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Ask Slashdot: Tips For Getting Into Model Railroading? 149

An anonymous reader writes: A relative of mine has been hinting that he'd like me to take over his model railroad collection in the event of his death (or even before that, to make this a bit less morbid-sounding). I'm intrigued by the idea, because I've been interested in model railroads for years, but too commitment shy and too transient to actually start a collection. That's changed enough that I'd like to start planning a train system, and am looking for advice from people who have been at it for a while. A couple of parameters: 1) I'm only interested for now in HO-scale stuff, so I am not all that interested in the relative merits of the other kinds, cool as they might be. 2) Related, I am somewhat less interested in the rolling stock than I am in the construction and control of the track and surrounding landscape. Interested in learning from experienced model railroad enthusiasts what lessons you've learned over the years that would be useful for a newbie, especially if you've made some cool automation for your system, or have built extensive support structures. This includes negative lessons, too, if you've overloaded circuits or floorboards. I'd *like* to integrate some interesting sensors and control systems, and I see some interesting open source software for this. So: What advice would you give to a late-start railroader? For reference: this set-up may end up living in an unfinished suburban basement.

Comment Re:I have Bronze blood (Score 1) 97

For whatever reason the target recipients did better with their actual blood type. B- being 2% of the population (and half of that being CMV+) put it in high demand in that small audience (which is why I give myself a bronze since my bloods high value has such a narrow focus). Or so they said. All I know is that I donated gallons of the stuff, along with a shit load of platelets, because they said very young children needed it for the above reasons. Sounded good enough for me.

Like you I then I went to Iraq, donated a bunch there, and was told on my return no more blood drives for 5 years.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!