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Reborn HO RR Modeler/Retiree

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  • Member since
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Reborn HO RR Modeler/Retiree
Posted by KB5JCX on Sunday, February 18, 2018 10:48 AM

As a teacher (band director), I had little time for the hobby I had when I worked for the "city."  All went into the box for the next 25 years or so and now I finally opened the box.  I am not THAT new to RR modeling, and I have built 17 wooden sailing ships (laying the keel from plans), rebuilt amateur radios and associated equipment, built dollhouses and furniture from scratch (six of them), and repaired musical instruments.  If there is a tool, there is a way - laughs.  I would like to share some of my adventures of returning to this hobby with a few ideas that may be compatable (or not) that may resolve some arguments that could get overheated I have seen on this web site.  

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Posted by mlehman on Monday, February 19, 2018 9:13 AM

Welcome

Looks like you've built up a backlog of model railroading ideas. Go ahead and lay them on us. Always room for new ideas. There's usually not a specific way, method or product that is always best. The trick is determining what works best for your specifc application, which means it's a good thing to consider multiple options.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by JoeinPA on Monday, February 19, 2018 9:55 AM

A big welcome to this forum and back into the hobby. Please share with us your ideas and work as you start in this new adventure.

Joe

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Monday, February 19, 2018 10:06 AM

JoeinPA

A big welcome to this forum and back into the hobby. Please share with us your ideas and work as you start in this new adventure.

Joe

Yes, and feel free to post photos of the tall ships as well. Even though this is a model railroad forum, we try to maintain outside interests as well.

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by selector on Monday, February 19, 2018 12:38 PM

Welcome to the forum.  I, speaking only for myself, welcome opportunities to be disabused of my wrongness.  I also like to learn new methods, materials, and other concepts, and if you'd like to share yours with me, please feel free.

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Posted by hornblower on Monday, February 19, 2018 2:36 PM

Welcome!  It is indeed a good idea to throw your ideas into this ring as a LOT of modeling products, techniques and ideas have changed significantly in the last 25 years!  While there is nothing wrong with most of the old-school ways, you may be amazed at some of the more recent developments.  For instance: the miriad uses for extruded foam insulation board!  If you were putting everything away 25 years ago, I would also assume you'd be new to DCC.

A band director, eh!  I'm the trumpet player from your nightmares!!!

Hornblower

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, February 19, 2018 10:59 PM

ROBERT PETRICK
Even though this is a model railroad forum, we try to maintain outside interests as well.

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Welcome

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Please come back here often. Your first few posts are "moderated", but that ends soon enough, and you can be posting regalrly very quickly.

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What Robert said is true. Please post pictures of the ships sometime. I have posted some kind of strange pictures from time to time, and so far, no one has complained.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 4:34 AM

Hi KB5JCX!

Welcome back to the hobby!     Welcome

Please don't hesitate to share your ideas and your other modelling interests.

Just a bit of advice - your old locomotives would probably benefit from a bit of maintenance before you try to run them, i.e. replacing the grease in the truck gear towers and cleaning the wheels. You will need to clean the track too.

Dave

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Posted by KB5JCX on Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:02 AM

Sorry - I had to sell the ships when I left the U.S. Air Force.  Too much for shipping.  I did put the money I got to good use to paying off bills and had to let go of my bowling ball, glove, shoes, etc. as well as my cross-country ski equipment.  Not much use for it where I live in Texas now.  Laugh

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Posted by KB5JCX on Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:35 AM

The late Rev. Paul Raymond, Ltc. US Army, Ret., owned and operated Trains, Trains, Trains (retail store) in Denton, Texas and was my first mentor.  He showed me in detail how to clean and oil loco engines with the appropriate lubricants without harm to the gears and wheels.  I also purchased most of my stock, engines, and nickel-steel track, and other items.  I use a set of brushes sold by Athern that hooks up to a railroad transformer with an extra ground.  The brass brushes clean the wheels as they turn from the connections going through the brushes while the lubricants are spread even throughout the gearbox, worm gears, bearings and other moving parts.  I am not to liberal with the application and do it often (about once every one or two months).  But thanks for the heads up.  He also taught me how to make plastic wheels work from older stock (old Bachmann train kits).  Like all makes of plastic and metal trucks, the wheels must spin freely and trucks cannot rock too much nor bind on turns.  They CAN be adjusted.  As a retired school teacher, I can no longer afford putting metal trucks and wheels on all cars.  Lots of options are out of the question for my low income.  But, I do know a few tricks.  I do have a few cars I can run on some older tracks.  I know there is a lot of static dirt to be picked up and put on the rails including ballast, so I am carefull about that.  You guys are really great helping me remember, though. Thanks!

