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AhmadKane

HO/OO T-Track Queries

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AhmadKane
Posted (edited)

Alirght things are getting too crowded in the house if I'd like to create an HO/OO setup at a similar size of Nippon Bali. To be frank, I don't know where to begin creating the support pillars, since for now I'm using a bedframe for support. 

 

Now I'm looking to create an HO/OO T-track setup. Couple of things I'd like to ask. 

 

1. Which track HO/OO track would be best for T-track? I'm looking at Roco Geoline, Bachmann E-Z, KATO HO track or even Marklin C track (If I decide to go Marklin). And what are the challenges if I were to not use snap on tracks and use plain old nickel silver ones like atlas

 

2. Do I have to make a hollow elevated box, or can I just have a single plank of multiplex cut and begin from there? 

 

3. How does one store T-Track modules? I'm thinking of inside shelves, but is there a possibility if I were to stack them?

 

4. Where do you put the controller?

Edited by AhmadKane

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Cat

The photos I've seen have all been Kato HO track.  The unitrack joiners are superb for linking modules.

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cteno4
3 hours ago, AhmadKane said:

1. Which track HO/OO track would be best for T-track? I'm looking at Roco Geoline, Bachmann E-Z, KATO HO track or even Marklin C track (If I decide to go Marklin). And what are the challenges if I were to not use snap on tracks and use plain old nickel silver ones like atlas

 

as cat mentions Kato Unitrak is the de facto standard for ttrak. Unijoiners really do give the best module track connections and the beefy nature of the Kato Unitrak roadbed makes it robust. Of course doing Ttrak for just you you can use any track you want, but Unitrak will give you the best results

 

3 hours ago, AhmadKane said:

 

2. Do I have to make a hollow elevated box, or can I just have a single plank of multiplex cut and begin from there? 
 

 

you can go at the bases a whole number of ways, box, plank, Plank with vertical sections along the ends to raise the plank. If you Are not planning on playing with others then you can do what ever you want for a base at what ever track height. Main thing unless you have very flat table(s)/surface to set them up on you need some sort of adjustable legs on each module to level them. This is usually done with bolts and screw in threaded inserts in the module bases. With standard Ttrak folks build box bases for scenes that are flat with the track or going up and the use plank with foam on top to do scenes where they may want to go down with the scene below the tracks. Box mainly gives place for wires to go and bottom frame. Some resources:

 

http://t-trakhandbook.com/

 

http://t-trak.nscale.org.au/other-scales/t-trak-ho

 

3 hours ago, AhmadKane said:

 

3. How does one store T-Track modules? I'm thinking of inside shelves, but is there a possibility if I were to stack them?


shelves or some make storage cases you can slide multiple modules into. Some make a simple open frame wood box rack out of 1x2” stock that you can slide a few modules in for transport and storage (but open to dust and things poking in). Some buy plastic or cardboard boxes to put them in but sadly there are none really great in dimensions and they can end up wasting a lot of storage space and plastic boxes can tend to slide around in transport.

3 hours ago, AhmadKane said:

4. Where do you put the controller?


on the table modules are resting on or on the floor or on a box under the table. Or on a small table next to the layout.

 

you should think if you are playing with others or not. If not playing with others and you just want to be able to break a larger layout down into smaller pieces then you might look at doing a sectional layout instead. This is where you do a layout and then just break it down into smaller section modules that fit the design of the track plan to break apart well. The modules then don’t need to be uniform as the layout only goes together in one way, but can give you the ability to pull it apart but get a more freeform track plan. Ttrak’s uniform modularity tends to push layouts into pretty uniform loops which can get boring. This is the trade off done to allow folks to get together and play together.

 

with a sectional layout you can also engineer in a place where you can insert more modules later to expand the layout.

 

cheers,

 

Jeff

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Martijn Meerts

I have quite a bit of Marklin C-track, but I've noticed the plastic has gotten brittle over time, and the plastic tabs holding the track together for additional strength are snapping off. This might only happen with the older track, and they fixed it with the new track. There's also the Trix version of the C-track if you don't want to stick to a 2-rail system.

 

I'd probably stick with Unitrack, if a Unijoiner does happen to break, you can just replace it with a new one. If one of those C-track tabs breaks, you need to replace the entire track piece.

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Cat

I've admired a lot of folks storage racks and boxes, and don't think I've ever seen two that are the same.  It is a very creative process to come up with what might work best for you.

