Author Topic: Weekend Update 3/22/20  (Read 5922 times)

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wm3798

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #60 on: March 26, 2020, 11:15:52 AM »
+2
Since we're all working from home, does this weekend technically ever end?

Just curious...
Lee
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mu26aeh

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #61 on: March 26, 2020, 11:37:07 AM »
0
Maybe until this is all over we call it Weekly Update :D

DKS

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #62 on: March 26, 2020, 11:45:33 AM »
0
I'd roll it all into one giant "Corona" update.
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #63 on: March 26, 2020, 12:05:36 PM »
0
Since we're all working from home, does this weekend technically ever end?

Just curious...
Lee

I don't know, my life didn't change that much, other than having Terri here all the time, which is actually pretty great.

Oh, and having a third Shep in the house. A reminder, this sweetie could be yours: https://magsr.org/dog/niner-magsr-2020


wm3798

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #64 on: March 26, 2020, 12:17:25 PM »
+1
My supervisor.



I've been working from home for 6 years now.  The only routine I've changed is I actually got dressed today.  Working in my jammies would set a bad example for the new people who are suddenly lingering around my office these days...

Speaking of new kids in the office...  Today we welcome BL-2 #81 to the Life Like Lead Sled fleet. 



Having forsaken modern technology, it's a real treat to run these smooth, heavy, quiet beasts of burden around the loops...  very soothing during these stressful times.

Lee
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 12:19:58 PM by wm3798 »
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robert3985

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #65 on: March 26, 2020, 12:47:15 PM »
0
My supervisor.



I've been working from home for 6 years now.  The only routine I've changed is I actually got dressed today.  Working in my jammies would set a bad example for the new people who are suddenly lingering around my office these days...

Speaking of new kids in the office...  Today we welcome BL-2 #81 to the Life Like Lead Sled fleet. 



Having forsaken modern technology, it's a real treat to run these smooth, heavy, quiet beasts of burden around the loops...  very soothing during these stressful times.

Lee

Sooo...why is forsaking modern technology (meaning DCC I assume) "soothing"??

Just curious...

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

wm3798

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #66 on: March 26, 2020, 01:04:15 PM »
+3
There are a number of reasons I'm enjoying my current retro ethos.

1.  I have a simple hollow core door layout, designed for continuous running only with 4 loops available, so apart from needing feeders to four power packs and a couple of insulated joiners for the upper loop (which also can serve as defacto branch line), wiring was dirt simple.  I have Peco power routing turnouts on the lower double track line creating two long sidings, so I can actually have up to 6 trains at my disposal at any given moment.  I also had just about everything in stock, from old Atlas flex track, the Peco turnouts, bridges and tunnels etc.  So far the only thing I've spent much money on has been trees.

2.  I run short trains around the loops during the day while I work.  I like to compare it to having an aquarium in the office.  A little motion, and an occasional flash of light, with a pleasant burbling sound provides a pleasant atmosphere while I'm hunched over my design projects.  DC is perfectly adequate to the task at hand.

3.  Really good solid DC only mechanisms can be had for dirt cheap.  They were massed produced back before the current limited edition ethos, so the market is flooded with them and the demand for uber detail and tech has made them low demand.   Apart from a couple of collectible steam locomotives, most of what I've accumulated in the last year has either been given to me for next to nothing by modelers making room for their modern purchases, or for under $50 at swap meets and ebay.  With most new locomotives being bogged down with technology, they're finicky, less densely weighted, and usually tip the scales at over a $100.  Ain't nobody got time for that!  I've also bagged some neat pieces of N scale history, most in really good or excellent working order, as well.  I'm enjoying collecting and running it more than I would have ever imagined when I was all wrapped around the axle with proto details, wiring decoders and operating sessions.

I still have a DCC system, and I have a bunch of DCC engines.  One day, when I have room to work, I reckon I'll get back in the saddle with ops oriented layout, but for now I'm enjoying reliving a bit of my misspent youth.  So yes, it's just about as soothing as it gets.

