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Re: [Z_Scale] The POINTS are AZL's to address

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  • dpstripe@aol.com
    I really wanted to stay out of this entire discussion because it always ends the same way. However, these are just a few of my observations. I think that a lot
    Message 1 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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      I really wanted to stay out of this entire discussion because it always
      ends the same way. However, these are just a few of my observations. I think
      that a lot of these "issues" have been addressed behind the scenes. I only
      have one MT Turnout from their initial release (the ones with the glue
      buildup under the rail) the remainder are from a year or more after release. I
      have 3 AZL GP7s, several MTGP35s GP9s and F7s, as well as a load of Marklin
      GG1s, F7s, Pacifics, Mikados and heavily modified steam locs. The only 3
      axle truck diesel I have is an AZL PA, and I don't have a large enough radius
      to give it a fair test. I also have Pro-Z and Real ZJ locs.

      Anyway, with the exception of my one Pre-Production GP7 and the Real ZJ, I
      don't have any issues with any of them going through my MT turnouts. As I
      said, the GP7 was from the Pre-Production release. And it does have some
      gauge issues. I know this because I created them while I was trying to address
      some other issues with that loc. And, Rob, this is in no way a criticism
      of AZL. If it was, I wouldn't have bought two more of them. I don't have any
      SD70s (after my era), so I can't say how they would work.

      As far as rolling stock goes, the only Marklin I have are passenger cars
      and hoppers, and honestly, I have not tested them on the MT turnouts, but I
      have run Marklin Tenders. Most of my stock runs on MT trucks and/or
      wheelsets (FR, PZ, old Marcillus, FT) but I do have a couple of tenders and other
      cars converted to AZL trucks. I also have a couple of the old well cars and
      depressed flat cars that Z track used to sell and a long haul tender that
      runs on the 3 axle truck frames from that manufacturer. All of these take
      the turnouts with no real issues (beyond what would have been experienced
      with any other turnout).

      At the NTS in Philadelphia, we tried to run some AZL steam on a track that
      we had been using all day with AZL, MT and Marklin locs and rollingstock.
      The tender kept leaving the track at two of the Marklin turnouts. Was this
      an issue with the tender? No, it was trackwork. The nature of the big
      steamer and tender required much more precision in the trackwork than the other
      trains we were running. The nature of the beast. At the same show, I was
      attempting to run some Marklin steam, and it kept derailing on the way out of
      one curve. This time, it wasn't track work. One set of drivers was slightly
      out of gauge(too wide). For some reason, in this one location, all of the
      tolerances in the system alligned themselves against this little loc.
      Narrowing the gauge of that driver set by a few thousandths of an inch made the
      issue go away.

      Wheels being out of gauge is not a rare thing. It happens in every scale.
      In many cases, it's not noticeable. In some cases, though, it can make life
      miserable. I have had many an F7 (MT) that ran rough and couldn't make a
      full pass over a starter oval. The primary problem was wheel gauge. I have
      had to adjust gauge on several Marklin, MTL and AZL locs. Even my
      pre-production AZL GP7 can be fixed easily, I just haven't bothered to do it yet.
      Wheels being out of gauge isn't a design flaw. It would only be a flaw if it
      couldn't be adjusted. It's a game of thousandths of an inch. Once in a while,
      the +/- tolerances of the system just collide and adjustments have to be
      made.

      That being said, I do not hesitate to adjust the gauge of MT, Marklin or
      injection molded locs when necessary. However, if I had any AZL steam, my
      trackwork would be selected and adjusted to fit it.


      AZL and MTL are the two big players in American Z. And, in a lot of ways,
      are both venturing into new territory. They are entering into an era where
      Marklin is not the leader in Z. Possibly an era where Marklin becomes
      unavailable. In recent years, AZL has ventured into mass produced, injection
      molded "mainstream" models and MTL has re-invested itself into Z with new locs,
      rolling stock and a track system. I do believe that the two companies are
      trying to work together to grow the scale. And, I do believe that there
      will be growing pains and compatibility issues that will have to be resolved.
      When Marklin developed Z in the 70s, they had major runability issues to
      address. A lot of their product line was designed to address these issues. Z
      was designed as a novelty. A collectors scale. It was the modeler that
      pushed it to it's limits. Today, a lot of the runability issues have been
      solved, allowing for more realistic locomotives and rolling stock. Tolerances
      can be held tighter. Maybe we are approaching a time to let go of the loose
      tolerances of the past (large acceptable range). It's not like the old
      Marklin cars and locs can't be adjusted.

