Author Topic: Nn3, shorty Z, and dual-gauge track  (Read 823 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

randgust

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1442
  • Respect: +561
    • Randgust N Scale Kits
Nn3, shorty Z, and dual-gauge track
« on: June 07, 2018, 01:58:39 PM »
+2
So that Shorty Z chassis does have me distracted by a new shiny thing.

I think its doable, affordable, etc. to use as chassis not totally unlike the Kato 11-105 has been for me.   Maybe.

And, if I do build a 'demo' Climax A I have a home for it, as one of the local lumber companies ran a Climax A into West Hickory between 1906 and 1911 for a very small mill operation.   Small enough to fit on a T-trak module, so.... full circle of a concept and if I'm lucky a Randgust kit option.

That being said, practical considerations get in the way of actual modeling.   I have no Z track at all, never even considered that until I got this power chassis.   If I were to do this, I'd have to set up at least one dual-gauge siding in N.   OK, so, other than Fast Tracks, nobody seems to do much dual gauge.  And I'm not ready to jump into this completely yet to the point where a big investment in tools is justified.   I just want to tinker and I need to test mechanism ideas. 

Looking at my workbench test track board, that's as good a place as any to start.   I changed my test track over from some truly ancient Trix C80 over to Peco C55 last night when I discovered that I can put a third rail of Micro-Engineering C55 rail on Peco C55 and it can be installed and height works out.   It can even be gauged with a piece of .025 evergreen styrene strip with a thin shim to bring it up a hair, put in the center.   I'll then glue the third rail down as well as spike it through the plastic tie strip with some tiny HO spikes after pre-drilling.   Instant and cheap dual gauge.  Photos when I get it working.

I just stumbled on this, don't know if anyone else has tried dual-gauge this way but I honestly think it will work - Peco C55+ a third rail spiked down.   Might work with Atlas C55 too, just more fragile.

I haven't even begun to look at specialty trackwork yet, not going there until I get a mechanism working and maybe a test unit.

nkalanaga

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 6155
  • Respect: +227
Re: Nn3, shorty Z, and dual-gauge track
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2018, 01:53:13 AM »
0
I did that for most of my dual-gauge track, using ME flex and PC ties, so spikes and Peco track should work just as well.  I removed every 6th or 7th tie, inserted a PC tie, and soldered all three rails to it.

If all you need is an interchange track, you don't HAVE to have dual gauge.  Put one gauge on each side of a dock, or possibly just side-by-side, and you can reload almost anything.

Dual gauge turnouts are another matter, but one CAN have a dual gauge track without turnouts.  Either connect one gauge at each end, or or use something that looks like a pointless turnout, with just a frog and a rail gap, where one gauge goes each way.  You'll probably have to look that one up...  Basically, it's a wye turnout, but you don't need the points, if you have the flangeways, guardrails, and wheel gauge right.  Or, you can build a standard turnout, with only one point, for the common-rail side.  That's really easy.

I have built a half-dual turnout by adding a third rail to a ME turnout.  Again, no new points are needed, but you will have to build another frog, which can be fun, as its design will depend on which side the 3rd rail is on, and which way it goes.  Again, pictures or plans will be a big help.

N Kalanaga
Be well

randgust

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1442
  • Respect: +561
    • Randgust N Scale Kits
Re: Nn3, shorty Z, and dual-gauge track
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2018, 01:11:21 PM »
+1
So my dual-gauge test track is a success.... driving tiny spikes into Code 55 into Peco plastic ties was probably about as difficult as soldering would have been.   My plastic gauge jig worked fine.   I predrilled the holes so that it was a moderate push in on the spikes.   Everything clears everything, or so it would seem.  I did about every 10th tie, both sides, using the jig to position the rail, drill the plastic ties with a dremel, and push the spikes in.

So I'm still plodding forward.  One of the surprises I discovered a couple days ago is that the Nn3 log car that came with the Shapeways Barnhart is a Walter Vail production, and he has the Nn3 shorty log cars now not on Shapeways, but as a cast metal Showcase Miniatures part #5011.  Same car as the Shapeways resin print, just done in cast metal.   Well-done, too.

One more good reason to go through with this, the cars are available.   https://www.showcaseminiatures.net/nn3_scale/ 

nkalanaga

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 6155
  • Respect: +227
Re: Nn3, shorty Z, and dual-gauge track
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2018, 01:45:12 AM »
0
Metal is definitely a better choice for Nn3 log cars, especially if you plan on running them empty.  Since he has a pair of flatcars, building a gon would be easy, and you'd have most of what you need for a railroad.  Nn3 boxcars aren't that hard to build, and RLW might have one.  I know he has several caboose kits if you wanted one, or a passenger car for the loggers.
N Kalanaga
Be well

Chris333

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 12899
  • Respect: +2346
Re: Nn3, shorty Z, and dual-gauge track
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2018, 01:59:04 AM »
0
Not to direct anyone from this forum  :trollface:

But over at Trainboard someone got their Shorty running pretty slow. Post #178
http://www.trainboard.com/highball/index.php?threads/rokuhan-z-shorty.100868/page-9

randgust

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1442
  • Respect: +561
    • Randgust N Scale Kits
Re: Nn3, shorty Z, and dual-gauge track
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 10:30:16 AM »
0
Just to update this, I'll throw out that I've been designing what I need to do my Climax A kits in Nn3, and the operating prototype is now being workbench tested.

No sense doing it if I can't do it right, so it will be gearhead equipped as the standard version.  I 'think' I've got it.   This is one of the toughest engineering challenges I've ever taken on, and the real challenge is to make it easier for everybody else as well as affordable.

randgust

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1442
  • Respect: +561
    • Randgust N Scale Kits
Re: Nn3, shorty Z, and dual-gauge track
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2019, 08:17:12 AM »
+4
Update on the Class A Nn3 model - instructions are about 80% done, parts stocking up.  Second build successful to illustrate the instructions  and I'm probably going to put the finished running model out on Ebay.

Meanwhile, I had a 90-degree crossing laying around for a few years so I decided to experiment.   I shortened one leg, then cut it right through the diamond with an abrasive disk - just inside the guardrail, and carefully narrowed it to fit Z gauge for Nn3.   Mounted the crossing on .010 styrene and glued it all back up, put jumper wires on the standard-gauge side to rejoin the sides.  But it's fully insulated and the center rails are still 'hot'.   I filed down the approach rails on the Nn3 side to fit the Rokuhan sectional track for testing with my Climax A.

I filled in the flangeways with black .010 styrene as even for C80, the flange depth was epic.  It still jolts the Z side pretty good as the truck wheelbase on MT Nn3 trucks is almost exactly the N rail gauge and would knock your teeth out if it were scaled back up to size hitting those flangeways with small wheels.   The recommendation I have is that this would probably be better on almost any crossing angle other than 90, but it still works.

And yeah, I know, it's C80, deal with it.   I may use this on one of my Ttrak modules, we'll see. This only took about an hour to make and the C80 crossing was 'free' in my track drawer, just wanted to see if it could even be done. 


nkalanaga

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 6155
  • Respect: +227
Re: Nn3, shorty Z, and dual-gauge track
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 01:49:29 AM »
0
A crossing jolts the prototype too.  EMD, in their GP38 operator's manual, says to reduce the throttle a few seconds before hitting one, to allow the voltage to decay, and reduce arcing when the brushes bounce.

N Kalanaga
Be well