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Hi, I'm 10 years old and interested in getting an HO set. I currently own an O gauge set-up (MTH) but do not know anything about HO. What brands do you recommend I look at for a nice starter set. Who has the best track and trains? I've been to several dealers and looked online and it's a little overwhelming. :eek: I want something that is good quality, reasonable and that I can expand (like being able to add automatic crossing gates or side tracks and stuff like that.) thanks.:)
 

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Danny, I have 2 boys about your age (1 older, 1 younger)
Both like the Bachmann sets, the Spectrum ones.
Good quality, expandable, and just fun
 

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Athearn makes some good quality stuff. You cannot go wrong with them. With Bachmann keep in mind that they have a low end (toy like) and high end (Spectrum). There is a big difference. The low end cars derail easy due to lack of weight and poor wheels. The locos also are often one truck drive. The Spectrum line is nicely detailed and better quality all around.

If you are looking to make a layout you might want to looking into geting the parts separately. You may save money in the long run. Atlas flex track at my LHS is round $3.50 per 3 foot section. Locomotives come up at real reasonable prices all the time. Watch the for sale section on this forum. Also a better DC or DCC system can be had individually than you wil find in any kit. It may look like it is costing more at first but in the long run you will have a better foundation for expansion than with most kits. If you have a LHS you might want to visit that. Also train shows are great places to great deals if you know what to look for.
 

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Well I'm not the youngest anymore (13) anyway i go for any bachmann/spectrum sets go for the DC first. and then as you go older go DCC. if you have any questions PM me
 

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Danny,
I would recomend go with what you want (I would recomend Bachmann Spectrum, Athearn, Atlas, and Hornby) I would also say that you should try to start out with DCC if you can afford it as it makes running your trains more realistic and less of a hassle to installe the track and block sections you would have to have if it were a dc setup and you wanted to run more than one train at once. If you are thinking of getting a permanant layout built than you should get a plywood board of the desired dimensions add blue or pink insulating foam and build your layout on top of that. I would recomend Flextrack and none of the pre ballasted track as it limits what you can do. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Danny,

Welcome to the forum. You'll find some good info on HO diesel options in this thread here, especially Post #14:

http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=3815

I'd also like to say how impressed I am with your well-written post. Very eloquent for a 10 year old kid.

Cheers,

TJ
Thanks for everyones advice. My dad helped me write it. But I am writing it now. I found a set here is the link
http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/products.php?act=viewProd&productId=1532

It isn't Spectrum but it is DCC which I like. What is the difference between DCC on board and DCC equipped and DCC ready? :confused:

Do you think this is a good set? thanks.:thumbsup:
 

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Danny...I own many DCC Bachmann locomotives (most are the non-Spectrum kind). I have had good luck with all of them. I also have the E-Z Command DCC from Bachmann too (it has also been trouble-free).

DCC On Board means it is READY TO GO in DCC! There is nothing to do! DCC Ready means it is wired for DCC, but you still have to buy a $20 decoder to pop in place for DCC.

With all that the set comes with, I would say it is not too bad of a deal. If it were me, I would probably buy all the components separately. This is my reasoning: If I have DCC, I am going to want to run two or more trains at the same time. If I run two or more trains at the same time, I would want a little more track than what the set comes with ( you need a little space to run multiple trains). Realizing this, I would probably go with flex track (3' flexible sections that provide great freedom in designing your own layout).

I know this seems like a lot to process. You can always expand if you start small, but sometimes it is nice to think a little further down the road! Best of luck!

Chad
 

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ok DCC on board means that the locomotive already has the DCC decoder chip installed in it and is ready to run on a DCC layout. DCC ready means that the loco will only run on DC if i am correct as I due not own a DCC ready loco Just DCC onboard loco's. For these you must buy the decoder that you plug into the board that is already in the DCC ready loco, or you must solder the wires of the DCC decoders to certain parts of the DCC ready board. By the way that train set will be a very good set to buy as a begginer. I currently use the EZ-Command system and am perfectly happy with it but am going to upgrade to the Dynamis System as you can walk around the layout, program CV's (things that control things on the train), have many more loco's in the data bank, and have more than two locomotives running on the layout at one time without needing a booster. Dynamis is a 2.5 amp system=5 trains at one time. EZ-Command is 1 amp=2 trains at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Realizing this, I would probably go with flex track (3' flexible sections that provide great freedom in designing your own layout).

I know this seems like a lot to process. You can always expand if you start small, but sometimes it is nice to think a little further down the road! Best of luck!

Chad
I saw flex track at the store and really like it. My dad is afraid that he'll have to wire and to solder it and it will be to much work. That's why I like EZ ttrack.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've been researching about dcc ho trains. And I wonder if you need a special train to have sound.;)
 

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Danny, you won't need to solder joints right off the bat. Suggestion from someone older doing this for the first time - use EZ-Track, learn from that, and enjoy the flexibility of a non-permanent layout first. Then, when you know what you like, go with the harder stuff.

Learning to solder is a skill that will be useful across many areas (fixing some electronics, toys, making your own circuits, etc.), but it's also something relatively more dangerous (IMHO) due to the potential for burns, damaging the track if done wrong, and potentially lighting something on fire (if things go really bad).

I'd say if your dad doesn't want to solder, just lay off the solder now and get the jumpers/connectors with the wires already attached. Hey, it's what I'm using! :)
 

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you do not need a specail train to run sound you can put sound into an old tyco if you really want to. you must buy a sound decoder which is different from a DCC decoder. both are DCC but a sound decoder has the capablity's to have multiple functions like sounds ie: bell, horn air brakes, ect. you can also install ditch lights to the loco's for more prototivityness. so really any train can be DCC sound. I would recomend Soundtrax Tsunami sound decoders very nice.
 

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Danny,

Flex track offers great layout possibilities ... contour to your specific layout's needs. That said, while the track bends easily, it must be pinned down, or else it will want to spring back into a straight shape. Because of that, people often solder the rail ends on flex to give it better "grab" when mating up with an adjacent piece.

Unless, one considers a great trick that Choo Choo Greg described here on the forum ... making a very simple/easy jig to permanently prebend flex track rails to your desired shape. Makes contouring easy, and allows one to work with simple rail joiners. Read up here:

http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=3931

Cheers,

TJ
 

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So danny did you get a train set and start a layout?

I have another question why is Danny in red?
 
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