Am I that old or did things really change ?

Jeff St to Tillamook Jun 20, 2019

  1. Jeff St to Tillamook

    Jeff St to Tillamook New Member

    Rip Van Winkle Syndrome ?
    Slowly getting back into the hobby after years of involuntarily hiatus. What happened ?

    DCC who ? Styrofoam mountains ? No more PFM, Floquil, NWSL, etc ?
    Well folks, expect to see a slew of catch up questions from this wayward pilgrim. I am planning to re-start from scratch in HO. Interests are mainly SP and logging from the Cascades to the Pacific. I am glad to see that there is a place like this now where you can get questions answered.
    Thanks for letting me in the door !
    Kurt Moose and Hardcoaler like this.
  2. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    Hi Jeff, welcome to a world that is quickly expanding beyond our imagination. Meanwhile I go to shows and am awed by the new products that dinosaurs like me use to create beautiful effects. Looking forward to seeing what you create, go for it. (y)
  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    Welcome to TrainBoard Jeff. I was somewhat in your position a few years ago before retirement. I'd been in N Scale since its early days, but family and career slowly pushed hobbies to the side and I missed fifteen years or more of product advancement and change, including much of what you listed above.

    You chose a top notch forum, with a bunch of helpful folks to help get you back on track. :D
  4. Jeff St to Tillamook

    Jeff St to Tillamook New Member

    Well thanks for the welcome gents.

    In the interest of "Full Disclosure". I will say that the "Jeff" in my forum name is not my name but refers to the old Southern Pacific branch line that started at the old Jefferson Street freight station in the middle of what now is of Portland, ending at Tillamook on the central Oregon coastline. About a 100 mile branch that wound it's way through dense forests and mountain grades until it reached the old WWII Navy blimp base on the coast. It's the inspiration for my future layout.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  5. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

    Welcome aboard!!(y)
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Welcome back to the hobby and to TrainBoard!

    Yes. Things have changed. And continue to evolve.
  7. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

    Welcome back!
  8. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

    Welcome aboard Jeff. Yes, everything has changed.
  9. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

    Welcome model train person we will refer too as "Jeff St.". Just kidding, have fun and enjoy!
  10. Jeff St to Tillamook

    Jeff St to Tillamook New Member

    Hmm...Sounds like a detective novel...I like it
  11. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    Welcome to TrainBoard Jeff! Hope you enjoy exploring all the new mysteries. :)
  12. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Welcome back.

    You may or may not like it. Some of us are still trying to decide if DCC is the way or should I/we stick with Analog DC. So far and I've tried DCC I'm sticking with Analog DC. Simpler in many ways.

    For you it will be like Christmas all over again and you'll get to decide what works best for you.

    Never mind all the new home spun work shops jumping up to replace the old ones. It'l have your head spinning.

    See signature.
  13. Jeff St to Tillamook

    Jeff St to Tillamook New Member

    Interesting point. Although I'm already beginning to notice that April 15th comes before Christmas...:eek:
  14. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    When your a model railroader Christmas can be every day of the week. o_O:rolleyes::whistle::LOL:

    I shouldn't admit this. At my age and if I can't remember yesterday then everything is brand new.

    Well that hasn't happened, yet.. but as I tell my Doctor, I'm working on it. :):confused::cool:
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
  15. vasilis

    vasilis TrainBoard Member

    Welcome. Things have changed and this is good. I feel lucky and thankfull, I'm sure you will feel the same too, that I'm starting after so much work has been done that makes the dcc affordable in form of dcc++. The big costs are locos, rolling stock and the track.
  16. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Can you explain what you mean by DCC++. I'm thinking it's everything that goes with DCC that can make it expensive. Track and/or switches isn't so much the problem but those decoders, installation, CV's, Sound, light can not only get expensive but complicated.
  17. vasilis

