The pre-electronic age

BlueComet400 posted:

Bill, you're not the only one who still likes conventional control and older trains. Most of my trains are prewar tinplate, and I wouldn't consider doing any conversions on them. A few months ago, I decided to add DCS and I love it. Yes, it has its quirks, but so do E-units. What sold me on DCS is that it gives you the ability to run older, conventional trains with a wireless remote control, instead of being tied to a transformer. I currently have 2 DCS-equipped engines, and will likely add more, but prewar trains will always be my primary interest. I saw adding DCS as a way to add flexibility and improve the operation of my older trains, while making the most of the few modern trains in my collection. For relatively short money, you can add DCS to your layout and give it a try. You might be surprised. 

John

I sure would like to see an instructional video on how to accomplish adding DCS to a conventional layout - on the cheap.

Ponz

Ponz posted:
BlueComet400 posted:

Bill, you're not the only one who still likes conventional control and older trains. Most of my trains are prewar tinplate, and I wouldn't consider doing any conversions on them. A few months ago, I decided to add DCS and I love it. Yes, it has its quirks, but so do E-units. What sold me on DCS is that it gives you the ability to run older, conventional trains with a wireless remote control, instead of being tied to a transformer. I currently have 2 DCS-equipped engines, and will likely add more, but prewar trains will always be my primary interest. I saw adding DCS as a way to add flexibility and improve the operation of my older trains, while making the most of the few modern trains in my collection. For relatively short money, you can add DCS to your layout and give it a try. You might be surprised. 

John

I sure would like to see an instructional video on how to accomplish adding DCS to a conventional layout - on the cheap.

Ponz

For about $300.00, I bought a brand-new DCS TIU/remote kit, and in a very short time, DCS was up and running on my layout. The TIU developed an issue, but that's what warranties are for. There were also a few glitches with track signal, but after a few wiring modifications, all is well. Compared to the costs of other items in our hobby, I decided $300.00 was short money to see if DCS is for me. I figured if I didn't like it, I could always sell the system to recover some of my money. I also bought a brand-new Z4000, but I was going to do that anyway, so I'm not counting that in my DCS start-up costs. Are there quirks with command operation? You bet. Is it worth it? In my opinion, it is, but I really think someone needs to try it on their own layout. 

John 

Image result for train collectors association emblem

  TCA 90-30847

  NJ HiRailers Associate Member

I decided to get back into the hobby when I drug out the Lionel post war set my dad bought the day I was born (1951). I rebuilt it and it continued from there. I really don't understand any of the new electronic trains being offered today and have no idea what all the acronyms mean. dcs, dccs and so on. Never read anywhere what they mean. Most people just seem to know but never share and the manufacturers don't give definitions. So I am staying with conventional as it suits me. It is easy to repair and I don't have to worry about warranty problems with a brand new locomotive. Besides I like to play with things that are as old as I am. So it's conventional all the way for me. 

Conductor Earl posted:

Was that on the Rock Island? 

Yes, it was.  A Rock Island 0-4-0 Rocketsaurus.  

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high anyway.

When I die, I'm not sure if I want to go to heaven , or go be with all my friends .

I got back into the hobby in O scale a few years ago. I was a HO kid from the 60's-70's. While the digital controls intrigue me, I'm running post war/ MPC/ modern conventional for now. If and when the CEO grants the land rights for a larger layout I will consider going digital.

Remember- these were our video games.....
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-60Vt5jrLaRQ/UQGNxfzt6bI/AAAAAAAADxo/iQkS5TVOONM/s1600/ElectricFootball.jpg

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

Yes there is a lot of us out here that run conventional. I guess I'm something of an operating collector of primarily Lionel and AMT post war which includes several of Williams Golden Memories line that mimics Lionel postwar, plus a little old K-Line. Toss in a bit of Marx tinplate for good luck.

I work aerospace electronics all day long, its not what I want for a hobby. Besides crew radio talk from the steam era sounds dumb if for no other reason back then communication with trains was with typed train orders on flimsies originally sent by telegraph or more up todate roads by phone; not airplane style radio chatter (Pennsy perhaps excepted). If you ran off the tracks at Linndale nobody in the cab called the Terminal Tower with "Cleveland we have a problem".

