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Discussion Starter #21
I run my American Flyer layout the old fashion way as well.... sort of. I built my layout sticking to 100% Gilbert American Flyer pieces and parts primarily out of nostalgia from my childhood. Since I have a large around the walls layout and had to walk around a lot, I adapted Lionel's TMCC to my 60 year old engines. DC control is the basis but I do have a hand held controller from which I can control most all operations plus run more than one train. While not DCC it is neither 100% transformer controlled either although I could. The TMCC for my 60 year old, original engines acts just like a transformer, controlling the track power only. This set up does save a lot of walking which was my main reason for doing it in the first place. My engines are not TMCC modernized at all nor do they need to be.
Oh, American Flyer is the best! A friend had a great S gauge layout in the mid-60s, and I wanted to model that scale so badly. Glad to see there are some folks keeping that incredible brand alive. And yes, vintage trains must be run in vintage mode!
 

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I only have space for a shelf layout 17' x 1.5'. I'm using Unitrack with power routing switches so it runs with a DC power pack and no need for wiring the switches.
 

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After a 40-year break from the model trains, when I decided to build a new layout, it was dcc from the get-go.

Even though the layout is not large (4x8 with an L-shaped extension for a yard), I simply could not do what I do with it using dc. DCC, however, makes it easy.

If the dcc system wasn't "easy", I couldn't have done it!

I can run 2 engines at once, sometimes 3 for a short period. I normally run 4 or 5 different locos during an operating session (usually 20-30 mins, 3 times a day).

I picked the Roco z21 system, which made it easy. I doubt I could have gotten as far as I have using anything else. The Roco graphical display (which runs on just about any smartphone or tablet) makes the interface "simple", but retains a considerable amount of "programming power" underneath -- unlike some other systems which offer a similar graphical interface but leave some of the "underlying stuff" out.

It's time to go run it right now!
 

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I think I’ve already done that. Looks hard to me. But my tiny layout doesn’t really lend itself. I’ll leave DCC to the hobby pros...
If you looked and decided it was too hard, you didn't look hard enough.

Unnecessary for your needs, maybe, so as not to justify the extra expense, but too hard, that's a stretch.
 

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People are afraid or apprehensive of what they don't understand. DCC systems, firearms, computers, smart phones, etc., etc.
 

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Yes, me I am running some trains in DC only as long as I don't have an idea how to equip these locos with DCC decoders but until then I run it onto a seperate section of my layout.

I still own nearly 40 Engines and not all are equiped with DCC decoders that will take some more time.

Specially some H0n30 Engines aren't equiped with DCC decoders, so I run them on DC only.

DCC is the future technology I don't close my eyes for it, but until I would have changed onto DCC only, I do run trains with DC and DCC.

Ya Ingo
 

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I live in a one bedroom apartment and have a scenicked loop of N scale track. Not enough to justify DCC since sound isn’t an important requirement. There is a two track yard and a long passing siding.

However, I have many IR detectors between the rails. I run the railroad with an Arduino that has a 5A motor driver shield. My code controls servo-based switch motors and track signals. I can flick a switch, and the railroad runs in demo mode. Track switches, passing tracks, train direction and speed are all controlled by the programmed microprocessor. Flick the switch back and I control the train.

So, the value of DCC depends on your layout and it’s objectives.
 

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Hi: LostinHoboken - Sounds like you have been around HO trains for awhile. I just posted a question about some Items I'm trying to sell on eBay. The link is in the Market Place, for sale eBay.I would appreciate any help you can offer. Thanks, Bill
 

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I plan to; for I've acquired an older Marklin set, but will need a transformer for the US market.

View attachment 514642
The old blue Märklin Transformers using 220 V ~ AC +/- 5 % as input power.

In Germany the public power changed alleeady to 230 V ~ AC +/- 10 % as input power.

The old blue transformers may be used on own risk in germany.

If your house would burn down by identified old electric transformer than maybe your fire insurance will not pay for it.

Look onto the transformer, there are symbols of the output power.
It should be 0 Volts up to 18 Volts - AC power the drirectiin switching impulse has got around 22 Volts up to 24 Volts ~ AC power.
For house electic wiring or turnout switching are used 16 Volts ~ AC power in general.

Look maybe for a Lionel Transformer of 0 Scale, I am not sure but used not Lionael in 0 Gauge AC Power to the tracks, too?
 

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Last night I was running my nice little Erie freight train (FA-1 with seven tank cars and a caboose) around my 4x8 oval of track, and it was such a nostalgic experience for me, just like when I did the same thing as a teen in the 60s.

It got me to wondering - does anybody still run their HO trains the old-school way, that is with just a power pack, or does everyone in the hobby today have that complicated DCC stuff?

I figured other folks with tiny layouts like mine might still be running “old-school”? Anyways, it still gives me the thrill.

LIH
DC all the way. Just can't buy into the DCC concept. I run a 4x8 layout two track just to have something to run. I am building a large layout and have spent 2 or 3 years designing and deciding (much harder that I thought LOL) and it will be DC as well. I have run some friends DCC stuff and it is interestig, but just not what I want.

It's all fun! :cool:
 

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I still run DC. I don't have a layout of my own but instead use a club layout. It's basically set up so one can plug in DC or DCC. I'm not into operation that much to spend the money for DCC stuff. I can run one train just fine. One neat thing is I can run a hundred car train and switch the back end of it in and out of the yard. I've got the engines and the cars tuned up. I run Athearn blue box and Scaletrains engines comfortably together. I can DPU also. Just gotta match the engines that work together well. For headlights I just put a bridge rectifier in-line between the pickup and the motor. This loses 1-1/2 volt. I rob that 1-1/2 to run 1.5v 30ma 1.4mm o.d clear lamps. Lamp part no. is 18C0310.
 

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comlpex oval

I have a basement 33 ft by 40 ft, with 54 in radius on the tight curves and my passenger trains look good. It is an oval wrapped around the out side, the an S shape in the center.
 
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