Inexperienced but seeking advice

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Charles Mark, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. Charles Mark

    Charles Mark Member

    New at computer w/little experience at model trains (N)
    Benchwork done several years ago w/homesoate over plywood
    9' x 10' around room approx 30" w
    Haven't given attention to it until now. Would foam be easier to work with? Have DC now. New engines purchased OK to buy w/decoder?
  2. absnut

    absnut Member

    Unless you are going to use DCC, I wouldn't buy with a decoder installed. First, I think I've heard you can't run it on straight DC (someone more knowledgeable can speak to this, too) and, second, it's extra money spent for something you won't use.

  3. Charles Mark

    Charles Mark Member

  4. Charles Mark

    Charles Mark Member

    Told you I am new at this
    DCC looks interesting but am not sure you can run both DC and DCC with same controller. In my future if I can. Be worth extra expense now to buy new engines w/decoders if I can.
  5. absnut

    absnut Member

    I believe it safe to say that most new engines come "decoder ready" and require a minimum of work to install. If DCC is only in your future, I think I'd buy without and add them later when/if you switch over. As far as running both decoder and non-decoder equipped locos together, I don't think you can successfully. I am still not convinced you can run a decoder equipped loco on DC. You'd best check that out before purchasing.

  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    The Atlas locos which come with decoders installed come set to run on DC. To run on DCC, a plug is roatated 180 degrees. So these are perfect for someone not into DCC now but thinking of going to it later. Also, Digitrax decoders at least, and I think others, can run on DC. Performance is a bit downgraded.

  7. absnut

    absnut Member

    Thanks, Gary. THAT, I didn't know! Is it the same for Atlas N locos as well as HO?

  8. Charles Mark

    Charles Mark Member

    Thanks.....Looking at B23-7 BNSF locos. There are 3 different road #'s. Is it usual to buy all 3 or mix up loco names?
  9. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    G'day Charles, and welcome to our little home. :)

    The decision is entirely yours. If you are keen on a particular railroad, then all you rollingstock/locos should match that railroad. There is nothing wrong with buying the same number!! Only you will notice the multiple locos with the same number!!! If you like many railroads and their schemes then by all means, mix and match.
    You may wish to model a particular railroad, and the different schemes/livery through the ages. Again, the decision is yours.

    Wish I had enough dosh to "buy all 3"!! :( :(
  10. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Charles, When using DCC, most people use the loco number as the address for the decoder. Therefore, buying more than one of each road # is generally avoided. Also, "serious" modelers want to be able to identify a particular unit by #, more than one of a # on the layout causes problems for that. Of course, a lot of people don't care. There is no right or wrong here. Unless you really really want more of a particular loco than #'s available, I suggest you avoid buying multiple of same #. You can also renumber locos if you ever desire to.

    Dick, Sorry to say I don't know about the N scale locos. I have a couple HO units but don't know anybody with Atlas N scale units to ask. Someone here or in the N scale forum might know.

  11. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    While Digitrax decoders can run on DC, Soundtrax decoders won't. If access to the decoder is quick, and easy, you can replace the decoder with a "dummy plug", to operate on DC without performance problems.
  12. Charles Mark

    Charles Mark Member

    Thanks for the replys.
    I'm in over my head but will gain knowledge with time.
    I've had benchwork done for several years/lots of DC equiptment and everything else but am just now ready to go forward. Think I need to find an "N - club" to join so that I can benefit from their experience. Only been retired since 7/31/200. CM

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