Author Topic: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.  (Read 9322 times)

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Hiroe

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Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« on: January 24, 2012, 04:56:48 PM »
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So for some time, the track spacing/rail code specifications for Ntrak modules have bothered me. Too far apart, rail size too big, etc. Unfortunately, they're the only game in town if one wants to join a club and have their modules included in the setups.

If I was to rebuild my Corridor modules with properly-spaced tracks (1.25") and smaller rail code (Peco Concrete-tie 55 flex for the center two mains on some modules, ME wood-tie flex everywhere else) and the Atlas 55 #10 switches; and provided adapter modules for each end of my group when operating in a larger layout (as opposed to just setting up the Electrified Division by itself)... How much flak would I get?

Alternatively, feel free to tell me why I should or should not follow through with this.

--Drew
To "call a spade a spade" is to speak honestly and directly about a topic, specifically topics that others may avoid speaking about due to their sensitivity or embarrassing nature. The Oxford English Dictionary records a more forceful variant, "to call a spade a bloody shovel", attested since 1919.

wm3798

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012, 04:59:35 PM »
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Do it.
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

wcfn100

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2012, 05:17:13 PM »
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If I was to rebuild my Corridor modules with properly-spaced tracks (1.25") and smaller rail code (Peco Concrete-tie 55 flex for the center two mains on some modules, ME wood-tie flex everywhere else) and the Atlas 55 #10 switches; and provided adapter modules for each end of my group when operating in a larger layout (as opposed to just setting up the Electrified Division by itself)... How much flak would I get?


Everything you wrote is perfectly within the N-trak specs except the Atlas c55.


Jason

John

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2012, 05:22:22 PM »
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Nobody much cares about anything on the modules that don't involve the mainline rails.

that's because very few people actually use any of the trackage outside of the three mains .. this is still a roundy round operation .. by design .. all the rest is just fluff

wcfn100

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 05:24:07 PM »
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And even that isn't an issue so long as there aren't any Atlas switches on the mains. Back in 1976 R. Spano and I had a pair of modules that had closer-spaced mainlines and handlaid C55 everywhere else. Nobody much cares about anything on the modules that don't involve the mainline rails.

#10's?  Where do you think they were they going?  ;)

But that's a good point.

Jason
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 05:26:49 PM by wcfn100 »

John

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 05:24:13 PM »
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You could start a special division with interface modules off the mains

. like BANTRAK did for finer standards like C55 and such .. just don't expect overwhelming support from non-like minded members

Hiroe

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 06:33:33 PM »
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#10's?  Where do you think they were they going?  ;)

But that's a good point.

Jason

Precisely. While the ME flex will be c55 also, it does work with the pizza cutters.

As for the Atlas c55 switches, they will indeed be going on the mains. Has anyone had any success in sanding down the spike heads to clear said pizza cutters, or should I just not bother?
To "call a spade a spade" is to speak honestly and directly about a topic, specifically topics that others may avoid speaking about due to their sensitivity or embarrassing nature. The Oxford English Dictionary records a more forceful variant, "to call a spade a bloody shovel", attested since 1919.

inkaneer

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2012, 09:02:09 PM »
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You don't mention how many modules you are planning on.  The problem you will have with your set up is that it is what is known as a dedicated set of modules meaning they have to be set up together and usually in a certain order.  The problem becomes one of space.  In a large set up it is less of a problem but in many venues space is limited.  So if you need 20 feet of space for your dedicated modules but only 16 is available you can't set up.  Now if you make them so that they could be set up with the two adaptor modules with the center modules interchangeable then you would have more flexibility.  Most yards are configured this way so that the length can be altered to fit the space.

Hiroe

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2012, 09:56:38 PM »
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Well, I figure that if I leave the Yellow line in the same place, the red and blue aren't really that far off from their standard locations. That way, if need be, we can mix them in with standard modules without the adapters, as 1/4" isn't that much of a side shift on the joiner tracks.

Most of the group will be "interchangeable" to the point that they're not locked into any specific sequence, when just using the R/Y/B mains. I'm planning to have a total of 6 four-footers, and a fixed set of three 64" modules. However, I'm also considering converting the 6' radius corner modules I own to match; and with a few more, I can simply set up my own roundy-round at the show. If I put cat wire on the super-junction set, then I can actually set them up as an end-loop/separate red-line division leg in one of the big shows.

