Author Topic: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module  (Read 2401 times)

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davefoxx

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2019, 09:48:53 AM »
+2
Thanks for the comparison.  Ed's right: that dip is subtle, and the tie spacing is much improved.  Paint should really fool the eye, as it did on @arbomambo's module pictured above.

Are the track centers on the double-track piece the correct dimension for T-TRAK?  If so, that makes the placement of the track for fitment to adjacent modules a little easier.

Now, let's talk wiring.  What are the standards?  Is there a bus wire that needs to be installed on each module, and, if so, what are the connectors for between modules?

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nuno81291

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2019, 10:36:38 AM »
+1
Wow talk about a visual improvement. Will keep this in mind for a diorama I’m building. TRW knowledge base strikes again.  :D
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arbomambo

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2019, 11:06:35 AM »
+1
double track Kato concrete tie track is the exact spacing for T-TRAK. However, be careful about using ONLY concrete tie Kato double track Unitrack for all of your module...the length of the double track sections is slightly shorter than the corresponding wooden tie single track Unitrack. This doesn't really effect a single (the difference isn't noticeable) But Doubles, and especially Triples and Quads will compound and exacerbate the slight difference in length...
I've mixed track on a module, and, as long as the track is painted in a similar manner, the difference in tie spacing isn't obvious.
Here is another example of painted concrete tie Unitrack to resemble wood ties. I'm building a crossover in the Southwest NM Mother Road series on a double. On this one, the highway will curve and disappear 'off' the rear of the module. Soon, I'll build another where the highway re-appears. This way, at a set up, I can insert Southwest modules like my 'Arbo Canyon', and others that don't feature the highway, and give the setup some visual continuity.
Before:



After:








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MK

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2019, 11:16:35 AM »
+1
Thanks for the comparison.  Ed's right: that dip is subtle, and the tie spacing is much improved.  Paint should really fool the eye, as it did on @arbomambo's module pictured above.

Are the track centers on the double-track piece the correct dimension for T-TRAK?  If so, that makes the placement of the track for fitment to adjacent modules a little easier.

Now, let's talk wiring.  What are the standards?  Is there a bus wire that needs to be installed on each module, and, if so, what are the connectors for between modules?

DFF

T-Trak buses are outside the modules so you need not worry about that unless you are doing an entire T-Trak layout at home.  The only wiring you need to be concerned about is the feed to your module(s)'s tracks.  The more common standard there is Kato's Unijoiner that terminates in mini Tamyia connectors.  They are then connected to the bus outside the module(s).

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/kato-ho-n-24818-terminal-unijoiner-35-long-wire/

The rare ones use Anderson PowerPoles but that requires a whole bunch of support equipment like special crimper and the connectors/housing themselves.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 11:20:05 AM by MK »

davefoxx

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2019, 11:37:26 AM »
0
double track Kato concrete tie track is the exact spacing for T-TRAK. However, be careful about using ONLY concrete tie Kato double track Unitrack for all of your module...the length of the double track sections is slightly shorter than the corresponding wooden tie single track Unitrack. This doesn't really effect a single (the difference isn't noticeable) But Doubles, and especially Triples and Quads will compound and exacerbate the slight difference in length...
I've mixed track on a module, and, as long as the track is painted in a similar manner, the difference in tie spacing isn't obvious.
Here is another example of painted concrete tie Unitrack to resemble wood ties. I'm building a crossover in the Southwest NM Mother Road series on a double. On this one, the highway will curve and disappear 'off' the rear of the module. Soon, I'll build another where the highway re-appears. This way, at a set up, I can insert Southwest modules like my 'Arbo Canyon', and others that don't feature the highway, and give the setup some visual continuity.

Well, that burst the bubble.  I'm planning on a double module, and there will be no turnouts on my module.  It doesn't make sense to mix concrete and wood ties on the same module of merely straight track pieces.  Yours are disguised by the turnouts.  I'll just have to go with wood ties then.  Since length is apparently not a standard on Unitrack, does the double track (wood ties) pieces also match up with T-TRAK standards?

DFF

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davefoxx

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2019, 11:39:53 AM »
0
T-Trak buses are outside the modules so you need not worry about that unless you are doing an entire T-Trak layout at home.  The only wiring you need to be concerned about is the feed to your module(s)'s tracks.  The more common standard there is Kato's Unijoiner that terminates in mini Tamyia connectors.  They are then connected to the bus outside the module(s).

