Club takes the fun out of it

J911 Sep 4, 2014

  1. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    The hard part of course will be when the decoder in the tiny figure gets fried. They're impossible to fix. :)
     
  2. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    You'll have to wait. That functionality is not supported in Windoze 9 (dev). However, it IS in the early plans for Windoze 10. They will also have sensors to read the implant in your forehead (hand won't count) to bill you directly for any app upgrades you even think about, and no refunds.

    Operating engineers....may be easier that one thinks...especially when you have direct mind control through Gates and Co.
     
  3. montanan

    montanan TrainBoard Member

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    Politics unfortunately can take the fun out of anything. I have no clubs at all close to me, but in my travels have visited numerous model railroaders across the country, and have run on both their home and club layouts. Some clubs were still running DC while some had moved on to DCC. A friend went and converted a brass locomotive, a Z-5 Yellowstone that I had custom painter for the Northern Pacific to DCC and installed Tsunami sound. I call it my traveling locomotive as it is the one I take with me on out trips. This allows me to operate my own power.

    Some people are still in the stone ages like me with their home layouts, still operating DC, but many of them also have a DCC locomotive to run on club layouts. In talking to my friends on these trips, many do belong to clubs. I have heard both good and some bad comments about clubs. The bad comment are almost all due club politics. Some of my friends have dropped out of clubs due to this. Some of the clubs were great. Many had quite a few young members and were really great at helping the newer members with any questions or problems that they had. This was good to see.

    These visits were my first introduction to DCC. I of course had read a lot about it and had thought about the posibility of converting my home layout to DCC, but after considering the cost and the time needed to convert my locomotives I decided againt it because I very seldom have the need to run more than one locomotive at a time on my layout being that it is a switching layout. On one large club layout, we had over 25 trains operating at one time, with a dispatcher making all of the calls. I really enjoyed doing this and I was really impressed. My only grip was that may people had the sound turned up too high and instead of hearing trains, all I heard was noise. On the other hand, I also saw a couple of clubs that didn't impress me at all because of the way they wanted to run things. The friends that too me to these clubs ended up leaving.

    There are both good and bad clubs I guess. Many model railroaders do not have room for a home layout and the only place they can operate in on club layouts therefore not having much of a choice.

    A few of my friends have expansive home layouts and have informal operating sessions which I think I liked the most. I saw a lot of young modelers during these home sessions and all of the modelers were more than willing to help out the less experienced people which was nice to see. No politics, just a bunch of friends enjoying trains.
     
  4. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    The nice thing about R/C, Something I discovered at my old club up in Portland, is that it don't care if you're a DC, DCC or haven't run the wires yet. It works on all. Heck, we used to run that little RC GP35 on the unpower portion of the line all the time. We crossed over from the DCC lines to the DC without caring.
    It is quite literally no fuss no muss from a changing technology perspective.



    Anyway, back on clubs. I feel like I should expand on the destruction of that DC layout. The switch to DCC wasn't the only thing that drove the new Layout, it was just the biggest sore point.

    The club is currently both an HO club and an N club. for a long time, they had both a permanent HO layout and the modular HO layout. They've been to my knowledge, located in no fewer than 5 buildings. The permanent HO layouts in each of those buildings had been destroyed when they moved. The long term clubmembers were quite used to it and when they moved into the current building. They simply set of the modules to both get something running and because it was portable. But those modules were extremely tired. Nobody was particularly stuck on keeping them as is... They were against DCC due to the Digitrax pain and suffering of the previous attempt, but they as a group didn't mind a new layout per se.

    Of course, the Club president and Secritary that spearheaded the new layout, were jerks about it. Worst sort of club members. Instead of packing away the modular layout in storage or figuring out a way to reuse it. They pitched the whole thing one night...and on top of it, they didn't respect that some modules were owned by individual club members rather than by the club. Between that and the dictatorial nature of the DCC decision, many many members quit.

    So it wasn't JUST the DCC thing, but that was a big part of it. There were some members that had no problem trashing the modules, but left because they couldn't run their pride and joy on a DCC only layout.


    Of course, current club officers, myself included were voted in because we weren't jerks like that and we're also a little more technical savy. So the new branch line that was added is DC/DCC. And now the old Mantua and non-upgraded stuff has a place again.


    The N-scale side of the house is a whole nother can of worms. They're down to 2 full time modelers, plus a couple of dabblers like me. There are a couple reasons for that that have nothing to do with the HO issues. However, they're currently planning to build a new layout and that will certainly be an incentive to new members.

    Their big problem was that most of the N-scalers were work age and the Recession caused a large number of them to move due to work or just drop due to lack of funds. The remaining members are affable enough although one is, "a talker" and has been involved so long that he's the defacto N-scale-guy.
     
