual switchboard on the computer. Easier and cheaper. But, I then need to buy many stationary DCC-decoders, but the price is not very much higher compared to buy all the switches and lights needed on a traditional panel. And I also think it is much more fun to use the computer. I have done some testing with the Digitrax DS52 that works good. And the price on this was better than other versions from Digitrax. NCE also have 2 pieces I will use, Switch 8 and AIU01.
I will also later build a USS-style CTC-panel. All the tools to do that can be found in the JMRI-software.
There are some nice examples on the JMRI-pages, like the Quaker Valley Railroad CTC-panel, that I want to learn from and implement virtual USS-style CTC-panels on my own layout in the future.
I have created a simple panel showing the layout and all turnouts. For the moment this can be used to operate all turnouts as soon the DCC-decoders are installed.