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M

MHinLA

Guest
Hi. I've been in this hobby on and off since circa 1956, living with my parents on Long Island, NY and later right in Manhattan where I got the guitar playing bug in about 1963. I eventually became a professional musician and moved to Los Angeles in 1978 where my older brother, a doctor, was living and where my Father had moved to. It was more that than the Hollywood fame and fortune thing. I switched to bass playing as there were few bassists at the time. Anyway, I made a living of sorts this way and took early retirement 8 years back..I've been a member of both the East Valley Lines N scale club and N scale, Belmont Shore MRR Clubs. But I got tired of N scale and went fully back into HO about 12 years ago, the scale I was in as a youngster on L.I. and have remained in HO into today. I am no newbee to the hobby and the 1:1 scales. I'd say I've done everything there is to do in model railroading except hand laying track. I do visit many of the MRR clubs in and around L A. My 2 favorites are the "Slim Gauge Guild" in Pasadena and the Highland Park Society of Model Engineers in San Gabriel. I have yet to see the Pasadena MRR Club since they've gone from analog to DCC. I am NCE and nearing building an L shape switching RR.
I've been a long time member of another forum but have grown tired of their format and so joined MRD.Com today. I'm looking forward to this fresh start with you guys and gals.. Mark
 
Welcome! Nice to see another Angeleno here! I'm in the South Bay, just south of LAX. I also play guitar (badly), and have a ton of tube amps (my other hobby). My pride and joy is my Soldano SLO100, as well as my rack-mount Mesa/Boogie MarkIV, Dual-Recto (which sounds exactly like a Framus Cobra!), DC3, 6505, and an Engl pre-amp. I also have a cheap Yamaha bass and a SansAmp bass-preamp. I'm currently building my 12' x 13' N-scale layout in the garage, modeling mainly the Southern Pacific in the mid-1990s. Hope to see some pictures of your progress soon!
 
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montanan

Whiskey Merchant
MHinLA - Welcome.gif Welcome to the forum. I am a member of a couple of other forums, but this one by far is my favorite.

I was in N scale back in the 70's but moved on to HO scale in the late 70's. I had seen a number of magazine articles on the Belmont Shore model R club. Had t move to HO scale because back in the 70's the locomotives were very crude compared to what is available today. Stop by the Coffee Shop and have a cup sometime.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Hi. I've been in this hobby on and off since circa 1956, ..
You got me beat. I wasn't born until 1957. I got a bass in high school for the same reason - there weren't many of them about. Unlike you I only played a bit and never found it interesting enough to continue past college. Now I think I would be lucky if I could even hold the instrument properly :) I also worked in N-scale from 1969 through 1983 when I found the detail inadequate and switched back to HO scale. I finally razed the still lingering layout in 2003.

I don't know anything about California and haven't been there since a job interview in Silicon Valley in 1979. I believe we have a couple other Californian regulars here.

Do you model a specific railroad? With your background seems you might have picked up a bug for any one of a great variety of different roads.
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
Chevron (3 above. Thought I was replying there !), thanks for the message. That's quite a collection of electronics you have. My first electric guitar was a Gretsch Country Gentleman (because I loved George Harrison's !). Not worth the story, but if I had it now it'd sell for $4,500.00 or more !! Today I am mostly classical and jazz guitar, and own 1 small Acoustic 10" for my J guitars. I hope it's not an insult to ask whether or not you are aware of the N scale Belmont Shore MRRC in San Pedro..I was a member for several years but grew tired of the commute from (then) Glendale and N itself and went back to HO where I still remain..Was also a member of the N scale East Valley Lines in Griffith Park within travel Town. Hope you know about those... All the best, Mark
 
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santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
Hello Mark and welcome to the forum. I am also an HO modeler due to the availability of quality products back in the 80's when I got more serious. Piddled about with my Dad's Lionel since the mid-50's. Some of us hang out over at the Coffee Shop where we talk about a wide range of things excluding (mostly) politics and religion. Stop by and get to know some of the members if you're interested.

Willie
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
Hi. Thanks for the reply. I am without a layout now as I'm renting a small room. I am planning (HO) an L shape shelf, switching road in there; will be two wings 8' each at 2' wide at corner of room, both tapering to 6" at the ends (due to space limit). On each end will be a 6" x 24" staging extension. Tossing up whether to have a wye dead center, one leg a short tail track into corner. OR, skip this and have another 6"x 24" extension 5 " above the low one on our right. This will be the 'ramp' road engine and 3-4 cars comes down into the say, the valley's main switching scene after reversing via switchback 6"x 24" tail on our left end. I actually like switchbacks as they demand allot of activity and strategy... main switching of course is all the property in front of the ramp; continually 0-5-0 ing on two extensions on right....I know, it's awkward. But at least i'll be running a RR again,,,M Btw, I played upright bass too, up till the live jobs dried up due to DJs, Karaoke, synth, and pre-taped shows in Las Vegas and the rest...
 
