New Editor for MR

Neil Besougloff the Editor of Classic Toy Trains succeeds Terry Thompson as editor of MR come June 1st. Terry Thompson will be publisher of MR. Bruce

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We'll have to see how it turns out... I didn't think Terry Thompson was all that great as an editor, but it might have been growing pains. It had gotten better before my subscription ended, though. (I did renew it, I just took 3 months off to decide if I missed it.)
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Quite honestly, I suspect that MR might be a lot better off if they'd choose an actual HO or N scale modeler to be editor instead of these tin-plate guys. Likewise, continually switching hats on existing personnel, rather than looking outside for a really suitable candidate, doesn't give me a lot of faith in the appropriateness of their recent selections.
CNJ999
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IMHO, and hey, it's worth what you pay for it, they've lost sight of the fact that they 're a hobby magazine instead of some kind of entertainment rag. If you get a copy of the magazine and then purchase a half dozen of their .pdf files, you have just about what used to constitute a monthly issue. When each month had a month's worth of meat and ideas, it was fine. Now, it seems the articles are shorter and often have some kind of additional info on the web that may or may not be free. Why subscribe at all if half of the stuff you want or enjoy is in a separate downloadable file on their site, free or not? Just check the website and get anything you think is worthwhile. I think the web emphasis amounts to shooting themselves in the foot. Reference materials, compilations of articles, stuff like that may be worth a fee to download, but when you get six Acrobat pages for half or more the cost of an issue of the magazine, it's pretty clear that they want the maximum bucks not the maximum publication quality.
It reduces my enjoyment of a hobby subject to go after part of it on the web. Maybe that's just me, but the web and the computer are in the top five things I want to get away from when I pursue my hobby.
Regards

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Rashputin wrote:

I pretty much feel the same way about the above. However, I've seen some magazines (mostly homeowner/remodeling-related) that have articles in the magazine that stand well on their own merits, and have *additional* related materials available on their Web sites that is free and available only to subscribers. Sort of a perk for being a subscriber as opposed to buying a single copy off the newsstand.

I agree with the first statement here, when you have to go to the Web for stuff that should have been in the printed article in the first place. But I use my computer and the Web as tools to enhance my pursuit of the hobby, so like any other tool I keep them handy and will grab them when I need them.

Stevert
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However, I've seen

This was one of the things I told them in the poll about the Pdf's, I also think 5-6 dolaars for a 5-10 page Pdf is a lot of money compaired to a printed magazine that reads a lot easier. I also think that if they would ask say 1-2 dollars for a Pdf they would please their subscribers and at the same time probably make more profit because they'd sell more ( the cost price of a Pdf is of course the same at any amount of copies ).

I couldn't research anything ( as I live in Holland ) without the computer and internet, heck I wouldn't even be aible to find the books I have purchased on model railroading and prototype.
Just got Santa Fe The Railway Gateway volume 2 and The Chief Way reference series yesterday, these would have been almost impossible to get here in Holland
I do think that MR is on the border of a good ratio between advertising and content , maybe over the border if you consider the new products part as cloaked advertising.What I truely find annoying are the coupons every 2 pages ( it seems this much ) to become a subscriber when you already are one. Would it be that much work to make separate batches for subscribers and single copy sales?
greetz Jan
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*snip*

I usually *don't* go after something on the web. I've now started flagging articles in a different magazine that I might want to look at later, but thought and opportunity don't often collide.
One magazine I subscribe to offers free PDF downloads of the entire magazine. You can get the printed copy and the electronic copy (or save about $10 and get the electronic copy only). I'm a big fan of this distribution method, it lets me read and enjoy the printed versions while having the electronic versions for my archives.
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That's an ironic thing to post to news:rec.models.railroad.
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CNJ999 wrote:

Terry Thompson was brought in from outside.
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While I don't take MR there was an editorial (last month?) by Terry that stated DCC would probably die because now the engines were sounding so good on DC. I had to get it word by word from the hilarious laughter of the person who was telling me. When everything quieted down it was stated here is a person who just doesn't get it. But to replace Larry with Moe is not going to help!
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Is this true? How could somebody that clueless be the editor of a model railroading magazine? The editor needs an editor! :)
I haven't bought a new copy of MR since it stopped being of much interest to me as someone who primarily scratchbuilds. But there are 50 years of issues prior to that. I buy a few occasionally, and they're new to me, even if they were first mailed out in 1940.
Sorry about the burst of posts from me (especially the really poorly typed ones :), but I'm trying to contribute some model railroading content to increase the signal/noise ratio here as of late...
Dale
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Perhaps a naive view...and perhaps not. After 15 years or more of DCC's presence in the hobby, no poll or survey has been able to demonstrate that DCC is in use on more than perhaps 25% of all layouts and its growth factor continues to be quite slow. There seems to be a majority of longtime DC'ers with existing layouts that have no intention of making any change or upgrade. And while DCC may be a favorite among younger/newbie hobbyists and those building entirely new layouts, the appeal is far less for those well established modelers with lots of existing DC equipment. If I were to speculate on the matter, I'd have to say that not until the Boomer Generation, most of whom are today quite satisfied with their DC operation, passes from the scene, is it likely that DCC will gain any majority percentage in the hobby.
CNJ999
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CNJ999:

