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PaulRhB

Nm9 RhB modules and standards

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3F7BE48C-9876-45D9-A61B-67E09E3E82A0.jpeg.97bbd434ee1ebee3ab8ea3665196d601.jpeg

 

Jon and I have been trying our ideas for a module system to run our Kato and MDS Nm9 stock on. 

Paul’s mini & modules

 

Jon’s modules

 

So we’ve been invited to show our modules and ideas at Globalrail in June and the idea is to discuss what is available already and our little experiments and see if there’s interest in a system where they can be joined up to make something bigger. 

Both our tests can stand alone but we thought we’d ask if there’s a wider possibility for getting more together. 

 

So a few questions, ;) 

1. Are there any existing, N module standards, such as FREMO, with mountainous RhB scenery suitable endplates?

 

2. My endplates are 150mm wide and Jon has already suggested wider ones are a good idea. (My ends were designed purely for my storage space so they do limit depth at the joins but can easily work with adapter boards to join a wider standard). So if there is nothing suitable in existing standards what is the ideal sort of width?

 

3. Jon also has tried asymmetrical ends compared to my symmetrical ones. Each has advantages for RhB style scenery and being able to build layouts to fit a space. A couple of end profiles can be accommodated easily as long as there are adapters.

So are there any  ideas for profiles and how many could we sensibly use and retain flexibility in a layout?

 

4. Height, what’s already in use or do we use a good compromise?

I’m using 1000mm to top of the rail in my Freem009 because it’s easily visible standing and sitting and we use 1143mm (45”) for the HO freemo. 

 

1000mm / 39.4”

A67C9F8E-C916-4322-BA38-F410AE318F55.jpeg.659981aee96fb2d3560402adf79cabba.jpeg

 

1143mm / 45”

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5. Control. I’m used to DCC for its simple connections for modules and it’s proved flexibility in two modular systems. Is DCC a good choice or is DC cab control viable and how would it work on a larger collection of different builders modules?

(I’m not worried about mini radio control as it will work with anything).

 

6. Operation. Would people be interested in an operating system using simple cards or computer based systems like jmri or just run trains as complete sets?

 

7. Are there any other questions to ask? ;)

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

Thanks Paul for kicking this off.

 

The biggest question in my mind, is 'is there already a standard out there? ' perhaps in the German speaking world that we would do something different from? I'd hate to find we couldn't take modules to the continent because they weren't compatible.

 

From there onward I'm reasonably happy with the proposals so far, I have (for the time being at least ) got access to a laser cutter, so standard ends in 6mm are easy, I think having seen a 150mm end that we definitely need wider, and the landscape on the RHB lends itself to asymmetric boards, both of which probably want extra bolt holes further out, or possibly on the track centerline but further down. 

 

The way I see it from now until Global Rail we are canvasing for opinion on what the standard might look like, with hopefully a meeting of like minded souls at Global Rail in June fixing that spec.

 

Jon

Edited by jonhall

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Like I said before I think a mix will work for flexibility in layouts as long as we don’t have too many ;)

I’ll just build a couple of adapters to make my personal boards fit within a module with standard ends so I can take a station or a station + corner offered as one larger module. 

 

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Very interesting, would be tempted to do a module or 2 at some point.

 

Re your questions - here's my contribution -

 

Not aware of any standards, I am a member of Bahnforum Schweiz and there is no mention of this concept on there.

 

A 300 width would allow a bit more depth to the module but could you use image.png.b9958d4e10c355cc339f7606e0d51a1f.png

I would stick with 2 endplates, one profiled and one flat. You might consider allowing modules in pairs where the inner endplates of the pair are "freestyle" but the joining plates must be standard.

 

I would go for 1143 height.

 

One suggestion would be to use DCC for train control i.e. the track, but all points and accessory control e.g. signals and lighting should be self contained within each module. To that end and for some simplicity, adopt a 4 wire BUS standard - 2 X 16v AC and 2 X 12v DC from which feeds can be taken in each module.

