The Holidays are upon us and it’s time for gifts! While our fellow modelers are collecting Tsunami sound decoders for that new loco they are getting, we have been getting gifts here too -- new SMT equipment to keep our assembly technology state-of-the-art! We’ll share some photos of us opening our early Christmas presents with you. Since we are focusing on our production floor, we’ll also introduce you to our Production Manager, Brad.
We will be closed the week of Christmas from Dec. 24 -28 and on New Year’s Day. We wish a safe and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our friends!
Brad Schulz: Production Manager
We are happy to introduce you to our Production Manager, Brad Schulz. Brad came to SoundTraxx from South Dakota where he worked in industrial electronics manufacturing making many of the big video screens at sports stadiums around the country.
During his college football days, Brad played against Fort Lewis College, located here in Durango, and fell in love with the area. When we posted the job opening for a production manager, he jumped at the opportunity to live here full time!
Brad has been at SoundTraxx for 3 years. Since he has come on board, he has helped maintain steady stock levels to minimize backorders, and has lead the expansion of our production team from 5 to 12 people.
New Equipment! It’s Christmas in December!.. Oh… Wait…
Last week, we received a few new machines to improve our production process with the latest and greatest technologies.
For starters, we have a new oven. After the pick-and-place machines locate the components on the raw circuit boards, the panel (consisting of 12-20 decoders) then travels through the oven. This heats up the entire panel to melt the solder paste and permanently attach the components down to the board. The new oven is much bigger to allow better flow of the solder on the board to the components. This has the newest technologies to insure even and consistent soldering while being large enough to expand our production capacities.
With the addition of these machines, we are proud to say that our automated decoder manufacturing process has now become lead-free. We are looking forward to the more streamlined manufacturing process and possible expansion capabilities these new machines will bring. By adding in the newest technologies to our process, you can be sure you are getting a quality-manufactured product from the United States!
Tech Tip: Lighting for a Consist, Part 1
First, look at the consist address, which is stored in CV19. This is a two-digit alias that the consist responds to. This is a number between 1 and 127. This address could be the last two digits of the lead loco, a train number on a timetable, a club member ID number, etc. This number is programmed into CV19. When the loco is facing backwards, add 128 to the address. (Ex. Consist 20 for a forward-facing loco would have 20 programmed into CV19, and a rear-facing loco would get 148 programmed in CV19. To control the locos, select loco 20 with the cab and run them together, even though they are facing opposite directions.)
Next, determine which locos are to do what functions based on their location in the consist. These are set using CVs 21 and 22. CV 21 activates F1 through F8,
Next post, we’ll look in depth at the lights for each loco in the consist.