Author Topic: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update  (Read 4983 times)

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nkalanaga

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2023, 01:49:20 AM »
0
Peteski:  Your link works fine, but the original post still shows just blank space where the images should be.  However, quoting, then copying and pasting the original links still gives me unviewable files, either directly or after saving.

I will try posting the quote, and using the links there..

   Early to mid '90's, I bought 6 bundles of Railcraft code 55 flex








  Around 2004, I bought 25 bundles of the ME flex.


 






  Bought another 12 bundles around 2010 that was weathered rail (couldn't find any unweathered at the time)Small bits of flashing on the tie ends









 

 The next 10 bundles were bought August 31 2018
 September 19, 2019, I called Robin at Fifer Hobby to order 12 more bundles as they showed none in stock.  She was going to order more in. 
 These two orders is when I started seeing flashing on the edges, along with the ends
 









 All of these have the 9" tie strips







  Here is the easiest way to see they are using new molds   Newest is on the left







 Newest on the right (I'll try to get a clearer photo later)












Nope.  No luck, and no links in the final quote. The links were clearly visible in the typing box, as you said they would be.  In fact, when I pasted your link into my browser, and saw that it worked, I tried pasting only the last part of the unviewable one (AJRXoj.jpg) into that file name, and it still wouldn't work.  Apparently there is something about these particular files, or my browser, that won't allow them to be seen.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2023, 01:55:56 AM by nkalanaga »
N Kalanaga
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robert3985

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2023, 02:46:32 AM »
+3
This is good news!  Even with its flaws, Micro Engineering flex is the very best manufactured N-scale trackage available, so I'm happy to see them continuing on with maybe improved looks and functionality since their change of ownership!

When Athabasca Scale Models came out with their etched Code55 frogs, I decided to give 'em a try.  I bought a package of #7's and a package of #8's with four frogs in each package. 

Soldering them together was easy but they were about 2 mils too tall at .0565". 

I immediately noticed before I assembled one of them that the flangeways looked very shallow.  Even though I had converted all of my rolling stock to MTL low-profile wheelsets...the first MTL ones that were real low profiles...I was pretty sure that the flanges were going to bump into the bottom of the flangeways.

I broke out my old Craftsman dial caliper and measured the flangeway depth, and it worked out to .010" deep.

Flanges on MTL low-profile wheelsets are .018" deep...an 8 mil difference.  Since one of the features of hand-made turnouts is how smooth they are if constructed correctly, I felt like even though these etched frogs might save me a bit of time in building my turnouts, the downside was that every car and engine I had was going to bump over my turnouts if I used these frogs.  So, I didn't ever actually construct a turnout around any of the Athabasca Scale Models etched frogs, finding them unsuitable for my turnout standards.

THEN, along comes Proto87Stores with their etched frogs, which looked like they corrected the shallow flangeway problem.  I ordered several of these to try 'em out, ending up using only a #6 on one turnout in a 3-turnout monolithic set I was building for one of the entrances/exits for my Emory UP Center Siding.  Proto87Stores has a unique way of registering the three layers using precision pins or drill bits and using paste silver bearing solder.  I figured with my resistance solderer I could whip these out in no time.  In actuality, soldering the one and only Proto87Stores frog up that I used, took me at least three times as long to do, then, when soldering it to my PCB ties, it came unsoldered.  I fixed it, but the tops of the frog rails were too narrow and didn't match my Code55 railhead width...(EDIT)that might have been because they were designed for Code40 track...but my mainlines are Code55.  I also didn't like the side appearance of the assembled frog as it showed each layer, and didn't have a realistic rail profile, or bolt pattern on the sides. But, it ran well but no better than my own made from rail. (EDIT) After writing this, I decided to check the remaining P87 unassembled frogs and they were designed for Code55...not Code40

Photo (1) - Proto87Stores Etched Code40 #6 Frog installed on a Code55 #6 Turnout:


Photo (2) - A #8 Frog Bent, Filed and Assembled From Rail by Me:


Truth is, that lost-wax castings of frogs in nickel silver aren't that expensive, and since prototypically, frogs are cast or assembled units, cast ones in N-scale look pretty realistic, especially if the manufacturer would take the time to include nut & bolt details on the sides, and get the wing rails correctly proportioned and sized.  Micro Engineering's nicely cast #6 frogs don't have any side detailing, but they ARE functional, and the turnouts are offered at a competitive price, so, they can't be too expensive.  Atlas55 frogs are also cast, but in pot-metal instead of nickel silver...and need to be plated a couple of times before being ready to install on their turnouts.  I really think that just investment casting them in NS would be just as cost effective and give a much better product.

I am sure that the old injection tool used for Rail Craft Code55 track wore out before the turn of the century.  The last bundle I got was very "flashy" with leakage alongside the rail web both inside and outside of the rail.  I spent a lot of time removing it before using the flex, but felt it was still worth it since nothing compared as far as spikehead details were concerned.

I had posted something and included a photo of my layout with its Rail Craft Code55 trackage, and DKS pointed out to me that Micro Engineering had a new injection tool and that the new spikehead details were not nearly as small, nor as prototypical looking. DAMN!...I was shocked to see that my last order of ME Code55 flex had the larger spikeheads...  :x

Soooo...if ME in its new ownership has decided to improve the functionality of their Code55 N-scale flex, I hope they have taken the opportunity to also improve its spikehead and tieplate details.

As for me, I am pretty sure that I'm going with 3D printed tie strips for my next 20' of layout, in both Code55 and Code40 for my mainlines and my industrial sidings/spurs.

