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Discussion Starter #1
I have two set ups, No. 1 and my favorite system is the Thomas train set which is DCC. It is the most elaborate set I have set up, the reason being my grandchildren. We have enjoyed many hours playing with this set, it is simple and even I can figure it out -- well -- at least enough to set it up and operate it reasonably well. It has all manual switching.

The second set I have is DC and I have one train on it. It is a basic oval layout with a siding. I play with it when the grandkids are not around. I recently received some presents and there is no way they will fit on this track. I hinted around for a 0-6-0 switcher steam engine. That turned out to be on back order but I did receive a 4=8=8=4 and a 4-6-6-4 and there is no way they will make the bends in this track. I don't even know if they will make the switches or not. I have left them in their boxes but since the people that gave them to me made this statement that -- "they can't wait to see them running". I guess that I am more or less obligated to get the track in shape for them to run -- at least on the outer oval.


What radius of track do I need to buy? And what No. does the switches need to be -- 4 -- 5 or 6? I would appreciate someone helping me out here but then again, I will understand if you choose not to.

In the meantime I will be pulling what little hair I have left out, trying to figure this ()*&%^%&*$% digitrac system out so I can replace the DC with DCC.

Thank you very much
Nathaniel
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Thank you anyway- I found another person that had the same problem elsewhere and the people there helped both of us.
 

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Thank you anyway- I found another person that had the same problem elsewhere and the people there helped both of us.

Is this a goodbye then?:confused:

Give us another question. Maybe someone will know.:D
 

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Is this a goodbye then?:confused:
No:) But I am beginning to think I have BO or something

Give us another question. Maybe someone will know.:D
Is there someplace that gives us what size a given radius will take- for instance== you need a 4 foot wide sheet for an 18 degree radius, How wide would you need for a 22 degree radius? That's what I have on order.:confused: I am making my outside track have a radius of 22 degrees
Thanks
 

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I believe you're referring to 18" radius and 22" radius (not degrees), common HO track turn sizes. These are referenced to the MIDDLE of the track, between the rails. So, a 22" radius circle is about 46" outer diameter; 18" radius is about 38" outer diameter.

Others chime in here if I'm wrong ...

TJ
 

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No:) But I am beginning to think I have BO or something


Is there someplace that gives us what size a given radius will take- for instance== you need a 4 foot wide sheet for an 18 degree radius, How wide would you need for a 22 degree radius? That's what I have on order.:confused: I am making my outside track have a radius of 22 degrees
Thanks
Sorry you got that impression---I didn't respond because I run another scale and had nothing of value to offer! Welcome to the forum, though----give it a chance and you'll like it.
 

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No:) But I am beginning to think I have BO or something
If odor was a factor, Nathaniel...

...no one would ever answer me. :p

And I had nothing useful to offer as I don't even have a layout yet and so far have only built kits! :laugh:

But what tj said sounds right. 18" radius is the most common and you probably have that. Why not simply put a loco onto your track and run it very gently just to see what happens?

Greg
 

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No:) But I am beginning to think I have BO or something


Is there someplace that gives us what size a given radius will take- for instance== you need a 4 foot wide sheet for an 18 degree radius, How wide would you need for a 22 degree radius? That's what I have on order.:confused: I am making my outside track have a radius of 22 degrees
Thanks
There must be a formula for figuring that out. I though someone would have answered you. How much space do you have to work with? I say the bigger the better. I never planned any of mine I just started building.:laugh: And un-building.:laugh:

Maybe when I start with the HO again, I will go with a plan next time.:D

I think you could fit the 22" on 4' x8'. :confused:

You don't have BO:laugh: I been asking questions to a certain member for a while and he answers.......but never to my questions.:rolleyes::confused::dunno:

Stationmaster?
Anton?
Shaygetz?

Can anyone give him an answer?:rolleyes:

If you got the track just lay it down on the floor and measure it?


I don't know anything about.....your question.....>>In the meantime I will be pulling what little hair I have left out, trying to figure this ()*&%^%&*$% digitrac system out so I can replace the DC with DCC.