      Dan S.

      **************A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy
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      =JulystepsfooterNO115)


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Loren
      Rob and others, Boy I can sure see a potential windfall here if only I had the money and time to produce that perfect turnout..........but, since that isn t
      Message 2 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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        Rob and others,
        Boy I can sure see a potential windfall here if only I had the money and
        time to produce that perfect turnout..........but, since that isn't going to
        happen, I'll side with the masses who simply want reliable and trustworthy
        products to work first time, every time.

        It just isn't going to happen in this inperfect world sad to say.

        I think we all agree, that we would like every product to meet all of our
        expectations and needs, but life doesn't generally work out quite like we
        would like.

        I for one am thankful for all the new stuff since 2004, and I eagerly look
        forward to each new day with each new product.

        May quality and reliability be our catch phrase always.
        Loren

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <ztrack@...>
        To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:41 AM
        Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] The POINTS are AZL's to address


        > Sorry, but you have completely missed the point. This not an AZL versus
        > MTL
        > issue and please stop trying to make it so. Marklin locos have issues.
        > Even
        > MTLs GP35 and GP9 have known to have issues. Think I am making this up?
        > Just ask the dealers who have taken back MTL turnouts from disappointed
        > customers. Or the folks at MTL you have received turnouts back from
        > customers for
        > repair and replacement. I know one customer who returned 26 turnouts. This
        > was not about AZL.. this was about all locos. This is about a product that
        > was
        > marketed for the masses... but has turned out to be optimal for just one
        > product line.
        >
        > No this is not an AZL versus MTL issue. Time to get over it and stop tying
        > to ignite a fire that is not there. This is about products that need
        > improvement. They are not new. They have been around for years. If you are
        > happy
        > with these turnouts, then that is a good thing. Just don't try and create
        > a
        > yard with powered MTL turnouts. That won't happen. Think I am kidding...
        > try
        > it. If you find this acceptable, then again, good for you. I am happy they
        > work for your needs. But they won't work for everyones needs. But Don's
        > point
        > are very valid. Maybe they weren't designed to work with all products.
        >
        > As for turnouts that will work for all locos. We don't need $150.00 AZL
        > turnouts... we already have them. They are from Marklin. But, I also
        > highly
        > recommend the Fast Track line and the new Proto 87 line. There is real
        > potential for great #6 and larger turnouts if you are willing to make your
        > own.
        >
        > Rob
        >
      • Loren
        Ray, I mean no disrespect, but I think webebob likely knows proper English, but it doesn t hurt once in a while to kind of digress and let our hair down, even
        Message 3 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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          Ray,

          I mean no disrespect, but I think webebob likely knows proper English, but
          it doesn't hurt once in a while to kind of digress and let our hair down,
          even in our speech.

          This topic like Rob says is getting almost to the point of spontaneous
          combustion and with it being summer and all, we don't need any more heat,
          whether it be in the kitchen or on the layout.

          All or our comments back and forth are not going to accomplish anything or
          cause anyone to go out and make drastic changes to design and construction.
          We all are wishing that some things were a bit different in our Z community,
          however it is not likely to cause much change no matter how much we moan and
          groan, cross our eyes, toes, and fingers, and hold our breath.

          Will there be change down the road?......maybe, but if anyone out there is
          new to Z since 2004, then you have no idea of how little there was in Z
          scale before about that date. Even in our imperfect world and less than
          stellar operating equipment, we do have it pretty good.