However, I have high hopes that ME will do the smart thing and expand the N-scale line to include a good selection of turnouts, crossings and other track stuff...and hopefully take the opportunity to improve the details on their new injection tooling.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore




« Last Edit: April 11, 2023, 02:09:19 PM by robert3985 »

MK

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2023, 07:19:19 AM »
+1
Peteski:  Your link works fine, but the original post still shows just blank space where the images should be.  However, quoting, then copying and pasting the original links still gives me unviewable files, either directly or after saving.

I will try posting the quote, and using the links there..

Nope.  No luck, and no links in the final quote. The links were clearly visible in the typing box, as you said they would be.  In fact, when I pasted your link into my browser, and saw that it worked, I tried pasting only the last part of the unviewable one (AJRXoj.jpg) into that file name, and it still wouldn't work.  Apparently there is something about these particular files, or my browser, that won't allow them to be seen.

It's your browser.  I see every single one of the pictures in your quote.  I even see them on an Amazon Fire tablet running their Silk browser as well as a Windows PC using Chrome.

rodsup9000

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2023, 10:00:58 AM »
0
When Athabasca Scale Models came out with their etched Code55 frogs, I decided to give 'em a try.  I bought a package of #7's and a package of #8's with four frogs in each package. 

Soldering them together was easy but they were about 2 mils too tall at .0565". 

 

 Each plate on the ones I have measures .027" and when soldered together measures right at .055" The flangeway measures .018" deep.
 I'm guessing I bought them around 2010, so I'm thinking he changed them from when you got them and when I got mine.

« Last Edit: April 11, 2023, 11:45:50 AM by rodsup9000 »
Rodney

My Feather River Canyon in N-scale
http://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=31585.0

ednadolski

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2023, 10:30:13 AM »
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Each plate on the ones I have measures .027" and when soldered together measures right at .055"The flange measures .018" deep.

NMRA S-3.2 lists the N Scale minimum flangeway depth (H) as 0.022".

The trick with deeper etchings is that the cusping starts to become significant, esp. if over half the metal thickness.

Ed



nkalanaga

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2023, 01:59:11 AM »
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MK:  I see them now!  Same PC, same OS, same browser, but the pictures show just fine, both in the original post and in my quote.  And, if I copy and paste the image location into a new tab, that works as well. 

Since I haven't changed anything, I wonder if there was something going on somewhere between Imageshack and my computer?
N Kalanaga
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MK

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2023, 07:36:07 AM »
+1
Sounds like it if nothing changed on your end.  Weird!

nkalanaga

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2023, 02:00:42 AM »
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It is weird.  What's even weirder is that they DON'T work now, and I still haven't changed anything.

Stranger yet, they do work on my backup browser, which is an "updated version of an even older version" of Firefox, called MyPal.  It's so old that many sites which refuse to allow outdated browsers can't recognize it, so it can sneak by!
N Kalanaga
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rodsup9000

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2023, 01:05:16 PM »
+4
  I called ME today to inquire about a update on new N scale turnouts. They are in the process of moving to Macon Mo. They plan on being completely moved by the end of the year. 
New #8 and #10 turnouts are on the drawing board, but have no idea when the will start producing them
Rodney

My Feather River Canyon in N-scale
http://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=31585.0

amato1969

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2023, 02:18:50 PM »
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ME #8 and #10?  Whoa!

ednadolski

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2023, 03:37:16 PM »
+3
New #8 and #10 turnouts are on the drawing board, but have no idea when the will start producing them

For N scale?  :o :o  (I do think those size turnouts are be better for N, for HO they could be too long for some (most?) folks).

Next thing, they will be making code 40 turnouts too.... :D  :ashat:

Ed
« Last Edit: September 12, 2023, 11:53:01 PM by ednadolski »

nickelplate759

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2023, 03:52:58 PM »
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ME #8 and #10?  Whoa!

If they add curved turnouts I'll be beating a path to their (new) door next year.
George
NKPH&TS #3628

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

JeffB

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2023, 06:12:40 AM »
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  I called ME today to inquire about a update on new N scale turnouts. They are in the process of moving to Macon Mo. They plan on being completely moved by the end of the year. 
New #8 and #10 turnouts are on the drawing board, but have no idea when the will start producing them

Hopefully they'll be working on their QC first though...  I purchased about a dozen of their HOn3 turnouts a few years back (for Sn2).  Half of them had some type of damage or other QC issue (cut off wheel nicks in the rail head, badly cast frog, point rail joiners for the point rails too short, etc...).  The entity I purchased them from took a few of them (the unopened ones) back and I selected new ones, but that sort of lack of QC is discouraging.

I wish them well and hope they can make a good go of it...  I think #8 turnouts (hopefully Code 55) in N scale will be a big deal for modelers.

Jeff

robert3985

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2023, 01:08:37 PM »
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That's cool that they've got drawings of a #8 and a #10. 

I think I would have preferred a #9 and a #11 simply because when I look at valuation maps of UP property, #6, #9 and #11 turnouts are what UP uses mostly...and a #6.5 "Crotch Frog" turnout for center sidings.

But, I'll be happy enough with a prototypically constructed (as much as possible) #8 & #10.

I'd hope, if ME decides to cast the frogs out of NS, that they include N&B details, and refrain from making a hugely wide throwbar.  Hinged closure point rails that are tri-planed like the real deal would simplify turnout construction since the stock rails wouldn't need any rail-foot removal, and as per the prototype, the closure rails would all be the same length for #6's, #8's and #10's

And, code 40 turnouts would be GREAT!

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

OldEastRR

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Re: Micro Engineering N scale Code 55 Flex Update
« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2023, 04:36:03 AM »
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So with the change of ownership and location, the supply of ME code 55 turnouts have dried up? Checking the usual suspects I found OOS everywhere.