Need some advise before buying

 
  spdouts Station Master

Well I would be careful with a 2nd hand layout such as that. alot of people build these, when new, and get in trouble in getting it working well.

You could be getting something needing a lot of work to correct, if possible ! Some aspect may not be correctable, some might need a huge effort to redo, replace. It would not get  you going if that was the case.

The skills and knowledge to get it working may be lacking for a novice, even for a experianced user.


There again it might work perfectly. This will depend on the trains you try to use on it. If you use the same train the owner had, it may all work fine. But if you select trains different, they may not work well.


They say one learns more by starting small and new. You make a lot of common  mistakes, you improve, you add the the first layout, then decide to make a 2nd layout that will be better than the first - more experiance, more desire for  something more than a loco going round and round.

The HOG principle to me initially was aimed  fr switching, but if you want to watch a train going around without stopping you can do it. A common construct is a station and yard on one side of the room, and the other side might have parrallal tracks acting as the rest of the world, staging yards, often no sceniced.

A club and/or a model railway show are great places to ask.

PM me if you would like to see my model RR in Greensborough (applicable to anyone reading this as well)

http://dth.railpage.org.au/trainroom/


Regards,
David Head
dthead
Thanks David, the first mentioned points were exactly what was running through my mind. What did you mean by “The HOG principle to me initially was aimed  fr switching”

Are you part of any club yourself?

Also, if went with the HOG layout 12x8 as mentioned by Dan,  so…. at the moment lets say… I would like to run diesel AUS locos and US locos, what would happen if I changed to British one day , would I in count any problems?

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  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
Thank you for clearing this up Dan, also would the HOG layout have the opportunity to change or build an A and B location in the future?
spdouts
Hi again Spdouts (do you have a Name???? I'm Dan.... ) Very Happy

So, that is really the beauty of the HOG layout. The way it has been designed is that it can be lengthened or shortened, wider or narrower. The point is not so much the actual track plan (though I think it is very clever too), but the concept of the design and how it makes much better use of space compared to the traditional starter "table top".

As a beginner, I think that the HOG is an awesome starting point (as is) and is something that can be a really good starter that grows your skills and knowledge. I would recommend that you take the plan as is and build it. Then take the "lessons learned" from building the HOG into the following layout as desires/interests/scale/prototype etc become more defined.

Cheers, and great conversation!

Dan
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
Thanks David, the first mentioned points were exactly what was running through my mind. What did you mean by “The HOG principle to me initially was aimed  fr switching”

Are you part of any club yourself?

Also, if went with the HOG layout 12x8 as mentioned by Dan,  so…. at the moment lets say… I would like to run diesel AUS locos and US locos, what would happen if I changed to British one day , would I in count any problems?
spdouts

I'll jump into the last question.... (hopefully David won't mind...)

If you decide to build the HOG in HO scale with standard gauge track, the good news is that your US/British/Australian stuff will all roll on the same track!

I'll save the conversation about different scales and different gauges for later as that can end up being quite confusing, so best to get you settled here first with a nice simple HO scale track plan!

Cheers!
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Peco points are the most universal to select, other brands, your mileage may vary. Reason is a lot of British train do not like American/Australian finer tolerance points. I have a NRMA complient point that only affect British locos - they derail badly, Aussie and American are quite OK.

Conversely a Hornby point that has less tolerance than other brands allow British trains, but are sharp, will not allow many loco to use them, and may also derail as they do not account for the finer standards of wheels.

So it's hard to win. Peco though seems to be a happy medium so is a good choice - that is the streamline range, not the ultrasharp ones.

I am a EMRC member (Eltham Model Railway Club)  and were involved with a small group who exhibited the Somerton Layout in the 90's I have a extensive doubledeck layout that you can come and see if you like.


I haven't done a lot of reading of the HOG. The others can assist in knowing if the system can go around a room to allow  continuous running. Here is one of my examples, around the wall. this could easily be one side of a garage !




Regards,
David Head
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
One other thing about buying a pre made layout is transporting it to its new home. Sure a trailer will do it but will it arrive in one piece though. A layout that has been built to stand in one place, has never been made to transport it a long way. So during the transport things can be busted or warp etc and so by the time you arrive home with it all you have left is a flat board almost that might not even be flat on the top. It all depends on how well it is constructed though.

