Module Standard Poll

Module standard to use for TT scale.

Current NMRA standard with small updates as defined in "Hmmm.." topic.
2
13%
Single main standard of the AKTT type (refer to "LINKS" for AKTT).
5
33%
New "TT Nut" standard defined by us here.
8
53%
 
Total votes : 15

Re: Module Standard Poll

Postby AstroGoat760 » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:53 pm

CSD wrote:
AngrySailor302 wrote:
And here is an example of a barrier rope used for layout protection:


You reminded me of a thought on the subject. Use a clamp on the front of the module and tie rope to the end of it as shown below. It would be easier than carrying some kind of stands.
PB200003.jpg


The problem with using clamps like that is threefold:

1.) Those clamps are typically more expensive than it would be to make the equivalent number of stands out of 2"x3"s, or even 2"x4"s
2.) The distance from the rope to the modules with clamps is significantly less than using stands.
3.) Some people (myself included) have a very hard time with ducking under ropes like that to get work done on the layout. (i.e. adding / removing trains.)

Not to mention that clamps pose a "poking hazard", especially for passing children.
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Re: Module Standard Poll

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:03 pm

CSD wrote:At this point, however; there is, what, less than 10 of us actually coming together for this? How often are we going to do this?


And THIS is the crux of the matter. Having the 'constraining' standards ought to make it easy for anyone to get into TT. And ultimately that's the point. Right? As I said, in my opinion there is plenty of room for creativity for those of us who "know" what's going on.

More to come.....
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Re: Module Standard Poll

Postby railtwister » Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:04 pm

[/quote]

The problem with using clamps like that is threefold:

1.) Those clamps are typically more expensive than it would be to make the equivalent number of stands out of 2"x3"s, or even 2"x4"s
2.) The distance from the rope to the modules with clamps is significantly less than using stands.
3.) Some people (myself included) have a very hard time with ducking under ropes like that to get work done on the layout. (i.e. adding / removing trains.)

Not to mention that clamps pose a "poking hazard", especially for passing children.[/quote]


My HO module club uses 4' long 1"x4" standoffs tapered at 2' with a 1" hole drilled in the tapered end through which a yellow 3/4" rope passes, bolted to the 2x2" legs under the end of each module, so that the rope is held in much the same position as the picture with gripper clamp (shown earlier in this thread). Anyone who attended the NMRA National Trainshow in Atlanta in the mid 1990's or in Ft. Lauderdale in 2002 may have seen this arrangement, since our modular layout was displayed at both conventions. A one by four is inexpensive, easy to fabricate, and when nicely tapered and painted to match the module's frame, looks pretty professional. This arrangement places the rope at two feet out if the module is 24" wide, which is about right. My other club, the Florida On30 Renegades, uses a different approach, setting the module height at about 36" instead of 40-42", and uses no ropes or standoffs (we also use narrower module end interfaces, but that's another matter). The thinking was that one of the reasons kids liked to touch the modules in the first place, was to steady themselves while standing on their tiptoes trying to see the trains on a 40" high module that was at or slightly above their eye level. This has proven to be successful, and has also drawn expressions of thanks for having the lower height modules, not only from parents, who no longer have to lift their kids up so that they can see the trains, but also form folks in wheelchairs and powered mobility scooters, whose eye level is much lower than the typical standing adult.

Either way of attempting crowd control around the modules has advantages and disadvantages, and neither eliminates "touching" 100%, but they are both much better than plexiglass panels used by some groups.

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Re: Module Standard Poll

Postby railtwister » Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:15 pm

ConducTTor wrote:
CSD wrote:At this point, however; there is, what, less than 10 of us actually coming together for this? How often are we going to do this?


And THIS is the crux of the matter. Having the 'constraining' standards ought to make it easy for anyone to get into TT. And ultimately that's the point. Right? As I said, in my opinion there is plenty of room for creativity for those of us who "know" what's going on.

More to come.....


This is true. With so few TT modelers in this country, and so little TT product available here, it will be difficult to make TT modules "standout" in the eyes and minds of the viewing public, even the ones who are "dyed in the wool" model railroaders who may already be aware of TT. This is perhaps even more reason to strive to make your modules (and your TT standards) in such a way as to keep you from getting bored with it all too early in the game. It is also another reason to make the modules as lightweight, easy to set up, operationally interesting, and as reliable as possible.

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Re: Module Standard Poll

Postby railtwister » Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:31 pm

So, among the group, what is the preferred type of track for TT modules - Snap-track, Flextrack, or Hand laid track, and what size rail code? Also, if commercial track is preferred, which brand and where is it available? One thing I wouldn't recommend is using DCC for modules, unless the great majority of module builders are already using it on their own home layouts. Our HO club went all DCC several years ago, but since we don't set up the modules more than a few times a year, and few members have the luxury of home layouts (plus, those that do, may have a different brand of DCC), we haven't used our DCC controls (Digitrax) often enough to learn how to run the thing without needing to study the manual each time we set up, which can be pretty frustrating!

