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Re: new layout opinion time for switching

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  • pray59_2
    Nice video! Is it a tv news clip? (I don t speek german) I used the ffdshow DivX codec to play it. -Robert
    Message 1 of 23 , Dec 30, 2004
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      Nice video! Is it a tv news clip? (I don't speek german) I used the
      ffdshow DivX codec to play it.

      -Robert
    • jim_manley_alpha_six
      Right you are, aZ alwayZ, Robert, For Windoze and Mac uZerZ, you can download the far-superior-to-WiMP DivX player (and six month trial of the DivX Pro encoder
      Message 2 of 23 , Dec 30, 2004
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        Right you are, aZ alwayZ, Robert,

        For Windoze and Mac uZerZ, you can download the far-superior-to-WiMP
        DivX player (and six month trial of the DivX Pro encoder - very cool) at:

        http://www.divx.com/divx/download/

        ThankZ to Jeremy and Jens for the clip, and All Z BeZt,
        Jim


        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "pray59_2" <pray59@s...> wrote:
        >
        > Nice video! Is it a tv news clip? (I don't speek german) I used the
        > ffdshow DivX codec to play it.
        >
        > -Robert
      • de Champeaux Dominique
        ... Lajos, in the absolute I agree with you. But, my opinion, and only my opinion, is: - a railroad is made to carry freight or passengers from a point A to a
        Message 3 of 23 , Dec 30, 2004
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          --- Lajos Thek <olaj@...> a écrit :
          >
          >
          > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, de Champeaux
          > Dominique
          > <ddechamp71@y...> wrote:
          > > ...I find continuous loops boring and
          > > unprototypical.
          >
          > Boring? The continuous loops shouldn't mean
          > the trains must run around and around like
          > a wind-up toy. One of the reasons God invented
          > the tunnel, you can stop a train inside, start
          > another one on the same or opposite direction,
          > you can create real action on both side of one
          > single tunnel. If you install a hidden staging
          > yard, the whole thing become even more interesting.
          > You can run fairly long trainZ based on some kind
          > of time table. Now, if you combine your hidden
          > yard with an open switching yard, you have almost
          > everything...
          >
          > Lajos


          Lajos, in the absolute I agree with you. But, my
          opinion, and only my opinion, is:

          - a railroad is made to carry freight or passengers
          from a point A to a point B.

          - if you are lacking room, wich is oftenly the case of
          Z scalers, a continuous loop means tight curve radii.
          That's why, as my restrictions "were" very few
          available room, I chose a switching type layout to
          begin, to have something which is fun to operate, and
          that is, in my opinion, more prototypical than a coffe
          table sized loop.

          Just my opinion.

          Dominique






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        • Dennis Skea
          One great thing about model railroading: YOU are the president, COO, Chief Engineer, Conductor, and everything else. This means that YOU decide what goes. I
          Message 4 of 23 , Dec 30, 2004
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            One great thing about model railroading: YOU are the president, COO, Chief Engineer, Conductor, and everything else. This means that YOU decide what goes.
            I love switching layouts; I'm always putting them together on a 1' x 4' foam base, but I also LOVE running trains, so I use a 2' x 4' foam base for that. Have Fun!!!!!
            Dennis Skea
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: de Champeaux Dominique
            To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: 12/30/2004 7:45 PM
            Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: new layout opinion time


            --- Lajos Thek <olaj@...> a écrit :
            >
            >
            > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, de Champeaux
            > Dominique
            > <ddechamp71@y...> wrote:
            > > ...I find continuous loops boring and
            > > unprototypical.
            >
            > Boring? The continuous loops shouldn't mean
            > the trains must run around and around like
            > a wind-up toy. One of the reasons God invented
            > the tunnel, you can stop a train inside, start
            > another one on the same or opposite direction,
            > you can create real action on both side of one
            > single tunnel. If you install a hidden staging
            > yard, the whole thing become even more interesting.
            > You can run fairly long trainZ based on some kind
            > of time table. Now, if you combine your hidden
            > yard with an open switching yard, you have almost
            > everything...
            >
            > Lajos


            Lajos, in the absolute I agree with you. But, my
            opinion, and only my opinion, is:

            - a railroad is made to carry freight or passengers
            from a point A to a point B.