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montanan

Whiskey Merchant
You can get a lot of action and switching problems with a shelf switching layout. My entire layout was built mainly for switching with each of the four town on the layout having a switching problem. It can keep my busy for hours at a time.
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
[/QUOTE] You can get a lot of action and switching problems with a shelf switching layout. My entire layout was built mainly for switching with each of the four town on the layout having a switching problem. It can keep my busy for hours at a time.

Yeah, I know. I often wonder why those who have lots of space still will make a 'continual' or roundy-round instead of a true point to point where you are (happily) forced to perform Proto Ops at each end via TT, wye, or balloon track. But that's just me. It's a hobby, so one is entitled to approach it in their own special way. If it makes them happy that's all that matters.....M
:)
 
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I know. I often wonder why those who have lots of space still will make a 'continual' or roundy-round instead of a true point to point where you are (happily) forced to perform Proto Ops at each end via TT, wye, or balloon track.
That is easy. When trying to show off a layout to large crowds of people and there is only 1 or 2 operators available, a continuous loop is the only way to keep enough trains running to keep them interested. No one wants to stay around and watch someone drilling a yard.
 

truckdad

Well-Known Member
Welcome MARK, I joined this forum a couple months ago and like you, I too play the guitar. I'm not sure how well I play though because every time I get thru a couple bars of "Tumblin Tumbleweeds" or "Don't fence me in" folks leave the room. I don't think this is a good sign tho. I had a 5x9 HO layout 37 years ago and am TRYING to get a 10x 12 room built in my shop for an around the walls layout. Problem is, this forum is so interesting, and there is so much to catch up on that it is kinda overwhelming. The group at the coffee shop seem to be a great bunch of guys and I have learned a lot just listening, hoping to have something to offer someday. Again, welcome.
Dave in PV
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
Yeah, I'll check into the Coffee Shop eventually, as I type this in my regular coffee shop in Los Angeles ! Thanks :cool:
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
Iron Horseman, I can see your reasoning for sure. But I don't fully agree. When I go to an open house I see little to no switching which is, for me, a let down. I think if there is a large crowd, or only 7 visitors, say, there will be 1 or 2 of them, or 17 of them (and especially if the show runs several days) who would be very happy to see a MRR act as a RR does; the visitors who are really into it seeing more of what trains really do. I believe there's a larger percent of that type (like me) than many MRRers believe. And, so what if there aren't ? Why not just operate the road realistically, showing the novices in the audience what really goes on.
IH, this is not a flame out, just a straight answer as to my view point, not an 'I'm right and you're wrong'. There's no crying in baseball and there is no anger in model railroading.
Your new RRing pal, Mark :eek:
 
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M

MHinLA

Guest
Thanks to all for putting out the welcome mat for me....I am really happy to have found MRD and RRD, plus 'Railroad Forums Com'.....Mark, Los Angeles ;)
 
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M

MHinLA

Guest
truckdad , I can say this. Really study via this forum's 'how tos' and purchase a couple up to date books on the subject before you cut any wood. Make absolutely sure which kind of RR it will be; olde days 1800's, 1950's transition period, contemporary. What's the RR's mission; passenger, freight/both, coal mine /logging focused,city belt-line ? Scale, HO/N/ narrow gauge/standard gauge/both,et al. Do decide on the height of shelf. Most our lives we see trains 93% of the time from the side;not under/over. The trend today is high up to at least your shoulders, say; ,not down near your hips. Side views are more realistic. I'd strongly suggest you go 'DCC/sound'-locos only and NCE PowerCab for control (or other digital control system). Warning ! If you purchase locos on line (ebay)or other way, be vigilant about the loco you're falling in love with that it reads 'DCC/sound' or 'DCC/sound on board' Unless you plan to add a decoder and speaker in the engine yourself, don't buy if it only says 'DCC' or 'DCC ready'. Both those have no sound and their price will be way lower than 'DCC/sound' ! Of course if you don't care for sound or digital there's sill analog DC equipment.. Bachmann is making some really well done steam at decent prices. And their or anyone's diesels, such as Athearn or Atlas, are very nicely detailed and run very smoothly (Your intent is to see how slow an engine can run (creep), not how fast. Finally, if your old cars have outdated horn-hook couplers, may just as well store 'em away and buy cars and locos with (Kadee type) knuckle couplers.. That's enough for now. Don't be afraid to ask members for help. There are no stupid questions. .
Happy RRing, Mark :p
 
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. . . I hope it's not an insult to ask whether or not you are aware of the N scale Belmont Shore MRRC in San Pedro..I was a member for several years but grew tired of the commute from (then) Glendale and N itself and went back to HO where I still remain..Was also a member of the N scale East Valley Lines in Griffith Park within travel Town. Hope you know about those . . .
Oh, not at all, thanks! I wasn't aware of the San Pedro club—sounds interesting—especially since it's N-scale! Thanks for the head's-up! I haven't been to the Griffith Park club either—in fact, I've never been to any club! There's also one just a few miles from me I've been meaning to join, the Los Angeles Model Railroad Society (LAMRS) in Hawthorne, California, but keep missing their open house. They claim to have " . . . the largest H0 refinery anywhere." Since I have a huge 31K tank-car unit-train I'd love to see that, but I'd really like to visit the San Pedro club since they model my scale.

