G Scale questions

BoxcabE50 Feb 16, 2004

  1. William S.

    William S. E-Mail Bounces

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    you can use the light sensitive sensors to stop the train (kinda like some HO layouts *gasp*). Just set how many sections you want to go and go from there...
     
  2. W. Mark Hellinger

    W. Mark Hellinger E-Mail Bounces

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    Years ago (like maybe 15ish years ago) I lashed up a relay switch driver board to an XT computer and drove it with a basic program. The driver board had 32 switches on it (which could be piggy-backed to a max of 128 switches). I ran a modest HO layout with it and had the sections seperately wired with insulator blocks between the sections. The routing and swiching was timed. Some of the "better" tricks was a couple of reversing loops where the polarity of the main line was switched while the engine progressed around the loop, and sidings where one train could wait on the siding while another passed in the opposite direction. It was a cheap lash-up (about $100 for the driver kit) that worked pretty slick when it worked. The trouble was that miserable HO stuff which would jump perfectly smooth track for no apparent reason... or would stall on a microscopic piece of lint... then there whould be a trainwreck... rolling stock and engines crashing to the floor... plastic parts flying... decapitated engineers. After "fiddling with it" for a couple of years I ripped it all out and pitched it in one of those "infamous boxes of good ideas"... and upgraded computers.

    I've been reading up from the sources recommended... and thank you for the links. Learning lots. G scale is certainly different than the HO stuff. It looks like I need to stop talking about it... jump in... get some track and rolling stock and start trying some things.

    Should a guy look for nickel track, or is the brass track (with low lead content) a-ok, fine?

    I see there's a FAQ's section to this website where I should go an spend some woodshed time. No sense re-hashing the same old newbe questions.
     
  3. W. Mark Hellinger

    W. Mark Hellinger E-Mail Bounces

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    After much slogging... yes... I've found what looks to be the stuff. USA does make some very nice industrial strength stuff. I have some track and rolling stock coming to fool around with to see how this stuff is to work with.

    I have a couple of quick questions though:

    1) What does a good stout engine and some of the heavier rolling stock weigh? This is never much of a consideration in HO, but I can see it might be with the G scale stuff. Much of my railbed will be basically a long series of shelves and I'd like to engineer the support mechanisms to take the heaviest loads I could foresee.

    2) What kind of ampreage draw is the upper limit for a single up-scale loco? I know that brown-outs conditions will only slow a DC motor and won't necessarly burn it out like an AC motor, but I know I'll need to put together a power supply that can deliver the current required and string feeder cable suitable for the amp draw without heating.

    [ 21. March 2004, 17:52: Message edited by: W. Mark Hellinger ]
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Interesting questions. I know someone who has an outdoor setup. He was running it in the snow and cold. Two diesels plowing the white stuff, and pulling some cars as well. I wonder what he was using?

    Perhaps there'd be some information on the Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC) web site? You might be able to get a fair idea, simply by reading the specifications of those supplies they sell for G? They're the biggest name in RR power.

    :D

    Boxcab E50
     
  5. sandro schaer

    sandro schaer TrainBoard Member

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    aristo's sd45 and dash-9 are around 9 kilo (20lbs).... imagine a 4 unit lash-up. quite heavy. also some of the more modern cars (containers) are a few pounds as well. better make your shelves strong enough.

    to answer the amperage question is somewhat more difficult. i have four of aristo's sd45 and they pull beween 1.5 and 4 amps. usually a g scale loco needs a few hours to break in. current draw will go down during this period. anyway, i'm using a simple 24 volt/12 amps power supply which feeds my 10amp train engineer (aristo). this is enough power to run multi-unit trains. since the handheld is wireless it is very comfortable to run your trains. for more informations see www.aristocraft.com
     
  6. W. Mark Hellinger

    W. Mark Hellinger E-Mail Bounces

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    Ok, sounds good!

    I have a 20 amp multi-tap and vairable DC power supply sitting on the shelf (main-frame computer surplus item)... should work good for starters. I'll string 12 ga. feeder cable which will handle 20 amps. I'll build the supporting gridwork and structures to handle 100 lbs. per sq. ft. That should do it.

