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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All


Sorry if this has been addressed here before but I am new here


I have lot's of 00 Guage hornby Track and Trains

What I was wondering was


Is it OK to put this out in the garden


as I have no room for a set up indoors and get fed up takinging it up and down

Any help would be most welcome

Thanks

Michael
 

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Hi Michael & welcome to the forum,

OO/HO can be run outside - there are a couple of people using OO outdoors on DCC on the DCCUK Yahoo Group.

Keeping the track clean & clear is the main thing.

QUOTE (Michael363672 @ 21 Nov 2007, 18:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi All


Sorry if this has been addressed here before but I am new here


I have lot's of 00 Guage hornby Track and Trains

What I was wondering was


Is it OK to put this out in the garden


as I have no room for a set up indoors and get fed up takinging it up and down

Any help would be most welcome

Thanks

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 21 Nov 2007, 18:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>OO/HO can be run outside - there are a couple of people using OO outdoors on DCC on the DCCUK Yahoo Group.

Keeping the track clean & clear is the main thing.

Thanks for the fast reply.

Is there any things that I need to bear in mind when setting it up outside

Thanks

Michael
 

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Hi Michael, there are a number of things to bear in mind with OO in the garden.
1. Make sure that the track you are using is nickle-silver as the older Hornby track is steel and will rust immediately - if you are not sure test it with a magnet, if the magnet grips it it is steel and not usable.
2. Use the longest lengths of track that you have as rail joiners will give poor electrical continuity outside. Or solder all rail joints (when you have the track layout you know you want to keep), or solder wires across every joint or at the very least run some power wires direct to different parts of the track to reduce the voltage drop. If you intend to use DCC you will need very good connections between rail lengths. Do not use the standard power clip, solder the wire to the outside surface of each rail.
3. I recommend keeping all pointwork under cover as it depends on simple contact between the blade and the rail for electrical continuity and other moving parts. A garden shed or leanto is ideal for this or even a roofed overhang helps - I know one person who uses 2 greenhouses. This also means that a station, sidings etc can all be put under cover and its a good place to control the trains from anyway as it is dangerous to use a mains powered controller in any moisture laden environment!!!
4. You will need to clean the track before each running session as well as it will tarnish faster out of doors, and wormcasts and leaves on the line have a whole new meaning! I know that PECO did a 50p leaflet on 'OO in the Garden ' but I am not sure if it is currently available.

Hope I am not putting you off, but a bit of work will stop any disappointment from poor running.
David Y
 

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OO and HO works very well in the garden, particularly for running full size trains. Keep the curves and any gradients as gentle as possible. I would go DCC for two simple reasons: the higher (and adjustable) voltage AC will be more reliable than DC, and there is no need for any sectioning to run multiple trains on the same track. A low wood construction little heavier than for indoor layouts, (ideally in tanalised timber) is more than adequate as a track base, and has the advantage of being easily adjusted for level; and both readily altered in layout, and removed should the need arise. (I read about people putting in tons of concrete and brick construction to support maybe 50 kilos in total of track and trains, and wonder.) Low hedging with small densely leaved evergreen shrubs provides very effective 'landscaping'.

Edited to add: traction tyres (and thus Hornby tender drives) are next to useless if the rails are at all wet. What you need is weight in the locos. The central motor, all wheel drive and pick up, diesel types are typically heavy enough. Most UK steam models can usefully use extra weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (34C @ 21 Nov 2007, 22:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>OO and HO works very well in the garden, particularly for running full size trains. Keep the curves and any gradients as gentle as possible. I would go DCC for two simple reasons: the higher (and adjustable) voltage AC will be more reliable than DC, and there is no need for any sectioning to run multiple trains on the same track. A low wood construction little heavier than for indoor layouts, (ideally in tanalised timber) is more than adequate as a track base, and has the advantage of being easily adjusted for level; and both readily altered in layout, and removed should the need arise. (I read about people putting in tons of concrete and brick construction to support maybe 50 kilos in total of track and trains, and wonder.) Low hedging with small densely leaved evergreen shrubs provides very effective 'landscaping'.

