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I have to say i did enjoy this months model rail. it had some very good layouts and a couple of good features but i do take issue with some of the things that were said.
firstly I seriously doubt most railway modellers would know a SECR T9 if it hit them in the face. I think something very odd has happened to the voting this year for the wish list. many people might like a 4-4-0 but i am very suspicious of the survey. (personally I would love a T9)

Secondly i totally disagree with just about evrything that was said in the editorial.
He seems to be saying that evryone should have DCC fitted loco's and too bad if we cant afford them and also that the loco at the top of the wish list WILL be made.
the blue pullman has come consistently at (or near) the top of the wish list for years and yet we are yet to see a model.
he completly ignores that DCC systems and DCC fitted loco's have drawbacks apart from price.
Loco's run better on DC if they are not DCC fitted. (particularly with some manufacturers decoders.)
DCC is slow. unless the layout is very carefully planned then it takes alot of time to set points especially if the layout is operated by new recruits. this leads to poor entertainment for the viewers. there are sound reasons why some of us use DC not just the price.
There are pro's and cons on both sides.

Seldom does a day go by when i dont hear about a new DCC problem.

Peter
 

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Interesting how Chris Leigh and others at Model Rail have been trying out the Hornby Pendolino and not had the slow running issues. Its a fantastic high speed model with a 5 star rating although it is suggested that two power units may be required if there is a plan to run a 9 car set.

Hornby may be on a bit of an 0-4-4 or 4-4-0 roll at the moment given that it is a chassis that Bachmann do not have in their stable which has to be good news for fans of this type of loco and the poll may support this thinking.

One small item that did catch my eye was the review of the German narrow gauge book. Narrow gauge railways that appear from nowhere or are in the middle of the land that time forgot do have some appeal and it does seem that Germany is full of these. Its the one thing that might actually tempt me to visit Germany one day.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I never take much notice of the big reviews. i find reviews on the internet more reliable and far less biasd.

i also noticed that the fact that a model was a lmited edition was used as a plus point in one of the reviews. i find that rather sad too.

Peter
 

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There is an assumption in that last comment that those anonymous folk who pass opinion on the internet are reliable.

Apearance and detailing issues are fact and absolutely cannot be disputed however running and perfomance issues are subject to so many variables as to make any comment in this area totally subjective. For all the noises the Hornby DCC Fitted models are selling in number and there are no negative performance reports on the Hornby Forum. This suggests that the Model Rail review is going to stand up to scrutiny. Model Rail did indicate that Dapolino performance improved after running in but did not state how long they considered the running in period to be. How many reports on the web do we read for models that have been run straight out of the box with absolutely no running in period?

I have also noted some wise words from Hornby's Simon Kohler today relating to DCC on Pat Hammonds site. It does suggest that Hornby are not as clueless when it comes to DCC as some might suggest!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>I have also noted some wise words from Hornby's Simon Kohler today relating to DCC on Pat Hammonds site. It does suggest that Hornby are not as clueless when it comes to DCC as some might suggest!

Wise they may be, but if circulation is restricted to Pat Hammond's site a lot of people will remain unenlightened.

David
 

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QUOTE There is an assumption in that last comment that those anonymous folk who pass opinion on the internet are reliable.

There is another implied assumption in your comment that people reviewing in magazines give better reviews. I would question that given the advertising revenue which tends to make reviewers find good things to say about their sponsors models and skip over the bad.

I thought the review from Trains4u on the pendolino where he found it running "like a bag of spanners" was one of the most informative reviews we've had. Curiously no mention of slow speed performance in the MR review . Also the fact that it may have difficulties with a full train load, while mentioned, wasn't exactly given prominence.

Strange thing about Chris Leigh in that I either completely agree with him or completely disagree. Have to say I think he's talking a load of tosh this time!

Interesting article on the Settle & Carlisle I thought!

Russell
 

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QUOTE There is another implied assumption in your comment that people reviewing in magazines give better reviews

It is more to do with accountability and credibility and a review in a magazine has both and at the same time has to be presented in such a way that it is interesting to a wide range of readers with varying degrees of experience.

Websites are very fragmented with niche specialised readership with each site having a style that either appeals or does not and if it does not readers won't return. The flowery emotive ill considered language that some internet reviews have could be construed as being offered by publicity seekers and may not be as independent as a result as some readers may think.

