1. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    These TTZ modules are so small you can mail yours in, we'll take a video of it in action and send it back. You could become a famous TTZ modeler without ever leaving the raisin ranch!
     
  2. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Jeez, I hope that is not offensive :p But to be brutally honest I am partly psyched about Z scale trains because if I ever have to downsize I can take my trains...
     
  3. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Those starter sets are a steal, my first AZL loco's were a pair of the GP7 starter sets. Modern loco's need to be in multiples! And the Rokuhan controllers are very nice with anything but the new Marklin "bell shaped armature" loco's or Rokuhan Shorty's. There are other threads for this but the bottom line is the Rokuhan controllers put out a small voltage at idle which turns on Rokuhan loco's lighting but doesn't move them, but on super efficient loco's this voltage is high enough to move them. So no super slow starts and stops, those loco's take just off when you switch into fwd or rev.
     
  4. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Which CMR hardware set did you decide on?
     
  5. mmitchel

    mmitchel New Member

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    I went with carriage bolts.
     
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  6. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    The raisin ranch? Oh my God, is that slang for a retirement community? LOL I’m 36 but some days it feels like that. :D

    i’ve currently got a half dozen locomotives, two full passenger trains, technically two small Z layouts and a bunch of Rokuhan track but what I really want to do is a shelf style layout around eye level, spanning one 8’ side of my cigar room. I’m going to Home Depot later this morning to shop for the lumber!

    That was of course until I saw that the T track modules are under $20 for a kit, and now I think I simply must build at least one...
     
  7. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    That’s the spirit!
     
  8. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I ordered some 6mm baltic birch plywood, some 1/4-20 E-Z Lok threaded inserts and 1/4-20 x 2" set screws to make my first module. I was just going to buy the CMR Products kit, but the wood is only $52 for 20 square feet shipped, and hardware only $20 for enough for 5 modules so I decided to give it a go. I can only fit 12" x 18" in my laser, so I ordered the 12" x 20" sheets.

    Also our local PNR NMRA 3rd Division spring meet has a 10" x 10" diorama contest that I can make a module for. "I’d like to announce our special contest for the Spring Meet in March 28th. The challenge is to create a highly detailed and interesting scene in a 10 x 10 x 10 inch space. Use as many figures, scenic materials, lighting etc. as you like. It’s a challenge!" I'll just make my diorama on a standard size 8.66" x 10.63" TTZ module with backdrop.

    I think I might adjust the height of the backdrop some, and since the bakdrop is pretty much required on straight modules, why bolt it to the back of the module, when you can make it the back frame of the module and just cut the sides 276mm instead of 270mm, In effect it is the same thing. :D
     
  9. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Great news! Smart ideas too. That is a cool thing about TTZ, it seems like a single module is crazy small but it is a good size for a diorama :)
     
  10. poppy2201

    poppy2201 TrainBoard Member

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    I currently have 16 T-TRAK-Z modules. I have a set of 195/220mm corners and 220/245mm corners. Since I have several 6-axle locos, long heavyweight passenger cars and a couple of Mikado's I have been utilizing the 220/245 corners in conjunction with the straight modules.

    I ordered 4 of the 245/270mm corners a few days ago and will be using those exclusively. My straight modules are 270mm depth. I have learned over the past year that 270mm depths are not ideal as far as I am concerned. Certain structures are not suited to be placed in the confines of 270mm depth along with the track, roads, sidewalks et cetera and create a more realistic scene. Just my two cents. I will be adding straight modules that are 320mm deep.

    This configuration of 4 larger corners and 4 doubles/2 singles that are 320mm deep will still fit on a 30" x 72" banquet table. Will I be able to connect with someone with the 195mm corners and restriction of 270mm depth? Probably not with the current attitude that is out there but it can be done. As long as there are matching opposite corners it can be achieved. Some layout coordinators will probably take the path of least resistance and won't allow the deeper modules. Again, my two cents.
     
