Wiring (almost) without wires

Another month, another meal (shepherd's pie and apple pie, separate plates, if you were wondering) and another talk. This time Allan made a late substitution to speak on Electric layout control - how to Maximise the Fun. And it was not just the title that was unconventional, the form of presentation eschewed modern technology and reverted to old-fashioned chalk-and-talk, complete with school easel. A minor sop to modernity was the use of a whiteboard, sorry neutrally-coloured rewritable display surface, and assorted pens in primary colours.

In quick succession the intricacies of reverse loops, live-frog points and capacitor discharge systems were reduced to a simple matter of an extra wire here and a couple of line breaks there. One surprising fact we learned was that DCC may not always mean fewer wires and simpler connections, whatever its apologists might claim.

Such was the popularity of the subject that the hosts eventually felt compelled to remind the company that they had an early start in the morning and would we please stop talking and go home. School was never like this.