"O" scale or "HO" scale

What should I build. Which one is realy better?
RSC www.schmooseme.net

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RSC wrote:

You need to decide what you will want to model: - smaller is better for modelling railways. - bigger is better for modelling trains.
Your budget may be a factor, but basically model fanatics end up spending about the same amount overall (too much) whatever scale they are in to.
Availability: There is far more equipment available in HO than any other scale, whereas there is not very much in O scale. (see my point on hobby budget)
If you have a favourite prototype you are more likely to find suitable models in HO.
Regards, Greg.P.
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Take a look at the vendor websites for each scale on the web. There are some really nice authentic items in O scale and there are two mainstream vendors who cater to O scale: Atlas and MTH. There aren't quite as many structures available for O but there is a real tradeoff in terms of how easy it is to work with the equipment. I've run trains and detailed items in both scales and find that O offers a lot more mechanical reliability.
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Take a look at the vendor websites for each scale on the web. There are some really nice authentic items in O scale and there are two mainstream vendors who cater to O scale: Atlas and MTH. There aren't quite as many structures available for O but there is a real tradeoff in terms of how easy it is to work with the equipment. I've run trains and detailed items in both scales and find that O offers a lot more mechanical reliability.
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RSC spake thus:

If I didn't know better, I'd swear this stranger just wants to stir up some trouble here in Dodge ...
(The correct answer, of course, is ... Z scale! Just kidding.)
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How much space do you have available to build in?

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Quick answer: Neither one is better.
It all depends on what you want to do and how much room you have to do it in. O scale obviously takes up more room than HO.
I like O scale since the trains are beefier. You could duct tape eight week old kittens to the boxcars and a good O scale engine can pull them along. With HO, you would be limited to newborns.
Note, I don't do this since I don't have a sufficient supply of kittens and I don't want to clean duct tape residue off my cars.
For another illustration, lay your head on an O scale mainline and run a Bershire at 22 volts directly into your face. Man, would that hurt! It might even remove a tooth or two. HO? Feh, I could take it.
These are, of course, completely insane arguments in favor of O scale, so forget I made them.
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Spender spake thus:

[snip]
You notice "Spender" was trying to be funny here.
Short version: O scale is very nice if you have two things:
1. Lots of room 2. Lots of money
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Hello, and of course the compromise: S scale/gauge. At 3/16" = 1 ft, it's not too big, not too small. Post WWII A.C. Gilbert American Flyer. Extremely durable high-quality stuff. Sincerely,
John Wood (Code 5550) e-mail: snipped-for-privacy@itd.nrl.navy.mil Naval Research Laboratory 4555 Overlook Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20375-5337
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On Wed, 23 May 2007 07:05:23 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@itd.nrl.navy.mil (J. B. Wood) wrote:

In addition to the space and money concerns, you might want to also consider the electronics capabilities such as sound and command control.
Carl
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wrote:

From what I've been reading, it seems like HO can be far more expensive in the end when it comes to control systems. Plus the headaches from all the vendors who use different boards, making it simpler - but more expensive - to just put in a new board so all the trains are on the same page so to speak.
With O scale you have two options, Lionel or MTH. I haven't got one yet, but I'm leaning towards MTH's system now since it seems less expensive to rig it to also run Lionel TMCC locos, whereas Lionel's system is more costly if you want to run MTH PS locos. Though I haven't fully read up on Lionel's second generation control system - maybe they have tried to even the odds in that respect.
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Spender wrote:

Er, no, in O _scale_ you have a whole lot of options that do not include Lionel and MTH, which are O _gauge_. ( "Tinplate" to use an old and obsolescent term.)
All NMRA standard DCC boards work together, regardless of scale.
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Spender wrote:

Really? When I look at DCC, the higher-amp decoders and boosters intended for O-scale are almost always more expensive than their HO counterparts. For example, the least-expensive Digitrax large-scale decoder is $48.00, while their HO-scale decoder that comes closest in the number of functions is $25.95 (Tony's prices). And of course, the same number of O-scale locos will require more and/or higher-amp boosters because they just plain draw more motor current per loco.

I'm guessing you're talking about DCC. If so, I'm curious as to where you read (or more likely mis-read) that. The beauty of DCC is that there is a common protocol that makes decoders ("boards") from *all* the vendors inter-operable. I have decoders from Digitrax, Lenz, NCE, TCS, and Wangrow in my locos, and they all run perfectly on my Digitrax-equipped layout. And when I take them to a Wangrow/NCE club layout I sometimes visit, they run perfectly there as well. I've *never* had to "put in a new board so all the trains are on the same page." The DCC Standards insure they're already there.

