Author Topic: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???  (Read 10953 times)

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Walkercolt

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2009, 01:36:49 AM »
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We HAVE updated N-TRAK standards for DCC operation. N-TRAK is a display layout format, and it's always been "come one come all" for equiptment. If a guy has all B-mann stuff with Rapidos, and can keep it coupled, he's totally welcome to operate on our layout. Atlas will never ever admit it, but they goofed with their code 55 trackage not taking MT "pizza cutters" and "hertitage equiptment. Hundreds of N-TRAK clubs (like ours) were planning on buying dozens of CASES of code 55, ripping up old track and re-laying it. N-TRAK is NON-exclusive. That's one of our strengths. The "5 inch" joiner tracks are still needed to protect the trackage at the ends of modules. Wanna know how much "end trackage" I've chiseled-up and replaced on our modules? The main culprit is "help" in unloading and moving modules at shows: I've learned to live with that and say "Thanks for the help." when I'd like to chew them out. The killer is this. There are NO HO module "standards" at all. It's everyman for themselves. So Club A can't hook-up with Club B and so on. We've had Austrailian modules in our layout and Swiss and Swedish modules that worked perfectly. If you want to do something different, you're more than welcome, but don't ask N-TRAK to re-invent a working wheel. We have connections for One-TRAK branches off our layout. What more can you ask for? ???

wm3798

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2009, 08:42:21 AM »
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Hand crank windows worked in cars, but aren't push button electric windows a nice change?  Just because "everybody's doing it" doesn't make it right!

But I hear what you're saying... N trak indeed is tried and true.  I guess my concern is that for the visibility that it has, wouldn't it be better to put our best foot forward, rather than a "lowest common denominator?"

Just a thought...

Lee
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sizemore

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2009, 09:06:54 AM »
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Hand crank windows worked in cars, but aren't push button electric windows a nice change?  Just because "everybody's doing it" doesn't make it right!

But I hear what you're saying... N trak indeed is tried and true.  I guess my concern is that for the visibility that it has, wouldn't it be better to put our best foot forward, rather than a "lowest common denominator?"

Just a thought...

Lee

Honestly there needs to be new standards introduced. Like requirements for low profile wheels and utilize code 55 track. Force the "Lowest Common Denominator" to change. It's the only way to get the ball down the field.

The S.

bicknell

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2009, 09:18:05 AM »
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Honestly there needs to be new standards introduced. Like requirements for low profile wheels and utilize code 55 track. Force the "Lowest Common Denominator" to change. It's the only way to get the ball down the field.

This can't be said enough.  Micro-Trains "pizza cutter" wheels DO NOT MEET THE NMRA STANDARD.

At all.

Until we, as a group larger than NTrak, refuse to buy non-standard crap there's no hope to advance many aspects of the hobby.  This thread was started by someone looking to refine the hobby (I think), and if that's really the goal then getting rid of extremely over sized, to the point where they don't meet our agreed to interchange standards is key.

It may be 30 years after MT stops selling pizza cutters before something like NTrak can use finer scale track.  Do we want that to be 30 years from today or 30 years from 20 years from now when we get around to it?

davefoxx

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2009, 09:36:35 AM »
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Atlas will never ever admit it, but they goofed with their code 55 trackage not taking MT "pizza cutters" and "hertitage equiptment.

I respect your opinion, but I disagree wholeheartedly with your statement.  I do not think that any manufacturer of a finer line of track "goofed" when they disregarded overscale flanges and old rolling stock.  I, for one, would love to see mass-produced code 40 (with a product line similar to Atlas' code 55 offerings) and appreciate any effort that manufacturers make in order to continue to develop products that are closer to scale.  I do not want my track compromised just so others may run some grossly overscale wheels that I do not run.

Dave Foxx

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asarge

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2009, 09:55:19 AM »
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The really amazing thing about Ntrak is the way it influenced so many that have somewhat abandoned the standards. (TheModu-Trak layout is awesome) Now there are probably as many or more club and modular layouts that do not conform to Ntrak than those that do conform. I don't think updating standard practices would hurt, but there is no reason for a complete makeover and could do more bad than good.

Maybe it's time for a national standard for transitional modules, electronics, and Rolling Stock comapatibility to maybe allow some of these clubs who don;t conform completely to be able to operate together.

tom mann

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2009, 10:03:33 AM »
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I agree that Ntrak serves a purpose for a specific group of individuals and changing track standards would not make sense to them.  A large percentage of NTrak modules are so far out there that track is too small of a component to be of a concern.

