1. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I have been stalled myself this week. I am looking over a huge stack of divorce paperwork that is so daunting, I climb back into bed and try to ignore it is real. I have been staring at that stuff for a month, and just can't get motivated to do anything about it. Sometimes I escape into model railroading, but time grows near that I have to respond to the paperwork.
     
  2. poppy2201

    poppy2201 TrainBoard Member

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    The glue is dry on the quint modules and now it's time to test fit to make sure the 245/270mm corners and the 1098mm x 320mm quint modules all fit on the 30" x 72" folding banquet table. AnyRail showed it would. Does it fit? Just barely but should all work out fine.

    Quint_Endcap Test Fit 0001.JPG
     
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  3. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Looks good Charles. I'm glad to see that the 320mm deep modules still have room for wires behind them, and I do feel the 270/245 mm radius corners was a smart move.
     
  4. poppy2201

    poppy2201 TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Robert. Some in the community may not think so but I feel that the space is adequate. You just have to be creative and keep an open mind. As far as the corners, 245/270mm radius is one of the smartest moves I have made. 195mm radius have been around for decades and manufacturers have relied on this being a "standard" but I think it is time for them to rethink this logic. I probably won't see it in my lifetime.
     
  5. GSax

    GSax TrainBoard Member

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    It is good to see the discussion on T-Trak Z. The lightbulb went on for me with the recent articles in Ztrak Magazine.

    I am trying to start a group in Chicago. To get to critical mass quickly I have built enough modules and bus wiring to make a T-Trak-Z oval. The straight modules are finished and their portraits are included below. The curved sections are in the Plywood Pacific or Pink Foam Prairie stage. My curves do, however, have a unique feature. They are only 30 degrees and can be either inside or outside curves. Most importantly, the arrangement allows the whole oval to fit inside two “roll-on” suitcases.

    This looks like serious fun.

    If you, or someone you know, are in the Chicago area and interested in forming a group, let me know.


    upload_2020-2-6_10-15-49.jpeg

    upload_2020-2-6_10-16-58.jpeg
     
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  6. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Hi GSax, Welcome to the Z forum. Even though you have not finished your corner modules yet, please post them as I would like to see what a combo inside/outside use curve looks like. I am still in the process of building my first loop of modules too.
     
  7. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Here are some pics of my special 480mm deep turntable module construction. As I posted it needed to be designed and cut in splicable pieces because it would not fit on my laser:
    [​IMG]

    So I was able to cut it, splice and assemble OK. I also decided to add color LED's on the skyboard:
    01.jpg
    I put 1/8" plywood spacers on the lower part of the skyboard, and hot glued in RGB Fairy Lights ($10 for the RF remote version from Amazon), then cut mountain sillouette backdrops over the LED's. I wanted to be able to have a "Purple Mountain Majesty" effect to simulate morning over the mountains. I hastily slapped some paint to simulate a tree'd mountain range like you see behind the town of Lester WA just before the Stampede Pass.
    02.jpg
    As the day progresses, I can change the color to yellow for daytime sunlight, then later to blue for dusk. If you look very carefully, you can make out the sine wave finger joint splice on the top of the module to the left and right of the turntable hole.
    03.jpg
     
  8. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I added another Z55 club exclusive to the T-Trak Z standard, an Orange/Black powerpole connection in the spare space for RGB skyboard lighting. The RGB LED strip has 100 LED's on it, and is more than enough to light 2 modules, so using the Orange/Black powerpoles, I can daisy chain light control to an adjacent module.
    04.jpg
    Underneath, you can see a 12v to 5v Buck Converter feeding power to the RGB Fairy Light w/RF Remote. What is nice about the RF remote is that one remote can change the color to all the skyboards using other strings of the same brand RGB Fairy Lights controller within 30 feet range. If you had a huge layout, you could walk around it and press the color button you want, and eventually all modules will be sync'ed to the same color.

    I still have to mount the terminal strip for my 12V power bus. Also, if you look closely, you can see that I just used 2"x 1/4-20 setscrews with 5mm black rubber caps as leg levelers.
    05.jpg
     
  9. GSax

    GSax TrainBoard Member

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    Rob,
    Here is the birds eye view. The gray is painted pink foam waiting to be carved.

    upload_2020-2-6_15-23-18.jpeg

    The main driver for the dimension was so they could double stack into my roll-ons for ease of transportation. This pix were taken before I put down the track.

    upload_2020-2-6_15-28-50.jpeg upload_2020-2-6_15-28-50.jpeg upload_2020-2-6_15-28-50.jpeg
     
  10. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Nice GSax! I like your idea for 30 degree modules, and I think I will do that for one of my ends. I already made one 90 degree module, so I have 270 degrees left to do. Your 30 degree modules are like the Bend Track of the otherwise square TTZ format.


    With those modules a whole world of new possibilities are possible. [​IMG] "TTZ-Bend" It's a thing, I just seen examples of such modules! :D
     
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  11. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

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    I'm curious with one module sitting directly on top of the other, What's going to stop the top module from shifting around and destroying the scenery on the bottom module?
     
  12. GSax

    GSax TrainBoard Member

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    Current plan is screwing on a couple strip of hardboard (masonite), one on each side. If I angle them somewhat in opposite directions, It should stop excessive wiggling. Plan only at this time. No empirical data yet.
     
  13. rvn2001

    rvn2001 TrainBoard Member

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    ModuleCombo.jpg
    I bought 2 single T-TRAK-Z modules and now have them assembled. I wanted to see how well they would work with my T-rail-Z modules. The front edges of the modules are off by about 1/2". The tracks line up and connect, though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
  14. rvn2001

    rvn2001 TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  15. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I never heard of T-Rail Z, but I have seen Z Scale mini modules at a few NTS shows, and didn't get the name of the format then. I just recently found out about T-Trak Z, when I seen the Portland guys at the NTS in Salt Lake 2019.

