New Directions, New Adventures …

Frustrations …

I’m going to lead off with a bit of griping. You’ve probably noticed that it’s been pretty darned quiet around here lately. In fact, I even deleted a lot of the more recent posts, and so there’s not been anything relevant left after March of 2017! Aside from the occasional grumbly post about the cost of postage and privacy notices, not much (read “nothing”) has been happening.

DelTang continues to sell well when I can get it. Shipping of late has been really slow, and I suspect that will continue to be the case for a while. I have gotten a “flow” for throttle builds settled down, so once I do get parts, I’ll be able to turn them around really quickly. Heck, might even be able to have them in stock!

The LITco debacle continues. There was a fair amount of miscommunication during the transfer of the company (nobody’s fault, really), and we didn’t get some key hardware we thought we were getting. And, since we’ve been neck-deep in other projects, we’ve really not been able to get up and running effectively. We do talk about it a lot, and we do work on the processes as we can. LITco will be back … eventually.

The boxcars were, apparently, a complete waste of time. No one seems to be interested in them. So, I’ll make a few more for myself, and call that a day. It’s too bad, as they’re were a really nice kit.

The bottom line is that, frankly, for the past couple of years, I’ve just not been having any model railroad related fun. I’ve been playing trains for other people, but not for me. And that’s gotta change.

Getting Adventuresome …

It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about having some fun. In fact, while I was busy being very sick for the last week of January and into February, I thought a lot about it. In conversations, and in some old posts here, I’ve mentioned that the first layout I ever “finished” was a small N-scale layout (unfortunately, there are no pictures). And, that it was HOn30 modeling that really got me interested in model trains. I’ve even had some fits and starts at doing something in HOn30. So … hmmm ….

Over the past couple of years (five years, to be exact!), I’ve been having some conversations with the local group who have been making “T-Trak” modules, and thought that might be a way to play with N-scale or HOn30. And, I’ve been wanting to recreate that layout of my youth, or, at least something similar. My first thought was to do it on a hollow-core door panel, but very recently, a company came out with kits for T-Trak modules. You see where this is going …

T-Trak modules from CMR Products and Kato track will be used to approximate a layout from my childhood.

At the train show this past weekend, I purchased a handful of modules, a big bag of Kato track, and a train. (I’ll talk about each part in separate posts over the coming days and weeks). The basic layout is roughed out in the picture above, and I hope to have it “complete” in time for the Midwest show in March.

What’s This? DCC?

New Zephyr Express from Digitrax

I thought long and hard about this next part. In the interest of “playing well with others” and “maintaining my sanity”, I decided that for the T-Trak stuff, I’ll be going with DCC and track power. First, there’s just not enough space for batteries in the N-scale models. And, again, there’s already a standard involved. So, I also purchased a new DCC system, Digitrax’s newest Zephyr Express all-in-one DCC system. This newest version was just announced a few weeks ago, and I was lucky enough to be able to pick one up this past weekend. I’ve always liked the Zephyr series, and this new version really is a sweet package. Again more on this later.

Kevin has started playing with some HOn30 using the same types of module frames, although he’s not sure his stuff will be to any “standard”. I’ll be following suit at some point, but mine will be built to meet local standards.

Speaking of standards … (yeah, I know. We don’t need no steenking standards!), there’s a long-standing N-scale standard for T-Trak, but not for HOn30. So, we finally decided on what the local HOn30 T-Trak standard is going to be, which is something that has been hemming and hawing about for a couple of years now. Two of us literally stood over some T-Trak modules, pointed, and said “this” and so it is. So much more refreshing than the On30 module standard war that occurred back in the late nineties ….

So, that’s it for now. The On30 layout remains. And, I’ll get some work done on it as time permits. I have most of the supplies needed to “complete” it. It’ll just be a matter of inclination.

3 thoughts on “New Directions, New Adventures …”

  1. Hi Garen,

    Just catching up on your blog, good to see you are taking a little ‘me time’, gotta do it! I know I have put most of my model railroad projects on hold because of budget but I got the EZ-Track out and me and the cat played trains!

    Same with music, I’ve had screaming blues riffs going through my head, I’ve gotta MAKE TIME to play, for my own sanity, AND for concern of those around me who don’t want to see me loose it!

    Take your time and take care!

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