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I guess that would make too much sense

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 11:34 PM

We are not going to see a revolutionary change in Model Railroading until a new manufacturer makes a product line in a new scale with completely proprietary standards.

It is not crazy. Games-Workshop did it in wargaming, completely revolutionized the hobby, and became (by many times over) the largest wargaming manufacturer in the world. Of course, the "Old-Standard" Seakrieg guys hate Games-Workshop and refuse to evolve, and that is fine. They are still welcome at conventions.

At some time, a new toy company will enter the market in maybe 1/72 or 1/100 scale, make an entirely new line of product, market it correctly as an entriely new hobby, and revoltionize model railroading.

It will not change any NMRA standards, but will not follow them either.

I doubt it will happen in the next twenty years, but it is coming.

Then you will get your progress. Until then, we will all be using the NMRA standards because they work very well.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by xboxtravis7992 on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 12:00 AM

SeeYou190

We are not going to see a revolutionary change in Model Railroading until a new manufacturer makes a product line in a new scale with completely proprietary standards.

It is not crazy. Games-Workshop did it in wargaming, completely revolutionized the hobby, and became (by many times over) the largest wargaming manufacturer in the world. Of course, the "Old-Standard" Seakrieg guys hate Games-Workshop and refuse to evolve, and that is fine. They are still welcome at conventions.

At some time, a new toy company will enter the market in maybe 1/72 or 1/100 scale, make an entirely new line of product, market it correctly as an entriely new hobby, and revoltionize model railroading.

It will not change any NMRA standards, but will not follow them either.

I doubt it will happen in the next twenty years, but it is coming.

Then you will get your progress. Until then, we will all be using the NMRA standards because they work very well.

-Kevin

 



I'm not sure if that would really work as easily in model railroading. We are a relatively small hobby with small product runs and already a limited number of manufacturers. Not only that, we have a need for mechanical operational simplicity to actually be able to run our trains. I don't think any Warhammer game for example really requires electricity, compatible couplers or even the figures to be the same scale (as long as they fit on the same hex/grid) to be succesful. 

Look at some of the companies that have grown rapidly in the last few years, like Rapido or ScaleTrains. Would that growth have been as succesful had they introduced it in a unique scale that only they used, with unique couplers that only worked with their couplers and electronics that only worked with their electronics? We already see people proclaiming with every ScaleTrains GEVO announcement "my wallet is safe!" now imagine how much smaller the audience would be if it was a completely proprietary scale that only interacted with other products from the same compapny. 

I certainly think changes will happen over time in the hobby, for example its likely we will see the NMRA DCC standards eventually replaced or supplemented as electronics evolve past what the standards originally specified. But to introduce a completely brand new scale and system would be almost insane in the current day age, especially when everything from O-scale down to Z-scale already covers all sorts of size needs. Yes 1/72 would be nice because other non-rail modelers tend to use it for cars, boats and airplane kits; but I think the gain of aditional background vehicles wouldn't offest whatever initial limits to rolling stock and locomotive availability any attempt at a new scale would have in its first few (and most financially risky) years. Unless multiple companies could somehow be convinced to take a dive into a new scale together to make up the initial market limitations, but even that would run the risk of a company making product that won't sell in comparison to the much more tried and true tested HO and N scale markets. 

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Posted by jasperofzeal on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 12:23 AM

I can think of one item that would be a huge benefit if it were made a standard/recommended practice and that is freight car wheelset axle length.  It's so annoying that all manufacturers use different axle lenghts in the products they sell us and what's worse is that they can vary within the same manufacturer!!  It can be a real pita when trying to find replacement wheelsets that fit.

Now when it comes to reception of innovations or simple changes the problem is the modeler that says "I have 500 freight cars that would need to change" or his buddy "I have 300 locos to retrofit."  Well sirs, the answer to that is, nobody is forcing you to use the new/improved item if you don't want to.  A lot of people point out the fact that not many new young model railroaders are getting into the hobby.  Being able to use your cell phone as a way to control your trains could be appealing to a teenager, for example.  Point is that not all new/improved things are targeted to Joe Shmo and his old school layout.  Companies are looking to being around for many years and have to find ways to attract new customers.  So next time some new gizmo comes out (and before you say "I have xxxx to convert") ask yourself if it's something you would even use.  If the answer is 'No', move on quietly.

