Oct 28, 2010
Bruce, I was not impressed with the Kato Woodland module, were you?
This is the standard that I use.
Would you trust a document whose authors who seem to use the words 'bus' and 'buss' interchangeably?
Spelling, big deal. I would certainly trust a recommendation made by Russell Straw !
Mike, I found this on the t track wiki. Doesn’t make a huge amount of sense to me, seems like a massive carry over from Ntrack, but this seems to be the general standard for bus wiring with Anderson power poles.
The most important thing to me seemed to be the BW-WB wiring standard, and don’t link the tracks in the module and run a single feeder out, instead run two and for DCC the polarity gets flipped at the power pack, Or at the bus connection itself.
Meanwhile, I just cut the material and started gluing up my SIXTH T-trak module yesterday.
This is a triple, and this one will have a decidedly odd twist. For my Nn3 Climax kit models with the gearhead drive, I need a demo and test track at my sales table. So if I have to build another test module to demo my kits, it might as well be T-trak compliant.
The discovery was that will a slight bit of tweaking, I can actually put in the Rokuhan 55mm Z curves and make an oval - ON A TTRAK module, with normal 2-track spacing on the N side. So the module will be a N/Nn3 triple, Nn3 logging railroad theme (eventually) even if this year for Altoona it will be pretty bare-bones on painted plywood. But from my sectional track testing, I can squeeze (and I mean squeeze) it in there and make it work. I think.
I'm also working with Mark Graulty on his Nn3 custom track with Code 40 and switches - which are imitating the same geometry, will hope to have samples of that on the same module. Anyway, I wasn't sure my Climax could reliably negotiate 55mm curves, it can, and the 25' flats and skeleton log cars also work just fine. I have a local prototype that had a 36" gauge Class A and that got me interested in this.
I've been dabbling in Nn3, but the real discovery has been the unexpected quality and reasonable price of the Rokuhan track products, and the introduction of their little critters for raw mechanism material in Nn3. Now the challenge is to have this ready to go by August.
Bruce, you've created a monster. You not only got me going, but I've already converted over one HO guy to N Ttrak, and now if you've see what Lee Weldon just built (Cumberland) that's pretty epic. He'll be there this year. It's not on the scale of the national, but it's definitely 'where the action is' and Lee's Cumberland module will be the headliner there this year for sure.
Nice Rand. Looking forward to it.
My wife picked up a few DPM kits from a train store that was going out of business while we were on our first anniversary this weekend, and a trolley. She wants a trolley line down main street leading in to the park, so she picked up a PCC there too. We got our PCCs back here in ELPaso Last year, and one of our paint schemes is very much a clone of the Pennsylvania, so that’s the one she picked.
I’m going to leave the trolley DC, and make a controller on a stand for it so it can be driven by children, like my daughter.
Simply limiting the supply voltage to 3 volts to enforce slow speeds should be sufficient to prevent derails.
The rest of the details of her modules I have not been told yet. I assume the double will be the town and the quad the park, but I could be bassackwards. My job is wiring stuff up and providing advice only when asked!
I'm not a big fan of Bachmann drives, particularly white-gear cracked ones. I think that includes a lot of the PCC's.
I am a big fan of Tomytec drives, partially because they are also so darn easy to re-equip with gearheads on a one-truck power concept. So you can go with the Bachmann for now, but when you get frustrated and need a slower-speed gearing, excellent curve tracking, and better quality, that's the plan. I've got a thread on the full rebuild I did on Bachmann doodlebug over to Tomytec drive with stock motor and 2-truck drive: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=45919.0
That's the shorter truck wheelbase design and they have many different frame lengths, but they are all plastic so modifying the frame length to fit the situation isn't all that difficult, that's the motto here.
Remember that the 'real' minimum radius of a prototype streetcar runs about 50 feet (95mm in N scale, 3.75 inches) so doing a streetcar loop on a Ttrak module is entirely possible, and the Tomytec drives with the offset gear tower so that the universal pivot is at the truck center can take it.
If you want to see a real 50' reverse loop, curves, and a 50' radius "S" curve, look at the NPS trackage at Lowell, MA.
I've never really spent any time looking at this potential, but the Tomix (rather than Kato) has a full set of tram trackage components suitable for modules, and apparently some design standards that are similar to T-trak: http://www.trainweb.org/tomix/tt/tt.htm
This one is black geared, brand spanking new, and runs quite nicely, I just hate that it has bulb lighting.
