Food For Thought

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Play-Doh, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    At times when discussing my railroading and related operations, I stumble over the idea that I am building my layout in DC. Almost anyone opening a MRR magazine or related publication tends to notice that the more impressive layouts are mostly all DCC.

    It seems some times us DC'ers are percieved as MRR's of lesser skill, expertice, or attention to detail. (Im not taking anything away from my good DCC friends either!)

    Granted, DCC can make operations more seamless and at times more realistic (the running of multiple locos/advanced operating sessions) however with a little advanced planning these things are possible in DC, and at times easier.

    Now, that being said, nobody here on the gauge has been critical of DC'ers, but its just something I have percieved through my reading and other experiences.

    I like to think their is no shame in being a DC'er...I think it just comes down to "what works for you!" I am by no means "Not smart enough for DCC" or believe its "Way to technical." Just like any other subject if you learn it, you can usually do it.

    I guess it all comes down to what you want to accomplish with your layout, but even deeper that, I think it comes down to "HOW do you want to accomplish it."

    Just some thoughts...please share yours!
  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Exactly right! Great points made there :) :)

    Everyone must remember (Especially when visiting another modeler's layout) that even though we are all the same in our passion for modeling and playing with trains... (Yes I meant that).... We all - each and every one of us - present a small part of a Different World where our trains Operate....

    Further, each modeler, detailer, weatherer, operator... or just someone who has a plain loop of track, set up on the carpet..... Thinks his or her layout (Platform in some sections of the country) is adequate for them at this point in time....

    To explain:

    How many times have you said:

    ~~ Well, as soon as I save a bit more money, I'm going to..... (upgrade something or add something)

    ~~ I'm designing .........................

    ~~ I'm so tired of............. That has GOT to be .......................

    Sound like anyone out there????? The layout is NEVER finished as long as the Model Railroad Owner(s) have dreams and ideas for what THEY WANT to present in any scenario :D :D :D

    ..................... next time someone asks you "When is it going to be finished"? Remember the questions above...... and give 'em your answer...... sign1 sign1

    As a visitor or person making comments --- Always remember that the display or pictures you are looking at are always a work in progress.... and may not be there forever :D Sooner or later the modeler(s) might want to change something :) But for now... Be kind in your comments, for what you think is not "Something you would do" is... in fact something the modeler wanted to represent.....

    There are too many levels of expertise to make comments on, for example, weathering... Some weather to perfection, some not at all (me)..... Some are DCC some DC (Me)... Some scratchbuild (me) and others buy ready built structures... Some spend decades on a layout.. others throw track in a circle and build around it to make it look good(me) :D

    The ONLY thing this hobby (and this board) are good for is "F U N" ---- Fun in meeting modleers...seeing a nice modeling job ..... and relaxing.... It's never meant to be a competition.. (This is THE reason we offer NO prizes in our contests) ..... It Is All For The Fun of the individual modeler.

    ...... Now go have some fun Operating your trains.... :) I have more "Admin" stuff to do....... :D :D :D :D :D .... and if "I" Wasn't enjoying doing it.. I would be playing with MY trains!!!!! goldtoth1 tooth1 goldtoth1 tooth1 goldtoth1 stooges8
  3. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Play-Doh:wave:, sorry, but i DISAGREE with some of what you said:eek::D.

    i strongly feel the system you are using(DCC or DC)has NO BEARING on how well your modeling is;). when i look at other people on heres layout pics, the LAST THING i am thinking about is what system they are running.

    MY thoughts on DCC: i have ran both, and FOR ME, DCC IS THE WAY TO GO:thumb:. i could NEVER go back now, DCC in my mind makes things more prototypical, is WAY EASIER to put up, and run, just generally a LOT MORE FUN:D.