          Someone once told me to be glad I wasn't born a toad and run over by a lawn
          mower. Now there's something to think about. :o)

          Best to all,
          Loren
          Z Train Things


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Ray Cannon" <racy2@...>
          To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 1:06 PM
          Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] The POINTS are AZL's to address


          >
          > Have we so degenerated in our speech?
          >
          > "diss", "gonna", "contenda". Let's leave that to those who don't know
          > any better.
          >
          > Ray
          >
        • Loren
          Very well said Dan........thanks. Loren ... From: To: Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 1:17 PM Subject: Re:
          Message 4 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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            Very well said Dan........thanks.
            Loren

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: <dpstripe@...>
            To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 1:17 PM
            Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] The POINTS are AZL's to address


            >I really wanted to stay out of this entire discussion because it always
            > ends the same way. However, these are just a few of my observations. I
            > think
            > that a lot of these "issues" have been addressed behind the scenes. I only
            > have one MT Turnout from their initial release (the ones with the glue
            > buildup under the rail) the remainder are from a year or more after
            > release. I
            > have 3 AZL GP7s, several MTGP35s GP9s and F7s, as well as a load of
            > Marklin
            > GG1s, F7s, Pacifics, Mikados and heavily modified steam locs. The only 3
            > axle truck diesel I have is an AZL PA, and I don't have a large enough
            > radius
            > to give it a fair test. I also have Pro-Z and Real ZJ locs.
            >
            > Anyway, with the exception of my one Pre-Production GP7 and the Real ZJ,
            > I
            > don't have any issues with any of them going through my MT turnouts. As I
            > said, the GP7 was from the Pre-Production release. And it does have some
            > gauge issues. I know this because I created them while I was trying to
            > address
            > some other issues with that loc. And, Rob, this is in no way a criticism
            > of AZL. If it was, I wouldn't have bought two more of them. I don't have
            > any
            > SD70s (after my era), so I can't say how they would work.
            >
            > As far as rolling stock goes, the only Marklin I have are passenger cars
            > and hoppers, and honestly, I have not tested them on the MT turnouts, but
            > I
            > have run Marklin Tenders. Most of my stock runs on MT trucks and/or
            > wheelsets (FR, PZ, old Marcillus, FT) but I do have a couple of tenders
            > and other
            > cars converted to AZL trucks. I also have a couple of the old well cars
            > and
            > depressed flat cars that Z track used to sell and a long haul tender that
            > runs on the 3 axle truck frames from that manufacturer. All of these take
            > the turnouts with no real issues (beyond what would have been experienced
            > with any other turnout).
            >
            > At the NTS in Philadelphia, we tried to run some AZL steam on a track that
            > we had been using all day with AZL, MT and Marklin locs and rollingstock.
            > The tender kept leaving the track at two of the Marklin turnouts. Was
            > this
            > an issue with the tender? No, it was trackwork. The nature of the big
            > steamer and tender required much more precision in the trackwork than the
            > other
            > trains we were running. The nature of the beast. At the same show, I was
            > attempting to run some Marklin steam, and it kept derailing on the way
            > out of
            > one curve. This time, it wasn't track work. One set of drivers was
            > slightly
            > out of gauge(too wide). For some reason, in this one location, all of the
            > tolerances in the system alligned themselves against this little loc.
            > Narrowing the gauge of that driver set by a few thousandths of an inch
            > made the
            > issue go away.
            >
            > Wheels being out of gauge is not a rare thing. It happens in every scale.
            > In many cases, it's not noticeable. In some cases, though, it can make
            > life
            > miserable. I have had many an F7 (MT) that ran rough and couldn't make a
            > full pass over a starter oval. The primary problem was wheel gauge. I
            > have
            > had to adjust gauge on several Marklin, MTL and AZL locs. Even my
            > pre-production AZL GP7 can be fixed easily, I just haven't bothered to do
            > it yet.
            > Wheels being out of gauge isn't a design flaw. It would only be a flaw if
            > it
            > couldn't be adjusted. It's a game of thousandths of an inch. Once in a
            > while,
            > the +/- tolerances of the system just collide and adjustments have to be
            > made.
            >
            > That being said, I do not hesitate to adjust the gauge of MT, Marklin or
            > injection molded locs when necessary. However, if I had any AZL steam, my
            > trackwork would be selected and adjusted to fit it.
            >
            >
            > AZL and MTL are the two big players in American Z. And, in a lot of ways,
            > are both venturing into new territory. They are entering into an era where
            > Marklin is not the leader in Z. Possibly an era where Marklin becomes
            > unavailable. In recent years, AZL has ventured into mass produced,
            > injection
            > molded "mainstream" models and MTL has re-invested itself into Z with new
            > locs,
            > rolling stock and a track system. I do believe that the two companies are
            > trying to work together to grow the scale. And, I do believe that there
            > will be growing pains and compatibility issues that will have to be
            > resolved.
            > When Marklin developed Z in the 70s, they had major runability issues to
            > address. A lot of their product line was designed to address these
            > issues. Z
            > was designed as a novelty. A collectors scale. It was the modeler that
            > pushed it to it's limits. Today, a lot of the runability issues have been
            > solved, allowing for more realistic locomotives and rolling stock.
            > Tolerances
            > can be held tighter. Maybe we are approaching a time to let go of the
            > loose
            > tolerances of the past (large acceptable range). It's not like the old
            > Marklin cars and locs can't be adjusted.
            >
            > Dan S.
          • Garth Hamilton
            Rob The only time the MTL roadbed track can not be used for yard ladder tracks is when it has a surface mounted switch machine attached. Maybe I am weird or
            Message 5 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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              Rob

