Tips for beginners
In this section you will find
helpful tips for new people. It's just a compilation of
accumulated over the years in trying to help new people get
started. It's helpful tips for issues that new people
encounter. New items are added as they come up.
Click here for a Neat bottom view drawing showing many details described below.
Building a module: Need parts?Among the materials that you
will need are some that we can supply that are a perfect fit, the right
quantity, and free or at our bulk cost.. Currently you get these
from Norm. See our website for prices if any.
Items needed and available free
Black, semi gloss (never use flat)
Velcro to support skirt
For sale at our
14-gauge track bus wire set w/Molex $4
12 volt bus $4.00
Cab bus $5.00 (nonrefundable)
Metal "original" leg brackets (See Rob)
Stand-up Leg parts $1.75/leg (wooden leg not included), $7/set
(not long leg)
Velcro (16’) to mount Plexiglas onto your module $7
Have some DCC questions?
There is a link (Related Links) in our side bar of links that provide some excellent
information and tips.
Setup/down Tips for New PeopleThere is a Setup/Takedown
notebook available at each show that shows the steps in order as well
as how to do them. Please don't attempt to do tasks that you have
not be trained to do. Instead work with someone else to learn how
to do each task. Also try to learn new processes at each show.
is a nice checklist to evaluate your cars. If the following are
satisfied, then the cars will work very reliability and it's more fun.
Of course, the opposite is true.
Wheels are metal
Wheels in gauge
Wheels are clean
Wheels are perpendicular to the axle. (don’t laugh)
If the trucks are metal, make sure that the insulated wheels are on the
Wheels are in gauge.(Use a NMRA gauge to check the wheel gauge)
Axles are square to the trucks (especially true where wheel
width can be adjusted)
Cars roll freely down track of 1% grade
Trucks swivel freely on bolster (Many are too tight)
Couplers are Kadee (Plastic ones are very unreliable)
Couplers center themselves freely
Use a Kadee coupler gauge to check the following:
Couplers are the correct height
Coupler trip pin is the correct height
Use a scale to weigh the cars:
Ideal weight of car (1 oz plus 0.5 oz per inch)
policy: Eventually we would like to specify that any rolling stock on
the layout has been certified. Right now we are in a transition
phase. You can (and should) get your stock certified in the near
future. This can be done at some work parties and even during
Yes we have a road name, the Seattle, Pacific & Eastern
(SP&E). Plans are to use this name on our:
1. Show applications instead of 4th Div HO Modules SIG.
3. Rolling stock ( car colors are available)
4. Inquiries about our Road and who we are.
TRAIN ACTIVITY LIGHTS (currently
our backboards blocking the views of train activity, it’s really hard
to tell if the mainline is blocked or train stalled. Ideally each
person should watch where he is going and watch the rear whenever his
train is stopped.
Since this "ideal" is not perfectly met, we
have developed a system where a light is posted on the backboard
showing that train activity is occurring and operators should be
especially careful. Such lights should be posted under the following
1. When "switching activity" is occurring that sporadically blocks the
2. Entering or leaving the yard via the wye.
3. Using crossovers (these block both rails)
As of Fall, 2010, we adopted a club shirt with our logo and name on it.
Periodically we will order more when we get several requests. Sizes and prices are listed in the Bulletin Board