ONLINE
STORE
"ASK THE BACH MAN"
FORUM
PARTS, SERVICE,
& INFORMATION
CATALOGS AND
BROCHURES

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
September 22, 2019, 05:06:20 PM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Please read the Forum Code of Conduct   >>Click Here <<
+  Bachmann Message Board
|-+  Discussion Boards
| |-+  HO
| | |-+  Forum
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 Print
Author Topic: Forum  (Read 5822 times)
grumpy

View Profile
« on: June 01, 2009, 12:46:23 AM »

By the amount of participaion in the last few days it would appear that the forum is slowly dying . I believe it is becoming too technical for many of the members. Let us see if we can get back on track.
Don
Logged
Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2009, 01:03:34 AM »

I suggest another section be added titled "DCC".  Lately the percentage of questions in HO and General have been running as high as 40% DCC related, that's about 6 DCC topics out of the 15 topics on the first page. On one occasion I noted the ratio was 60% DCC related.

That doesn't leave much room for routine modeling and crafting questions. If someone posts a modeling comment or useful tutorial, it quickly drifts to page two because of the increasing emphasis on DCC questions. Frankly I think many of the DCC questions arise from users not reading their manuals. I don't think the forum is the place for step by step instructions on using DCC controllers, especially MRC and NCE, which after all, are "competitor's" products.

A DCC section would also be more appropriate for the frequent question "How do I add sound?" 

Also, I think the HO section should be listed higher up on the main index, perhaps directly under General, since HO is the most popular. As it is now, HO is almost at the bottom of the list, under Plasticville.  Huh?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 01:47:56 AM by Yampa Bob » Logged

I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2009, 01:56:45 AM »

I just checked my calendar and tomorrow is June (already!!)  The fora usually slow down at this time of year as people shift to summer activities.  The only exception is the large scale forum.

I am not surprised that DCC takes up a lot of forum space.  It may be the most technical thing a railroad modeler is called on to do.  And even though each wave of new modelers may repeat some old questions, they still need and deserve answers.  Sometimes the answers get very technical, maybe even overly technical.  I know I am guilty of that from time to time.  Usually it is because we do not know the person asking the question and do not know what he already knows.  If we guess wrong and answer the questions at a very basic level when the person is already quite knowledgeable, then we probably have not helped that person.  And if we guess that the person knows more than he really does, then the full, technical answer doesn't help very much either.  There is no shame in the enquirer saying "Hey.  Hold on.  Bach up a few steps.  Put that in English."  I wish they would be willing to do that more often.

A while back, I answered some electrical questions  for a gentleman who posed them on this board.  From his use of the English language I could guess that he had not been an teenager for a while and from the form of the question, I could guess that he had some knowledge of electricity but maybe not of electronics.  As to his model railroading background, I had no idea.  Well, it seems I was able to give him some help with his electrical problem and in return, he emailed me some photos of his layouts, both outdoors and in.  They blew me away.  Absolutely stunning.  The sort of thing makes you wonder if you should start over again and get it right next time.  Again I was reminded that sometimes we are handed the chalk and pointer and are allowed to teach while at other times we should sit quietly at the feet of the master and learn.

Don't worry Bob and Don, activity will pick up again in the fall.  Then we will be busy again as student and as teacher, and often as both at the same time.  In the meantime, let's keep dropping by, there are always people who have time in the summer for model railroading and questions to ask and answers to give.

Jim
Logged

Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
jonathan


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2009, 07:30:03 AM »

I don't mind all the technical jargon.  I run DC now, but I'm sure someday I will want to make the switch.  Right now, it's all greek to me.  The beauty of the forum is that it stands as a reference.  I have, on many occasions, run a search of the forum for particular subjects.  For instance,  I am now ready to start upgrading my plastic couplers for kadees.  I am researching every comment or instruction on compatibility, ease of installation and expense. 

When I'm ready for DCC, or wiring a lighting system, back to the forum I'll go to find out what kind of mess I'm getting myself into.

