Beginners Questions : Couplers, Power, Headshunts & Etiquette

Hello all, and let me just start by saying 'nice to be here' as this
is my first post...
May I ask a few questions?
Where can I get replacements for broken Hornby / Bachmann couplers. I
am happy with them (ie, I don't want to start installing Kadee's, I
just need some more!) - who sells them?
Is the hornby HM2000 power controller any good (or is there a better
'standard' one out there) for us beginners?
Does anyone else have problems making the 'headshunt' setup work? (By
this I mean having a wire going between two extra power clips to get
the power into a siding. The Hornby Track Plans booklet has shown me
what to do, except it doesn't seem to be working for me...!)
Is there an FAQ for this group?
Is this one of those groups where everyone gets on, or do people
bitch, moan, and have a go at anything that moves at the slightest
Thanks in advance for anyone who can help.
Reply to
Jon of Brighton
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Just like the real world outside, it is combination of both. Just skip the posts/posters you don't like and move on.
Reply to
Dave Fossett
Jon of Brighton
Mainly Trains.
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I know I keep banging on about them, but I have had excellent service from them and recommend them very highly indeed.
The following are Mainly Trains codes which you may find useful, or alternatively, go straight to
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Bachmann Standard couplers - BA36009 Bachmann Mk2 couplers - BA36026 Hornby Standard couplings - HBCPLS
There are other items which may interest you as well.
For the most part, yes. I've never had anything but help and encouragement from the posters here. I just hope I can give a little of it back!
-- Enzo
I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.
Reply to
Enzo Matrix
1) Local model shops. If its actually interested in odds and sods it will be able to help. 2) Some of the mail order suppliers - try ringing a few from Railway Modeller.
I'd expect there are better for not a lot of money. I'd look at Gaugemaster for example. There are probably other makers.
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(Further Gaugemaster are not too far from Brighton; so you could have a day out and look round their shop "The Engine Shed" - might be able to supply your couplers as well. )
Medium term, ask yourself whether you plan to stay with analogue controllers, or plan to move to Digital control (DCC). With digital control you put a chip in each loco. DCC has many advantages, its where control is heading for the future, but does have significant start-up costs. Around £100 gets a basic DCC controller, and perhaps up to £20 per loco for the chips. (McKay's models in Scotland seem to be one of the retailers who understand DCC in the UK; if you can read German there are lots of German suppliers at good prices).
Personally I would solder wires to rail or to track joiners - joiners being easier for a beginner. Solder wire to joiner on bench, and no chance of melting the track. Use multi-strand thin wire. Clean the back of the joiner with a fine abrasive (wife's flexi nail polishing stick is perfect - cheap in Boots - or polishing grade wet&dry paper), place wire on joiner, apply soldering iron, feed in a little thin multi-core solder, remove iron, wait for it to set - one perfect joint. I find this a lot more reliable, and cheaper, than using "track power clips". ( And see this article for a home-made holding device; dead cheap and makes holding hot things when soldering very easy. Use it to hold things, then you don't have problems with stuff moving when the soldering iron is removed. Requires wooden clothes peg, barbecue skewer and lump of wood.
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To get power into a headshunt, you need a wire feeding each rail in the headshunt. This can either be a "jumper" from the parallel main line, or wired back to your control panel. The former is simple, the latter makes it easier to add a switch which would allow you to isolate a locomotive in the headshunt. (This latter bit would be unnecessary if you went to DCC control, mentioned above).
I would expect Peco to have a book covering layout wiring.
See other answer in threads.
Generally OK. Has its odd moments, and don't be surprised if it gets trolled now and again - all newsgroups suffer from those problems.
Most of the stuff seems aimed at the mass-market ready-to-run area (Hornby, etc), rather than the finescale stuff (Scalefour, etc), so probably fine for your Hornby questions.
Reply to
Welcome Jon
Newsgroup is great, people seem to come and go based on their particular interest or expertise and answer where they can. If something does not interest you you simply skip it and read what does.
I have also found that living downunder and trying to model UK in N gauge the group has been a great help. On the ground references and experience have been an advantage. Not just from the UK but also world wide.
{For example - baseboard advice from this group a couple of months ago was put into effect only last weekeknd and we had trains running by Sunday night on the new track section - children suitably impressed with a father that had all the answers :-) }
Reply to
Andrew Robson

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