Reentering the hobby after being gone a long time...

Sumner Mar 29, 2019

  1. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Got into HO then N scale in the late 60's early 70's while in college with not much spending money. Built a TAT IV throttle and had a very small amount of track and a couple loco's and cars. Still have all that in boxes.

    I like to build things and now in my mid 70's want to downsize on the physical size of the projects I undertake. I'm in the process of making a small camper trailer to use where we live in southeast's Utah's canyon country. I need to start working on things that are smaller than boats, cars and campers. Hope to have the camper done late this summer after we return home from the Bahamas and Florida. Dottie and I are on our old sailboat in the Bahama's right now and this will be the last trip on the boat as she is going on the market when we return to Florida in early May.

    At home I have a moderately large storage area as part of my shop that has a lot of junk from saving things far too long. Plan is to get rid of all of that. The area will become my train space (about 19' x 18'). Been working on track plans for weeks using SketchUp. Probably won't live long enough to see it all materialize but for me planning and building is my joy.

    Came to the site after coming across an old post that really caught my attention....

    https://www.trainboard.com/highball/index.php?threads/n-scale-layout.30638/

    I love the work Cleggie did. Sad to see the end to the layout and I can't find out if he did another after that one?

    N scale has come a long ways since I first became acquainted with it years ago. When we return home I do plan on buying a Fast Tracks double cross-over fixture for code 55 N scale and see if I can start making some turnouts with it. That will give me something to focus on until I can get the shop reorganized in a different direction this fall.

    I'm sure I'll have lots of questions when I hopefully get to work on the layout this fall. Thanks to all of you who have contributed here. I've learned a lot already from lurking on the site,

    Sumner
     
    Onizukachan and Hardcoaler like this.
  2. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome to TrainBoard Sumner!!! Always great to have another N scaler on board.
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome to TrainBoard, and back to being active in this great hobby!
     
  4. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    Welcome aboard Trainboard Sumner. Looking forward to seeing how your plan unfolds.
     
  5. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Sumner, welcome aboard. It will be fun watching you downsize into a 19'x18' space. With N-Scale you'll be able to create many communities and interesting rural areas.
     
  6. fitz

    fitz Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome aboard, Sumner.
     
  7. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

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    Welcome! N scale is a great place to be these days, particularly for modern diesels and all.
     
  8. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks guys, looks like a great group here.

    I went to the U. of Wyoming in Laramie, WY over a number of years and that is where I became interested in trains as I rented an old building down on 1st St. with the mainline tracks on the other side of the street. I lived in an old store front on the first floor and sub-rented rooms out on the second floor (quite a few rooms) of the building mostly to other students. I also had a milk route I ran for income from Laramie to Medicine Bow, Wy about 50 miles to the north and the road paralleled the tracks for a lot of that distance. Got to see a lot of there big engines of the time including some of the turbines.

    I plan on modeling the late 40's to mid 60's era. Been looking at what is available and seems to be plenty of options for me. The route won't be any real section of the UP's track's but purely fictional so that I'll have some freedom as to what I like,

    Sumner
     
  9. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Perhaps, in the course of lurking here, you've detected the trend among manufacturers to make relatively limited production runs of new items. Whereas several decades ago, models were made in fairly high volume and remained available for periods measured in years, now the production runs are typically closely tailored to match pre-orders or reservations made between the time the model is first announced and manufacturing commences. The upside of this change is the general availability of a wider range of prototypes in a wider variety of roadnames. Downsides are that, in extreme cases, some models may be "sold out" before they ever reach retail outlets and reruns of a specific item are rare. Therefore, if you see a particular model that you would especially like to have, then you should probably buy (or pre-order) it now, rather than later. Otherwise, you may end up having to hunt for it on the secondary market.

    One example would be the UP turbine locos recently produced by Scale Trains.
    https://www.scaletrains.com/collections/rivet-counter-n-big-blow-turbine
    It was released about year ago and most versions are sold out, at least at the factory level.
     
  10. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks I have noticed that.

    I have a list of all the loco types UP had in the time period I'm interested in and have them in one document. I have been creating a second document that describes each in more detail with links to info on them and if I've been able to find that loco in N Scale. A number are older and look like it would be some work to convert them to DCC. Some are on e-bay and some come up or are sold out as you mentioned. I had seen that situation with the turbines like you mentioned.