This is why I appreciate all the questions, both simple and complex.  You never know who may have gotten an "aha!" from your input.  I even smile when I see yet another question on whether a 4-12-2 will run on 12" radius.  This is how we learn. 

R,

Jonathan
Logged
Santa Fe buff

N&W


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2009, 08:55:07 AM »

Yeah, we got a puppy, so I'm busy with that. Also, I finally got a free 31-day First Class Ticket for faster download speeds off of Auran's free Download Station for my Trainz Railroad Simulator, so I'm bombing the Station before it goes away.

Joshua
Logged

- Joshua Bauer
BestSnowman


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2009, 11:25:18 AM »

I agree with Jim about the summer time, personally I find it hard to stay inside when its so nice outside.

I also agree with Bob that a DCC section would be nice because its not HO specific but yet specific enough to feel out of place in general.
Logged

-Matthew Newman
My Layout Blog
mf5117
Guest
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2009, 12:37:17 PM »

I also agree with the dcc section . When I first got into HO . I hammered and read and read . And was the student , still am . I really don't have the greatest grammer skills either . So sometimes i shy away from writing . which is no excuse . Everything after an excuse is a lie anyway . Everytime i fire up the P.C . I come to the site and check the forum and read the post .To see if i can learn anything . It's hot as hell here in texas so you get most everything done in the mourning . I work nights so time is limited . I wish I could meet and have a coffee or go to a club with all of you . but i get that right here . Because it is interesting , The Hobby and the History behind it all .  Yampa BoB said retain it so we could give it away someday . I hope to be able to do that .     peace to all , will be here . 

Logged
rogertra


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2009, 03:10:09 PM »

Why is DCC still toted by all the manufacturers and hobby press as "easy"?

"Simply connect two wires to the rails and away you go!"  Remember that sentence.  It was the selling point of DCC.

Now look at this forum and others.  Full of DCC questions.  A "simple" DCC system comes with something like a 32 page instruction booklet.  What other "simple" system do you know that comes with a 30 plus pages instruction booklet?

However, having wrote the above I will acknowledge that DCC is the way of the future, it just needs to be made "simple".

And yes, a DCC forum would be a good idea.

Logged

BestSnowman


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2009, 03:36:31 PM »

DCC can be easy, and Bachmann's EZ Command fills that segment very well (in my opinion).

In some aspects DCC is easier than DC (multiple locos on a single track), but that doesn't mean DCC can't be used to do complex things.

The rest is just advertising bluring the lines.
Logged

-Matthew Newman
My Layout Blog
jward


View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2009, 04:07:40 PM »

roger i agree 100%.

note that i am not anti dcc. but i also have well over 30 years in the hobby and learned how to do things the old way. that, and my schooling in electronics have made my dcc conversion much easier.

here are some common fallacies about dcc.

1. wiring for dcc is easier than for block control.
not true. dc wiring is the same 3 or 4 circuits repeated endlessly to get the results you want. they are: block wiring (used in dcc, but called power districts.) reverse section wiring (also used in dcc but with a $30 auto reverser in place of a $3 toggle switch.) and switch motor control (instead of pushing a button on a panel, you now have to remember switch number and "normal" or "reversed."

2. track switches must be powered by stationary decoders.
not true. switch motors can be a seperate circuit from the train control, and controlled the traditional way. the cost savings is tremendous if you don't use stationary decoders.

3. reverse sections need auto reversers.
also not true. any toggle switches you used to control polarity in the reversing section work equally well dcc or dc. auto reversers can only be used with dcc. also, in some cases, you can use switch motor contacts to control the reversing section. this works equally well, dc or dcc.

