Recommended Essential Reading For DCC & NEW Railway Modeller

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Recommended Essential Reading For DCC & NEW Railway Modeller

Postby Bigglesof266 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:29 am

Cutting straight to the quick, they are:

"DCC Projects & Applications" by Mike Polsgrove

"Train Set to Model Railway" by Chris Hatton

Starting out in the hobby and looking for those one or two books which are absolute gems to guide you through the bewildering maze of DCC and turn your train sets into a model railway? Then this is written for you.

So often I read pleas from recent, and not so recent, entrants into the hobby asking for answers to the same questions. With a few, it is sheer laziness. But for the majority, it is mere frustration that having searched the net, the information they seek is not collated in a single place. Or, where some attempt has been made at same, is more often than not incomprehensible without oneself being either an electrical boffin or with significant lengthy previous experience and understanding of model railway electronics. :roll:

Having frustratingly trodden that path not so very long ago myself, whilst there are websites some of which contain much technical information, almost without exception, those websites are written by well meaning amateur practitioners. Upon attempting to decipher them, it's immediately self-evident if not illustrated by self-admission that their background is that of a technical professional in some aspect of the electronics industry, usually protracted over their working lifetime. Whilst they are knowledgeable within the confines of their subject, what they are not are teachers or instructors which becomes apparent pretty quickly when one attempts to eke out the essential meat 'n taters from their ubiquitously dry presentations.

Circumventing frustration
Knowing what I was after from the outset was a meat 'n taters briefing in a reasonably up to date single volume, which pretty much informed me about DCC without excessive boffin-speak or superfluous information, but also without being so general as to be utterly pointless. Similarly, I was seeking the same readable approach condensed into a single volume on putting together a model railway. Thus began the frustration. I read volume after volume borrowed from the library, old and relatively new. I subscribed to magazines. The contents of both ranged in usefulness from embarrassingly pointless, through interesting but not really helpful, to ....has its title any relevance to this verbose tome?!

Which brings me to the point. Namely, the two titles hotlinked at the head of this post.

The most useful book I've discovered thus far on DCC is an American publication. "DCC Projects & Applications" by Mike Polsgrove. Pick of the bunch. It squeezes more useful info into its 96 pages than a certain UK origin title on DCC waffles on about in nearly 200! I say waffles, because I had to look at the cover many times whilst reading it to reassure myself I hadn't picked up the wrong title. I do hope the second edition attempt is better, because the first....'nuf said.

If you read just one book on DCC, then this should be it.

Growing from the entry phase to putting everything together into a model railway, the second book recommended is entitled almost just that. And, regaining some face, this time it is a UK publication orientated to UK outline modelling. Chris Hatton's "Train Set to Model Railway" is an up to date, and again, easy and enjoyable interesting read covering comprehensively the majority of aspects to just the right level required. "Just right", is I think, the appropriate phrase.

As per my earlier recommendation on DCC, if you read just one book on putting together your model railway, this should be it.

Between the two of them, they contain a solid cross section of the information required to gain sufficient understanding in order to tackle the necessary decisions and tasks confidently and competently. A springboard if you will from which to delve into specific areas of knowledge not contained within them when and as required during the journey which will ensue.

Disclaimer: I have recently read both of the above titles which were purchased from my own funds. The views expressed above my own uninfluenced by quid pro quo. I don't know either author, and have no tie or interest to the material other than to share what I have within the context of this post.

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Re: Recommended Essential Reading 4 DCC & NEW Railway Modell

Postby End2end » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:08 pm

Just a quick update.
The book titled "DCC Projects & Applications" by Mike Polsgrove is now available in Volume 2. ... c+projects

I have no affliation with the mentioned books. I just wanted to make sure everyone is aware that volume 2 is out.

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