            - if you are lacking room, wich is oftenly the case of
            Z scalers, a continuous loop means tight curve radii.
            That's why, as my restrictions "were" very few
            available room, I chose a switching type layout to
            begin, to have something which is fun to operate, and
            that is, in my opinion, more prototypical than a coffe
            table sized loop.

            Just my opinion.

            Dominique






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          • ted_lamar@peoplesoft.com
            I am hearing the German dialogue (and little Z motors) - but not seeing anything. Ted LaMar QAE-EPM-Portal 925-694-5839 Let us not grow tired of doing good,
            Message 5 of 23 , Dec 30, 2004
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              I am hearing the German dialogue (and little Z motors) - but not seeing
              anything.

              Ted LaMar
              QAE-EPM-Portal
              925-694-5839

              "Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap the
              harvest, if we do not give up."




              "jim_manley_alpha
              _six" To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
              <jim_manley@hotma cc: (bcc: Ted Lamar/PeopleSoft)
              il.com> Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: new layout opinion time for switching

              12/30/2004 02:57
              PM
              Please respond to
              z_scale









              Hi Jeremy,

              All I get when I try to play MBB.avi in Windoze Media Mangler/Player
              video-wise is a psychedelic clip that looks like something you'd see
              in Apple iTuneZ when it's playing something not-too-wild, and I'm not
              hearing any sound (but I'm working on a new computer that may not be
              quite configured correctly, at the moment, especially since I was
              trying to get voice chat working on it last night).

              All Z BeZt,
              Jim

              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Jeremy Brandon" <Jeremy.Brandon@t...>
              wrote:
              >
              > It's not switching, but if you want to see the control possible with
              > the DeLuxe, take a look at this video, courtesy of Jens Wimmel who
              > recorded it from German television:
              >
              > http://home.datacomm.ch/zettsiite/MBB.avi







              -Z- WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!

              Yahoo! Groups Links
            • omg_joel
              ME TOO ted_lamar@peoplesoft.com wrote: I am hearing the German dialogue (and little Z motors) - but not seeing anything. Ted LaMar QAE-EPM-Portal 925-694-5839
              Message 6 of 23 , Dec 30, 2004
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                ME TOO

                ted_lamar@... wrote:

                I am hearing the German dialogue (and little Z motors) - but not seeing
                anything.

                Ted LaMar
                QAE-EPM-Portal
                925-694-5839

                "Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap the
                harvest, if we do not give up."




                "jim_manley_alpha
                _six" To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                <jim_manley@hotma cc: (bcc: Ted Lamar/PeopleSoft)
                il.com> Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: new layout opinion time for switching

                12/30/2004 02:57
                PM
                Please respond to
                z_scale









                Hi Jeremy,

                All I get when I try to play MBB.avi in Windoze Media Mangler/Player
                video-wise is a psychedelic clip that looks like something you'd see
                in Apple iTuneZ when it's playing something not-too-wild, and I'm not
                hearing any sound (but I'm working on a new computer that may not be
                quite configured correctly, at the moment, especially since I was
                trying to get voice chat working on it last night).

                All Z BeZt,
                Jim

                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Jeremy Brandon" <Jeremy.Brandon@t...>
                wrote:
                >
                > It's not switching, but if you want to see the control possible with
                > the DeLuxe, take a look at this video, courtesy of Jens Wimmel who
                > recorded it from German television:
                >
                > http://home.datacomm.ch/zettsiite/MBB.avi







                -Z- WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!

                Yahoo! Groups Links














                -Z- WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!



                Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT


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                To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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              • pray59_2
                ... H Ted, download the open source ffdshow codec pack for your system here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ffdshow Then you can view DivX content with your
                Message 7 of 23 , Dec 30, 2004
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                  ted_lamar wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > I am hearing the German dialogue (and little Z motors) - but not seeing
                  > anything.
                  >
                  > Ted LaMar


                  H Ted, download the open source ffdshow codec pack for your system here:

                  http://sourceforge.net/projects/ffdshow

                  Then you can view DivX content with your audio.

                  -Robert
                • Bill Hoshiko
                  ... layouts. The rate of change of speed is very quick so it is easy to control the locos, but it is impossible to jerk the train and accidently uncouple what
                  Message 8 of 23 , Dec 30, 2004
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                    "Jeremy Brandon" <Jeremy.Brandon@t...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I would like to answer this comment! The DeLuxe has gradual
                    > acceleration and braking just so it CAN be used on switching
                    layouts. The rate of change of speed is very quick so it is easy to
                    control the locos, but it is impossible to jerk the train and
                    accidently uncouple what you have just painstakingly coupled together.
                    Manfred Joerger and I do a lot of switching with the DeLuxe and
                    wouldn't use anything else!
                    >
                    It's not switching, but if you want to see the control possible with
                    the DeLuxe, take a look at this video, courtesy of Jens Wimmel who
                    recorded it from German television:
                    >
                    > http://home.datacomm.ch/zettsiite/MBB.avi
                    >
                    > Jeremy.