  5. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    That's the point. It doesn't care, you don't have to figure out if you need a 1Kohm resistor to program it...or if your Digi will program on a SoundTraxx program track.
    Bridge rectumfriers and a cap take care of any garbage current on the rails, plus doesn't care about pure dc.
    The cap can be BIG capacity, bridges bad sections handily.
    Then, you just disconnect between the bridge and throttle and you add a battery....and you've cut the dcc AND track power cord.

    Seen what Lionel is doing with the new RailChief?
    Figure out how to change addresses....maybe a battery....and you're done...as in, pull up the centre rail.
     
  6. retsignalmtr

    retsignalmtr TrainBoard Member

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    I am a member of 2-1/2 clubs. Club one, 10 years, HO and N. Former VP. Two permanent layouts and two modular layouts for shows. Dues $10 per month. 21 members. Switched club to Digitrax DCC, but made it possible to run DCC and DC at the same time satisfying the non DCC members. All of them have since switched most of their equipment to DCC and are enjoying it immensely. Most members are retired, a few still have to work and we have several junior members who are very excited to be in the club. Unfortunately we may be losing our sponsor and we may have to move. We had problems with two members but they left in a huff when they tried to hijack the club.
    I just joined club #2 in another area where I spend a lot of time away from home. HO, MRC DCC, nice layout. I don't know much about the club but I was welcomed to join. Previously four members, now five. Dues $10 per month.
    Club #1/2. No layout, no officers, no dues, no running, all scales. Meets once a month to discuss the hobby, do occasional show and tell, watch videos.
    I enjoy them all and would recommend club membership if they could all be like them.
     
  7. RT_Coker

    RT_Coker TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sometimes we find that we need to stay “where the management is not-so-good”. One approach, in such a situation, is to find something constructive to do out of the way of management, and what for the inevitably change in management. I have been able to enjoy some trying situation this way, and found some new fun things to do. Management arguments are more fun to watch, and patiently wait for the right time and way to help.
    Bob
     
  8. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    The biggest expense for me to convert was buying the control system- for me, it was the NCE Powercab, which I paid 150 dollars for. Incidentally, I followed the First Commandment of Hobby Purchasing (Thou Shalt NOT Pay Full Retail Price), since it was listed for close to 200 MSRP when I got it. I have a few DCC-ready locomotives, plus along the line I've picked up some DCC-equipped engines on the cheap. I have a small backlog of Athearn blue-box diesels that will need converting, but the instructions are out there, plus I got some great help from the late Richard Napper (a Frisco modeler extraordinaire, and a friend), so learning how shouldn't be too difficult.

    Also, Bachmann seems to be coming out with DCC-equipped diesels at reasonable prices, albeit a little lacking in details (lift rings, grab irons). You can find decoders at great prices, and speakers if you want sound (I'm still learning how to install decoders right now).

    But back to the original thread- by your post, I surmise you live in the LA area. There are several other clubs in the vicinity, and I'm sure you can find one that will fit your own needs. If the one you're in is making you miserable, and there seems to be no chance of improvement, then "shake the dust" and move on. Life is too short to put up with crap you don't have to deal with.

    And for the record, I work in healthcare myself, and the current job I have has been eating into my personal time like nobody's business, until recently. So I feel yer pain.
     
  9. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    That's how I was with DCC. When I moved to Muskogee, OK in 2008, I had the opportunity to operate in the Tulsa area (just 40 miles away), and each and every one of those layouts have DCC, most of 'em Digitrax. SO, after running on DCC-equipped layouts for a couple of years, it wasn't much of a push for me to take the digital plunge. Still have the MRC power packs, and most likely will until I die, but I've discovered DCC is IT for me. For now, anyway.........
     
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Starting a club might be something worthy of consideration.
     
  11. retsignalmtr

    retsignalmtr TrainBoard Member

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    Many years ago there was a guy who posted on MRR's forum who wanted to start a club. I forget his screen name, but he lives five minutes from me. I paid him a visit and talked it over. The club would have his idea of a layout, run equipment of his era only and with his rules. I didn't stay there very long. I invited him up to visit the club I am in, but he would have nothing to do with it. It's not that easy to start a new club from scratch.
     
  12. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    Keep your generational biases in check. It's an old school mentality like that that drives the younger generation away.

    I am that younger crowd you are referring to, the group I build with is mostly younger crowd too. Oddly enough in my last club it was the older members who couldn't get a shell off or convert an engine to DCC. The young guys were super detailing and custom painting while the old guys used their pension checks to pay someone else to do it, and then got mad when it wasn't the right shade of GN Blue.

    Yes, my generation does have a clue, we also have a choice. We like what DCC offers versus DC. The old guys ended up wasting a large % of the clubs funds on out of date Aristo throttles. They thought they could hold off DCC longer with that old tech. We ran it for a few shows, then the club went DCC. In N Scale radio isn't a viable option yet, so DCC is the only way to do realistic operations.