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  11. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    I noticed one of the pitfalls of the Power Routing. Seems like various lengths of 2-pair cables with single connector Andersons (they can be paired, if oriented). But I saw 3 'pairs' in one drawing and image. Wouldn't a commodity 2 conductor cable, like a round barrel DC connector be much simpler? Heck, even the classic RCA connector can be bought in multi-pair panels - CHEAP.

    I also saw that there was a different color for the (+) pole (line Ntrak) which helps keep the appropriate track powers coordinated. What about the wiring under the module? Color Shrink tubing? I found a package of "Christmas" color Cable Ties at ACE Hardware if that would help: https://tinyurl.com/wkqj8kp Also on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/tc7jj5r
    Part Number: 14071 UPC: 082021140712

    I think I will probably build 1m long modules with a balloon on each end for 'Table top' shows. I've seen some really nice scenery on the European modules at Altenbeken.
     
  12. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    I was surprised by the choice of Anderson power poles because they are rated for way more amperage than needed and I know from experience they are expensive. But what are you gonna do?
    I’ll ask on the Facebook page about wire colors, maybe Marklin spec?
     
  13. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I used 50A power poles to wire my small pontoon boat this spring. I put their T Handles on the 50A shells for extra grip, so I can easily move my trolling motor and battery from one side to the other side of the boat easily. They are great for battery connections because they are easy to connect and disconnect. I would have never imagined them used for modules though, especially the worlds smallest train modules. We have had very large ZBT layout run off the D connectors at 1A per pin over the years.

    I was hoping that the next generation of modular specs would have called for round TE CPC AMP connectors because they are so easy to find, carry up to 13A per pin, take standard 16awg wires, are available in 4 to 37 pin shells, and so darned easy and quick to connect. The 13-7 CPC (13A 7pin) shells would have been perfect, along with super flexible 16-7 cable (16awg 7 conductor).
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  14. JoshMurrah

    JoshMurrah TrainBoard Member

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    Hi folks! I apologize for not contributing earlier to this thread! I tend to single-source to Facebook and YouTube just for simplicity's sake, but I'll make an effort to come join the fun here.

    There's good discussion here, and yes, I'm *that guy*. I did delete two comments in the group last month, both Charles', so let's not blow that out of proportion, but yes, I did come down hard (mostly just via announcement) on people that are steering new folks joining, to order modules that are out of spec.

    Charles and Rob Kluz both are building modules that are one step too large, and if that's their thing, so be it and I still love what they built, but I don't want somebody showing up to a run day with a club or group who built on smallest corners, and that new participant getting the nasty surprise that they can't participate and need to take their module back home, and then blame me for it.

    The max depth is there simply because of the smallest corner size, minus a very small space for wiring and backdrops. I know that some of you guys really dislike the 195/220 combo, but that's what is in the starter loop kits, it's what is most commonly advertised and stocked. If somebody new comes up to me and asks "how to I start, i have no clue", it's very easy to send them across to the Z dealer, and get one of Rokuhan's beginner packs, for example the R062 can be directly put onto a set of T-TRAK-Z modules as-is. I do it all the time at the shows I'm participating in.

    Robert Ray's idea of extending out towards the front with transitions is 100% fine, and that's also what the N scale guys do for their large yards or scenes as well. As long as it's a multiple of length, it's cool. That's also the reason we went with 3" frontage, I saw that mentioned here, it lets you do scenery blocks, two-siding yards such as the one I built, or industries in front of the rails, I have a single module that shows this feature as well.

    On layout wiring and the choice for Anderson Powerpoles, that choice is inherited from N-TRAK, and T-TRAK... both N scale formats use them heavily and I want to leverage that existing knowledge... It's that simple. I do have a youtube channel where I go over some of these topics as well as have a few show layout videos, and I'll link a few immediately below.

    Last word here, if you watch the layout vids below, they are very very unsceniced and I know it... it's a new format, new modules, and I'm a working class fool with two kids, so modeling time isn't there, and I'm more of a design guy versus scenery so that doesn't help. Cut me some slack anyway hah.

