TT Free-mo

Re: TT Free-mo

Postby krokodil » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:49 am

In Europe you can get the CNC milled front panels. Sometimes also commercionally, but very often different clubs have their front panels ready on stock for new projects.
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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby Tom Dempsey » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:21 pm

Yes several modular groups on this side of the pond have also gone to that plan, i.e., you purchase the precision piece from the organization (which I suppose could use the profits, if any, to support a website, etc. (oh no, here comes the internal politics)).
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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby krokodil » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:42 pm

Bernd wrote:
Tom Dempsey wrote:Yes several modular groups on this side of the pond have also gone to that plan, i.e., you purchase the precision piece from the organization (which I suppose could use the profits, if any, to support a website, etc. (oh no, here comes the internal politics)).


Ok so the panels line up precisely. What lines up the track precisely? From what I understand here you still need to make sure the track is in the exact center. Is there a jig for that?

I think with adjustable leg height and then moving the module back and forth for lining up the tracks would work. To fasten them together a couple of large bolts in an over sized hole with wing nuts should be ample enough.

Bernd


There are several technologies. The tracks up to the edges are quite dangerous under transportation, some guys use short "bridge" tracks. These are placed between the modules. The track on the model ends 2-3 inches before the end and the bridgetracks connects between them.
If there is a solid protection on the transport , the modulfaces are covered with large plywood ( sometimes holds together few modules) the tracks are protected.
Other method is not to glue the last 2-3 inches of the track so it remains flexible in that short portion for easy adjustment to the next module.
My friends have a very short module ( about 5 inch long with track on that and they use it as master for all module adjustments during the construction.
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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby Bill Dixon » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:21 pm

Bernd wrote:OK, just got back from reading the standards on HO & N scale Free-Mo set-ups. It looks like the standard is 3/4" or 1" by 6" wide by 24" long birch plywood for end face plates. It's not recommended to use dimensional lumber such as pine due to warping after a while. This is for a single track main line. A double track spec is for a 26" wide face plates. Height varies from 50 to 62 inches depending on who wrote the standard. All units are clamped with C-clamps to make adjusting for track line up easy. All modules have to have four legs so they stand on their own. I read nothing of using alignment pins. Personal thought is that they would be a bigger hindering than help.

So I ask, why reinvent the wheel? Why not just use the standards that are out there instead of trying to come up with new ones?

Bernd

The intent is not to reinvent the wheel but to properly codify them for TT-Scale.
Although European Fremo accommodates TT-Scale, North American Free-mo is HO oriented and doesn't acknowledge the existence of TT-Scale other than referring to NMRA standards.

So we take the basic Free-mo frame work and decide what we want for TT-Scale.

Fix the module to module power connection.
Fremo uses a simple plug and socket setup (Left rail plug, right rail socket).
Free-mo came up with a kludge of two Cinch-Jones connectors, one male and one female that can easily be wired wrong. If you are really careful you can do it right but you really don't know for sure until you connect to a known good module. At the setup I was at last month we had two new modules with connector problems. Not mine though. I spent over an hour working through the spec and the diagram and got things right the second time.
Using Anderson Power Poles simplifies this to two wires. Right-Rail red, Left-Rail blue. When connecting modules, red goes to blue.

Similarly what height do we want our track at? 42" is viewer friendly at public displays and is easier to work on but 50" looks much better when running.

What width should the modules be? 24" is the standard HO-Scale end plate. Is that OK for TT-Scale or would a bit narrower be better - 18". Perhaps 24" should be the standard and 18" be the Mini-Mo standard. Do we need wider modules for double track?

And so on.

With the above in mind I intend to go through the Free-mo HO-Scale standard as it currently exists and make changes for TT-Scale. I will explain what changes I made and why. After discussion if we can come to a reasonable consensus I will assemble the whole thing in a complete document that we can put in our files.
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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby MacG » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:20 pm

Bill Dixon wrote:...
What width should the modules be? 24" is the standard HO-Scale end plate. Is that OK for TT-Scale or would a bit narrower be better - 18". Perhaps 24" should be the standard and 18" be the Mini-Mo standard. Do we need wider modules for double track?
...


