Back after being away.

Hello all, My name is Jeff. I am 38 and have had trains all my life but we moved some 28 times so i never really got to get very far. Finally I am in a
position to do so. i picked up a trainboard that was already set up wood wise, framework and all for free fro an ex-girlfriends dad. It is the Altas N-17 Scenic & relaxed. I have the track laid out but i might redo the switches. I also have a digitrax empire builder II from 10 years ago. this is N scale.
It is about 24 feet around the loop once. i think i need 4 feeders. it can be all 1 "zone". i think the feeders can be 24 awg and the bus 16 awg. that i got.
Now.... i read about using cat5 or twisted pair and worryng about echos and induction loops and circulating ground loops and i was lost.
I eventually would like to control the switches and trains and that is really it for now. I have the recommended atlas switches but i was thinking of swapping to the under the track switches cause the current ones look like crap and they, in a couple spaces, derail the train. Unfortunately i soldered all the track already soooo yeah. no idea how to approach that. not to mention that some of the switches are causing some, not all of the engines, to derail. mainly the steamers, which is what i wanna do. like '20's or earlier.
anyway, any help at all would be helpful. thanks Jeff
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Welcome (back) to the hobby. You don't say where you are, but I would strongly suggest you try to find out where your local NMRA (if you are in the US) club is based. There are usually people there who have been through the process of starting from the beginning, then re-starting, sometimes several times, as their circumstances and skill levels change. They are usually more than willing to give help and advice to those who are just starting out again.
There are also various web sites that can help. Try www.nmra.org as a starting position - or let people in this group put you in touch.
There are also several very helpful modellers who visit this site. If you have any specific questions then just fire away.

--
Mike Hughes
A Taxi driver licensed for London and Brighton
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