Author Topic: Model Trains  (Read 20011 times)

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Offline andy3055Topic starter

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Model Trains
« on: February 28, 2023, 11:36:53 pm »
Are there any model train enthusiasts on here who model on mostly HO and/or N scale?

TIA.
Andy
 

Offline TomKatt

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2023, 01:16:02 pm »
I always wanted to build one of those N scale coffee table layouts.  But I think Mr Rogers must have got to me when I was young because ended up going G scale outside the patio.
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Online xrunner

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2023, 01:27:16 pm »
Here's the one I made over about three years - N scale. I don't have it anymore because I had to use the room for other things. All custom designed and custom LED lighting. Might make another smaller one though.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 01:29:29 pm by xrunner »
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Offline MarkF

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2023, 03:09:05 pm »
Here is my HO railroad in progress.
Just finished laying all the track on 10'x7' benchwork.
It uses a custom control hardware based on old DC blocks.  However, my throttle is a mix of PWM for slow speed, then transitioning to DC for high speed.  I also designed a custom wireless controller around the nRF24L01+ transceivers.  The wireless throttle controls both speed and track turnout switching.  My current testing has three simultaneous controllers with seven locomotives.  Massive congestion on the railway!

My first iteration of the custom throttle was based on the my Apple ][ computer.  Majorly insufficient for the task!

I used AnyRail to do the track design.



UPDATE: (Photo montage added):






« Last Edit: April 04, 2024, 09:41:17 am by MarkF »
 
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Offline andy3055Topic starter

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2023, 04:26:24 pm »
Xr's N scale looks amazing! Mark looks like you are really getting into great control systems that I can only dream of. I got into an N scale High Sierra quite accidentally and now starting on an HO 10x4 layout. I need to dispose the N scale as I don't have so much space and at 70+ it is harder to deal with. Besides,  I have this collection of HO stuff from when I was 30+ in boxes. If I don't get them rolling now, it is going to be too late for me. I am almost done with the tracks. The board is occupying half of a small office room! I have to crawl under it to get to the other side. Made it in a way that I can pull the whole thing forward to do it. Please update as you make progress as it is very enjoyable to read about your work. Thanks.
 

Offline andy3055Topic starter

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2023, 04:32:42 pm »
Here is a picture.
 
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Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2023, 05:04:36 pm »
Trains do fascinate me, but have to many hobbies already  :-DD

I do have some FischerTechnik trains that came with auctions I won on EvilBay, but that is just not the real thing.

Just saw this video in my youtube recommended list. You might already know it, if not maybe you will enjoy it too.


Offline MarkF

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2023, 05:07:56 pm »
Andy,
  DCC is probably the way to go on a new layout.  But, it is sooo darn expensive.
Ya, being in my mid-60s, the crawling under the layout to do the wiring beat me up.  "Help, I can't get up!"   :-+

  I started my design back in the 80s before DCC existed.  Then, the options were DC, rectified AC or PWM for off the shelf controllers.

  For a good source of information, you might enjoy Charlie's Youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMjSsrcmA4BNeAnh2NxYp0Q/videos

  And this channel for doing scenery:
https://www.youtube.com/@boomerdioramas/videos
 

Offline andy3055Topic starter

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2023, 09:06:22 pm »
Thanks,
The best I have seen so far are the Miniatur Wunderland (https://www.miniatur-wunderland.com/)in Hamburg and the Berlin Loxx (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187323-d1857829-Reviews-LOXX_Miniatur_World-Berlin.html).

Hamburg one is many floors and has details that you will not see in many places. Airports, volcanoes, etc. etc. Even the road scenes are motorized.

The Berlin one is a model of the city of Berlin. There is one particular thing in that where there is a tiny screen with "people" watching John Kennedy addressing them with the speaker yelling: Ich bin ein Berliner. Fantastic layouts.
 

Offline andy3055Topic starter

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2023, 09:10:03 pm »
Yes, Mark. DCC is too expensive. The cheapest I came across is the recent(?) offering by NCE with a power cab for just over $200, but one has to spend over $20.00 each for the decoders for each loco. It is out of my range. When retired and on SS, every $ counts!

It will be DC for now, at least.
 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2023, 09:23:19 pm »
Thanks,
The best I have seen so far are the Miniatur Wunderland (https://www.miniatur-wunderland.com/)in Hamburg and the Berlin Loxx (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187323-d1857829-Reviews-LOXX_Miniatur_World-Berlin.html).