I find the 18" good. Think about the quantity of landscape which is to build. The 24" HO-Scale end plate is in TT-Scale 17,4" wide ((24" * 87) / 120). So it is in scale. I plan my modules 15,75" (40 cm) wide. For one mainline with a siding.
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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby Bill Dixon » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:28 pm

Here in part One of a few.

The “-O-f-f-i-c-i-a-l-” TT-Scale Free-mo Standard

Index
1.0 Introduction
2.0 Frame and Legs
3.0 Track
4.0 Wiring
5.0 Control
6.0 Scenery
7.0 Glossary
8.0 Revision History

Legend
[ S x.y, RP x.y, FAQ x.y, where x. and y are numbers - example: S2.15, F1.7, RP 5.11 ]

S = Standard. All Free-mo modules and participants must conform to the requirement/standard stated.

RP = Recommended Practice. These are procedures or specifications which are strongly encouraged for maximal reliability or fidelity.

1.0 Introduction
S1.1 The objective of the Free-mo Standard is to provide a platform for prototype modeling in a flexible, modular environment. Free-mo modules not only provide track to operate realistic models, but also emphasize realistic, plausible scenery; realistic, reliable track work; and operations. Free-mo was designed to and continues to push the envelope of modular model railroading to new heights. It goes beyond the traditional closed-loop set-up in creating a truly universal "free-form" modular design that is operations oriented and heavily influenced by prototype railroading.

S1.2 Interoperability: The Free-mo Standard is a collection of requirements for building scale model railroad modules that can work together with little effort, even when they have never been assembled together before. The beauty of the Free-mo standard is that it allows builders to replicate any freelance or prototype track plan within your modules boundaries, yet can be combined for maximal interoperability with other Free-mo modules.

S1.3 A Free-mo module is a free-form module that conforms to the Free-mo Standard as outlined below.

S1.3.1 A Free-mo module can be any length and the end plates can be at any angle to each other.

S1.3.2 A Free-mo module can be one section or a set of two or more sections that form a module.

S1.4 The Free-mo Standard governs the ends of the module and basic track requirements. Most Free-mo modules have two ends, but modules can have one, two, three, or more ends.

S1.5 Free-mo modules fall into three basic categories:

S1.5.1 Mainline - Mainline modules represent Mainline rights-of-way. Mainline modules are designed with large radius curves and minimal grades.

S1.5.2 Branch line - Branch line modules represent Branch line rights-of-way. Branch line modules can have smaller radius curves and steeper grades than Mainline modules.

S1.5.3 Mini-mo - Mini-modules (mini-mos) have end plates that are narrower than the standard width end plate. With this in mind, a mini-mo can be Mainline or Branch line module, single-track or double-track.

S1.6 Mini-mo type modules are intended to be a Free-mo subset and not replace or exclude an equivalent length standard module. Full width modules are generally more stable and should be used wherever possible.

2.0 Frame and Legs
S2.1 Endplates shall be 3/4" plywood or equivalent (birch plywood works well) to provide sufficient strength for clamping to adjacent modules.

RP2.1.1 Avoid Dimensional Pine Lumber for your frame work. It has a tendency to warp and "cup" with age, throwing off track alignment. It has also been found that plywood (birch plywood works well) warps and twists less than dimension lumber (3/4 inch pine boards).

S2.2 Single-track end plates shall be 24 inches wide by 6 inches tall.

Diagram: Single and Double Track Module End Profile
TT Scale End plates.jpg


S2.3 Double-track end plates shall be 24 inches wide by 6 inches tall.

S2.4 Roadbed shall be N-Scale Midwest cork or equivalent on 1/2 inch plywood or equivalent. Foam tops are acceptable if braced to prevent sagging or flexing.

S2.5 The nominal and minimum height of the railhead, at the end plate, is 42/50 inches from the floor. 42" is the public height. 50" is the preferred operating height.

S2.6 On modules with grades, the elevation of the high end shall be some multiple of 1/2 inch above the low end.

S2.7 The maximum height of railhead , at the end plate, is 62 inches from the floor.

S2.8 The module (set) shall have at least four legs and stand on its own.

S2.9 Legs shall have continuous adjustment of plus or minus 1 inch (screw type foot).

S2.10 The bottoms of the legs shall have rubber tip or equivalent floor protection.

