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Hobo for Life
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok , its all in the title. Maybe a jan , feb start date. Basement layout , 3 or 4 sheets of plywood. Not sure on the exact dimensions. I may revisit my old layout, or add to it and expand. The old was dismantled but i have the tops minus the buildings and tall scenery. I like old school stuff and operating accessories. Real life train reproduction isnt high on my list. Fun and loaded with crap is a better way to describe what I want.

Questions, are:

Do people still use legacy stuff? Or tmcc stuff? I have both , never used. Or Is it all Bluetooth stuff now? And what will legacy or tmcc run with? I have engiens to run on both ( not a lot) and the controlers. I have a ton of post war stuff and some pre war. Batteries will probably need replacing on the higher tec stuff.

Track: I still like the old stile 3 rail. I have it , and bigger radius stuff. Plus plentiful switches. Worth it to upgrade or not?

Keep it conventional or add so I can do other stuff later. Or a mix of a middle 2 loops conventional and one loop with newer tec?

Options, opinions, thoughts or ridicule is welcome.
 

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Seems like two different questions.

The layout and track type are mostly removed from control system decisions.. Modern control will work on most any layout. The exception would be if your into operating ala real life - switching consists, yard work, etc. - easier with modern control. Of course that style of operation would also dictate some of the layout. Me, I like building and letting 'em run.

Operating accessories ala pre-post war are routinely done in conventional. Simulating a working yard, likely better with modern control. You can switch out conventional control and modern control fairly easily (like turning the transformer to max or so to provide stable power). The exception would be some DC only sets. But I understand those to be entry level burner sets (not sure).

Me, I'd decide how I want to "play" with my trains. Then develop a layout from there - maximizing space and radius with what I have to work with. There's several track planning S/W products. I used SCARM's its free license for 100 tracks (download). Helped a bunch creating three loops, maximizing radii and custom sections in a narrow spot in the old basement. Just downloaded it again as I'm on a brand new PC.



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Hobo for Life
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yea , i get that. Thats why in the old layout it had lots of isolated sidings, you could use them for switching, but it was more that they were isolated for tasks, like the horse corral, cattle corral, coal loader etc. Some needed precision to line up, others just made a mess. Lol. So you could park a car set the voltage and watch it work. If you wanted you coyld also use it as a switching layout. But that was way harder then parking the cow car out of the way of the runners, so its perfectly lined up to move and tip cows. Yes they tip a lot. I may just do the outer 072 loop wires for legacy. As thats what I need to run the big rig. Dont kbow how isolated rails ( or dont remember) will effect that. I think i need to keep the one side for the comunication on the legacy side of it uninterrupted, and I can controll stuff on the other one?

Your layout looks good, just remember scram ( or at least it used to) dosen't always acount for switch motors with the older track. I will do as I did the first time, tape on the floor and dry fit it. I have an idea, but not sure yet. Thanks for the thoughts. I am leaning to more conventional. Just because of the amount of accessories, maybe the cow on track will be broken out for this build. Dont tell Ed!
 

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Do people still use legacy stuff? Or tmcc stuff? I have both , never used. Or Is it all Bluetooth stuff now? And what will legacy or tmcc run with? I have engiens to run on both ( not a lot) and the controlers. I have a ton of post war stuff and some pre war. Batteries will probably need replacing on the higher tec stuff.
I run Legacy, TMCC, and DCS on my layout. Although I have the WiFi units for both MTH and Lionel, I rarely even look at BT. I don't feel like running my trains with my phone, the range is limited on many of the engines no matter what phone or tablet I use, etc.

For my money, you can keep the BT for earphones, I'll stick to the native control systems.
 