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Posted by KB5JCX on Saturday, February 24, 2018 9:30 AM

OK - I am using Easy Model Railroad Inventory to help organize stock, structures, and other materials as well as a few ideas.  Not too much in concrete, yet.  I had to rebuild an RS-1 (purchased in 1987) by manufacturing a part and using a small zip tie.  It was destroyed by my daughter's H.S. lab partner - long story for discussion much later!  (lol)  The other engine (0-6-0) was a kit that had to be rebuilt, having been jostled in a loose box, using some wood chips, glue, and screws as well as some plastic "weld" cement.  Both run on a test strip ok - I cannot wait to try them on the layout to be built this spring.  Meanwhile, I removed all the weights from my cars and repaired as many as I could before finding "upgrade" parts in another box.  All are ready to run and weight can be added to them later as well as the "upgrades."  When I changed careers again in 1992, I had to store the structures flat.  The walls were disconnected best I could.  Thank goodness for "weld" cements, but structures are not in tip-top shape, but then, people weather things anyway.  The "new" kits I bought back then and not built yet will be put together with "weld" cement since only a speck less than a drop can be used which prevent a lot of handling problems.   It may be slower; but, in the long run, better I think.

The track plans, using templates I bought back before storage, various HO gauge tools (NMRA), metal architech and engineering rulers, and gauge ruler, have been completed and approved by the "boss," (wife).  At the end of march, I start gathering wood for the bench work and start my search for homasote.  Homasote is expensive, but worth it, since this will probably be my last layout (I will be 70 this summer).  I figure it will take about two to three years to complete the layout.  Definitely a combination of many "works-in-progress."  So much for now.  

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Posted by KB5JCX on Sunday, March 04, 2018 7:46 AM

Alas, I have big problem.  I don't get much of a stipend for retirement.  I lost two of my favorite engines, but neither is DCC.  I cannot afford to switch to DCC.  Do I just let my heart break?  Live with it?  Get over it?  Is there a place I can get a 44T or  DS-1?  Can I scratch build these?  Where and how do I choose the right can engine?  Do I just trash it all and find another hobby?  Has the hobby evolved into a hobby only for the rich?  I appreciate any advice.  Perhaps my quote is appropriate.  Thanks.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, March 04, 2018 8:26 AM

I'll join with the others in welcoming you to the forum!

Bachmann makes a nice 44 tonner.  Ebay might be a good source for you to see whats out there.  Just about all of the major on line train stores sell Bachmann.

If I'm right, that DS-1 is a locomotive from South Africa?  I'm sure that one you'll have to scratch build.

Mike.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, March 04, 2018 9:33 AM

KB5JCX
Trains, Trains, Trains (retail store) in Denton, Texas

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Denton Denton Rah Rah Rah

Denton Denton Rah Rah Rah

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Don't Dream It... Be IT!

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Denton is now the home of Reaper Miniatures. I went there in 2012 and stopped ant the Denton sign and did the above chant. Everyone who knows me was amazed I went to Reaper Minatures instead of the Peterbilt factory.

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Oh well.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by Canalligators on Sunday, March 04, 2018 2:22 PM

Don’t despair.  Many of us are still running DC mode.  Most (all?) new locos can be configured to run on DC.  I can’t justify the cost and labor to convert.