              The only time the MTL roadbed track can not be used for yard ladder tracks is when it has a surface mounted switch machine attached.

              Maybe I am weird or old fashioned or just have a different approach, or a combination of all three, but I would not consider using a surface moutned switch machine and I do have a two yards using MTL switches with ladder tracks and power routing switches and below grad switch machines. So for me the surface mounted switch machine is a not an issue.

              As to NMRA standards for Z possibly solving the issue. I do not think it will greatly affect what we get until those who are manufacturing the product decide to follow the new standard. I can remember the struggle in N-scale, so I am not overly confident in that as a solution. Would love to see it happen but!!

              cheerz Garth

              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, ztrack@... wrote:
              > No this is not an AZL versus MTL issue. Time to get over it and stop tying
              > to ignite a fire that is not there. This is about products that need
              > improvement. They are not new. They have been around for years. If you are happy
              > with these turnouts, then that is a good thing. Just don't try and create a
              > yard with powered MTL turnouts. That won't happen. Think I am kidding... try
              > it. If you find this acceptable, then again, good for you. I am happy they
              > work for your needs. But they won't work for everyones needs. But Don's point
              > are very valid. Maybe they weren't designed to work with all products.
              >
              >
            • Don Avila
              Check a full size dictionary or use Define word in Google. All of these are defined words and used properly in the original message. ...don ... -- ...don
              Message 6 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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                Check a full size dictionary or use "Define 'word'" in Google. All of these
                are defined words and used properly in the original message.

                ...don



                On Sat, Aug 1, 2009 at 4:06 PM, Ray Cannon <racy2@...> wrote:

                >
                >
                >
                > Have we so degenerated in our speech?
                >
                > "diss", "gonna", "contenda". Let's leave that to those who don't know any
                > better.
                >
                > Ray
                >
                >
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: "webebob" <webebob@... <webebob%40yahoo.com>>
                > To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com <z_scale%40yahoogroups.com>>
                > Sent: Saturday, 01 August, 2009 1:24 PM
                > Subject: [Z_Scale] The POINTS are AZL's to address
                >
                > > um, if AZL is gonna be a contenda, they are going to have to bite the
                > bullet and make their own track. You can't diss the greatest thing since
                > sliced bread, MTL track and roadbed combo, with switches even!, because a
                > few locomotives from other manufacturer's do not track well on it.
                > >
                > > From price points, it appears that AZL prefers to place their product
                > upscale (well, still the same scale, but you know what I mean.) So now is
                > the time for AZL to produce that $150 No. 6 AZL turnout that allows $1500
                > AZL brass locomotives to track perfectly through it.
                > >
                > > Please don't ask MTL to retool (incur hundreds of thousands of additional
                > dollars expense on a still-new product) and thereby raise their prices to
                > the great unwashed masses of us po'folks, who run perfectly fine out there
                > on MTL starter set loco's going through MTL turnouts.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > ------------------------------------
                > >
                > > Z-scale: minimum siZe, MAXIMUM enjoyment!
                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >



                --
                ...don a, Northern Ohio, USA


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Alan Cox
                ... At the end of the day the market will decide. I have no MTL switches, both because I detest the look and because they aren t reliable for what I want.
                Message 7 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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                  > As to NMRA standards for Z possibly solving the issue. I do not think it will greatly affect what we get until those who are manufacturing the product decide to follow the new standard. I can remember the struggle in N-scale, so I am not overly confident in that as a solution. Would love to see it happen but!!

