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Thread: Weekend Update (11th May 2018)

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Power Stroke View Post
    Well the perils of getting older, and the damages created in the younger years by stupidity of invincibility, I aggravated a blown L5 disk, and blew L4
    I feel your pain “literally” brother as well as how many times I threw my body into the fray or did something really stupid just because it looked like fun.
    Hope all goes well.

    Oh and BTW to you and @rwslater,, Thanks for your service!

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tred View Post
    The only flack I get from the wife, "Are you ever going to finish your layout?"
    N-joy!
    Have you told her that it will never be finished?

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  5. #23
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    Wow! Similar story.... I started almost 10 years ago using atlas track.... very frustrating. Lay track, soldier and pray. I had a flood... quit n-scaling. I just got back into using Kato Track!... It is so EASY!!!! AND IT JUST WORKS!

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  7. #24
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    I also started out with atlas and quickly converted away from it as well.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    What did you convert to?

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    Peco. I started out in the hobby in HO and that is when I converted. I stayed with Peco when I made the move to N Scale and couldn't be happier with it. That being said, and being new to the hobby, I wasn't aware of Kato track when I did first move away from atlas.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

  10. #27
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    I feel like the advanced users promote Atlas tracks. I get it... they have 30" flex track sections. Its just such an art though soldering... it took away from the fun of just getting trains running. I am back into this now using Kato and I to could not be happier buddy! I am about to make a DCC move though, it is something that must be done!

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  12. #28
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    I knew about all the tracks back in the day.... I wished I bought some sections of each and explored before committing. Kato is truly snap and play and they have tons of good track sections to make any layout. How is Peco going for you?

  13. #29
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    I use Peco 36" flex and it can be frustrating soldering sections together on curves but you get used to it and find ways to do it that make it easier. I do and can understand how the frustration, especially when first starting out with flex track, might cause someone to choose a different type of track to work with.

    Regardless of make though, I am not a big fan of pre-installed roadbed. I like the challenge of laying my own roadbed and doing the ballasting. It just adds another element to the hobby for me. I also like having the option of not being confined to pre set radii and why I prefer flex to sectional track of any type. When all's said and done though, it all comes down to what works for the individual.

    Just saw your last post and ... at times I want to throw it (flex track) all out the window, although not too often. As mentioned above, I like it and have found ways to make it work for me without too much frustration or problems.

    Kato or any sectional track is snap and play and gets things up and running quickly and without too many problems. I'm not going to try to convince to move away from it as it woks for you and Kato does seem to have a good variety of track to play around with; however, if you do feel like a change then you could buy yourself a few lengths of flex and play around with it. I think when you get used to it you will like it's flexibility. Bottom line though is stick with what works for you, what is BEST for you.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    There ya have it! I need to have trains running with zero patience as my 4 year old watches my every move now that I am back into this.

    I totally agree... Kato is almost too perfect with all their preset radii. I have seen a lot of great layouts using Kato and there are ways to make the tracks look better with the pre installed road bed as well. I am not getting in bed with Kato either... I may try other options before I commit to a full layout with scenery and models, etc.

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  16. #31
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    When the CEO wants things up and running NOW, and he or she is 4 years old - how can you argue?
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    Hahaha.... my 4 year old, as I put him to bed, insisted I run the trains in the basement this evening "so they will work in the morning?"

    I can't argue with him....he was correct! If they do not run in the evening, then they might not work in the morning, right?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Point.... track choice is very deep and very personal!

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  19. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by macrailer View Post
    If they do not run in the evening, then they might not work in the morning, right?
    Funnier things have happened but yep, you and he are absolutely right.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

  20. #34
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    Kids are too much! One of my deal breakers in picking a track getting into DCC. Did you go down this road and what did you choose? A while back, using Atlas, I got into a DigiTrax Zephyr.... was going well. Honestly, Atlas tracks were going well to... but I had like months at a time of no trains running. Laying track was just a long process for me.

    Anyway... DCC is Huge!