Never had anything but wooden Thomas stuff too.:D
 

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22" radius will fit with about a inch to spare on each side. Doesn't leave much room if you have a derail though. I was working on a 4x8 layout but I changed to 6 ft. wide for this reason. I was afraid if my train derailed it would end up on the garage floor.
 

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Here's a simple tip/trick that I've used on my 4x8 layout with 22" turns ...

Grab some foam pipe insulation tubes from your local hardware store / home center. They're pre-sliced down one edge. Split them open along the slice, then friction-fit them to the edge of your layout table. They just fit with clearance required for the 22" turns, and provide both a soft cushion if a train were to derail close to the edge, and a cushion for you to lean into the table while you're building your layout.

It won't look great long term (my foam doesn't), so not permanent, perhaps.

But a good / cheap thing to try why you're going through the building / experimentation process.

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I believe you're referring to 18" radius and 22" radius (not degrees), common HO track turn sizes. These are referenced to the MIDDLE of the track, between the rails. So, a 22" radius circle is about 46" outer diameter; 18" radius is about 38" outer diameter.

Others chime in here if I'm wrong ...
I am very lucky that I built my table so that I could expand or take away if necessary. I built it as light as I could and yet be strong enough to withstand some pretty rigorous treatment. The legs fold up so that it can be moved. I have a room that is 24 by 38 in order to pursue my little hobby.




Sorry you got that impression---I didn't respond because I run another scale and had nothing of value to offer! Welcome to the forum, though----give it a chance and you'll like it.
I intend to stick with it but it is hard for someone my age to learn all the new terminology and formulas. I can barely make it on the computer.

If odor was a factor, Nathaniel...

...no one would ever answer me. :p

And I had nothing useful to offer as I don't even have a layout yet and so far have only built kits! :laugh:

But what tj said sounds right. 18" radius is the most common and you probably have that. Why not simply put a loco onto your track and run it very gently just to see what happens?

Greg
The people that purchased these locomotives have one thing that I don't have and that is plenty of money. I had to put too many kids through college. These things are really long and I will have the new track in a few days, so I will just wait until I can put the new track ln.

My next problem is trying to figure out what the difference is in the number 4, 5 and 6 switches and cross overs is?


There must be a formula for figuring that out. I though someone would have answered you. How much space do you have to work with? I say the bigger the better. I never planned any of mine I just started building.:laugh: And un-building.:laugh:

Maybe when I start with the HO again, I will go with a plan next time.:D

I think you could fit the 22" on 4' x8'. :confused:

You don't have BO:laugh: I been asking questions to a certain member for a while and he answers.......but never to my questions.:rolleyes::confused::dunno:

Stationmaster?
Anton?
Shaygetz?

Can anyone give him an answer?:rolleyes:

If you got the track just lay it down on the floor and measure it?


I don't know anything about.....your question.....>>In the meantime I will be pulling what little hair I have left out, trying to figure this ()*&%^%&*$% digitrac system out so I can replace the DC with DCC.

Never had anything but wooden Thomas stuff too.:D
When we decided to get into model trains, we tried to do research and determine what we needed. The problem was we were so information overloaded that everything became confusing. We sat down and ordered two train sets, some manual switches and more track. We also ordered a Duplex Equipped Super Chief Xtra Set (I opened the box and saw all those buttons and the screen), then put it aside, too complicated for me.

The EZ command was just sooooooo much simpler and once we started using it, we had fun with it and didn't have to take rolaids figuring it out. I really like the simplicity of that system. I really want to enjoy this hobby and to do that, I need the kiss principal (keep it simple stupid) -- smile.


22" radius will fit with about a inch to spare on each side. Doesn't leave much room if you have a derail though. I was working on a 4x8 layout but I changed to 6 ft. wide for this reason. I was afraid if my train derailed it would end up on the garage floor.
I will most likely end up doing the same thing and thanks for the suggestion.:)


Here's a simple tip/trick that I've used on my 4x8 layout with 22" turns ...

