Train Shows
How N-Land Pacific Is Invited To Shows/Events

The N-Land Pacific (NLP) attends show/events in the local Southern and Eastern L.A./Orange/Riverside/San Bernardino counties. Show coordinators/promoters will contact the group to request our participation in a show/event. Web sites for known show are viewed on a regular basis for upcoming show/events. When notified of an event, that date is discussed among the members to obtain a consensus for participation. If an agreement to participate is reached, acceptance notification is sent to the coordinator/promoter or application is made for the show/event. In that application, requested space, number of tables and power is identified. When acceptance is received and the amount of floor space is approved, that number is given to the Layout Designer. The subject of layout designing is addressed in another document.

Move-In/Setup Day

On the morning of move-in/setup, we meet at the workshop to load modules and support items then head to the event venue. Support items include, but not limited to:

  • Tools,
  • Additional tables,
  • Chairs,
  • Floor mats, and
  • Signage
  • On the first day of the event/show, a breakfast meeting is held near the venue location, prior to entry into the venue. At that time, last minute items and/or concerns are discussed and the move-in/setup process is reviewed.

    DCC Setup and District In A Box (DIAB) Procedure

    The NLP layout is divided into five power districts. We utilize one Digitrax DCS240 Command Station, five DIABs and one DCS100 as a dedicated programming station.

    Configure DCS240 COMMAND STATION for Show

    1. Set to “OP” position
    2. Connect DT402 (or DT100) to either Jack A or Jack B
    3. Press SWCH key to enter "Sw" mode
    4. Close OpSw#39 by pressing the Cloc/c key
    5. Set MODE switch to “SLEEP”
    6. Set MODE switch to “RUN”
    7. Leave DT402 (or DT100) connected
    8. Set to “OP” position
    9. Press SWCH  key to enter "Sw" mode
    10. Close OpSw#5 to ensure Command Station master mode
    11. Close OpSw#15 to force purged locos to speed "00"
    12. Close OpSw#20 to disable address 00
    13. Close  OpSw#25 to disable aliasing
    14. Close OpSw#44  to expand slot area to 120 locos
    15. Set MODE switch to “SLEEP”

    Configure Boosters for Show

    1. Ensure ALL boosters are set to "SLEEP"
    2. Set to “OP” position
    3. Connect DT402 (or DT100) to either Jack A or Jack B
    4. Press SWCH key to enter "Sw" mode
    5. Close OpSw#39 by pressing the Cloc/c key
    6. Set MODE switch to “SLEEP”
    7. Set MODE switch to “RUN”
    8. Set to “OP” position
    9. Leave DT402 (or DT100) connected
    10. Press SWCH key to enter "Sw" mode
    11. Close OpSw#2 to disable Command Stations function on all DCS100s
    12. Throw OpSw#3 to disable auto reversing on all DCS100s used as boosters
    13. Close OpSw#18 – to extend short circuit time to ½ second
    14. Set MODE switch to “RUN”, then to "SLEEP"
    15. Remove DT402 (or DT100)
    16. Connect LocoNet cable from booster to LocoNet Junction Strip
    Repeat steps 2 - 16 for Old Yard, East Mission Yard and East District Boosters

    Connecting District in a Box (DIAB) for Show

    After testing the district assigned to the DB150 in command mode to insure the district is functioning properly, follow the following steps to place the DB150 into booster mode and connect to the central command station:

    1. Remove power from the DIAB.
    2. Connect the DB150’s CONFIG A and GROUND terminals.
    3. Set the DB150’s MODE switch to RUN.
    4. Be sure the DB150’s SCALE switch is set to N.
    5. Power on the DIAB.  The DB150 will automatically convert to booster only operations.
    6. Test the phase at the district boundaries with a LED tester.
    7. Connect the LOCNET and GROUND cable from the DIAB to the Command Station.
    8. Test to confirm that trains will pass between districts without shorting.
    9. The DIAB is ready for use.

