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An Old Man Contemplates an Old Man's Layout

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  • Un squinting font is my favorite but any font works for me.

    The Hustler look's alot like the On30 Davenport.


    • OK guys, lets try this:

      Does Anyone Remember The Codar Control Systems Model SS150?

      This was a rather early transistorized momentum throttle that was made in England, circa 1970. I was in the service then, stationed in Iceland, a country without trains (at one time they did have trains, but that is another story), and I picked one up at a hobby shop in Scotland while on an R&R trip.

      With the OK of my CO, I had a small On30 switching layout in my room. It was just some hand thrown snap track turnouts and a bit of track and it was constructed from salvaged Styrofoam packing material.

      The Model SS150 featured fixed rate acceleration and deceleration by way of the throttle knob setting. The momentum, or the lack of it, was selected with the Main/Direct control and whatever rate the designers gave you was what you had to work with. The brake control was of the quick acting type and, therefore, not much use, except for avoiding wrecks.

      The throttle also lacked even a hint of ergonomics. Anyone that owned a British sportscar of the time would know what I mean. While it might work with a larger layout, it was, literally, a pain to use on a switching layout.

      The Forward/Reverse control and the Brake On/Off control were the cheap, flat type of toggle switches, which had the small, square, sharp edged black plastic actuators. After a short stint of switching, your finger tips felt like they were reduced to being bloody stumps.

      When I was shipped stateside, the throttle came with me. I had plans to rework the controls with a preset running speed and a slower braking rate, using “soft touch” pushbuttons switches for the controls, but the opportunity to work on full sized trains came about and the project was shelved.