Grab some foam pipe insulation tubes from your local hardware store / home center. They're pre-sliced down one edge. Split them open along the slice, then friction-fit them to the edge of your layout table. They just fit with clearance required for the 22" turns, and provide both a soft cushion if a train were to derail close to the edge, and a cushion for you to lean into the table while you're building your layout.

It won't look great long term (my foam doesn't), so not permanent, perhaps.

But a good / cheap thing to try why you're going through the building / experimentation process.

TJ
It sound like a great idea and worthy of a good try:)
I wish to thank everyone for all the help. Right now it is really hard to get everything together when you're 78 years old and entering something that is completely alien to your normal activities. The beginning is a steep learning curve but one that will get easier as time goes by.

I have never been one that has great oratory skills, so if something just doesn't make äny sence you will just have to pardon me.
 

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Toy Train,

THis might help you on turnouts (switches):

"A turnout's number expresses how much it will cause a train to diverge when it is thrown. The number is calculated by taking the number of units of forward travel for one unit of divergence. For example, if after traveling six inches from the point of divergence the train has diverged one inch, then you have crossed a #6 turnout. A rule of thumb is, the smaller the number the tighter the radius of the turnout's curve. The image shows, a #6 right turnout and a #4 right turnout. Notice that the #4 turnout diverges much faster than the #6." http://modeltrains.about.com/od/layoutconstruction/tp/turnouts.htm

My understanding is that it works this way: the turnout (sometimes called a switch) is measured in inches. Look at the area where it starts to diverge into two tracks. You'll see, on the inside, a pointy thing, usually black plastic or metal. The idea is to start with it and measure down the straight track as they diverge until you find the spot where the two diverging tracks are exactly 1" apart, and mark it. The distance between this point on the track, and the pointy end of the frog, is what makes it a 4" or 6" turnout, i.e., a #4 or #6 turnout. Crossovers are usually defined by the angle at which the two tracks meet: 90 degree, 45 degree, and so on.

Now....about nomenclature, technical jargon, and so on. The first thing to understand is it doesn't matter. Clear communication does matter. That means, if you want to talk about black pointy things, big wire vs small wire, little plastic wheels vs big metal ones, than use the language you are comfortable with. No one cares. As you hear the jargon, ask the speaker what that word means---it's how we all learned it, you see, so it's normal. Incidentally, switch vs turnout? The turnout is the track part; the switch is the little lever or button that operates the track part, as in "flipping the switch." The point is, everyone understood what you were talking about, so it doesn't matter. We're just glad to have you here.

Finally, don't let the learning curve bother you. You're among friends, here, and each of us owes what he's learned to someone who preceded him and shared his knowledge. The more questions you ask, the more fun you'll have. The hardest questions to answer are the ones that are very specific to a scale or manufacturer: in the case of your original question, I didn't have a clue because I don't run HO scale. On the other hand, if your question is of the "My locomotive gets halfway around the track and dies...", that's a generic problem and everybody is likely to flood you with suggestions. So pull up a chair, settle in and start throwing questions out as you think of them. We're a talkative bunch and love to have new people show up. Again, welcome to the forum!
 

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:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Great info/tips there, Reck, on all counts.

I didn't know that about turnout numbering and side-to-run ratios.

Here's a link to the NMRA turnout dimension standards for HO ... it's a bit daunting in terms of the amount of info presented, but I'm gonna peek through it a bit on my end to see if I can digest it a bit, purely out of curiosity following your comments above.

http://www.nmra.org/standards/sandrp/rp12_3.html

Cheers,

TJ
 

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I am very lucky that I built my table so that I could expand or take away if necessary. I built it as light as I could and yet be strong enough to withstand some pretty rigorous treatment. The legs fold up so that it can be moved. I have a room that is 24 by 38 in order to pursue my little hobby.






I intend to stick with it but it is hard for someone my age to learn all the new terminology and formulas. I can barely make it on the computer.


The people that purchased these locomotives have one thing that I don't have and that is plenty of money. I had to put too many kids through college. These things are really long and I will have the new track in a few days, so I will just wait until I can put the new track ln.

My next problem is trying to figure out what the difference is in the number 4, 5 and 6 switches and cross overs is?



