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September 2010 Meet Report and Contest Recap

Sept 2010 Meet Report

We had many beautiful models displayed again for all of us to enjoy.  We had our usual model contests, photo contest, and fun was had by all.  Thank you to *all* the participants who entered and put on such a good show for the rest of us;  we hope you enjoyed our deep admiration and appreciation for your sharing your beautiful work with us.

Click on the links below to see the:
Model Contest
Show and Tell  
Switching Contest
Photo Contest
Volunteers and People

Click here to see the upcoming Coast Division Model Contest and Photo Contest categories for future meets

You can click on any of the thumbnails below, to see a larger photo of the absolutely beautiful models presented at the September 2010 Meet.

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Model Contest

As always, NMRA contests are not about winning, rather, they are about the fun of participating, about sharing your pride and joy in modeling with all of us (your appreciative audience), and having fun self-inspiring and self-challenging yourself.

Our Sept 2010 Model Contest had a really wonderful turnout of great models:  


Congratulations to our winners, and to all of our participants in the Popular Vote Model Contest for September 2010:

Category 1st Place 
2nd Place 3rd Place (tie)
Passenger Car

Great Northern Business Car #22 "Alexander"

by:  Al Kuhn




Pullman "Viking" in O scale

by:  Alf Modine


Peru Camp Car

by: Al Kuhn

Steam Locomotive

Denver & Rio Grande Western 2-6-6-2 #3350

by:  Andrew Merriam

(this is model of one of two ex-N&W Mallets acquired by DRGW in 1947 - these worked until retirement in 1950 or 1952).

Southern Pacific class MT-4   4-8-2   #4353

by:  Mark Schutzer

Denver & Rio Grande Western 4-8-4 #
by:  Andrew Merriam

Diesel Locomotive

Southern Pacific lo-nose GP9  #3725

by:  Andrew Merriam

McCloud River SD38

by:  Mike Raposa

Narrow Gauge Hustler

by:  Steve Wesolowski

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Honorable Mention - Passenger car  by Stanley Keiser:


Honorable Mention - Diesel locomotive by Paul Ingraham:

Thank you to all who participated - we love seeing your wonderful models.
   A view of our Model Contest area for September 2010:

In the end, NMRA contests are not about winning, rather, they are about the fun of participating, about sharing your pride and joy in modeling, and having fun self-inspiring yourself.  We all love to see your pride and joys, and you are all winners for participating. 
Thank You to *all*, you put on a great show and inspired the rest of us.   We hope you enjoyed our admiration of your work.  

So for December 2010, bring an entry and participate!  Bring something to share, and enter for the Fun of it in the Coast Division Model Contest.
Click here to see the upcoming Model Contest categories.  :-)

Model Contest and Show and Tell Chair: John Sing
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Show and Tell  at September 2010 Coast Division Meet

At the September 2010 Meet, we had another excellent Show and Tell display.

Thank you to all who brought a model for us to enjoy! 

Due to the Model Contest Chairman's error (John Sing forgot his camera and needed to borrow Darryl Dennis' camera) - I missed getting shots of the following models as they left before I'd recharged Darryl's batteries:
Thank you Jim, Keith, and Dennis for bringing your models for Show and Tell - they are a real treat to see, and if you send me photos of your models, I'll add them back to this web page.

After I got Darryl's camera back in operation, I was able to take photos Howard Lloyd's beautiful structure scratchbuilding.  


The above building was scratchbuilt in the late 1960s, and was featured in January 1970 Model Railroader.   We are very fortunate to be
inspired by this model, and to see how well it has stood the test of time: 

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Howard is happy to share his techniques:


 We also got to see Howard's latest scratchbuilding work-in-progress.  This is the "Brooklyn Stores" warehouse in Jersey City:


Thx, Howard, for sharing and inspiring us.  

A picture of our Model Contest, Photo Contest, and Show and Tell area:

Thank you again, all, for your participation.   Participating by bringing a model is simply for the fun and joy of it all.    Come on out in December 2010 and share with us, something that you would like us to see - we look forward to it!

Coast Division Model Contest and Show and Tell Chair: John Sing

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We had our Clinics and Model Railroad Roundtable as we do at every Coast Division meet.

1)  RoHS for Model Railroaders

presented by: John Marshall

John told us all about RoHS ( Restriction of Hazardous Substances).  He presented a fun, education clinic on RoHS, explained what it is, discussed the changes in the electronics components and assemblies coming our way  in the hobby field and what the impact of RoHS legislation has been and will be on model railroading, how it will impact our abilities to modify electronics assemblies. 

Often referred to as the "lead-free directive", RoHS applies to many items that we model railroaders use, including paints and pigments, solders, lamps, bulbs and batteries. John summarized the effects, impacts, and benefits of RoHS for all of us model railroaders.

2)   Model Railroad Electronics

by:  Dave Falkenberg and John Plocher

Click here to download a copy of the presentation

Dave and John, two electronics wizards from the Silicon Valley Lines club in San Jose, presented an entertaining and information-filled clinic on the  Arduino Open Source Hardware Microcontroller. Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform, is readily available, flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software.  Wired Magazine wrote a great article about Arduino's open-source approach to providing open source hardware with free software, available for anyone to use, modify, or sell.  Think of of it as similiar idea to open source Linux software.   Arduino is a open-source, very low cost hardware controller for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments, such as controlling various 12v DC model railroad outputs or an inexpensive build-your-own DCC throttle or an unlimited set of other creative applications.  

Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input  from a variety of sensors, and can  affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators, all with easily programable solid state microprocessor control.    Arduino is something that us electronics types should strategically know about!

