CONVENTION WRAP-UP & PRODUCT NEWS
What a fabulous time in Kansas City! It’s always great to make new
friendships; renew old ones and match faces to the voices I hear on the phone.
Modular groups presented wonderful examples of the fine art of model railroading.
Clinics were informative and packed while vendors tried to satisfy all the attendees
wishes. Many new products were featured while some old product lines have been
refreshed and reintroduced by new owners. More on this shortly.
CURIOUS CREDIT CARD DOINGS (or
why is my card bouncing?) —
I saw something interesting happening a lot at the Convention —
a customer uses a credit card for a purchase and the card is not accepted by the
card processing company. “What’s Going On Here” was the frequent question (plus
some others I won’t print here). It seems that the outside works has begun invading
our hobby — and in a good / bad way. Here’s what I’ve learned from my new card
service provider. Due to all the recent fraudulent card thefts and security breaches
credit card companies are more stringent then ever about card usage. Aside from
the new security card types coming out in the next year or so (along with new
card readers merchants will need), location is an important consideration. You’re
at the convention in Kansas City (from wherever you live) making purchases from
dealers who are from different states themselves. Your card issuer sees these
out of state purchases from several states within a few hours and, being extra
cautious lately, shuts down your card and notifies the master database, which
may shut down other cards you may have. Result: You’re ($&@#%€£¥<=>) annoyed.
Example: A customer’s card was declined; he phoned his card company to find out
what the problem was — it was the fact that he (a resident of Washington State)
was in Kansas City, KS making a purchase from a vendor based in Philadelphia,
PA (and vendors from all over the country). The card company verified his information
and reset his card — but the good thing that came out of this incident
was that he was told his card had been used 10 minutes earlier for a food purchase
in Pittsburgh, PA! We all must be vigilant with our sensitive card information.
I make sure that my card companies are notified before I leave as to where I’m
going; for how long and the approximate route. A few minutes before leaving can
help resolve potential frustrations; helping all of us to better enjoy our hobby
NOW THE PRODUCTS ...
Berkshire Valley and I had a substantive chat with the result that
I’ll again be carrying the Building Kit and Detail line. The molds need some work,
but I’m told that fresh stock should be coming my way by Thanksgiving. The Banta
Modelworks line of S Scale Kits (renamed The Building & Structure Co.) have been
sold to Commercial Scale Models of Riverside, RI. New owner Benjamin Viti has
made me a dealer for the building kits and the Ulrich line of HO truck & trailer
models. He tells me he’s getting up to speed on all the building items and now
has several available which I now have in stock. Watch for his new webpage in
the Buildings Section of this website.
SoundTraxx® now has both the
SoundCar® shipping to dealers. Blackstone
Flat Cars and
Drop Bottom Gondolas are now in stock along
with Motrak Models loads for the Gondolas. Pre-orders are now being accepted for
their new 30’ Reefer (due late 2015) along
with the previously announced K-36 & K-28 Mikados.
Fans of the ProTraxx™ system will be happy to hear that turnouts are being added.
We’ll update the pages for these products shortly.
TCS is introducing “Motherboards” for
installation in select Bachmann and Life Like / Walthers steam locos. These “Motherboards”
replace the factory circuit board that is mounted in the tender. They conveniently
have a 21 pin connector that mates with either the (new) TCS WOW121-Steam sound
decoder (#1525) or the TCS EU621 (#1344) 21 pin conventional decoder (not included).
Each motherboard comes with TCS onboard Keep Alive™ that will provide stall free
operation over troublesome track sections. The boards eliminate the wad of wire
that gets in the way with many decoder installations and makes for a much cleaner
and better fitting decoder installation. On sound decoder installations the lack
of excess wire also improves the sound quality eliminating the rattle that sometimes
accompany crowded sound installations.
THE 2015 NG CONVENTION
Next year’s NG Convention will be in Houston, TX from September
2nd – 5th at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Many of the Kansas City vendors have already
signed up and the preliminary list of local layouts to visit is both large and
varied. Now is not too early to, at least, give some thought to attending. Until
we get our link posted check them out at
Our October and November shows include Berea, OH; Gardiner, NY;
Timonium, MD; Syracuse, NY, Allentown and Strasburg, PA. Watch at the bottom of
this page for the next show listing and its web link.