    Repeat steps 2 - 16 for East Mission Yard, Old Yard, and then for East District Boosters

    DCC System Activation Procedure

    1. Ensure all MODE switches to "RUN"
    2. Plug a throttle into the LocoNet and press the red "PWR" button followed by the  "Y /+" button. Track power should now be on, and ready for running

    DCC System De-Activation Procedure

    1. Toggle all DIABs to "SLEEP"
    2. Toggle Command Station to "SLEEP"
    3. Turn off Master Power Strip

    Activation Procedure At Start of Day

    1. Turn on Master Power Strip
    2. It is strongly suggested the "Configuring Command Station" steps 1-18 are executed to ensure a clean command station prior to a run session.
    3. Move toggle switch on Command Station to "RUN"
    4. Toggle DIABs to "RUN"
    5.  Plug a throttle into the LocoNet and press the red "PWR" button followed by the  "Y /+" button Track Power should now be on, and ready for running.
    Module Setup

    Once the modules are unloaded, a survey of floor space is made to determine where to place the keystone-corner module. The layout design is consulted and setup begins with connecting the appropriate modules to the keystone module. While the modules are being physically positioned and connected, the DCC Gang is connecting the power buss and LocoNet cables and testing for LocoNet continuity. In conjunction with final rail alignment by the Track Foreman, power districts are tested for proper phasing. After proper phasing is achieved, a test engine with track cleaning cars makes an initial run on the mainline and a final test of module connections. During this test run, special attention is paid to all module joints to ensure a smooth transition from module to module and no derailments. "Track and Time" is released by the DCC Foreman, signifying module setup is complete and the layout is opened for train operations. At some point during this process, the NLP's show coordinator checks in with the event coordinator. If group credentials were not previously received, badges and parking instructions are received and distributed to members.

    In conjunction with module setup, NLP signage is placed and skirting affixed to the public side of all modules. Tables are placed in the space between the two end loops to provide crowd control and limit access into the inner area. On these tables are placed business cards, group flyers and past awards received by NLP. The area behind these tables is termed as "the inner sanctum", an area closed to the general public to ensure a secure, work and rest area for the group.
    End of Day Activity

    After notification the show is closed to the public, the entire NLP area is powered down and each member removes their valuables which are not to be left overnight.

    Show Activities

    Show day begins when the venue doors are opened for exhibitors. Members bring their personal items, such as additional tools, supplies, their power units/rolling stock and other items and place them in the inner sanctum. The DCC system power-up sequence is accomplished and trains are built in the old yard then moved to the East Mission Yard.

    Engineers are encouraged to check their trains for gremlins, prior to the show opening. The Track Foreman checks rail alignment to ensure smooth module-to-module transition.

    Each engineer's responsibility is to be mindful regarding overly saturating the west or east district. Balance of power draw between west/east districts is essential.

    It is strongly advisable for engineers to "walk" their train around the layout as this provides an extra level of train security. During a trip, always check for approaching rail traffic, or "train ahead" situation. If a possible meet is detected, stop until a workable solution can be achieved. A primary solution would be one train to enter a passing siding. Do not park your train on the inner loops or sidings for extended periods, return it to the yard.

    If a visitor engages you in conversation or a QA session, get off the main. DO NOT FOUL THE MAIN FOR ANY REASON. In the case where a visitor asks a question and you are unsure of the answer, please defer to another member for a proper answer. If uncomfortable in fielding questions regarding prospective group membership, refer them refer to the handout table and or website.

    Upon entering or leaving a diverging route, it is the engineer's responsibility to align switches to the main. This includes entering and leaving the wye, the loops and all sidings.

    When you park your train in the yard, stored on a stub track or otherwise not active, return the speed to zero and dispatch or release the address from your throttle.

    It is encouraged to take breaks during the day. Walk around and see the show, get food or just take a mental break from show activities. When leaving the area, let remaining members know of the absence.

    At the close of the day, each member is advised  to remove locos and rolling stock from the layout. The DCC is powered off and throttles are unplugged.

    Sunday morning, again the track crew checks and re-aligns the module rail transitions. The DCC system is powered up and the layout is open for running. Periodically during each day of the show, a track cleaning train makes several trips for MOW purposes..
    Tear-Down Activities

    The DCC system is disconnected from the layout and a system reset is performed on all DCS100s to remove MU consists, special settings and refresh the command stations. Items that do not travel with the module are to be removed and stored away. All LocoNet cables are disconnected, removed and placed in the box used solely for LocoNet cable storage. All power buss connectors are disconnected and c-clamps or attaching bolts removed. The modules are then pulled apart and legs removed or retracted. If allowed, vehicles are then brought into the hall and respective modules are loaded in owner's vehicles. Everyone is responsible for the removal of personal items, tools and rolling stock. This entire process is a team effort, just as the setup process.