Welcome to Building the SRO RR Blog

by Aug 6, 20210 comments

Hey.  So welcome to the first post on Building the SRO.   Glad you’re here.

So what is the SRO?

The name SRO comes from a multi-scale model railroad forum I hosted many years ago.  The history there was kind of odd.  I had belonged to another forum and after some time I was asked to help with the forum by the owner.   Well, eventually the owner took a long break, and the site got hacked into oblivion.  I was asked by the members if there was anything to be done.  Not having full admin ability on the site the only option was to rescue the member and content database and create a temporary site.  Hence MyNScale.com.   Eventually, the owner came back and pitched a fit.   Lawyers got involved and I agreed to shift the name and go to multi-scale.  And that’s where Scale Rails Online came from.

SRO was around for several years before most of the N Scalers (the vast majority of the members) forgave the owner of the original site and migrated back.   I also made one major mistake in content management and the site died.

It’s interesting to note that the original site has since been totally abandoned with no hope of additional rescue.

So much for the name.

The SRO is an Alaska-themed fantasy layout in N Scale.  It will, finally, reside in my sunroom.

The sunroom faces west north west on the house and is shaded by a pergola over the patio and the sun is blocked by a hill on the property.

Overall the size is 10′ x 20′ and I’ll use 10′ x 13′, leaving room for seating.

I’ve starting the blog after long thought and actually have some bench work down and a platform.   


Once the track plan is finalized and drawn on the platform, I’ll cut in the “cookie-cutter” and set the elevations.

The main aisle is 24″ wide and the other is 22″.  It’s tight, but a couple of people will be able to move around ok.  And there’s room for furniture to the left.

Finally, what’s unique.

Well, honestly at this point being unique is tough, but we’re going to work hard at animations, lights, automation and such.

As a long time programmer and proud nerd, you can be sure we’ll drive with DCC, and probably JMRI.  That last isn’t cast in stone yet, but it’s got a great price and I’m familar with it.

We’ll also make lots of use of the Arduino Microcontroller.  I’ve already done a fair amount with building and street lighting.  Running with lights that sequence through a day/night cycle, flicker as if they are damaged., etc.

But the Arduino will play a much bigger role.  Already planned are switch machines with integrated frog juicing, signals, and whatever else.

One more item we’ll put in will be Hue Based LED lighting in the room.  I already have a program to drive hue lights and the effect is incredible on lighted layouts.

In closing this out, all I can say is it’s going to be an interesting slow build, but we’ll learn a lot as we travel the road together.

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