If/when it quits, I already have the correct wheelbase tomix chassis researched and book marked.
But not mine to tamper with until then, lol!
The plan as you surmised is to use tomix mini fine track in the park and wide track in the street as they have 103mm radius turns, just over 4”. The Brill and the PCC can both handle that easily stock, while the DCC Peter Witt needs 5.5”.
I was going to need a 5v DC power bus anyway for some lighting and audio, so I might as well use it for the trolley loop as well. And they do make functional power poles for these things so if she ever wanted to, I could make it really run off an overhead wire.
I’m excited to see what she does with her “blank canvas”.
I just got the most wonderful hand-held throttle ever for tiny gearhead drives and it should work for small N too - but because it doesn't need 110V supply and runs off of a 9V battery (!) it's just ideal for Ttrak modules, particularly where you're running an 'independent' operation off of the track bus or just want to do testing.
Blue Line snail speed controller - it's what appears to be a square-wave throttle design running off of a 9V battery, all you have is a tiny rheostat and a DPDT switch and a pushbutton for braking. It can tick my little motors over one pole at a time. One of the neatest things I've bought in a long time. I've been looking for something to control gearhead motors down to minimum speed and this is it.
Kato had a poll about American prototype streetcars posted on their website about three years ago.
Maybe we'll see a product of that type announced soon?
I’m going to lump the last few days roller coaster ride in one post.
I finally got to test fit some track, and was waiting on my wife to arrive home to give me a helping hand so I could mark the resulting curves to start carving.
I let her know I was using the garage floor, but she forgot.
You guessed it.
She drove the X3 onto the modules.
This is module 2, with a nice Toyo tire imprint where I was going to carve anyway. No biggie.
Module 1 was less lucky, the tire was on the very end and crushed and distorted the foam, and cracked the plywood too.
So we cut the foam back, and I added an under support/cross race on that end, and glued it into place on my siderails and to the plywood top as extra support.
The longer upper one was there only to make sure the plywood stayed flat and even with the rest of the top when clamped.
After it dried last night it was 99.3% good as new and ready for new foam this weekend.
So we assembled her modules tonight.
I bought her a laser cut quad and a twin and some buildings for our 1 year anniversary
She wants to build a 50s SoCal town park and downtown.
The quad was super easy, it went together perfectly and easily.
The twin did not.
The manufacturer was off on their tab spacing on the front and rear caps on the twins.
I had to trim the tabs as they were about 1/8 -1/4 inch out of alignment.
Easy enough to narrow the tabs that amount with a steady hand and a jigsaw to make them fit, but it made it much more difficult and time consuming than it should have been.
Both are glued and drying now.
We will be able to add the mainline track tomorrow.
Tomytec chassis also have incredible pickup, better than any of my switchers
Uh oh. Scary. And has me wondering how such a mistake could have been made.
I’m guessing I got someone else’s front/rear and they got mine.
As per retailer policy, I won’t mention names but they are the only company that makes a 16” deep like these are. You can figure it out from there.
Corks and track laid, track wired, joints soldered, filed, and burnished. It has two drops with Kato connectors, BWWB. Front should be marked red and rear, yellow, correct?
As pictured, was prior to me completing the glueing/straightening today, and cant find my bit of piano wire to do the servo linkage install.
I’ll wait to do the ballasting after wife does the scenery and painting, and after we install the DC trolley loop around the park and lake.
I’ll try to lay track on my wife’s other module tonight, if I can find the missing set of SJ62s. Otherwise it will have to wait a week or so more to be done and ready for testing.
Question I could not find an answer to: under TTrak can I tap power off the red or yellow loop for my switch pilot, light hub and/or dc trolley throttle? Or should I just supply my own 14v 3 amp DC wall wart power supply?
I want to “play nice” , but I also don’t want to need a standalone 14v dc power supply all the time either.
You can tap off the tracks as long as you are not stealing too much juice from the command station that is powering the overall layout.
Thanks. I’ll probably do the light hub and the switch pilot servo off the tracks, since they have very little draw, And use 4x AA batteries for the trolley controller to make it more group friendly.
A 9 volt might be better
I have LOTS of rechargeable AA, and I don’t want more than 5-6volts, not with 4” radius curves.