Getting back into Trains

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by paintbaler1587, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. paintbaler1587

    paintbaler1587 New Member

    Many, many, years ago (around mid-late 90s), my dad and I had a layout. I was still in elementary school, so I dont remember much about it, other than we had mostly Kato and Athern engines, and hundreds of cars, I think mostly Athern. I also know we had DCC. Now everything is in boxes in a storage unit.

    Recently though, a friend said he wanted to clear out his garage and creat a layout. I told him I have boxes full of train stuff and I would gladly help him out with a layout. I was thinking about it, and I really dont remember much about the actual building of a layout. A few questions I have though are,

    Has anything changed with DCC? The DCC in all the engines I have is probably 7+ years old, and Im not sure if I still have any of the controllers for it. Would a new controller work with the old boards in the engines?

    What is the smallest raduis most engines and cars can turn around? What about large engines/cars such as an 89' auto carrier?

    I somewhat remember Atlas Code 83 nickle-silver track. Is this a good track to use?

    All of the engines and cars have Kadee couplers, though I cant remember any of the numbers. I was looking at Kadee's website, and it seems they changed (or renamed) their couplers since few still have names like #6 coupler. Will my old couplers work with these newer ones?
  2. alexander

    alexander Member

    ok, i'll help with what i can

    IF , i said IF it conforms to NMRA standards, then your DCC system, will still be compaitble with modern Decoders, but lots changed (they litterally have added bells and whistles)

    I'll expalin

    My , Lenz system, just to name a brand, i cant take my throttle (controller) and use it on my friends NCE layout. My Locos i can tho, they can be used on any NMRA compliant layout

    Atla C83 is a good track, but, i prefer Code 100, for compatibaliaty reasons.

    For your application, your looking at 26" radius as a absolute minimum. somthing around 30" + would be ideal

    All Kadee couplers mate with eaach other

    hope this helps
  3. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    26" radius is if all the large equipment has truck-mounted couplers. If they have body-mounts, at least 30".
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you have dcc, the decoders in the locomotives will work on any dcc system. The throttles and the rest of the dcc system may not be compatible with other systrems. The purpose of the dcc standards by the NMRA is to make locomotive decoders in locomotives interchangeable to allow any locomotive to work on any dcc equipped layout. If you can't find your throttles, you should look for throttles made by the same manufacturer as the dcc system you have already, other brands may not be compatible. Also check with the manufacturer to make sure that any new upgraded throttles will work on your older system.

    Prior to dcc, modelers used command control systems. Those systems were analog. Because there was no standard, nothing interchanged between systems, and they are not compatible with modern dcc. Those systems were probably 10 times as expensive as modern dcc because there were only a couple of manufacturers making the systems. They were made obsolete by the introduction of dcc standards by the NMRA. If your dad's old system was one of the analog command control systems, parts will not be available, and you will need to convert to dcc to get the advantages of dcc.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    If you had DCC in the mid 90s, it is almost certainly compatible with anything today. It may be, as Alex said, lacking bells and whistles, but you can run the trains. If you want the bells and whistles literally, you'll have to buy a sound unit.
  6. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    What'da'ya mean, many years ago in the mid 90's? That was just yesterday. We are still using ancient technology like that on some of our club locomotives. Decoders installed in 1996.

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