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Author Topic: new to hear old school  (Read 3117 times)
drhunt

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« on: December 20, 2015, 05:01:34 PM »

i so glad to find this forum! i got my first ho train at 6 years old yep still have it:} got maried at 22 when i got back from a weekend honeymoon my parents had claimed there basement back lol my train layout was in boxes lol but hear i am almost 51 with 2 grandsons loving trains:) i bought them a new set and yep nun of my old stuff cunects to it read the couple convertion thread so i pionted in te right direction on that but all these new terms! like ddc,mr i be happy to read any articals or advice from any one to get me up to speed and any advice of what is good whats to stay away from thanks!
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drhunt

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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2015, 05:15:11 PM »

also i live in fremont ohio 20 miles from cedar point if any one knows of a localy owned model railrod store near me let me know!
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Flare

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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2015, 07:13:16 PM »

At the basic level, the only changes in the last 30 years have been knuckle couplers and Digital Command Control (DCC).


Knuckle couplers look more realistic and can be magnetically operated.

Digital Command Control basically allows multiple trains to be operated from a single controller.  It's not required for modern equipment, analog controllers are still available and DCC-equipped locomotives are compatible with analog layouts.

If you do decide to use DCC, watch out for the term "DCC ready", it means that the locomotive has a NMRA compliant socket for a DCC decoder, but a decoder was not supplied from the factory and thus the locomotive is analog.


You can read more from the National Model Railroad Association:  http://www.nmra.org/beginners-guide-command-control-and-dcc

« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 07:18:13 PM by Flare » Logged
drhunt

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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2015, 08:04:30 PM »

thanks!
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jward


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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2015, 12:44:59 AM »

DCC ready does not mean there is a plug n play socket for a decoder. it means that the motor is isolated from the chassis, which on older locomotives was often used as a ground. since the decoder needs to control the motor independent of the track voltage, having the motor isolated from the chassis is a must. oftentimes you must still hard wire a decoder into a DCC ready locomotive.

DCC and knuckle couplers as standard are by no means the only basic changes since the 1980s. the biggest changes are an increased focus on reliable, good running locomotives, and the rise of high quality ready to run cars. gone for the most part are the old poorly detailed train set locomotives that ran as bad as they looked. gone also are the 4 wheel pickup diesels with only one truck powered. gone are the rubber traction tires that infested these miserable old creatures. in their place are locomotives with all wheel electrical pickup and all wheels powered. a new entry level Bachmann locomotive like the gp40 compares favourably with a top of the line 1980s locomotive from atlas or athearn. Gone also are truck mounted couplers on lightweight cars and the operational problems they caused. In their lace are properly weighted cars with body mounted couplers. Think along the lines of an old athearn or roundhouse kit car, with added weight and finer details.

track is another area where things are infinitely better now. ez track snaps together like slot car track and other manufacturers have opted to go with smaller, more realistic rail in their track. brass track is a thing of the past, and steel has fallen out of favour, leaving the top of the line nickel silver track as the new standard. gone is the old flex track with fibre ties that warped when exposed to moisture, in their place is plastic tie flexible track that is indeed flexible. and for those like me who prefer to lay their own track, jigs and supplies are available that allow one to build a switch from scratch in about an hour, that works as well as anything premade.

all in all it is a good time to be in this hobby. the quality has never been higher.


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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
drhunt

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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2015, 01:55:13 PM »

thanks jward!!
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wiley209

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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2015, 06:14:17 PM »

Oh yes, Bachmann's base-line locomotives today are MUCH better than they were 30 years ago. And many of the older ones, like the GP40, FT, E60CP, SD40-2, DD40AX, and several of their steam engines have been available for a long time, but are now in new and improved models. My BNSF DCC GP40-2 locomotive even has dual flywheels, and the included diagram doesn't show any!
I recall Bachmann first began making high-quality locomotives with the Spectrum line in 1988, and then the Bachmann Plus line in 1992 (some of those Plus locomotives, like the F7, GP35, and the GS 4-8-4 steamers, are still being made but now basically as part of the main Bachmann line.) I also remember by the mid-90s, their older low-quality diesel locomotives with the pancake motors, traction tires, etc. were only being sold in train sets, and then in the late 90s they began to improve on them (such as using can motors and all-wheel drive).

A lot of Bachmann's rolling stock of the past is still being made today, but with body-mount knuckle couplers, and metal wheels when sold separately in the Silver Series. And of course, many of their classic Plasticville building kits and accessories have been around for decades, and their "operating accessories" date back to the 70s. In fact, Bachmann is bringing back their classic "blinking bridge," but designed for use with E-Z Track!
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jbrock27

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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2015, 09:20:19 PM »

W, were you even born by 1988?
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brokenrail

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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2015, 09:35:12 PM »

There are also many how to demonstration videos on laying track, detailing,repairs,maintenance on just about every subject involved in model railroading on you tube that share a lot of information that can get you up to speed and or direction you want to take with dcc,dcc and sound installs and upgrading older models to catch up with this evolution or revolution in model railroading offered today.
Johnny Adam
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jbrock27

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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2015, 08:48:59 AM »

*The S4 models now being produced should not be left out.  They have very good detail and excellent running qualities! Smiley
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Desertdweller

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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2015, 02:23:36 PM »

drhunt

You came back from a weekend honeymoon to find your railroad disassembled and boxed up?  Sounds like a pretty strong hint!

Yes, things are a lot better than 30 years ago.  Not huge, obvious changes, but a refinement of small things that add up to better quality overall.  I think we are doing better now, even with the price increases.

Les
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