Author Topic: Stupid T-trak module questions  (Read 1914 times)

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Onizukachan

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2019, 03:06:49 AM »
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Sounds lik3 they missed the chanc3 to have an actual standard for accessories, since no connector type or voltage or dc/ac has been hard spec’d

arbomambo

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2019, 06:42:32 PM »
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??? No one has ‘missed’ anything.
There’s no deadline for evaluating and submitting specifications for bus standards.
As long as the main power bus can accept Kato connectors, there’s no need to really standardise a bus system.
In large layouts, power is fed to separate lengths of bus corresponding to separate power districts, managed by power managers with short circuit protection. Accessory power can be handled the same way.
We’ll (NTRAK) attempt to make recommendations for best practices when it comes to bus wire ( at the very least standardise colors used in powerpoles) but any standard suggestion will always receive pushback from someone who doesn't want to alter there wiring. Regardless, improvements occur constantly and folks should be open to changes. Look at NTRAK going from Cinch Jones connectors to Powerpoles as an example.
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peteski

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2019, 06:54:49 PM »
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Look at NTRAK going from Cinch Jones connectors to Powerpoles as an example.

While a great concept in theory, PowePoles are huge pain in the a$$!!  I grumble and end up with my fingers hurting at every show I assist in setting up.

Their inherent Lego-like flexibility is a huge curse (and a cause of hurting fingers while trying to disassemble and reassemble them during the setup).  We can't seem to get people to follow the standard pin connector arrangements. Worse than herding cats!   It is nuts!   :D No siuch problem with Cinch Jones.  They just worked - every time!
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Mark W

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2019, 08:01:44 PM »
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While a great concept in theory, PowePoles are huge pain in the a$$!!  I grumble and end up with my fingers hurting at every show I assist in setting up.

...a cause of hurting fingers while trying to disassemble and reassemble them during the setup...

Do you mean simply from un-plugging two connectors, or are you pulling apart the individual PowerPoles of each connector too?? :scared: :scared:

I absolutely agree that disassembling individual PowerPoles is a nightmare, but once assembled *properly*, there should be no need to ever disassemble them.  Plugging and unplugging connectors is a cinch. 

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peteski

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2019, 09:13:09 PM »
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I absolutely agree that disassembling individual PowerPoles is a nightmare, but once assembled *properly*, there should be no need to ever disassemble them.  Plugging and unplugging connectors is a cinch.

This! ^^

People just can't seem to follow the standard and my fingers end up raw from taking the stacked connectors apart to re-stack them.  :RUEffinKiddingMe: :RUEffinKiddingMe:  And even though PowerPoles have been in use for several years now, people aren't getting the message on how to stack them properly.  It is a never ending frustration!!  At this point it would be easier if the connectors were not stacked at all - at least I wouldn't end up with blody fingers from un-stacking them.  :RUEffinKiddingMe: :RUEffinKiddingMe: :RUEffinKiddingMe: 


Like I said, their Lego-like flexibility of stacking them any way you want is actually a huge pain in the butt!
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Point353

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2019, 09:56:37 PM »
+2
People just can't seem to follow the standard and my fingers end up raw from taking the stacked connectors apart to re-stack them.  :RUEffinKiddingMe: :RUEffinKiddingMe:  And even though PowerPoles have been in use for several years now, people aren't getting the message on how to stack them properly.  It is a never ending frustration!!  At this point it would be easier if the connectors were not stacked at all - at least I wouldn't end up with bloody fingers from un-stacking them.  :RUEffinKiddingMe: :RUEffinKiddingMe: :RUEffinKiddingMe: 
Why do you get stuck with re-stacking the connectors?
Isn't it the module owner's responsibility to make certain that their module conforms to the standards?
Hand them a drawing of the correct configuration and let them either fix their connectors or not be a part of the layout.
The Powerpole connectors were added to the NTRAK "recommended practice" in 2005, so everyone should be well familiar with them by now.

peteski

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2019, 10:13:56 PM »
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Why do you get stuck with re-stacking the connectors?
Isn't it the module owner's responsibility to make certain that their module conforms to the standards?
Hand them a drawing of the correct configuration and let them either fix their connectors or not be a part of the layout.
The Powerpole connectors were added to the NTRAK "recommended practice" in 2005, so everyone should be well familiar with them by now.

Sure, sure, it all sounds fine in theory, but in practice it is a huge fail.
Sometimes the module owners aren't around when we are hooking the modules up. And then what? Give them a demerit? If we tick them off, they will not show up at the next show (and we always need modules).  Bottom line is that it is a losing battle in our club.  :facepalm:
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MK

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2019, 10:38:38 PM »
+2
Disassembling PP connectors (actually the shells) is quite easy and I do it all the time for the reasons mentioned above.  Determine which pair (or single) is the one that slides DOWN from ther other pair (or single).  Find a sharp edged table or surface.  "Sharp" in this meaning is 90 degrees, not sharp as in a knife.  You don't want rounded edges.

Rest the edge of the pair that is fixed on the edge of the table surface and hold it securely with your fingers.  "Fixed" in this meaning is the pair (or single) that is NOT going to slide down.  Wires facing down in all situations.  Take the handle of a pair of small pliers or a medium sized screwdriver (one club member had a small brass ball peen hammer - perfect!) and gently tap on the non-fixed pair (or single), the one that is going to slide down.  A few taps and they will start sliding off to the point where you can just use your fingers to finish the job.  No bleeding fingers, no broken or bent nails, no drama.  :D

The hardest part in all this is resting the fixed pair's (or single's) edge on the table edge and holding it there while you tap the other pair (single).

