yet another newbie

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by J&A_RR, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. J&A_RR

    J&A_RR Member


    my four year old boy and I have started a 4X8 in HO in the garage. I will post pics this weekend. We have two ovals each on its own dc power. the outer oval has 22" turns with long coaches and the inner oval has 18" turns for a freight train. There will be a couple of sidings for the freight train and then a few buildings and scenery will be added.
    My boy loves trains and of course thomas the tank engine and I always liked trains and played with them when I was a kid. He has brought all those memories back which has put a bug in me to build something with him.
    One question..... are there insulated track connectors so current doesn't run from one track to the other?? Haven't been to LHS yet to ask.


    john(dad) andrew(son)
  2. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Welcome to the Gauge John.
    Your LHS should carry insulated rail joiners.
    Sounds like you and Andrew will have a good time with the hobby.
  3. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    A hearty welcome to both of you.

    You can use insulated rail joiners, although those that I've sen are fairly soft plasticmaterial. Like some, you can also glue the track down and then cut through the rails and glue in a piece of stryene to fill the gap.
  4. J&A_RR

    J&A_RR Member

    My idea is to have a train on a siding that is wired from the dc controller through a switch to turn the power on and off seperate from the main line that will be wired straight from the controller. I still may have some of the main line (oval) switched that way also so while one train is leaving the siding the other is stopped and then will be moved to the siding. That way I can have two trains on one line although only running one at a time since I am going just DC.

    Is this basic 'block wiring' I have seen ya'll mention or am I way off? Maybe I should read about it this weekend or just trial and error.
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge :wave:

    That is block control in its most basic form. Add a couple insulated rail joiners, another power pack and some double pole/double throw switches and you'll be running them like the pros in no time. :thumb:
  6. J&A_RR

    J&A_RR Member

    some pics

    getting started and sharing some photos...
  7. J&A_RR

    J&A_RR Member

    left side of the layout

  8. J&A_RR

    J&A_RR Member

    center shot
  9. J&A_RR

    J&A_RR Member

    and now the right hand side

  10. J&A_RR

    J&A_RR Member

    we put down the track this weekend although another siding could be added later. next is wiring, scenery and buildings will be next step along with a back drop. the steamer and sante fe are lifelike and the UP is bachman, although entry level since I bought it off ebay used for eight bucks but runs fine. track is all atlas code 100. This is all going on while keeping cost down since this is only a first attempt. I am sure you saw andrew's head in the photos.

    please make suggestions, john
  11. LIRR

    LIRR Member

    You're a cool dad :thumb: That reminds me of my first layout.

    Those Lifelike and Bachmanns work good for a while but after a while your gonna want something a little smoother. Life Like proto 1000 and 2000 engines are wonderful running and arent much of a shot in the pocket (Just watch the detail parts with the little guy around).

    Woodland scenics is great for scenery, and Model Power has a great selection of easy to build kits.
  12. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member'll start replacing them hornhook couplers w/ Kadee #5s...your Tyco Froot Loops covered hoppers will give way to Athearn Premier Edition cars---correctly painted and weathered for 6:06 p.m., Monday Febuary 12, 1976, just after the thunderstorm....then yer gonna want that latest issues from Broadway Limited.....your eye will start looking longingly at those brass beauts from Overland and Challenger'll start negotiating with your beloved for trackage rights over the washer/dryer, down the hall and into the sewing room....Atlas Code 100 will give way to handlaid Code 70 to Proto87 standards....(sigh) ;) :p :thumb: Welcome to the hobby, I hope it'll give you and your boy many enjoyable hours together as father and son.
  13. KCS

    KCS Member

    LMAO shay. I've heard the similar concept in so many ways I don't know where to began but that was one of the best that brought a great laugh. especially when it came to the "you'll start negotiating with your beloved for trackage rights over the washer/dryer, down the hall and into the sewing room." If it were only that easy! :D
  14. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    You're on your way! Looking good!
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Iwould reccommend the Proto 1000 models, since they don't have much added on detail. With a four year old, be very careful with small parts that could come off and be a choking hazzard. Athearn "blue box" f-7's are also good models, leave the horns off if you get one until your son is older. Have fun with the little guy!
  16. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    for new engines i would also suggest IHC. they seel slightly less expensive models, that works jsut as good. i own one of their GG-1s.

    as for block wireing i posted this in another forum and figured it would be helpful here:

    I made a layout to help describe the whole block wiring thing.

    you see the green rail? that’s the common rail. you only need to connect one feeder to it.

    the red rail is the outer rail. you determine where each block would be, and divide it. in this case, each block is insulated and divided at the big black squares on the red rail. the black circles indicate where feeders would go, but you can put a feeder anywhere on the block. you can use plastic rail joiners, or you can use a razor saw, and cut the rail where the end of a block is desired, and fill it in with a nonconductive material to keep the rails from touching each other. do not divide the common or green rail.

    these feeders are then connected to the top terminals of an atlas controller, in this diagram with blue wires. the last three on the second controller isn't needed, and can be left alone. on the side of a controller there will be two terminals. the top on for CAB A (one throttle) and the bottom one for CAB B ( the second train's throttle). connect the right hand DC track power terminal from each throttle to the appropriate CAB terminal. in this case, the red throttle is CAB A, so its connected to the top terminal of the controller with a red wire. The orange throttle is CAB B, so it is connected to the bottom terminal of the controller with a orange wire.

    now back to the common rail. put a feeder where ever convenient on the green rail (inner rail), and connect it to both throttles on their left hand DC track terminal.

    the layout should now be block wired. when you slide one of the green switches on the controller up, the track connected to that switch will be controlled by CAB A. slide it to the bottom, that section of track is controlled by CAB B. the middle turns that section of track off (which is useful if you want to "park" a third engine).

    you now should be able to run 2 trains at once, just keep an eye on them. short circuits can happen if they run into a block where the direction is switched in the opposite direction, but this won't be a problem if you pay attention.

    I hope this helps

  17. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    the same thing applies to your layout, which i created here. I would reccomend buying Atlass feeder joiners. they are railjoiners with wires attached to them. you can drill a tiny hole in the layout for the wires to snake through so you don't have to build a High tension power line to your terminal track. in fact, all terminal tracks can be removed with the feeder joiners. that will make it look so much more realistic, and they aren't a big deal to install. or you can simply solder wires to the rail. Soldering is something important that you will need to learn sooner or later to get anywhere in the hobby. might as well start now if you haven't soldered before.

    Once again i am sorry i can't make these smaller, but it seems to get big everytime i upload them.


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