    T-TRAK-Z bus/feeder walkthrough (20 min)
    Pensacola Railfest 2019 (last weekend) quick runaround
    Mississippi Railfest 2019 timelapse
    Tallahassee/BBMRA 2019 walkthrough

    http://www.ttrakz.org/
     
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  15. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Josh! Thank you so much for joining us here on Trainboard. I know it has only been a week or two since my interest in T TRAK Z took me to your Facebook page and created this forum thread but I feel much better now to have you here. I felt like I had one foot in the boat and the other on the dock before now!
    I also feel very strongly that T TRAK Z should have one standard, or whatever it needs to allow everyone who builds these modules to have a chance to participate at shows or meetings. I think you are correct in trying to make that possible. It is a shame it wasn't designed that way initially. Thanks for the vids and it certainly sounds like some great modelers would be willing to build in T TRAK Z. The challenge for newbies is to buy some track and modules. The challenge for the best in the field is to blow us all away in 270mm.
     
  16. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    And I will add that as someone unaccustomed to Facebook I find it very difficult to find things there, whereas here on Trainboard I can go back and participate or learn from very old threads. There is a value in these traditional forums search and archival functions. So at the very least if you can pass along any concrete decisions made in Facebook land they can be set in stone here.
     
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  17. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Hi Josh, welcome to the Trainboard Z Forum. All Z Scale formats are welcome here. I am cutting my first module as we speak. I had to tune my laser for thick plywood, but it seems to be cutting OK, will know in a few minutes when the first parts come out. My first module is a 220mm x 270mm x 70mm, module, and... hold that thought.. my laser just beeped!
     
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  18. mmitchel

    mmitchel New Member

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    Hello Josh,
    I had every intention on making the trek over to Pensacola from Jacksonville to see the show but the wife informed me my niece had a recital and I would NOT be missing it. I do have a double-length module on the way and I will begin the z-scale journey. I am a particular fan of city scenery so I may add an urban flavor to certain parts of any layouts.
     
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  19. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    OK, everything came out good. There were 2 spots where the laser did not go all the way through, due to some forign material in the middle layer of my plywood. I ordered 6mm 12" x 20" B/BB grade Baltic Birch plywood, 12 pieces for $53 from Amazon, which arrived today around 5PM. I also ordered 1/4-20 x 2" set screws, and 1/4-20 threaded inserts, which also came.

    So I went to youtube and watched a video of how they assemble the TTZ module, and speculated the height adjuster squares are 1.5" square with a .3" hole in the center for the threaded insert, and that those wood squares are .5" up from the bottom of the modules. With that, it was 15 minutes of Corel Draw, and on to tuning a laser cutting profile for 6mm plywood.

    I have a 12" x 18" cutting area and a 12" x 20" sheet just fits. My laser is only 30 watts, but by setting the power to 100%, speed to 3%, and pulses per inch to 100, it cuts all the way through. Only 1 messed up part, that I was able to fix with a chisel, then tweek the drawing, and the module went together just fine. It's just glued and masking taped right now, but all the tabs and slots fit tight enough that glue should hold it together just fine. Tomorrow I'll sand it smooth, then put the leg levelers in, and post some photos.
     
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  20. JoshMurrah

    JoshMurrah TrainBoard Member

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    Sounds good Robert! I have access to a similarly sizes Redsail clone, and run 90% power at a very slow rate, like 5mm a sec or something, I have my settings written down somewhere. The problem I run into is poor focus leading to non parallel cuts and char, but it's still a LOT better than hand cutting. For the feet on my DIY builds, I chop a 2x4 into 2" chunks, and then cut chop those in half again, resulting in blocks that I then drill appropriate holes for my retainer nut of choice, then I glue the module together with the chunks in the corners. I'm weak on design, so my cuts are flat panels only, and I just square and glue with lots of clamps. One of my heartaches is quality birch, the Lowes/Home Depot grade of 1/4" birch is subpar at best, I never thought about looking on amazon LOL.
     

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