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Aspects of Modelling: Railway Electrics Paperback – 5 Nov 2009
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I fall into the above category - despite having two degrees in Physics, the very thought of wiring up a layout filled me with bowel-clenching trepidation but now, having done three layouts (the latter two with the aid of this book) everything is just that little bit clearer and therefore less terrifying.
The meat of the book deals with things like wiring up point motors (both the 'usual' twin-solenoid Peco-style motors as well as the more exotic 'Tortoise' slow-action motors), multi-aspect signals, control panels and the like although there are also introductory sections on choice of wire and a beginner's guide to soldering - if you already have the know-how, these can be skipped. There's also a guide to LEDs and lighting, but beware of the inconsistencies highlighted by the previous reviewer with reference to anodes and cathodes. There's also a useful section on pointwork which covers the relative merits of dead-frog and live-frog points whilst conveying useful information on the additional wiring which may be required for the latter in certain situations - wiring live-frog pointwork is potentially a book in its own right, but is treated in a bit more depth than you'd find on a Peco instruction sheet.
It should be noted that DCC (digital command control) is not covered, largely because any such information would be redundant but also because including such information would be straying beyond the focus of the book. Quite apart from anything else, there are plenty of books on DCC for those who wish to look for them - as someone who still uses DC control on micro-layouts, it's nice not to have the merits of digital control rammed down my throat at every turn.
Whilst the book strikes a nice balance between explanation and illustration - there are plenty of photographs and diagrams, all of which are easy to follow - some of the editing is awful. On at least one occasion a photograph caption was duplicated, there are a number of typos as well as the diode-related inconsistencies mentioned previously. Even so, Ian Morton is to be congratulated not only for not wandering off into lengthy explanations of DCC but also for explaining a potentially complicated subject in an easy to follow manner.
A good book as-is, but would have been better if the sub-editor has been paying a bit more attention.
BUT, just so you are aware, some of the text, concepts and diagrams have appeared previously in the model railway press so, in some instances the read leaves one with a feeling of deja vu rather than anything new. After researching this topic for several months and purchased most of the books on the subject, there are only a few ways of describing the same principles. If you are at all in doubt after reading this book don't buy any more - join your nearest model railway club or visit an exhibition and talk to someone who has done it before many times.
Note, it doesn't cover DCC and clearly states that it doesn't so that's fair enough.
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