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Hi i recently decided to get into ho gauge trains because they are much smaller than the 0-27 i currently have and i don't have enough space for those. I was wondering what i should get to start. I have looked at bachmann and all the others and am a little confused about what is good and what isn't.
 

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Hi Apb...I am not sure what your budget is, but there are many possibilities. If you only will own one locomotive, and you don't care about price, you might want to get a good one like Atlas or Kato. If price is a concern, you might look at Bachmann. If you want the best of all worlds, you might look at Athearn. It combines decent detail, with a mid-range price and good-running engine. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
tankist a link in your sig has helped me but i was wondering what type of track you would recommend and control system

Edit: forgot to refresh before post thanks for advice mr x ite ment
 

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i like flex track, however it may be bit more work, shaping and cutting precise lengths. easy to kink if not carefull. with that i do use fixed radius curves as well. code 100 while less prototypical is cheap and abundant and compatible with older trains. if i'd start over i'd use C83 or even C70 track. more expensive however .

control system for one train would be a DC power pack. don't waste time with toys, good power-pack such as MRC techII is ~20$ from ebay. for controlling many trains there is DCC, topic in itself. significantly more investment required.

i'd say focus on your available space and come up with layout you like. while you doing that the rest will come
 

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Discussion Starter #6
well the plan i made is going to have two loops(not just ovals) so i should get one that can do multiple trains.

and what exactly is the difference between dcc and dc
 

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and what exactly is the difference between dcc and dc
DC = Direct Current - This is the regular type of power going to any two rail track... You just put the locomotive on the track and it goes, but with this you can not control individual trains when running more than one on the same track...

DCC = Digital Command Control - This is a more techical system which allows you to control multiple trains individually on the same track without having any problems... You can send a signal to a specific train, rather than having it go to every train running on the track...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
so dcc is sort of like each train has an ip address and the controller sends out a message to a certain train that others will ignore?
 

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yea that is real good take on it. I run dc on my little layout but when ever i go bigger i plan on dcc do your self a favor and do alot of reading on here and the net before you buy I wish i had but I'm happy with what i got for my first time around. thats my 2 cents
 

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I started out with DC on my layout, then after about 3 years, I converted it to DCC. I have the option to run both on my layout, but I use DCC about 98% of the time. If you are unsure what you would like to use, I would suggest buying trains that are ready for DCC (i.e. all you have to do is plug in a decoder). It can be kind of a pain to convert all the DC trains to DCC if they are not already DCC Ready. Buying DCC Ready trains makes it SO EASY to convert. You can even buy ones with DCC already On Board...they will run on a DC layout all right.

You might want to consider going DCC right from the start, as most DCC systems are becoming cheaper all the time. And, yes, with DCC there is power to the track all the time, but the trains don't move until you tell them to. They operate independently of each other...i.e. one can be going around the layout while another is backing up SLOWLY in the opposite direction!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
yeah i was think about going with dcc but at first i thought it was not controling seperate trains but seperate tracks . thats how my old lionel worked.
does it matter who's dcc i buy?
 

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Hey Apb...in my opinion, I don't think it matters too much which dcc system you buy. From what I understand, many dcc systems are similar/compatible. Other guys may have stronger opinions on this. I would guess it might depend on how many accessories you want to power, or whether you want sound or not. Some systems have more bells and whistles than others, but the basic principle of a dcc system seems to me to be fairly uniform. I have a basic, cheap, entry-level type DCC system and have had no problems with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
yeah i don't really care that much about sound. Yeah i'm looking at this bachmann one and it looks ok. I was wondering fi i should go with easy track or any of the other snap together track or just go with the normal track
 

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I would judge that by the size of your layout. If it is relatively small (4x8 or so), then maybe you could go with E-Z track, or some snap-together track. If it has any size to it at all, I would go with flextrack, for the simple reason that it has less joints and you can have the freedom to configure it the way you like. Good luck!
 

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OK I get it now:D I was wondering what DCC meant.

Right now, I only plan on running one train until I get my feet wet.

Down the road, I might upgrade to a DCC system.

Heck, right now, I don't even have a locomotive :laugh:

Cheers, Ian
 

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Hey Ian...that's the way I started too...just wanted to run one train. However, I got addicted. Now I want to own MANY locomotives. My layout kept expanding all the time. I started with DC, but wished I had started with DCC when I saw how nice it was to use. It really isn't that much more money these days to get into DCC. I found it VERY easy to switch from DC to DCC power, but I found it kind of a pain to convert my DC locos to DCC. In short, I wish I had gone with DCC right from the start, but I didn't understand it at the time.
 

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If simplicity is your desire than Kato unitrak, but slightly limited in the curve radius and turnout selection. But the best all around all in one track around; meaning that track and roadbed are one piece.
If prototypical is your desire then go with Atlas code 83 or 100. code designate the height of the rails. either work well but older locomotives prefer code 100.
More selection of curve radius and turnout selection, and does come in flex track, but harder to lay than snap track sections(so beware)

DCC is really the way to go for real type running of trains. DC you control the track more than the trains.
You can pickup a DCC system for starting at around $150 complete ready to run trains(just about) meaning after setup but complete.
All of the DCC systems work well, but some have more features than others.
And some are harder to expand as your knowledge and desire for the hobby grows. Bachmann in DCC systems abd decoders is the most basic of them all and really can't expand with you. NCE,Digitrax and MRC are about the same with slightly different features.
Below is a good link where you can compare systems so you can make an informed decision. And then some
http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track_2.htm

Don't wish to overwhelm you so will leave off there for now.
As questions arise don't hesitate to post your questions. There are no silly questions here so feel free to ask away.

"Enjoy it's built rite in." ;)
 

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