Brands or control systems? If you mean brands, there are many more out there than those two. And if you mean control systems, you're forgetting about at least three others - Straight DC or two-rail DCC, not to mention the AC that Lionel has used for many years.

Hmmm, doesn't "rig it to also run" sound like the same thing you were trying to accuse HO control systems of requiring (and again, I assume you mean DCC, although it isn't scale-specific in any way). It also seems that you're saying you're limited to whatever works with either of the two proprietary systems you choose. Talk about having to get all your trains on the same page!
Personally, I don't care which control system someone uses, or what scale they choose. All of them have their good points and their bad. I also realize that what's a good point to one person may be a drawback to another. But please, when someone asks for a comparison, give them accurate facts so they can determine the good and bad points from their perspective.
Stevert
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I may have been misreading it. Or I simply looked at one side. That is, people who were having no luck with a DCC loco and were told to install a different brand of decoder in it. Sometimes the tone of that advice made it sound as if changing the decoder was a virtual necessity unless you stuck to one brand of train.

Again, limited scope. I stated the two most obvious options since I'm partial to three-rail Lionel-esque trains.
I need to read more sites that aren't limited only to what I run.
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There is a brand that is considered sub-standard. It's OEMed by other companies because it's cheap to them. Many people have lots of problems so at times it's recommended to change those decoders. It's the old oats before or after the horse concept.

Most HO is considered scale equipment. Most Lionel or MTH is considered tinplate (toys vs models).
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I would disagree with that in theory. Certainly you can say that Lionel and MTH make products that are not to exact scale. However much of what they make are scale models.
Tinplate is a whole different concept as far as I know. What Lionel and MTH call tinplate are often quite expensive pieces. It's a very specific era of toy trains.
At any rate, I consider all models to be toys. Unless you are modeling something with the intention of creating a full scale version, all you are doing is making toys.
Why do some people object to model trains being called toys? If they weren't toys, it wouldn't be so fun.
Of course, to be honest and open about the scope of my experience, I just happen to like watching trains go around the track. I play with trains, and I'm not ashamed! ;)
Someone who identifies himself as a modeler may see it differently. No problem. There is a lot I can learn from modelers as I create a permanent layout.
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In a way, calling models "toys" belittles them. That piece of string you found on the ground is a toy. A rattle is a toy. I have put some real effort into building my models, I've drawn plausible track plans, I've observed and watched for details to model, I just can't see use of the word "toy." You cannot plunk down a $20 bill at the LHS and get what I have.
I guess calling models "toys" denies the modeler the emotions associated with the model. The modeler has taken the time to choose their models, and by modifying it made it their own. Calling something a toy implies something replaceable. If my toy car breaks, I can get a new one. If my model boxcar breaks, if I get a new one it won't be the same.
One thing that is important to realize, however, is that model trains are in many ways toys. They are best enjoyed as you play with them, not as you look at them in their box.
This might have been a bit of a rant, but I hope I sufficiently put in to words how I feel about this subject, and maybe have provided some of the less articulate a way to express their feelings.
Puckdropper
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I would draw a distinction between "little boy toys" and "big boy toys". (No offense to women, but men do seem to greatly outnumber women in this hobby.) Big boy toys are far more expensive and are usually handled with the greatest of care to assure they are not broken. Yet we still play with them.
I consider my Mustang GT to be a big boy toy, with no offense intended towards hard core grease-monkeys who see it as art and technology.
In the end it is all a matter of one's own perceptions. Perhaps the word toy is taken the wrong way. Maybe it would be better to distinguish between childs play and adult play. But even then, no matter how serious you get, there is a child-like aspect to it.
Well, walking on the moon is quite serious business also. But each of the twelve men who have done it took any time they could to play. Play itself is serious business. It doesn't appear that way when you watch a child play, but the child is learning. Adults also learn via playing.
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I admit it, I call Menards "the toy store."

Art, technology... hm... sounds like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television. (Yes, television and not "TV show.")

*singing* I've been playing on the railroad, all the live-long day. I've been playing on the railroad to pass the time away...
Puckdropper
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I had better stop doing that. I almost took off my kneecap with a sawzall last winter...
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