HCD for an N scale layout.

PRR1957 Oct 13, 2011

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  1. PRR1957

    PRR1957 TrainBoard Member

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    I'm told that the insulation actually amplifies sound instead of deadening it ... because your track is in direct contact with it, akin to wood and paneling ... sounds aren't as loud if separate from it, but strike a tuning fork and press it's base against the wood and it conducts, and even amplifies, the sound. I can understand this argument because I'm a finger-style guitarist (since 1969) playing an acoustic guitar. But it's been said to use cork as your roadbed on top of that for the actual sound deadening. The foam board is mostly used for allowing you to sculpt (for landscaping, making ponds, ditches, etc.) I'm almost positive someone else will chime in on what I just typed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Hmmmm, very interesting. When I was young, my Dad placed a sheet of Homasote on top of the plywood. It appears to be made of compressed paper sheets, is dense and it also holds fasteners well. It's heavy though. I might see if Lowes or Home Depot carries it.

    Perhaps foamboard might work okay with Kato Unitrack because the ties and rails are held above the baseboard instead of directly upon it and the area under the rails and ties is open. This might reduce resonance.

    Capture.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Ends up that Homasote must be special ordered in my area from an independent lumberyard. I find on Homasote's website that a 1/2 IN Sheet weighs 1.2 LBS/SqFt, which would add ~ 25 LBS to my largest table. That's not too bad, but if my HCD weighs 35 LBS, I'm at 60 LBS before anything else is added. I need to be conscious of total table weight because I plan to move someday.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  4. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Have a look at the T-Trak layout that was set up as part of the Kato booth at the recent NMRA show.
    See photos 11-24 here: http://www.pbase.com/atsf_arizona/national_train_show_2017&page=all

    A layout that size can be set up on a standard folding banquet-type table.
    The modules are small, light and can be easily disconnected and moved.
    Kits are available for the basic modules, eliminating the need to do any woodworking.
    Would something like that appeal to you?
     
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  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Point353. That's some fine work there. I've bookmarked that T-Trak website to learn more. Again, thank you!
     
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have never encountered a situation where foam board amplifies sound. That is interesting to read. Hmmm. I have built T-Track modules using both Unitrack and old fashioned cork with Atlas flex atop it. Never noticed any differences or problems.
     
  7. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's good to know Boxcab; thanks for your thoughts on this. I was looking at foam board at Home Depot yesterday and am impressed with it. The 9/16 IN thick sheets seem just right to me, solid and likely easy to cut. Thicker sheets are available, but are probably overkill in N Scale.
     
  8. Kriegwulfe

    Kriegwulfe TrainBoard Member

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    I have started my N Scale HCD project on a 36" X 80 " door. I purchased a few 1" X 3" furring strips and mounted them as a border giving a bit of stand-off space for the bottom wiring and a rim for the top. I placed a 3/4" thick piece of insulation foam on top held down with cheap $2 a tube latex caulk. My elevations were layers of left-over blue foam again glues with latex caulk. I did have to use some Woodland Scenics incline/decline sets for my two grades, a 2% 80" long and a 4% grade 48" long. My track is KATO Unitrack complete using a NCE PowerCab DCC system.

    If PRR1957 is hitting a lick then I am more than happy for him. It may not be at the planned pace..but it is steps forward. These days time, effort, money, and availability all have to gel in one instant to get some projects off the ground. I am just happy to read yet another is off and running.
     
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  9. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you as well Kreigwulfe -- your engineering mirrors what I am thinking of. The good news in these posts is that there are a lot of options for success. You are spot on with your statement about getting projects off the ground. I have a student who will soon be off to college, which will put a bit of a crimp in the hobby budget. Modelling the PC would match my future financial state. :D [Jade Green smiley]
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  10. Kriegwulfe

    Kriegwulfe TrainBoard Member

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    I need you fine folks to critique and beat up my plan here. I know it's a "busy" layout but its a HCD and I wanted to try and get as much function and possible operations in the layout as possible. I have some rhino skin so fire away. This is about 95% KATO Unitrack with some small portions in flex track. The yellow and red track on the right side will be tunnels and the two green tracks superimposed over the tunnels. Many Thanks.
    AOK East 3Z Try 1.png
     