You really really ought to see https://pendonmuseum.com/

I first heard about it in the late 60s; the volunteers are still improving it piece by piece. Unique and more remarkable than the official website indicates.
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Offline andy3055Topic starter

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2023, 11:27:23 pm »
Yes, that looks great too. Next time in England.. if I go again! Thanks for the tip.
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2023, 11:53:39 am »
Is this a show off your other hobbies thread  :) My contribution is a modest OO gauge L shaped country terminus (no space for a continuous run) that is 12' x 10' overall. Due to advancing years I gave up on N gauge (too fiddly) and duck-unders (to hard on the knees). No DCC here for cost reasons although I don't really see any advantage for single operator end-2-end layouts anyway (sparks controversy)  >:D Your layout at least has a continuous run andy3055 something I miss.
 
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Offline MarkF

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2023, 01:11:14 pm »
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park operates the Cabrillo Southwestern O Scale layout and the San Diego and Arizona Eastern HO layout.  A must see if you're in San Diego.  I thought there was a N Scale layout also when I visited there in the late 1980's but their web site doesn't mention it.  Back then the layouts where not behind glass and you where able to talk directly with the operators.




 
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Offline andy3055Topic starter

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2023, 04:13:22 pm »
Is this a show off your other hobbies thread  :) My contribution is a modest OO gauge L shaped country terminus (no space for a continuous run) that is 12' x 10' overall. Due to advancing years I gave up on N gauge (too fiddly) and duck-unders (to hard on the knees). No DCC here for cost reasons although I don't really see any advantage for single operator end-2-end layouts anyway (sparks controversy)  >:D Your layout at least has a continuous run andy3055 something I miss.
(Attachment Link)

Same issues here. Space is a major problem for me too. Only issue I will have is pausing some to let others go by.  Using switches is a pain but cheaper.  Thanks.
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2023, 04:20:04 pm »
Wasn't there also a Video by Dave about an Indiana Jones themed model railroad he saved?
I wonder what happened to it.
 

Offline andy3055Topic starter

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2023, 04:21:44 pm »
I have been to San Diego about 3 years back. They were not even properly operating because it was still being built. Paid the money and was out in 15 minutes! May be it is better now. Parking there is a nightmare though.

I regularly watch Sam's trains a UK youtuber who does some nice evaluating and other crazy stuff that are enjoyable.
Also, Dan's Model railways in UK who does a lot of restorations. Then there is  Marklin if Sweden who does a lot on the diorama work.
 

Offline andy3055Topic starter

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2023, 04:22:37 pm »
Wasn't there also a Video by Dave about an Indiana Jones themed model railroad he saved?
I wonder what happened to it.

I have not come across that  yet.
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2023, 04:28:40 pm »
Found one of the videos:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-910-indiana-jones-train-set-update/msg1002846/#msg1002846

Dammit, 2016... i would not have though it was that long ago :D
 

Offline andy3055Topic starter

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2023, 06:45:41 pm »
You did some overtime to find that! I wonder if Dave is still into the trains.
 

Offline TomKatt

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2023, 12:25:56 pm »
Slightly OT - has anyone noticed the price of track going way up?  Granted, my G scale track has a lot more copper in it than smaller HO / N scale, but I almost cannot afford to buy new these days.
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Offline kittmaster

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2023, 01:00:08 pm »
lots of work and effort, I did this when I was a kid. Miss it. Even with the house I have today, to much other EE junk in the way to support such a hobby...still love to see others designs... :)
 

Offline MarkF

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2023, 03:28:13 pm »
This past year I bought a HO turnout and a few locomotives.
The turnout was $25 USD and the non-DCC locomotives I bought ranged from $70 to $160.  You can pack on another $50 to $100 for DCC and sound fitted versions.

No more $30 locomotives and $4 freight cars.   :--

Sorry Andy to hear about the San Diego train museum.  It's been over 30 years since I was there and thought there was more to it back then,  I remember the HO layout being huge with a small N scale in the shadows.  Don't remember the O scale layout at all.  I wonder when they put up all that glass?  That really detracts from the experience.
I want to go dig out my pictures.  I'll post a few if I find them.
 

Offline andy3055Topic starter

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2023, 04:59:01 pm »
Yes, all the track and loco prices are way up. It is not affordable any more. This may be the reason why most people are not in this hobby as in those days.

San Diego must have moved the location.  If it was there 30 years back, why would they be building it just a few years back? That may be why it was still in construction when I saw it.
Close to my house,  in Walnut Creek, there is a sizable and good looking layout done by a MR society. It looks good and admission is only a couple of bucks.
 

Offline andy3055Topic starter

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Re: Model Trains
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2023, 05:07:31 pm »
The problem with most of us that we put things away for " when we have time or retired." In my case, as I retired in late 2017, I had a major surgery and am still not in good shape. Limited movement,  continued aches and pains below the knees keep me withdrawn most of the time. I started recently as I was inspired by an old friend with whom I lost contact for 40 odd years! Hopefully,  my granddaughters will enjoy this. Too bad no grandsons.
 


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