  21. #35
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    I went with DCC from the outset. When I first got into the hobby, a mere 7 or so years ago, I started out in HO with Bachmann EZ Track and their DCC system for much the same reasons you are using Kato track, it was quick, easy and got things up and running without having issues. As a "newbie", and being impatient to have trains running, that was ideal.

    From there I was addicted and my small 8' X 4' (roughly) bachmann layout was simply not enough. I joined a forum and saw what others were doing (big and costly mistake) and made the decision to rip the "crappy bachmann" layout up and start again with Flex track. My layout went from the 8' X 4' to 4.5' X 12' with a Digitrax Empire Builder DCC system attached. And here the story begins ....

    I found that system too complex for me to operate and digitrax instructions were as clear as mud and appeared to have been written with a LOT of assumed knowledge. I persevered with it for around 3 or 4 months when a number of people got sick of me asking for help with it and "strongly" recommended I went with an NCE Starter System. I took their advice and have not looked back since and have upgraded the Starter System to a 5 amp system.

    I then built my wife and I a small N Scale layout for around our "small" christmas tree and I was addicted to N Scale. That was DC using an MRC 1300 controller as it only ran one train.

    After that I built an N Scale out in my shed, 4' X 12' and that was run by a small MRC DCC Controller that is now on what has been converted to my wife's layout - the ex under the tree layout. After building that layout I decided to rip up the HO layout inside the house and replace that with an N Scale, something I am in the process of doing at the moment. That layout will be run by an NCE 5 amp system. That layout will be 4.5' X 12' X 9', approximately.

    So, I have gone through a Bachmann DCC system, a Digitrax system an MRC system and now have nothing but NCE for my main layout.

    I have found the NCE to be far more user friendly with far clearer, step by step, instructions and their support is excellent be it by phone or via email. The head office of NCE is also only an hour away from me, something I didn't know until only a few months ago.

    For someone starting out (I am assuming) especially in the world of DCC I would definitely go with NCE or an MRC system depending on the size of your layout. Both are well priced and easy to get the hang of, in fact, both are basically "plug and play" out of the box. As with everything though, what you chose has to work for you - that is the most important consideration. If you are technically minded and understand DCC then digitrax will probably work. If your not and are trying to come to terms with DCC and everything it is capable of, like I am still doing, then an NCE is going to be easier to come to terms with while not loosing any of the capabilities of DCC.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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  23. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat457 View Post
    I use Peco 36" flex and it can be frustrating soldering sections together on curves but you get used to it and find ways to do it that make it easier. I do and can understand how the frustration, especially when first starting out with flex track, might cause someone to choose a different type of track to work with.

    Regardless of make though, I am not a big fan of pre-installed roadbed. I like the challenge of laying my own roadbed and doing the ballasting. It just adds another element to the hobby for me. I also like having the option of not being confined to pre set radii and why I prefer flex to sectional track of any type. When all's said and done though, it all comes down to what works for the individual.
    I'm with you on these points Tony. I also like laying roadbed, track and ballasting myself and I also use Peco flextrack. I solder my flextrack sections together while still straight and then form them into the curved sections... for the most-part.

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  25. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat457 View Post
    I am not a big fan of pre-installed roadbed. I like the challenge of laying my own roadbed and doing the ballasting. It just adds another element to the hobby for me.
    I'm right with you. Also, with Kato and other brands, the fixed-geometry curves look less realistic due to the lack of transition curves into and out of tangents, the tie spacing is too far apart and unrealistically perfect, the "ballast" looks phony, and the fewer rail joiners the better for continuity purposes.

    There, got that off my chest!
    Paul Schmidt

    Southern Railway's Slate Fork Branch


    Proud member of the Milwaukee Road Historical Association and the Southern Railway Historical Association

    Check out Appalachian Railroad Modeling!

    Did l mention that I still like the SP&S?

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  27. #38
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    I use PECO track because when I got back into MRR, Atlas was unavailable. Since then I have stayed with primarily PECO and been pleased. Like making curves with flex track as they look more realistic.

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  29. #39
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    I use Atlas flex track and Peco electrofrog turnouts.

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