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Bob Truax’s Great Northern - Old Goat Division

The GN Old Goat Division is a full-basement HO layout based upon the GN mainline and branchline operation during the 1940s and 50s with breathtaking scenery and exquisite detail throughout. Bob’s unrelenting attention to detail all carries over to the C/MRI installation which is a piece of art. The interface wiring is extremely neat with everything in its proper place.

Bob started out using the C/MRI for signaling as well as for Computer Cab Control (CCC). He wanted exquisite prototypical sound in all his custom painted GN steam engines and at the time the only real choice was PFM sound units.

With the coming of Soundtrax DCC decoders Bob switch train control over to DCC, giving his CRC cards to a local club, and expanded his C/MRI for more prototypical signaling including the control of numerous grade crossing protection devices.

The photo showing Bob’s interface illustrates how neat and organized one can make a large C/MRI installation. He chooses to make notched cubby-holes for plugging in all the cards. This older photo shows the numerous Cab Relay Cards in the center with the top of the I/O cards shown below. The Optimized Detectors, plugged into their slots, are shown to the right. His current setup has dropped the CRC cards, added more I/O cards and changed from the ODs to the DCCODs.

Walter Griffin, a frequent contributor to the C/MRI User’s Group, is the brains behind Bob’s C/MRI setup that uses a single IBEC parallel node programmed in Visual Basic. Walter’s programming includes a very detailed CTC track diagram display on the computer’s monitor with dispatching inputs accomplished via the keyboard. If you would like more information on Walter’s approach you can frequently find him on the C/MRI User’s Group.


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