But to be honest I would go with what the majority have said on here and let it go.

Like others have said Hornby track does have some draw backs and sharp crossovers are one of them, long locomotives and carriages do not like them at all. Also as has been said the Hornby DCC system with it is a little iffy. As long as you use only Hornby decoders and controllers it will work, but if you have to change the DCC controller or use other decoders later you start to get big problems, Hornby's decoders are cheap and nasty ones to start with and if you use these decoders on another DCC system they can do all kinds of funny things but the locomotive will not run properly at all if it does run at all that is. Also with Hornby tracks there are the older steel code 100 rails and the newer nickel silver code 100 rails. The nickel silver is the preferred option though. A magnet will tell you if it is steel or NS as only steel will be attracted to a magnet or stick to the magnet! If it is all steel then definately leave it there as it will all rust eventually!

I would advise you to join a club though, as you might find some there that can help you build your baseboards and lay your tracks etc and give knowledgeable insights along the way. It is called learning and you never stop learning!
  spdouts Station Master

Hi again Spdouts (do you have a Name???? I'm Dan.... ) Very Happy

So, that is really the beauty of the HOG layout. The way it has been designed is that it can be lengthened or shortened, wider or narrower. The point is not so much the actual track plan (though I think it is very clever too), but the concept of the design and how it makes much better use of space compared to the traditional starter "table top".

As a beginner, I think that the HOG is an awesome starting point (as is) and is something that can be a really good starter that grows your skills and knowledge. I would recommend that you take the plan as is and build it. Then take the "lessons learned" from building the HOG into the following layout as desires/interests/scale/prototype etc become more defined.

Cheers, and great conversation!

Dan
SA_trains
Apologies Dan my name is Pary.

The main purpose I'm looking into this layout and what could I do with it now and with my future projects I suppose is endless learning and developing.

A few days ago... I went to the Train World store in Brighton and had a look at the AUS locos and it was just mesmerising.
I did speak to a guy there that had 27yrs of experience rolling AUS, US and British locos and in certain points I wasn't following him due to my ignorance - I guess I have thousands of questions to look forward to.
  spdouts Station Master


I'll jump into the last question.... (hopefully David won't mind...)

If you decide to build the HOG in HO scale with standard gauge track, the good news is that your US/British/Australian stuff will all roll on the same track!

I'll save the conversation about different scales and different gauges for later as that can end up being quite confusing, so best to get you settled here first with a nice simple HO scale track plan!

Cheers!
SA_trains
Cheers Dan!

I would also agree on the last sentence.
  spdouts Station Master

Peco points are the most universal to select, other brands, your mileage may vary. Reason is a lot of British train do not like American/Australian finer tolerance points. I have a NRMA complient point that only affect British locos - they derail badly, Aussie and American are quite OK.

Conversely a Hornby point that has less tolerance than other brands allow British trains, but are sharp, will not allow many loco to use them, and may also derail as they do not account for the finer standards of wheels.

So it's hard to win. Peco though seems to be a happy medium so is a good choice - that is the streamline range, not the ultrasharp ones.

I am a EMRC member (Eltham Model Railway Club)  and were involved with a small group who exhibited the Somerton Layout in the 90's I have a extensive doubledeck layout that you can come and see if you like.


I haven't done a lot of reading of the HOG. The others can assist in knowing if the system can go around a room to allow  continuous running. Here is one of my examples, around the wall. this could easily be one side of a garage !




Regards,
David Head
dthead
Cheers David

I will be sticking with PECO as research suggests. What type of metal do they use on their tracks? What are the main things i need to be cautious of when buying either new or second hand?

Thank you for your invite I will PM you to arrange this at some point.

What radius do you currently have in the above layout?

Cheers!
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Peco points are the most universal to select, other brands, your mileage may vary. Reason is a lot of British train do not like American/Australian finer tolerance points. I have a NRMA complient point that only affect British locos - they derail badly, Aussie and American are quite OK.

Conversely a Hornby point that has less tolerance than other brands allow British trains, but are sharp, will not allow many loco to use them, and may also derail as they do not account for the finer standards of wheels.

