Author Topic: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock  (Read 974 times)

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robert3985

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2018, 02:45:53 AM »
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Not sure about your reasoning.  You thought that just because a metal alloy has low melting temperature, it would somehow degrade over time (even if kept in temperatures under its melting point)?  What sort of degradation did you expect?  Crumbling or flowing maybe?  Used as weight, it is not really subjected to any stress or even strain.

Peter, truth is, I didn't know.  Time has let me know now that my "logic" was wrong, and that either alloy works the same for me.  Yeah...I'm not sure about my reasoning either since it was based on an erroneous assumption...that a lower melting point means less durability...or maybe more oxidation or something negative. 

Time has shown that I didn't need to worry about it.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

djconway

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2018, 09:36:27 AM »
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Folks were not planning sniper one shot kills from 953 yards, these are model trains.  For 20 years +/- 0.5g was good enough for routine operations. If that scale hadn't died I would never have looked for another.  As my old boss used to say "we're not finding atomic masses here, get it done"  the more accurate you want to be the longer it takes to get there.

Maletrain

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2018, 10:28:17 AM »
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0.5 gram is 0.0175 ounce, so, yes, that should be fine for weighing cars against a standard that deals with about an ounce, even though the standard is stated  to a precision of 0.01 ounce. Something like 2% "error" isn't going to be noticeable for operations. 

By the way, "g" in scale parlance usually means "grains" not "grams". One gram is 15.4 grains, so there is more than a factor of 10 difference - something worth realizing when looking over specs.  But, a lot of people are not even aware of that and write "g" for grams instead of "gm".  (I have also seen "gr" for "grains", but that doesn't help a bit.)

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2018, 12:06:00 PM »
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...and then there's this, from Wikipedia: [ Guests cannot view attachments ]
Of course, I come from a metric background :P
Otto K.

peteski

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2018, 12:13:04 PM »
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I also come from a metric background and have not seen anything but "g" representing grams.  Even in this USA.  But I have seen "gr" (in the USA used to represent grains, of which I have never heard until coming to USA).

I'm really enjoying following this thread.  So many ideas here. . .  :)  Typical example of Internet over-delivery of information, with various levels of usefulness, and of course a dose of related and even unrelated commentary.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 12:15:11 PM by peteski »
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up1950s

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2018, 04:13:38 PM »
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What I would like to have is a side by side double scale for balancing front truck to rear truck , or first driver to last driver .

David K. Smith

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2018, 04:20:45 PM »
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"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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robert3985

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2018, 04:57:06 PM »
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Folks were not planning sniper one shot kills from 953 yards, these are model trains.  For 20 years +/- 0.5g was good enough for routine operations. If that scale hadn't died I would never have looked for another.  As my old boss used to say "we're not finding atomic masses here, get it done"  the more accurate you want to be the longer it takes to get there.

As my dear old mom used to say "Never complain when a restaurant brings you too much food..."   

I find it difficult to complain about a scale (or any other measuring instrument) giving me too much accuracy...and at a digital level, it ain't going to take longer to do it. 

Everything else being equal, if one instrument is more accurate...I'll take it over the less accurate one every time.

To actually PREFER a less accurate scale seems really ummmm...(what's a nice way to say it?)....you figure it out  :trollface: (edit:  the perfect phrase... "un-TRW-ish"  :)  )

Merry Christmas!!
Bob Gilmore
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 05:00:15 PM by robert3985 »

John

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2018, 05:29:49 PM »
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I've weighted all my locomotives with a kitchen scale .. I use the gram setting .. most of my locos weigh somewhere between 90-100 gms .. a few are heavier, but I've put lead weight bbshot in them to increase traction

Most cars are light -- I find that one or two pennies generally brings them close to NMRA weight .. I make no attempt to be "exact" but settle for close enough .. I haven't experienced any apparent problems with close enough weighted cars. Derailments are mainly attributed to crappy track