    vasilis TrainBoard Member

    In a nutshell. I got involved to the trains completely accidentally. :) I had a bored weekend and I started watching videos about mr. I was so impressed of what i saw, so the next day I was talking to the friends about it. The next day a friend gave to me an old dc loco with a track loop. It was a TT scale old loco "tortured" by the kids. I said to him that I don't want to bother with the model railroad , but he didn't listen. I ordered an arduino, a motorshield and a zimo mx621 decoder. So I spent cca 50euros and I had a dcc command station and the dcc loco. I did everything according instructions I found in the web, without any further help. I learned the basic JMRI too easy.
    So with this converted to the dcc loco, the JMRI and a mobile app throttle I entered to the mr world too fast. Then I built Geoff's Bunza servo controller and I learned more about. I learned about CMRI, the diy arduino solutions, boosters, detectors and so much other things and I'm still learning. It's an amazing amount of work offered that makes the mr affordable. I’m not any genius or special educated in electronics or programming, though I got some basic, but I can learn fast, when something is pleasing me. Sometimes I'm just a clever monkey.
    So, you can have a basic dcc (laisc) decoder for 11euro, dcc base station for 20e, power supply(for everything) 30e , arduino controllers for 5e, servo switches for 2e,.....
    Then is the bench, you can go with the 5cm high density xps foam and lightweight steel studs for drywall framing. This kind of bench costs about 13e/m2 (it can be less), can be built without special tools and without painting - sealing.
    I don't know if it is worth, the dc-dcc conversion, but I know that the newcomers to the hobby have a chance thanks to the work offered free. We don't feel terrified by the gurus and masters of everything, but we are happy and thankful. :)
    Sumner and BarstowRick like this.
  18. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Now I have a better understanding. Before I get into my response. Something happened and I found myself eliminating or editing your response. My bad and one of those things I can't explain other then I was away from the computer for a pit stop. Thinking one my feline buddies walked across my key board.

    I'm an old fart who's made an effort to learn and understand DCC. Just so's you know. There was a group of us in Big Bear Country, California. We had a ball with DCC.

    Pretty much every layout in the group converted over to DCC with two exceptions. John A. stayed with his older style Analog DC, Cab A Cab B, Common Wire. I eventually shut down my DCC side of things returning back to Analog DC, Cab A Cab B, with block wiring. See my layout was already wired to Cab A and Cab B, DPDT electrical switches and all I did was add a DPDT/cut off switch to Cab B., for my DCC power supply.

    At some point the ugly reality of what it was going to cost me to convert over 100 diesel/motors and I pulled back. Not affluent like others here on TB. I had two DCC diseasels (sp intended) that taught me plenty and then died. So, they were converted back to Analog DC and I unplugged the DCC unit. There's way more to this then I have time to tell. So, I won't get into it other then to say: The problem with a duel wired layout is you can get someone a visitor, in running your trains and they cross over from the DCC power supply to the Analog DC and all hell breaks loose. And so it happened.

    My two DCC units: I was sure I didn't install a smoke unit and they were indeed smoking. End of decoders. It takes a certain amount of discipline and understanding to operate a layout with Cab A and Cab B. You need to understand block wiring and where the isolators have been cut in. Despite the fact I had them marked in white paint. The simple solution would of been to move all toggles on the main to Cab B and we would of been fine. Aiiyiiyii !!!

    My son-in-law gave me a Smarter Then Me Phone and I have no love lost for it. Me and touchscreens do not work well together. DCC is kind of the same thing for me. No touch screen but complicated enough and above my edumacation level to cause me nothing but grief. Never mind $$$'s

    I will see what the future brings me.

    Thanks for your come back.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
    vasilis likes this.
  19. Amos

    Amos TrainBoard Member

    Hi Jeff.

    I know just how you feel. It's been a little over 30 years for me. I have no interest in DCC or the latest electronics, except maybe for signals and detectors - those are fantastic. I am very impressed with the skills of the folks I'm reading about and the details they're putting into their layouts. That's what I'm going to focus on now.

    By the way, I chose the name Amos because I had a VHS of the old TV show "The Real McCoys" playing when I signed up. In a past life I was a voice-over artist and did a spot-on Walter Brennan. At 70 I have little voice left now.
    BarstowRick likes this.
  20. vasilis

    vasilis TrainBoard Member

    it's ok, my english is confusing.
    I understand, when you have 100 dc locos the conversion is a big problem even if you go to install 10$ decoders. I spoke about the dcc from the newcomer's view. I didn't mean we have to follow the changes. We have to follow what is convenient and gives joy and fun. On the other hand we can't be hostile to the changes.
    The dual layout is like living on the edge, as you already know.
    I have presbyopia too or my arms are not long enough. Think about to give some of your locos and let me know when you decide.:ROFLMAO:
    Have fun!
    BarstowRick likes this.

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