trying to get active again..

Zug Nov 4, 2013

  1. Zug

    Zug TrainBoard Member

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    I haven't been active with my model trains for some time now. Those that use to go on the old Atlas forums might recall me if you have a super good memory. I used the same user name on there as well.

    I'm wanting to get active with my trains again. My interest level took a big hit 6 years ago following the death of mom (who I co-owned a house with) then had to sell the house and go in to a 1 bedroom apartment, going for a 12.5 by 18 foot basement room for my layout and a workbench in the laundry-room, to what I could fit on a 2 foot deep L shaped layout going along a wall and a half of my bedroom, with a shelf track going to the other side, to a loop and back to the main layout. and i sold half of my locos to pay bills..

    The issues I'm facing getting it going is my loco barely run from standing still so long. So I'm guess oxidizing on the power pick up and rail will been a lot of work.

    So I'm looking for ideas to keep me motivated. ways to clean stubborn locos.. and anything else useful...
     
  2. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Hey Zug, long time no see....you might want to consider getting a good newer loco, and going from there, or you can try taking apart the loco and cleaning the wheels and contacts (I did this last week with my GP35R and U25B)
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sorry to read how events of life came along. At least you still have some items remaining, and the spark of interest is glowing brightly again.
     
  4. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Personally, the "modelling" aspect bit me harder than the operating did. I could be quite happy detailing/painting locos (although I have to admit that a lot of that work I can only notice because I know it's there) and building my own cars. That's a possibility...
     
  5. DrMb

    DrMb TrainBoard Member

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    Consider experimenting with the electronics side of the hobby. The components for a DC circuit are cheap and there are a lot of projects you can do which can be used on a future layout.
     
  6. Zug

    Zug TrainBoard Member

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    I'm thinking of setting out a test track on my desk and tear them down one by one, I still have 6 locos, but a couple favs are gone. I don't have much of a budget to work with. I haven't worked for 3 years now (trying to apply for perm disability.. and went though bankrupcy four years ago..

    back in the house, I use to have a rule I ran each loco once a day even if it was just to do a single lap and park it, even if I didn't really "operate". So I know I go to get the layout useable and keep the locos moving. I need to finished some scenery work in the new town first so I can do a good clean up with a briteboy and some track cleaning fluid.
     
  7. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Zug, I sure understand the money aspect, I had to sell off a lot in the last 5 years too, but things have turned around for me, and they will for you too. a bottle of 91% rubbing alcohol is cheap, and that will clean your track and locos....as for me, I have 5 locos and 10 freight cars that I use. My layout is 14"x86" and has a total of 5 switches...so far, I have invested about $500 USD on what I use (not including 4 locos) over the last 20 or so years...
     
  8. Zug

    Zug TrainBoard Member

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    I like doing scenery myself.. with such a small layout there not a whole lot to do.. I stalled after the bulk of it was done on the new layout. But now I just want it operational again and drive drives.. and maybe build a little module later on some time for scenery..
     
  9. Zug

    Zug TrainBoard Member

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    I do want o do that too. i've been into electronics since I was a kid, so I have done some custom projects like regulated power supplies for lighting and relay boards to a single switch can run to snap switches at one. and I'm sure in time I'll do more.. I'd like to find a block detection design for dcc to run some singles ..
     
  10. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    A little electrical cleaner on the bearing areas to loosen up the old lubricant and some fresh LaBelle lightly on the shaft bearings and the gear train and they should run albeit slowly at first until the new lube works in. A cheap hollow core door gets a layout at least 24 to 30 inches wide by 80 inches long. A sawhorse kit from the home improvement store gives some legs. A lot have precut lumber and the clamps to quick assemble. Lay some track and you can run trains. Saw horses break down to store in a closet or under the bed and the hollow door can be leaned up against the wall or tucked under the bed. Back in business fairly quickly.
     
  11. DrMb

    DrMb TrainBoard Member

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    Magnetic, Infrared, or RFID?
     
  12. Zug

    Zug TrainBoard Member

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    RFID is probably out of my price range and need being a small layout, although it sounds cool:)

    i was thinking electrical load sensing, but I'm open to most anything. I do have some old glass tube reed switches somewhere.. IR could be good too. I do like playing with electronics (I'm a licensed for ham radio btw..)
     
  13. DrMb

    DrMb TrainBoard Member

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    Well, readers are starting to drop below the $20 mark and it would surprise me if no one has figured out how to create a cheap 1-bit RFID reader for basic block detection.

    Edit:
    Thank the maker for the paranoid among us.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2013
  14. CBQ Fan

    CBQ Fan TrainBoard Member

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    :) Welcome Back!!!
     
  15. mgilger

    mgilger TrainBoard Member

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  16. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    I shouldn't mess with somebody who has been having a hard time, but.... Sounds like you are having an "old loco" problem which is often due to dirt somewhere...
    I think there used to be a joke about an old time cleaning product named "ZUG." Mighty tempting to make a play on words.
     
  17. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Good to have you on board here at TB.

    You weren't the only own that swapped ideas, shared thoughts and otherwise moved your hobby forward on the A board.

    You know I'm having the same problems with my newer locomotives. I let them sit to long in a box and they will need some TLC to get them rolling, again. Mr. Oxidation can take it's toll but is easy to clean. Radio Shack's tuner cleaner is what I use. No plastic melt down...yet!
     
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Do they still sell it? I went into n RS last year and asked about it. The kid looked at me as if I were nuts.
     
  19. Zug

    Zug TrainBoard Member

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    Only problem with that idea, and it probably would work, is Radio Shack has been gone from Canada for many years now. It was sold and re-branded as 'the source', (for over priced consumer stuff you can find cheap any place else..) But there's bound to be something similar I can find.
     
  20. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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