Author Topic: FS 160  (Read 2728 times)

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garethashenden

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FS 160
« on: June 06, 2014, 02:29:13 PM »
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I've been wanting to try a bit of finescale track for a while. I have now done that and thought I'd share my results. Using the standards found on this website, http://www.fs160.eu/index.php a friend made me a couple of gauges. They arrived yesterday so today I made a 6" length of track. I wanted to test wheel flanges in the finer flangeways. Rather than making an entire turnout and then finding out that nothing would go through I thought a pair of check rails on straight track would be a good first step. I laid the running rails and then added one checkrail. I chose a variety of stock based on the type of wheels and tried it out. I tired Atlas plastic wheels, the new Atlas metal wheels, MTL pizza cutters, MTL "standard" profile, FVM, and BLMA. All of these went through without a problem. No bumps, no hesitation, like it wasn't even there. Excellent.

The first checkrail had just been a piece of straight rail. For the second one I bent the ends slightly to guide the wheels through. Tried this with the same cars. The Atlas plastic wheels were fine. Everything else had problems. I then got out my NMRA gauge. I knew that the track was finer than the gauge but I wanted to check the wheels. All of the metal wheels were on the tight side of the gauge. I took a FVM axle and gently eased the wheel outwards. I probably moved it about 0.015". Went through without any problems. I then did the other three on that car and it works very well. I then took the car and tried it on an Atlas c55 turnout and it still worked fine. Next I tried my Intermountain F2. It had the same problem and the same solution.

The FVM wheels are definitely the easiest to regauge. Atlas aren't too bad but BMLA are a PITA.
Tomorrow I will make a turnout and see if that works. Regauging all the wheels is a bit of a pain but I think the results should be worth it. Here is my sample bit of track:

ednadolski

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2014, 02:51:00 PM »
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Cool stuff!    How does FS160 differ from Proto:160?

Did you have to file down the rail base to get those guard rails close enough to the stock/running rails?

Ed

wazzou

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2014, 02:58:18 PM »
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Why did you use so many PCB ties in lieu of wood ties?  I think the look you're after could be greatly enhanced by the appearance of the ties and correctly spacing them.
Bryan

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garethashenden

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2014, 03:08:24 PM »
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Cool stuff!    How does FS160 differ from Proto:160?

Did you have to file down the rail base to get those guard rails close enough to the stock/running rails?

Ed

I don't know. Are there set Proto:160 standards somewhere? I haven't found them if there are. These are basically the 2mm Association standards regauged. No filing was needed.

garethashenden

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2014, 03:09:52 PM »
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Why did you use so many PCB ties in lieu of wood ties?  I think the look you're after could be greatly enhanced by the appearance of the ties and correctly spacing them.

I used what I had. I've got a massive bag of pcb ties and no wood ties. The spacing is a result of assuming the computer program had the correct spacing. Turns out it doesn't. I will have to fix that.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2014, 05:35:48 PM »
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Nice.  Now if you want a real test of the standards, get Andrew Hutchinson to cut you a set of proto:160 wheels to try out.  He brought his "pizza-cutter-equipped" GN F unit over to my pike a few weeks ago and it had a bit of trouble staying on the rails, even in section where there were no rail joints, probably because the Micro Engineering flex is slightly wide in gauge.  The wheels were beautiful though!

-gfh

garethashenden

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2014, 07:00:24 PM »
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Nice.  Now if you want a real test of the standards, get Andrew Hutchinson to cut you a set of proto:160 wheels to try out.  He brought his "pizza-cutter-equipped" GN F unit over to my pike a few weeks ago and it had a bit of trouble staying on the rails, even in section where there were no rail joints, probably because the Micro Engineering flex is slightly wide in gauge.  The wheels were beautiful though!

-gfh

I've been working (slowly) on one of my 44 tonners. They're a bit like steam rollers to begin with. Tremendous improvement. I've been filing both the front and back of the wheels to reduce the width.

Chris333

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2014, 08:29:04 PM »
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Damn, you did that with a file?  :o

Andrew Hutchinson

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2014, 10:45:44 PM »
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That's kick-a$$ Gareth!

Especially the filing bit! Way back when, probably 2002, I went at some pacific drivers using a screwdriver-turned-graver. While they were decent enough it is safe to say I wish they turned out like yours. Filing is more generous where eccentricity is present than a graver would be which can be handy to know. Have fun with your turnout. If you want to know more about wheel making I have some resources around here I can forward.  It is very, very old technology and not particularly hard to do on the right machinery, you even get to play with fire.

