Model Railroading's Future is Almost Here!

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Bill Stone, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Ron, A number of us on here in addition to being model railroaders are also Amateur Radio operators. We are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission and are required by law to operate our stations within strict complience of standards set forth by the FCC. Our licenses are not just "given away" and we are required to demonstrate before a testing board a competent knowledge of electronics, regulations and good radio practice before we are granted a license and callsign.

    Legally, a US Amateur Radio operator has no duty to protect your stereo or TV or your radio control throttle from interference which may be caused by the licensed operation of such a station within the FCC standards and regulations. But in fact, if such a device as a radio controlled throttle is causing interference to an Amateur Radio station then the device must be either modified so as not to cause interference or its use discontinued. Most often any interference to the devices you mentioned is caused by the cheap construction/design of such devices in that they are unable to reject the primary and/or harmonic frequencies produced by an Amateur Radio transmitter.

    99.999999% of all Amatuer Radio operators world wide are a great bunch of folks. They will work with you in anyway possible to eliminate the problem (usually by installing RF filters or chokes on your devices at their expense). But bear in mind that they are under no obligation to do so,( at least in the US) so if you are having a problem simply approach your neighbor about it in a friendly manner and the problem will get resolved.

    No offense taken at what you said....just wanted to set the facts straight on this one.....Vic

    BTW....The Swiss authority governing Amateur Radio is even more strick than our FCC.
  2. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Grumbeast you can be a total nerd, I don't mind honest! :D :D :D The industry figures I have for the last 5 years show Mac averaging 3.8% of the new sales. The biggest problem is fewer and fewer software companies are producing Mac compatible products anymore. With a market share that low they claim they can't get enough sales to make a profit. Yes Bill, you would have been O.K. $$$$$ wise then. For the record I'm not knocking the quality of a Mac, they are fine computer. But you can buy a more powerful PC for less money and everybody makes software for the PC and even out here in the middle of nowhere it is easy to get parts and service for a PC. The company that I worked for had 40 newspapers and 2 tourist papers in 4 states. To my knowledge only about 2% of the employees personal computers were Macs, nobodies (including the company ones) laptops were Macs. Handwriting is on the wall is all I'm saying. :)
  3. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    An apology to all Amateur Radio Operators!

    Hi Vic, I surely didn't want to pick at Amateur Radio Operators. Sorry to all hams, if they felt offended by my remark. Just tried to be funny and didn't find a better example to exaggerate... :oops: :oops: :oops:

    I just remembered exactly that sort of incident from the days of my youth (long gone! :( ). I also know the Amateur Radio scene a bit, since my father was very involved. His call was HB9CV, and I think he was quite well known twenty years ago, since he was the developer of two famous beam antennas, the HB9CV-beam and the Swiss Quad.

    Dad passed away twenty years ago, and funny, he never was hooked by computers (which were in the Apple II and Commodore PET stage then). And vice versa, I never tried to get the Amateur licence of the USKA - as far as I remember I was scared off by learning to transmit morse code at a certain speed. In these days DX connections per telegraphy were still quite common and SSB was still in the future. And later I simply I didn't find the time for yet another hobby.

    Now I remembered that in the fifties he had lots of problems by his transmitter crashing into TV and radio receivers in the vicinity. That's why I made this pun about remote control - but it backfired and I'm sorry about that. :oops:

    Well, my Dad solved these problems by 'cleaning' his frequencies by chokes and RF filters. And, BTW, this was one of the main reasons for him to develop an effective beam antenna, thusly eliminating a great part of the immissions.
    By 1965 he had completely eliminated the interference with all the receivers in the vicinity. But then another Amateur Radio operator moved near our house and now we heard him on all radios! :mad: And what happened: My dad was attacked by the neighbors again, we even had the police in the house. Luckily he had his transmitter off when the police was in our house and the speakers of our radio went full blast with "CQ CQ DX.." from our new neighbor. Police moved over to him and since then we never heard of him again (radio-wise, that is!). :D :D :D

    73s to you all!

  4. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    I was once a ham --- K6PTL. In fact the last year I was in the Air Farce, (1955-56) I ran the MARS station at Norton AF Base --- K6FCA.

    Stupidly I let the license expire and by the time, years later, that I got sort of interested again, I could never have passed the exams without some intensive electronics refreshers. So I didn't do it.

    The Morse code I could have handled. I learned that in AF radio school, and it never really leaves your mind. Now, half a century since I had any reason to use it, I can still communicate in Morse.

  5. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    PC's v. Macs
    Water on the tracks
    Ham radio attacks
    No offense, but let's get back....
    Back to the Future!

    Especially regarding the timetable of this exciting new development, I think it will happen a lot quicker than we realize. I seem to recall that a mere 3 years ago the concept of a gig of RAM was pie-in-the-sky, but 2 years ago it was reality. Technology development is exponential for the most part and I will go out on a limb and predict we'll see this at the Nuremburg Toy Show in 2007.

    For someone like me, who is severely electrically challenged (except in winter when I walk across the carpet) the idea of running self-powered trains by remote control is the closest thing to prototype operations yet! I'm stoked!!!!

    They'll solve the water problem - they have to. And like all new tech it will be pricey at first, and cheaper later. Personally, I can hardly wait! I should be just about finished my layout by 2007, which means it will be time to tear it out and start over. WHOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    :thumb: Val
  6. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Wow Val! Model Railrod Hi-ku! :D
  7. Mike R

    Mike R Member

    Back to the future ????
    How about forward to the past ?

    Yes, folks....miniature steam locomotives were developed ,ages ago, that ran on live-steam... just like the real ones.
    And...miniature electric locomotives were developed, ages ago, that ran on electricity, on the rail, on overhead, or both....just like the real ones.

    All we don't have yet, is a miniature diesel engine sending power to electric or hydraulic motors....and may never have.

    This "brand new future battery thing" just models real battery locomotives, like the ones used in underground mining and tunnel-building, doesn't it ?:eek:

    ...and YES..I'm just kidding;) ...I'm all for the new MRR stuff as long as I personally don't have to buy it.

    I still get pleasure from some simple decades-old aspects of model railroading....I just worked out a really simple reverse-loop wiring gimmick, for dual-cab DC control, that only requires 5 wires, and one DPDT c/o switch. Works great.
    Merry Christmas
    ...oh yes...I've never had a ham radio hobbyist do anything, but I'll swear a guy with a garage door-opener sometimes changes TV channels on me, or turns it off.:rolleyes: ;)
  8. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    With the new decoder technology announced by Lenz with less reliance on track power (I think its called USP). I'm not a battery fan. Why? Well all batteries have a lifetime and when they go to battery heaven another battery has to be installed. Of course this isn't such a big deal if it is a car battery, computer battery or flash light battery. But imagine replacing 100 N scale batteries, think if the time, hassle, and money... no thank you.

    I purposely bought the cheapest two battery power drill I could find (Walmart) because I knew that in about 5 years both batteries will be permanently dead and the cost of replacing the two batteries will probably buy me a much better power drill then with new batteries.

    So a battery to be really impressive to me would have to last about 50 years.
  9. Not a Battery

    of course, this isn't a battery, but a fuel cell. You wont change the battery, you'll stick a new bunch of hydrocarbons in there.

    think of it like you car... about once a week you have to stop at a gas station and fill up.

    Might let those Coaling stations and Diesel storage tanks actually *do* somthing for a change :D :D

    Personally, I think it may be a while before N-scale fuel cells would be viable (a battery N-scale would need a watch battery), but I could be wrong.
  10. grumbeast

    grumbeast Member

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