S2.11 Modules may be used with operators and spectators on either or both sides.

S2.12 There are no special benchwork construction requirements for Mainline Modules in excess of the standards specified above (S2.1 through S2.11).
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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby Bill Dixon » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:33 pm

Part two of a couple.

3.0 Track
S3.1 Modules shall use Flex or hand-laid track.

S3.2 The centerline of all the tracks shall be 4 inches or more from the sides of the module at all times.
RP3.2 If track work is closer to the module edge than 4" a clear fence should be provided to prevent equipment from falling off the track to the floor.

S3.3 On a Single-track module, the through track shall be centered on the 24-inch end plate.

S3.4 On Double-track modules, the two through track centerlines shall be spaced precisely 1 ½" inches apart and centered on the 24-inch end plate.

S3.5 Track on the through route must be perpendicular to the end plate for 6 inches from each end of the module.

S3.6 Track on the through route must be straight and level for 6 inches from each end of the module.

RP3.6.1 The points of a turnout should not be within 6" of the end of a module.

S3.7 Rail shall be cut off 1 inch away from module end; ties and ballast shall be continued to the module end for good appearance and matching with the adjacent module. Ties shall be notched under the ends of the rails and to the module end, to clear bridge rail joiners and provide freedom of adjustment for bridge rails. (FAQ 3.2)

RP3.7.1 To enable DCC power districts, your module must be able to accommodate insulated rail joiners at each Free-mo end plate.

RP3.7.2 Deleted as the product mentioned does not exist yet in TT-Scale.

RP3.7.3 Tie plates where the fitter rails go over should be excavated slightly to permit fitter rails to accommodate any vertical irregularity in track alignment between adjacent modules.

S3.8 Turnouts shall be at least #6.

RP3.8.1Turnouts on the module through route should be #8 or larger.


S3.9 There shall be a minimum of 12 inches of straight track between reverse curves.

S3.10 Track on the through route of a Mainline module must ALL be Code 70 nickel-silver rail without exception.

S3.11 Sidings, spurs and other tracks of a Mainline Module may be Code 70 or smaller, but shall be no less than Code 40.

S3.12 The Minimum permitted curve radius on a through route of a Mainline Module is 30 inches. This includes through track sidings and other tracks where through traffic will run.

RP3.12.1 While the minimum permitted radius of curves on the through route of a Mainline module is 30 inches, 36 inch and larger curves are preferred.

S3.13 Spacing between tracks on curves of a Mainline Module shall allow for long cars to operate without fouling each other; observe NMRA Standards S-8 Track Centers for "Class Ia" equipment.

RP3.13 For TT-Scale Mainline Track use a spacing of 1 ½" for straight track, 1 3/4" for mainline curves and 1 7/8" for Branch line curves.

S3.14 Mainline maximum permitted grade on the through route of a Mainline module is 2.0 percent (approximately 1/4 inch per foot).

S3.15 Curves on the through route of a Mainline module shall be appropriate for Mainline operation of contemporary long cars, see Standard S-7 Clearances and the NMRA Gauge, and NMRA Recommended Practices RP-11 Curvature and Rolling Stock.
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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby Bill Dixon » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:36 pm

Part three of several.

4.0 Wiring
S4.1 Wiring consists of 2 pairs of bus wires (track bus and accessory bus) and a 6-conductor LocoNet bus cable.

S4.2 Track and accessory bus wire shall be 14 AWG stranded or larger.

RP4.2.1 It is recommended to use 14 AWG stranded wire for the Track and Accessory Bus. Even better is 12 or even 10 AWG Stranded wire.

S4.3 The LocoNet bus shall be telephone type 6-conductor cable wired Data.

S4.4 There shall be a 4 (or more) position barrier strip under the module at each end for track and accessory bus wire hook-up.

S4.5 All ends shall have a pair of Anderson Power Pole connectors (one red and one blue), for the DCC power bus.

S4.6 All ends shall have a pair of Anderson Power pole connectors (one black and one white) for the accessory bus.

S4.7 All ends shall have a surface mount "6 conductor 6 position" module jack (RJ12) mounted to the inside of the endplate for the LocoNet Bus. .