    The hobby is going to do better than ever with the young crowd coming in. They are innovative, team players who bring a lot more to the table than many of the sticks in the mud that are resisting a technological step forward right now.

    J911, I'm glad to hear your club made the move to go DCC. You'll probably lose some of the bad attitude members because of it, but you'll be more likely to pick up the next generation of modelers to drive the club forward.
     
  13. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm a 'Lone Wolf' so don't set tooo much store by what I post.
    I don't like being controlled
    I don't like doing it one way "because that is the way it has always been done".
    I don't like being ignored.
    I seldom play nicely with others, (unless they want to do it my way), but I do share my toys, (and ideas).

    My feelings about life in general are similar to what others have said::
    • If you are not happy, keep moving
    • Start your own club with your rules and just a few members. The smaller it is the more flexible the group will be.
    Hope this helps.
     
  14. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    My Club (Caution, tongue firmly in cheek)
    Rule #1: It's my club and it will be run by my rules!

    • Everyone is welcome to join my club but:
    • It will be in my dining and living room
    • It will me my layout design
    • You can have any wiring system as long as you do it and pay for it
    • You can have any scenery as long as you do it and pay for it
    • You can run any trains I or you have that are compatible with the track and wiring
    • You can visit any time - I'm home and not busy.
    Questions? See Rule #1

    Yep, that is how I would run MY club.
     
  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    He who starts a club, (does the work of that process), then has every right to set the rules.

    Club is a hassle? Starting one is, too? Solution= Perhaps they participate in a modular setup, or other, (now and then), but a large number of model railroaders are primarily lone wolves.
     
  16. montanan

    montanan TrainBoard Member

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    In my area, there is group of N scale modelers who have a modular layout that they put on display at a mall, library or other locations. They have no permanent layout as they are an informal group that doesn't get together for formal meetings. I have seen their modular display and it is impressive.
     
  17. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    Generational biases my hindquarters. Aristo throttles sucked, but that's a personal observation. I see the next or maybe current wave of this BS is to control your dcc with your dumbphone....and I ain't interested at all...as in, not even gonna own one of those things.
    You think it's generational....go peruse the Mentally Retar......errr...Model Railroader Forums sometime with your blinders off and find out how much
    "WAH! How do I get the shell off my loco?" "WAH! How do I convert my loco to dcc?" Why do you think we have plug and pray?
    I see dcc forums and websites, these irrational folks claim since one brush of your Pittman is grounded to the frame, you have to swap it for a can motor. A full-blown load of carp (sp).
     
  18. WPZephyrFan

    WPZephyrFan TrainBoard Member

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    This has been one of those excellent threads that I have to read every post. While I may not agree with every opinion, it's been an interesting read.
    I have been in two clubs, one was a true club, with a huge HO scale layout in it's own building and the other was a small, local N Trak group. The first club was 40 miles one way from my home. I was in my early 20s, didn't have a lot of money, so most of my equipment was Athearn BB stuff. I joined the club because I wanted to learn and I hoped that some of the more experienced model rails would teach me the ins and outs of model railroading. I remember this one club member made these beautiful trees. As he was planting some on the club layout, I asked him how he made them. His response; "I'm not going to tell you how I make my trees. Then, you'll have trees just like mine!" I also remember that at my first open house with the club, I brought some of my equipment to run on the layout. Now, I had spent literally hours going over my stuff to make sure it met club specs. Imagine my surprise when, at the end of the open house, I found the whole train flopped over on it's side inside a tunnel. When I asked why, I was told the train didn't meet club requirements. The last straw was when I was operating an arrival yard that same open house and was getting yelled at over the headset about how I was operating the trains. I never went back.
    The N Trak club sadly ended when the leader of the club was killed in a traffic accident and no one seemed interested in keeping the club together.
    As far as DCC, most of the clubs I'm interested in require it. If I were starting in the hobby right now, I'd be using it, especially in HO. As it is, most of my locos are DC, I have only two that have a decoder (my Athearn Challenger and Bachmann Ten Wheeler) and it seems the cost of switching over might be a bit prohibitive. Of course, my layout is on a HCD, and it's not wired yet, so this could be a good time if I wanted to switch to do it. I'm still on the fence! lol
     
  19. retsignalmtr

    retsignalmtr TrainBoard Member

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    Most clubs are not started or run by one person. Clubs develop bylaws, elect officers, develop layout plans and build it. One person setting the rules, making sure it's run his way is not a club and should be run away from quickly.
     
  20. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    ScaleCraft, it was you that said this was a problem the "young crowd". I agree with you there are many people coming into (or coming back to) the hobby who have no interest in modeling. They just want to buy the trains and run them. But that is not an age issue as you referred to. That's just the people the hobby attracts, young and old.

    I just got the throttle app for my iPhone. I think it's great. One less throttle I have to buy, now I can spend more on detail parts for my kits.
     

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