So it's hard to win. Peco though seems to be a happy medium so is a good choice - that is the streamline range, not the ultrasharp ones.

I am a EMRC member (Eltham Model Railway Club)  and were involved with a small group who exhibited the Somerton Layout in the 90's I have a extensive doubledeck layout that you can come and see if you like.


I haven't done a lot of reading of the HOG. The others can assist in knowing if the system can go around a room to allow  continuous running. Here is one of my examples, around the wall. this could easily be one side of a garage !




Regards,
David Head
Cheers David

I will be sticking with PECO as research suggests. What type of metal do they use on their tracks? What are the main things i need to be cautious of when buying either new or second hand?

Thank you for your invite I will PM you to arrange this at some point.

What radius do you currently have in the above layout?

Cheers!
spdouts
Peco are quality products with nickelsilver points and track.Copper or steel track is to be avoided these days. Other brands these days are very similar.

Be aware of different size rail, for Ho you can get code 75 code 83 and code 100 in Peco - the bigger the number the bigger the rail. while you can joining them, it is a pain if you do it too often - so read up on that aspect. Electrofrog or Insulfrog ( can decide if running small tank locos )

As to radius on the sketch, I envisioned  30inch radius but many will drop down to 26 inch.
The sketch is not a plan, just to show the concept of around the wall. Each square represents 1FT so is a example.

Regards,
David Head
  spdouts Station Master

One other thing about buying a pre made layout is transporting it to its new home. Sure a trailer will do it but will it arrive in one piece though. A layout that has been built to stand in one place, has never been made to transport it a long way. So during the transport things can be busted or warp etc and so by the time you arrive home with it all you have left is a flat board almost that might not even be flat on the top. It all depends on how well it is constructed though.

But to be honest I would go with what the majority have said on here and let it go.

Like others have said Hornby track does have some draw backs and sharp crossovers are one of them, long locomotives and carriages do not like them at all. Also as has been said the Hornby DCC system with it is a little iffy. As long as you use only Hornby decoders and controllers it will work, but if you have to change the DCC controller or use other decoders later you start to get big problems, Hornby's decoders are cheap and nasty ones to start with and if you use these decoders on another DCC system they can do all kinds of funny things but the locomotive will not run properly at all if it does run at all that is. Also with Hornby tracks there are the older steel code 100 rails and the newer nickel silver code 100 rails. The nickel silver is the preferred option though. A magnet will tell you if it is steel or NS as only steel will be attracted to a magnet or stick to the magnet! If it is all steel then definately leave it there as it will all rust eventually!

I would advise you to join a club though, as you might find some there that can help you build your baseboards and lay your tracks etc and give knowledgeable insights along the way. It is called learning and you never stop learning!
David Peters
Thank you for your suggestions David. I have found when I visited the layout it had already been moved from one place to another, so this started raising questions if the track had been effected and miss placed. So it's a definite No from me.

Currently waiting to hear back from the Waverley club to do a visit - so the ball is rolling as we speak.

"It is called learning and you never stop learning!" big believer of this!!
  spdouts Station Master

Peco are quality products with nickelsilver points and track.Copper or steel track is to be avoided these days. Other brands these days are very similar.

Be aware of different size rail, for Ho you can get code 75 code 83 and code 100 in Peco - the bigger the number the bigger the rail. while you can joining them, it is a pain if you do it too often - so read up on that aspect. Electrofrog or Insulfrog ( can decide if running small tank locos )

As to radius on the sketch, I envisioned  30inch radius but many will drop down to 26 inch.
The sketch is not a plan, just to show the concept of around the wall. Each square represents 1FT so is a example.

Regards,
David Head
Cheers David, how would I determine what code it would be if when purchased second hand?

How would electrofrog setup run with AUS/US locos?

Cheers
Pary
  allan Chief Commissioner

Second hand rail is a false economy. If you buy it new you know what you have got, and where it has been.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Electrofrog is not based on country. It is based on design.  If you are running trains fast all the time and have flywheel locos and no shunting locos, insulfrog may be for you.

But if you want to run slow with small locos as well, electrofrogs are better. That is because you need to electrically switch the frog's power depending on the point setting. This is done usually with a switch. There have been a lot of discussion on this.

