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Discussion Starter #1
I'm just getting back to model railroading and I have a few questions, since It's been a long time.
1. Which control method do you recommend if you want a semi-realistic setup with a few buildings and maybe some model cars and people and such, Dc or Dcc, and do you have any favorite controller brands or models?

2. I've got a couple of ho scale trains and one I believe is dcc ready, but when I run them on a long layout, they seem to stop on certain pieces of track. I've concluded that the track probably needs to be cleaned so it will be more conductive, but I have seen many methods on how to clean track and don't yet know which seems best since I don't really want to scratch the track. I've noticed some black specks on the rails and don't know how to get those off, since they might be inhibiting the electricity from traveling through.

3. Does anyone have a favorite Bachmann train loco? I tend to lean towards the antique looking ones, as well as the coaches.

I'm also wondering if anyone has used the Faller system of Magnorail to make realistic scenes. Any recommendations on which ones work best? I tend to like the ones that don't use a track that is visible for it makes it look more realistic, and those are the two brands I found.

Also, has anyone here used any camera train cars, or locos? I really like the idea of having a different perspective. Here's what i found.

Roco Modelleisenbahn Products LOCOMOTIVES Electric locomotives 73532 Electric locomotive series 1116, ÖBB + Video Cam.

Wireless Live Camera systems on model trains & railroads

Wireless ones are my favorite!

Thank you!
I didn't know if i should start a new thread since I'm new here and don't know much about where to post.
I was told to post in the Ho part so...
 

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Roco no longer makes the ÖBB Taurus and I checked my usual hobby shops and they are out of stock too.

I did not check to see if Roco still makes a locomotive with a camera, they might in a different model.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Roco no longer makes the ÖBB Taurus and I checked my usual hobby shops and they are out of stock too.

I did not check to see if Roco still makes a locomotive with a camera, they might in a different model.
Thanks. That's good to know. As I asked in a previous post, does anyone here know about the Faller or Magnorail system(s)? Does anyone know of any ones like this? I think they are pretty cool, since they don't need above ground track.
 

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Sorry, I don't know much about the vehicle systems beyond the fact of their existence. I'll weigh in on your other two questions though.

1) Control scheme: unless you're only going to run one loco on a single loop of track, I'd recommend DCC. It may sound complicated, but it's not. I'm personally an MRC fan, but there are lots of excellent systems out there. Rather than rehash, I'm going to recommend that you read some of the threads on this topic.

2) You absolutely want to clean your track and clean and lube the motors and drive trains of your locos. Anything that has been in storage for a while is going to be cruddy. Dirty track is the first thing you should suspect when you have slowdowns or stalls. Unless there is paint or adhesive on your rails, abrasives are not necessary. Use a rag and a non-polar solvent. Kerosene is actually the best, followed by WD-40 Contact Cleaner and CRC Contact Cleaner and Protectant (make sure you match the product name EXACTLY; other products from the same companies aren't as good). ATF is also good. Some of the most common ones, alcohol (all forms) and acetone, aren't actually very good. That black crud is corrosion caused by micro-arcing from the locos wheels, and non-polar solvents inhibit this process.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry, I don't know much about the vehicle systems beyond the fact of their existence. I'll weigh in on your other two questions though.

1) Control scheme: unless you're only going to run one loco on a single loop of track, I'd recommend DCC. It may sound complicated, but it's not. I'm personally an MRC fan, but there are lots of excellent systems out there. Rather than rehash, I'm going to recommend that you read some of the threads on this topic.

2) You absolutely want to clean your track and clean and lube the motors and drive trains of your locos. Anything that has been in storage for a while is going to be cruddy. Dirty track is the first thing you should suspect when you have slowdowns or stalls. Unless there is paint or adhesive on your rails, abrasives are not necessary. Use a rag and a non-polar solvent. Kerosene is actually the best, followed by WD-40 Contact Cleaner and CRC Contact Cleaner and Protectant (make sure you match the product name EXACTLY; other products from the same companies aren't as good). ATF is also good. Some of the most common ones, alcohol (all forms) and acetone, aren't actually very good. That black crud is corrosion caused by micro-arcing from the locos wheels, and non-polar solvents inhibit this process.
Thank you so much. I'll definitely check out the other posts on DCC. Are they (, DC and DCC), the only types? What controllers do you use, any certain brands? Oh and, what brand or models of locos do you like?
Thank you!
 