By the way, one of my favorite guitarists of all time plays hollow-body electrics (Alex Lifeson of Rush). For me, I just play a $299 matte-black Epiphone Les Paul, and I love it! It's my favorite guitar, and even the stock pick-ups sound amazing. The worksmanship on the Epiphone looks every bit as good as an American Gibson! I also have two 1992 Fender HM Strats (H/S/S configuration) with Kahler locking tremolos, and a gloss-black/Maple-fretboard Mexican Strat (also in H/S/S). I just think Maple fretboards look super-cool on Strats.
 
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montanan

Whiskey Merchant
You can get a lot of action and switching problems with a shelf switching layout. My entire layout was built mainly for switching with each of the four town on the layout having a switching problem. It can keep my busy for hours at a time.

Yeah, I know. I often wonder why those who have lots of space still will make a 'continual' or roundy-round instead of a true point to point where you are (happily) forced to perform Proto Ops at each end via TT, wye, or balloon track. But that's just me. It's a hobby, so one is entitled to approach it in their own special way. If it makes them happy that's all that matters.....M
:)[/QUOTE]

My layout was originally planned as a point to point layout. As construction moved forward, I knew that I should have some staging tracks and ended up having the ability to have a continuous loop by using the staging tracks.

For me an operating session would be to bring a train in from the hidden staging tracks to one of the yards. I have a yard and engine facility at each end of the layout. When the train enters the yard, it would be broken down and an outbound local freight train would be made up and head out to service the rail customers along the route. Eachh town purposely had a switching problem built in requiring the local locomotive to drop and pick up cars from both the front and rear requiring the locomotive to run around the train using a passing siding. after dropping off and picking up cars, the train would return to one of the yards and any outbound cars are made into an outbound train whick would leave the yard and go "off stage" to the hidden staging tracks.

An operating session can sometimes last as long as four hours. I didn't think that I needed the ability to run continuously, but when the grand kids or guests visit, a train can run around the layout while people are looking at various parts of the layout. It also comes in handy to be able to let locomotives run and stretch their legs while working on layout projects. I will rotate through my locomotive fleet and try to run all of them at least a half an hour to keep things lubricated.

I am still operating DC only on my layout as I am a lone operator and rarely run more than one locomotive at a time. No need for DCC at home, but I do have a few DCC locomotives with sound. I personally don't care for sound. I rotate the DCC locomotives and let them run around the layout just like all the other locomotives and after a while find them annoying. I do belong to a model railroad club located in the basement of the old Northern Pacific Depot in Livingston, MT. Unfortunately, I haven't been there for quite a while. For me it is about a 50 mile trip one way over Bozeman Pass. I don't care to do this trip at night in the winter weather at all. That highway can be a bear in the snow. The club is DCC and open to the public Saturday evenings when I go over there. We usually have 6 to 8 trains running on the layout and it could be called organized chaos at times.

Unfortunately, they have no communications other than yelling at someone across the room. The layout does occupy three rooms in the basement with a fairly long double track main line. There are frequent meets requiring trains to hit a passing siding or crossing over the the other main line. They do have a fairly steep grade on the layout and members running longer trains will use helpers at the rear. Visitors do enjoy watching this as it is used all of the time on the prototypes going over Bozeman Pass.

I have an older video tour of my layout in my signature below.
 
DON'T CLICK ON THE LINKS IN YOUR MESSAGES!!! The site must be compromised. I never sent you a private message. Filestore is a malware site. Other MRR forums have had the same issues recently. Someone needs to alert the administrators.
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
Chet, I'll never understand the small community of modern day MRRs who don't like sound..But tazeechisown when it's hobby time. Since you only run one train at a time is this so you don't have to have blocks (isolated track sections turned off and on with toggle switches)? With a fully DCC layout I'm sure you know that is not any longer necessary. The independence of locos is really great to such a point that even a head-on collision is possible (like the 1:1 scale) !..How great it is to be able to run several trains at the same time from 1 (mine NCE) throttle by yourself and/or double head/or 'call for' pusher service. Also, I just was discussing this with another, the idea that clubs during open house need to just have trains running endlessly; that the audience will lose interest if RR is run realistically (that clubs do privately). This, to me, is a misnomer. I'm convinced that lots of visitors would love the club to run realistically, that many would get a kick out of watching a crew do switching moves or road engine chores, and passenger trains stopping at stations instead of flying past all of them..But that's me and I respect that there is nothing written in stone over the way we must operate train layouts..There's no crying in baseball and there is no anger in model railroading..All the best, Mark, Los Angeles
 
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M

MHinLA

Guest
Thanks again for all the welcome-posts. I'm really glad to be a member of the Railroad and ModelRailroad forums. They're well set up/user friendly...M
 




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