Bogie

OldBogie posted:

Yes there is a lot of us out here that run conventional. I guess I'm something of an operating collector of primarily Lionel and AMT post war which includes several of Williams Golden Memories line that mimics Lionel postwar, plus a little old K-Line. Toss in a bit of Marx tinplate for good luck.

I work aerospace electronics all day long, its not what I want for a hobby. Besides crew radio talk from the steam era sounds dumb if for no other reason back then communication with trains was with typed train orders on flimsies originally sent by telegraph or more up todate roads by phone; not airplane style radio chatter (Pennsy perhaps excepted). If you ran off the tracks at Linndale nobody in the cab called the Terminal Tower with "Cleveland we have a problem".

Bogie

Good point...

I still run conventional, mostly because I see no need for command control with my layout. It has two main lines for continuous running. It's not large enough to run two trains at the same time on the same track. There for all I would get out of command control is more sounds (that stupid cab chatter). I'd rather spend the money for a TMCC/Legacy/DCS system on something else. Locomotive sounds/whistle/horn/bell still work in conventional mode, which is fine by me.

Santa Fe, All the Way

Lou1985 posted:

I still run conventional, mostly because I see no need for command control with my layout. It has two main lines for continuous running. It's not large enough to run two trains at the same time on the same track. There for all I would get out of command control is more sounds (that stupid cab chatter). I'd rather spend the money for a TMCC/Legacy/DCS system on something else. Locomotive sounds/whistle/horn/bell still work in conventional mode, which is fine by me.

Same here.

Ponz

I don't want to offend anybody so I take the politically correct approach.

I am trainsgender.  I run modern electronics and conventional stuff.  Each gives me a different sense of well being.  As far as the level of detail goes I swing both ways.  The new stuff has great detail.  However, I can marvel at he level of detail with the older stuff keeping in mind the technology of the day.

I'm still looking for a trainsgender bathroom.  Maybe I'll find one at the train station.

I'm also working on a float to enter into some sort of "pride parade" (3 rail - I might swing but I don't do bi - that is - 2 rail).

Alan

I have conventional power also, but one of the advantages of the new electronic control systems is that you can take your locos to a club meeting and run them anywhere. I have demonstrated bluetooth controlled locos using track AC and battery power and have never encountered a problem.

BOB WALKER posted:

I have conventional power also, but one of the advantages of the new electronic control systems is that you can take your locos to a club meeting and run them anywhere. I have demonstrated bluetooth controlled locos using track AC and battery power and have never encountered a problem.

I thought all of this was reverse-compatible?  A conventional engine will not run on an advanced layout? 

KOOLjock1 posted:

Gee... I’ve been running TMCC trains with a Post War KW or ZW since 1996, and haven’t blown a board yet!

Jon  

Been doing the same (but with external breakers and TVS). The key is not to have derailments, which I very rarely if ever do.

Santa Fe, All the Way

I am just emerging from a 40 year stint in a hobby called precision aerobatics or pattern. (hence my screen name) This sport requires you to fly a 2 meter airplane that cannot weigh more than 11 pounds with fuel through a set of maneuvers in front of a panel of judges. This sport has its own set of elitists who think that if you don't have the latest and greatest equipment and plane you are less and looked down on. Thus receiving lower scores. Having to spend $5,000 every two years on new equipment to maintain a competitive edge became more than I wanted to do. I called it chasing the white rabbit. Now my point is, I see some of this attitude here as well. Reference the picture above of the dinosaur pulling the rock baggage car tells me that if you run conventional and three rail tubular track you are less and thought of as living in the past and having inferior equipment. I am starting in this to have some fun and to have a hobby where I can stay at home to enjoy it. Everyone should just do what they like and not represent themselves as better than others because they own $1500 locomotives that do things others cannot do. Everyone should have fun and encourage everyone else to have fun. If you have knowledge that can help us beginners then help us, don't look down on us.   

Robert S. Butler posted:

I prefer the real simple electric trains - 220 volts straight from the wall socket to the track - no worries about transformers or pets that insist on chasing your carpet central train set. 

220v, 221v whatever it takes.