  11. Kriegwulfe

    Kriegwulfe TrainBoard Member

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    Here is a pic in a 3D environment. Please forgive the crude try but I was and still am not great at using the program to make this. AOK East 3Z 3D Try 1.png
     
  12. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    If you used a left hand switch at the left end of the outer red loop and a right hand switch at the right end of the red loop, the two sidings on the orange track in the corners would wind up shorter. But the orange passing track would be longer, and a train could move from the red track to the orange track and back without going through any reverse ess curves.

    In the upper right hand corner, there's no reason to separate the two green tracks so soon. You won't be putting any elevated industry up there in that crowded spot. But there are good reasons not to. The through track goes through a reverse ess curve; if you switched it off the siding a little to the right the switch could lead straight into the curve. This would save space in the area which could be used to make the blue/yellow curve less sharp.

    There really isn't anything gained by going four tracks deep up front. The yellow crossover would be worth the trouble if there was any room for one train to get around another while the other was switching the gray sidings. But there isn't. It would be worth the extra reverse ess curve there if there was a couple of more feet for the two tracks to get to the same elevation, but there isn't--it's just a few extra inches. It looks like all those sidings and the blue line could all cut off from the third track in, and the fourth track in is basically just complication for the sake of complication.

    The multiple track along the front edge is going to have to go downhill from left to right. Even with that, you're going to have some steep grades.

    On the other hand, the 3D actually looks pretty good --except that both truss bridges are actually sitting on solid ground!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  13. PRR1957

    PRR1957 TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry for yet another absence. My elderly mother is in hospice care, and I'm very busy with her. I'm sure you all understand and I believe we have your well wishes, warm thoughts, and prayers. I would really love to be occupied running a train ... just to take a break from the stress. I hope to post my progress as soon as the situation allows.
     
  14. cocotrain2

    cocotrain2 TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry to hear about your Mom. Hopefully Posting here and talking trains can help the stress of your situation. Take care.
     
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  15. railnut49

    railnut49 TrainBoard Member

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    Here in the Phoenix area we have antique stores that might have doors. There are also places that sell stuff that come from home remodeling projects. I got a door there for less than ten bucks, bought two cheap plastic saw horses at home depot, but have seen saw horses at these used places. You might also keep an eye on Craigslist for a used door. My saw horses fold up for easy storage. My door is 30 by 80 inches.
     
  16. railnut49

    railnut49 TrainBoard Member

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    After checking Home Depot prices for a had, I got on Craigslist and found new doors for $5.00. Just need to go pick one up.
     
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  17. Jeepy84

    Jeepy84 TrainBoard Member

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    You do, understandably, and no rush.
     
  18. dilley340

    dilley340 New Member

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    I realize this is an old thread, but it got me thinking of a possible solution for the space issues a lot of us face. My thoughts are, why not build your layout on the back side of an existing closet door? Simply remove the hinge pins, remove the door and construct your layout just as you would on any HCD. Of course, everything would have to be securely fastened and clear the door jamb. When finished for the day, pop the door back in place and reinstall the hinge pins. Close the door and poof... no visible layout, no wasted space and everyone is happy. This wouldn't be for everybody, I'm just thinking out loud.

    I'm sorry for your mom PRR1957.
     
  19. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    My experience in removing and remounting doors is that the process is a bit unwieldy. The door has to be coaxed back into position on the hinges and the alignment can take a while to get right. Then the hinge pins must be tapped back in place. The process in reverse isn't much easier. I'm a bit of an impatient klutz however, so it may work well for others. :unsure: :)
     
  20. Jeepy84

    Jeepy84 TrainBoard Member

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    I had to unmount, trim, and refit many of the interior doors in this house when we moved in, as the woman who lived in it for nearly thirty years after her husband passed away only ever closed the bathroom and attic doors. You pretty much nailed the description of what wrestling with a HCD is like.
     
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