4. to convert to dcc you need to completely rewire your layout.
this one is one of the biggest fallacies out there. if you used good heavy wire to begin with, you can wire your dcc command station into the system in place of one of your dc power packs, and throw all the block toggles over to that position. this has the added advantage of allowing you to quickly isolate short circuits on the layout without shutting the whole thing down.

i think the hobby in general would be better served by an honest assesment of the many advantages and disadvantages of each system. instead, dcc is championed and the solution to all problems, while ignoring the many problems dcc itself can introduce.....

i chose dcc because i understood the advantages as well as the disadvantages over dc control, not because people scared me about running a few simple circuits. 
Logged

Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
mf5117
Guest
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2009, 04:51:10 PM »

I feel for the more advanced DCC . Is what I ment . My EZ Commander is great . Bachmann makes some nice inexpencive Loco's . I have 7 as of now . There is another brand I want to buy but no dcc on board . so then  .If i buy this loco . And smoke it , i'm at a loss .

But i did ask of a sound decoder , for the 4-8-4 santa fe . got some good feedback in  the HO forum .Now i got sound . Had the tech at our LCH put it in ,when i smoked the decoder . I also notice it needs to be tweaked . but don't have the controller to do that . so your %$#@ if you do and %$#@ if you don't . 

But hey I'll leave it up to the experts . And just keep reading and enjoying  .
Logged
Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2009, 07:14:11 PM »

Jeffery's list of fallacies is right on. I would like to add one more, perhaps the biggest fallacy of all. 

"DCC is extremely complicated and requires a thorough knowledge and background in electronics."

Fact is, you don't need to know a thing about electronics. You don't need to know how or why the decoder or controller works, only which buttons to push and in what sequence, and how to read (the manuals).

Think about this; we have a 42" Plasma TV, connected to a sattelite receiver. The instruction manual for the receiver is 45 pages, listing 25 specific device control codes. TV instructions 49 pages listing 56 on screen menu functions.

TV remote has 45 buttons, receiver remote 37 buttons. Once the TV was programmed, we coded the main TV controls into the receiver remote and stored the TV remote away out of sight.

Now, in doing all that did we need any knowledge of electronics? Actually my wife did most of it and she doesn't know an electron from a proton. 

We have over 5,000 members who are obviously proficient in getting around the net on a computer or they wouldn't be here, how many of these are Electronics Engineers?

Here's what I consider to be the bottom line. Most people don't come to the forum to learn "Electronics". If someone asks me about a problem with EZ Command, I only tell them the sequence of button pushes and refer them to their manual.

I think what Don is alluding to is; let's get back to the basics, even with DCC, and not turn the forum into a "technical institute".  There are thousands of web sites that teach "the dark side" of DCC.
Logged

I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
jward


View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2009, 02:19:06 AM »

BOB,

it is interesting how things change. when i went to school for electronics, they taught us how to troubleshoot down to component level, and change out the bad component. now, most components are unserviceable even to the electronic techs who change out the circuit boards rather than replace them. any high school kid can do that, and i nopw drive a truck for a living....

most of what you need to learn in dcc isn't electronic in nature anyway, the same with your computer. it's programming, another specialty altogether. dcc is now at the stage where the pc was in about 1985. it's quickly becoming an integral part of the hobby, but not as user friendly as it should be.

i think bachmann is to be applauded for making good running decoder equipped locomotives available for about half the cost of say atlas, and a nice user friendly dcc controller to go with it, even if it is restricted in its capabilities.

i would point out, however, that while you don't NEED to learn how to wire a layout, such knowledge can only benefit you in the long run. the same goes for the programming of decoders beyond the basic setting of loco addresses.....

Logged

Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Woody Elmore

View Profile
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2009, 09:36:20 AM »

Yampa: there have been actual psychological studies done to determine just how many buttons there should be on a remote TV?VCD/DVD/satellite controller. Another study, done by an industrial psychologist, studied the placement of buttons. Have you noticed that they are all starting to look alike?

I think the same thing will happen to DCC. As more and more users start buying devices, the companies with the easiest interface and user friendliness will prevail.

Logged
rustyrails
Guest
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2009, 09:53:59 AM »

No one EVER asked me about how many buttons!!!  Sheesh.  I still have fond memories of my Zenith Space Command remote.  I seem to recall that it had 4 buttons, no batteries, and did everything I needed.  It was mechanical.  When you pushed a button, a hammer struck a tuning fork.  I used to be able to turn the TV on and off by shaking my keys at it.  Really.
Rusty
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!