Dave Falkenburg, immediate past president of the Silicon Valley Lines club in San Jose, gave an overview at the introductory level. 

He and John demonstrated lighting effects,  control system and animation applications.  John Plocher (senior software engineer and also a member of Silicon Valley Lines) demonstrated a you-can-do-it home-built hardware example ( a modern-day dispatcher's panel  with occupancy and signaling). 
  With this open-source, inexpensive electronics technology, the attendees learned how they could be building their own model railroad signaling, animation, and effects controllers using very affordable state-of-the-art open source electronic hardware and software.

Download the presentation above to learn more about Arduino open-source hardware and software that could impact our future daily lives in the same way that Linux has.

  And of course, our ever popular Model Railroad Roundtable, moderated by Jerry Littlefield

Got an idea for a clinic?   Want to see what's coming up?   Contact the Coast Division Clinics chair:    John Marshall

Thanks again to all who participated, and we look forward to seeing you at Model Contest and Show and Tell in upcoming Meets.  Bring something that you would like share - a model(s), display about your current project, a work in progress, it's up to you, as any category is always welcome for Show and Tell.   We love to see what you're up to!

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Results of the September 2010 Switching Contest :  

Unfortunately, we did not have a September 2010 Switching Contest because our Switching Contest Chair, Steve Peters, awoke with a 24 hour 'bug' and missed the meet. Thankfully, Steve has recovered and there's a plan for future Coast meets.  Our Allen Fenton Switching Contest will resume at the December 2010 Meet.

Winners in the Brakeperson category (5 car problem)!

First Place Second Place Third Place


Our winners in the Senior Brakeperson category (6 car problem)!

First Place Second Place Third Place


A special thanks to our Coast Division Switching Contest Chair:  Steve Peters, who keeps the Allen Fenton Timesaver switching puzzle running smoothly and staffs the TimeSaver for us.   Thx, and welcome, Steve!

Thanks to all who participated, it's a blast.    Remember... it's not about winning, it's about you and your switching.  You have to give it a try :-).

What is the Timesaver ?  (click below to find out!)

It is a fun, devilish little switching puzzle devised by the late, great model railroader, John Allen

Click on  these links above to learn more about the Timesaver, about John Allen, or his world famous HO Gorre & Daphetid model railroad, which inspired an entire generation of model railroaders worldwide.   John Allen lived in Monterey, California, and was a long time member of the Coast Division until his passing in 1973.

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Results of the September 2010 Photo Contest :    (Congratulations to all who participated!)

The theme was:  "Diesel Locomotives".

There were many artistic, noteworthy, and creative entries, and every one is worthy of award and mention.   Thank you to all who brought your photo to share, we all love seeing your work.  

Click on any of the thumbnails below to see a larger copy of the Photo Contest Entry.   By Popular Vote, the Photo Contest winners were:

First Place Second Place
Third Place

by Nick Brisco


  "Feather River" 
by Seth Neumann

"Cajon Pass" 
by Stanley Keiser

We really had a superb palette of Photo Contest entries, all of them interesting, artistic, and just excellent.  Click on a thumbnail below to see all of our other beautiful Photo Contest entries: 


Thank you to *all* who participated.  We hope you enjoyed a few minutes of fame and the ongoing admiration, of your fellow NMRA modellers and guests.

Bring a photo to the next Meet's Photo Contest!  Click here to see the upcoming categories.   

Coast Division Photo Contest Chair:  Keith Wandry  

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Upcoming Model Contest categories:

Coast Division Model Contest categories are rotated annually according to the following schedule.

Therefore, the categories for the upcoming Coast Division Model Contest Meets are:


December 2010:      "Favorite Model" (open to any category)

March 2011:            Caboose, Freight Car, Maintenance of Way

June 2011:               Structure, Display/Diorama, Self-Propelled Cars & Traction

September 2011:      Steam Locomotive, Diesel & Other Locomotives, Passenger Car

Results are determined by Popular Vote.  Arrive and enter early to get more votes!

  NMRA Judging is available at the Coast Division Meet to any Model Contest participant for:

- Achievement Program Merit Points
- Regional/National Contest entry preparation 'dry-run' and friendly expert advice     
- Or, just to see how you would have done (smile!)

Please contact the current Coast Division Model Contest Chair, John Sing,  or the current Achievement Program chair Kermit Paul, if you would to have your model judged at the upcoming meet.

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Upcoming Photo Contest categories:

December 2010:                     Trains In The Seasons 

All photos should be matted (inexpensive, resusable mattes can be had at most art supply stores) and should be between 5x7 and 11x14 in size. Hope to see your work there!

Results are determined by Popular Vote. Bring your photos early to get the early votes.

Photo Contest Chair:
Keith Wandry  

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Volunteers and People
One of the great things about our Meets is sharing information and kibitzing about all things related to trains.   It's the People that make our hobby as much fun as it is.

Our thanks to our many Coast Division volunteers, we could not do any of this without each and every one of you.   Volunteers -  thank you!

You can see our current Coast Division Call Board by clicking here.

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The Job’s Daughters

provided the crowd-pleasing fare of Polish hot dogs, drinks, snacks and chili for lunch. Thanks a bunch as usual! 

Steve Wesolowski, our Publicity Chair (and super helper on Model Contest) recently said it well for all of us:  

"So many people happily volunteer to make our Coast Division Quarterly Meetings possible.  In appreciation, whenever you have the chance, please remember to thank someone else in our Division who in whatever way, helps to make our Coast Division Meets the success they are today."

Thank you, Steve, well said.  :-)

Invite a new friend to come to the next Meet, and see what we're all about!

See all of you at the Coast Division Meet in December 2010.  

See you there!

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Last updated: October 17, 2010
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