Maletrain

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2018, 05:55:38 PM »
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A couple of comments:

1. If you look through enough web sites, books, and instruction manuals, covering all sorts of subjects, including reloading, cooking, science, etc., you will indeed find gram abbreviated as both "g" and "gm".  You will also find grain abbreviated as "g", "gr" and "gn".  It really doesn't matter what somebody in one group decides to "support" if another group is not listening to them because the two groups are not really involved with each other.  And, with the Chinese making most of our electronic goodies, these days, it is not clear that the people translating the instructions are always going to follow the same pattern.  So, I think it is important for people evaluating scales for a particular application to make sure that they know what "g" or "gr" means in a particular piece of written material.  It can't hurt to check, but it can hurt to buy the wrong thing because you assumed incorrectly.

2.  "Unnecessary" accuracy is not a problem in itself.  But, it typically comes with additional purchase cost, and/or additional complexity of use, and/or greater fragility of the mechanism.  It also typically comes with reduced maximum weight.  The scales mentioned in this thread which seem to be the most well "centered" on the needs for weighing N scale rolling stock (including engines) are the ones with at least 0.01 ounce resolution and at least 1 pound maximum weight.  Greater accuracy can probably be had without penalty, perhaps 0.001 ounce, before the max weight becomes less or the need for "calibration" comes in.  Greater max weight can probably go up to 2 or even 5 pounds before the resolution of the measurement gets above 0.01 or 0.02 ounce.  Remember, the NMRA is talking about changing the weight of a car by about 0.04 ounce per 1/4" of length.

3. This is the "N and Z Scales" sub-forum, so somebody may be wondering how this applies to Z scale.  Good luck!.  The NMRA standards that I can find on the 'Net don't include Z or T scales.  By volume, Z scale is about 38% of N scale.  So, a Z scale car should probably be about 38% of the weight of an equivalent N scale car only if built with material thicknesses that are scaled down by the ratio of the scale factors.  I have no experience with Z Scale, but I suspect that the Z models have proportionally thicker wall sections, etc. than a scaled-down version of N scale, so I really don't have any idea how much Z rolling stock typically weighs.  And, I also have no clue how much weight is optimum for good operation (other than the locos should probably be as heavy as possible).

djconway

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2018, 10:36:17 AM »
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As my dear old mom used to say "Never complain when a restaurant brings you too much food..."   

To actually PREFER a less accurate scale seems really ummmm...(what's a nice way to say it?)....you figure it out  :trollface: (edit:  the perfect phrase... "un-TRW-ish"  :)  )

Merry Christmas!!
Bob Gilmore

It may be "un-TRW-ish" but if you only need 1/10 of a gram accuracy why spend model $$ on a more accurate scale? Also I find that a lot of the modelers I know tend to obsess ( :) ) on the most minute of details, should a 40' car weigh 24.00 grams or is 23.95 OK?  I know I've done that.  Don't get me started on speed matching. :)


pedro

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2018, 10:47:19 AM »
+1
I don’t know how I’ve made it 30+ years in the hobby having never once weighed a car.

MK

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2018, 11:22:48 AM »
+1
I don’t know how I’ve made it 30+ years in the hobby having never once weighed a car.

You must not be a true  :ashat:!   :trollface:

mmagliaro

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2018, 03:02:09 PM »
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Making all your freight cars weigh the same does help, especially when backing trains and going through curves.  I consider it an equal partner along with body-mounting couplers in making trains run more trouble free.

But I also agree that this thread has become absurdly obsessive.  I get all my cars close to 24g, and I do use a scale, but it isn't going to matter if they are 23.5 or 24.1. 

Oh.. and I am one of those who uses it to weigh locomotives, especially when I am adding weight to improve traction.  It's good to know how much you have actually added when you are packing lead or tungsten in there, in order to know how much you need to see an improvement.  It's also important to add it in a balanced way over the frame.  You don't want to add 10g at one end and nothing at the other.