Author Topic: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?  (Read 2538 times)

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Jesse6669

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2024, 08:39:23 AM »
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Interesting timing, I have been contemplating Z scale as it has so many RTR locomotives available!  Oh well back to my T and M scale stuff...

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2024, 09:35:36 AM »
+1
Ed, that just covers the rolling stock items.
I am not  very familiar with Z scale products, but how about the selection of track?   Can you for example find a decent looking turnouts and slip switches?  How about structures?  There are plenty available with European flavor, but how about something that looks like it belongs on American prototype layout?    I suspect there are some 3-D printed items available by now, but is there enough variety to build a decent looking layout?  How about vehicles?  Is there a wide enough selection out there?

It is the vehicles that get me. People are so familiar with cars that you need a broad variety to paint that picture. This was a major stumbling block for N scale until 3d printing came along and flung open the door. How can you model the 90's without an Explorer? Or the 70's without a Vega?
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ztrack

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2024, 10:08:05 AM »
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Absolutely.

absolutely need the following:

Amfleets

To make it more convincing, I'd want:
Viewliner Sleepers
Viewliner Diners
Viewliner Baggages
Former Metroliner cab cars


You mean these?









Check out the AZL Amtrak car page, and lightweight page.

https://www.americanzline.com/heavyweight-passenger/amtrak/

https://www.americanzline.com/lightweight-passenger/amtrak-2/

Also, AZL has more coming... think Amtrak MOW that is totally appropriate for today.. and maybe a loco other than their P42s...
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ztrack

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2024, 10:12:09 AM »
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I liked the way some of my 3D printed track ties came out in Z scale, so I decided to put together a quick little dio to see what it might look like in a finished scene.   This track has code 40 rail and concrete ties, and the ballast is AZRM sifted to a #80 screen.  The track is on some N scale 1/8" cork roadbed, which seems passable for modern mainline track.  I passed on using any static grass, as I thought it might look a little out of scale for Z (besides, ground foam is a lot faster).  Nothing is weathered here, and it could use some more lineside detail.

Cheers,
Ed

Ed beautiful work!!!! Welcome to the wonderful world of Z!

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robert3985

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2024, 11:05:36 AM »
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As Robert would say, "time to roll your own!"

Does anyone have pics of scratch-built Z scale turnouts in c40?



Scott

Welll....Ed @ednadolski  is certainly capable of "rolling his own" Code40 turnouts. 

I can imagine that he's already thinking of ways to 3D print his own turnout tie platforms with all the details, making it compatible with several PCB ties to which the rails would be soldered...  :D

Z-scale is in much the same position as N-scale was back in the early 1970's...which is one reason that I got into it....because I had to scratch-build nearly all my structures, buy brass locomotives that fit my road/era/location and because I had to "roll my own" turnouts if I wanted anything semi-prototypical looking.

But, AZL really does make some great looking Z-scale stuff...including some UP things which have never been made in N-scale...like their UP CA-1 cabooses.

So, it kinda tempts me...kinda...   ;)

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

dem34

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2024, 12:04:47 PM »
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All this discussion makes me want to try to do some Z scale KTrak to bring to shows for my own bemusement. But that would also require badgering someone to 3D print a unit train of my Z scale H39Bs.
-Al

ednadolski

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2024, 08:57:25 PM »
+3
I'd never have guessed it was Z scale if you didn't tell me.

Just to help make sure, here is a pic with an assist from an N scale truck and a genuine DKS/NZT ruler.  ;)




Welcome to the wonderful world of Z!

Thank you @ztrack !  It would be interesting to see what one or two of those amazing AZL Tunnel Motors would look like on it  :D

Would you know -- how may cars could one of those pull up a 2% grade?   Say on a 22" radius curve ... maybe 10 or 12 cars?


I can imagine that he's already thinking of ways to 3D print his own turnout tie platforms with all the details, making it compatible with several PCB ties to which the rails would be soldered...  :D

How did you know?   Tho other than the throwbar,  I'm not sure if PCB ties will really be needed.  ;)




Cheers,
Ed

ztrack

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2024, 11:15:14 PM »
+1

Would you know -- how may cars could one of those pull up a 2% grade?   Say on a 22" radius curve ... maybe 10 or 12 cars?


Cheers,
Ed

Good question. I would say that would be about right. It depends on the cars. Boxcars, hoppers, etc, no problem. If you start looking at intermodal, a lot of these cars have metal chassis and are heavy once containers are added. This will limit pulling power. I am a big fan of double-heading Z locos... or triple heading. The more the merrier. AZL locos do have traction tires, so the pulling power really amps up, especially when running multiples.

Bill Mock posted this photo on AZL forum of AZL's tunnel motors on his Truckee layout. Pretty neat photos!


« Last Edit: February 01, 2024, 11:20:27 PM by ztrack »
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peteski

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2024, 11:20:42 PM »
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Oh man, that's a really good point. I didn't even cover that!

But yeah, it's a huge issue.

Flextrack goes a long way, but eventually you need stuff like #4, #6 or #10 turnouts. Hell, with Z scale I'd want even bigger stuff!

Another elephant in the room: not trying to be negative - just being realistic here.

The thing is DCC, and especially DCC sound.  Not only space is very tight, but the smaller and lighter models will suffer electrical pickup problems. There is no room to add weight or keep-alive capacitors (if one even manages to shoehorn a decoder into the loco.  We already have problems with this in N scale.  Sure, Z scale  will be ok for DC operation, or some basic silent DCC, but the reliability of electric pickup will likely affect the operation.
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Jbub

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2024, 12:10:21 AM »
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Another elephant in the room: not trying to be negative - just being realistic here.