When we decided to get into model trains, we tried to do research and determine what we needed. The problem was we were so information overloaded that everything became confusing. We sat down and ordered two train sets, some manual switches and more track. We also ordered a Duplex Equipped Super Chief Xtra Set (I opened the box and saw all those buttons and the screen), then put it aside, too complicated for me.

The EZ command was just sooooooo much simpler and once we started using it, we had fun with it and didn't have to take rolaids figuring it out. I really like the simplicity of that system. I really want to enjoy this hobby and to do that, I need the kiss principal (keep it simple stupid) -- smile.



I will most likely end up doing the same thing and thanks for the suggestion.:)



It sound like a great idea and worthy of a good try:)
I wish to thank everyone for all the help. Right now it is really hard to get everything together when you're 78 years old and entering something that is completely alien to your normal activities. The beginning is a steep learning curve but one that will get easier as time goes by.

I have never been one that has great oratory skills, so if something just doesn't make äny sence you will just have to pardon me.


I thought you could squeeze it on a 4' x 8' table. Toy man, check out TJ's threads, there is a picture showing his layout with the 22's with the foam sides. Do you know how to search his threads?
I complimented him on the idea.
Nice idea.:thumbsup:




Edit......
I went and looked I guess I don't know how to search for them too.:laugh:

TJ put those pictures of your layout with the foam here please. I can't find them.:D
 

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Big Ed,

That's nice of you to remember and offer the compliment. :thumbsup: Here's an overhead of my relatively simple "flatland" 4x8 layout that uses a combination of 22" and 18" radius track:



Here's the foam around the edge. Doesn't look so slick, but I like the way it cushions the edge for me and for any train derail:



More pics on Post #1 of this thread ...

http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=2951

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I really wish to thank you guys for you have really help me out. I now understand a lot that I did not before and all of you have really been great.

When I ordered the track, I ordered all 22 degree track and forgot about needing the gentle curve at the beginning, so I am going to have to find some 28 degree or there about and stick the 22 degree in the center. I just wanted to let you guys know how grateful I am.

I really like your country layout and can only hope mine turns out half as good.
Thank you so much
Nathaniel
 

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Nathaniel, we're glad to have you and hope you make a habit of coming back. We have a lot of fun with this site and welcome new friends. Again, please forgive the lack of response at the beginning---in my case, it was (uncharacteristically) refraining because of total ignorance about HO track. Next time, I promise to jump right in, give you bad information and make a fool of myself!:D
 

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When I ordered the track, I ordered all 22 degree track and forgot about needing the gentle curve at the beginning, so I am going to have to find some 28 degree or there about and stick the 22 degree in the center. I just wanted to let you guys know how grateful I am.

I really like your country layout and can only hope mine turns out half as good.
Thank you so much
Nathaniel
Nath, its inches, not degrees :)
i don't believe there such thing as fixed 28R curve, you probably meant 18R. with that i don't like how 22 and 18 are sitting together, they are to far from each other. so i laid out the inner track to be at 19.5R with flexible rail (90% of track material i use).
as far as turnout numbers, that will depend on many things: your layout idea, equipment you going to run etc. becasue of your limited space i can assume #4 will be appropriate for you. but again, it depends.

i think you approaching it in somewhat incorrect way - buying stuff (you mentioned turnouts). if i may suggest, plan your thing out and then buy items you actually need. this is not the cheapest hobby to buy stuff you don't need.

could be usefull- nmra beginners guide
http://www.nmra.org/beginner/

ADD: i don't buy model railroad books. in my cynical opinion they are here for the purpose of making money rather then teaching (anyone remembers that sleazebag with 30 page "ultimate guide" who came here?). with that i think Track-Planning-Realistic-Operation really stands out. they don't give you fish in form of ready layouts, instead they show how real RRs operate, some of common trackage elements (crossover, scissor-crossover etc ) and show how to implement it in with our space limitations in mind.
highly recomended

========================
and for your computer challenges, i'd say you are fine. unlike some (you know who you are;)) you managed to make a single reply post with multiquotes instead of flooding bunch of individual messages. easier to read thread is a good thing.
 
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