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Author Topic: layout conversion  (Read 3049 times)
baldwinmikado

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« on: August 09, 2014, 06:06:51 PM »

The reason im posting in the n scale tab and not general discussion is because this concerns an n scale layout and I figured this would have the "I've done that experience". I recently found an interest in n scale (about a year and half ago) and have been wanting to start a layout but have very little time to construct one to the quality that I want. I found a 4x8 layout on my local Craig's list (I know some of you are saying dont do it) but it is a nice layout. It was built by an old railroader about 15 or so years ago, thus it has a lot of blocks for control. I have a dcc setup from my old ho layout and would like to use it on this, but I haven't been able to find a conversion topic in n scale. The layout is 200 dollars which to me is a bargain. I dont mind putting some $ into it since I know it will probably need a good cleaning and possibly some track replaced. Has anyone converted a block system layout to dcc? And how did you do so? Is it easy for the average Joe to do and is it going to require some special tools? I imagine the layout has either plastic rail joiners or no rail joiners at the block sections and those would need to be taken out and soldered. I just dont know what exactly I would need to do and can I take advantage of what is there already (I.e the lead wires to each block could be hooked up in a dcc bus wire to supply track power). Any help and any tips are greatly appreciated. Thanks, BaldwinMikado
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Desertdweller

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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2014, 08:10:36 PM »

You can convert your railroad to DCC as it is.  Feed your DCC connections through your present block selectors.

This will give you an advantage over a one-block DCC layout, as individual blocks can be depowered if you have locos stored in them.  If you solder all the track gaps together, you will deprive yourself of this capability.
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baldwinmikado

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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2014, 08:24:09 PM »

Ok well thanks. I just thought I would ask to make sure I didnt just jump in and mess up.
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baldwinmikado

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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2014, 05:16:11 AM »

Hey guys this is the layout I am looking at. It looks pretty good in the pics. This is a quick description of what it is:
4'x8' with a 9" control shelf on a stained wood frame with legs. The legs have wheels for easy moving.
It has a Z-scale loop for a narrow gauge train around the mountain (top 9" above base).
Has a working waterfall and river with pump and has wired blocks and switches.

I dont really know about the working river. I might just pull it out and replace with the woodland scenics water. Like i said it is around 15 years old and hasnt been used in a few years. It is 200 dollars for everything in the pictures. I have another post with the other pics on it right after this. I would like everyone's opinion on this layout. It is about 2 1/2 - 3 hours from my home so it would be a wasteful drive if I dont get it but im really liking this one,  definitely has room for potential and possible add ons. Thanks guys.
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baldwinmikado

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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2014, 05:23:54 AM »

Ok so the pictures are not co-operating. So here is a link to the ad.

http://sanantonio.craigslist.org/tag/4604704910.html

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gatrhumpy

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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2014, 09:54:57 AM »

$200?! Are you serious? DO IT! That is an incredibly detailed layout for that amount of money. Do it before someone else recognizes the value and wants it.
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Country Joe

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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2014, 11:58:44 AM »

It looks like a fabulous layout. $200 seems like a bargain. You can easily adapt it to DCC. Just set all the block switches to the same power pack and connect your DCC system there. You can even leave the other blocks DC so you can run locos that don't yet have decoders.
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Franz T

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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2014, 04:55:44 PM »

Looks like a variation of N-109 from the old Atlas Nine N-scale Model Railroads book from the early '70s without the double figure 8 on the upper level. There is one reversing loop. A friend of mine build one like it 35 years ago..
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