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Our club hasn't done much lately, the members are older (as am I) and moving the layout is no fun.  I don't have a home layout and the cost of setting up and technical experience needed to make DCC operational is not something I want to spend my time on.

Can't find anything I like, and if I do, it's out of my price range.  I'll stay for a bit longer and hope things improve, but not anticipating any change.  It was good while it lasted.

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Francine,

That is a very sad scenario, our club the Badgerland S Gaugers are also in the ranks of the Geriatrics, but we have been blessed, we found a permanent home for our modular layout. This was something desired by some of the club members for some time, but we could not find a location.  We are joining with our club as an associate member of another local train club in a smaller gauge. Maybe if your club hierarchy would reach out and check with other local clubs this might be a possibility for your club also.  It is very possible if you can hook up with another club, they may have folks with the DCC experience required to help you. I hope you might be able to find a location where your club can have a home.

Ray

Rusty,

I won't get rid of my S, only trying to figure if or how to enjoy it under the present circumstances.

I was looking at the Flyonel Pacific at Hennings today, too expensive and a different operation system.

Rod,

I have steam from the 40s & 50s upgraded to DCC, as most of the club layout was this.  I also have Flyer Chief engines, which require nothing else but an upgrade of ZW with modern circuit breakers.

The possibility of moving makes me hesitant to build a layout, and the tornado flooded the basement (only the 2nd time that's happened since I lived in the house).

You are lucky to have a club......I'm out here all by myself.........I love S gauge and are always doing something with my trains......just finished taking a overland Aux. water tender and putting gilbert wheels and axles under it.   I plan on showing pictures of it  soon.

Regards

Jackie

I am really looking forward to seeing the pictures. I'm not sure if you will run into what I did with my water tender when painting. I first painted with automotive primer, it bubbled. When I stripped the paint it came off in sheets. The tender had some kind of plastic coating on it.

Ray

I could be wrong, but as far as I know DCC equipped engines can also run conventional dc control (ie using speed control from a transformer). You wouldn't have the command control or sounds I assume, but you should be able to run those engines in conventional mode if you wanted to. Lionchief might be easier for you since it involves no special wiring (basically just need a power source to keep 18v at the rails) and a simple remote control.

As far as moving goes I can understand that, one way would be to build a layout easy to take apart (for example, use foam insulation board on top of foldable tables or something similar) if you think you could be moving in the short term. It might not be a detail scale layout (which I would hesitate to build if I thought I was moving anytime soon).

As far the flooding goes, I obviously don't know how had it is. One way would be to build the layout high enough off the floor that water wouldn't conceivable reach it, but I have seen houses flood where the basement is floor to ceiling in water (in my house, it is groundwater that would cause it, and wouldn't get more than a foot or 2, I have a french drain system and a backup generator for it. My take on that is it is easy (as I know too well) to focus on what might happen, and with the screwy weather we have all seen, it isn't hard to think like that, but in the end might be worth the risk

Another thought would be if there is another club nearby, like an HO scale club, join it and through them learn about DCC, or maybe even find someone through that willing to teach you. I understand being overwhelmed by technology and the like, I work in tech and sometimes reading what I do about Legacy and DCS on here I wonder just how great it is, given the things people report about it, issues with engines, etc....but then again, it is fun to learn new things, too (and I am not dismissing that you are older, I am prob younger than you by more than a bit, but I already feel that at times). Lot of people work in one scale at a club layout and have their own at home, nice part is the HO club could fill your need for scale modelling on a bigger scale, and your home layout would be fun with S gauge trains.

@bigkid posted:

I could be wrong, but as far as I know DCC equipped engines can also run conventional dc control (ie using speed control from a transformer). You wouldn't have the command control or sounds I assume, but you should be able to run those engines in conventional mode if you wanted to.

Gee, I dunno about that. There's been a few times when I've unwittingly purchased DCC-equipped locos, and I had to remove the boards before I could run them analog.

Everything else you said I agree with...😁

I also agree with what Rod posted, regarding older Flyer stuff... 🙂

Mark in Oregon

Francine,

Unless you really require running long trains (to be able to enjoy the hobby), you might consider building something smaller. I only have a 10'x10' spare bedroom available, which doubles as my office. I am building small "modules" (not conforming to any standard), which are easy to move and can be connected to form a larger layout. If one reads the major railroading hobby magazines, one might be left with the impression that a completed, basement-sized layout is a requirement before being able to enjoy the hobby. While those layouts are impressive, inspirational, and may sell magazine copies, they are not necessarily the reality for a lot of us with limited space, limited hobby budgets, and limited time.

