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The July 2017 issue of the YouTube Model Builders eMag is now available! Download your FREE copy here: http://www.youtubemodelbuilders.com/emag/download/YTMBeMagR16.pdf

We begin this issue with a tribute to Stewart Jim Ross “jiminmichigan” who passed away in May of this year from pancreatic cancer. As a tribute to Jim’s friendship and his commitment to the hobby and this community, we dedicate this issue to him. Many thanks to Phillip Wyman for putting together a personal tribute to “jiminmichigan” (see page 6).

There are many challenges we modelers face when building our railroad empires. Some of those challenges are well understood by the model railroading community at large and there are many well-known and commonly available solutions. However, there is a new buzz within this community about using micro control systems such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi and custom-built solutions using these controllers to take our layouts to the next level with the use of animation and automation of lighting, signals, track control, and sound. The challenge of leveraging new technologies and techniques can seem quite daunting and frustrating for many. The key to overcoming these challenges, and for some the fear of the unknown, is to gain and build incremental knowledge on the subject.

To help modelers with this challenge, we have focused this issue of the eMag on the topic of micro control systems for model railroading. We have enlisted the help of the community’s technocrats and knowledge mongers to help explain, for example, what is a microcontroller or a Single Board Computer (SBC), what is an Arduino versus a Raspberry Pi, and provide examples of some custom-built solutions being utilized within the model railroading community.

The issue is laid out into two main parts. Part one begins with an overview article by Andy Crawford entitled “A Choice is a Good Thing,” covering several micro controllers and SBC boards that are currently most popular. Chris Rood, an engineer by trade, follows with his two-article set introducing the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi boards respectively.

Part two showcases two examples of custom-built solutions using the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi boards. Greg and Donna Heinz describe how they are building an automated turntable using an Arduino microcontroller in their article “As the Table Turns…” and Martyn Jenkins discusses how he built a self-packaged plug-and-play throttle solution using the Raspberry Pi 3, JMRI, and SPROG DCC in his article “A SPROG Solution.”

The Track Planner in his column discusses several types of prototypical rail yards and how you can implement these on your layout. Harry Haythorn describes the use of truck and freight service by the Union Pacific and Geno Sharp discusses in this installment of “Geno’s Corner” his plans to change his layout ‘One Mo’ Time’ in order to be more capable of operations. Jack Hykaway outlines how an internal combustion diesel engine (the backbone of North American railroad freights) works and Andy Crawford discusses various factors that impact our decision to either build it or buy it in his “Food for Thought…” column entitled “DIY vs. DIBuy.”

Everyone within our community knows and loves Barry Rosier and we celebrate his marriage to Dorine Menchhofer in the Community Collage with photographs from their wedding. Please be sure to check it out. Also be sure to check out the YouTube channels listed in the Pick 3 section.

Remember, YouTube Model Builders eMag is a free publication released by model railroaders for model railroaders. It’s completely ad-free and free for you! Also, keep in mind that it is a community publication and that means we want you to send us your articles and pictures so we can help you share your expertise with others in this hobby.

Happy Model Railroading!

JD (Loggin’ Locos)
Editor-in-Chief
YouTube Model Builders eMag
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GG1 locomotive abandoned https://youtu.be/_gDDnxLCCuQ

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