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Re: [z_scale] How Smooth Is A Turnout Anyway?

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  • Ole Rosted
    On Wed, 28 Feb 2001 21:11:30 -0800, you wrote: Hi, This way of making turnouts is ridiculous and what I have been talking about the last three years here. ...
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 1 12:33 AM
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      On Wed, 28 Feb 2001 21:11:30 -0800, you wrote:

      Hi,

      This way of making turnouts is ridiculous and what I have been talking
      about the last three years here.

      > You can try some of
      >these solutions:
      > http://www.creativelement.com/z/articles/power.html
      >or you can, more simply, increase speed through turnouts :).

      A turnout that demands heavy modifications from the user and/or
      letting the functionality be determined by the speed of trains going
      throug the turnout is a real BLUNDER. Shame on you Marklin!!

      Here's a test: take an 8800 (0-6-0) and run it very slow through a
      turnout (from any entry point). If it stops: trow the turnout in your
      garbage disposer.

      Of course there will be nu turnouts left when you are finished, and
      you will be at a point where you will realize, that you'll have to
      make the turnouts yourself. (Or perhabs buy JHM turnouts - they *look*
      good, I haven't tried them) .

      Although I'm strongly in favor of you making your own turnouts
      I'm actually not the right person to advocate this, as it has not -
      till now - been possioble for me to make one. The reason for this is
      evident: I must be more clumsy than the average Z'er, as I know, that
      several members on this list (and other lists as well) make turnouts
      on a regular basis.
      And I know of persons in Z-land who can make them in 30 minutes flat.

      The Märklin turnouts are a nightmare, and you'll NEVER get them to
      work satisfactorily. The "solution" is to only run truck based loc.s
      at full speed through them. Even that will perhabs need some
      modifications as described on the very fine

      http://www.creativelement.com/z/articles/turnout.html

      page.

      regards Ole Rosted






      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >At 03:59 AM 3/1/2001 +0000, you wrote:
      >>Hi,
      >>
      >>I made the modifications to my turnout as suggested on
      >>
      >><http://www.creativelement.com/z/>http://www.creativelement.com/z/
      >>
      >>and it helped quite a bit. One question I should have asked in the
      >>beginning of this thread is, exactly how smooth should a turnout be. I
      >>see there's a bit of a dip, briefly - I understand that. What I've
      >>found though is if I cut the speed to a crawl, many times the lok will
      >>"stick" inside the turnout. The only way out of it is a gentle push or
      >>tap of the table. Is this normal? If it is, do all scales suffer from
      >>this?
      >>
      >>Thanks
      >>John
      >
      >___________________________________________
      >http://www.creativelement.com/z/
    • M. Gottschalch
      ... First, I don t think he was kidding by much on the speeding up the lok to get through the turnout. The most of the Z loks have electrical pickup on only
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 1 3:52 AM
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        jcubbin@... wrote:
        >
        > I read that article but I'm running a 8895, 2-6-0, no tender and it
        > really takes a performance hit through the turnout. At first I thought
        > it was perhaps because I had modified the turnout by removing the
        > solenoid but I don't think this is the case.
        >
        > As I said it really does lurch at bit at slow speeds, I know you were
        > only kidding about speeding the train up to avoid this, but that seems
        > the only way to prevent the power drop.
        >
        > This is a pretty unpleasant situation as it tends to blow the rhythm of
        > the lok. Is this just something that Z folks have to get used to?
        >
        > John
        >
        First, I don't think he was kidding by much on the speeding up the lok
        to get through the turnout. The most of the Z loks have electrical
        pickup on only two axles, usually the first and the last drivers. First
        check to make sure that the pickup wipers on the inside of the wheels
        are actually touching the back of the wheel as it moves from one side to
        the other. (they do have a bit of sideways play built in) I have had
        loks where the wipers were not bent out far enough to contact at all
        times. If that is OK, and the wheels are perfectly squeeky clean then
        the only option is more speed or to add more wipers as some people have
        done. On the smallest loks adding extra wipers to the center driver
        wheels is difficult but will give better electrical pickup.
        --
        Manfred
      • D. A. Karp
        I wasn t really kidding about speeding up slightly through turnouts. The problem is the turnouts are usually found in switching yards, where the speed is
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 1 10:09 AM
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          I wasn't really kidding about speeding up slightly through turnouts. The
          problem is the turnouts are usually found in switching yards, where the
          speed is supposed to be slow.

          For an example of adding extra wipers to the wheels to improve
          conductivity, see my review of the FR 8851 upgrade kit at:
          http://www.creativelement.com/z/reviews/freudenreich.html

          One of these days, I'll fuss around with my turnouts and try to add
          "conductivity" where none existed before. I agree with Ole Rosted, in that
          we shouldn't have to make all these modifications in order to have decent
          turnouts. Since these are our only practical choices at the moment, I
          suppose it's better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.

          I've got to wonder why both Peco and Micro-Trains make Z-scale track, yet
          neither manufacturer has ever made any turnouts.