Jbub

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2019, 10:50:22 PM »
+1
The club I'm in uses power poles also and I don't stack them for the same reason. You can connect a pair of stacked plugs to a pair of unstacked. But if you can't be there to set up your own module, why are you participating? Dropping something like a module off so the rest of the group can set it up for you seems... rude to me. There are times where I see this being acceptable, like if someone was physical unable for what ever reason to manipulate their property and needed help. I believe everyone in a club  has a part to do at shows. If you're a module owner, your part is to set it up and make sure it's maintained in a way to provide trouble free operations at an event.
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peteski

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2019, 11:18:02 PM »
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The club I'm in uses power poles also and I don't stack them for the same reason. You can connect a pair of stacked plugs to a pair of unstacked. But if you can't be there to set up your own module, why are you participating? Dropping something like a module off so the rest of the group can set it up for you seems... rude to me. There are times where I see this being acceptable, like if someone was physical unable for what ever reason to manipulate their property and needed help. I believe everyone in a club  has a part to do at shows. If you're a module owner, your part is to set it up and make sure it's maintained in a way to provide trouble free operations at an event.

Well, in the ideal world . . .our club is from from ideal.
At some shows we can bring modules the evening before the show.  But we don't have everybody coming that evening, so the layout is not put together til the following morning.  Some of those who drop off the modules can't be there in the morning, so others (like me) end up doing the electrical connections.  We can ruminate on this forever, but the bottom line is that it is what it is and it makes me hate PowerPoles.

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Point353

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2019, 05:24:05 AM »
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Well, in the ideal world . . .our club is from from ideal.
At some shows we can bring modules the evening before the show.  But we don't have everybody coming that evening, so the layout is not put together til the following morning.  Some of those who drop off the modules can't be there in the morning, so others (like me) end up doing the electrical connections.  We can ruminate on this forever, but the bottom line is that it is what it is and it makes me hate PowerPoles.
For better or worse, Powerpole® connectors have become the new normal.
Cinch-Jones connectors can still be used, but you need to have adapter cables on hand in case there is a mix of modules equipped with different connectors.

Since your club produces a monthly newsletter, why not include in it a photo or diagram of how the connectors should be configured?
Do that at least annually, or maybe in every issue as long as this remains an ongoing issue.
As any new members join, make sure they are aware of the wiring standards.

peteski

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #26 on: April 11, 2019, 05:42:44 AM »
+1

Since your club produces a monthly newsletter, why not include in it a photo or diagram of how the connectors should be configured?
Do that at least annually, or maybe in every issue as long as this remains an ongoing issue.
As any new members join, make sure they are aware of the wiring standards.

Let me say it yet again - we can discuss this over and over and nothing is going to change.  Trust me.  It is beating that proverbial horse.  The only thing that might actually make a difference would be awarding some expensive prize (like a new N scale loco) to every person who has their PowerPoles properly arranged, for that super-easy plug-and-go installation.

« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 05:45:38 AM by peteski »
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MK

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2019, 07:35:28 AM »
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In our club we experience exactly what Peteski said.  And often because of this it creates havoc when setting up.  I have found T-Trak bus wires with reconfigured PP because at some time (probably at the last show) someone decided to get the layout running ASAP so they do a band aid solution and redo the connectors.  Then the cable gets tossed back into the cable box at the end of the show.   :facepalm:  I'm sure it was a quick and dirty patch job to get the layout running or sometimes we participate at multi-club show (e.g., Amherst) where another club's members may have a different way of doing things.  It's the proverbial too many cooks in the kitchen.

As Peteski said, there really is no ideal way to solve this other than the club owning all the modules to control PP changing on the fly but that defeats the purpose of T-Trak.  You can implement many various Draconian rules but then you end up with no modules from people and modules are always in short suppply.

arbomambo

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2019, 09:46:20 AM »
+2
We have never experienced this issue...
What you're describing are issues with your clubs, then 'blaming' the hardware...that's like blaming the Track being used because a module builder didn't cut it to the correct standard at the ends.
Either in AustNtrak (NTRAK), and all the other Texas-based NTRAK groups, nor here in Pensacola (PMRC) NTRAK, nor in any of the T-TRAK groups that have chosen to use powerpoles.
We've not had to pull apart (disassemble) powerpole assemblies...perhaps it's because we make sure (and all of the other groups I've mentioned) to reinforce the correct standard, and provide assistance to those who may be confused.
We've found the Powerpole system of connectors/connections to be FAR superior to anything else being correctly used, both in positive electrical conductivity, and in positive physical connection. Far superior to the older Cinch Jones connectors; both in physical and electrical parameters. The NTRAK company store had a very large amount of Cinch Jones connectors in its inventory for years...they couldn't get rid of them to save their lives. They eventually just disposed of them because no one wanted them for even pennies.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 09:53:14 AM by arbomambo »
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https://nationalt-traklayout.com/

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Stupid T-trak module questions
« Reply #29 on: April 11, 2019, 10:39:53 AM »
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I don't doubt what Peteski's experiencing for a second!

I find it interesting that people screw up the PPs so easily but somehow managed to figure out the Cinch Jones plugs.

I was about to ask what's in the water up there, but then I remembered Woburn... lol.