    I'll try and follow what might be offered in the future more closely. I'll just need a couple to get started. The one I have is a very old DC small switcher so won't be using it. I'll be putting way more money into structure and trackwork at first vs. rolling stock unfortunately but will follow your advice just in case something does come along that I'm really interested in. Thanks,

    Sumner
     
  11. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome aboard Sumner, sorry to hear about the end of your sailboat ownership.
    Or do you plan to get a small lake skiff or similar?

    DCC has certainly changed things and as you tnoticed, the detail now is fabulous.
    You are taking the opposite approach from me, I really don’t have room for a layout but like running trains, so I build them, and get to run them once a month on a club layout an hour away.

    Keep an eye on eBay, it took me many months to get the version of the coast Daylight and the articulated I wanted, and then suddenly I found both within a few days at reasonable pricing.

    Same thing with my Overnight boxcars, I picked up 3 one at a time for sale at reasonable pricing, and then suddenly someone was selling 20 at once. No one else bid. Now my Overnight is complete.
     
  12. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    We do have a trailer sailboat at home and will be keeping it. I took it to the Bahamas 4 years ago but won't be doing that again...

    http://purplesagetradingpost.com/sumner/macgregor-trips-1/macgregor-trips-1-index.html

    I think the final thing that hooked me was my wife is from Phoenix and while there last year I visited the club layout at Sun City West and one of the guys had me run his loco and that did it. I wish we were closer to a club or even an individual layout but we are 400 miles from Phoenix and 320 from Salt Lake City. We are even 80 miles from a Walmart. If anyone on here is from SE Utah, we are in Blanding 70 miles south of Moab and 50 miles north of Monument Valley, I'd like to know. We also get over to Cortez, CO and Farmington, NM at times.

    Sounds like you are having a good time running trains. I've been looking at operations videos and they are drawing me in also. Thanks for the reply,

    Sumner
     
  13. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

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    The Mac 26s, that the one with the water ballast system, correct? Rather than a traditional keel bulb.
    Always liked it’s predecessor, the Mac 25.

    I’m no operations guy, lol. I have the Coast Daylight and Coast Merchandise (daylight and overnight) and I love to open them up and let em run prototypical speeds... say 75 plus?
    Some people do love operations and switching, I just love to watch big long trains run.

    Don’t forget that if you have a laptop, JMRI is a great thing, and if you have a laptop and JMRI, you can build a DCC++ system for less than the cost of a box car, just so you can power a switcher and start enjoying your creation, as well as testing it as you go.

    Since you are a UP man, let me direct you to watch Roy Smith’s Evanston Subdivision YouTube channel. He does great modeling and all UP.
     
  14. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    It is the water ballast displacement hull, not the high HP ones that followed. I love it. With the swing centerboard and kickup rudder you can go about anywhere. The water ballast kicks in about 16 knots and then it is on rails.

    Thanks for the advice on the throttle. I just found one link to one the other day but not as cheap as what you quoted. Do you have a link to that?

    I've also watched a lot of Roy's youtubes. Thanks,

    Sumner
     
  15. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

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    The pins for the wires have changed since the video was made...

    If using a mega, these are the correct ones.

    09F8E656-AED2-493E-8927-2888B091D9D6.jpeg

    Trainboard is the home of DCC++
     
  16. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks so much. I use a Raspberry Pi for a chartplotter on the boats and have been interested in the Arduinos so this gives me good incentive to jump into that,

    Sumner
     
  17. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

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    I use a pi as my JMRI connected to arduino DCC++ for the table set. Run the trains from my phones.
     
  18. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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  19. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    By coincidence I had just watched DIY and Digital Railroad's video on the Pi in addition to the Arduino videos. Good to know I could use the one I have for that also. Haven't used it much except on the boats.

    I've watched a number of his videos. Like them. Didn't know that he was in an adjoining state though. Not exactly close to us at a little over 500 miles but have been through Las Cruces before so will remember that.

    Thanks guys for the input,

    Sumner
     
  20. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Sumner, Mike & Robin Fifer are great supporters of TrainBoard. Their stock, prices, service, shipping are the best. Oh, they're neat folks too. (y):cool:
     
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