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Hobo for Life
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, so far, i think inside loops conventional, and outside will be legacy. Besides , the only legacy thing I have only operates on the 072. ( i think its only one. It may be 3, lol) Ill keep the other stuff inside and see what I come up with. I have been knocking off the jobs around the house I have been procrastinating on, so I can clean up the basement a bit and see what type of room I have. I am thinking something easy, not like yours GRJ. While I can do that, I am time limited. My new hobby ( a camper) has me away for most of the nice weather months.
So , still thinking about 4 sheets of plywood, eaither in a big U , or 2 sheets in the middle and the other 2 off to the sides. I will probably have to add a bit for the 072 curves around the edge. I'll strat planning soon, I hope.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Yea , i get that. Thats why in the old layout it had lots of isolated sidings, you could use them for switching, but it was more that they were isolated for tasks, like the horse corral, cattle corral, coal loader etc. Some needed precision to line up, others just made a mess. Lol. So you could park a car set the voltage and watch it work. If you wanted you coyld also use it as a switching layout. But that was way harder then parking the cow car out of the way of the runners, so its perfectly lined up to move and tip cows. Yes they tip a lot. I may just do the outer 072 loop wires for legacy. As thats what I need to run the big rig. Dont kbow how isolated rails ( or dont remember) will effect that. I think i need to keep the one side for the comunication on the legacy side of it uninterrupted, and I can controll stuff on the other one?

Your layout looks good, just remember scram ( or at least it used to) dosen't always acount for switch motors with the older track. I will do as I did the first time, tape on the floor and dry fit it. I have an idea, but not sure yet. Thanks for the thoughts. I am leaning to more conventional. Just because of the amount of accessories, maybe the cow on track will be broken out for this build. Dont tell Ed!
Forgot all about a cow on the tracks.
I did a search....model railroad s scale cow on tracks......first thing that came up, :) I was looking in 2010, I guess they are rarer now.
If I had one, I would probably wreck something trying to run it over. :D
 
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Railroad Tycoon
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Hmmm, fifty bucks with box, there are a few more listed but my interest went away now.
 
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Hobo for Life
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Forgot all about a cow on the tracks.
I did a search....model railroad s scale cow on tracks......first thing that came up, :) I was looking in 2010, I guess they are rarer now.
If I had one, I would probably wreck something trying to run it over. :D
Half the stuff I have I forgot about. And I still get something here or there at the flea market. I think I have 3 of the old coal loaders, the pre war ones. I bought one for parts but it worked. Lol. The saw mill has to ho somewhere also. And the MTH firehouse. Crap, I have too much stuff. I still need a few pre war bridges. I have and idea , but i need to see if it works.
 

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Hobo for Life
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, so mesuring and thinking. I have a little room and 3 tables allready built from previous layout. While i want to keep some things on my old layout( I really liked it) adding the o72 curves around the outside will take some changes. I may strip what's left of the old scenery from the 2 tables, so 2 sheets of plywood. And I have a 3rd allready build, ot was the prototype with 027 switches and 0 track. So that gives me 3 tables. I Can not find the legs I had, they may have went into the fireplace.......so i will figure that out and maybe build a small yard. Maybe a 2 x 8 off in the corner? If i need to add for the 0 72 curves, it shouldnt be hard to add to the tables. They are old school and built with 2x4s. So heavy.
 

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Hobo for Life
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok next is power. I forget some stuff here. So, I have lots of transformers sitting around. They may work or not, but i can fix them. Lol. Was thinking, one power circuit to each track. Thats 3. One more power feed for lights. One more for switches and accessories. Or should I break this into two? I know switches work best around 14 to 16 volts. And accessories can change depending on age, oil and motors , plus what they are. I may break this up also. So thats like 5 feeds on seprate lines. If I run the legacy it will be on the outside loop, and may need a newer type transformer. Or power pack thing. Can I run that off the zw centinal that no one liked, lol. Or xan the legacy be powered with a reguler zw? I have 4 zws, a centinal zw, a z , 4 180 bricks, and various other stuff. So i can use diffrent stuff no problems.
 

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I don't think you'll get much if any O-72 on that benchwork. See the pic. I used SCARM and recreated your bench. I laid Gargraves because SCARM lists the track length/curve radius right on the plan - better illustration of fit. Other track will have similar fit. Best I could do was O-54 in the corners and O-42 on the semi circles. I went through the same issues while designing my former benchwork. I even inlaid the benchtop level with the 2"x4" sides to gain the extra 3" of bench width to get O-52 leading into the semicircles and O-42 at their crests ....

The s/w will avoid many false starts. SCARMS 1st hundred pieces of track are included in the free license.

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Hobo for Life
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Unfortunately, no computer. Yes, i know it will go over, lol. How much, i have no clue. Figured I would cheat the inside and the left side of the board. O can add on , but i have no clue how much is needed. I figue , that is the idea , that you layed out. Cheat it a little in, and run another track around it. This may be a bigger undertaking then originally thought.
 
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