          ___________________________________________
          http://www.creativelement.com/z/
        • Bill Hoshiko
          ... Ole You know that you are having a lot of fun with this problem of building a switch. You have gone into several new technologies that you never dreamed
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 1 10:45 AM
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            Ole Rosted wrote:
            >
            > On Wed, 28 Feb 2001 21:11:30 -0800, you wrote:
            >
            > Hi,
            >
            > This way of making turnouts is ridiculous and what I have been talking
            > about the last three years here.
            >

            Ole

            You know that you are having a lot of fun with this "problem" of
            building a switch. You have gone into several new technologies that you
            never dreamed of learning.

            It is learning these new technologies that slows down your quest for
            that perfect Z scale turnout. We have often wondered how we will spend
            our time after retirement and model railroading leads us down so many
            different paths that it seems we can never get to any real model
            railroading. We have to learn carpentry, electricity, electronics,
            computers, painting, casting, engineering, photography, machining,
            focusing, planning, and if you want a Master Modeling Certificate from
            NMRA you must even learn journalism.


            And to you John,

            Turnouts in all scales are the Achilles heel of model trains. If you
            examine award winning model train photographs that include turnouts, you
            will see turnouts that do not even come close to looking realistic.

            Examine MR's 24th MR photo winner and look at how the turnout on the
            lower right corner is attached to the rails leading to the RS-3.

            It may very well be that the rail joiners used here is a consequence of
            having a "floating turnout". I have often read that Atlas turnouts work
            with a greater degree of reliability when installed in a manner to allow
            the turnout to "float". That is: not being permanently attached to the
            road bed. Their only connection to the rails on the layout is through
            the rail joiners.

            I am not trying to criticize the photograph. I just intended to point
            out how the hobby has embraced the inability of model railroad
            manufactures to build a better switch at a reasonable price. There are
            many exceptions to this rule, and there are products offered that are
            much more realistic but may be a bit more expensive and have a greater
            degree of difficulty in installation than Marklin or in HO scale -
            Atlas. Someday, we in Z, may have a manufacturer who will give us a
            track and roadbed combination much like Kato which could bring smoother
            operation but at a higher cost and with much less flexibility in track
            planning.

            Manufactured switch construction in this hobby has not been improved
            upon since the 1940's. One positive change for the modeler has been the
            introduction of plastic ties. The former fiberboard ties attached with
            staples had a tendency to curl up because of moisture. (If you remember
            that, then you are OLD!)

            Almost all other changes to the popular manufactured switches has been
            to simplify the process of manufacturing. ie: the use of the plastic
            frog. And never forget the stamped metal one piece points with the ever
            present super prototypical rivets. (Another feature of far too many
            prize winning photographs and layouts. I think that the appropriate
            comment here is for me is to "get a life")

            Again, I am not trying to criticize the modeler. Just want to point out
            how many in this model railroad hobby has criticized the difference in
            32 inch wheels and 33 inch wheels on our model trains but totally accept
            turnouts which show little resemblance to the prototype.

            Another reason for the sloppy adherence to track standards is the
            problem with electrical circuits. With my almost total ignorance of the
            principles of electronics I do not understanding why we have any
            electrical problems with our turnouts. I follow the rule that the
            electrical path must follow (or lead) the path of the train. While
            attempting to do this, if I run into a short circuit, then I must
            install a gap. (Having been a bookkeeper for over 40 years has made me
            very pragmatic)

            There is also this talk of DCC compatible turnouts and non compatible
            turnouts. If I understand this, it is a problem of a momentary
            short-circuit. For non DCC power, a momentary short-circuit seems to be
            acceptable but, for DCC it is a train stopping catastrophe.

            I have always believed that even on a non DCC power system a momentary
            short-circuit would not be acceptable. This short-circuit could cause
            track supplied lighting circuits to blink. What about static sounds in
            train sound systems? Don't ignore the pitting of your wheels. Our Z
            scale wheels are much too small. Short-circuit pits are not scale
            sensitive. Pitted wheels collect dirt and dirt interrupts electrical
            connection.

            So, John, if you want smooth, slow operating trains over your turnouts,
            you may have to join Ole in his search for a more perfect Z scale
            switch. (I am falling down on my participation in this quest and I have
            to apologize to Ole for not being more active.) Do not join the rest of
            the model railroad society and accept mediocrity. Go to

            http://www.railway-eng.com/

            This should set you on a path focused toward a more "perfect" track. I
            have spent only 50+ years in this quest and still have no trains
            running. Or you can accept the frailties of Marklin track and get on
            with having fun operating trains. (Not that Ole and I are actually
            enjoying ourselves trying to find that "perfect" Z scale turnout.)

            Jeffrey MacHan's Val Ease Central uses Marklin products and operates
            continuously before large crowds without problems. There are many other
            Z scale layouts performing before large crowds at train shows that use
            Marklin product so Marklin products are reliable. They just require a
            little TLC. (Tender Loving Care)

            Bill
            El Toro
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