Old Modeler - New to TrainBoard - Intro

H0Guy Sep 10, 2019

  1. H0Guy

    H0Guy TrainBoard Member


    I live in the Chicago area and have been involved with model trains for many decades. Today, I am semi-retired. In my working career, I started as a programmer developing real-time high availability telephone and process control systems. Later, I became a consultant specializing in software engineering, and quality management systems like ISO 9000, CMMI, PMI's PMBOK and various Medical Device regulations.

    I started in model railroading a long time ago with a Lionel oval mounted on a 4'x8' table which went over our dinning room table. At sometime in my distant past I traded in my Lionel for an HO on the same 4'x8' table.

    I worked at my "layout" on a part time basis for many years, and never got very far. I designed an "ideal layout" for myself in 1988 for that same 4'x8' table, but due to a lot of factors stopped working with model trains shortly thereafter. So, my layout and modeling lay dormant till 2018, when I got interested in model trains again. But when I started to look into model railroading in 2018, everything had changed from 1988. We went from DC to DCC, from incandescent lights to LEDs, from Athearn rubber band dirve, to DCC Decoders, and on and on.

    I still had my 4'x8' train table, but now everything had to change. So I started to slowly get back into model railroading. This tarted with a new dual control power pack, than came a new DCC engine with sound that worked on DC. Wow! Things had come a long way and in late 2018, I decided I had to move to DCC. So in early 2019, I purchased a NCE PowerCab and got into DCC model railroading in a bigger way. I had to rewire my layout, change couplers, upgrade switches, and on and on. Fortunately, in 2019 there was the internet and YouTube.

    YouTube became my friend. I started watching various videos of different aspects of DCC and model railroading. I still had my 4'x8' trainboard and not much more space to have for the trains, but I started to investigate new areas such as DCC wiring, Snap-Switches to Tortoise Turnout Controls and Servos. Then, while watching Tom's Trains and Things I saw an episode where Tom talked about Arduinos, DCC++ and C++ software. Wow had things changed: From Soldering to Programming. As an original real-time system programmer, I was sold.

    Now on rebuilding my little 4'x8' layout that I designed in 1988 as a DC system to a modern DCC /DCC++ system using Servos and computers to control the trains, or that is the plan. I am joning TrainBoard to seek help on numerous areas and hopefully to give back some of the lessons I have learned to other modellers. So here I go with rest of the story into the future ...
    noob express and Hardcoaler like this.
  2. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

    Welcome aboard. Great to have you here. Looking forward to following the "new improved" 4X8 with all the latest bells and whistles.
  3. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

    Welcome aboard from a fellow Illinois resident.
  4. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    Hi HOGuy, welcome aboard.
  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Welcome to TrainBoard!
  6. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

    Welcome aboard, HOGuy and thanks for sharing your history with us.

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    Welcome to TrainBoard!!!!!

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