Chris Sheldon

patternpilot posted:

I am just emerging from a 40 year stint in a hobby called precision aerobatics or pattern. (hence my screen name) This sport requires you to fly a 2 meter airplane that cannot weigh more than 11 pounds with fuel through a set of maneuvers in front of a panel of judges. This sport has its own set of elitists who think that if you don't have the latest and greatest equipment and plane you are less and looked down on. Thus receiving lower scores. Having to spend $5,000 every two years on new equipment to maintain a competitive edge became more than I wanted to do. I called it chasing the white rabbit. Now my point is, I see some of this attitude here as well. Reference the picture above of the dinosaur pulling the rock baggage car tells me that if you run conventional and three rail tubular track you are less and thought of as living in the past and having inferior equipment. I am starting in this to have some fun and to have a hobby where I can stay at home to enjoy it. Everyone should just do what they like and not represent themselves as better than others because they own $1500 locomotives that do things others cannot do. Everyone should have fun and encourage everyone else to have fun. If you have knowledge that can help us beginners then help us, don't look down on us.   

Most people here on the forum don't get hung up with show and tell regarding wealth issues.  We respect each other's preferences, and just hope that you enjoy your trains.

Sometimes someone feels compelled to make sure that people know how much they have.  This falls flat on this forum.  It's fine to mention what all you've got if it's pertinent to the discussion, otherwise it's actually ill received.  Most people are just too polite on this forum to belittle the occasional braggart. 

Alan

All of the communications, video, security, and appliances in our home are electronic. When they break they become throw-a-way items. Still choose to run 100% conventional trains as simplicity usually leads to reliability. They also look the same as any running around the track. Parts are easy to find.  Seldom have a problem that can't be fixed by myself and the occasional chore is just cleaning and lubrication.

Builder of the Hill Lines ( New Delta Lines). Recreating history for the model RR community.

I run both dcs command and conventional.  My two latest locomotives purchases are a brand new ps-3 equipped engine, and a 80-ish year old American Flyer.  They are both great, And if I vary the track voltage I can run the Flyer unit from the dcs handheld remote.  It's all overkill because right now my trains just run in circles, but it's fun to me.

I also have my 70's era starter set from back when lionel was running dc on 3 rail track.  I eventually but a new motor in it because I had mechanically worn out the original and modern digital e-unit so I could run it with everything else.  It still gets a few hours a year and makes me smile.

May God Bless us all.

Ponz posted:
BOB WALKER posted:

I have conventional power also, but one of the advantages of the new electronic control systems is that you can take your locos to a club meeting and run them anywhere. I have demonstrated bluetooth controlled locos using track AC and battery power and have never encountered a problem.

I thought all of this was reverse-compatible?  A conventional engine will not run on an advanced layout? 

I'm returning to the hobby after a long hiatus so take my answer for what it's worth, but here's my understanding of it - you can run the new "electronic" engines on a conventional layout as they'll respond to the throttle controls.  Most often there will be a toggle that needs to be thrown to let the electronics know to operate in conventional mode.

Because the command and control trains ("electronic") operate on trackage with constant voltage applied, i believe it's usually 14V or 18V, and the control decisions are made on board the unit, you can not run a conventional locomotive in this environment because it would only run at one speed - the result of the constant voltage.

I'm sure someone will correct me if  I'm wrong.

It took everything I had not to respond to that last post.

Byrdie posted:
Ponz posted:
BOB WALKER posted:

I have conventional power also, but one of the advantages of the new electronic control systems is that you can take your locos to a club meeting and run them anywhere. I have demonstrated bluetooth controlled locos using track AC and battery power and have never encountered a problem.

I thought all of this was reverse-compatible?  A conventional engine will not run on an advanced layout? 

I'm returning to the hobby after a long hiatus so take my answer for what it's worth, but here's my understanding of it - you can run the new "electronic" engines on a conventional layout as they'll respond to the throttle controls.  Most often there will be a toggle that needs to be thrown to let the electronics know to operate in conventional mode.

Because the command and control trains ("electronic") operate on trackage with constant voltage applied, i believe it's usually 14V or 18V, and the control decisions are made on board the unit, you can not run a conventional locomotive in this environment because it would only run at one speed - the result of the constant voltage.

I'm sure someone will correct me if  I'm wrong.

I guess a good question would be, "How New" ?

I can run a recently required Railking PS1 steam engine conventionally.