    I have 200ft. of track coming. It's the USA R81065 stuff and some associated 8ft. curved sections and 8 switches... looks pretty good.... and a Aristo SD-45 four motor loco and a few misc pieces of rolling stock. That should be good enough to get a feel for what this stuff is to work with.
     
  7. sandro schaer

    sandro schaer TrainBoard Member

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    mark

    i'd strongly suggest to use 10ft diameter curves or even larger !!!

    a dash-9 runs on 8ft curves but due to the huge overhang it looks ridiculous. also running on such tight curves might cause the first car to derail. usually these large locos don't have enough coupler swing to run reliably on 8ft curves.

    my backyard layout has only 4 single pieces of 10ft curves which will be replaced by 13ft curves this summer.
     
  8. Phil at Toenail Ridge

    Phil at Toenail Ridge E-Mail Bounces

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    Mark,
    the weight of the loco and train is spread over the expanse of the rails, not the shelf, so the direct down-weight isn't that much of a factor. A shelf that will collapse under 10 lbs isn't going to collapse under 40lbs if that 40lbs is spread over a length of track that spans the shelf's ends. Code 332 track (that's the common size in LargeScale) is so strong that it is pretty much self-supporting over a smallish span so I don't think weight is a problem. If the shelf will take a set of books it'll take anything in Largescale that you can roll over it.
    Amperage...... The excellent recent offerings from Backmann draw from 0.5 to 2 amps, up to 5 amps at full slip (ie intentionally stalled and wheels spinning). Most good power supplies will give you a reliable 10 amps, anything else is overkill, IMHO.
    In your situation I think I'd go with the Aristo (crest) controllers, constant track power and radio controllers in each loco. And it's cheap.
    At the risk of upsetting the good folks here at Trainboard.com, may I suggest that you also surf into http://www.mylargescale.com and http://www.largescalecentral.com
    That's where the Largescale followers hang out. Trainboard is excellent as a general overview but the abovementioned are specifically LargeScale (You will note that I avoid using the "G-Scale" nomenclature. G-Scale specifically indicates 1:22.5 scale, while Largescale includes everything from 1:32 to 7/8th. Pendantic? Yes. Accurate? Yes too)
     
  9. W. Mark Hellinger

    W. Mark Hellinger E-Mail Bounces

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    Hummm.... well crap. ok... back to the drawing board. I had things pretty well planned out for 8 ft. diameter curves.

    I've had my taster set for an SD-45 similar to this: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3182921946&category=19153&sspagename=STRK%3AMEBWA%3AIT&rd=1

    I figure that should fit my planned motif. I figure the gondolas might routinely be hauling 10 lbs ea. net. I have a group of electrical connectors here on the scale pulled from inventory... they weigh 6.7 lbs... and would be a very common payload (I hope).

    I figure on starting with about 180ft. of mainline with a full circle turn-around at both ends of the mainline with a few well placed sidings and a small switch yard (keep it simple to start with). I'd like to set it up so the train can run down the mainline... turn-around at either end and come back the other direction, then. Also, I'd like to be able to direct the train to go to any one of the sidings and stop, then, from any siding, instruct the train to get underway and go to some-other siding.

    That's the pipedream anyway. I can tell this isn't going to come together in a weekend.
     
  10. W. Mark Hellinger

    W. Mark Hellinger E-Mail Bounces

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    Thanks for the excellent suggestions and information. I'm wondering how the constant track voltage/radio controlled stuff works in a loop-back situation: i.e., run down a main-line, go around a loop and come back down faced the other way on the same main-line? I wonder if a person could feed the track AC, then have a DC converter inside the loco? Hummm....

    I just received 120ft. of straight track... and you're right, that's pretty substantial stuff (about 1/2 lb per foot weight). Most of my road bed will be behind stocked inventory on shelves, and the shelf supports are designed to hold 50 lbs on 2ft. centers... should work fine with the 3/4" plywood shelf boards. I think the only support that will take some engineering will be the turn-arounds, which I figure on being a grid-work support system suitable for dioramas. The turn-around areas and switch yard are the only spots I figure on doing a little landscaping and scenery.