New standards are better incorporated in new ideas, like modutrak.

GonzoCRFan

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2009, 10:41:11 AM »
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Atlas will never ever admit it, but they goofed with their code 55 trackage not taking MT "pizza cutters" and "hertitage equiptment.

If I recall correctly, it was actually a manufacturing constraint that kept them from using smaller plastic nubs to hold the rail to the ties. Could they have worked on it and found a solution? Probably. Would it have delayed the release and cost them more money than it might have been worth? Possibly. Perhaps they just figured they were making a finer-scale product, and people who wanted to use it would do what it took?

At least Atlas put a product on the market that conformed to the applicable standards. I still love how Atlas gets vilified for this whole thing when MT is the company that had been producing out-of-standard wheelsets for so many years. Not much could be forseen about the people wanting to run their vintage steamers, but I feel MT should have tooled up new wheelsets when the NMRA standards were published. After all, plastic wheelsets go into nearly every single thing they produce in N scale, so I would think that would be the easiest tooling cost to amortize. MT's prices are always higher than the average for N scale rolling stock (and I'm sure we all know why), and they still have consistent hot sellers...so who would care if any given car costs 13 cents more because it had NMRA standard wheelsets?

Maybe now that Joe is part of this Lion's den, he can shed some light on this?
Sean

wcfn100

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2009, 10:42:57 AM »
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"A large percentage of NTrak modules are so far out there that track is too small of a component to be of a concern. "


Not just the modules but the trains too.  N-Trak is the perfect venue for the "all-blue" boxcar train.


Jason

Mark5

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2009, 10:49:43 AM »
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Hand crank windows worked in cars, but aren't push button electric windows a nice change?  Just because "everybody's doing it" doesn't make it right!


Exactly. I hate power windows. Everybody's doing it these days, but I still prefer cranks. I converted one of my cars from power to cranks haha!

Back to Ntrak, I have absolutely no stake in it, but I would guess that Ntrak should probably cater to whatever standards work for Ntrak.


Mark5

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2009, 10:52:33 AM »
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I think the Atlas C55 was aimed at me. Because of my frustration with the crappy track out there, I used to handlay my track in C40.

The Atlas C55 "enabled" me to quit handlaying my track, or at least gave me the choice. Frankly if Atlas did not come out with the C55, I'd still be hand laying my track.

I now return you to your Ntrak debate, already in progress.

Mark


wm3798

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2009, 10:53:54 AM »
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Okay, so how about taking the One Trak concept to another level, and coming up with a more proto based system, thus giving the individual module builder the option?

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

tom mann

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2009, 11:00:15 AM »
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If I recall correctly, it was actually a manufacturing constraint that kept them from using smaller plastic nubs to hold the rail to the ties. Could they have worked on it and found a solution? Probably. Would it have delayed the release and cost them more money than it might have been worth? Possibly. Perhaps they just figured they were making a finer-scale product, and people who wanted to use it would do what it took?

At least Atlas put a product on the market that conformed to the applicable standards. I still love how Atlas gets vilified for this whole thing when MT is the company that had been producing out-of-standard wheelsets for so many years. Not much could be forseen about the people wanting to run their vintage steamers, but I feel MT should have tooled up new wheelsets when the NMRA standards were published. After all, plastic wheelsets go into nearly every single thing they produce in N scale, so I would think that would be the easiest tooling cost to amortize. MT's prices are always higher than the average for N scale rolling stock (and I'm sure we all know why), and they still have consistent hot sellers...so who would care if any given car costs 13 cents more because it had NMRA standard wheelsets?

Maybe now that Joe is part of this Lion's den, he can shed some light on this?

There are some great conspiracy theories out there about this.  Mainly, why did MT start shipping lo pros at about the time Atlas came out with the track, only to switch back to pizza cutters years later?  Why was Paul Graf seen in Cuba?  Why are the nubs small on ME track?

I also came across this Washington Post article:


lashedup

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2009, 11:18:37 AM »
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LOL

Nice Tom... :D

One of One-Sixty

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Re: Is it time to update N Trak Standards...???
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2009, 12:03:52 PM »
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"A large percentage of NTrak modules are so far out there that track is too small of a component to be of a concern. "


Not just the modules but the trains too.  N-Trak is the perfect venue for the "all-blue" boxcar train.


Jason

What does CR have to do with this?  ;)
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