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I've seen several posts where someone asks if using a roadbed can help with the noise. I happen to have a small layout that gave me the opportunity to test that theory. I used the same train in the same environment at the same speed with the same camera.

This first video has the track mounted directly to the plywood:


This second video has a cork roadbed:
 

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If you have a smart phone, you can get a free app to show noise levels. It would help to establish quantitatively which of the two is the most quiet. You would have to ensure the same consist components, the same voltage to the tracks, and the same placement of the microphone on the smart phone.
 

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I used that 1/4 inch siding foam on top of luan ply, then used milled homasote road bed. I think layers help prevent the ply layer from acting as a sound board. I'm trying 1/4 dry wall (2 layers) on my text layout. Dry wall gives it a really solid base, but its still an experiment. 1/4" drywall is flimsy enough for vertical easements. Drywall and homasote should be painted to prevent moisture absorption.
 

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Sounds to me like it's just a bit quieter with the roadbed, but not a lot. I think a lot of the noise is just wheels on rail.
 

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Home Depot, where else! I didn't think it existed either until I ran into a stack of it in Home Depot when I was looking for spline material I could use. I think its used for making neat curved walls without having to scribe the stuff. Its really flimsy, not sure how one would even get a single sheet into a truck. But then they have assorted scraps that are just perfect for my use. I think it would be possible to make beveled roadbed also, that would make a mess in the RR room where as cutting the stuff with a jig saw outside puts the mess out there also.
 

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Rotary cutter or multi-purpose tool with knife blade or knife

Home Depot, where else! I didn't think it existed either until I ran into a stack of it in Home Depot when I was looking for spline material I could use. I think its used for making neat curved walls without having to scribe the stuff. Its really flimsy, not sure how one would even get a single sheet into a truck. But then they have assorted scraps that are just perfect for my use. I think it would be possible to make beveled roadbed also, that would make a mess in the RR room where as cutting the stuff with a jig saw outside puts the mess out there also.
Lemonhawk;

If you want to cut drywall with less mess, as in cutting beveled roadbed, you could use a different tool, or possibly a different blade in your "jig" (sabre?) saw.

A "rotary cutter" is used by seamstresses to cut fabric. It's sort of a cross between a pizza cutter and a surgical scalpel. It has the same handle and round cutting blade configuration as a pizza cutter, but is about a hundred times sharper! This tool will slice neatly through anything including you, so be careful using it.

Both sabre saws and "multi-purpose" electric vibrating tools can accept knife blades, which generate a lot less dust than even fine-tooth, metal-cutting blades made for the same tools. It's also possible to hold a shop vac nozzle right next to these tools as they cut.

Finally there is the common utility knife. Razor sharp, with a strong handle, and it cuts through drywall very well.

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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noise on track can be difficult to reduce ... one way is to eliminate 'hard' layers in the mix ... ballast glue should be softer, say dap adhesive .... and layers should be glued, again with a softer adhesive, not 'hard' nailed ... layers of road bed, or cork do help, as does 'topper tape' ,
 

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Home Depot, where else! I didn't think it existed either until I ran into a stack of it in Home Depot when I was looking for spline material I could use. I think its used for making neat curved walls without having to scribe the stuff. Its really flimsy, not sure how one would even get a single sheet into a truck. But then they have assorted scraps that are just perfect for my use. I think it would be possible to make beveled roadbed also, that would make a mess in the RR room where as cutting the stuff with a jig saw outside puts the mess out there also.
You should see the mess you can create with Homasote and a router! :D
 

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I can imagine what a router would do to homasote! I'll stick with the milled Homasote roadbed from Cascade, let them deal with the mess!
 

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I used an old radio shack db meter and found about a 10 db drop from plastic roadbed track to plastic tie track. HO though. I mean you could hear it too, it was noticable.
 

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best results can be read on a db meter, located in the same spot every time, sightly more accurate .. and at least there is a legible number to read ..
 

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i just held meter in my hand and followed the engine as it trundled along the track, since it's an oval, i think the measurement is pretty good or good enough to verify the issue. (since at the time, half or so was one way, half the other)
 

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noise on track can be difficult to reduce ... one way is to eliminate 'hard' layers in the mix ... ballast glue should be softer, say dap adhesive .... and layers should be glued, again with a softer adhesive, not 'hard' nailed ... layers of road bed, or cork do help, as does 'topper tape' ,
I had to look up "topper tape". Now I know it is the tape used between the pickup truck bed rail and the topper or bed cover. I have used it for indoors for double face tape applications with good results. I sure like the idea.

Now my question are:

1 Is it strong/reliable over time to hold HO scale flex track on a 20" radius curve?

2 Can it be reliably used for long term layouts?

LeRoy
 

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I don't know from personal experience with topper tape, or even road bed or cork bedding ... I have not used those personally ...

But I have used DAP adhesive and foam extensively [ except for a small part of the landscaping where I used commercial drywall mud], and I do know that those will hold up well for six or seven years any ways, some of the pictures in my gallery are from 2014 or there abouts, during the construction ..I used primarily two by eight sheets of insulating foam as I had those left over from the house basement walls [exterior], this was on top of 3/8 plywood [G1S], and plywood cut beams -mostly- cantavalired from the walls
 

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i just held meter in my hand and followed the engine as it trundled along the track, since it's an oval, i think the measurement is pretty good or good enough to verify the issue. (since at the time, half or so was one way, half the other)
When I'm doing sound readings, I set the meter on a soft piece of foam to isolate any vibration. That also insures that all the readings have the same calibration. If you hold it in your hand, even a small change in aspect may affect the sound level recorded.
 

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Ive noticed this topic a few times lately and I’m a firm believer in sturdy benchwork and extruded polystyrene then cork on top. All you can hear is wheels on track on my layout. I had my challenger dragging a 50 car freight train and it wasn’t drumming. So if that didn’t do it I doubt anything that will ever be on my layout will. I was rather surprised that a rivarossi could pull like that with new traction tires (bullfrog snot)
 
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