Modular layouts?

Modular layouts?

Postby BTTB Fan » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:06 pm

I am thinking of making my layout modular, for easy mobility and/or the ability to add and re-arrange the modules, if desired. So, I am trying to figure out a whole bunch of stuff, including:
1) What size modules are the most appropriate for TT scale? I am thinking 2'x4' could be a good size.
2) Single or double main line?
3) Position of the main line connection points? I was thinking middle of the module, which would make the modules reversible, but now it seems to me that putting the main line closer to one side would provide more layout options. I am still not sure what offset from the edge (4", 6", 8") wold be best.

Any thoughts/advice are much appreciated.
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Re: Modular layouts?

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:28 pm

I actually spent a lot of time thinking about this as my layout is made to be disassembled and assembled again. Deciding how I wanted to do that was the (and to some degree still is) hardest part of the whole thing. I'll take some pics this weekend to post and go through my thoughts on why I did what I did. I'm also curious how others have done it why it was done that way.
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Re: Modular layouts?

Postby BTTB Fan » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:38 pm

Some time ago I found a good tutorial (http://www.railwaybob.com/Modules/ModConstr/ModConstr02.htm), covering the structural/electrical side of building modules, but it does not cover the layout aspects. Having to match layers at level, among other things, puts significant constraints on the layout desing.

Also, making a modular Oval, Doggbone, or anything other than end-to-end, requires turns, and on a 2x4 module 90 degrees is all that can be done comfortably, and 180 can only be done with the main line offset close to the "outside". In any case, for a small oval it is at least 4 modules, with either each module having a 90-degree turn, or 2 straights, and 2 180-degree turns.
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Re: Modular layouts?

Postby Markus » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:38 pm

For those of you who can read German (I guess Google can translate it...), here´s a link to the German AKTT TT gauge club, they have a few module standards described on their web page.

http://www.aktt.de/aktt.html
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Re: Modular layouts?

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:49 pm

Good link! Lots of info on that site. For the non German speakers (like myself), here is the Googled/translated link http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aktt.de%2Faktt.html&sl=de&tl=en&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
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Re: Modular layouts?

Postby BTTB Fan » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:34 pm

Thanks for the link! I clicked through different versions of standard module, and confirmed my expectation that all of those specify track position in the center of the module. This works well for the club members where they can mix and match their modules, including reversing them. I am still wondering though, if offsetting the track to one edge (say, making it 6" from the ende on a 24"-wide module) would be better for a home-based setup...
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Re: Modular layouts?

Postby ConducTTor » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:07 pm

Ok, so my layout isn't modular in the traditional sense of a bunch of small modules that can be plugged in and out. It is however made up of 5 modules (module 5 will be above the rest). Below is a pic of the overall track plan (some areas have changed since the picture was taken) followed by two pictures designating the 5 modules. My main concern is that they are somewhat big pieces (38" by 10' overall) and I'm afraid of warp over time. Obviously if there is any warp, the rails and other parts will not align and at that point everything's screwed. I've taken precautions against this by screwing the modules on tables (will take a pic later and post) so they can't warp and I will also be adding metal dowels between the modules close to where the track lie. Electrical wise, everything will be connected with some type of molex or quick connect plugs.

Image


Image


Image
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Re: Modular layouts?

Postby BTTB Fan » Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:27 am

Thanks for the pictires! The track plan looks very nice. As you said, however, your layout is not truly modular, and not only in that the modules cannot be swapped, but also in that the modules cannot be easily separated after the track is laid. This is because at the module boundary the angle of the track is different at different corissing points. I have been thinking about these types of issues a lot, and will try to put together and post some diagrams with my findings.

On the off-topic note (maybe I should create a separate thread?): I see that you used the old U-profile track? I may be mistaken, as I am judging by the shape of the electric switches on turnouts. I am still debating whether to go for the old ot new-style track. New track is superior in every regard except for the flimsy electric turn-out mechanisms (I had to solder some wires back after they broke off just as a result of regular handling!)
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Re: Modular layouts?

Postby 1 tt guy » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:14 am

The new tracks look so much better! I would not hesitate at all. Sell the old stuff on Ebay :D
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Re: Modular layouts?

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:21 am

I decided I didn't want to be constrained by having to make track perpendicular to all 'module' meeting points. Most are but the ones that are not, I'll just have to be VERY carefull and precise about. As for the U track, listen to 1 tt guy. Go with the new stuff. I used the old ones because I had a lot of never used pieces and decided not to spend the money on the new stuff. In retrospect, I should have bought the Tillig track...........

Depending on how I feel as I progress with the build, I may switch it out.
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