TONY

"If we never take the time, how can we ever have the time." - Merovingian (Matrix Reloaded)

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 9:02 AM

IRONROOSTER

 

 
Trainman440
My issue is with how slow it is for the standards to be updated. Maybe Im ignorant, but I don’t recall any major updates in NMRA for a while now. And while one could argue: if it works, why change it? Well, with newer technology coming out every day, I feel like model railroading’s outdated standards have sort of been left in the dust. Oversized couplers, wheels…engines that don’t take advantage of Bluetooth/wireless, but rather are controlled through the overcomplicated way of current pulses from the track. While there is nothing wrong with all that, you must agree that there is room for improvement/upgrading. For example, modern track is built with far more precision than back then, negating the need for wider than usual wheels.

 

NMRA standards for Proto and Fine scales already exist for wheels and trackwork.  There has been no rush to adopt these en mass in any scale. This is probably because the drawbacks to using these out weigh the visual benefits.  In particular the need for wider curves is a real problem for most of us.

KD already makes scale size couplers in HO.  And you can achieve the same effect with couplers for a scale smaller than the one you are using.

Most DCC has a wireless capability to the command station.  Making it wireless directly to the locomotive doesn't seem to offer any benefit and would probably make the decoders more costly.  This could change if battery powered locomotives become feasible and at a reasonable price, but it's not there yet.

Paul

Paul

 

Wireless capability would allow DC and DCC type operation on the same layout using the same voltage. Wireless command of a DCC locomotive is pointless because it unnecessarily duplicates the control technology that made DCC so attractive. For clarity I refer only to the control going through the rails as opposed to direct wireless to the locomotive. The clever bit about DCC was delivering power and control through the rails concurrently. For wireless control to make sense the control signal needs to be taken back out of the power and delivered directly to the locomotive.

There are significant drawbacks to DCC that a backwards compatible wireless DC system would remove,  one of which is burning up DC motors.

The single most attractive part of DC wireless command and control would be the possibility of locomotives communicating with each other for collision prevention and consisting.

DCC could do the collision prevention but doesn't. DCC does now automate consisting which is very appealing.

HO is a bizarre scale, being a metric unit as a representation of an English unit, but it is nevertheless logical as a descendent of much larger scales. 

While there may be a revolution in our hobby I rather think introducing yet another scale will not be part of this. CADCAM and miniaturization of electronics may reduce development costs and consequent risks of introducing new control methods and hopefully whoever pioneers this will make it all backwards compatible with existing DC and DCC layouts.

The wheel does not need to be re-invented but the potential for improvement in the control  of model locomotives is definitely there.

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by Trainman440 on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 4:01 PM

I think the people above has answered for me pretty well. 

Maybe I was incorrect for saying we need to change the standards. I guess what I was getting at was that I hope the MR community embraces newer options as they come about, rather than let them fade into obscurity. 

Too many times I see new, exciting(although often gimmicky) products that have potential come, but are shunned and faded into obscurity due to modelers fearing change. 

Maybe they weren't good enough, but I do feel that a handful were worthy of potentially changing/improving the model railroading scene, if given the opportunity. 

Charles

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 6:01 PM

Trainman440

I think the people above has answered for me pretty well. 

Maybe I was incorrect for saying we need to change the standards. I guess what I was getting at was that I hope the MR community embraces newer options as they come about, rather than let them fade into obscurity. 

Too many times I see new, exciting(although often gimmicky) products that have potential come, but are shunned and faded into obscurity due to modelers fearing change. 

Maybe they weren't good enough, but I do feel that a handful were worthy of potentially changing/improving the model railroading scene, if given the opportunity. 

Charles

 

Charles, old guys like me are not as opposed to change as you think. We just have experiance that makes us evaluate things before jumping in with both feet.

I still use DC, but I use radio wireless throttles with PWM control, I use solid state block detectors, and I use a somewhat complex intergrated system of signaling, CTC, block control and turnout control that I designed myself.

We did not have all of that 50 years ago when I started in this hobby.

I have twice seriously considered DCC, and at least in theory I am a fan of direct radio, even though it is unlikely I would convert the main layout.

