Working Roadways

The place for general discussions and requests for help on all matters relating to T gauge.
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martink
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Re: Working Roadways

Post by martink »

Nutter wrote:Martin out of interest how wide is the standard system?
Thinking about something special funicular based in Z scale.
Mike, from memory IDL's older tracks are about 6.5mm wide (1/4"), but you can put your own surface on top as long as it is no thicker than 0.5mm or so. For a funicular, the main problem would be that the tracks are oval in shape (about 6.5" x 4.5") and don't have any way of reversing direction without extra DIY electronics.

They have also just this month released a sectional track system (http://www.teenytrains.com), with 1" wide track but somewhat expensive and limited to one-way running, so that probably wouldn't help you much either.

martink
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Re: Working Roadways

Post by martink »

I have just noticed that there is a commercially available fully configurable magnetic chain-drive system for model roads, designed mainly for larger scales, but which should also work fine in T...

https://www.magnorail.com/site/

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Nutter
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Re: Working Roadways

Post by Nutter »

Martin that last link looks really cool especially with the cyclists legs working as well.Shame they are Ho scale.
Mike
DON'T knock it at least I am trying to do something, with only one good hand.

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Nutter
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Re: Working Roadways

Post by Nutter »

Sorry to be a pain in the neck but can you give me an idea of the size of the magnets under the road vehicles.
I am probably going to get one of the Nano sets to experiment with.
Mike
DON'T knock it at least I am trying to do something, with only one good hand.

martink
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Re: Working Roadways

Post by martink »

The coil geometry on the track means that the magnets must be spaced 3mm apart, centre to centre, with alternating north and south poles. Beyond that, everything is optional.

I found the easiest way was to use 3mm diameter disc magnets - they just naturally stick together in a working configuration. I have tried 1mm, 2mm and 4mm thick discs (the 4mm being a cylinder of course). Using larger and more numerous magnets can propel heavier vehicles (I've gone up to N gauge plastic cars). On the other hand, if you have two tracks close by the more powerful magnets can interfere with other passing vehicles (minimum track-to-track spacing of 1" or so). The Eishindo vehicles can use the 1mm or 2mm thick discs - either stuck underneath a truck or inside the body of a car. You need at least two magnets to get directional control (pointing along the track!), and three is better. The IDL vehicles all use 4 magnets set up in two pairs like bogies.

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Nutter
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Re: Working Roadways

Post by Nutter »

Martin thanks for your help. I shall be making a purchase next month as I have unavoidable car expenses of the annual kind this month.
I shall be picking your brain more as I get more involved but have 2 final questions for a while.
What thickness plastic sheet can I use above the track?
I am thinking of getting the box as well and mounting the nano track in the box and then making interchangeable modules to have alternative scenes.
Also interested in your experiments with alternative controllers I have a pwm controller that is able to be powered by different input voltages up to 12v dc.
Mike
DON'T knock it at least I am trying to do something, with only one good hand.

martink
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Re: Working Roadways

Post by martink »

Nutter wrote:What thickness plastic sheet can I use above the track?
About 0.5mm is the maximum here, as the drive power falls off very rapidly with increasing distance. The real trick is making sure that whatever surface you use is in firm contact with the track
I am thinking of getting the box as well and mounting the nano track in the box and then making interchangeable modules to have alternative scenes.
OK, sounds good, but you might want to mention this to IDL and ask them to include one or more extra tracks so you can simply move the control unit around (from memory, tracks are about US $10 each). Their standard track is an oval with 180 degree curves, but they may still have some of their earlier type which was the same overall size but a rectangle with tighter, rounded corners - look for black vs green tracks on the pics on their website.
Also interested in your experiments with alternative controllers I have a pwm controller that is able to be powered by different input voltages up to 12v dc.
Electrically, the track is a 3-wire resistor network requiring a specific current to work correctly (about 0.3-0.4A), and so based on the track length needs a specific and precise input voltage (5-6V). The drive electronics aren't actually PWM, but basically a 3-pole stepper motor driver working in something like half-step mode (if that means anything to you). If going DIY, you would need an Arduino or similar with 3 push-pull outputs instead of the more traditional 2.

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