    BTW: "pendantic" is a new one to me... at least in your context (left me hanging maybe?). I only know of "pendantic" as "suspended qualities" (possibly Gothic architecture related) in some fashion... but then I grew-up in a small rural logging town community (well, that... and my idea of "novels" are the fat 52 page Donald Duck comic books, or a Mad Magizine Super Issue); therefore, the king's English is not one of my strong suits.

    [ 03. April 2004, 17:38: Message edited by: W. Mark Hellinger ]
     
  11. Phil at Toenail Ridge

    Phil at Toenail Ridge E-Mail Bounces

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    "Pedantic, from Pedant {Fr pedante}
    A person who displays his learning excessively or unnecessarily: one who lays stress on rules and details, ostentatious show of learning"
    Websters international dictionary
     
  12. W. Mark Hellinger

    W. Mark Hellinger E-Mail Bounces

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    Thanks for the clarification. That explains much, since I doubt that would come up in conversation among Donald, the nephews, Gladstone, Daisy, or Uncle Scrooge. Maybe Gyro Gearloose... but I don't remember.
     
  13. Danny Sheehan

    Danny Sheehan E-Mail Bounces

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    My Garden Railway, the Rookwood Central Railway, is a three foot gauge US line. I run a mixture of scales on 45mm track, including 1:20.3, 1:22.5 and 1:24. These all look OK when run together, when friends come over with their standard gauge equipment in 1:29 or 1:32 scale they look tiny beside my rolling stock. So the "ten foot" rule applies, if it looks correct at ten foot, it is OK. I am running ten locos, mostly Bachmann with some LGB and 60 pieces of rolling stock, Bachmann, Aristocraft- Delton, USA Trains and LGB. I have standardised on Bachmann Knuckle Couplers, Aristocraft-Delton couplers are fully compatible with Bachmann and USA and LGB are easily converted, and steel wheels are a must!
     
  14. disisme

    disisme TrainBoard Supporter

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    The ten foot rule isnt something restricted to your railroad either Danny... In model aircraft circles, they actually run competitions all over the world called 'Stand Off Scale'. Judges cant come within 10' and have to judge it on apeparances from that far away, as oppossed to 'fine scale' where they can use a microscope.
     
  15. disisme

    disisme TrainBoard Supporter

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    By the way Danny....Welcome to trainboard! Another Aussie....oi oi oi!
     
  16. W. Mark Hellinger

    W. Mark Hellinger E-Mail Bounces

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    Well... I'm starting to lay out some track, and I'm wondering what minimum clearances should be observed. I have a number of situations where absolutely the minimum would be best. Fortunately, these tight spots will be associated with straight runs. It looks like 5" width (2 1/2" each side of the center of the track) will be plenty. 4 3/4" is maybe a little tight? I haven't got a clue about height? For the rolling stock I have right now, it looks like 6" above the top of the rail is sufficent... but I dunno. Some of these tight spots are going to be impossible to change once they're in-place. I have a number of situations where 8 1/2" clearance above the top of the track would work out really good... or at-least it's going to get real complicated if I need more height clearance than that. I just don't know if that will be enough... or if I need to go back to the drawing board.

    Also, what's a "reasonable" grade? 4% (1" per 2ft.) seems plenty shallow. 12 1/2% (1" per foot) seems steep.
     
  17. Phil at Toenail Ridge

    Phil at Toenail Ridge E-Mail Bounces

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    Mark,
    4% grade is quite severe for a train, you'll find that for every 1% increase in grade your train hauling capacity will nearly halve. Live steamers have trouble coping with anything over 2%. 4% is considered absolute maximum usually, and less if you can.
    Post the clearance question over on the http://www.mylargescale.com forum and be prepared to get more info and feedback than you've ever seen.
     
  18. W. Mark Hellinger

    W. Mark Hellinger E-Mail Bounces

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    Thanks for the information. I went to mylargescale... and holycow... that's like walking into a shopping mall with a Walmart, KMart, Cosco, Sears, and Fred Meyer all under one roof. Where to start? There's a lot of information there. I'll work up to posting after I read the archives awhile.

    Thanks (I think).
     
  19. sandro schaer

    sandro schaer TrainBoard Member

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    yeas...mylargescale.com is like paradies. these guys and the overwhelming amount of information are hardly believable.
     

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