    So as I mentioned earlier, I made some addons to TTZ, while maintaining compatibility with what is out there already. Today I devised my plans to use Atlas track instead of Rokuhan. What I came up with to reduce cost and maintain compatibility was bought the Rokuhan R030 25mm straight tracks, then cut them in the center of the middle tie with a Cutoff Disc in my dremel.

    Next I slid out the Rokuhan rails, sanded the roadbed smooth past the cut tie, widened the inside of the rail joiner a little with a jewelers screwdriver, cut off 4 ties from the Atlas flex, and slid the Atlas rails into the Rokuhan roadbed piece. I measured and discovered that the Atlas flex sitting on top of 1/2 a slice of N Scale Midwest Cork is exactly the same height at the Rokuhan roadbet track. So there you have it, a legit Rokuhan track transition, yet the beauty of North American rail tie spacing.
    1.jpg
    The next thing I did was copy Gary Saxton's idea for a track alignment jig and made one that has the extra features I added to the modular format. I made Right and Left (backside of left jig pictured) jigs that you butt up the the front and top edge of the module, then can clamp them on with any small clamp, and not only align the 2 main tracks at 3" and 4" setback, but you can build yard modules with up to 6 tracks.

    I measured both Atlas and Rohuhan tracks, and if you do not want to use the Rokuhan track, and instead use Atlas flex all the way to the end, this jig fits both type tracks snugly. Also included is an optional alignment pin mounting hole with part number that fits under and between the standard 3" and 4" tracks, an optional 3/4" hole for fishing through the RJ11 DCC command cable, and an optional 90lb pull super magnet and iron washer to hold the modules in alignment. (I have these magnets on all my modules for precise alignment and minimal ugly gap)
    2.jpg
     
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  16. rvn2001

    rvn2001 TrainBoard Member

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    T-rail-Z is a standard that I created while T-TRAK-Z was still using MTL roadbed track. I use the 245mm & 270mm radius curves. They're mounted to a slightly less than 13" X 13" piece of 2" thick rigid insulation foam. I installed 1/4-20 T-nuts on the corners and use 1/4-20 carriage bolts as leveling feet. I even created a Yahoo group for it. I couldn't get anyone else to join me in this endeavor, though.
     
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  17. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Thom, your T-rail-Z modules are a lot like my first end module, in that I too wanted the 245/270mm radius turns, but because my laser only fits 300mm in one of it's axes, I made it 345mm x 300mm. One side matches the T-Trak Z connection, but the other has the track setback from the front of the module at 45mm less than the 3", so it's 31.2mm, about 1-1/4" setback on that side. The track will mate up OK with the T-Trak Z standard, but the edge of the module on that side will be offset if mated with someone elses end modules.

    I have a feeling that TTZ will catch on because a lot of the Z-Bend Track guys are getting older, and the modules are heavy, and take a lot of work to setup. That plus standing on the concrete all day to run trains takes it's toll. I have been running ZBT modules for 16 years, and at the last couple shows, it has been harder and harder to setup. Getting on the floor to level feet, Spending hours under optivisor installing those 8592 marklin adjustable tracks, just grief.

    That's why I am going the extra mile with all the addon features on my modules. I want quick setup and teardown, and to be able to sit down to run trains, have people pull up a chair to talk. Like Larry Donsback from Texas did at the 2008 NTS, he ran mini modules and had a blast. In fact I observed that as all the guys got older, they started bringing smaller table top layouts and modules to the shows, and let the young guys do all the tall standing modules.

    As we age, we want easier on our backs and feet solutions, and T-Trak Z seems to fit the bill. I noticed the older N-Trak guys are turning into T-Trak guys too!
     
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  18. GSax

    GSax TrainBoard Member

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    Robert seems to always make improvements on what is generally available.

    The wish I knew about the Atlas to Rohuhan conversion before. Atlas is much better looking in my opinion. I have some scratch bridges I would have much rather used over the Rokuhan girder bridges in by "bridge" module. If I ever build a yard, the cost savings will be significant.

    He also on made some nice improvements to my jig. I sent him a pix in a conversation reliving some old Baz Boyz times that would be irrelevant to this group. A clean up version of the pix follows.

    upload_2020-2-9_11-58-18.jpeg

    It is good for placing track in three ways. The track placement from the front is obvious. The notch at the top is for top of module which equals bottom of track height. The non-obvious value is its thickness. It averages 0.044" thick which is close to 1.1 mm. Thus the edge helps place the track overhang beyond the module. These were particularly helpful in track placement on the 30 degree modules. You cannot see from he birds eye view pix but, there are no gaps whatsoever. That is fourteen modules with virtually a perfect fit. I surprised myself on that one.

    If anybody wants a pair, I will sent them to you. You can give me the needed personal info in a conversation. The biggest expense is postage. So if I do not get overwhelmed with requests, they are free for the asking. Also, I made a few for Rob Klutz to hand out at the national train show in St Louis this summer. He used them building his Ztrack Magazine display module. If you have a cutter, I can send a .dxf or .svg file. If you want a multi-track version, I was going to do that sooner or later anyway. Let me know.

    This is, indeed, serious fun.
     
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  19. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Rob, the backlighting photos look like the Aurora Borealis :) Get a couple of strips that can be paralleled and random dim cycles !
     
  20. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I had the lights off, the effect is minimal at full brightness. They can be dimmed and cycle through colors, but there is a dutch DCC system that has a RGB LED controller as part of their system. Digikeijs has the DCC system I want, I email inquired about their turntable controller today, to see if it can be made to work with Rokuhan. https://www.digikeijs.com/en/dr5052-turntable-controller.html
     

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