You may want to spend some time browsing through the "Layouts" section of the NASG's web site to find some inspiration.

https://www.nasg.org/

As to clubs, I was an active member of the Houston S Gaugers for 10 years. I finally stopped being an active member, mostly due to time pressures (I'm self-employed). But, the reality was, that in those ten years we added not a single new member to the club. Of course ,that is only one data point, but if that is consistent throughout, then members are leaving clubs mostly due to old age, but no new members are joining. My gut tells me that today's 30-, 40, and even 50-year olds don't value the concept of belonging to a club as highly as the pre-Internet-age people. Before the Internet, you had to read magazines to learn stuff, and join a club to actually get real, personal help and advice. Nowadays, you can figure out how to make a tree from scratch by watching a ten-minute video on YouTube. While I have no crystal ball, I don't think there is much of a future in clubs any more. But I could be completely wrong on that. Either way, I am back to just being a lone-wolf modeler and having a good time in S.

- Peter.

@PVan posted:

Francine,

Unless you really require running long trains (to be able to enjoy the hobby), you might consider building something smaller. I only have a 10'x10' spare bedroom available, which doubles as my office. I am building small "modules" (not conforming to any standard), which are easy to move and can be connected to form a larger layout. If one reads the major railroading hobby magazines, one might be left with the impression that a completed, basement-sized layout is a requirement before being able to enjoy the hobby. While those layouts are impressive, inspirational, and may sell magazine copies, they are not necessarily the reality for a lot of us with limited space, limited hobby budgets, and limited time.

You may want to spend some time browsing through the "Layouts" section of the NASG's web site to find some inspiration.

https://www.nasg.org/

As to clubs, I was an active member of the Houston S Gaugers for 10 years. I finally stopped being an active member, mostly due to time pressures (I'm self-employed). But, the reality was, that in those ten years we added not a single new member to the club. Of course ,that is only one data point, but if that is consistent throughout, then members are leaving clubs mostly due to old age, but no new members are joining. My gut tells me that today's 30-, 40, and even 50-year olds don't value the concept of belonging to a club as highly as the pre-Internet-age people. Before the Internet, you had to read magazines to learn stuff, and join a club to actually get real, personal help and advice. Nowadays, you can figure out how to make a tree from scratch by watching a ten-minute video on YouTube. While I have no crystal ball, I don't think there is much of a future in clubs any more. But I could be completely wrong on that. Either way, I am back to just being a lone-wolf modeler and having a good time in S.

- Peter.

Without hijacking this thread, given the reality of houses in many places, clubs still provide a place where you can operate a large scale layout and do things a lot of home layouts cannot do. Lot of people live in apartments, or in houses without basements or small ones, etc, so a club is a place where they can be part of a dream layout (not to mention even if you have that perfect outbuilding or that big basement just ready for the mega layout, how much time, money and effort does that take? Obviously people do build magnificent layouts at home, but time and money can limit that, too.

You are lucky to have a club......I'm out here all by myself.........I love S gauge and are always doing something with my trains......just finished taking a overland Aux. water tender and putting gilbert wheels and axles under it.   I plan on showing pictures of it  soon.

Regards

Jackie

Jackie,

I was not with our S Gauge club when it had it's beginnings but, I was told that the fellow who got the idea to start a club ran an ad in a local newspaper and asked interested people to contact him.

Might there be an opportunity for you to do something along those lines, newspaper or social media?

Having acquaintances with similar interests is wonderful.

Ray

@Rayin"S" posted:

Jackie,

I was not with our S Gauge club when it had it's beginnings but, I was told that the fellow who got the idea to start a club ran an ad in a local newspaper and asked interested people to contact him.

Might there be an opportunity for you to do something along those lines, newspaper or social media?

Having acquaintances with similar interests is wonderful.

Ray

I found here in Maine there are just too few of us… 10 members state wide in the NASG.  There are others, but it seems like Mainers are not interested in a club in general.  I believe a big problem is we are just too rural of a state and everyone was too far apart.

Back around 2003 or so we did have a group (IIRC there were about 6 of us).  We met at each other’s homes something like once a month, only a few had layouts.  We could never generate a reason to have an S club — I got busy making turnouts and that was the end of the Maine S Gaugers.

Good Luck!

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

@Rayin"S" posted:

Francine,

That is a very sad scenario, our club the Badgerland S Gaugers are also in the ranks of the Geriatrics, but we have been blessed, we found a permanent home for our modular layout. This was something desired by some of the club members for some time, but we could not find a location.  We are joining with our club as an associate member of another local train club in a smaller gauge. Maybe if your club hierarchy would reach out and check with other local clubs this might be a possibility for your club also.  It is very possible if you can hook up with another club, they may have folks with the DCC experience required to help you. I hope you might be able to find a location where your club can have a home.

Ray

So Very true , that first night at Chuck Porters house, David Kloes was 15 or 16, I was 17, I'm 65 now!

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