The thing is DCC, and especially DCC sound.  Not only space is very tight, but the smaller and lighter models will suffer electrical pickup problems. There is no room to add weight or keep-alive capacitors (if one even manages to shoehorn a decoder into the loco.  We already have problems with this in N scale.  Sure, Z scale  will be ok for DC operation, or some basic silent DCC, but the reliability of electric pickup will likely affect the operation.
Does Z have DCC sound? I know it has straight DCC, but I doubt they have room for even an 8x12 speaker.
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Rivet Miscounter

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2024, 12:53:37 AM »
+1
The thing is DCC, and especially DCC sound.  Not only space is very tight, but the smaller and lighter models will suffer electrical pickup problems. There is no room to add weight or keep-alive capacitors (if one even manages to shoehorn a decoder into the loco.  We already have problems with this in N scale.  Sure, Z scale  will be ok for DC operation, or some basic silent DCC, but the reliability of electric pickup will likely affect the operation.

There's one guy doing some very innovative things in Z-scale DCC.  Alex a.k.a. Zmodell.  Not sound (yet) but nothing "basic" about what he's doing. See his announcement for a decoder for the new AZL SD40-2.
https://azlforum.com/thread/2587/zmodell-digital-decoder-diesel-locomotives This is the first one he's done that actually has a cap built into the board.  It's not out yet but it certainly has generated some buzz.

He's also the only one so far to create a decoder for the AZL SW1500.   I may not have this exactly stated correctly, but basically he is taking (assume "licensing") Doehler & Haass decoder technology and designing it into tiny form factors. (D&H already makes super tiny decoders, but just "different tiny form factors" might be the better wording.)  He also has what is likely the reigning overall smallest *available* decoder at the moment. (as some of the competitors--including D&H--aren't currently in production)
https://azlforum.com/thread/2056/zmodell-digital-decoder-switching-locomotive Zmodell Decoder for AZL SW1500
https://azlforum.com/thread/2587/zmodell-digital-decoder-diesel-locomotives Zmodell Decoder for AZL SD40-2
https://azlforum.com/thread/2464/zmodell-zm05a-smallest-digital-decoder Zmodell ZM05A – "the smallest digital decoder in the world"
https://azlforum.com/thread/1920/zmodell-digital-decoder-series-locomotives Zmodell Decoder for AZL Alco RS-series locos

And speaking of sound, this might be an indication of things to come from Alex on the Z sound front...
https://azlforum.com/thread/1961/zmodell-digital-decoder-rklin-entertainment DCC Light Board Decoder for Marklin "Party Car"
https://azlforum.com/thread/2044/zmodell-sound-module-rklin-entertainment Daughter Board to add MP3 Sound the above decoder
The above doesn't constitute a traditional sound decoder per se, and isn't a motor controller, etc.    But it shows he probably has the capability to do sound decoders if the demand is there.

If you don't care one iota about Z-scale, I still recommend the above links....they're good reads.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2024, 01:12:10 AM by Rivet Miscounter »
Doug

ednadolski

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2024, 01:11:52 AM »
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There is no room to add weight or keep-alive capacitors (if one even manages to shoehorn a decoder into the loco.  We already have problems with this in N scale.

FWIW, I've never needed to do either of those for N scale.

Ed

ednadolski

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2024, 01:13:10 AM »
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https://azlforum.com/thread/2044/zmodell-sound-module-rklin-entertainment Daughter Board to add MP3 Sound the above decoder

Oh that would be so awesome with subwoofer sound :D

With DCC in Z scale, you have to be careful to use voltage reduction from a command station, as some can be too high for Z scale motors.  The NCE command station does have a way to reduce its output voltage to an appropriate level, and Digitrax makes a reducer than can be used with any command station.

Ed
« Last Edit: February 02, 2024, 01:17:17 AM by ednadolski »

Rivet Miscounter

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2024, 01:17:15 AM »
+1
BTW, there *are* sound decoder installs being done by at least a couple of folks in Z.  David Wolf is the leader of the pack.   Most of the stuff is in cowl units or large steam locos. (or dummy F-units or trailing cars)   One of the more impressive ones I've seen (online, not in person) is David's AZL Amtrak P42DC.

I have thoughts of putting a Loksound decoder in an AZL RDC.  I even have the stuff to do it but havne't had time.   Pondering doing a pair with one housing the sound and other the tractive effort, wired together for pickup, etc.
Doug

peteski

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Re: Oh what in 'Z' world am I doing?
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2024, 08:48:03 AM »
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Thanks for the links Doug.  I was aware that there are small decoders usable for Z scale, but most of them have either no, or very little keep-alive capacity. As I see it, the track and wheels must be absolutely spotless for reliable operation.

Yes, sound is possible if installed in a capacious model (like a passenger car).  That decoder has a bank of keep-alive caps which is a good idea because it is a relatively light car (so electric pickup is not ideal). 

Looking at the threads you linked to, looks like Alex discovered multi-layer PC boards, like ESU, ZIMO and other manufacturers utilize for their decoders.  That can sure result in a more compact PC board design.

I'm not dismissing the fact that there are DCC options for Z scale, but as I see it the track and wheels will likely be a weak link. 


So Ed,  you are content with running on old school DC?  Back to block control for running OPS, or you are content with just single train operation (roundy-round)?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2024, 08:51:11 AM by peteski »
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