 

Operation needs to be decided potentially for each event depending on contributors preference.

 

That's my penny worth......

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Modules work well in a flat earth situation as one sees with so many good US-prototype set-ups.

 

I can't imagine any easy way to have standard module ends within the context of mountainous scenery. Surely better to have each set of modules as a complete boxed diorama with connecting "tunnels".

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1 hour ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

I can't imagine any easy way to have standard module ends within the context of mountainous scenery. Surely better to have each set of modules as a complete boxed diorama with connecting "tunnels".

 

We've managed a successful profiled end in 009 and FREMO do them too so not too worried about the shaped ends. My only concern with an asymmetrical end is that it isn't reversible which limits variation in setup. The asymmetrical end does evoke the RhB style scenery well though so we are looking how we can incorporate one because we want to include operation and scenery so it's appeals to as many as possible.

Box tunnels would work though where we don't have enough of one type to adapt it! :) 

 

 

1 hour ago, JimFin said:

 

I would stick with 2 endplates, one profiled and one flat. You might consider allowing modules in pairs where the inner endplates of the pair are "freestyle" but the joining plates must be standard.

 

Modules can me made up from many boards and as big or small as you want :) 

 

 

 

Thanks Guys all noted.

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46 minutes ago, jonhall said:

 

I think its fair to say that the last thing I intend to do is convert anything to 6.5mm gauge!

 

Jon

 

I couldn´t agree more. The difference of 2.5mm is hardly noticeable - at least for my bespectacled eyes - and therefore hardly worth the effort. While converting rolling stock seems to be fairly straight forward, the Kato Ge 4/4 II requires a new gear box, which is certainly not a walk in the park to design and build.

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Comparison of three of the FREMO (400mm wide) ends with my 009 (200mm wide) and Nm9 (150mm wide) ends. 

 

C3CD9463-A10F-40C6-A65C-7D31EFA485AE.jpeg.b85c8a2f18ce810dac18cf2fe3118daa.jpeg

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8 hours ago, PaulRhB said:

Comparison of three of the FREMO (400mm wide) ends with my 009 (200mm wide) and Nm9 (150mm wide) ends. 

 

 

 

Well done Paul, I was going to do that in CAD last night, but then the printer jammed, and by the time I'd dismantled it and put it back together...

 

I have a few suggestions about holes, but I need a drawing to refer to, so it will take a couple of days.

 

I do quite like the idea that natural ground level is 100mm from the base of the module, but that has quite a lot to do with having quite a lot of 100mm 'planks' of plywood left over at the club after building Hamworthy.

 

Jon

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just whilst I think about it - we probably ought to think about 'loading gauge' for tunnels etc.

 

JOn 

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For me the cutting has a more useful profile, being effectively a stretched version of mine, and the sloping hillside one is too shallow for mountainous sections but ok for meadows. 

 

I’m still happy with my Bonsai profile as I’m looking at a small system so it uses up less space both in use and storage but it makes sense to have interoperability possible. My current thinking is a couple of adapters which I can fit various sections between. I could provide for example an ‘Arosa line’ module or just a station. 

From those thoughts I’m interested in what the most popular endplates are in these other systems as I don’t want to choose ones they are rarely used and difficult to fit in with others. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, jonhall said:

just whilst I think about it - we probably ought to think about 'loading gauge' for tunnels etc.

 

JOn 

The Allegra’s are probably the biggest profile so that with enough room for pantographs half up? 

Top of rail height is 1300mm (4ft 4in) in Fremo.

 

 

Extract from N-RE

The radius of bended tracks is nowhere lesser than 0.457 m.

 

Recommendations:

The radius of route tracks is at least 1.2 m.

The radius of throughout main tracks of stations is at least 0.9 m.

 

I think the recommendations can be ignored as we are looking at RhB modules and narrow gauge is much tighter. I've used 225mm minimum on the test modules to get round in 450mm diameter! This is one place where a standard gauge standard is at odds with a mountain Narrow Gauge railway ;) 

 

Minimum radius of the RhB is listed here as 100m so 666mm in 1/150. 

