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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

Newbie here. Got myself a Bachmann Acela train set today, and decided it's time to do a little project. I used to have PIKO railroad as a kid, and I even started building a layout on plywood, but after a while the whole thing was just collecting dust in the corner.

Hopefully, this time around I'll get a little further :) I'll be getting an 8x4 piece of plywood and Styrofoam to go on top. I don't have a lot of space to store the layout, so I was thinking I could hoist it to the ceiling in the garage when not in use. If anyone has done anything like that - it'd be great to look at your solution.

Looks like train tech made huge progress since I was a kid. DCC sounds like fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I also had a couple of questions about the track and power source.

1. Do I need a track with little nails in the middle in order to run DCC? I saw sample tracks at a hobby store today, and one was just a regular EZ-track which I got with the set, while the other one had little nails in the middle of ties.

The staff was kind of clueless about the track, unfortunately, so I didn't get a clear answer.

2. DCC runs AC power to the track as opposed to DC power from the Spectrum power source I got with the set. Will this AC power burn out my locomotive motor? My loco is DCC-ready as says on the box.

Thanks.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

There are many articles in back issues of Model Railroader on hanging layouts, even some built into furniture as I've done.

As for the studded track you were looking at, that would be for Marklin equipment, which is designed to run off of AC stud pickup, making wiring a layout very easy. If not careful, their equipment will short out a DC layout. Kato, Bachmann and Life-Like all make a two rail DC track. They are not compatible with each other so you will want to decide early on what to run.

DCC runs 16v fixed voltage in the track, sending digital signals through the track to an onboard decoder installed in each locomotive. Most DC locomotives can be converted over, many very easily as DC motors can run on AC current. Lights are the most affected by the voltage but putting in a resistor fixes this, usually a 1/4 watt 1000 ohm one does the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, shaygetz!

I'll drop by the local hobby shop to see if they have any Model Rialroader issues there.
 

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You'll not find them in the later issues as the emphasis seems to be on filling rooms and basements now. When you look for them, try to pick up ones from the 60s and early 70s.
 
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