Or unless the industry really pushes it like they seem to be doing. I may be wrong but it seems like going DCC would, despite the benefits, be like getting your first Personal Computer. Society pretty much assumes you have or should have one, so you spend the money and if like me (and from stories heard, I'm not alone) you go through a season of frustration trying to get the thing up and running and then figuring out how everything works. Eventually it's all fine but getting there...
The last time I was at the hobby shop a guy had brought in his DCC loco because it wasn't working right. The owner put it on a test track and said it needed to be programmed (when it went forward, the reverse lights came on and vice versa). I have no idea how you program a model engine or what the outcome of this situation was. I just know I don't like to program things and went in the back to look at On30 kits.
Another time was in favor of DCC: The owner showed me a new N Gauge loco that had just come in and demonstrated the sound system. Wasn't expecting much from such a tiny unit but wow. Sounded like the real thing. Impressive.
Still, maybe later. I'll stick with the old DC for now.
~Brad fd64
p.s. I didn't realize that DCC had been around for even a decade. Shouldn't prices be lower by now or is it because it hasn't become the dominant system?
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This is why there are many (well monitored) Yahoo groups for the various manufactures (some manufactures watch the groups but they are not connected with them). They are mostly there to help newcomers but lots of old hands as well. Digitrax, for example, is over 7000 members. JMRI (which is free software to program engines and many other things) is approaching 3000 members. Soundtraxx is approaching 2000 and the list goes on and on.
I

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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net says...

I'm just starting to get my feet wet in DCC, and it is going to be a learning experience for sure. I didn't enjoy all the control panel gymnastics required to run two tains on the old layout, so the new one is being built for DCC. DCC can greatly simplify the wiring involved, and allow you to run trains rather than spend your time flipping switches. There are a lot of reasons why people don't switch overe from DC, expense being of prime concern. How many engines are there to convert? Of course, like I'm doing, just convert a few at a time. You'll get there eventually. Also a lot of us are old farts are technophobes that don't like to change something that works.
Back to the manual, fl@liner
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[...] There are a lot of reasons why people

I looked at my stash of locomotives the other day, most 20+, many 30+ years old.
And I realised that almost all have sentimental value only. They just aren't up to today's standards. A couple of brass ones might be worth converting, but they need remotoring first. Ancient Athearns, repainted in my fictitious RR's colours, look nice if you don't get too close. Their motors draw 1/2 amp and up. Some, eg a Rivarossi Dockside, are just plain worn out, but remotoring and regearing them just isn't worth the cash, and still less the effort. Some are weird bashes conforming to no known prototype, cobbled together to "salvage" the usable parts of two or more junkers. And so on.
IOW, realistically, how many of those old locos are good enough to be candidates for conversion to DCC? 1 in 10, maybe?
-- Wolf
"Don't believe everything you think." (Maxine)
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote: [...]

Actually, the first DCC system was Keith Guiterrez's home built one. There was an analog command control system, Astrac (made by GE) that worked reasonably well, and was succeeded by another one whose name I forget.
And prices have come down, in terms of actual dollars, and even more so in terms of price/quality ratio. A sound decoder nowadays costs about as much as four function decoder cost 10-15 years ago.
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It is cheaper, just not to the extent of other consumer electronics. Four function decoders (DH140's, for example) used to be $40. Now you can get six function decoders for $30. And two function decoders can be had for $16 or less. A Digitrax starter set used to be $250, and now the Zephyr can be had for only $160 (and does far more than the old Genesis set). The reason why it isn't cheaper is because DCC is still small potatoes compared to the cell phone, PC, or DVD market. These devices get cheaper because of the economies of scale. DCC just doesn't have that. According to Lenz, they've sold over 1 million decoders. Now think how many cell phones have been sold over the last 15 years, and you'll see why cell phones get cheaper and cheaper while DCC prices come down slowly. As for the age of DCC, Bernard Lenz invented it in 1988 while working for Marklin. He introduced DCC in 1991 as his Digital Plus system. All this is on his website, www.lenz.com
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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Pac Man wrote:

Rewind your calender by a decade!
Lenz invented DCC pre 1978 - it was patented in Germany in 1978. Maerklin announced their Lenz based system in 1984, both for AC compatibility (pulse reversing of analogue) and DC compatible in conjunction with Arnold the following year. That system was DCC. Lenz decided to hold the rights in Germany but to make his system open for the rest of the World. Had he been working for Maerklin at the time of his invention it would have belonged to Ma, not Lenz.
Regards, Greg.P. NZ.
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I got my information direct from http://www.lenz.com/manuals/otherpdffiles/lenzwelcome.pdf written by Bernard Lenz himself. What he defines as DCC started in 1988 according to the above link.
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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