2019 Spring NRV Show Report
May 4-5, 2019, Scott Building, North Carolina State Fairgrounds
This was the second year that NRV has run this show, and by all accounts, it was a busy and successful show. The space we were allotted was very tight due to a dramatic increase in vendors at the show, but after some changes to alignment and a bit of adjustment, we fitted in all 11 tables with sufficient aisle space. In addition we had a sale table and the Junior Engineer layout set up nearby.
Friday set-up enabled the club to emplace the spine and one leg of the layout as well as assembling the Apex complex, connect the DCC wiring and much of the accessory bus wiring. Saturday morning set-up ran into a snag when a critical module was forgotten at home, and John Wallis volunteered to retrieve a spare from his home, but while John was in the process, Joe Peacock indicated that he had brought a spare module that would solve the problem and with that module in place, set-up was completed by 8:30 am and the track was cleaned and operational by show start. Many thanks to Joe for getting us out of a bit of a bind.
The layout was attractive and interesting and ran quite well for virtually the entire weekend with only minor tweaks and adjustments during the show. There were many trains and operators on the layout with very few operator incidents and no major wrecks that I am aware of.
One incident of a quite serious nature happened on Sunday morning and will require some additional discussion and possibly some technical and procedural changes for the future. A Kato triple connector and the associated wiring on the accessory bus appeared to start smoldering due to a short creating some smoke and a couple of burned fingers as the situation was handled quickly without any further damage. This connector was attached to a module that had recently had some additional operating accessories added to it. Upon examination of the connector and module wiring, it appears that a loose wire or improper wiring of the accessories in that module caused a short which caused the Kato connector to begin smoldering. John Wallis is looking further into the issue and I’m sure will have more to say about it in the near future, but the in the meantime, it is recommended that that member’s modules not be included in future layouts until the wiring issues are addressed.
The take-down seemed to go smoothly and Charles Eisner’s trailer was loaded with the appropriate equipment for the Spencer show on May 18-19.
Conclusions and Recommendation
We filled 11 tables with sceneried modules which ran very smoothly and the layout was a highlight of the show. It is a credit to the Club that we were able to make this happen so well for this show and that we kept trains running all weekend with very few problems or incidents.
The forgotten module is an issue that could have been a problem but for one member having additional modules along and another member volunteering to retrieve an additional module from his home. It is recommended that in the future additional spare modules are always carried to show sites to cover for situations like this or where there is a module problem or major failure.
It was requested in the show announcements and update by the superintendent that any modules with changes to track, wiring and powered accessories be presented to either of the show Superintendents or the T-Track Standards Coordinator for inspection and approval before being included in the layout. This was not done by at least two members, and one of these modules could have caused a serious situation. In retrospect, I knew about these changes and in the heat of battle during set-up, I let this slip as well. It is my opinion that given the size, complexity and number of modules that our T-Trak layouts feature, that a more formal inspection and approval process for T-Trak modules is something that the Club needs to address immediately.
Fuse protection of the accessories on individual modules has been discussed before but not formally required by the Club, but after this incident at the show, my recommendation is that the Club should formally specify the type, size and location of fuses for all modules with powered accessories connecting to the accessory bus and make that part of the inspection and approval process.
Gerry Foster reported sales of $351 from the sales table and donation car, with only $5 of that coming from the donation car. Some thought might want to be given as to changes to the donation box program so as to make it more effective. 82 Junior Engineer certificates were handed out at the show. A total of 22 members assisted with the set-up and take down or came to the show to run trains.
My thanks to John Wallis for the excellent DCC and electrical set-up for the show; to Charles Eisener for providing transportation for tables, Apex and other equipment from the shed; to Gerry Foster for his stalwart management of the sale table and the Junior Engineer layout; and to all the club members who provided modules, assisted in the set-up and take down, and who ran trains that allowed us to put on a great show for the folks.
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