Since we'll be taking ours on the road a lot, I'm leaning towards a bottomless box shell that drops over the module, or that it slides into.  Robust for packing and travel, and we can stack them on basement shelves here at home.

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cteno4

Yeah many ways to skin the cat so to speak. Where did that come from it seems like there would not be many ways to do that!
 

ive thought of the cake lid approach for individual modules but mainly been the issue of dealing with the dangling track ends (have to build in spacers to deal with that) and the attachment then to lock the lid to the Ttrak base

 

im working in some light freight crates out of 5mm Luan ply with some crate edge bracing of 1/2” x 3/4” ply strips. They will be either 1x or 2x long 12.5” wide and 24” tall so they can easily go in the Prius back or onto the back seat of a car. Then some adjustable aluminum angle slides along the sides to stack modules up like 3-6 high (depending on scene height). Since I usually store Ttrak in the basement I now want as few a things to schlep from the car, thru the house, and into the basement or also into a venue. One end of the crate comes off with those little metal snap buckles. The design is like the ones for current club layout under construction. Pretty light but sturdy. Issue with boxes is to not get too many to deal with to stow at shows.
 

Our old club layout had modules like 1m x 0.5m and we built 5mm ply boxes for each from 4-8” high (depending on scenery) which worked well as they nested in 2 sizes (4 corner modules were slightly longer) so you could stack them as needed to fit in different vehicles and just a lid on the top of a stack and couple of cargo straps around the stack. Whole layout stacked up to about 8’ high! We ended up calling the coffins as they looked like a stack of little coffins. 

 

ive thought about the above approach for Ttrak with each module having a box you drop the module into and the just stack the boxes as ip high as you want and the lid on top, but feels fiddly. Also lowering a module into a box is fiddly and you hace to use something like a 4” wide piece of plastic ribbon (like police line tape) and lower it like they do a casket into the ground with ropes/straps under the casket into the grave. In the end the slide in crate feels the best to get as compact as possible, fewest parts as possible, and quick to load in (just need a load in plan on the lid to follow.

 

one of our members had a 4’ Long X 3’ high self like 14” deep plywood shelf unit he had built for something else and he just repurposed it for module storage then put a face piece of ply that can get screwed onto the open front then the whole thing just goes into his suv. Uses two small harbor freight dollies under it to move it around!
 

cheers,

 

jeff

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Cat
47 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Yeah many ways to skin the cat so to speak. Where did that come from it seems like there would not be many ways to do that!
 

ive thought of the cake lid approach for individual modules but mainly been the issue of dealing with the dangling track ends (have to build in spacers to deal with that) and the attachment then to lock the lid to the Ttrak base



Or vice-versa as it were. 
: 3


When juggling weight, cost, and ease of construction, I came up with these hardboard and aluminum covers for the giant modular gaming tables of Greater Boston.  The inner side edges are U-channel for strength and the modules slide in along them.  There are press-fit caps that go on over the open end to provide protection during transportation.

 

I'm thinking something sort of like these that are long enough to include the track ends, and with a built-in stop so that the joiners don't smash into the lid ends.  The sheet aluminum corners on the inside of the shown one fit an irregularly shaped module where the Massachusetts Turnpike juts out beyond the Route 128 loop around the the city.

 

CaseIn.JPG

CaseOut.JPG

5Crates.jpg

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cteno4

Is the aluminum the sheet rock comer stuff? I’ve thought of riveting that on ends to protect the joint and stiffen. Nice thing with rivets in the 5mm luan is if you pick just the right length rivet and use the softer ones they pull very flat and almost embedded on the wood side! 
 

have you had any sagging on the masonite with time? I’ve limited my use on masonite with odd reactions to moisture and sagging. At times I’ve had it not sag at all other times really now fast. Also at times small humidity cause bowing and other times keep flat under big changes. Variable so just do t go to it a lot.

 

jeff
 

 

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Cat
Posted (edited)

Yes, I think the wide thin angle is sheet rock type stuff, found while scoping out the aisles at the big box store.  I went with bolts and nuts instead of rivets, and they go through the supporting strips of heavier aluminum angle on the inside.  They also self-sink into the thin wide angles on the outside.  Yes, the masonite roofs have sagged a bit over the years, but they are still structurally sound.

Edited by Cat

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