So, the most commonly asked question about the TRAINCAM is WHY!  Why do I spend so much time on a toy train.

The answer is actually pretty simple in concept but it takes a little while to explain.

About 25 years ago when I was working at PBS, I became totally fascinated with the concept that you could pre-wire something, home run all the connections, put a computer at the junction and then program it to do just about anything.  For some reason this meant everything to me.  It probably means nothing to you but if you read on, it might trigger something in you that will help you understand why I do this kind of thing.

Its all about Greg's Rule #7:  http://gregssandbox.com/grules/therules.htm
 
 

7.  Learn skills and techniques to be able to organize your work and do mundane tasks quickly and mindlessly, the sooner you finish such a task the better off you are. If the job is going to last a long time no matter, you can have your mind on other more interesting topics while getting the job done. Besides, mindless tasks are usually done more accurately. 

Now, lets see if I can explain this in fewer than 500 words.....

I am sure that if I was a kid today, someone at school would have me on drugs.  I could never sit still and still cannot.  I have met people that I really believe have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) so I guess I really don't have it the way I see others have it, but I do believe I have it so some extent.

Why do I even bring this up?

Well, I can't stand to waste my time.  Many people think that my projects are a waste of time, but I really don't care what many people think.  I guess it all revolves around what you define as a waste of time.

Greg's Time Management Guildlines:

  1. I think you are wasting your time if you are doing something that should take 10 minutes and you are taking 30.
  2. I think you are wasting your time if you are doing something now, that can be done later.
  3. I think you are wasting your time if you are doing something now because you have the time even if you were to do it later, when you don't have the time, and it would take less time. ( figure this one out)
  4. I think it is a waste of time if you take an hour to drive to a job that is going to take you 10 minutes to do.
  5. I think it is a waste of time if you are trying to do something that takes you almost any amount of time, when you can have someone else do it.
  6. I think it is a waste of time if you are doing a mundane task and it takes any amount of "mental" time.  (This is another way to think of Greg;s Rule #7)
  7. I think it is a waste of time when you have two people to do a job that can be done by one person.  (Greg's Rule #13: A "two man job" is a job that takes two people to do. If one person can do the job, IT IS NOT A TWO MAN JOB!)


So, what does this have to do with model railroad?

I have built, designed and installed many things in my life.

  1. I have installed almost 30 DSL circuits.
  2. I participated in the construction of a major television network
  3. I designed and built a major motion picture visual effects facility.
  4. I built a cabin in the woods.
  5. I built a mini-bike in 8th grade metal shop.
  6. I built a recording studio in my basement.
  7. I designed my own 24-frame video system that was used on 100's of major motion pictures and is still in use today.
  8. I can build a computer from scratch, actually hand wire boards.
  9. I co-designed and built a computer controlled motion picture printing system
  10. I rebuilt my first automobile engine when I was 17 years old and drove the vehicle across the country.
  11. I drilled a water well in my back yard using a post hole digger.
  12. I co-designed and built an automation system to operate multiple 2" Quad VTRs.
Its no wonder that I built The TrainYard.

Its a fun project that I can work on whenever I have time.  EBAY is a great place to look for Lionel stuff and I can do that wherever I am, anywhere in the world.