Agree with Allan totally re secondhand rail. Normally you inherit someone else's problems.

As to code of rail - it is clearly marked on most product's packaging. I somehow suspect you should use code 100 track.

Regards,
David Head
  spdouts Station Master

Second hand rail is a false economy. If you buy it new you know what you have got, and where it has been.
allan
Noted. Thanks for the suggestion.
  spdouts Station Master

Electrofrog is not based on country. It is based on design.  If you are running trains fast all the time and have flywheel locos and no shunting locos, insulfrog may be for you.

But if you want to run slow with small locos as well, electrofrogs are better. That is because you need to electrically switch the frog's power depending on the point setting. This is done usually with a switch. There have been a lot of discussion on this.

Agree with Allan totally re secondhand rail. Normally you inherit someone else's problems.

As to code of rail - it is clearly marked on most product's packaging. I somehow suspect you should use code 100 track.

Regards,
David Head
dthead
I think initially I'll start with US locos with wagons.....

Do you mean the larger diesel engines is better in an insulfrog configuration if in a slow or fast motion, locos for example - AUS (SCT, Pacific and Powerline) and US (Santa fe and Conrail)?

Cheers
Pary
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I think initially I'll start with US locos with wagons.....

Do you mean the larger diesel engines is better in an insulfrog configuration if in a slow or fast motion, locos for example - AUS (SCT, Pacific and Powerline) and US (Santa fe and Conrail)?

Cheers
Pary
spdouts


You have not quoted loco, but just companies who have many different sized locos.
Us locos and wagons are generally cheaper than Aussie locos, but that is a generalisation.
The talk here is not what the loco is modelled on but model trains as a whole.

It is all based on the power pickups of a loco. A small shunter, eg a  tank engine with little wheels also may have a short pickup length - so if you have  several points together,  on a insulated frog, the actual crossing part, the loco may stall - and sometime may stall with one side on one crossing, and the other on another. This is noticeable the slower a loco goes.

But  larger locos, be it longer steam locos or most bogie diesels can bridge the gap easily. BUT it is not as simple as that ! For some older locos only picked up one side of the loco and then on the other bogie on the other end of the loco - which could stall. Hence "all wheel pickup" is desired. Steam locos were the same, picking up one side of power from the tender, then the other side on the loco itself - which often allowed use of rubber tyres for extra traction - so they too have problems. Again the more pickups the better, on the loco and tender.
Many small shunters have 4 or 6 wheels only thus will suffer from power pickups on points.

It is never wise to reply on  speed to go over points as they are the most common place to derail, especially at speed, or the wagons pushed or pulled will !


Google "insulfrog or electrofrog" and do some reading !

Regards,
David Head
  spdouts Station Master


You have not quoted loco, but just companies who have many different sized locos.
Us locos and wagons are generally cheaper than Aussie locos, but that is a generalisation.
The talk here is not what the loco is modelled on but model trains as a whole.

It is all based on the power pickups of a loco. A small shunter, eg a  tank engine with little wheels also may have a short pickup length - so if you have  several points together,  on a insulated frog, the actual crossing part, the loco may stall - and sometime may stall with one side on one crossing, and the other on another. This is noticeable the slower a loco goes.

But  larger locos, be it longer steam locos or most bogie diesels can bridge the gap easily. BUT it is not as simple as that ! For some older locos only picked up one side of the loco and then on the other bogie on the other end of the loco - which could stall. Hence "all wheel pickup" is desired. Steam locos were the same, picking up one side of power from the tender, then the other side on the loco itself - which often allowed use of rubber tyres for extra traction - so they too have problems. Again the more pickups the better, on the loco and tender.
Many small shunters have 4 or 6 wheels only thus will suffer from power pickups on points.

It is never wise to reply on  speed to go over points as they are the most common place to derail, especially at speed, or the wagons pushed or pulled will !


Google "insulfrog or electrofrog" and do some reading !

Regards,
David Head
dthead
I have researched the insulfrog and electrofrog since you mentioned in a previous post -  the above sentences have cleared some of the questions and understanding - I suppose I have to wait until I get to this stage before I ask any further questions.

Time to focus on building the table.

Thank you
Pary

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