While I use and prefer metal sprung trucks on most of my equipment, I do also use the new KADEE HGC trucks in some cases.

I glue down my flex track, not something we did back in the day.

I am a fan of some layout based sound effects even though I do not care for onboard sound.

I like well detailed accurate locos and rolling stock, but I have no intentions of "upgrading" everything I have, some of which is older than me. And you might be surprised at how good some of it looks.

I still build kits, easy ones and hard ones, and I buy mid range and high end RTR.

I like LED lighting, my signals and control panel lights are LED.

I'm not tech shy or backwards by any measure, but I evaluate new ideas before jumping in.

But, I model 1954, there were no ditch lights, in fact railroads were just testing MARS lights and just starting to run with headlights on all the time - I don't need any fancy lighting control.

I am not interested in "high tech" for its own sake, I'm only interested if it provides a real benefit.

Without any computers or processors I have signals, CTC, walk around tower control, one button route control from multiple locations, radio throttles, and even automatic train control - a system on the prototype that stops trains if the run a red signal.

Is all that "tech" enough for you no matter how it is done?

I will admit, my personal goals are more about running the 30 long trains on the big layout rather than drooling over a few locos up close - but I do have more than few you might drool over.........

Trying to balance new with old to build my ultimate railroad........

Sheldon   

    

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Posted by Trainman440 on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 9:52 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Charles, old guys like me are not as opposed to change as you think. We just have experiance that makes us evaluate things before jumping in with both feet.

I'm not tech shy or backwards by any measure, but I evaluate new ideas before jumping in.

Implying that newer guys jump in head first without thinking? I never said that the younger generation blindly preferres the new "tech" stuff. I fully agree, most of the new stuff is junk, not worth the time, nor the money. Rather, what I meant was that there is new stuff that comes out that I do believe is promising stuff, and should be given a chance. But rarely is it ever given the stagelight for long enough to really take off. 

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

I still build kits, easy ones and hard ones, and I buy mid range and high end RTR.

I'd like to break the illusion that newer modelers enjoy the "RTR" era of model railroading. I might be one of few who actually prefer kits over RTR, but we do exist. You'll see that I often only buy kits, or damaged used items for me to restore. I rarely buy RTR, unless am forced to(such as the BLI L1s). Heck, my expanding fleet of (currently only 15, but soon to be 50+) Intermountain ATSF reefers are all kit built. I enjoy the process of both building getting to better know your models. Also get to save a buck in the process.

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

I will admit, my personal goals are more about running the 30 long trains on the big layout rather than drooling over a few locos up close

I find the opposite to be true. Most young modelers couldnt care less about accuracy. They just like to see "cool" trains run. In fact, I know far more of those than people who are interested in detailing, painting, and modifying their engines. 

----------------------------------

I seriously dont see why you always put these negative connotations to those younger than you in the hobby, then wonder how there's so few people entering the hobby. 

I myself have been in this hobby for over 10 years. Believe it or not, I know a thing or two about trains. Now I'll be the first to admit that I still got a lot to learn, but that doesn't mean you should treat me like I know nothing. 

I understand and respect those who prefer more traditional ways of enjoying this hobby, I would hope that you would respect those who enjoy this hobby differently, as one is no better than the other in accomplishing the goal of passing time!

Charles

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Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 10:24 PM

Trainman440

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Charles, old guys like me are not as opposed to change as you think. We just have experiance that makes us evaluate things before jumping in with both feet.

I'm not tech shy or backwards by any measure, but I evaluate new ideas before jumping in.

 

 

Implying that newer guys jump in head first without thinking? I never said that the younger generation blindly preferres the new "tech" stuff. I fully agree, most of the new stuff is junk, not worth the time, nor the money. Rather, what I meant was that there is new stuff that comes out that I do believe is promising stuff, and should be given a chance. But rarely is it ever given the stagelight for long enough to really take off. 

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

I still build kits, easy ones and hard ones, and I buy mid range and high end RTR.

 

 

I'd like to break the illusion that newer modelers enjoy the "RTR" era of model railroading. I might be one of few who actually prefer kits over RTR, but we do exist. You'll see that I often only buy kits, or damaged used items for me to restore. I rarely buy RTR, unless am forced to(such as the BLI L1s). Heck, my expanding fleet of (currently only 15, but soon to be 50+) Intermountain ATSF reefers are all kit built. I enjoy the process of both building getting to better know your models. Also get to save a buck in the process.