                    Sorry, Jeremy,

                    I am an old timer and I can remember all the hoopla about momentum,
                    electronic flywheels, and all that from years ago. I can remember how
                    proud on operator was that it took more than five minutes to get a
                    train going because they had to pump up the brakes and some other such
                    thing. Of course there was the sound of the diesel engine generating
                    electricity so that the compressors could compress and refill all the
                    trains brake systems untill the the brakes are released.

                    This "feedback" thing is new to me and I have never operated one. My
                    understanding was that the feedback feature allowed a train to
                    maintain a constant speed whether it is climbing a grade or descending
                    a grade. Am I wrong? When ever I read something about feedback that
                    feature was always emphasized.

                    How does slow to start and slow to stop help when spotting cars in
                    industrial sidings? Freight cars must be spotted so that the car
                    doors are directly opposite the doors of warehouses. This is very
                    difficult to achieve if you have gradual braking.

                    I am not trying to criticize, I want to learn. I cannot spend money
                    just to test various controllers. I can just use my MRC with a long
                    extension cord.

                    We have just been treated with several different programs for viewing
                    your videos but I have downloaded much too many programs only to have
                    them dissapear somewhere inside the electronics of my computer never
                    to reappear. If it connot be viewed by RealTime or Microsoft than I
                    will never view it.

                    During my lifetime there were many things that I was never able to see
                    and many things that I have seen were not worth the effort. Some of
                    the things that were not worth the effort was the Grand Canyon on a
                    hazy day (when ever is the canyon not hazy?) and the Mona Lisa display
                    in the Louvre museum. Of course it could be that I am truly an
                    uncouth sloth.

                    Perhaps some of the others who are currently using the DeLux power can
                    report on their use during slow speed switching. While using the
                    DeLux can you couple a single car without causing it to move.

                    If you can do this, please tell me what type of coupler allows you to
                    do this. Or, how have you adapted the MT coupler? Sometime back I
                    received the suggestion to use only the hook portion of the MT and a
                    gentle coupling could be achieved. I haven't tried it yet so I don't
                    know if it is true or not.

                    Not trying to start a war, just want to build a layout to my
                    requirements. There are many things that I cannot change for I am not
                    talented, but those things that can be adapted, I want to use. Often,
                    the only way things get clarified is by making bold and stupid
                    statements. When I am corrected I learn.

                    I am still unclear about the use of your DeLux controller on a true
                    switching (shunting) layout as found in the UK. Not a controller
                    being used for switching the yards on a continuous run layout.

                    Bill
                    El Toro, Ca
                  • Jeremy Brandon
                    ... I started running model trains 55 years ago. ... Feedback does that of course, to some extent. But that is not why the DeLuxe uses feedback. Feedback
                    Message 9 of 23 , Dec 31, 2004
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                      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Hoshiko" <billhko@y...> wrote:
                      > I am an old timer ...

                      I started running model trains 55 years ago.


                      > This "feedback" thing is new to me and I have never operated one.
                      > My understanding was that the feedback feature allowed a train to
                      > maintain a constant speed whether it is climbing a grade or
                      > descending a grade.

                      Feedback does that of course, to some extent. But that is not why the
                      DeLuxe uses feedback. Feedback allows the controlling computer to see
                      the effect of every pulse and to adjust the time and width of the next
                      pulse to maintain the actual speed of the loco to exactly what you
                      want it to be. This is particularly important when accelerating or
                      braking. All but the very best motors with the very best gear drives
                      will not run smoothly at all speeds when given a constant steady
                      voltage or repetitive identical pulses. By using feedback it is
                      possible to keep that little commutator turning steadily at any speed.


                      > How does slow to start and slow to stop help when spotting cars in
                      > industrial sidings? Freight cars must be spotted so that the car
                      > doors are directly opposite the doors of warehouses. This is very
                      > difficult to achieve if you have gradual braking.

