Vancouver Train Expo 2016

Re: Vancouver Train Expo 2016

Postby Bill Dixon » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:40 pm

Bill Dixon wrote:
CN-TT wrote:Turning the modules with the switches by 180 degrees (front becomes back and back becomes front) could also help. This puts the switch in the back and more scenery in the front.


This is an interesting ides, putting the track towards the back. I do not see a problem with it.

I also like the way the track on Voyteks modules moved to the back through the scene. It got away from the long straight mainline. It might be an interesting idea to take a pair of modules and have the track swing back so we could used reversed modules. Will think about that.


Here is a quick sketch of the idea.
2016 Module pair for track move.jpg
I have not yet checked carefully to see what the curves would be.

So laying it out properly we get:
2016 Module track swap.jpg
R4/R5 curves like those currently used on our corners. About a 4.4" straight between the curves so not too bad a reverse curve.
Doable and useable.
Last edited by Bill Dixon on Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vancouver Train Expo 2016

Postby voyttek » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:27 pm

I am already working on one more module which would incorporate the terrain between the two of my existing modules.
This will be a small coal mine with one extra track and the terrain configured in such way as to align with the elevated topography of my existing modules.
I already bought parts from Richard to build hopper cars to be part of my new module.
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Re: Vancouver Train Expo 2016

Postby CFRiad » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:44 pm

Sooo...

You guys said everything there was to say about the show. You highlighted the good: the huge layout, the huge crowds, the beautiful new modules and equipment. You highlighted the bad: the low lighting, the interfering little hands, the intermittent WiFi signal. I am not going to repeat them. I am going to interpret them as I see them.

Our layout has grown a lot and it now is very interesting. We passed a new popularity threshold. This weekend there were times when I could not get close to the table to flip a switch, because the crowd was 2-3 people thick. Is this good or bad?

Our layout is approachable. The track is at kids' eye level and they love it. We operate it from the outside and people ask questions, make requests and like to chat about stuff they see. This means kids will reach and interfere and our attention moves away from operating the trains. Compare this with other tall-legged layouts operated from the inside and roped off. Which one is better? I do not have an answer, only an opinion (I like ours, not theirs).

I know we have a few design and set-up flaws. My conspicuous rocker switches that operate the points are too tempting. The long, thin table cloth are too easy to tug and tear, to the point that they nudged some modules out of alignment. The modules are two close to the edge of the table.

Setting up the modules further in from the edge will help. Also turning the modules around will go a long way. In both cases we have to make sure we can still re-rail equipment easily when we need to.

My modules will get plexiglass shields. They are simple to make, easy to pack and not too heavy. I will start with those that have the conspicuous switches. These shields will also get "please do not touch" signs.

I also suggest we make a few "please do not touch" signs to spread around the display. After all, we display in Canada (mostly) and you know the joke: How do you get 150 Canadians out of the pool at closing time? You ask them to please get out of the pool...

Operating the modules from the inside is impractical as getting in and out is clumsy (my back starts hurting just when I think about it) and one wrong move when crawling under would throw the whole layout out of whack. On top of this, the inside operator cannot access the staging yard and the reversing loop.

Please post all your ideas on how to improve things. Some ideas about how to make the tablecloths better are especially welcome.
Last edited by CFRiad on Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Vancouver Train Expo 2016

Postby CFRiad » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:57 pm

Speaking of tablecloths, this is the Ferrari solution: looks excellent, is of good quality, it is expensive.

spandextablecloth.jpg
spandextablecloth.jpg (20.48 KiB) Viewed 244 times
.
Now I have to think about something practical, that we can actually afford.
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Re: Vancouver Train Expo 2016

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:18 am

Why do tablecloths have to be used? Is it just for looks? Would it be terrible without them? I'm genuinely curious what you guys think about this.
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Re: Vancouver Train Expo 2016

Postby dileTTante » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:18 am

We didn't use cloths at the show in Chilliwack recently. It was fine.
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Re: Vancouver Train Expo 2016

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:38 am

dileTTante wrote:We didn't use cloths at the show in Chilliwack recently. It was fine.


So that problem is solved!
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Re: Vancouver Train Expo 2016

Postby dileTTante » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:05 am

Not necessarily. Opinions might differ depending on who are there to set up the layout. Also, I noticed children leaning on the tables to get a good look. The tables flex, so then does the layout. The cloths were not the only factor.
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Re: Vancouver Train Expo 2016

Postby Marquette » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:29 am

I think the tablecloths help in that if they're on tables no two tables are gonna really look exactly the same on the surface and that distracts the eye. The tablecloths give uniformity which kinda forces the eye to the modules.

I like the lower level, too, for this purpose (as opposed to a home layout/setup). Someone on Sunday suggested a U-shaped setup... I'd suggest this is something we should consider - U, T, L, F or some other sort of arrangement that has an open end. It doesn't even have to be a broad opening, just something two operators can get around in and in/out of without having to crawl under tables...
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Re: Vancouver Train Expo 2016

Postby dileTTante » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:37 am

CFRiad wrote:Operating the modules from the inside is impractical as getting in and out is clumsy (my back starts hurting just when I think about it) and one wring move when crawling under would throw the whole layout out of whack.
A modular layout built to standards could allow a variety of configurations. If the TT Tracks layout had, for example, an extra return loop it could be arranged in a U-shape with an open end, or a C shape with an open side. Then the wasted space in the middle could be accessed without ducking under a table, and operators could be free to get to any part of the layout and be free to be inside or outside to chat with visitors. Other configurations, not just this one, could be tried also.

As it is, the choices made so far, and variations from standards, have led to a single configuration which is limited except for length. Setting it up is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
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