Topic for conversation and discussion.

Discuss model railway topics and news that do not fit into other sections.
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Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby marley » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:10 pm

In the topic about wheel cleaning a particular post refers to old and new design of chassis. It mentions the U grooves machined into older chassis for locating the wheels which are then held with a cover plate.

Most of the locomotives I have had over the past 60 years, be they 0, 00, H0, TT or N gauge have always been from a previous generation. Names like Trix, with it bakelite 3 rail track that I once connected directly to the mains!!!!. Then the old Triang TT stock with its moulded into the boiler hand rails etc. etc.

The only more modern item was a Bachmann 0-6-0 diesel. This ran beautifully.

Undoubtedly, the quality and detail of modern stock far exceeds that from years ago.

I just wonder whether some of todays masterpieces will still be around and running in 40 or 50 years time?

As you can see from my introduction I have little experience of todays offerings so I am unable to offer an opinion.

What I will comment on is the quality of the old Rivarossi locomotives I have managed to acquire.

I would love to run DCC for, as I understand, the simplicity of wiring a layout and the thought of just pressing a button to select the locomotive you want to run, without all sorts of section switches and a spagetti like amount of wiring etc.

Perhaps members would comment on my topic please?

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Re: Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby Pennine MC » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:29 pm

marley wrote:Perhaps members would comment on my topic please?

Sarah, I think you'd probably get more response with a title that reflects the post subject?

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Re: Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby Steve Hill » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:35 pm

I made the decision, after a 30 year break from modelling (and the discovery that my old H&M Duette controller no longer worked!) to go with DCC. I don't think wiring is much simpler or less spaghetti-like, mainly because to get reliable running you need to connect every piece of track via droppers, and you need electrofrog points with polarity switching on the frog itself and all the rest. And I'm still using DC for point motors, uncouplers, signalling etc, partly on cost grounds: all those decoders add up!

At some point, you just decide spaghetti is part of life, and embrace your inner Pastafarian.

Will today's locos still run in 50 years? I'd say yes, if they are looked after properly.

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Re: Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby sub39h » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:01 pm

i just hope that models don't go the way that (real) cars have. what i mean is that manufacturers have clocked on that if something is super reliable and doesn't break then there is no need to buy a new one so instead they seem to have made cars less durable so they can sell you a new one every 3 years.

i am making a return after a 15 year hiatus, and going from having a train set to having a model railway layout and the quality of models has no doubt come on leaps and bounds. the models themselves are more reliable in the here and now (by which I mean they seem to be more tolerant of dirty track etc.) and they can pull more. the detailing is fantastic on some of them. BUT with more intricacies comes more to go wrong. the nicest thing I can say about the old Ringfield and pancake motors is that they were simple. if something broke it was relatively easy to sort. I get the impression that the newer models are becoming more complicated but how long before the complicated nature makes them more fragile and more difficult to service/repair?

will models last decades like the simple clockwork ones that preceded them? I doubt it for the reasons I have listed. but is it worth the trade off? i'd say it probably was just as long as it doesn't go too far the other way and models need new motors every 6 months.

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Re: Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby pointstaken » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:26 pm

The amount of detail in the superstructure will probably be superb, but the propulsion mechanism will probably be vastly different. "Anyone remember that fad back in 2013 (or something like that) about something called DCC ? Never really caught on did it ? "

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Re: Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby Havoc » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:05 pm

I just wonder whether some of todays masterpieces will still be around and running in 40 or 50 years time?

I'd say there will be some around. Just like there are now some old masterpieces around. Maybe not running, more display pieces.

I'm not convinced with DCC. Some of it looks simple and in some situations it makes life a lot simpler but if you want something that is a bit out of the common use it gets complicated fast. And at that point it isn't any easier than ordinary DC.
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Re: Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby 6C » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:41 pm

Comments on the OP in order : :wink: IMHO
1) The U grooves were known as hornblocks and copied the real thing - there are some complicated modern replacements for this method - I feel none are a worthwhile improvement....
2) Agree - modern motors run beautifully - but I feel they are relatively fragile and won't have the longevity of previous generations.
3) Agree again - modern detail is exquisite - but downside is its declicacy - I have hands like hams - so have had to adopt a 'hands-off' policy as far as possible towards locos.
4) I love Rivarossi stuff too - from the late 70s - the quality of the mechanisms for instance, is only now being equalled.
5) I don't feel that DCC is the cure-all panacea for operation it is portrayed as - to implement it properly involves a heavy investment in time and money and has put many an aspiring new modeller off the hobby.
The only real advantage it offers to me is in double-heading where locos can be matched with different performance characteristics.
It is pretty much overkill - if you want to operate a classic branch line layout with only one loco moving at a time, with DC you only really get the spaghetti situation with large layouts with big MPDs etc. (I know I have one :oops: ), I also have a branch layout - which only has one DC feed (2 wires) and 5 mechanical wire levers (GEM Mercontrol) for the points and signals - I must say that operating this layout give me a lot of joy as I am 'throwing levers' like the real thing....
DCC partly detachs you from the old days and into the computer generation.
I may seem a bit of a dinosaur on the DCC front but my background is in computer hardware and includes an MSc in Computing, so I am sceptical after having applied a good deal of research - it does not tick my boxes at all - but congratulations to those who get it to operate satisfactorily..... 8)

Fetch me a bottle of your finest Chateau Bichon Frise '65 !!

