need all the help i can get

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by brasseagle, Nov 7, 2006.


whats your favorite feature of the scenery

Poll closed Feb 15, 2007.
  1. mountains

    0 vote(s)
  2. water

    0 vote(s)
  3. building and people

    0 vote(s)
  4. other

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. brasseagle

    brasseagle New Member

    i am starting a N scale set about 4x8 or so. i want it to be set in the 1940s and a rural setting.

    i want to do dcc, but i have no clue about it. i want the sound and ability for more than 1 engine, but i also want to use it to throw switches and power lights. which dcc would be good for what i want under around 125$.

    is there a free computer program to design the layout and help with wiring?
  2. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

    Throwing switches means addressing stationary decoders which rules out the Bachmann EZ commander, street value about 50 bucks...

    Does anyone know anything about this handheld NCE controller?... It looks to be an "all in one" unit ala the Bachmann.

    I'd vote in your poll Eagle, but I don't get it... whose scenery... yours? scenery in general?
  3. n2trains

    n2trains Member

    To specify what I mean by other (assuming you meant generally speaking about layouts): I love the intermodal trailers, containers, trucks, cranes and other little details that make an intermodal scene REALLY come alive.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Welcome to The Gauge! That's a lot of questions in one post!

    I am not sure what the poll has to do with the rest of your questions, but I'll try to provide you some answers.

    A great starter DCC set that is expandable is the Digitrax Zephyr set. It exceeds your $125 limit, unless you can find one on eBay or on sale. However, by wanting to run turnouts (switches) and lights via the DCC controller, you will rapidly pass that limit anyway.

    As noted above, stationary decoders will be required for each place you want to control something remotely (well, some decoders can do up to four things). You will also require some sort of remote switch machine for each of the turnouts.

    Some free track planning software can be had from Atlas (Right Track) or Sillub (XTrkCAD). Another useful piece of software for laying out your room and benchwork is Google's SketchUp. A Google search shoud find all three.

    Wiring for DCC is pretty straightforward. You can check, or look at the overview of DCC at

    As for your poll, I would vote for "pastoral" - you know - dirt roads, shade trees, fallow fields, wood lots, small bridges. But that's not in your poll ;)

    Now that you have found us, take a look around, and spend some time reading the various forums. There's lots of good information here - our search tool can help you find some answers too...!

  5. brasseagle

    brasseagle New Member

    thanks all

    the poll was just something to do.

    i am thinkin of doin a norfolk southern layout using a simple plan from atlas to get used to doin scenery and stuff and then gettin a little bigger.

    i want to do the 40's so i can have steam and diesel.

    how do u find out wchich locos were used in real life.
  6. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

    If you are talking about the current Norfolk Southern, it didn't exist in the 1940's.

    There was a Norfolk Southern which operated in the 1940's that ran from Norfolk, Virginia to Charlotte, North Carolina with some branches. It became part of the "new" Norfolk Southern. I would have to check to see if, during the 1940's, it was actually known by its earlier name, the Carolina and Northwestern.

    The short answer to your question of how to find out what locos were used by a particular road in the 1940's is "research." First, you need to select a road or two of interest, then check the internet or print materials for that kind of information. There are any number of special interest groups on the net that can be of help, but they will want a more specific question, like "Can anyone point me to a locomotive roster of the Norfolk Southern as of 1940?" And, whether we like it or not, they usually respect that you've done some work on your own first, like checking archives of the groups postings (if they're available) and looking at generally available books.

Share This Page