TRACK TALK LIVE: April 2017

Check out the recap of our monthly Track Talk Live with model railroad experts and long-time train enthusiasts Steve Doyle and Doug Hodgdon. Steve and Doug answer your model railroad questions live on the air in this fun, interactive, and informative Q&A.

Discussion
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35 Responses to “TRACK TALK LIVE: April 2017”
  1. Hans
    Hans

    Hi I would like to know the diameter of 31″ and 33″ HO metal wheels in mm. I’m interested in converting a few special cars that have plastic wheels and change them to metal. I’m concerned that I might have clearance issues on a few cars. Could you measure both with a digital caliper, hold it flush against the flange, then what is the diameter for both? I’m sure 31″ vs. 33″ is close, but having an exact measurement would be helpful. Thanks in advance, Hans

    Reply
  2. Edward
    Edward

    I am relatively new to the hobby and was wondering what type of maintenance do you perform on your locomotives? And do you follow a set schedule for that maintenance? Thank you for your time! PS: I run o scale and use the MTH DCS system.

    Reply
  3. Nick Kulp
    Nick Kulp

    Have you ever tried the JMRI Wi Throttle instead of a manufacturer’s throttle ? A cheap cell phone costs less than a proprietary throttle and can be used on any DCC system using JMRI.

    Reply
  4. STEVE
    STEVE

    GOT THE BACHMANN REVERSING SYSTEM WORKING
    PAYS TO PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO THE INSTRUCTIONS!!

    Reply
  5. Bill
    Bill

    I have a mth dash 9 ho scale. I’m using DCC. Are there any CV’s to change to make the ditch lights on steady instead of flashing with the horn.

    Reply
  6. Rick Austin
    Rick Austin

    DCC subject. Converting 1960’s/70’s Athearn locos to DCC. Also wiring a layout for DCC layout from track laying, difficulty.

    Reply
  7. John McKee
    John McKee

    Just starting out in model railroading. I’ve long been an enthusiast, though.

    Reply
  8. Duane
    Duane

    getting back into the hobby after quite a few years out of it. wanting to get into the DCC portion of the hobby what would you suggest for starting out with on a budget?

    Reply
    • Another Poster
      Another Poster

      DCC means Digitial Command Control. Computer programming to allow the operator to control various aspects of the model train, usually the locomotive. DCC and DCC ready. A DCC locomotive already has the computer memory board installed. DCC ready means the buyer has to buy and install a suitable computer memory board. The minimum controls are usually for speed, direction, and lighting. The more expensive ones have various sounds. It adds to the price of the locomotive and the cost to repair the damaged locomotive is more expensive than a standard DC direct current locomotive. A DCC locomotive needs a special control system to operate. A DCC locomotive can go forward and backwards, and at various speeds, using a standard power transformer, however, the DCC computer options will not available using a standard power transformer. DCC allows an operator to run many model locomotives on the same track and not have them run into one another, by controlling the speeds of different engines. It adds some realism to a model railroad layout.

      Reply
  9. Andrew Gessel
    Andrew Gessel

    Do you know of any companies that do custom paint jobs, specifically for S and O scale?

    Reply
  10. David
    David

    I am struggling to understand a reverse loop on DCC. Do I need to install auto reversers on each track that turns back in its self? If so where do I make the connections? I have connections every 3 foot and at the switches I have drops to the main. I have read books but I guess I am still a little foggy.

    Reply
  11. Bill
    Bill

    I have an ho mth cn dash 9. I’m using DCC. The ditch lights flashing with the horn. Not prototypical for cn. Any CV’s I can change to make them steady?

    Reply
  12. Bob
    Bob

    Do you know of any software for an iMac to scale a panorama photo to “N” scale ?

    Reply
  13. John
    John

    Do you have to have the same type of loco to run a consist and do you have to have the same decorder for a consist.

    Reply
  14. Robert
    Robert

    Hi Steve and Doug–In response to the gentleman looking for a “Best Friend of Charleston” model–Lionel made a version for three rail 5-8 years ago. I have seen this train for sale occasionally at train shows but the cost is quite high–$400 minimum and up.

    Reply
  15. Ron
    Ron

    I’ve started a rather large HO scale model railroad in my basement, 12’x24′ with a long run around the walls and eventually back to an upper level. It’s operational at a basic level. I built it as an ultimate dream of my own but also to enjoy building and working with other modelers. However, I’ve had a hard time finding other modelers to help build and run the railroad. I’ve thought about rejoining the NMRA in the area but they’ve had some severe political problems. Any other ways to contact other modelers in my local area?

    Reply
  16. Stephen Kurtz
    Stephen Kurtz

    It is nice to see you gents. Thank you. There are many different layouts to research to find one that fits your budget. What are some of the best books or places to look to help set up a track plan?

    Reply
  17. Ron
    Ron

    I didn’t think I would enjoy your webinar but this is actually enjoyable and helpful.

    Reply
  18. Jeff
    Jeff

    I have an old Halmark brass engine (steam) that needs some restoration. Any suggestions who to contact? The

    Reply
  19. Ron
    Ron

    How do you determine the appropriate DCC variables so different locos aren’t pulling moving at different speeds in the consist? Do you use a scale radar gun? I found a Hot Wheels toy radar gun that many work well but just wondering what you use.

    Reply
  20. Ron
    Ron

    What’s an easy way to connect track feeders to bus wire around the railroad? The typical approach is to use a terminal strip or to strip a small portion of the insulation from the bus wire and solder the feeder to the bare wire but this can be a real challenge. Do you have any experience with the clamp on bus connectors? I’ve seen several types including some called suitcase connectors.

    Reply
  21. Peter
    Peter

    I model in S and O scale and the most frustrating thing is the fact that you cannot use DCC on these scales and you’re left with MTH’s DCS and Lionel’s Legacy system. Is there any way to digitally command both of these brands with one system?

    Reply
  22. Dave
    Dave

    I joined in December for a one time special price. I thought this got me access to all the videos, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Am I right?

    Reply
  23. Another Poster
    Another Poster

    Is there any chance that one of the model railroad companies will put out a HO scale Steeplecab, aka steeple cab, locomotive? It’s one of the few significant engines that have not been offered for sale. Usually some cottage industry will sell an exterior shape and say purchase someone’s else’s locomotive and change shells. Considering the unique shape of the steelecab and it’s small size, I am sure it would be a popular item if it were available, and it should not cost much to manufacture. Thank you very much.

    Reply
  24. Wayne
    Wayne

    Good morning Steve and Doug! Just catching up on your video from yesterday! If you are in the Twin Cities, I’d love to visit your club. If you can reply in this blog, that would be great! Thanks for all you do for model railroading!

    Reply
  25. Bill
    Bill

    i just recently got back into model railroading and purchased 2 Bacnmann n scale DC train sets and have been learning that DCC is the best way to go in todays set ups my question is if I switch do I have to change track as well as engines

    Reply
  26. Anthony Mcmillan
    Anthony Mcmillan

    Doug you made a comment to send my e maill. Then you would send your car card system for opperating a HO train layout. I would also be interested on your switching layout, as shown on the live podcast tonite. Thanks Anthony, Iowa City. I am modeling Iowa Interstate Railroad from Ohama to Davenport. With my main Yard in Iowa City.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Anthony,

      I’d be happy to send you info on my card system. Please send me your mailing address at doug@modelrailroadacademy.com. I’d like to hear about your layout as well.

      Thanks
      Doug MRA Video Membership

      Reply