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Hello everyone and thanks for taking the time to read my first post. I have a couple of simple questions about getting started in the HO scale modeling. My son is only 2 years old so i'm thinking of making a wall mount model and as he gets older building a layout with him. I will be starting with little knowledge about this hobby but it is one i've wanted to do since i was young. Let's start with simple questions.

1. Whats the best way to get started on this wall mount project (track, controller, etc.)

2. Where are the most popular places to purchase everything?

3. Do i need to buy a controller seperate or buy a train set that comes with one.

I know there are many different types of controllers but i had no idea there were so many different electrical components to more elaberate layouts. It's almost intimidating at first glance but i'm sure i'll get the hang of it all. Also, the amount of track need to go around the room is 50ft. Can just one power source be efficient enough to power that much track? I'm sure my questions sound dumb, but i'm very green yet very interested in learning more about this hobby. Thanks for any help or advice given.
 

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Hi welcome to a fantastic hobby that will take you as far as you are willing to go.For track I would use code 100 flex track. As for controller I would go with DCC. I have an MRC Prodigy Advance and love it. it is very user friendly. I would go with wireless / radio also. MRC didn't have it when I got mine. I am going to upgrade to it soon. this would require that you use DCC locomotives it is a little more money but for something the size you are looking at I think it would be worth it. also don't get into scenery at first. get your track down and run some trains . You will want to make changes so wait a while before you get into scenery. I for the most part say stay away from train sets as they are generally of lower quality and a waste of money. After saying that let me say there are exceptions to that but not a lot. I tell beginners the best thing to do is find a hobby shop that sells trains and hang around there a little find a model RRer and ask some questions. We love to talk about our hobby. Try to find a club in your area, in other words find someone near you to talk with and ask questions. This forum is a great place for help but there is nothing like one on one talk.
Les
 

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i got a question why is it to get the breaks to squeal you need to run it fast and then slow it to half speed and then it will happen but in my case no matter how fast i get it to which has been about 80 and then drop it to about 40 or 50 nothing happens and not only that the loco always derails at a certain point in the track when its on high speed and i checked the track there's nothing obstructing the track and still no sound.
 

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Is the brake problem Proto sound 2.

Derailing could be anything. What is the track type, straight, curve, and the engine.

I have a 600MKT that didn't like 027 curves. The front was stubborn, I had to use oil and run it more to make the front work acceptably. O gage track would be better. The engine wasn't run enough and was stiff on the turns.
 

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Hello I am also a beginner just researching and kind of confused on somethings so if anyone can answer these questions I would be thankful.
1. Can you use two different gauges in a layout?
2. What is the best scale to start with?( I am leaning towards N scale, but not sure.)
3. What starter set would be best for that scale?
 

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Hello I am also a beginner just researching and kind of confused on somethings so if anyone can answer these questions I would be thankful.
1. Can you use two different gauges in a layout?
2. What is the best scale to start with?( I am leaning towards N scale, but not sure.)
3. What starter set would be best for that scale?
1. Yes, of course! The only limit is your imagination... A user here by the name of T-Man has HO, S, and O scale all combined into one layout...

2. I would have to say either O scale or HO scale... N scale would be my third choice as IMO it is held back by having a limited variety of items...
 

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i got a question why is it to get the breaks to squeal you need to run it fast and then slow it to half speed and then it will happen but in my case no matter how fast i get it to which has been about 80 and then drop it to about 40 or 50 nothing happens and not only that the loco always derails at a certain point in the track when its on high speed and i checked the track there's nothing obstructing the track and still no sound.
It's a train... not a slot car.





(...just foolin' around ;) )
 

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Valpo, welcome to the forum! They've given you good advice, but I'd like to add rule #1 for Model Railroading: "In building and operating a layout, the 'right' way is the way the layout's operator chooses to do it. No other opinion matters." It's your place to have fun and be creative: if you want your layout to include Malibu Barbie, your bronzed baby shoes and your collection of model eskimos, then that is the correct way to do it. Nice to have you with us!
 

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Hi Les. What does code 100 stand for? What do the different codes mean? And why did you pick code 100 over say code 80?
Code refers to the rail height... The bigger the number, the taller the rail... Some older trains have larger wheel flanges that will cause them to derail if you run them on a layout with too low of a rail...

You can read more about it here: http://www.atlasrr.com/layoutfaq.htm
 

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SRV1
the code of track defines it's height.
code 100 is .100 of an inch high
code 83 is .083 of an inch high
code 70 is .070 of an inch high
he probably picked code 100 because it can run all HO scale trains
code 100 was the first track used for HO trains until code 83 came into exsistence which is more prototypical than 100 but can have problems with older to realy old HO scale trains.
 

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Awesome! Thanks for the quick replies. I kept seeing "Code ##" in the magazines and wondering what that was. Is there a price difference? What would the benefit be to going with code 70? Why wouldn't everybody just go with code 100 if it will universally work for everything?

Since the title of the thread is "couple of beginner questions", maybe I can sneak a few more in here!? :)

I'm sorry if these are really obvious but what is a "turnout" I keep reading that term and think I know what it is but I'm not sure.

Also wondering if you guys fuse your track ends together? Or is it held in place with nails and glue so well that it isn't necessary? I guess I'm just wondering if you wanted to change things around, are most of you able to pull up track and re-use or does it have to be pitched?

Learning a lot from this forum fast. It's a great help.
 

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I agree with Reckers that it is your layout and do with it as you wish. But there are some tried and true methods that will allow you to maximize your layout. I have changed my plan since joining this forum to include a train yard. Something that I had not thought of. As a beginner, I would spend some time on here before coming up with your final plan. Good luck:thumbsup:
 

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a turnout is the peice of track that connects a siding to the mainline commonly refered to as a switch track.

the best option is to solder the track joiners together to keep a constant current

you can reuse the track by unsoldering them, or pulling the nails up out of the track.

code 70 is the most prototypical which is what people who want model railroads not ovals that run trains want more prototypicality. code 100 doesn't look as nice and realistic and i personally haven't ever found any trains that need 100 code except for a picture shay put up on a different thread.
 

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why so many people keep beating me to questions?:confused::confused::confused:
you all are driving me nuts:laugh:
 

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SRV,

Not to sway the pros above from their touted benefits of soldering track rails together, but for a beginner, you might jump in with simple rail joiners (little sliding metal pin/clip things), first ... try your layout ideas for a while ... then consider the more permanent solution.

The other question/decision you'll face in selecting track is rail material. Old school and cheap = brass ... gold color, tarnishes quickly. Middle ground = steel ... silver metal color ... oxidizes, too. Best stuff = nickel silver ... silver color, excellent corrosion resistance.

Go with nickel silver ... costs a bit more, but you'll be very happy in the end.

TJ
 
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