To Ed:

Here's the flangeway mins

FS160: .020"
P120: .016"
P160: .012"

Under normal circumstances you don't have to file the rail bottoms with code 40 rail if they are right on .040" in width. Sometimes they are a bit over and code 55 of course is always over. One potential thing to consider is the way things look around the crossings. There is something to be said about overscale rail looking best when paired to overscale flangeways. Another advantage of FS160 is that it works and peolple know that it works. It's kind of like a narrow gauge P87 relationship if you will. Henk and Jens have done a great service over the years with their sites influencing many potential converts, myself included.

As for P160 - go look over on the scale four website in the history/archives section. There they have the original Model Railway Study group publications of the 1960s. There are typos and rounding errors but nothing that can't be accounted for with basic math skills. Brian Harrap (functional originator of P87.1 - see ZOB) built a layout in 1:220 that uses more or less the same wheels I'm using. There are some French guys using something similar as well. So there are possibilities. I'm hopeful. 2mm is the best place to get operating and technical info but if you're in North America the closest thing to it is probably P87. There are a number of very helpful chaps on the P87 yahoo group and I've certainly benefitted belonging to the local P87 group  inspite of the obvious differences N  to HO. I haven't checked the NMRA numbers in earnest for some time but Ed McCamey had some "theoretical" standards up on the web a while back which were helpful.

Andrew Hutchinson
Surrey BC Canada

garethashenden

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2014, 04:34:19 AM »
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Damn, you did that with a file?  :o

The filing is actually pretty easy thanks to the strange way Bachmann did the pickups. If this had been a standard pinpoint axle locomotive it would have been much harder. I just pulled the wheels off the axle. Then put the back of the wheel on a flat file and rub it around until it's the right thickness. Then turn it over and do the same thing until the tread is the right thickness. It is very boring and rather slow, but it works.

That's kick-a$$ Gareth!

Especially the filing bit! Way back when, probably 2002, I went at some pacific drivers using a screwdriver-turned-graver. While they were decent enough it is safe to say I wish they turned out like yours. Filing is more generous where eccentricity is present than a graver would be which can be handy to know. Have fun with your turnout. If you want to know more about wheel making I have some resources around here I can forward.  It is very, very old technology and not particularly hard to do on the right machinery, you even get to play with fire.

To Ed:

Here's the flangeway mins

FS160: .020"
P120: .016"
P160: .012"

Under normal circumstances you don't have to file the rail bottoms with code 40 rail if they are right on .040" in width. Sometimes they are a bit over and code 55 of course is always over. One potential thing to consider is the way things look around the crossings. There is something to be said about overscale rail looking best when paired to overscale flangeways. Another advantage of FS160 is that it works and peolple know that it works. It's kind of like a narrow gauge P87 relationship if you will. Henk and Jens have done a great service over the years with their sites influencing many potential converts, myself included.

As for P160 - go look over on the scale four website in the history/archives section. There they have the original Model Railway Study group publications of the 1960s. There are typos and rounding errors but nothing that can't be accounted for with basic math skills. Brian Harrap (functional originator of P87.1 - see ZOB) built a layout in 1:220 that uses more or less the same wheels I'm using. There are some French guys using something similar as well. So there are possibilities. I'm hopeful. 2mm is the best place to get operating and technical info but if you're in North America the closest thing to it is probably P87. There are a number of very helpful chaps on the P87 yahoo group and I've certainly benefitted belonging to the local P87 group  inspite of the obvious differences N  to HO. I haven't checked the NMRA numbers in earnest for some time but Ed McCamey had some "theoretical" standards up on the web a while back which were helpful.

Andrew Hutchinson
Surrey BC Canada

I've been in N scale for the past 16 years but I'm actually coming to this project from 2mm. Since I moved to England three years ago I've made a number of 2mm friends. It's a set of standards which I knew worked very well and I wanted to use Association drivers on a number of steam engines.

garethashenden

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2014, 11:09:49 AM »
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I used a FastTracks template for this. I'll post pictures and answer questions.











Chris333

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2014, 11:14:11 AM »
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Are those brass gauges available for regular N scale? They sure would come in handy.

garethashenden

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2014, 11:21:50 AM »
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Are those brass gauges available for regular N scale? They sure would come in handy.

Not that I know of. All three gauges, the roller gauge and the two bobbins, were turned by a friend. I'll ask next time I see him if he's interested in producing any commercially...

peteski

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2014, 11:45:39 AM »
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Since I moved to England three years ago I've made a number of 2mm friends.

Those are some really *SMALL* friends.  Beyond lilliputian!  :D
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VonRyan

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Re: FS 160
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2014, 12:41:52 PM »
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Good looking turnout there Gareth. It might just be me, but those ties look awfully big. Raiding you EM supplies?
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