TT Free-mo

Re: TT Free-mo

Postby railtwister » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:14 pm

MacG wrote: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.


Actually, a nominal width of sixteen inches (15-3/4" to 15-7/8" to allow for saw kerfs) would probably be much better just for economy of the lumber, which comes in four and eight foot increments. Our On30 group chose 16" for our modules, and the resulting "skinny" modules are much more user friendly to transport and store. They also look longer because they are narrower, which gives a better illusion of distance being travelled. We had planned to use dual leg sets for different setup heights at 36" and 48". We built the 36" legs first, and found it was so much better for kids and folks in wheelchairs & mobility scooters at shows that we never made the longer legs to set up at the taller height.

We use two inch bridge rails rather than running the rails to the end of the module in order to protect the tracks from damage during transport and storage. When the rails go all the way to the end of the module, it's very easy to snag a rail, and rip it out of the ties. Also, doing so can rip clothing and/or skin, possibly even drawing blood in the process.

Module systems like FreeMo work because there are enough people participating throughout the country to make traveling to a meet worthwhile. I'm not sure there would be enough modelers for TT FreeMo even if every TT modeler in the US were to participate. At least with the TT-Tracks TableTop modules the modules are small enough that one person could build several of them that could be used for building a home layout too. They are also easier to work on and store, even in an apartment.

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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:28 am

I too will build a module. As soon as the standards are finalized.


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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby CSD » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:48 pm

I already posted the following elsewhere, but thought it relevant to this topic too.

One can combat the problem of rail size by having the module connection set not to the table surface or end profile, but to the top of the rail head. With that you could use any size rail and avoid those ugly transition sections and build the track flush with the end. FKTT does it that way.
modulnorm-bohrungen_0.gif
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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:21 pm

I'm in full agreement. The height spec should be the top of the rail.
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Re: TT Free-mo (Leveling the module)

Postby railtwister » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:47 am

CSD wrote:I already posted the following elsewhere, but thought it relevant to this topic too.

One can combat the problem of rail size by having the module connection set not to the table surface or end profile, but to the top of the rail head. With that you could use any size rail and avoid those ugly transition sections and build the track flush with the end. FKTT does it that way.
modulnorm-bohrungen_0.gif


I'm not sure I understand what is being depicted in the attached drawing, is this for alignment holes on the module end plate?

In theory, adjusting the module height to the railhead is perfectly logical. However, in practice, it's not so easy, especially in smaller scales, because you are dealing with a size difference so small (.010" to .020") it can be pretty hard to see, plus your leg adjuster screws (usually 1/4"x 20 threads, which is pretty coarse) will have difficulty compensating. Small height differences are usually mitigated by the bridge tracks and rail joiners.

Running the rails to the ends of the module is another problem due to the different construction tolerances of different modelers. I've found that every module will measure slightly different distances from the end of the rail to the end of the module, and will seem to change dramatically during the leveling process. Even the different ends of the same module built by one person can very slightly. Ono my own modules, even slight adjustments to the leveling can make dramatic shifts in the rail gaps between two modules. At least with bridge tracks, the gap between rail ends can be reduced by sliding the track slightly to "split the difference", effectively cutting the gap in half.

Perfect leveling is seldom ever attained, because leveling is a very tedious (and time-consuming) process that must be repeated for every module in a given layout. Usually, a "good enough" approach is adopted, and every different set up will vary slightly from the previous one.

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Re: TT Free-mo (Leveling the module)

Postby CSD » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:05 am

railtwister wrote:... is this for alignment holes on the module end plate?...


Yes. Exactly.

You make some good points, Bill. I understand the ease of useing small track sections to join modules, however; it doesn't stop it from being ugly. It always looks unfinished and draws more attention to the variation in modeling materials and skill. Considering that these displays are going to have to look absolutely stellar to have the scale taken seriously, I don't think it's too much to ask for everyone to take some care in the construction.

I really think the FKTT standard should be reviewed for ideas. It is worth it to put it through Google translate and figure it out. So far, it is the nicest set up I've seen. We just take the concepts and adapt it for North American use.

https://translate.google.com/translate? ... edit-text=

Click on Modulbau and go through the tabs on the left of the page.
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Re: TT Free-mo (Leveling the module)

Postby milwrd1 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:22 pm

railtwister wrote:
In theory, adjusting the module height to the railhead is perfectly logical. However, in practice, it's not so easy, especially in smaller scales, because you are dealing with a size difference so small (.010" to .020") it can be pretty hard to see, plus your leg adjuster screws (usually 1/4"x 20 threads, which is pretty coarse) will have difficulty compensating. Small height differences are usually mitigated by the bridge tracks and rail joiners.

Perfect leveling is seldom ever attained, because leveling is a very tedious (and time-consuming) process that must be repeated for every module in a given layout. Usually, a "good enough" approach is adopted, and every different set up will vary slightly from the previous one.

Bill in FtL


I agree completely with Bill in FtL. In theory, adjusting the module height to the railhead seems like the perfect answer, but in practice, it is somewhat more complicated. The use of fine thread screws (1/4 x 28) for the leveling legs will help, but the bridge tracks are more commonly used. Close coordination (prior to the train meet) between the builders of adjacent modules is a big plus in minimizing the differences.
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Re: TT Free-mo (Bus Wire Connector Suggestions)

Postby railtwister » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:03 pm

I am a big fan of the Anderson PowerPole connectors and much prefer them over the Molex and boat trailer light connectors used by many module groups. My least favorite connectors are the Cinch-Jones/Beau connectors because oxide forms on their contacts, making continuity "spotty". Usually this can be corrected by connecting and disconnecting the plugs several times to clean them (perhaps also with a shot of contact cleaner to help things out), but this is a PITA and a time waster.

The Florida On30 Renegades modular group have a fairly free-form approach to their modules, and one of my favorite features different from most other module groups is that our modules are typically only 16" wide rather than 24", and the usually single track mainline at the interface can be either dead center with an eight inch set back, or at four inches from either of the two sides.

Thanks to the unisex nature of the Anderson PowerPole connectors, the modules are also intended to be reversible, with no worries about male and female connectors. To make it easy to maintain the rail polarity when a module is put into the layout in a "reversed" position, all modules have a designated "A" side, which is the side that has the red bus wire connected to the rail (the "B" side rail is attached to the black bus wire). To make it easier to spot the "A" side during set up, a red dot (usually a 3/4" Avery label from the office supply store) is placed on both ends of the "A" fascia. When it is time to connect the bus cables together, a quick look at the joints between modules tells you the polarity on the connectors. If there are two red dots showing, the connectors are plugged together red/red, and black/black. If there is only one dot showing at the joint, then the connectors are red/black and black/red.

This system has worked well, and the only problem we have had so far, is that as the Avery Labels age, their adhesive weakens, and they can fall off and get lost during transport. In the future, we will likely use squares or diamonds cut from a sheet of red Trim Monokote sold in the R/C airplane department of the local hobby shop, or perhaps laser-cut dots from a sign shop.

Having multiple track positions at the interface combined with module reversibility has enabled us to have some interesting combinations of modules at a show, and our modules have never been set up in the same combination twice, so things don't get stale.

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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby ConducTTor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:14 pm

Why not just paint a red dot instead of using stickers or whatever?
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Re: TT Free-mo

Postby ConducTTor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:16 pm

BTW, if we're discussing the fact that the top of the rail can not be exact, then why does it matter what code the rail is?
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