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/kato-ho-n-24818-terminal-unijoiner-35-long-wire/

The rare ones use Anderson PowerPoles but that requires a whole bunch of support equipment like special crimper and the connectors/housing themselves.

That makes it stupid easy.  Thanks!  My parts list is growing.  Hopefully, I can pick everything up at the show this weekend.

DFF

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Lemosteam

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2019, 11:50:12 AM »
+1
Well, that burst the bubble.  I'm planning on a double module, and there will be no turnouts on my module.  It doesn't make sense to mix concrete and wood ties on the same module of merely straight track pieces.  Yours are disguised by the turnouts.  I'll just have to go with wood ties then.  Since length is apparently not a standard on Unitrack, does the double track (wood ties) pieces also match up with T-TRAK standards?

DFF

Couldn't one cut out a small section of material out of the track for the length of the overall discrepancy and slide/glue the two halves back together, then trim off the excess rail to meet the standard?  might affect one tie spacing a bit, but its already been agreed that the tie spacing, given or taken in small bits, is not that visually offensive.

arbomambo

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2019, 11:52:41 AM »
+1
T-Trak buses are outside the modules so you need not worry about that unless you are doing an entire T-Trak layout at home.  The only wiring you need to be concerned about is the feed to your module(s)'s tracks.  The standard there is Kato's Unijoiner that terminates in mini Tamyia connectors.  They are then connected to the bus outside the module(s).

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/kato-ho-n-24818-terminal-unijoiner-35-long-wire/

That is correct (Kato connectors being the 'standard' for Bus connections)...
However, many (most?) groups/clubs are placing their wiring underneath the modules, requiring the modules to be pre-adjusted to a agreed upon pre-determined height above the table.
Our group prefers the have our wiring interface in the rear of each of our 'powered' (wired) modules...(not every module needs to be wired...but, just like a home layout, a good practice is to have a wired module, with feeders/drops, situated every 3-4 feet in a setup) I power just about every module I build.
And, since we like our modules to be 'tidy' and 'neat' when transporting and setting up a layout, we've adopted using the Anderson PowerPoles as our module/bus wire interface; wiring the Unitrack drops into a quad PowerPole cluster, contained in a panel mount in the rear fascia.


Our club bus wire ( 10' length of 12 Gauge loomed wire) has the 'male' equivalent of the PowerPole cluster tapped every three feet...Makes Module-to-bus wire connection rapid and simple, while keeping module wiring self contained/tidy.

Our Kato Unijoiner to PowerPole module connection-notice 'Red' and 'Yellow'; a deference to NTRAK track identification...Red being the track closest to the front edge, on a standard straight track module, and Yellow being the track located to the rear , on a standard straight track module. (Terry Nathan sold these connections, pre-built, as part of his T-Kits line of modules.)




Here is the reason we like using the PowerPoles...no hanging wires...neat and tidy.



Here is an example of our bus wire...note the 'Male' version of the PowerPole cluster tapped into it (also, note that the 10' length of  bus wire are also connected via the use of PowerPoles)






However...
at this point you're probably confused...didn't we just say that the standard T-TRAK connection, to a bus wire system, are the Kato (Tamiya) connectors?
Yes, and that is not likely to change...ever. (after all, simplicity is a big advantage of T-TRAK)

So, because we do understand that the Kato connector is the standard, AND, we want to 'play nice' with the rest of the T-TRAK world, we have 'PowerPole-to-Kato pigtails available for every powered module we have in our club/group. They plug into the rear of our modules, convert the PowerPoles back to Kato connectors, and allow our modules to plug into any standard T-TRAK bus wire (equipped with Kato three-way receptacles.







Although we enjoy the modular aspects and the simple hookup of the PowerPoles (after covering our tables with tablecloths, it takes only minutes to set up and plug in our modules), we know that the standard requires Kato connectors, so if we want to be able to easily set up with other T-TRAK groups (which we do often), it is incumbent upon us to require standard interfaces...we have, now, also tapped Kato Three Way receptacles, every three feet, into our club bus wires, so that it can be used for other clubs that don't use the powerpoles. Again, each powered module has a PowerPole-to-Kato pigtail with it at all times...