Edited to add: traction tyres (and thus Hornby tender drives) are next to useless if the rails are at all wet. What you need is weight in the locos. The central motor, all wheel drive and pick up, diesel types are typically heavy enough. Most UK steam models can usefully use extra weight.

Thanks for the info.

If all of the power supply is in a shed are they both as safe as each other


Or is there anything I need to be aware of as I have a 3 1/2 year son who wants to play with it with me as well

( I think he wants to build Sodor Island and get Thomas and his friends round !!)


Also all of the trains and stuff I have is just normal hornby what would I need to get to go Digital ?


Thanks

Michael
 

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The digital command control (DCC) system is as safe as the usual DC. Good practise with the mains power connection and equipment properly installed in a dry building is necessary for both, particularly as in your case when young children are involved. Basically you replace the typical DC transformer/controller 'box' with an equivalent DCC system 'box': but here are the big differences; full track power is on at all times, and every loco has to have an addressable microprocessor 'decoder' on board. The DCC system than allows you to call up a loco by number, and control it individually. Other locos on the same piece of track will not move until instructed to do so by a DCC system command. The flexibility in operation this confers has to be experienced. Just for a start, you can park locos in a siding without isolating sections, put a second loco on a train as a pilot or banker, have lights on whether a loco is moving or stationary (great confirmation that a parked loco is on the juice BTW).

Lots to think about, there is a lot of good introductory information about DCC in the section of that title on this site, with much more information for when you have the time for some reading.
 

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I would only give add piece of advice - keep it above ground level. Worms can cause chaos.

Regards
 

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Thanks so far for the advice


A couple of questions


1. With the digital are they all compatiable or if I have hornby do I stay hornby


2. Can any train go digital
I have the eurostar set and the orient express set just standard plus a few other odd trains

3. Whats the best way to get it off the ground and how high is best


Thanks again in advance

Michael
 

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Check out this thread started by Mark Thornton. He's running OO in the garden and as far as I remember, he's digital as well.

The only shame is that he hasn't logged on for a loooong time.

David
 

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QUOTE (Michael363672 @ 23 Nov 2007, 19:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>1. With the digital are they all compatiable or if I have hornby do I stay hornby

2. Can any train go digital. I have the eurostar set and the orient express set just standard plus a few other odd trains

3. Whats the best way to get it off the ground and how high is best
Look for DCC products with the NMRA conformance stamp: that's your assurance of basic compatibility. You don't need to use the same make of DCC control system as the model trin manufacturer.

Any 12V DC model from Hornby, Bachmann, or Heljan can be fitted with a DCC decoder. Many now come with a socket, to enable a decoder to be plugged in. If there is no socket then it is a small wire soldering job. It's easy with bigger locos, small locos in particular can be a bit of a challenge to find space for the decoder, if you go DCC start on something larger to build your confidence before tackling something where internal space is limited.

When it rains hard, the splash carries a lot of dirt around 9 inches into the air. Keep the tracks roughly a foot above ground as a minimum when first built. That way you still have some leeway if subsequent height adjustment is required. I used 2' lengths of old 3"x3" fencepost four feet apart, and pieces of 6" x 1" gravel board four feet long, with a second piece 3'9" long of 3" x 1" nailed on underneath to make a T shape, as a stiffener. A metal plate on each post, with a screw into the stiffener so that the track base was about an inch above the post top , made it easy to do any height adjustments required (clay soil with swelling in wet weather, shrinkage and cracking in dry). When I sold the house and moved it took me an afternoon, and a nice fire that evening, to dismantle and dispose of the posts for what had been a 40 yard run. It had been up nearly 8 years and the posts in the ground were all still OK, and they were all salvaged from old fenceposts blown down in the great gale of 1987.
 
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