                  At the end of the day the market will decide. I have no MTL switches,
                  both because I detest the look and because they aren't reliable for what
                  I want. Other people love them - neither IMHO are "wrong".

                  All the current mainstream Z gauge track is very coarse scale.An NMRA
                  spec will no doubt help and I look forward to a Z scale equivalent of
                  "fiNe"

                  Alan
                • Garth Hamilton
                  While Rob and I may spar passionately on the merits of the MTL switch I have to agree with him on this one. This is not AZL s problem. The AZL product was
                  Message 8 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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                    While Rob and I may spar passionately on the merits of the MTL switch I have to agree with him on this one. This is not AZL's problem. The AZL product was manufactured in good faith without prior knowledge of the technical specifications of the switch from MTL and as such Dan has put it in perspective rather well. Wheel gauge is some thing we all have to address. The sad part is we are not all as capable as others when it comes to making these changes particularly on something like a GS4, BigBoy or Challenger. While a GP7, GP9, SD75 and F7's maybe easy for many of us, but the other three are a real challenge for the vast majority or us. While I feel certain I can adjust the back to back on AZL's prized Steamers and brass, I just won't do it, cause I can't afford to replace them if I should screw it up. The rest are fair game in my book.

                    cheerz Garth

                    --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, ztrack@... wrote:
                    >
                    > Sorry, but you have completely missed the point. This not an AZL versus MTL
                    > issue and please stop trying to make it so. Marklin locos have issues. Even
                    > MTLs GP35 and GP9 have known to have issues. Think I am making this up?
                    > Just ask the dealers who have taken back MTL turnouts from disappointed
                    > customers. Or the folks at MTL you have received turnouts back from customers for
                    > repair and replacement. I know one customer who returned 26 turnouts. This
                    > was not about AZL.. this was about all locos. This is about a product that was
                    > marketed for the masses... but has turned out to be optimal for just one
                    > product line.
                    >
                    > No this is not an AZL versus MTL issue. Time to get over it and stop tying
                    > to ignite a fire that is not there. This is about products that need
                    > improvement. They are not new. They have been around for years. If you are happy
                    > with these turnouts, then that is a good thing. Just don't try and create a
                    > yard with powered MTL turnouts. That won't happen. Think I am kidding... try
                    > it. If you find this acceptable, then again, good for you. I am happy they
                    > work for your needs. But they won't work for everyones needs. But Don's point
                    > are very valid. Maybe they weren't designed to work with all products.
                    >
                    > As for turnouts that will work for all locos. We don't need $150.00 AZL
                    > turnouts... we already have them. They are from Marklin. But, I also highly
                    > recommend the Fast Track line and the new Proto 87 line. There is real
                    > potential for great #6 and larger turnouts if you are willing to make your own.
                    >
                    > Rob
                    >
                    > Ztrack Magazine Ltd.
                    > 6142 Northcliff Blvd.
                    > Dublin, OH 43016
                    > phone/fax: (614) 764-1703
                    > www.ztrack.com
                    > www.ztrackcenter.com
                    > Distributor American Z Line
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > **************
                    > A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy
                    > steps!
                    > (http://pr.atwola.com/promoclk/100126575x1222846709x1201493018/aol?redir=http://www.freecreditreport.com/pm/default.aspx?sc=668072&hmpgID=115&
                    > bcd=JulystepsfooterNO115)
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • Larry Card
                    ... One thing that might help is frog numbers over 4.5 degrees, which is what I think the Marklin and MTL turnouts both are? Anyway, I don t have a large
                    Message 9 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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                      > Rob and others,
                      > Boy I can sure see a potential windfall here if only I had the money and
                      > time to produce that perfect turnout..........but, since that isn't going to
                      > happen, I'll side with the masses who simply want reliable and trustworthy
                      > products to work first time, every time.

                      One thing that might help is frog numbers over 4.5 degrees, which is what I think the Marklin and MTL turnouts both are? Anyway, I don't have a large fortune to make a small fortune out of either.

                      V/R
                      Larry P. Card
                      Franklinton NC

                      _________________________________________________________________
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