                      It helps by keeping the loco running smoothly, even if you turn the
                      speed control too much. And braking acts much faster than acceleration
                      - from full speed to stop in about 4 inches. I don't expect you plan
                      to do your switching at anything other than a prototypical crawl - you
                      would not even notice the gradual braking.

                      I use Mäerklin couplers. With the DeLuxe I can creep any one of my
                      locos back onto the wagons, stop it when the couplers are just
                      touching, then crawl it back until the couplers join and stop it
                      without moving the wagons, set reverse, and slowly accelerate away.
                      Even if I am rough with the speed control I cannot make the train jerk.


                      > I am not trying to criticize, I want to learn. I cannot spend money
                      > just to test various controllers. I can just use my MRC with a long
                      > extension cord.

                      If the MRC gives you the performance you want, then why change. Can it
                      do what I have just described is possible with the DeLuxe?


                      > We have just been treated with several different programs for
                      > viewing your videos but I have downloaded much too many programs
                      > only to have them dissapear somewhere inside the electronics of my
                      > computer never to reappear. If it connot be viewed by RealTime or
                      > Microsoft than I will never view it.

                      Jim Manley posted the link to download the codec to view it (which
                      works with both of your prefered viewers). I am sorry I had forgotton
                      that not all viewers automatically fetch the codec they need.


                      > Perhaps some of the others who are currently using the DeLux power
                      > can report on their use during slow speed switching.

                      I hope they will. David George should have somehing to report very soon.


                      > While using the DeLux can you couple a single car without causing
                      > it to move.

                      With Maerklin couplers a single car prefers to move backwards rather
                      than slide the couplers sideways past each other. That is nothing to
                      do with the DeLuxe! Try a bit of weight in the cars and it might be
                      better.


                      > If you can do this, please tell me what type of coupler allows you
                      > to do this.

                      I do not have enough experience of MT couplers to know if they can do
                      it. Maerklin can do it with a bit more weight in the car.


                      > Not trying to start a war, just want to build a layout to my
                      > requirements.

                      I am sure you would not be disappointed if you used a DeLuxe.


                      > I am still unclear about the use of your DeLux controller on a true
                      > switching (shunting) layout as found in the UK. Not a controller
                      > being used for switching the yards on a continuous run layout.

                      I do not understand the particular reference to "UK"! I have used the
                      DeLuxe for switching on a small demonstration track using Manfred
                      Joerger's modified Maerklin couplers. The control is absolute - the
                      loco moves exactly when and how you want it to.

                      I hope that helps. Jeremy.
                    • Bill Hoshiko
                      Thanks Jeremy, The word is getting out. Without purchasing a DeLux, I could never discover these attributes that you are describing. Perhaps the description
                      Message 10 of 23 , Dec 31, 2004
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                        Thanks Jeremy,

                        The word is getting out. Without purchasing a DeLux, I could never
                        discover these attributes that you are describing. Perhaps the
                        description of your controller in Ztrack could contain words that
                        describe all that you just wrote. If the advertisement for your
                        controller does not adequately indicate what it can do, we will never
                        find out.

                        Marklin couplers on US trains just totally destroy the illusion. If I
                        were modeling European trains I would be working toward bringing those
                        bumpers closer together. Why have bumpers when they couple so far
                        apart. Sorry.

                        Bill
                        El Toro, Ca
                      • Chris Mears
                        Hello again, thanks for the input so far. I agree that there are a great number of variations on the continuous run layout theme, and the feedback with layout
                        Message 11 of 23 , Jan 1, 2005
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                          Hello again, thanks for the input so far.

                          I agree that there are a great number of variations on the continuous
                          run layout theme, and the feedback with layout design suggestions has
                          been great too!

                          Thanks for the feedback on rail size. I don't mind thinking of
                          something closer to scale for a later project, but now I just want to
                          get building, and my research tells me that the pile of
                          MicroEngineering code 55 rail I already have will more than suffice to
                          produce trackwork that should be directly interchangeable with
                          Marklin, MT, and so on. What are the wheel flanges like on Marklin,
                          can they handle the smaller rails (I only have MT trucks and wheelsets
                          so far).

                          With regard to operation, what I am curious to, and perhaps the
                          allusion will have to suffice, but (given optimal conditions), is
                          switching cars a possibility? What is the slow speed running like? I
                          have been able to look through many of the videos online featuring Z
                          layouts, and I am really impressed with the smooth operation over the
                          main that is acheiveable. Perhaps I need to re-think, and consider a
                          continuous run myself with options to set out cars?

