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62938Re: Noch's Tessin layout

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  • webebob
    Aug 3, 2009
      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "stevepiw" <stevepiw@...> wrote:
      Hello Steve, welcome aboard! I am a newbie so please discount my advice heavily, I may be know'ed better tommorrow!
      > Is this a good application for the zthek battery controller?

      Yes! Your choices: Marklin Battery box, Marklin transformer, MRC 1300 transformer modified to reduce power output, MRC 2600/2800? capable of powering two loops (when same mod applied to suitably prevent overvoltage (or modify yourself by Buying stock units either and just don't turn the throttle knobs past 60%) and then the best - the Zthek controller. Light as a battery box, ability to use wall power and run with no discharged battery slowing performance, ultra creeper throttle control, positive off and direction toggle switch. I'd recommend the Zthek with the optional AC power.

      If I were to install a few lights, what would power the lights?

      If you buy a Marklin transformer, it will have AC outlets at fixed output voltage (14-16volts AC) These are the Marklin power source for lighting. Or, just cheat and wait a month or two. After labor day the christmas decorations will be out and you can buy a stringer of LED christmas lights for $10 or less. Plug into wall, no trafo purchase required, and string under your layout and drill popups under the houses for home illumination. Caution! on one of my older layouts the builder had done this, but had used the old incandescent (thin bayonet filament-type bulb) christmas lights, they got so hot the buildings began to sag! Builder even put foil insulation in some of the buildings to keep the heat from warping. In all fairness, this layout was built before the cool running led's appeared in the christmas ornament market.

      Track, without re-igniting the recent firestorm, there are two brands of track commercially available, Marklin, without built-in ballast, and Micro-Trains, with ballast built underneath the track. The marklin track is more expensive, more fragile: it has two "pop-latches" (sorry for not using the correct terminology.) so you start to fit two track pieces together using the rail joiner sleeves, and then before you push completely together, it will go together better if you angle one of the pieces so the pop latch slides over and down into the holder latch, instead of trying to push the pop latch extension part it through into the holder; do the same for removal. Clear as mud? try looking at this video for larger O scale MTH track assembly, same irritating pop-latches on the MTH track as on Marklin: http://extranet.mth-railking.com/videos/see.asp?show=realtrax_assembly&size=big

      The second fragile part of marklin track, if you "nail" it to the roadbed, you can easily distort the tie with the hole in it in which you drove the nail into the roadbed, pushing the tie down too much in the roadbed, thereby bending the the rail inwards and losing optimal spec width in that rail section, this may cause wheel tracking problems later, hence the instruction to keep the rails even.

      Everybody has an opinion on both brands of track, fortunately, you can decide for yourself with a cheap education:

      a loop of MTL starter track sells for $15-$17 retail, buy one and a similar amount of Marklin track, assemble them and decide for yourself. $30-$40 is a cheap education. A $400 track order to a vendor, sight unseen, is not. And the loser in your evaluation can be kept for "benchwork" track, or sold on the bay to recoup some of your educational funds.

      ok, that is enough to make your scratch your head today. have fun, this is supposed to be a diversion from life's problems! ha ha
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