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Re: Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby Steve Hill » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:50 pm

pointstaken wrote: "Anyone remember that fad back in 2013 (or something like that) about something called DCC ? Never really caught on did it ? "

DCC is a quarter of a century old now. It's horses for courses. For a very simple "train set" or indeed a small exhibition layout with a couple of sets of points, DC works fine, and will be by far the cheaper option and will deliver a great result (if we park issues like sound, onboard lights etc). Scale up beyond a certain point and the virtues of DCC will prevail.

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Re: Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby Bigmet » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:49 pm

Current 12V DC loco designs use very well proven and simple tech. that hasn't materially altered since I was a boy. So if the near 60 y.o Triang Princess still runs (having had a couple of chassis rebushings, several brush replacements and worn pick up wipers renewed among other repairs) I see no reason for the current product not to last as long. Better tech. like plastics compatible greases will mean less bearing wear if used, the permanent magnets in the can motors should be more permanent, and as for the worries about brush wear out; not yet happened in any can motor I own, some now 20 years old and heavily used. And the brush carbons can be replaced on most designs, no difficulty.

Look after it, and it will last is my take: the better detail and finer cross sections as compared to earlier product do mean that more careful handling is required. That's inescapable. And if the more robust, proven indefinitely repairable earlier design items are more appealing, there are plenty available second hand; a 'best of both worlds' scenario.

DCC, and further developments of this ilk (individually addressed control) are without doubt with us to stay. But then so is DC for the time being, as DCC is no more than a control system overlaid on a DC chassis. Again, the best of both worlds co-exist. Use whichever you like, the base equipment is the same. If something like an R/C control, rechargeable cell powered, matched low current motor chassis system took off, that might alter the market. But such is the conservatism of the hobby, I would bet that the current DC based tech would still be manufactured for decades.

DCC benefits start with full track voltage at all times, which makes pick up near perfect; and the customised 'tuning' of the decoder for the motor characteristic. Locos creep smoothly into and out of motion every time, and respond with programmable inertia - no instant stops from a scale 60 mph, you have to drive properly - which adds immeasurably to operational realism. All the the many other benefits come for free...

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Re: Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby ChrisWV10 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:40 pm

For me DCC offers simplicity. My layout is 12 x 4. I use insulfrog points fitted with Hornby electro clips and 2 wires from DCC base unit ( Digitrax Zephyr) to track and that's it. No bus, no droppers, no switched sections. It all works fine. The downside is the extra 15-20 quid for decoders but then DCC also offers sound, easy double heading, 'always on' lights.

C :)

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Re: Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby Dad-1 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:29 pm

I'm not concerned about how long modern locos will last.
More about how long I'll last .... 71 next month, so anything that lasts 15 years or there
abouts is fine for me.

I do wonder how long the current DCC will be compatible ..... You know like all your good
Win95 programmes won't work on Windows 7, or is it 8 now ?
Yes I like my DCC, single handed running up to 3 trains, changing points and keeping it all
functional on a 45 foot track run with about 30 points. All through one hand held controller.
Oh and in addition to having 3 moving there were several others available at the press of
a button.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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Re: Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby senorsenales » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:08 am

DCC, the love of the Americans, and no wonder!

Some of their layouts, both club and private, are so vast they are completely out of it when trying to run multi lash up trains over vast distances on multi level tracks on conventional 12v. For them DCC is really a necessity.

Here, with our smaller spaces, DCC is a nice option to have. I bought one set up about eight years ago and only because it was half price in a sale on ebay and I wanted to see what it was all about. I have been converted ever since.

I have never got the hang of all this cv business, or got beyond the getting something moving but it's the smooth running that got me. I bought a couple of Atlas diesels at about the same time, complete with sound. Crawling along the track and actually having to look to check whether it was actually moving or not, and finding it was, but ever so slowly The lights are nice, the sound side palls after a short time so switch that off.

DCC love it, wouldn't use anything else now.

As for long life, why not. The Americans always send a spares list with each loco, if they really want to you can store bits away, but there really isn't much to go wrong with them. Can motors, easily replaceable wheels, there isn't much else.

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Re: Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby Pete » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:19 pm

I think you also have to consider whether you want the wiring and electrics to be part of your hobby, personally I model to get away from all that so I go for simple DC and manual points control, the wiring is just a distraction from the fun bit which is modelling the scenery and buildings etc.

There are good cases made above for DCC and the owners obviously like it, but I bet they also enjoy tinkering with it too, so it's not just about enjoying the convenience it's playing with it and making it work that appeals, personally being a bear of little brain I like simplicity.

The thought of more than one train running at a time...

Just a view

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Re: Topic for conversation and discussion.

Postby TK421 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:50 pm

My biggest concern is will I still be able to purchase all my modelling requirments when I retire that's a good 42 years away! (although they will probally up retirement age again by then)
Commander tear this ship apart until you have found them track plans!

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