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Re: Module Standard Poll

Postby BTTB Fan » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:28 pm

railtwister wrote:So, among the group, what is the preferred type of track for TT modules - Snap-track, Flextrack, or Hand laid track, and what size rail code? Also, if commercial track is preferred, which brand and where is it available? ...

I will be using a combination of Pilz/Tillig snap-track and flex track. The majority comes from Eurotrain Hobby, and I also picked up some pieces from Don's sale in "For Sale" forum.
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Re: Module Standard Poll

Postby ConducTTor » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:08 am

I plan on using Tillig flex track. I believe it's code 70 rail.
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Re: Module Standard Poll

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:17 pm

I am using Pilz and Tillig track for the modules being built, to ensure that the "standard" radii are met, and to allow Nicholle to help with track laying. (We had an issue with the section of 83/4" track that Nicholle put together not staying in gauge - and that is HUGE track!)
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Re: Module Standard Poll

Postby Bill Dixon » Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:23 pm

A few comments on the proposed modular standards.

First a short note about my modular background. I have been a member of a DCC HO modular club since 1999 and currently have five four foot modules, a mini corner and three duck unders and have taken some or all of them to many shows.

Inter-Module Buss Connections.
The biggest issue I see is using 110V sockets for connectors.
In a word NO! This is bad idea.
If you show up with a modular layout at a show and any Fire Marshall sees what you are doing, You Will Be Shut Down Instantly. 110 V sockets and plugs are only to be used for 110V and any other use violates many safety standards. Sooner or later some idiot will connect 110V into that bus. If you are lucky you will only loose whatever locomotive or electrical equipment is on that bus. If you are unlucky you will kill someone. The litigation that follows that incident will end your model railroading days. Read $$$$. I also would not be surprised if the show coordinators refused your layout after they saw what you were doing.

Better choices are out there. For years NTrak and others have used Cinch Jones connectors. These are still made but are not as easily available as they once were. As well once they start corroding they must be replaced. The new standard is 'Anderson Powerpole' connectors. See http://www.ntrak.org/ntrak_powerpole_quickref.htm at the Ntrak web site for more information. Also pages 12 through 14 (diagram on page 14) of the MMRS standards at http://www3.telus.net/wrdixon/ftp/2008%20MMRS%20Standards.pdf have more information. Color coded in ten different colors. They can be crimped or soldered. They are stackable.

Layout height. Most larger modular layouts (FreeMo and other suchlike excepted) are donuts. This requires access to the inside of the layout. This usually involves a duck under module of substandard depth (we (MMRS) are currently using 9" but will most likely go to 12") to make it easier to duck under the layout. At a 40" layout height this duck under is more of a crawl under. Not very easy for some of our older members or even for some younger members who have had a rough life. We raised our layout to 48" to reduce this problem. This is much easier to get under and it is also not too high for kids of an age to become seriously interested in trains to see. You could build an opening bridge module but this will be an awkward module to transport.

For now I suspect that we will be fielding smaller displays so a flat bottom to the module that would sit level on a a table top (TT) would be a good idea.<G>

Connecting Tracks. You suggest using pieces of track to connect the modules. This works OK but leaves an un ballasted section of track between every module. Something FreeMo and others do is to use pieces of rail to connect the modules. The track stops the required distance from the edge of the module and then ties and ballast continue to the edge. This looks much nicer than the unballasted piece of track.

Module Lengths. The standard length should be four feet as this is easy to carry, fits in the back seat of most cars and fits cross ways in the back of most minivans. A member however can build to any length they wish, keeping in mind that the bigger it is the harder it is to transport, as long as they provide the necessary module piece to bring it up to a multiple of four feet.

Module Depth. I think that you should define a minimum module depth less than two feet (from the front of the module). This would be your duck under depth. A modeler could build deeper to the two foot maximum or extend out in front if they wish.

A question on the purpose of the display, well other than to run trains and have fun of course. Are we trying to present a bit of the history of TT as well? If so where will we display older pieces of equipment?

Well that's enough to think about for now.

Comments?

Bill Dixon
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Re: Module Standard Poll

Postby CSD » Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:15 pm

Hello, Bill. In answer to your question, the only real reason is to get together to run trains in a way that will show case our modeling skills, allow everyone to run whatever equipment they have and have a little fun getting to know other TTers. At this early juncture the goal is to make a circle. You make many good points in your post (I like the module connection idea). We have answered some of them. Unfortunately, much of the information is scattered around the site. Take a look at these topics for the most recent information:

tt-nut-module-standards-t202.html
module-electrical-standards-t350.html

Please keep in mind that the standards are being developed to an absolute minimum standard of simplicity (or at least that's the goal) based on readly available Tillig track. Hopefully success in the future will allow us to expand on the basic circle.

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