Returning after many many years OO/HO.

Hi All

I used to have a small layout when I were a lad (about 8' x 4'), and have decided to set another one up after having some track and engines (etc) given to me for my boy.

The track is a mixture of types. Some looks nickel/silver and the rest is corroded steel (I guess). What's the best method to ressurect this track, or is it best to just buy some new stuff? The track must be about 20 years old. Lots of PECO and Hornby points too.

The locos are a mixture of Hornby and Jouef, and the couplings are different between the two. Is it possible to buy Hornby style couplings and fit to the Jouef stuff? The Hornby couplings that I have seem to be wider than I can see on various web sites. Have they changed style?

Then on to controllers. The ones I have are simple analog DC controllers. I think it'd be nice to modify to use this new DCC stuff. All locos seem to have plenty of space to fit a decoder, and the wiring should be straight forward. What are the Hornby DCC controllers/decoders like; reliable? They seem to be the least expensive of the various manufacturers available (or have I missed some?). I've read on a Hornby forum that there have been problems with a DCC set (two locos and some stock), but maybe this is just a small percentage of units sold.

No doubt I'll be back for more answers as the layout progresses. Thanks for your time.

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I have used track from 5 manufacturers and of steel and nickle base -- some corroded and some just clagged up or painted! Some of it is equally aged as yours . All of it runs trains after cleaning with a scouring pad or even a stainless steel pad. A small rectangular warding or swiss file is almost essential to clean up the section ends to take a connector with good electrical connection - buy some new ones. I find my multimeter invaluable for checking such things.

If you must go the DCC route why not use the Bachmann system - it is relatively cheap, proven and not over complicated. Personal functional requirements for this being an HNC in button pressing or to be under 10 and over 5 ( you may count any experience with multiple TV zappers and employ the same curses as they are just as effective.) After a short training period it is possible to operate your system without actually looking at it -- this is of course rather like knitting whilst reading a book and watching tv.

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Peter Abraham

My spares box contains no less than 9 different versions of the hook and bar type connectors and there are still others in use on my motley collection which I have yet to obtain spares for. Usually it is possible to glue connectors to bogie units or locomotives with no great difficulty. Most common types are available from Barrie at Modelspares 01282 771109 Fax 777784 or on ebay.

Good luck.

Reply to
Peter Abraham

The nickel-silver stuff is much better and requires less effort to keep clean. I started out using a collection of old track from various sources and quickly replaced almost all of it. If you decide to re-use any of the track, start by buying a pack of rail joiners, because most of the ones on the old track will be loose and electrically unrelible.

The old Hornby tension-lock coupling has morphed into something slightly less obtrusive over the years. Most stock now uses some variation of the hook and bar arrangement, but much narrower. Some of these couplings have articulation to allow for sharper train-set curves. With some surgery, you could convert the Jouef locos. Another alternative would e to convert the lot to use Kaydees which many modelers prefer - I haven't bitten that particular bullet yet.

DCC is not for everyone, but is becoming more mainstream with Hornby and Bachmann entering the market. Converting older locos is not always straight forward. You need to be able to solder for a start. I've been running DCC for 18 months now and wouldn't dream of going back. On the other hand, I have 7 locos still sat on the shelf waiting for decoders...

No problem. I'm sure you will get the answers you are looking for. They are a friendly bunch on here.


Reply to
Adrian B

Going to the expense of DCC whilst economising on track would seem to be akin to spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar.

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Dump the hornby points, they arent very reliable. Current Peco are fine but dont know about the older ones. Consider replacing the track with flexitrak - its quite cheap. Hornby is easier to lay than Peco. Avoid foam underlay - tis very difficult to lay track level on it.

I'm a big fan of hornby DCC, its cheap, does most things. Others are anti Hornby and will tell you lots of 'things' wrong with it. Consider what you want to do and how much you want to pay then ask more questions.... I've decided the elite - which is due out Feb, Mar ... does everything I want and is a good price.

Yep, the more questions the better, can spark lively debates that are usually pleasant.

Cheers, Simon

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Right, so that's new track and probably new points too. What do you lay track onto? I have a few rolls of underlay; don't know what it's made of.

My old layout used to run two trains and a shunting yard. I'd likely want to do the same. The donated box of bits includes two 'normal' controllers, but they seem too be a bit on the poor side. So, I'd either need to buy three controllers and isolating switches, or a single DCC (and decoders).

Hmm, it looks like the big box of donated bits hasn't got that much usable stuff. Some European locos and stock that will need their couplings replacing, maybe some Peco points, and some model houses/stations etc.

Thanks all for your replies.

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