Hm.
To "call a spade a spade" is to speak honestly and directly about a topic, specifically topics that others may avoid speaking about due to their sensitivity or embarrassing nature. The Oxford English Dictionary records a more forceful variant, "to call a spade a bloody shovel", attested since 1919.

inkaneer

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2012, 11:19:56 AM »
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Well, I figure that if I leave the Yellow line in the same place, the red and blue aren't really that far off from their standard locations. That way, if need be, we can mix them in with standard modules without the adapters, as 1/4" isn't that much of a side shift on the joiner tracks.

Most of the group will be "interchangeable" to the point that they're not locked into any specific sequence, when just using the R/Y/B mains. I'm planning to have a total of 6 four-footers, and a fixed set of three 64" modules. However, I'm also considering converting the 6' radius corner modules I own to match; and with a few more, I can simply set up my own roundy-round at the show. If I put cat wire on the super-junction set, then I can actually set them up as an end-loop/separate red-line division leg in one of the big shows.

Hm.

Okay from what you posted I count at least 13 modules and probably more.  So how do you transport them?  The reason I ask is  you obviously can't fit all of them in a car or minivan or SUV. If you are the only one transporting them then you got to have a P/U, large van or a trailer.  If that is the case then I ask why are you messing with four foot modules?  Six four foot modules is the same length as four six foot modules.  The difference is the six foot modulkes only have three joiner track locations between the four modules while the four foot modules will have five.  That wll save some set up time.

seusscaboose

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2012, 11:35:59 AM »
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; and with a few more, I can simply set up my own roundy-round at the show

so... without sounding like a complete  :ashat:  (totally not my intent!!!!) ... why even bother with the NTRAK standard?

from what i read and gather, you've been there, done that, and have the t-shirt.

you wouldn't be the first, nor the last, to do your own thing.

I know NTRAK can be limiting in some/many ways and i don't intend and am not inclined to turn this into another pro-vs-con NTRAK thread (we all have our opinions, please keep them to yourselves or start your own thread so i can avoid it).

Hiroe, from my vantage point, you could do some really cool stuff (design and end result) following your own set-up standard.  the hitch is, how do ya move it all as one person (i assume you will nest everything and use all available square footage at your disposal)

i have seen your modules and the innovative designs that you did when you following ntrak standards.  relaxing them to your own needs seems to be the logical step for you.

i think your issue is size and manpower.  am i correct?
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Hiroe

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2012, 12:30:37 PM »
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Okay from what you posted I count at least 13 modules and probably more.  So how do you transport them?  The reason I ask is  you obviously can't fit all of them in a car or minivan or SUV. If you are the only one transporting them then you got to have a P/U, large van or a trailer.  If that is the case then I ask why are you messing with four foot modules?  Six four foot modules is the same length as four six foot modules.  The difference is the six foot modulkes only have three joiner track locations between the four modules while the four foot modules will have five.  That wll save some set up time.

Well, let's see. there's 9 straight modules (mostly), and each full 6' radius corner is divided into three 30* arc modules. So technically it would be 21 modules total. 22 if I want to put the extra Y on one of the corners so that I can tie on to the Red Line Route.

Fortunately the corners and Y's are all shallow, build with curved-laminate technology; and the cat wire on them can nest into the underside of the next one. They're each a 28" long kidney shape, only 11" deep, and don't really take up that much space in the car.

Problem with the 6' modules (in my experience) is that they become quite unwieldy due to the combination of length+weight. However, the 56" modules are a compromise length, which allows me to use a set of three to cover the same linear footage (16') as four traditional 4' modules. I *am* building the new ones with 3mm-Ply lightweight design based on the waffle technology + curveside laminates. Also, they'll only be 18" deep, instead of the full 24". (Three 6' modules puts me at 18', which is too long for the basement they'll typically live in; as well as introducing the need for a 2' module when mixed in with standard four-footers. I'm not even getting into the 3/4/5 corner math, and the resulting snap-track module set.) Why so many 4' modules? Well, several of them already exist; although they *were* built with the old heavyweight design. Maybe it's time to put them out to pasture, and build a completely new set from scratch using the lightweight technology?  Heck, that'd almost be easier than trying to put replacement ears on an old dog.

so... without sounding like a complete  :ashat:  (totally not my intent!!!!) ... why even bother with the NTRAK standard?
from what i read and gather, you've been there, done that, and have the t-shirt.
you wouldn't be the first, nor the last, to do your own thing.

i have seen your modules and the innovative designs that you did when you following ntrak standards.  relaxing them to your own needs seems to be the logical step for you.