                          Happy new year all, thanks for taking the time to contribute to this
                          list and make it (and the scale too!) so interesting.

                          Chris Mears
                          Charlottetown, PEI
                        • de Champeaux Dominique
                          ... Bill, it s still the same problem: our beloved small trainZ have to operate on tight radii curves (R= 145 mm for Marklin sectional). That s why AZL locos
                          Message 12 of 23 , Jan 1, 2005
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                            > Marklin couplers on US trains just totally destroy
                            > the illusion. If I
                            > were modeling European trains I would be working
                            > toward bringing those
                            > bumpers closer together. Why have bumpers when they
                            > couple so far
                            > apart. Sorry.
                            >
                            > Bill
                            > El Toro, Ca


                            Bill, it's still the same problem: our beloved small
                            trainZ have to operate on tight radii curves (R= 145
                            mm for Marklin sectional). That's why AZL locos have
                            protruding MTL couplers, and that's why Marklin euro
                            stuff is "loose" between buffers. And about Marklin,
                            the design of their couplers implies the location of
                            trucks on US boxcars and some euro freight cars that
                            are inwards, more than of prototype. Puting the
                            couplers more inwards have close buffers between each
                            car should imply trucks beeing even more towards the
                            center....So it's still a compromise between accuracy
                            and operations. The same than about code 55 rails vs
                            code 40 rails.

                            Happy new year to all,

                            Dominique






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                          • Bill Hoshiko
                            ... Hi Dominique, Here in the states we have a saying Does the tail wag the Dog? I go into model trains in order to escape from the rigors of a world over
                            Message 13 of 23 , Jan 2, 2005
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                              Dominique <ddechamp71@y...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Bill, it's still the same problem: our beloved small
                              > trainZ have to operate on tight radii curves (R= 145
                              > mm for Marklin sectional).

                              > Dominique
                              >

                              Hi Dominique,

                              Here in the states we have a saying "Does the tail wag the Dog?"

                              I go into model trains in order to escape from the rigors of a world
                              over which I have little control. It gives me a sense of freedom to
                              work with my trains while I still have to follow some unbendable rules.

                              The rules are that the train operates on two rails separated at a
                              specific distance and they are powered and controlled by electricity
                              that is delivered through the rails. Other rules are that these
                              trains should appear as realistic to the eyes as possible. Much of
                              the realism is limited by my ability to shape and paint wood, plastic,
                              metal and a few other items into realistic looking forms and I must
                              include an electrical mechanism that advances the train down the track.

                              I can also purchase items on the open market. Of the products that I
                              purchase I may have to modify them so that they would better fit my
                              own ideas of a realistic look.

                              One of my first concerns with the look of scale trains is the space
                              between each car in a train. Trains in the US prior to the 1960s had
                              a distance close enough for a brakeman to walk the entire length of a
                              train while the train is in motion. This is something that I have
                              seen in films since I was a little child. The first thing to do is to
                              shorten the couplers so that the distance between the cars are close
                              to 30 scale inches. The next is to find the minimum radius that these
                              coupled cars can traverse without derailing.

                              If you operate diesels with 6 coupled drive wheels or steam engines
                              with long wheel bases or cabs that extend quite far from the last
                              drive wheel you may need even larger radius curves. The radius of the
                              curves is determined by the appearance of your train traveling on the
                              curve and not the ability of the train to stay on the track while
                              going around it.

                              If I tell myself that I cannot lengthen the radius of my curves
                              because Marklin has R= 145 mm Marklin sectional curved track, then it
                              is the tail that is wagging the dog and when the tail wags the dog the
                              train looks more like a toy. Sorry

                              I did not mean to start the year with a flame. I simply want to have
                              a more realistic appearing Z scale model train. I personally do not
                              care if non model railroaders think that my trains are toys but I do
                              want long time model railroaders to view my trains as comparable to
                              the best of theirs wheather they model in 1/4 inch scale or in 2mm scale.