That is not to say that there are no good reviews on the internet. There are and I would like to think that Model Rail Forum sets a standard for this. But the motives behind what is said when it is controversial which the freedom of expression permitted on the internet allows should sometimes be questioned.

My own personal taste is that I find flowery language full of one liners and a focus on what things don't do rather than what they do do a bit of a turn off and generally stick with the sites that are focused on the positive and that are constructive.

Same applies to the magazines that I read.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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one issue Chris Leigh raised in his editorial concerned the rise of DCC...and the currently demanded optons.

I have nothing against DCC as such.......but am not in the slightest bit tempted to try it.

Being somewhat 'old school'...not WANTING to move with the times, I fear in the future I may find my self being forced into adopting systems I don't want.....smacks a bit of this digital TV thing?

If,as Chris states, the industry wholeheartedly embraces DCC to the exclusion of analogue control...then they will lose at least one potentially high spending customer....me!

(which is not to say I don't acknowledge the benefits of digital control.......I just don't have a liking for the faults contained therein)
[I have the same aversion/viewpoint to automotive digital control...ecu's and such...I appreciate their advantages.....but fail to cope with their faults......I do prefer the old-style points and carbs thing)
 

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I think you're doomed Alaistair.


David
 

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QUOTE I have nothing against DCC as such.......but am not in the slightest bit tempted to try it.

For most people its a fear that they actually might enjoy it if they try it which then tempts them to spend even more money than they already do!

What would be the position if DCC was invented first in 1930 and everybody was operating DCC and it was the norm?


And then somebody in the last 15 years invented and set a standard for DC control! Could you see a mad rush to move to DC?


The fact is in these "reversed" circumstances those who switched to DC control might be perceived as "slightly mad" with many gobsmacked expressions by "normal" mainstream DCC operators!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I am surprised at the band wagon rolling for new 00 track.

Is it those new modellers waiting for new track before they start, or modellers willing to rip up existing track to relay, along with the expense, mess and work that would create?
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 28 Apr 2007, 11:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think you're doomed Alaistair.


David

oh...absolutely.......but in response to later comments by Gary......definately not the reason I have no use for DCC.....the reasons are largely centred around the reliability of the system, the changes that need to be made to what I know as 'existing' technology...ie I am capable of building all my own track....but when the likes of PECO need their pointwork modifying, I despair.....

in other words..broken wires, dodgy windings, short circuits I am happy to cope with......some sort of inane blob that happens to have gone 'phutt' I do not like!

plus..the sort of modelling I usually do involves small spaces, with non-invasive layouts.

DCC is a tad pointless when I can achieve the sorts of slow running performance I need from what I have.....ancient ECM handhelds, etc...

plus....there's NO way I want any more than one loco moving at any time.....and I am happy with electrical gaps, wires, switches, common return, etc.

here the reliability is down to ME....not some obscure factory half way around the world, where, if I am the unlucky so-and-so who gets the faulty component (ie I do the quality control) I have to literally waste weeks of my own valuable time returning the component for replacement...with all the associated hassle!

but, I suppose I will be likened to those who still persevere with stud contact?
 

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QUOTE (TopLink @ 28 Apr 2007, 12:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I am surprised at the band wagon rolling for new 00 track.

Is it those new modellers waiting for new track before they start, or modellers willing to rip up existing track to relay, along with the expense, mess and work that would create?

there seems to be confusion as to interpretation of the questions...esp 4mm finescale?

to some it appeared relating to the scale tolerances...to others..the appearance??

I shall wait no longer..I have unused code74.5 track.....I shall space the sleepers out more!

but my points?

I may well resort to building my own....again.....just so they fit!
 

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I work in a reasonably hi- tech environment using keyboards, computers, blackberrys , mobile phones. We have video conferencing and most communication is by email.

Why would I want to come home and relax with yet more technical gadgetry? I just want to see my trains going round and round and relax. I don't want to have to figure out why the loco I want didn't run because cv29 isn't working etc - I get enough of similar problems at work!

Alistair is not doomed ! There is no doubt DCC is in the ascendency but there will always be a role for analogue or DC . DCC Ready makes sense not DCC fitted- as Hornby are finding out now!