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Bruce M. Arbo
CATT- Coastal Alabama T-TRAK
NTRAK Board of Directors
https://nationalt-traklayout.com/

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arbomambo

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2019, 11:59:25 AM »
+1
Well, that burst the bubble.  I'm planning on a double module, and there will be no turnouts on my module.  It doesn't make sense to mix concrete and wood ties on the same module of merely straight track pieces.  Yours are disguised by the turnouts.  I'll just have to go with wood ties then.  Since length is apparently not a standard on Unitrack, does the double track (wood ties) pieces also match up with T-TRAK standards?

DFF

No...bubble isn't 'burst'...on a double, the length difference isn't disqualifying...there is still a minute amount of 'overhang', on each end, with the Double track Unitrack (concrete ties)..the overhang is critical in T-TRAK, as it is only the Unitrack that connects the modules to each other. so, although there may exist a 'gap' between modules in a setup (albeit a small one), it is imperative that the Unitrack ends be able to positively click completely together...A double, with double track concrete tie pieces still allows this...a triple and worse, a quad will require an alteration, as suggested above.
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Bruce M. Arbo
CATT- Coastal Alabama T-TRAK
NTRAK Board of Directors
https://nationalt-traklayout.com/

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davefoxx

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2019, 12:00:55 PM »
0
Couldn't one cut out a small section of material out of the track for the length of the overall discrepancy and slide/glue the two halves back together, then trim off the excess rail to meet the standard?  might affect one tie spacing a bit, but its already been agreed that the tie spacing, given or taken in small bits, is not that visually offensive.

Probably, but I'm going to have at least two road crossings, so the track won't be so visible that it will be worth all of that effort, especially since it very likely could be plugged into another module with standard Unitrack anyway.

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davefoxx

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2019, 12:04:11 PM »
0
No...bubble isn't 'burst'...on a double, the length difference isn't disqualifying...there is still a minute amount of 'overhang', on each end, with the Double track Unitrack (concrete ties)..the overhang is critical in T-TRAK, as it is only the Unitrack that connects the modules to each other. so, although there may exist a 'gap' between modules in a setup (albeit a small one), it is imperative that the Unitrack ends be able to positively click completely together...A double, with double track concrete tie pieces still allows this...a triple and worse, a quad will require an alteration, as suggested above.

Oh, I must have misunderstood your previous post that said this:

However, be careful about using ONLY concrete tie Kato double track Unitrack for all of your module...the length of the double track sections is slightly shorter than the corresponding wooden tie single track Unitrack. This doesn't really effect a single (the difference isn't noticeable) But Doubles, and especially Triples and Quads will compound and exacerbate the slight difference in length... (Emphasis added.)

So, I'm okay then.

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MK

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2019, 12:10:58 PM »
+1
That makes it stupid easy.  Thanks!  My parts list is growing.  Hopefully, I can pick everything up at the show this weekend.

DFF

Here's an excerpt for the Unofficial T-Trak Handbook on track wiring/powering and how the blue and white wires are connected.  If you are just starting, use the Kato connectors and let the club/layout you are running with provide the Kato <-> PP adapters if they should go with a PP standard (as Bruce illustrated above).  Our club uses the Kato connector as standard with the bus wire running behind the modules and not under.

http://t-trakhandbook.com/TTrak.070000000/TTrak.070000000.htm?AAO#PowerConnections

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2019, 02:27:40 PM »
+1
Yeah, just drop a pair of feeder joiners down (pay attention to the polarity) and you're golden.

I really love what Bruce's club does to clean up the potential mess of the wires, that's slick, but part of what I like so much about this format is it's "snack" nature. That stuff all feels like a "meal". Ya know what I'm sayin?

Point353

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2019, 02:29:37 PM »
+1
Paint should really fool the eye, ...
A light spray of brown or gray paint, in between the rails to simulate accumulated oil and dirt, will reduce the contrast between ties and ballast and painting the sides of the rails a dark, flat brown color will hide their shine.

davefoxx

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Re: Ashland, Virginia T-TRAK Module
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2019, 03:07:20 PM »
+1
A light spray of brown or gray paint, in between the rails to simulate accumulated oil and dirt, will reduce the contrast between ties and ballast and painting the sides of the rails a dark, flat brown color will hide their shine.

^ This.

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