                              Bill
                              El Toro, Ca
                            • de Champeaux Dominique
                              ... Bill, I totally agree with you; myself I chose Z scale as I have now a room that would allow a very nice N scale layout, or even a good HO one, but my
                              Message 14 of 23 , Jan 2, 2005
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                                >
                                > Hi Dominique,
                                >
                                > Here in the states we have a saying "Does the tail
                                > wag the Dog?"
                                >
                                > I go into model trains in order to escape from the
                                > rigors of a world
                                > over which I have little control. It gives me a
                                > sense of freedom to
                                > work with my trains while I still have to follow
                                > some unbendable rules.
                                >
                                > The rules are that the train operates on two rails
                                > separated at a
                                > specific distance and they are powered and
                                > controlled by electricity
                                > that is delivered through the rails. Other rules
                                > are that these
                                > trains should appear as realistic to the eyes as
                                > possible. Much of
                                > the realism is limited by my ability to shape and
                                > paint wood, plastic,
                                > metal and a few other items into realistic looking
                                > forms and I must
                                > include an electrical mechanism that advances the
                                > train down the track.
                                >
                                > I can also purchase items on the open market. Of
                                > the products that I
                                > purchase I may have to modify them so that they
                                > would better fit my
                                > own ideas of a realistic look.
                                >
                                > One of my first concerns with the look of scale
                                > trains is the space
                                > between each car in a train. Trains in the US prior
                                > to the 1960s had
                                > a distance close enough for a brakeman to walk the
                                > entire length of a
                                > train while the train is in motion. This is
                                > something that I have
                                > seen in films since I was a little child. The first
                                > thing to do is to
                                > shorten the couplers so that the distance between
                                > the cars are close
                                > to 30 scale inches. The next is to find the minimum
                                > radius that these
                                > coupled cars can traverse without derailing.
                                >
                                > If you operate diesels with 6 coupled drive wheels
                                > or steam engines
                                > with long wheel bases or cabs that extend quite far
                                > from the last
                                > drive wheel you may need even larger radius curves.
                                > The radius of the
                                > curves is determined by the appearance of your train
                                > traveling on the
                                > curve and not the ability of the train to stay on
                                > the track while
                                > going around it.
                                >
                                > If I tell myself that I cannot lengthen the radius
                                > of my curves
                                > because Marklin has R= 145 mm Marklin sectional
                                > curved track, then it
                                > is the tail that is wagging the dog and when the
                                > tail wags the dog the
                                > train looks more like a toy. Sorry
                                >
                                > I did not mean to start the year with a flame. I
                                > simply want to have
                                > a more realistic appearing Z scale model train. I
                                > personally do not
                                > care if non model railroaders think that my trains
                                > are toys but I do
                                > want long time model railroaders to view my trains
                                > as comparable to
                                > the best of theirs wheather they model in 1/4 inch
                                > scale or in 2mm scale.
                                >
                                > Bill
                                > El Toro, Ca


                                Bill, I totally agree with you; myself I chose Z scale
                                as I have now a room that would allow a very nice N
                                scale layout, or even a good HO one, but my first
                                specification when back to modelrailroading, was broad
                                curves only.

                                When I was a kid, I had an HO layout, with very tight
                                curves (15" / 36cm), sectional track. And I remembered
                                that I already found horrible the sight of passenger
                                cars that were overhanging with a very unprototypical
                                shape. And because of these tight curves, which were
                                only sectional track from my trains' manufacturer
                                (Jouef, now disappeared french HO model train
                                manufacturer, with emphasis on french prototype), the
                                models were built with couplers giving an
                                unprototypical distance between rolling stock, with
                                buffers (as it was euro stuff) far from themselve.
                                Precisely to accomodate tight curves.

                                So I believe that at another scale, Marklin encounters
                                only the same problems with their Miniclub stuff.

                                AZL has also taken account of tight curves with their
                                releases.

                                Myself, as I have no curves under R=490mm either on my
                                diorama and my main in progress layout, I will modify
                                my couplers so as to have a fair spacing between my
                                locos and cars (changing coupler position on my AZL
                                locos, and towbar permanent coupling on my ABBA MTL
                                F-units sets).

                                I understand that it's easier to have close coupling
                                on US stuff than on Euro stuff, with the lack of
                                buffers on US stuff.

                                But, to summarise, and sorry for having been so long,
                                an industrial manufacturer as Marklin has to take
                                account of "tight curved users". That's why their
                                coupler system doesn't allow close coupling.

                                If I was an euro prototype modeller using Miniclub
                                stuff, I think one of my goals should be changing
                                Marklin couplers, to install MTL couplers and allowing
                                close coupling.

                                Just my 2 cents.

                                Dominique






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