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N Scale Coffee Table Layout
 Moderated by: Herb Kephart Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  Next Page Last Page  
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 Posted: Fri May 1st, 2015 12:00 pm
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George W
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Herb Kephart wrote:
""Badly drawn""

George, you gotta be kidding!
I wish my sketches looked that good!

Herb


Thanks Herb. I just mean that if I had plotted it out in pencil first it could be a lot better ... Thought far from correct I'm sure.



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George W.
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 Posted: Fri May 1st, 2015 12:22 pm
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George W
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Si. wrote:
Hi George.

NICE DRAWING !
I can see you're a big CAD fan ( Crayon Aided Design ); me too.

By 'set-track', I just mean the shortest possible turnouts available...
...I believe often called #4-turnouts, in the U.S.

The 'wye-turnout' can sometimes be a real space saver...
...or even a medium-radius curved-turnout.

Easiest way to map it out is to download & print a 1:1 template of the actual switches, from the makers website.

I think one of the most popular brands in the U.S is 'Atlas Snaptrack' ( using flexi-track for the curves ).
I've used PECO turnouts in N-scale; pretty nice items.

The other thing is of course.
You need to think very carefully about the electrical-wiring of that design...
...It's actualy fairly complex !
From side to side at one point, there are actualy EIGHT ! parallel tracks ! .
Si.

I don't think On30 'needs' to be more expensive than N-scale either.


It's encouraging that people think it could work, so often I'm just guessing .. Well I do, do some research L:

Yes the turnouts are my big worry as I haven't even looked at how to wire a track with turnouts and how to motorize them and all that :shocked:

On30 may or may not be more expensive , I'm just basing it on my first look which was about : N Scale Loco = $80 vs On30 Scale Loco = $400.
Granted, that wasn't a ton of shopping around at the time.

Anyway it's nice to think it could be done :)



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 Posted: Fri May 1st, 2015 12:59 pm
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George W
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Ten minutes of research on wiring Turnouts tells me my trains will run only in a circle forever.

Actually, I think my best bet would be to get just two turnouts and monkey around with simple test track loops until I have so grasp on how to wire it.

Ten minutes of reading and I don't have a clue as to what I read :hyp:



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 Posted: Fri May 1st, 2015 01:01 pm
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Si.
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Hi George.

You can get a Bachmann On30 Porter for peanuts...
...the basic motive-power for a small layout.

When looking at prices, DCC & sound put a TON of dough on the final price.
If you don't want those 'extras', don't pay for them.


The other thing about turnouts, which is most important...
...is they come in 2 different electrical types.

1. Insulated-frog (like in every out of the box trainset).
2. Live-frog (like 'the pros' use).

The frog BTW is the 'v' shape where the rails meet.

The left-rail of one track, meets the right-rail of the other.

WHOOPS ! ... what happens ? ... a short-circuit.

An insulated-frog switches the power correctly, via the point-blades.
A live-frog needs an additional switch; either on a switch-machine, or a manual lever.

So why not just use an insulated-frog ?

Locos with a small wheelbase or few wheels, loose contact with the live rail as the go through the turnout.
This is espesialy true in N-scale, where every thing is smaller.

Live-frog wiring is much more complex than insulated-frog wiring.

I guess manual 'ground-throws' like Caboose-Industries are out, for what I assume would be glass-topped...
...so motorized yes, I guess.

Cheers.

Si.

:moose:



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 Posted: Fri May 1st, 2015 02:28 pm
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George W
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Si. wrote:
Hi George.

You can get a Bachmann On30 Porter for peanuts...
...the basic motive-power for a small layout.

they come in 2 different electrical types.

1. Insulated-frog (like in every out of the box trainset).
2. Live-frog (like 'the pros' use).

The left-rail of one track, meets the right-rail of the other.

So why not just use an insulated-frog ?

Locos with a small wheelbase or few wheels, loose contact with the live rail as the go through the turnout.
This is espesialy true in N-scale, where every thing is smaller.

Live-frog wiring is much more complex than insulated-frog wiring.

I guess manual 'ground-throws' like Caboose-Industries are out, for what I assume would be glass-topped...
...so motorized yes, I guess.

Cheers.

Si.

:moose:


Yes, Porters seem to run $80 to $150ish on eBay and such, not too bad price wise.

I had read about the two types and the issues with both types (add power pickups in second car? To fix problem?)

Yes, would have a glass top, so manual is out.

I really would like On30 and I do like the Porters ... if the experiment fails on the test track, I can just use it all on a bigger plan later on, so no loss.

Or, just run two separate loops and TWO trains 😃



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 Posted: Fri May 1st, 2015 03:04 pm
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George W
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Of course there is a possibility I'm just insane.

Here's a rough idea of the layout within the Coffee Table "Box".

Sides are mostly open and the corner "hills" support the glass top and house electricals.

PS, track design in this drawing isn't exactly the same, just an approximation.

Attachment: image.jpg (Downloaded 62 times)



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 Posted: Fri May 1st, 2015 07:20 pm
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While your last layout somehow defied the laws of physics and trains moving up a grade, before construction begins I'd definitely do some grade estimates. N scale is generally quite light on the track, and a 4% grade is about the maximum practical grade you can use.

N scale needs about 1.5 to 1.75 inches in height, so on a 4% grade, you'll need a minimum of 44 inches plus about 4 inches on each end of the grade for transitions.

If the math checks out, I say go for it! Coffee table layouts have big potential. Besides the grade issue, just remember that simpler is better, especially when your project will be contained in a glass box on display in your living areas.

Good luck!

--James:java:



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 Posted: Fri May 1st, 2015 10:54 pm
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George W
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jtrain wrote:
While your last layout somehow defied the laws of physics and trains moving up a grade, before construction begins I'd definitely do some grade estimates. N scale is generally quite light on the track, and a 4% grade is about the maximum practical grade you can use.

N scale needs about 1.5 to 1.75 inches in height, so on a 4% grade, you'll need a minimum of 44 inches plus about 4 inches on each end of the grade for transitions.

If the math checks out, I say go for it! Coffee table layouts have big potential. Besides the grade issue, just remember that simpler is better, especially when your project will be contained in a glass box on display in your living areas.

Good luck!

--James:java:


Thanks JTrain for the tips.
Yes, I learned (the hard way) about grade issues from my Pizza Layout and I know it's more of an issue with N Scales light weight.

If I attempt to build this in any scale, there will be a LOT of testing beforehand with running mock ups and such.

I'd kinda like to avoid the problems I've run into on my first layout, especially with one that'll be a complicated build even with a simpler track plan.



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 Posted: Sun May 3rd, 2015 03:56 am
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After much discussion and deep thought on this Coffee Table design, I think I need to conclude a simpler track plan in On30 would be a smarter way to go.

Something like two loops with just two switches or two loops and two separate trains or a kidney shape with one switch and side rail.

I'll work on it and repost in a more appropriate subject area.



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 Posted: Sun May 3rd, 2015 06:57 am
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Si.
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Hi George.

The single kidney shape with switch sounds good.

Have you seen the 'Bashette & Whacket' (possible typo.)...
...in the Freerails 'Micro Forum' ?

Nice lil' On30 micro.
Great scenic ideas in a pretty small space.

All based on sticking with the idea of SMALL prototypes...
...not SMALL scale. BIG difference here, I think.

Cheers.

Si.

:moose:

Charleys 'Bullfrog Mining' is a bit of a small-space 'twister' as well.



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