My Layout, 30 years in the planning
Created: Thursday, 07 April 2011 18:30
Last Updated: Sunday, 23 April 2017 15:29
Written by Tim Blagbrough
Well here goes, my first (and hopefully not only) attempt to blog my layout, it's progress (or lack), problems etc.
As a youth I first came across Marklin when Z first sprang up, started to collect it, plan vast layouts, then discovered work, girls, parties etc etc etc. Now some 25-odd years on I have come back to Z having rediscovered it via Ebay.
As an owner/operator of a small hotel in Norfolk I do find that I have a little time on my hands so thought that now would be a good time to try again.
I am humbled when I see the standard of modelling on this site, so hope that you do not find my sad efforts to be too pitiful. I must say straight away that I have decided that my layout will be be for me to enjoy (I doubt that I would ever get to exhibition standard anyway), running stock that I want to see with buildings and scenery that I like the look of, rather than try to be exact in my authenticity.
I have decided on a 8 foot by 2 foot baseboard, split into two 4 foot by 2 foot sections, bolted together. While buying track (the usual Ebay red mist frenzy I'm afraid, will probably be selling the vast amount of excess off at some stage I am sure), and drawing up various plans I have encountered what I am sure that you will all be familiar with - the "because it's Z I can fits lots and lots in a small space" delusion. Although I have started to use the Any Rail planning software, which I find to be excellent, I still find that what looks good on paper.....
Z Central Station Visitors
Created: Saturday, 12 February 2011 15:41
Last Updated: Sunday, 23 April 2017 15:29
Written by John Kellett
You may have a link on your desktop, a bookmark or favorite for ZCS, maybe you just key in zcentralstation.com into your browsers URL window. Maybe, you key in ‘zcentral’ into your favorite search engine, either way or any way you get to www.zcentralstation.com. There are many aspects of running a website, but what I want to share with you are the ‘Trues”, the actual data from 2010. The old saying goes “Hind sight is 20/20”, and that is true.
How about I share more with you? Here is actual 2011 data up to February 11th 2011. In January of 2011 we had 4,188 unique visitors with about a 3 to 1 return visit ratio, utilizing 19 gigabyte of internet bandwidth from our web server the visiting home computers. At this point we have 1,639 unique visitors in February 2011 with the same 3 to 1 return visit ratio. January 2011 was a better month than January 2010, and February is looking to better than last year too.
Here is the ZCS 2010 chart. You can see by the end of the year, we were really bringing in the visitors. That is when I worked on a banner trade program with Trainini and Z Friends Europe. Thank you Stonebridge Models for coming on board to help support ZCS. The only part that is untrue is October results. The first of October 2010 we migrated to our new hosting company Site 5, but we did not have our site stats fully operational, so we ‘lost’ 10 days of ZCS visitor data. As far as April 2010, I am not sure what the problem was, I would have to do some research. Just think ZCS pushed out 182 gigabytes of data in 2010, all pictures I presume.
Ok, ZCS had that many visitors and hits, but where did they come from? How about a breakdown by country, that also displays the total pages, hits and bandwidth usage. Well, this next graph tells me that I need to get Gerd and Alex to work harder. (sorry guyz, lol)
Here is a breakdown of what our visitors used to connect to ZCS. Please remember for operating systems, Windows could mean any version from Windows 3.11 to Windows 7, along with the many flavors of Linux. The same goes for Internet Browsers. Internet Explorer 2.0 to the new Internet Explorer 9.0 could have been used to access ZCS. And there are many versions of Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Google Chrome. So if I really wanted a breakdown by browsers or operating systems I can access that report. What is interesting is someone is out there is using their Wii to access ZCS.
This next screen breaks down the search engine that is used to connect to ZCS. The reported numbers, 61.3% of our visitor hits use a direct link, bookmark, favorite, or link in email. Almost 38% of our hits come from other web sites containing a link to ZCS. Then the final 1% hits comes from search engines such as Google, Yahoo and the rest.
The last two screens displays the keywords and key phrases that are typed in the Google, Yahoo, or other search engine box to get to ZCS.
Well, I have presented to you few of the reports that I can get from my hosting company. We can look at all of the data in any way shape or form, dissect it, and create exotic formulas. But, what it really comes down to… I want to see ZCS continue to grow and mature with you. It does not matter how you get to ZCS. It matters that you find ZCS useful in some way to help with your Z scale train modeling.
ZCS has many avenues to interact with other modelers. We have a 24 x 7 chat service (all are welcome). Eventz calendar to let others know of show, demonstration, or unique occasions. Forums to ask or answer questions, no matter how silly you think they may be. A huge gallery to display your work or to search for modeling examples. There are many more features that you are welcome to use.