Lee
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robert3985

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #67 on: March 27, 2020, 06:39:10 AM »
+1
There are a number of reasons I'm enjoying my current retro ethos.

1.  I have a simple hollow core door layout, designed for continuous running only with 4 loops available, so apart from needing feeders to four power packs and a couple of insulated joiners for the upper loop (which also can serve as defacto branch line), wiring was dirt simple.  I have Peco power routing turnouts on the lower double track line creating two long sidings, so I can actually have up to 6 trains at my disposal at any given moment.  I also had just about everything in stock, from old Atlas flex track, the Peco turnouts, bridges and tunnels etc.  So far the only thing I've spent much money on has been trees.

2.  I run short trains around the loops during the day while I work.  I like to compare it to having an aquarium in the office.  A little motion, and an occasional flash of light, with a pleasant burbling sound provides a pleasant atmosphere while I'm hunched over my design projects.  DC is perfectly adequate to the task at hand.

3.  Really good solid DC only mechanisms can be had for dirt cheap.  They were massed produced back before the current limited edition ethos, so the market is flooded with them and the demand for uber detail and tech has made them low demand.   Apart from a couple of collectible steam locomotives, most of what I've accumulated in the last year has either been given to me for next to nothing by modelers making room for their modern purchases, or for under $50 at swap meets and ebay.  With most new locomotives being bogged down with technology, they're finicky, less densely weighted, and usually tip the scales at over a $100.  Ain't nobody got time for that!  I've also bagged some neat pieces of N scale history, most in really good or excellent working order, as well.  I'm enjoying collecting and running it more than I would have ever imagined when I was all wrapped around the axle with proto details, wiring decoders and operating sessions.

I still have a DCC system, and I have a bunch of DCC engines.  One day, when I have room to work, I reckon I'll get back in the saddle with ops oriented layout, but for now I'm enjoying reliving a bit of my misspent youth.  So yes, it's just about as soothing as it gets.

Lee

Okay...after thinking about your response, I can see it's an emotional thing, which is okay since the enjoyment of model railroading certainly is NOT logical! :)  Something about the increasing complexity of making our beloved model trains mimic the "work" of real railroads, and all that that entails, can turn our fun into "work".  The additional things allowed by "modern" model railroading can overshadow the simple joys of just watching trains run in circles, seeing the different bright colors of the engines and cars, listening to the sounds of the models on plywood or the drumhead of a hollow core door, and the simplicity of the DC throttle, which doesn't allow much more than running and stopping...and if we are tempted to do more...it won't let us. 

Although I get soothed by other things in my own model railroad emotional experience, I can understand where you're coming from...but, I disagree that DCC adds complexity.  It allows more complexity, but doesn't demand it, but...it tempts you to do more complex operations, so you reject it for your retro layout, preferring a little more complex wiring (with four throttles) and much less capable operations capability because that is what you're getting away from, and where you want to go is to relive the excitement of your youth and your first experiences with model railroading.

It's almost like choosing an era to model, except you're choosing the era of the models, not the era of the prototype.

Happy to see it's working for you!  Enjoy!

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

DKS

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #68 on: March 27, 2020, 07:29:44 AM »
+2
Sooo...why is forsaking modern technology (meaning DCC I assume) "soothing"??

Just curious...

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

I too find DC "soothing," principally because I find DCC just the opposite of "soothing." And I will argue strongly that it adds complexity. Try this with DCC: I can pick any loco I like, modern or retro, plop it on the rails, and--without punching a series of buttons--make it go. I'm not "anti-DCC" as some have accused me of being; DCC is simply not for me. Yes, I've used it, but I've never owned it, and never will.
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

CRL

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #69 on: March 27, 2020, 10:42:02 AM »
0
I’m in a little different position than many of you having been inactive in the hobby for a number of years and only re-entering the hobby when I retired. All of my “old” stuff is Atlas/Kato DC locomotives, and all my newly acquired locomotives are DC-DCC ready, but not yet with any decoders purchased or installed.