Ponz

patternpilot posted:

I am just emerging from a 40 year stint in a hobby called precision aerobatics or pattern. (hence my screen name) This sport requires you to fly a 2 meter airplane that cannot weigh more than 11 pounds with fuel through a set of maneuvers in front of a panel of judges. This sport has its own set of elitists who think that if you don't have the latest and greatest equipment and plane you are less and looked down on. Thus receiving lower scores. Having to spend $5,000 every two years on new equipment to maintain a competitive edge became more than I wanted to do. I called it chasing the white rabbit. Now my point is, I see some of this attitude here as well. Reference the picture above of the dinosaur pulling the rock baggage car tells me that if you run conventional and three rail tubular track you are less and thought of as living in the past and having inferior equipment. I am starting in this to have some fun and to have a hobby where I can stay at home to enjoy it. Everyone should just do what they like and not represent themselves as better than others because they own $1500 locomotives that do things others cannot do. Everyone should have fun and encourage everyone else to have fun. If you have knowledge that can help us beginners then help us, don't look down on us.   

Two observations:

1) Your previous hobby was practiced in a competitive environment and meant to be judged.  That some of the judges were prejudiced by moronic values is unfortunate but was part of that environment.  While model railroading can be done competitively, it doesn't sound to me like that's what you're getting into if for.  Build your layout, operate it how you like, certainly share it with others but, unless your nature is so competitive that it has to be bigger, better, faster, finer (choose your own adjective) than everyone else's, ignore the naysayers and have fun.

2) Forums like these are meant to be places to gather and share information.  If you find there's too much "keeping up with the Jones'" or competitive personalities on it, either ignore them or go your own way and choose a different forum.

I'm returning to the hobby after a long hiatus.  What's available now is so different from what I had before that I need a little help deciding what to use and how to use it.  I can pretty much guarantee you that when I feel I've got what I need I'll be gone and running my trains instead.  There's too many people on here that I see posting so much they can't possibly have any time leftover to actually be operating their layouts.  I'm also not a "look at me" kind of guy.  I'm happy to share some knowledge if I can help ... if ... but I don't really care if someone else likes what I've got.  I'm doing it because I like it.

It's kind of like my singing.  It's not terrible but I'm not going to be cutting any records soon.  Every now and then someone feels obligated to say, "Don't quit your day job."  I always respond that I'm not singing to entertain them, I'm doing it to entertain myself ... and succeeding!

It took everything I had not to respond to that last post.

I have a PW-style toy train layout (very similar to one of the old Lionel Dealer Display layouts) so I'm all conventional, all the time. Fire up the ZW handles and I'm happy.

I did give TMCC a spin a number of years back and used it on my old layout for a year or so. Didn't dislike it so much as it just wasn't for me.

TCA, LCCA

Hi Guys & Gals 

I have Mth Ps1, PS-2 , & PS-3 .  I run them with a Z-1000 transformer !  Not DCS ! 

I also have some Lion chief & lion chief Plus engines !  Great runners ! 

I also have some MTH LOCO sound engines as well !  They are are conventional engines with great sounds & smoke units !  

I do not need fancy Electronics for my O gauge !   

Please note I do have DCC for my HO & future N scale trains !  

None of my HO trains have sound !   

My last two Christmas layouts used Lionel Hi Rail Tube Track !  Not Fast track ! 

So to the Other Bill  ( the original poster)  I also like running conventional ! 

patternpilot posted:

I am just emerging from a 40 year stint in a hobby called precision aerobatics or pattern. (hence my screen name) This sport requires you to fly a 2 meter airplane that cannot weigh more than 11 pounds with fuel through a set of maneuvers in front of a panel of judges. This sport has its own set of elitists who think that if you don't have the latest and greatest equipment and plane you are less and looked down on. Thus receiving lower scores. Having to spend $5,000 every two years on new equipment to maintain a competitive edge became more than I wanted to do. I called it chasing the white rabbit. Now my point is, I see some of this attitude here as well. Reference the picture above of the dinosaur pulling the rock baggage car tells me that if you run conventional and three rail tubular track you are less and thought of as living in the past and having inferior equipment. I am starting in this to have some fun and to have a hobby where I can stay at home to enjoy it. Everyone should just do what they like and not represent themselves as better than others because they own $1500 locomotives that do things others cannot do. Everyone should have fun and encourage everyone else to have fun. If you have knowledge that can help us beginners then help us, don't look down on us.   

I agree, hence my tagline.

If you're having fun, you're doing it right.

Add Reply

Likes (7)
delwoodjefLarry3railtrainsAlibatwombleTed SO-gaugerAlan Mancusdjacobsen


OGR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 218, Hilliard, OH 43026 330-757-3020
www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×