Hello from a new member!

DVS4G

DVS4G

RR Dave
25 Apr 2020
36
2
58
Idaho
After 45 years of playing (working? communing?) with model trains, mostly HO but with forays into other scales, I was asked by a local dentist to "please come see if you can get my overhead G Scale trains to run better as we are having some problems". So, silly me, I figured...ok, trains are trains, right? Gears and motors wrapped in a pretty shell, right? Well, yeah, sort of. Ever since, I have been becoming educated about the world of G Scale ( G Gauge? ha ha this discussion seems to persist). Joining this forum is a further attempt to find other people who have journeyed down this path and to possibly gain insight and avoid bad stuff that might be obvious to all of you wise, more experienced operators of this larger scale. I hope my lack of education does not test your patience. I was intrigued by a post from someone who said he had operated a "G Gauge Commercial Train Sales and Service" for 12 years. The post was from 2013. jclfan from North Carolina are you still out there? Because now a guy from a neighboring tourist town wants me to work over all HIS engines that run all day long in his restaurant. Apparently, nobody else around our area does this work. Is it because it is foolish work to take on? How many of you have tried this fixer and adviser role on for size? It is an interesting type of person to work with since they are not really modelers in the way that I am used to. Instead, they are "owners of trains" and just want them to run to add interest to their business. So their repair knowledge is limited and they turn to others for help when it all starts to fall apart. And, they do fall apart when you try to run them 10 or 12 hours a day. Lots of brass dust on all those tight corners up on those ledges they run around on. Also, while your garden may be a peaceful place to run and work on trains, the topmost corners of a hot room while you stand on a ladder is a different kind of work environment. OK, so enough about my adventures for now. More specific idiocy later......
 
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PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
25,895
1,466
Tamworth, Staffs.
Welcome to the Forum!

A name (any name, nickname or actual) doesn't matter, so we can be less formal than 'DVS5G'. :)

Ah! the joys of the display railway..
One of the easiest ways to get more life out of it, is to turn the train 180 degrees, and run it the other way round the track. - IF the track layout will let you?
If not, at least reverse the loco.

As you have found, it will be hot, filthy, and there will be wear on the loco's (stock less-so) and track. - Especially those R1 curves!

Many 'owners' of these railways want them to run, but do not want to pay for them to run.. Don't be afraid to negotiate a proper rate for the job.
You will probably be able to revive a Stainz, once perhaps twice, then the slots the axles run in will be so worn, the cheapest option will be a replacement loco. - You don't need to be 'precious' about the 'new' loco, it can be a little work-worn, as it is not going to be seen close-up, so the odd scrape will not matter.

Oh, and NEVER let anyone try to persuade you it would be 'real good' to run a 'Thomas' train! - Sorry, but the loco's are just not robust enough for several hours a day of abuse.

Enjoy!
PhilP.
 
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Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
3,932
555
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Welcome, have to agree with all Phil said.

some description of the layout, minimum curvature, track manufacture, and of course the locos, brand/model.

Locos with sliders work the best. The first thing is inspect, old commercial layouts often have had the railhead severely worn.

On your side, you might want to set expectations first, how you will work (hourly, or by "piece" / task) and payment.

Also his expectations... of course the first thing is "fixed", which is a tough one, but also how likely repairs/replacements are likely to last.

As a businessman, all he wants how much ($$) for how much (running time) most likely.

Greg
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
17,267
1,813
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Many would say that you cannot make a living out of Model Railways, I disagree with that having built a few layouts for others in the past. You may start with repairing that dentists trains, but that can be a start to a relatively rewarding but not millionaire making living. Just remember to set out what the job is, agree a price and beware of mission creep “ oh while you are here can you just do this, won’t take up a lot of your time”. However if you can set an hourly rate and charge by the hour, then it matters not a hoot if additional work comes into play!

But and here is the but, you must be clear about your abilities and what you can take on, nobody likes to be charged by someone who is learning on the job!
 
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Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
4,862
871
57
Royston
Welcome to the forum and good luck with your endeavours. There's plenty of experience on this forum, but if it's advice on a display model, mine is keep it simple. On and Off, set speed and as PhilP said change the trains direction regularly
 
DVS4G

DVS4G

RR Dave
25 Apr 2020
36
2
58
Idaho
And here...I see a box has appeared for me to reply into. So I need a little education on Forum usage. Do we keep chatting along here in the new members forum? Or do I somehow start a different thread (or whatever the word is...topic?) with a question or statement for discussion? To give a little more insight into the display railroad thing for you, I can happily say I am charging by the hour and have been told to feel free to improve what needs improving. I could spend all day there if I wasn't employed and married, ha ha. So far cleaning and improving the powering of the track has been the first order of business. Turning it 180 degrees is not possible here as it is not a loop but rather two loops with a center connector line between them. So the center section reverses itself anyhow. The two end loops are set to always run the same way round as it turns itself on each end. One end loop is large and goes around the waiting room area. It could be reversed to travel the other way round the loop with a little electrical tinkering, I'm sure. The other loop is simply a small circle to turn the train back again. The center section is reversed with an amperage draw detector that changes the polarity of the center section while it's in either loop. It seems simple enough but has given me a head scratch or two in the fact that it sometimes stops briefly in the detector section and then continues on after that pause. Now if it would just do it EVERY TIME that would be much nicer. The "sometimes" thing leads me to believe that there is a failing electronic component on the circuit board or perhaps a sticky relay contact. It HAS been running for a few years at this point. I have already improved the poorly constructed track and not solved the problem. The track had been pieced together with many small pieces leading to gaps that closed and track that did not conduct. I don't know how you all connect wires to your heavy brass rails, but I have read about many many different ways and seen a bunch that I don't trust. I have set up a resistance soldering rig that gets the amps to the right spot. I drill a hole in the rail at an angle through the outside web and put a decent gauge wire into the hole. Then I fire up the resistance soldering rig and solder it into the hole. Of course you may remember that I'm dragging this around the ceiling on a ladder so I have been considering fitting it all into a backpack design somehow. Crazy idea? Ok, I am digressing too much here probably. To respond to your questions: Yes, "fixed" is a relative term. Usually means that it will run for a few more days before they have to call me again. Yes, the slider equipped engines do seem to do better and Yes, the quality of the equipment at that distance does not have to be first rate. Also, I certainly am not trying to make a living at this. it actually just fell into my lap. But, it's also not to hard to live with a few extra dollars in the pocket and as I contemplate retirement, might as well use some of this hobby knowledge to do so. By the way, I am not charging for the hours I am spending educating myself or even some of the hours I have spent there figuring out his system. Let me know your thoughts........
 
Gizzy

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
33,345
841
59
Cambridgeshire
www.gscalecentral.net
Welcome to the forum....
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
3,932
555
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
My thoughts are:

that it sounds like the loco direction in each of the loops seems to be the same, but it is hard to tell from your reply

another thought is you might use the enter key to break your post into paragraphs for easier reading

and we would like to call you by name, it's a friendly place.

Regards, Greg