S4.8 Through route wiring is as follows for Anderson Power Pole Connectors. (must be facing module end for correct perspective):

S4.8.1 Single-track or Double -
Red Connector - right rail(s)
Blue Connector - left rail(s)


S4.9 Track feeder wires must be 24 AWG or larger, but not longer than six inches to the track bus to avoid voltage loss.

S4.10 All turnout frogs shall be powered. Turnouts shall not rely on switch points to power the frog.

S4.11 Accessory power shall be approximately 16 volts AC or DCC. The bus is wired straight through. A bridge rectifier and filtering capacitor may be used to convert AC or DCC signal to DC. Applications that require AC or DCC signal may utilize power directly from the bus. (FAQ 4.3)

S4.12 Each module should have one dual flush mount "6 conductor 6 position" modular jack (RJ12) faceplate mounted on each exposed side of module, for throttles. (Digitrax UP-5 Throttle Jack or equivalent)

RP4.12.1 For maximal convenience in areas where operators congregate (such as yard modules) one or more modules in these areas should have throttle jacks on each side.

RP4.12.2 On a Multi-Section Module, each of the module sections should have a dual flush mount "6 conductor 6 position" modular jack (RJ12) faceplate mounted on each exposed side.

S4.13 All of the LocoNet connectors and associated cables need to be connected together straight through (i.e. pin 1 - pin 1, pin 2 - pin 2, pin 3 - pin 3, etc. ...note standard telephone cables are NOT wired straight through).

S4.14 To connect the DCC bus between modules, a 2-foot RJ12 to RJ12 type straight through cable is utilized.

S4.15 To connect a DCC booster to a module, There are two connections that have to be made. (1) The LocoNet (2) The Track Power.

S4.15.1 For the LocoNet, a 4 foot RJ12 to RJ12 type straight through cable is utilized.

S4.15.2 For the Track Power, a 4 foot cable with two sets of Anderson Power Pole connectors is used. It is plugged between interfacing modules and connected to the output of the booster.

Module Isometric View
TT Free-mo diagram.jpg
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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby Bill Dixon » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:38 pm

Part four of four
5.0 Control
S5.1 LocoNet compliant DCC and accessories are standard for interoperability within and between Free-mo groups. For more information about LocoNet Technical specifications consult the Digitrax website.

S5.2 For a given turnout, turnout controls must be on all sides of the module or module section, excepting any end plates.

RP5.2.1 Turnout controls should be located on the fascia, and not on the horizontal or vertical surfaces of your scenery.

6.0 Scenery
S6.1 All bench work shall be hidden by some form of scenery.

S6.2 General module fascia color shall complement scenery and not draw attention from the scene.

RP6.2 - Satin black has proven to be a good color.

S6.3 Scenery at the Free-mo standard end(s) shall have a flat profile 3/8" below the top of the rail on the through route.

S6.4 The through route shall be ballasted Woodland Scenics Fine Light Gray or equivalent,

S6.5 Standard rail color on the through route is Floquil/Polly-S Roof Brown or equivalent.

RP6.5.1 Ballast on Through route is to be weathered with a fine mist of thinned Floquil/Polly-S grimy black or equivalent.

7.0 Glossary
Branchline Module
A branchline module has sharper curves than a mainline module. A branchline module may drop down to 24" radius curves on the mainline.

Mainline Module
A mainline module meets all standards as to size of end plates (24" wide”), curve radius and turnouts on the through route(s).

Mini Mo
May have narrower than the standard 24" wide ends. A width of 18" for a free standing module is suggested as a minimum. A Mini Mo may be built to Mainline (recommended) or branchline standards.

Through Route
The Mainline through the module.

8.0 Revision History
Free-mo Standards & Recommended Practices Revision History
July 13, 2014 - First conversion to TT-Scale
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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby Bill Dixon » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:46 pm

Changes are noted in "Red".
Most are to accommodate TT-Scale, curve radius, track size and the suggested Anderson power Pole Connectors.

Looking at what I have written I think a module built to Mini Mo 18" standards would be more than acceptable.
It is 25% smaller in scenic area and should be about 20% lighter and thus easier to transport.
You would also be able to transport more of them.

I'm going to doodle up a few module idea in both widths and see how they look.

Comments on what I have written please. Suggestions for improvements, complaints about what I have written, whatever.
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