Genesee Terminal, freelanced HO in Upstate NY
  ...hosting Loon Bay Transit Authority, run through Amtrak and CSX Intermodal

CP/D&H, N scale, somewhere on the Canadian Shield

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Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, March 04, 2018 3:03 PM

You can take refuge in the "This Hobby is too expensive" thread.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by stevetx on Sunday, March 04, 2018 9:12 PM

I love your thread KB5JCX. I am a retiree that just got back into active model railroading last year after being away 30+ years. I have no layout and my stuff is DC. So, I have similar thoughts as you. My stuff goes back to my HO start-up in 1962 while in college, so some of it is 50+ years old. I just finished upgrading my four kit built Mantuas (Pacifics and Mikados). My upgrades included can motors, details, LEDs, and tender oil bunkers. I have one more Mantua and three Rivarossi steamers awaiting some kind of rework.  Any additional locos and rolling stock will be used from train shows - that retiree fixed income thing.  I'm lucky in that the Dallas Fort Worth area where I live had five train shows between last October thru February.  I came home from each with old bargains needing TLC. Good luck on your activities KB5JCX. I look forward to how you tackle your comeback as I too want to learn. 

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, March 05, 2018 10:00 AM

KB5JCX

Alas, I have big problem.  I don't get much of a stipend for retirement.  I lost two of my favorite engines, but neither is DCC.  I cannot afford to switch to DCC.  Do I just let my heart break?  Live with it?  Get over it?  Is there a place I can get a 44T or  DS-1?  Can I scratch build these?  Where and how do I choose the right can engine?  Do I just trash it all and find another hobby?  Has the hobby evolved into a hobby only for the rich?  I appreciate any advice.  Perhaps my quote is appropriate.  Thanks.

 

Anything you want can be gotten on the cheap but sometimes it takes time. E-bay is your best freind here. Just saw a couple 44 Ton go for a little over $20 each Just saw a 45 Ton DCC instaled one for around $60, ending soon. You can also trade skills for items, done that before too.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, March 05, 2018 10:57 AM

Why all the doom and gloom?

KB5JCX
I lost two of my favorite engines, but neither is DCC. I cannot afford to switch to DCC. Do I just let my heart break?

DCC is NOT a necessity.  DC is just fine, with tons of options, and can be built to make the switch to DCC easy, if the opertunity arrises.

And as mentioned, Ebay is a good place to start.  Start with what you have, what you can pick up cheap, and make it work.

There's a lot of satisfaction in building and rebuilding what you can't currently afford, and making it go.

There are some hobby shops that resell locomotives, rolling stock, and structures from estate sales.  That was a big source for me. 

You can do this, KB5, if you want to.

Mike.

 

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Posted by BowserTB on Monday, March 05, 2018 11:01 AM

rrebell

 

 
KB5JCX

Alas, I have big problem.  I don't get much of a stipend for retirement.  I lost two of my favorite engines, but neither is DCC.  I cannot afford to switch to DCC.  Do I just let my heart break?  Live with it?  Get over it?  Is there a place I can get a 44T or  DS-1?  Can I scratch build these?  Where and how do I choose the right can engine?  Do I just trash it all and find another hobby?  Has the hobby evolved into a hobby only for the rich?  I appreciate any advice.  Perhaps my quote is appropriate.  Thanks.

 

 

 

Anything you want can be gotten on the cheap but sometimes it takes time. E-bay is your best freind here. Just saw a couple 44 Ton go for a little over $20 each Just saw a 45 Ton DCC instaled one for around $60, ending soon. You can also trade skills for items, done that before too.

 

 

Welcome back, love the avatar Big Smile


Seconded on Ebay, just watch your desires vs fighting spirit.  I'd been watching a Pennsy A5s switcher from Bowser, ended up going more than a bit over my 'max allowance'.  Oops.  Got my yard goat though.  Embarrassed

The hobby is throwing me for a loop with DCC and the leap ahead in scenery materials (I'm also a returnee after idling off in '91), having to transition either back to DC, or forge ahead converting my Keller Onboard gear to newer DCC.  Again, watch the For Sales here and on other rail forums, you could pick up a small layout rig like the NCE Power Cab Starter Set.  As long as you stay away from onboard sound, the DCC mobile decoders are reasonable in price.

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Posted by BowserTB on Monday, March 05, 2018 11:45 AM

Most, if not all DCC locos default to DC operation, plus most modern production locos are available as DC only, so you've got that going for you.  Like programming in PERL, there's ALWAYS another way to do something in this hobby.  Geeked

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Posted by Steven Otte on Monday, March 05, 2018 4:13 PM

BowserTB

Again, watch the For Sales here and on other rail forums, you could pick up a small layout rig like the NCE Power Cab Starter Set.

