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Offline Rwill  
#1 Posted : 11 May 2020 12:09:18(UTC)
Rwill

United Kingdom   
Joined: 04/05/2015(UTC)
Posts: 610
Location: England, London
When I started with M digital one of my first purchases was book 0303 - Model Railroading digitally controlled - September 1988. It was my constant bedtime, loo time, anytime reading companion. Every item I have ever bought I have read and kept the instruction manual that accompanies the goods. If I buy something from eBay with no box/instructions I can almost always find the manual on the M website or elsewhere. Don't get me wrong I still manage to make the "occasional" pigs ear of things and we have had that ominous smell of electrical smoke on a few occasions! I then look at the manual to see what I did wrong!

Forums obviously help, but I am amazed by some of the questions asked. People seem to start quite complex projects without a clue as to what they are doing or what they might need to finish the job. It is obvious they have done no reading or preparation before starting the project. They don't ever seem to use the search function which has answered most of the common questions. They are very lucky we have on this forum a dozen or more very patient experts who will competently assist in simple plain language. They are unlucky that we have three or four dorks who overcomplicate simple issues, talk utter rubbish or simply give links to German narrative.

Or am I wrong?
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Offline JohnjeanB  
#2 Posted : 11 May 2020 13:23:05(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,052
Location: Paris, France
Hi Rwill
You are quite right. Two keys to success:
- get informed (documentation, youtube, forum) but it is not enough. also,
- start progressively (small, medium and then complex layout). The same goes with digital and PC-controlled trains

The risk is to have no fun while fighting problems (you have yourself created) above your experience and abandon the project.
Cheers
Jean
My lay-out videos
latest vid
humping yard
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#3 Posted : 11 May 2020 15:34:31(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,453
I regard it as iterative.... do something, test, do more, test..., make a change, test, test, test...

The other thing that I have had to keep teaching myself, when I notice something unexpected, check and find out why it is so. Stop and check. Then test.
I don't know how many times I find an issue and then I realize that - oh, I thought it was strange back then, but I never looked into it....

As an aside, I met Georg Fuhs as his house in Germany in 1989 and showed him my first layout control software - he wrote the 0303 book you refer to!
He was building an N scale layout for a customer, and he tried the software. I think he was shocked that it all worked!
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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Offline David Dewar  
#4 Posted : 11 May 2020 17:50:22(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 6,964
Location: Scotland
Tend to agree that we get questions about Marklin which has been purchased without any research done as to what the system is and how it works.
First buy a catalogue also one of the Marklin books. Then start small with a starter set and only when that is set up and the user understands how all that set works should further items be purchased. Turnout motors and their decoders are a good next step and leave signals to the last.
If buying CS3 (Plus) only go one small step at a time until each is fully understood and working.
There will be times when things go wrong and after trying to solve the problem there is no success then this site will give the answer almost every time.
Much of the fun with model rail is working everything out for yourself even if it takes time.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
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Offline dickinsonj  
#5 Posted : 11 May 2020 18:03:37(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,349
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: David Dewar Go to Quoted Post
Much of the fun with model rail is working everything out for yourself even if it takes time.


That is so true David.

I try to work all of my problems out first on my own and then only ask questions on the forum when I am well and truly stumped. The only drawback to that approach is that I sometimes ask questions which even the superb knowledge base here can't answer and then I am lost and don't know where to turn. Another reason to not jump in with newbie questions is that I often find that I have caused the problem myself and I would rather be the one to discover that than have it pointed out to me here, while wasting other forum member's time.

Märklin's user guides can be pretty opaque and I absorb as much as I can from them and then I just start experimenting. In most cases nothing is damaged except my ego and I often learn the finer points only by trial and error.
Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#6 Posted : 11 May 2020 22:14:53(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 17,401
Location: New Zealand
I've been going through some of the old threads trying to create a reference list of where in the forum various manuals and reference documents have been posted. I too get a little frustrated when questions are asked and it is obvious that the questioner hasn't done their own research (of course they may not know where to start!).

The intention is to create a thread with manuals all referenced in one easy to find place. If you come across a thread with something it it, let me know.

There, I've said it publicly so I guess that gives me incentive to complete it....
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Offline davo_vespa  
#7 Posted : 12 May 2020 03:02:43(UTC)
davo_vespa

Australia   
Joined: 04/05/2017(UTC)
Posts: 36
Location: Victoria, Melbourne
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
I've been going through some of the old threads trying to create a reference list of where in the forum various manuals and reference documents have been posted. I too get a little frustrated when questions are asked and it is obvious that the questioner hasn't done their own research (of course they may not know where to start!).

The intention is to create a thread with manuals all referenced in one easy to find place. If you come across a thread with something it it, let me know.

There, I've said it publicly so I guess that gives me incentive to complete it....


Wonderful ideaThumpUp ThumpUp

Happy Days, David
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