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Product Reviews

An honest review of some of the products I've tried.

  1. RocRail and iRoc

    RocRail is open source model railroad software similar to JMRI or Model Railroad Automation. It is available in many languages and can run on PC, Mac and Linux. I'm using RocRail on a PC with Windows XP.


    Rocrail Rocview

    Rocrail Rocview

    ...

    Updated May 25th, 2011 at 07:42 AM by gregamer

    Categories
    Product Reviews , DCC & Electronics
  2. Team Digital SMC4 Servo Decoder

    I thought I'd written something about these a while back. So here's a kind of mini-review.

    I bought a couple of Team Digital SMC4 Servo decoders late last year. The SMC4 has four servo outputs and four slow motion switch machine outputs. The board has several different modes that define how the outputs are used, including using all eight as individual outputs, linking the servo and slow motion outputs, and running the servo outputs as three position semaphore.

    The feature ...
  3. Ground Throws - N Scale

    I purchased a Caboose Industries sprung ground throw with contacts as well as a NJ International Switch Stand.

    The Caboose ground throw needs to be assembled. Once installed they operate the turnout just great. Only problem is they are huge to scale.

    The NJ International switch stand comes assembled. Installation requires making your own linkage. When operating with an Atlas code 55 switch, the targets do not move a full 90 degrees. There is a arm which can be used to ...
  4. Servo Motor Turnout Control - Servos

    I'm like a kid in a candy store when I find something new and a few months ago that was DCC servo motor turnout control.

    What initially peeked my interest was the Anemodel Smart Switch. A recent article in Model Railroad Hobbyist - R/C Servos for Model Railroading - July 2009 convinced me to take the plunge. I bought a Tam Valley Singlet servo decoder (my review), a pair of Team Digital SMC4s, and 14 servos (two 9g servos and twelve 3.7g servos.)

    ...
  5. Model Railroad Automation - First Thoughts

    .
    Model Railroad Automation is a free .NET based Loconet automation software program. Unlike JMRI which is developed by a broad range of contributors, RRAuto appears to be developed by a one-man enterprise, software developer Perecli Manole. Editing with RRAuto feels like using visual basic or another visual based development tool. I used RRAuto to set up a panel that would operate turnouts and provide track indications.

    ...
  6. JMRI First Toughts

    I finally got around to figuring out how to run a couple of free railroad automation software packages: JMRI & Railroad Automation. I've started with the basics and wanted to share what I thought about each one. I'll start with JMRI.

    JMRI is a Java based full featured suite of model railroad applications. I used it to set up a control panel, run a locomotive, and to program my BDL168. JMRI has two panel editors, PanelPro and Layout Editor, I tried both, but found Layout Editor ...
  7. Singlet Servo Decoder

    First - I didn't realize the Singlet comes with a Servo. I ordered a Servo separately and ended up with two. So the real deal is $4.50 for a Singlet and Servo + Shipping (which was $3.50 for me.) So for $8.00 introductory price you get one fully functioning turnout motor and decoder.

    Tam Valley was quick to ship. it took about 3 days from order to delivery. The Singlet comes with the Decoder/Controller (1.25" x 1.25"), 9G micro Servo, 3 Servo Horns & 12" Servo Extension ...
  8. Wheels Of Time Seattle Transit System Bus



    WOT N-Scale STS 1204 with TWA Advertisement
    ...
    Tags: bus, seattle, transit
    Categories
    N Scale , Product Reviews
  9. Reiten Models Bingen Loading Warehouse Laser-Cut Model Kit




    This my first laser cut wood kit and I'm impressed.


    Reiten Models
    Bingen ...
    Tags: warehouse
    Categories
    N Scale , Product Reviews
  10. Rodney's Railroad Tools

    Last fall I purchased the N Scale Code 55 tool set from Rodney's Railroad Tools. The set includes 7 high quality and precision machined tools. The tools include:

    • 3-N-1 Tool


      A soldering alignment and heat-sink tool, parallel track spacing tool & dual magnets. The track spacing tool can be milled to whatever track center spacing you would like.
      This is a great little tool
    ...

    Updated February 2nd, 2009 at 03:47 AM by gregamer (Correct)

    Tags: track tools
    Categories
    N Scale , Product Reviews
  11. Ribbonrail Track Alignment Gauges


    Ribbonrail TAGs

    After months of searching for a retailer that carried Tracksetta gauges I happened upon Ribbonrail Track Alignment Gauges (TAG).

    What is it?

    A Ribbonrail TAG is similar in design to a Tracksetta gauge. It is a rigid aluminum strip that fits between the tracks to help obtain a specific alignment. Straight and curved gauges are both available in N and ...
    Tags: track tools
    Categories
    Product Reviews
  12. Topside Creeper


    Topside Creeper (Fully extended & folded)

    I purchased the Foldable Topside Creeper from Micro-Mark this month.

    For those unfamiliar with this product here is a brief run-down:
    Background
    The Topside Creeper was designed as a working platform for truck mechanics. It allows
    ...
    Tags: tools
    Categories
    Product Reviews
  13. Cryon LED Media Highlighter

    I've been looking for a nighttime layout lighting source, something blue or purple possibly flourescent black lights or cold cathode lights. Then I found this:



    at Costco and couldn't pass it up.

    The Cryon Media Highlighter is a set of six multi-colored LED light bars, marketed as accent lighting for media systems. The system includes the six 15" LED light bars, a transformer, ...

    Updated January 1st, 2009 at 07:24 PM by gregamer (Add Blog Category)

    Categories
    Product Reviews , DCC & Electronics
  14. Paint Brushes - Harbor Freight

    I tried 2 types of paint brush today. Both items were purchased at Harbor Freight. The items were 2" Professional Paintbrush & 24 Piece Foam Brush Set.

    The 2" Professional Paintbrush costs $.33 with a coupon, regular price is $1.99. It has a wooden handle and polyester bristles. I bought eight.

    I used the paint brush to apply waterbased primer to hardboard. It was a disaster. The bristles were constantly falling out of the brush. I started in a darker corner ...
    Tags: tools
    Categories
    Product Reviews