Relaxing them seems to be the point of criticality for this project. Too far from them, and I can't drop a random module into a national show; and will make it increasingly more difficult to get anyone else to build them in cooperation with me. Too close, and I'm back where I was 10 years ago.

Quote
Hiroe, from my vantage point, you could do some really cool stuff (design and end result) following your own set-up standard.  the hitch is, how do ya move it all as one person (i assume you will nest everything and use all available square footage at your disposal)

i think your issue is size and manpower.  am i correct?

Size, manpower, and hauling capacity. I do drive a Grand Caravan, so I could probably get most of this stuff over to the show in two trips, if the event isn't too far from home. EPTC meets, definitely. Ntrak nationals? That would necessitate renting a trailer or suchlike.

Food for thought.


Also, there seems to be several deleted posts in this thread. Inquiring minds wonder what that's about?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 12:39:01 PM by Hiroe »
To "call a spade a spade" is to speak honestly and directly about a topic, specifically topics that others may avoid speaking about due to their sensitivity or embarrassing nature. The Oxford English Dictionary records a more forceful variant, "to call a spade a bloody shovel", attested since 1919.

inkaneer

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2012, 12:36:55 PM »
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So for some time, the track spacing/rail code specifications for Ntrak modules have bothered me. Too far apart, rail size too big, etc. Unfortunately, they're the only game in town if one wants to join a club and have their modules included in the setups.

If I was to rebuild my Corridor modules with properly-spaced tracks (1.25") and smaller rail code (Peco Concrete-tie 55 flex for the center two mains on some modules, ME wood-tie flex everywhere else) and the Atlas 55 #10 switches; and provided adapter modules for each end of my group when operating in a larger layout (as opposed to just setting up the Electrified Division by itself)... How much flak would I get?

Alternatively, feel free to tell me why I should or should not follow through with this.

--Drew


That might have been true for transition era track but recently RR's are providing more separation between track as new cars require more clearance.  Also it helps keep traffic moving when maintenace crews  need to work on one track.  Can't have a crane working on one side with its counterweight impinging on adjacent track.   

Hiroe

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2012, 12:44:29 PM »
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That might have been true for transition era track but recently RR's are providing more separation between track as new cars require more clearance.  Also it helps keep traffic moving when maintenace crews  need to work on one track.  Can't have a crane working on one side with its counterweight impinging on adjacent track.

Perhaps so; but the spacing of the corridor tracks hasn't changed since most of the wire was installed in the 20's and 30's. I seem to recall that standard railroad spacing was 14', and that it could be up to 20' in some areas; but maybe I should just take a tape measure over to the local station and find out for certain? (Hopefully my metal tape measure won't trigger any random return-path currents in the process.)
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 01:08:28 PM by Hiroe »
To "call a spade a spade" is to speak honestly and directly about a topic, specifically topics that others may avoid speaking about due to their sensitivity or embarrassing nature. The Oxford English Dictionary records a more forceful variant, "to call a spade a bloody shovel", attested since 1919.

Catt

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Re: Ntrak specs, and the deliberate ignoring of them.
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2012, 12:46:49 PM »
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Unless the rules have changed bigtime thee Peco code 55 is accepted practice for NTRAK.The wider track spacing is to allow longer cars to be on the end curves on more than one track at a time.The three track race track was implemented because some moron thought he knew more about trainshow crowds than the folks running the layouts.

When we were running NTRAK at shows we would cause traffic jams in the aisles when we started switching maneuvers.You can use any code rail you want on your private trackage,but it has to be code 80 or atleast PECO code 55 where it joins the mainlines.
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