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I like and buy Roco, A.C.M.E., Bemo, and TRIX locomotives. But those are all European manufacturers. Unless you are building a European railroad you won't likely be buying any of those brands.

Which makes me wonder why you were looking at a Roco ÖBB 1116 locomotive.

Brawa, PIKO, and Jägerndorfer all make good equipment too.
 

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Nobody has said to make sure the locomotives wheels are clean, so I’ll say it....even if the track is spotless, it means nothing if the wheels are all gunked up.....
 

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...and the wipers behind the wheels need periodic cleaning and lubing with a good lube.

There are several new command and control systems on the market for train control (BlueRail..?), but I am using DCC and have not learned about them.

A very persistent, generalized, and frequent complaint about train control systems, but chiefly with DCC, is that poor electrical contact means spotty performance, and more than spotty annoyance and disillusionment. So, if you are just starting out, and elect to go with DCC because of its widespread availability and popularity, I would advise that you acquaint yourself with 'keep alive' circuitry, and look for locomotives that have on-board capacitors/keep alive circuits because they ARE coming on stream, and my prediction is that they'll turn the antipathy towards DCC around over the next four or five years.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you so much. I'll definitely check out the other posts on DCC. Are they (, DC and DCC), the only types? What controllers do you use, any certain brands? Oh and, what brand or models of locos do you like?
Thank you!
How do you make sure they don't hurt you during the process? Do yo use a face protector?
Thank you!
 

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OP wrote:
"Also, has anyone here used any camera train cars, or locos? I really like the idea of having a different perspective. Here's what i found.
Roco Modelleisenbahn Products LOCOMOTIVES Electric locomotives 73532 Electric locomotive series 1116, ÖBB + Video Cam.
Wireless Live Camera systems on model trains & railroads

Wireless ones are my favorite!"

If you like a setup like the one mentioned (Roco loco with built-in camera), then you'll get the most out of it with a wifi dcc control system.
Use a tablet (not a smartphone) to control it (can be either an iPad or an Android tablet).

Use the Roco z21 control app. It may even have a "pre-installed cab" for the Roco loco, that simulates the "in-cab controls" and you can run the engine that way!***

I'd suggest either the Roco z21 (white box), either the "z21" or the "z21 Start".
There's also a black box Z21 (big "Z"), but it's about 3x the cost.

ALTERNATIVE WAY to use the Roco app:
Get a Digikeijs DR5000. Actually less money than the z21 "box", AND it comes with wifi built right into it (so you don't need the TP Link companion router that you need with the z21 setup).

I have a white z21, but if I was starting over, I'd probably go with the DR5000 instead (again using it with the Roco control app).

*** You can download and use the z21 app in "demo mode" FOR FREE, to see what I'm talking about.
Go to the app store (iOS) or google play (Android).
Search for "roco z21".
The app you want has a red engine on a blue background.
You can try the "demo locos", some have cab controls as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
How
Thank you so much. I'll definitely check out the other posts on DCC. Are they (, DC and DCC), the only types? What controllers do you use, any certain brands? Oh and, what brand or models of locos do you like?
Thank you!
How do you make sure they don't hurt you during the process? Do yo use a face protector?
Thanks!
 

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I used only alcohol to clean my rails and loco wheels...alcohol is not likely to harm you
unless you do untrainlike things with it.

Don
 

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How

How do you make sure they don't hurt you during the process? Do yo use a face protector?
Thanks!
I guess you're referring to chemicals used while cleaning track? Like Don said, use common sense and you'll be fine. None of these chemicals are particularly caustic. Wear rubber gloves is you're worried, but fact / respiratory protection is not required, unless maybe you're working in a small, unventilated space, like a closet.
 
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