Old newbie here

cosmic Dec 9, 2013

  1. cosmic

    cosmic TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hello,
    I have always been fascinated by the working world in miniature, and I've been a ship model scratch builder for many years, but my eyes and hands are commencing to limit my abilities in that area. I know very little (nothing?) about modern model railroading, but I recall lots of fun with it in my distant past, and it occurs to me that it might be a good replacement for what I'm no longer capable of. Many years ago I had a fair collection of O-72 gauge tinplate, and can still in my memory revisit the fun of it. So, I'm exploring getting back into the hobby. To be determined: What gauge, Sources of hardware, Space required, and last (but first!) BUDGET.

    BTW, for any history of the hobby buffs, those crazy Shur boys were my uncles (my mother's brothers) and on and off through the years I (like many of the rest of the family at one time or another) was drafted to labor at Madison Hardware. Not among my fondest memories.
    :angry:
     
  2. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Old Newbie, Welcome to the TrainBoard, happy to have you on board. I remember 23 W 45th very well from the late 40s & early 50s. Your uncles, possibly you, sold me a Lionel GG-1, 3 Madison cars, lots of 0-72 T-Rail, and I'm sure a bunch more over time. I'd love to still have, or be able to buy back all that stuff, but as you say...BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET.
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome to TrainBoard!

    I grew up with post-War tinplate. And I was one of countless numbers who ordered from Madison Hardware.
     
  4. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

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    Welcome aboard, Cosmic. As you progress in the hobby, please post some photos. I am sure you will find a lot of assistance here.
     
  5. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    Welcome. Yeah, Madison Hardware got a lot of my money.
     
  6. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome to the newest version of hobbying! I can't say I remember tinplate myself, but it is almost always fascinating to see. Good luck!
     
  7. cosmic

    cosmic TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hank, I believe you've got us mixed up with another shop. Madison was the one located at 105 E. 23rd.
     
  8. cosmic

    cosmic TrainBoard Supporter

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    Lionel Loco.jpg

    fitz, how's this for starters? Some of you may remember this on display for years at Madison. When Uncle Louie died my brother Larry sold it at auction, but I took this photo before it was gone. The winning bid was $60K.

    I don't understand why this image uploaded so small. It's about 8" in width. I can upload it somewhere on this site where it will display full size if there's such a place.
     
  9. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    I click on the thumbnail and I get this. Looks like a J3a to me.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    You're right, sorry about my confusion. Now I wonder where the store in memory was located. I remember going into a brick front building, going down stairs leading to the basement, and seeing a long counter extending the length of a narrow room. There were Lionel boxes filling every available shelf space along the walls, and more boxes stacked on the floor. Of course, my memory being 65 years old may have something to do with my confusion...LOL
     
  11. cosmic

    cosmic TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, the address is that of The Red Caboose, and your description doesn't fit Madison Hardware, so I suppose it's the Red Caboose you're recalling. I've never been inside it.
     
  12. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    I guess so, sorry for the misidentification. Regardless, I look forward to sharing your reentry to model railroading, welcome again.
     
  13. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    I'm a little late in getting in here ... but I'll add my welcome to Trainboard too. :)
     
  14. cosmic

    cosmic TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thank you, each and every one. Feels like a good board. May I ask, what gauge? Space is always a consideration, as well as cost. But the primary consideration for me I think will be functionality. I guess that translates into which has the best availability of features and accessories. For that these days shouldn't I be thinking about HO? Or? And whichever, may I re-ignite an old fire; which is the best brand? Must be DCC capable, or are they all now?

    TIA, I'll be grateful for any input.:teeth:
     
  15. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Cosmic, I have been modeling in N-Scale for over 30 years and thoroughly enjoy it. N is less expensive than the larger scales for the same quality. N requires less room for even a complex layout. I estimate that N-Scale has a 75-80% range of products as HO due to market size, but that doesn't appear to be a limiting factor for most. N also is large enough to work with, even at our age, though I sometimes use a magnifying workbench light for fine work with rolling stock repair and kit building. N-Scale appears to have a wide range of DCC options, though I control with DC, as I have since the 40's.
     
  16. cosmic

    cosmic TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, let me back up a bit. Is there some advantage of DC over DCC that I should know about? And if I were to go with N scale what brand(s) would I prefer, and most importantly keep away from?
     
  17. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    I've been using DC block control since 1947 and am comfortable with it. DCC appears to have become a stable technology, and its versatility has become well accepted within the N-Scale community. Myself, I'm not considering transitioning to DCC for two reasons, 1) at my age I cannot justify spending more than $1000 to convert all my locomotives, some of which would require extensive modification due to their incompatible pre-DCC design, and 2) as a retired electronics engineer (computer systems), I'm a bit OCD leaving technology which I understand completely. However, for you, starting from scratch, DCC probably would be a welcome asset and very enjoyable.

    As for locomotives , my experience with steam and first-generation diesel by Kato, Model Power, Bachmann Spectrum, Intermountain, Atlas, some Con-Cor, and some Life-Like has been excellent, though a few required some initial tweaking. Understand that others' experiences may have resulted in differing opinions. For cars, Micro-Trains (MT) produces outstanding equipment, as does Atlas, and InterMountain. I prefer PECO Code 55 for track, but Atlas Code 55, Micro-Engineering (ME) Code 55, and KATO Unitrack are also excellent products preferred by many.

    Please understand that the foregoing are solely my opinions resulting from my personal experiences.
     
  18. cosmic

    cosmic TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ah, didn't realize that's a clickable thumbnail. Thanks.
     
  19. cosmic

    cosmic TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks Hank. Your opinions are exactly what I solicited. BTW, "retired electronics engineer (computer systems)"? This photo may be of interest. It's a rack full of logic undergoing troubleshooting on Honeywell/Raytheon's first mainframe, the Datamatic-1000. photo is circa 1958, and yes, that's me, when I was young and beautiful, and much smarter. :)

    D1000 01a.jpg
     
  20. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    I never had the pleasure of working with Honeywell/Raytheon equipment, though your probing with a Tektronix scope (5XX series?) easily could have been me. I developed applications using International Brotherhood of Magicians (LOL) systems, and many others. For this reason the versatility of DCC fascinates me.
     

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