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2364 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Gwent rail
Hi Guys,

After a break of some 25 years away from the hobby, my mid-life crisis gave me the option of buying a Porche, or re-kindling my age-old interest in Model Railways....and guess which won?

I have just stripped out the box room in our house, and have laid a board around the walls, and am now flat out in planning mode.

My aim is to get a double-loop (up and down lines) plus out and back branch line squeezed into a 7'6" square room in '00' gauge.
I have used Peco templates for designs so far, and it seems to be coming together.

I want to try and base the layout loosely on GWR around 1920-1940 ish (one of my favourite periods).

I am sure I will be tapping into the wealth of expertise of the guys on this forum.

All the best,
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Hi Pacman
Welcome aboard.

Lots of debates, ideas and topics abound in plenty here.

Sit back and enjoy
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Thanks for the welcome Brian,

Already started in the debates... the discussion around DCC seems quite hot!! Personally, I am at that critical stage now of deciding Analogue or DCC, so this debate is very useful... I'm sure to get the guidance I need (and the entertainment

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Hello Pacman, you are doing what I did just over three years ago !!
More time, more patience and more money second time around, means more enjoyment I think.
The hobby is well advanced from 20+ years ago, but they'll never get me into DCC. There's nothing that DCC can do that I can't do with wire and switches !! and mine is cheaper !!
No irate comments from my DCC friends please, I'm too busy running wires around my layout !!
Have fun,
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QUOTE (Gwent rail @ 7 Aug 2006, 15:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>but they'll never get me into DCC. There's nothing that DCC can do that I can't do with wire and switches !! and mine is cheaper !!

Perhaps, but aside from a handful of engines, I am starting from scratch, and although I come from the Analogue stable, I am intrigued by DCC, and the potential of operating any of my engines anywhere on the layout without having to consider where the isolating sections are. Also, now maybe the ideal time to start DCC for me, since I am just about to lay track; if I set up now as Analogue (better the devil you know), it may be more difficult to convert to DCC later (trying to unisolate all those sections and sidings), and is it worth the effort of laying in all that wiring and isolating sections, if I can avoid this by going DCC? Hmm, choices choices.
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Gwent has chosen to go analog because one, his comfort level and two I think he secretly enjoys running wire and throwing toggle switches (block control).

On the other hand if you are intrigued by DCC the by all means go for it. I would not go into DCC because it's simple but rather because you are interested in some of the features that it facilitates such as computer control and some level of automation/sound. Sometimes the ease factor is oversold because you can always get carried away with DCC and make it every bit as complicated if not even more so than analog.
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Hi Pacman, great to see people returning to this great hobby!!! Who wants a porch any way, cars are nothing but hassle and expense, mmmm come to think of it, bit like model railways, atleast you wont get 3 points on yer licence for speeding with a 125. good luck.
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Another returnee - you've made the right decision, so welcome and ask away!

>(trying to unisolate all those sections and sidings),
No need to worry, you just short out all the switches. You also have a head start if you want to install block detection, which is pretty much essential for effective computer control


[Mods: This thread may get "out of head" for the intro Forum. Is it time to move it?]
Nah, just as long as pacman knows to post questions, etc in their proper forum.
Gwent Rail is in denial mode at the moment, this normally occurs before a sharp about face, and acceptance that his reason for not getting in DCC was erronious. DCC is fun. It does make for very satisfying operation of your layout. You will learn lots of new skills, and be the better for it.

My advice is run you first layout with DC for a few months and look and ask around. Try out some of the units on offer. Local support of a mate or another user who perhaps has managed to read his DCC manual and perhaps can help you read yours. !

Forget those nice looking DCC units that look like a train drivers knob ! With DCC its handheld control, and the ability to handle many loco's, functions and four digit addressing. Don't be tempted by a starter set without a clear upgrade path. Buy Big if you have the money. If not buy buy a crappy little starter set that you will soon out grow and have to resell to buy the next one up.

I've found the general attitiude in the UK in some clubs to very anti-DCC. I think disposable income has a lot to do with it. Here generally people have less to spend on hobbies, but they always seem to find the money to go to the pub.

In South Africa where I've just come from there is almost universal adoption of DCC amongst most modellers. The Pretoria model railroad club operates a huge modular layout totally by Digitrax DCC. Sponcered would you believe by one of the local casinos. Here a smaller modular layout and the members have hardly grasped the principles, and seem totally anti, pity because they don't know what their missing.

Mean while the rest of the world is moving on. Wiring DCC layouts is far less complex than DC, control is much better, and yes it does cost more. As you could afford a Porche you clearly can afford a simple old DCC unit.

In the 20's clockwork was a common means of power for model railways. DC changed all of that, it made possible many things that were just simply not practical with clock work. It was an advance of huge protortions, DCC is a similar advance. Grasp the technoligy of the future, and enjoy your model railway with DCC.
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If I were to join a club and they were anti-DCC I would head for the exit as fast as possible. DCC and club layouts are made for each other.
I agree with you Dennis (re clubs & DCC) as is common with most modular layouts there are three main lines, the attiude was " well I suppose we could run one on DCC", I think it's called loosing the plot.
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MMaD says I'm in denial about DCC, but I remain to be convinced ( though willing to be persuaded ). That's not in denial, just sticking with the devil you know.
Perhaps one of the DCC "experts" could open up a new topic titled "DCC - simple advice for the beginner".
All I seem to get reading magazine articles is more confused.

Second thoughts, see my new topic and respond.
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