 

For the benefit of BowserTB and others new to the MR Forums, I have to point out that there are no "For Sales" here. Advertsing or linking to items for sale is prohibited under the posted rules of the Forum.

--
Steven Otte, Model Railroader associate editor
sotte@kalmbach.com

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Posted by BowserTB on Monday, March 05, 2018 8:27 PM

My error.  I've just started here, haven't explored the various sub-forum areas, and assumed there was the "usual" for sale / trade subforum.  I stand corrected.

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 05, 2018 10:57 PM

Steven Otte
I have to point out that there are no "For Sales" here. Advertsing or linking to items for sale is prohibited under the posted rules of the Forum.

Hi Steven:

I may be a bit slow here, but does that mean that we can't use an eBay item as an example (assuming that I am not the seller)? I recently posted a link to some LEDs on eBay just to show the OP what I was talking about. Did I break the rules?

Dave

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Posted by KB5JCX on Wednesday, March 07, 2018 8:43 AM

I just phoned a retailer (name not revealed) and spoke to one of the "technicians."  He said I could run a DCC loco (can engine?) on a DC layout (of the old days and power supplies built in the late 1980's or early 1990's.  This is contrary to what I heard from a retired friend of mine?  Any thing left out of this formula?  Any conformation whether I can or cannot?  -  RL

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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, March 07, 2018 8:56 AM

Hon30critter I think Steve was objecting to the (now removed) statement that there are sales on this forum.  There recently have been other posts in other threads where someone is implying they have some of "those" they are willing to sell.  

I suppose it's because MR has retail advertisers.  They are unwilling to host a classified section, because their advertisers might object, and reasonably so.

DCC engines can run on DC, but if there are no plans to unltimately convert to DCC, why buy all the bells and whistles that you won't here on a 30 year old power pack?

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, March 07, 2018 9:26 AM

KB5JCX
He said I could run a DCC loco (can engine?) on a DC layout (of the old days and power supplies built in the late 1980's or early 1990's.

Well, there are a couple of manufacturers, Atlas and Bachmann come to mind, that have "dual-mode" decoders.  When you take it out of the box, it's set for DC.  By removing or rearranging the "jumper plugs", you can change it to DCC.

I have many Athearn locomotives from the "Blue Box" era, the 80's and 90's, DC, that did run on DCC, but the motor makes a lot of noise, and you can't leave them sit on a DCC powered track, as it will burn out the motor.  I have installed DCC decoders in these, but that's another topic.

Many of the newer locomotives come "DCC Ready", which is different than "Dual-Mode", in that a DCC ready locomotive is DC right out of the box, and you can remove the jumper plugs, and "plug in" a DCC decoder.

Look at the box, read all of what it says, and ask questions.

Mike.

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Posted by KB5JCX on Thursday, March 08, 2018 11:59 PM

BigDaddy
DCC engines can run on DC, but if there are no plans to unltimately convert to DCC, why buy all the bells and whistles that you won't here on a 30 year old power pack?

The reason I wish to continue to DC and not DCC is that I cannot afford it.  The loco's I wish to replace may be DCC ready or DCC only.  I could not find any to fit my needs with DC only.  So, I had to know.  Thank you ALL very much for helping me out on this.  I am so much relieved!  RL

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Posted by S and C Branch on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 4:31 PM

KB5JCX
 

 

 

I'm just getting back into things and I have no plans to go to DCC.  I may regret building a layout that is blocked for DC operation but at this stage I don't want to invest that kind of money until I know I'm willing to devote the time, etc. And I'll probably go with code 100 track (maybe code 83 on the sidings and yards) because I have a stash of it.  My locos are mostly Athearn blue box (maybe one "super power), a couple Bachmann Spectrum and believe it or not, old Tyco/Mantuas and AHMs that I got at various garage sales/swap meets etc. for cheap.  I may ditch some of them once I get things running, but for now I have no plans to invest in any more motive power until I get some track laid.  (No eBay for me!).  Welcome back; I'm just getting back into myself.  
 
Mark
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Posted by KB5JCX on Friday, March 23, 2018 8:19 AM

At this time, I am still painting white-tied flex-track.  Waiting for next month for the lumber for the benchwork.

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