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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
I am 56 and decided to get back into model trains after a 40 year layoff.
WOW!! A lot has changed, after my daughter just moved out after buying a house, I have a spare bedroom.
I am not going to go crazy, I have watched a ton of videos on benchwork, layouts and wiring. I am leaning towards a DDC. I think I might have an idea what I want to do and there is a ton of info out there but what I can’t find is when and where do I use insulated rail joiners. If anyone can point me in that direction, that would be awesome
 

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Unless you are dividing up blocks of track for computer control, insulated joiners are unneccesary on a DCC system.

Even signaling can be accomplished without individual blocks these days.

I hear so many returning to the hobby such as yourself say 'leaning towards' or 'thinking about' or 'considering' DCC. Just do it. It's ten times easier than a DC layout and the possibilities of using it are endless. Try running two locomotives in opposite directions on the same DC track. It doesn't work. Tired of dim headlights when shunting? DCC headlights are always on, always full brightness.

Like sound from your locomotives? DCC is the only way to get that. You can run multiple locomotive individually at the same time with one controller.

Welcome to 2021. 1985 was a long time ago.
 
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Welcome I'm in the same boat after not having a set up for 25+'ish years when I was a kid with my dad...
When I started to do a little research I was almost overwhelmed with the amount of technology that is now being used, last time I had a layout there was no such thing as YouTube or computers so that will be a big help
 

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Welcome Pete

A spare bedroom is an ideal spot for a model railroad...a super major factor...it is
clean and climate controlled the whole year...that really cuts the need for
extensive maintenance.

The easy way to build benchwork for your bedroom layout is to go modular. Make frames of
various size and shape of 1 X 3" lumber, 2 1X3s screwed together to make Ls for legs.
Bolts into frame corners for stability. Nice thing is you can make them in work room and
bring them to the bedroom. Avoids sawdust and mess in the house. You bolt the
frames together and top with 1/4" plywood. I covered it all with 1/4" paper covered foam
from Walmart crafts section...others like to use 1 or 2" thick foam.

You can get a lot
of track and variety if you plan on following the walls with the controls in the center of the room.
It is actually quite easy to build a lift bridge for easy access to your system.
My HO DCC layout had a single track main with sidings for passing. (with DCC you can have
a train going clockwise and another going counterclockwise on the same track). I also had two
fair size yards yards several industrial sidihngs. With tyis type of layout you can do a lot
of challenging switching as well as continuous running.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Welcome Pete

A spare bedroom is an ideal spot for a model railroad...a super major factor...it is
clean and climate controlled the whole year...that really cuts the need for
extensive maintenance.

The easy way to build benchwork for your bedroom layout is to go modular. Make frames of
various size and shape of 1 X 3" lumber, 2 1X3s screwed together to make Ls for legs.
Bolts into frame corners for stability. Nice thing is you can make them in work room and
bring them to the bedroom. Avoids sawdust and mess in the house. You bolt the
frames together and top with 1/4" plywood. I covered it all with 1/4" paper covered foam
from Walmart crafts section...others like to use 1 or 2" thick foam.

You can get a lot
of track and variety if you plan on following the walls with the controls in the center of the room.
It is actually quite easy to build a lift bridge for easy access to your system.
My HO DCC layout had a single track main with sidings for passing. (with DCC you can have
a train going clockwise and another going counterclockwise on the same track). I also had two
fair size yards yards several industrial sidihngs. With tyis type of layout you can do a lot
of challenging switching as well as continuous running.

Don
Thanks for the tips, I was looking at a “T” style layout using 2 4x8’s in the center of the room for easier access all the way around the layout, I am still in the measuring and idea stage. But I have a pretty good idea of how I want to do my bench work,
 

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When I started to do a little research I was almost overwhelmed with the amount of technology that is now being used, last time I had a layout there was no such thing as YouTube or computers so that will be a big help
No kidding I've been going crazy with the research and how different it is now!!!
 
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