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newbie..indoor use of LOR for model railroad


don731
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Hello everyone,

I am a definite newbie in the process of researching the various holiday light systems. While I love what is possible for your outdoor holiday displays, I am looking to automate some of the functions on my large Lionel O scale toy train layout. My layout is a Disney-type theme park motif, with many Dept. 56 buildings, Mr. Christmas carnival rides, monorails, and Lionel trains.

I am looking for this holiday season to add a fiber optic fireworks and dancing fountain extravaganza, all set to music, just like the Magic Kingdom or Epcot. I've done a little work on this so far, but would be interested in hearing from other LOR users on how they have used the system for their indoor displays. Specific questions include:

1. How does LOR run on a Mac using Windows XP in a dual boot config using VMware fusion?

2. How fast is the response time of the system? If I tell a channel to activate, say, a fiber optic fireworks unit, how fast will it turn on and off?

3. Is there any special requirements for the music file? Will a generic mp3 file work best, or is another file format better?

4. I'm thinking that a 16 channel unit would be enough for my needs. I would use a few channels for dimming the building lights and turning the rides on/off, with most channels operating the show. Water fountain action would be controlled either with the pumps directly, or down the line perhaps servo controlled valves.

Eventually I hope to do a seasonal overlay on the layout with shows themed to not just Christmas, but also Halloween, Easter/Spring, and 4th of July/Summer. We currently host a large neighborhood holiday party in early December, where my layout has it yearly "debut" with our guests excitedly anticipating each year's improvements to the layout.

Cheers,
Don in Chicagoland

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Don,

Anything using a transformer may present problems, you may want to consider the DC board for these items. The regular AC LOR board could be used for regular AC such as C7 lights, etc. Sorry, I can't advise on the MAC questions.

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Thanks, Denny.

Anything powered by a wall wart transformer would be commanded on/off only, with no dimming or other effects. Would this still be an issue?

Cheers,

Don in Chicagoland

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Thanks, Denny.

Anything powered by a wall wart transformer would be commanded on/off only, with no dimming or other effects. Would this still be an issue?

Cheers,

Don in Chicagoland

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Paul B. Anderson

don731 wrote:

Thanks, Denny.

Anything powered by a wall wart transformer would be commanded on/off only, with no dimming or other effects. Would this still be an issue?

Cheers,

Don in Chicagoland


I am using 2 flame pots - they simulate a flickering flame using a fan blowing some fabric around and a pair of orange lamps - they have wall warts and works great. As long as you toggle that channel on to 100% they should be fine.

I would like to see a pic, or video of your current RR layout. I think it would be awsome to add a Disney light show to your set up. I am very interested to see what you come up with. - Paul
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Hi Paul,

I've included two pics of my 2006 version. We had significant flooding in our part of Chicagoland in August of 2007, and we rehabbed our rec room from top to bottom. The layout survived, but some elements were not operational for the 2007 holiday season. With the rehab, I have more space and the whole thing is now on a rollable platform.

Cheers,
Don in Chicagoland


Attached files 153738=8897-layout1.jpg

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Paul,

Second pic.


Attached files 153739=8898-layout2.jpg

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One reminder for anyone using on/off loads like the wall warts. Be sure the controller you are using does not have a minimum or maximum brightness configured on the controller... Those are settings that can be set through the hardware utility to try and extend bulb life, by keeping the filament warm even when off, and not taking the bulbs to full power. But either of these settings could impact some kinds of on/off only loads.

- Kevin

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Your train display is absolutely beautiful!:shock: I've never seen anything quite like it before. Great Job!!

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Thanks for the compliment! In the spirit of Walt Disney, I try to "plus" it every year.

In addition to the fireworks/music/fountain show, I also plan on doing a "Main Street Electrical Parade" show using Dept. 56 Brite Lites lighted figures (this line was discontinued several years ago) mounted on a special train. I have a CD of the MSEP Christmas music from Disneyland Paris that works for this plan.

Cheers,

Don in Chicagoland

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Paul B. Anderson

That is an awsome layout Don, great job!! I too am a Disney theme park fan; makes me want to shrink myself down to scale and hit the rides!! - Paul

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  • 1 month later...

To answer your first question, I've used my MacBook running LOR with another virtualization program (Parallels) with Windows XP installed without any problems. Booting directly into XP obviously worked as well.

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