John Gowers – Electronic Control For Novices

john_gowers_C5819John started modelling railways in 1959 when he was given a Hornby Dublo three rail train set whose locos he still runs although now converted to two rail with DCC [Digital Command Control] sound. He also models in 00, 009, 0 and G gauge.

Interest in the control of his railway using DCC began about 10 years ago when John attended a Missenden Modellers weekend. His G gauge garden railway uses the MERG [Model Railway Electronics Group] DCC and CBUS systems [it also has radio controlled live steam]. John also has an extensive 00 gauge layout which uses both MERG and the Digitrax systems but which originally was DC [Direct Current] CAB controlled. Current work involves upgrading a large 0 gauge Club based exhibition layout, changing it from ZTC to MERG CBUS and DCC.

John has converted more than 80 locos to DCC many of which are sound fitted including a Wickham trolley in 4mm and an ex 3 rail Hornby Dublo West Country. He regularly runs soldering workshops, helps with problem solving electronics and tutoring, for two local MERG groups as well as demonstrating at Model Railway exhibitions. With Peter Brownlow,John has designed and built several bespoke PCB’s [Printed Circuit Boards] to add electronic control to various aspects of model railways including wire free control panels.

Along the way I have encountered many pitfalls and have learnt from the experience in fact I can safely state that I am still learning! I look forward to being part of your railway modelling journey. 

John presented two soldering demonstrations as part of our virtual weekend events during the Covid 19 pandemic, recordings of these are available on the website.