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

I will admit, my personal goals are more about running the 30 long trains on the big layout rather than drooling over a few locos up close

 

 

I find the opposite to be true. Most young modelers couldnt care less about accuracy. They just like to see "cool" trains run. In fact, I know far more of those than people who are interested in detailing, painting, and modifying their engines. 

----------------------------------

I seriously dont see why you always put these negative connotations to those younger than you in the hobby, then wonder how there's so few people entering the hobby. 

I myself have been in this hobby for over 10 years. Believe it or not, I know a thing or two about trains. Now I'll be the first to admit that I still got a lot to learn, but that doesn't mean you should treat me like I know nothing. 

I understand and respect those who prefer more traditional ways of enjoying this hobby, I would hope that you would respect those who enjoy this hobby differently, as one is no better than the other in accomplishing the goal of passing time!

Charles

 

Charles,

I think of people in this hobby more in terms of how long they have been in the hobby, and their approach to the hobby, not their age in years. I was not judging others choices, or the fact that they are young, I was explaining my own, and those of others I have known in the hobby for a long time.

I have not changed my modeling goals, my modeling approach, my scale, era, locale, or layout concept in over 25 years.

I have taken advantage of product developements that have enhanced my ability to reach my goals, but I have not changed my goals as a result of a product developement.

And in case you missed it in my other posts when the topic comes up, I am not invested in recruiting people into this hobby. I put my time in selling trains for a decade. You are either in or out, I have no horse in that race.  

I am a big fan of doing this however it works for you. Have fun. So don't tell me the standards need to change to make the hobby "better". The hobby, all its versions, is just fine the way it is. It is for each person what they make it.

I'm not a product complainer or a price complainer.

Even with my 40-50 yeears of experiance, previous membership in well known clubs, having met or know personally "famous" people in both the train industry and the hobby, I have taken a lot of criticisum in my 11 or so years on this forum because I am vocal about the things I do differently from the "mainstream" version of the hobby as it exists today.

Still wanting to understand what you think would make the hobby better beyond code 88 wheels and semi scale couplers?

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Trainman440 on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 11:03 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Still wanting to understand what you think would make the hobby better beyond code 88 wheels and semi scale couplers?

Sheldon

I find no point in wasting my words, since all you're going to do is shut down the idea with your "I've spent decades in this hobby, what works for me works for me, I resist change because then I'd have to change my thousands of models" spew, the same spew you've made in all your past posts. 

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

So don't tell me the standards need to change

We're well beyond that point. If you've been reading my previous posts, I've stated that changing the standard isnt what Im looking for, rather to have an open mind toward change. It is pretty clear that it will take a lot of convincing -enough where there's no point in me trying- for you to alter your ways. Someone probably had to talk hundreds of hours to convince you that LEDs were better than incandecent bulbs. You've clearly found what you wanted out of this hobby, and are sticking with it. And good for you. But not everyone has. 

----------------------------------------

riogrande5761

This seems like one of those topics created like throwing some red meat into a pool of sharks just to sit back and watch the action. 

OP certainly got it if that's what he wished for!

This will be the last post from me on this thread, as there seems to be little reason to continue beating the dead horse. 

Charles

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, September 17, 2020 5:53 AM

Trainman440

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Still wanting to understand what you think would make the hobby better beyond code 88 wheels and semi scale couplers?

Sheldon

 

 

I find no point in wasting my words, since all you're going to do is shut down the idea with your "I've spent decades in this hobby, what works for me works for me, I resist change because then I'd have to change my thousands of models" spew, the same spew you've made in all your past posts. 

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

So don't tell me the standards need to change

 

 

We're well beyond that point. If you've been reading my previous posts, I've stated that changing the standard isnt what Im looking for, rather to have an open mind toward change. It is pretty clear that it will take a lot of convincing -enough where there's no point in me trying- for you to alter your ways. Someone probably had to talk hundreds of hours to convince you that LEDs were better than incandecent bulbs. You've clearly found what you wanted out of this hobby, and are sticking with it. And good for you. But not everyone has. 