Russell
 

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Why do some people assume that DCC is complicated - it is a complicated as you want it to be !

You can have an analogue DC layout with no isolated sections, no powered points - just one controller & one circuit - or you can have hundreds of isolating switches, yards of cabling - analogue can be just as complicated.

DCC in its most simple form means you only have to change the address codes in the locos - thats it.

No need to purchase equipment made halfway round the world either - if that (& reliability) concerns you could buy for example Lenz (unless you hate the Germans) & get superb backup from the importers.

And just because Peco make something does not mean we stay with that design for eternity either.
 

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DB..........it isn't an issue of 'complication'........

more an issue of 'insulation?'

the reliance on technolgy and the tap of a key I don't sit well with.

for example,sitting in the dark as I am now, waiting for my young son to fall asleep, working the laptop [wireless to the broadband]...I occasionally press the wrong key, and totally lose what I have typed! [ this is the 3rd go].

things crash....cannot find smoking wires, so lost, just pressing keys until something happens.

somehow, black boxes, addresses, finding decoder space,etc, don't float my boat......and i was acutely awaremore than ten years ago of american DCC!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
DB its not an issue of complication for mee either.
Its partly cost (over 100 loco's)
And partly the same as alistair, i work in a high tech environment and so the last thing i want to do when i get home is thing about computers. also weather we want to admit it or not sometimes computers screw up. its not the fault of the operator, they just crash now and then. even video servers with multiple redundencies, sometimes things just happen.

I agree the wiring on DCC is as complicated as you want it to be. but also you have to admit there is something very elegant about a traditional control panel with push buttons to set the tracks. its fast, you can see exactly what you are doing and where you are going and the wiring should be fairly simple. on recent exhibition layouts there seems to be a growing trend of operators engrossed in their DCC controllers and not really paying any atention to the public or weather they are giving a good show. its not their fault, they are just too busy and DCC has alot to do with that.

Peter
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 29 Apr 2007, 05:58) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I agree the wiring on DCC is as complicated as you want it to be. but also you have to admit there is something very elegant about a traditional control panel with push buttons to set the tracks. its fast, you can see exactly what you are doing and where you are going and the wiring should be fairly simple. on recent exhibition layouts there seems to be a growing trend of operators engrossed in their DCC controllers and not really paying any atention to the public or weather they are giving a good show. its not their fault, they are just too busy and DCC has alot to do with that.

Peter

Good morning Peter - I'm not the only one up too early on a Sunday then !

Now that is something I agree with - which is why the layout controls on St.Laurent have remained analogue (nowhere near as nice as DWB's panel though). I was just commenting on the inference that DCC is complicated.

Personally, I would not "DCC" the control panel unless I was opting for full computer control & that is very, very unlikely - St.Laurent is capable of being operated at exhibitions by one person as it has a degree of automation (good old relays, reed swiches & magnets) & is simple to operate so that someone who is giving the operator a break can look after it easily.

At the end of the day there is room for both DC & DCC (& of course AC if you are seriously into Marklin).

Off to work now - enjoy your day everyone.
 

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Getting back to the original theme of the thread I have reread Chris Leigh's editorial and Peter may have put the wrong interpretation on what has been said.

It is more about wish lists than DCC.

You have to remember that this time last year there was a clamour of people wishing that Hornby would fit decoders as standard to their locomotives to avoid having to risk damaging fine detail when fitting their own decoders. There was no evidence of any resentment to this at that time. Hornby listened to this "wishing" and made a decision to do it to all new models as all new models would have the same issues with fine detail.

As soon as the decision was made by Hornby then they were flooded with folk "wishing" them to rethink which they did. Chris simply says that in his opinion this was a retrograde step however the main theme of his editorial is clearly the influence of wish lists on the manufacturers.

Chris Leigh reminds us that if we wish for something there could be a financial consequence and this cannot be forgotten by those requesting the wish. There is no such thing as a free lunch in the model railway world and if modellers want something such as doors that open, and fans that rotate, and details that function, then there is a price to pay.

So when you next make a wish maybe you should include with your wish the price that you are prepared to pay.

If we British outline modellers want European type DCC Fitted products with all the trimmings then we must be prepared to pay European type prices.

Happy modelling
Gary
 
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