I’ve been on the fence about DC vs DCC for the layout I’ll be building, not only due to the cost, but also the complexity issues. DC block wiring is more complex, but I already understand it very well. DCC layout wiring appears to be simpler, but then there’s installing decoders in all of my old locomotives — a skill set I don’t yet have in my mental toolbox. The age related physical motor skill & eyesight needed is also a concern. Many of the capability of DCC are very interesting, but I don’t know if “the candle is worth the game” for me. Every time I read about the programming issues many of you discuss, my analog brain says “nope”.

Decisions, decisions...

Philip H

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #70 on: March 27, 2020, 10:55:48 AM »
0
Quote
I’ve been on the fence about DC vs DCC for the layout I’ll be building, not only due to the cost, but also the complexity issues. DC block wiring is more complex, but I already understand it very well. DCC layout wiring appears to be simpler, but then there’s installing decoders in all of my old locomotives — a skill set I don’t yet have in my mental toolbox. The age related physical motor skill & eyesight needed is also a concern. Many of the capability of DCC are very interesting, but I don’t know if “the candle is worth the game” for me. Every time I read about the programming issues many of you discuss, my analog brain says “nope”.

@CRL - with the number of drop in boards for basic DCC function that now exist you can replace the existing lighting board 1-1 by unscrewing, removing and screwing in.  And with the ESU Lok Sound drop in boards for Atlas and IM locos you can get sound pretty quickly with just a little soldering for the speakers.  Streamlined Backshops has excellent tutorials for all this.
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wm3798

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #71 on: March 27, 2020, 11:56:44 AM »
+1
My operations based layout that I built was converted to DCC early on, and it was a very easy sale.  I wouldn't do a complex operations layout without it.  Just the thought of wiring an engine terminal for DC cab control is enough to convince just about anyone.  As I mentioned, I still have the system, and many of the chipped engines, and they will remain in mothballs in the hope that one day I can build another more elaborate railroad.  I don't dismiss its advantages at all.

It's just not where I'm at right now.

I used to do decoder installs for people, and was pretty successful at figuring out just about all of them, old and new.  But that in itself can be a complexity that I can do without at this point.  As rewarding as it was to push the buttons and watch (and hear) a newly chipped engine run successfully was, the frustration of getting from start to finish could be maddening.  Getting the lights to work, isolating the motor from the frame, stuffing all those wires into an N scale shell without sacrificing much weight on the drivers... Getting a steam locomotive to track properly with 4 to 6 wires strung between engine and tender...  Nothing simple about any of it.

If I did resume DCC, I would be spending gobs of money for new locomotives with factory installed chips.  My stamina for micro surgery evaporated long ago.
And regarding layout wiring, when I look at the numerous appliances and boosters and terminal strips and circuit breakers that lurk beneath some of the larger layouts running on DCC, I'll debate you about how much simpler all that is.

Like I said, I've been there and done that, and did enjoy building and operating it, but I'm not unhappy with what's available to me now.  In fact, I'm going to get another cup of coffee and turn it on.
Lee

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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

brokemoto

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #72 on: March 27, 2020, 12:31:03 PM »
0
DCC.................I wouldn't do a complex operations layout without it. 

Just the thought of wiring an engine terminal for DC cab control is enough to convince just about anyone. 

My stamina for micro surgery evaporated long ago.

I'm not unhappy with what's available to me now.  In fact, I'm going to get another cup of coffee and turn it on.
(emphasis added)


Yes, the wiring is bother enough, as it is, but, then try to operate it.  You forget to throw block toggles or polarity switches.  You forget to restore turnouts or even throw them.  It became far too much to keep track of everything and I was not enjoying it.   My pike survived several moves, but the last one caused serious shaking up to it that resulted in so many misaligned joints and disconnected wires that I decided to re-evaluate and re-work. What actually worked best for me was three simple DC single track pikes in one,  A large one with broad curves for the passenger trains that I like,  A smaller one with conventional curves that has operations, but, is single track and a point-to-point to make everything fit.  Yes, a busy double track is grand, and, as I grew up mostly next to them and rode on them, it is what I know, but, I have found that these simple pikes reduce operating headaches to a negligible level.