    BOTTOM LINE: i honestly don't think ANY of us judge anyone on the system they are using, and though i use DCC, i have NEVER thought less of those that still use DC:thumb:. as far as how well you model, that my friends is IN YOU;), you learn from your mistakes, or see pics and get ideas from others, and every year YOU GET BETTER:thumb:. i am now 41, and through time, i have found this to be TRUE;) .

    just my two cents:D -Deano
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the biggest issue is the complexity of your layout and the number of trains you want to run at one time. A large basement empire that keeps 6 or more operators busy runnning 6 or more trains simultaneously will be much easier and less expensive to operate with dcc. A small home layout or switching layout that only has one train running at any one time, does not need dcc.
  5. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Deano I whole heartedly agree. I should have used the word operating rather than modeling. Nobody on here has been critical of me or anyone in regards to their system. Please dont get me wrong. This was not a "Vent" thread, I just found as a new model railroader that DCC appeared to be the norm for impressive layouts. I recall when I knew nothing of this hobby and went out and bought a copy of MR and found that most of the layouts shown were DCC. Furthermore, every hobby store I stepped into made a habit of only showing me the DCC engines. It was only until I found "The Gauge" that I realized many of these great things they were showing me were possible in DC.

    Clearly we all have EQUAL respect for both systems, but much like the Lionell VS. Radio Flyer days, I think we can all agree that both have their advantages and disadvantages, but great fun can be had on either side of the coin.
  6. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Pros and Cons

    DC: Pros- cheaper, just plug it in, simple. Cons-unless running a consist, switchblock trackage req. for more than one train operating, basic.

    DCC:pros-a massive empire at your control with realistic sounds, etc.,What else needs to be said? Cons-mega confusing, more common crashes, VERY expensive!

    I hope that clears things up a bit, if at all:D I run DC, but because I only have one engine and it's a 4X8 layout
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Most of the large model railroads featured in the model railroad press before the advent of dcc were command control. At that time they would be correctly called analog command control, but most large club layouts, large home layouts like Tony Keoster's Allegheny Midland would have run command control because it made operations easier for multiple operators. The problem was that there were only 2 or 3 systems available and nothing interchanged. The price of one of those systems was well over $1000.00, and then if extra decoders were needed for locomotives, the prices went higher. The NMRA standard for dcc has brought needed competition and interchangeability to the hobby and made dcc a viable option for a model railroader with a small layout. Whether it is the best system to go with largely depends on the complication of your operating scheme, particularly the number of trains and operators you will have on your layout. Once you want to have more than 2 operators and trains running, the you will reach the break even point for a basic system. More than 3 trains and operators and the costs starts swinging in favor of dcc. In terms of operation, there is no comparison of dc with dcc when you have more than one train running, so the only reason to stay with dc is cost.
  8. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    First it was the "Rivet counters"...
    Now..Am I gonna have to deal with "ProtoOpers"?(I can run two trains, on the same track, in different directions like the real railroads do...With my DCC system...)
    Don't get me wrong....I am thinking of going DCC...In the WAAAAY future.
  9. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    My thoughts

    Are you enjoying the hobby? That is what it is all about. Have a good time planning, building, running, scenicing, fixing and what ever else you can think of. What I like is frienships it is developing for me. I have begun operating sessions and love it. I can go DCC or DC or both at one time, which last Saturday I had to do because of not enough DCC throttles. LETS HAVE SOME FUN.:D
  10. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    I chose DCC because of it's simplicity. To me not having to run blocks or any of the complicated wiring associated with DC was a no brainer (pun intended). DCC has a lot going for it. The realism and ease of lashing consists together being paramount. But the DC guys get the nod when it comes to electrical engineering. I have seen DC layouts where the wiring alone is mind boggling. I don't know if I would have progressed this far in the hobby if I had to do a complex layout in DC.
  11. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I'm always secure in the knowledge that I can't have "cornfield meets" on my DC layout...unless they happen to hit right at the border of an electrical block. :)

  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I agree with myltlpny - It's not that DCC is more difficult - it's actually the complex wiring required for DC operation that makes my brain hurt.

    And besides, how the trains are operated really has nothing to do with the modelling enjoyment we all get from the hobby.



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