What have you learned from model railroading?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by kf4jqd, May 12, 2007.

  1. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    As all hobbies, you should have learned something. Most of you know I am also a Amateur (Ham) Radio operaor. It is said of being a Ham, you will learn many differant things besides talking on it! Such as, radio physics, which inclueds radio wave proprogration. Electronic theory. Geography, you need to know wherre the state or country is at that you are talking too! Alittle bit of chemistry, which inclueds metalology. Antenna theory is very important. Basic physics is very important. Even how the sun works. The sun is the driving force of atmostpheric conditions. And yes, even the weather. Some of us, inclueding me is a storm chaser.

    What about model railroading? You do need to know some basic physics. Such as the laws of motion. for every action, there is an equal and opposit reaction. An example is if your locomotive hits an on coming train. What will happen?

    Then there's electricity and basic electronic theory. Don't be scared of either one of them. For the most part you are dealing with low voltages.

    Then there is the railroad history. The areas history. Feel free to add some else.

  2. caellis

    caellis Member

    I have been in model railroading since 1984 and moved up to DCC over 3 years ago. I also am a HAM since 1961 (K3SBQ). And I have flown R/C airplanes since 1953. I was a computer Software developer for 42 years. I first owned an Altair personal computer in 1978.

    I am retired and computers are now a hobby for me. So it isn't that I have learned from MR as much as all my hobbies have something in common.

    I learn from each and every one of my hobbies. And each hobby contributes to the other. Such as soldering, electronics/electricity, computers, law of gravity, scratch building, etc.
  3. TexDoc

    TexDoc Member

    I have learned; (1) how fast I can spend money, especially now as opposed to eighteen years ago when I started. Well I learned that then, too; (2) several skills, scenery (still learning); (3) how to improvise, adapt and overcome; (4) how many mistakes I can make in a very short time; (5) how too much is never enough; (6) how the fates work. for instance strip, prepare and painstakingly paint, detail and decorate locomotives for your favorite road only to see an ad for the exact loco ready to run and never before available for sale tomorrow; and about a thousand other interesting and exciting things that I bet any modeler has also experienced.
  4. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    I, too was a HAM a long time ago (K3CWB and K0VEZ don/t know how to make the /zero). Seems to be a lot of them in Model Railroading. I have learned a lot of things but the most important thing is that the hobby is full of great people as we have here on the Gauge. You can get an answer for almost any question, assistance for any problem, tips for solving the most complex issue from a lot of very talented modelers. I have learned patience in building and revising the layout. I have learned a lot about scratch-building using a variety of materials from a Master-Craftsman (Robin). And I have learned to change as the hobby changes. I am now hooked on DCC.
  5. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Patience, ingenuity, history, woodworking(although I do a lot of that without the MR'ing), scenery development. The electrical things are a carryover from my career in aviation.
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    The main things I have learned from this hobby are patience and perseverance.

  7. Bones

    Bones Member

    I've learned that every solution adds 2 more problems.
    Sometimes it requires putting the subject down and walking away, but in the end, it's usually worth the trouble.
  8. ausien

    ausien Active Member

  9. Smoke

    Smoke SOU is for you!!

    When you don't like what you are doing take a break and come back to it later. Trust me I know from experience.
  10. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    A fool and his money are soon parted and to stay on my meds:cry:

    My wife thinks i have talent. That is always nice.
  11. jesso

    jesso Member

    "Happy mistakes" are a very good thing. For example, "Hey those rocks look nice," instead of "oh that was supposed to be a dirt hill." In fact mistakes even teach you and often other people don't even notice. Patience is a great thing. You learn best by someone telling you and YOU doing it, than have them tell you and they doing it. It may turn out better if they do it, but next time it isn't your first time.
  12. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    That I needed glasses, or more money to start all over again in something bigger than Nscale that's easier to work on.
  13. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

    I, personally, have learned that on top of all things there are always a list of projects to do. I have a whole moving box of kits, trees, decoders, locomotives for the decoders, i beams, etc, etc. Also I have learned that if you are intimidated or feel overwelmed about doing something. Jump in feet first and just try to do it. It almost always turns out better than you expected. Sometimes it even turns out totally different than you were going for but almost always better.
    And so goes my swing out bridge in front of my door being my latest intimidation. I've done all the benchwork up to it on both sides. Even the cork roadbed but now i must face the swing bridge..... to be continued.....:mrgreen:
  14. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

    You mean things like close your mouth while spray painting? I learned that as a kid.
    I think I can still taste it, yuck LOL :D
  15. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

    Another thing I learned which is kinda in a reverse order is. I learned basic electronics in my technical training for the Air Force. This has helped my understanding of the electronics side of the hobby that would have taken me muuch longer to learn had I not joined the Air Force.
  16. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    1) That one needs to be patient and not rush.
    2) I'm good at helping people design and build their layouts.
    3) It helps to have lot's of friends in the hobby.

    More to follow as I think of more.
  17. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    In general, I've learned a lot of historical details about particular locos, various lines, stations, towns, how real-life railways operate, etc. -- all of which I really enjoy as I'm fascinated with history.

    On the practical side, I'd say that laying track has taught me some geometry or physics! Geometrical problems with track often cause derailments.

    I've also learned how to solder, although I'm still probably not doing it right but at least I'm doing it!

    I've also learned spray painting techniques, creating scenery and a few modeling skills related to kitbashing (i.e. using putty, spray paint, new decals, etc.) I converted one loco into another type.

    There are probably a few others but these are the main ones that come to mind!


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