As have you, I have lost my stamina for micro-surgery.  This prompted me to sell off many things, as they were acquired for projects that just ain't gonna' git dun.  While I do admit to liking my MRC/MP eight wheeler with sound and my BLI USRA light 2-8-2, still, I prefer the B-Mann ten wheelers, moguls, plus the old MPs to which I added Kato or SPECTRUM tenders (the B-manns all fried their "smart" decoders, so I had to wire around them--once I had finished that, I became convinced that it was no longer for me).  In the diseasel department, the LL metal frame, Atlas and Kato split frames are fine. 

I do like those old LL plastic frames that you are running.  The one problem that I always had with them was that the flexing wires attached to pivotting trucks came undone far too often.  As many manufacturers have reverted to this in this age of DCC, it has started to happen, again.  I had a BLI centipede on which that occurred.  BLI did honour the warranty, although it did take forever and fifteen days.  I finally sold my centipedes, as I continued in the direction that I have started.  I much prefer the intermediate brass strips.  What is funny is that these manufacturers could keep the brass strips if they would revert to plastic frames.  LL had the strips on its plastic frame A-1-A power. It then ran wires from the stationary strip to the motor.  The wires did not flex.  The manufacturers could do something similar to-day.  You have the strip on a plastic frame.  You run the wires to the decoder, you run the wires to the motor,  Everything is  insulated.








The story I've read most frequently is that a manager of some sort went ahead and ordered up the second batch of RS-11's without receiving approval from higher ups.  Maybe this guy knew that he'd get turned down if he asked ahead of time?  So the NYC never took official delivery of them.  I would also hazard a guess that this same manager preferred the lightning stripes, so ordered them as such, even though the railroad was switching over to the Cigar Band.  I wonder if the NYCSHS has ever published a story on this?  I should ask, as it would make for an interesting read.

-Brian.


What would be curious, if that is what happened, is why did not Schenectady verify with someone at 230 Park Avenue?  ...........especially when the order came in for lightning stripes?   ALCo had to be aware that NYCS was changing paint schemes,   I suppose that it will remain one of the minor mysteries of motive power purchasing.

Still, I had not read that previously.  Thank you for the insight.  My interest in NYCS is mostly confined to the P&LE.  RS-11s rarely operated there.  P&LE did not have any.  It did have RS-3s, PAs and ALCo yard goats, but no FAs or other ALCo RS units.  I knew a guy who worked for NYC at Gateway.  He told me that they used to try to get the P&LE to swap units with them, as P&LE kept up their power while parent was practicing deferred maintenance.  He told me that they would try to trade three or four beat up F-units for two of P&LE's GP-7s.  P&LE would then limp them to Pittsburgh on a train, pack them off to McKee's Rocks and fix them.  He told me that sometimes P&LE would take the ALCos, but not always.  They did not want the FMs, Limas or Baldwins, as they did not have any.  P&LE's first diesels were FM yard goats, but parent NYC quickly appropriated those.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 12:39:11 PM by brokemoto »

DKS

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #73 on: March 27, 2020, 01:18:15 PM »
+1
...Just the thought of wiring an engine terminal for DC cab control is enough to convince just about anyone...

Anyone except me... Strangely, I'd very much enjoy such a challenge. I also really enjoy ballasting, too, so I'm definitely an outlier...
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

dem34

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Re: Weekend Update 3/22/20
« Reply #74 on: March 27, 2020, 01:23:58 PM »
+1
Ballasting becomes infinitely more enjoyable once you start using real rocks and soft fan brushes in my experience.

Drove 18yr old me mad when I kept having walnut shell ballast float onto the railheads and flangeways.
-Al