----------------------------------------

 

 
riogrande5761

This seems like one of those topics created like throwing some red meat into a pool of sharks just to sit back and watch the action. 

 

 

OP certainly got it if that's what he wished for!

This will be the last post from me on this thread, as there seems to be little reason to continue beating the dead horse. 

Charles

 

You are so wrong about me, but that's ok.

First time somebody said "here is an LED white enough to be a headlight", I was all in.

First time I saw someone glue down flex track rather than use nails, I was all in.

First time I saw a wireless throttle I was all in.

First time I saw a slow motion switch machine I was all in.

First time I saw a Proto2000 or Spectrum locomotive (I personally knew the guys who were largely responsable for creating those lines) I was all in.

I was almost all in for DCC.

I was not impressed, and still am not impressed with onboard sound - I was selling trains when ModelTronics and PFM came out with their systems, long before DCC.

I switched over to code 83 track as soon as Atlas had their whole product line in place.

I think the electronic Mars lights on my locos are cool - and they work without DCC.

I think code 88 wheels look funny with that big gap at the side frames, so I'm not in.

I tested semi scale couplers extensively when they came out. I rejected them for the engineering reasons previously stated.

Using the throttles I use, all my locos have constant brightness headlights that come on before the train moves - without DCC.

Still wanting to know what marvels of engineering will make the hobby better?

I think others should try whatever new stuff they find interesting, but yes, I know what I want out of the hobby, and I don't need any new miracle product to make it better. 

None of the new "miracle" products have changed my direction in the hobby yet. But many have made the direction I am going in much easier. 

Find your own direction, just don't expect everyone to join you.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, September 17, 2020 6:15 AM

riogrande5761

That happened to the OP TF?  This seems like one of those topics created like throwing some red meat into a pool of sharks just to sit back and watch the action. 

 

LaughLaughLaugh

Funny stuff Rio,  Not my intent I assure you all and I do apologizeWink

This thought on turnouts was just a brainstorm the night before going to meet up with family at the hotel for a three day weekend.  After a two-day recovery from that weekend, things are back to normal nowWhistling

Now that I have my track I thought how nice it would be just to carve rectangles into the cork, drop the turnouts in, plug and play.

I would like to thank each of you for your replies.  I have to admit I have learned a lot from you all since my brainstorm that night. 

If something went wrong with the switch mechanism (and something always goes wrong) it sure would be much easier not to disrupt the turnout and the joining track to just replace the mechanism from underneath.

The Kato turnouts that have the switch mechanism built into the plastic roadbed sure is a nice option for beginners that may not be very experienced laying track. 

Personally I love laying cork roadbed, the smell of it, the ease of cutting and working with it and also love covering a lot of ground at a time with 3' flex track.

I don't like these little 5/8 track pieces I have to put in between my PECO yard ladders on my turnouts.  Originally I planned my layout with Atlas code 55 turnouts which butted up to each other nicely and have the same divergence angle.  I don't know why the New PECO Unitrack turnouts are 5/8 too short at the approach.  You would think they would have got that straight on their new multi thousands of dollars tooling setup.  Oh well, .. I'll deal with it!  It's just good to finally be laying track now.

 

Again,  Sorry about my late response and lack of participation hereSmile, Wink & Grin

 

 

TF

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, September 17, 2020 1:33 PM

Trainman440

 

 

@doughless I never specified that upgrading equals transistioning from mechanical to digital. If I were, Id be incorrectly arguing that a 3d train simluator could replace model railroading. As a student currently majoring in mechanical engineering, you bet I would be against that. Rather, "progress" means better running, more accurate to prototype, more details, produced cheaper, etc. I dont know why you're misinterpreating my words as being the guy who wants the future to be the "lets control everything with smart devices, phones, bluetooth and VR" guy. 

Just because the old ways work does not make it superior. 

Charles

 

There was probably some leakage of my thoughts and memories of other conversations at other times in other threads.

I was passively agreeing with those who said that some things are simple enough that its hard to improve upon the results of the existing devices.  I was adding the example that with some things, the only thing left to change is how the device itself works or what it runs on, which often isn't very important but could compromise important things like reliability and durability.

- Douglas

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