Edited by PaulRhB

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Posted (edited)

One thing that does concern me is the height. I’ve been using 1000mm because it’s easily viewable from a seated position and wheelchairs, raising it to their N-RE 1300mm would put it well out of view and for many children too.

1000mm is comfortable for operation, as seen in the photos in the first post, as I’ve used it on Freem009, my Harz layout and Lulworth all of which are also intended as exhibitable layouts. Currently I’d prefer that for those reasons and it doesn’t preclude alternative legs or bolt on 300mm extensions. 

 

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Edited by PaulRhB
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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, PaulRhB said:

One thing that does concern me is the height. I’ve been using 1000mm because it’s easily viewable from a seated position and wheelchairs, raising it to their N-RE 1300mm would put it well out of view and for many children too.

1000mm is comfortable for operation, as seen in the photos in the first post, as I’ve used it on Freem009, my Harz layout and Lulworth all of which are also intended as exhibitable layouts. Currently I’d prefer that for those reasons and it doesn’t preclude alternative legs or bolt on 300mm extensions. 

 

 

As it turns out, 1000mm to rail head is pretty much what my module is when sitting on my kitchen worktop workbench, and if it were my own project, I'd regard that as too low, with 1300mm being much closer to what I'd choose, however as this is a collaborative exercise I understand the logic.

 

As I understand it, one of the 'reasons' used to justify 1300mm in Fremo is to allow easier passage under networks of modules that fill a room and where to get around the room, the occasional duck under is unavoidable, I somehow doubt we will ever get to that point (although its a nice thought).


 

Quote

 

The Allegra’s are probably the biggest profile so that with enough room for pantographs half up? 

Top of rail height is 1300mm (4ft 4in) in Fremo.

 

 

 

 

How is pantograph height controlled - I didn't think it could be unless its actually running on wire? I was thinking about making some 'birdboxes' with a simple black exterior, through which trains could traverse different module profiles though a neutral zone - therefore maximum travel on the pantograph so it doesn't strike the arch would seem sensible.

 

 

13 hours ago, PaulRhB said:

 

 

Extract from N-RE

The radius of bended tracks is nowhere lesser than 0.457 m.

 

I think the recommendations can be ignored as we are looking at RhB modules and narrow gauge is much tighter. I've used 225mm minimum on the test modules to get round in 450mm diameter! This is one place where a standard gauge standard is at odds with a mountain Narrow Gauge railway https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_wink3.gif 

 

Minimum radius of the RhB is listed here as 100m so 666mm in 1/150. 

 

Yes - minimum radius can be well below standard guage, although I'm not sure the ultra tight trainset radius (9inch? )  would be appropriate either. Paul, I believe you use Kadee? I haven't got that far yet, but I do want to couple the coaches tighter than the 'standard' couplings in the sets. My mini module is 481mm, which is one of the larger Kato radii.

 

Jon

Edited by jonhall

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41 minutes ago, jonhall said:

 

As it turns out, 1000mm to rail head is pretty much what my module is when sitting on my kitchen worktop workbench, and if it were my own project, I'd regard that as too low, with 1300mm being much closer to what I'd choose, however as this is a collaborative exercise I understand the logic.

 

As I understand it, one of the 'reasons' used to justify 1300mm in Fremo is to allow easier passage under networks of modules 

 

How is pantograph height controlled - I didn't think it could be unless its actually running on wire? 

 

Yes - minimum radius can be well below standard guage, although I'm not sure the ultra tight trainset radius (9inch? )  would be appropriate either. Paul, I believe you use Kadee? I haven't got that far yet, but I do want to couple the coaches tighter than the 'standard' couplings in the sets. My mini module is 481mm, which is one of the larger Kato radii.

Ok I’m playing devils advocate a bit here as I think we may need to tweak the other standards as they don’t quite reflect the RhB but keep them compatible  :)

 

On height I can see the advantage of 1300, especially with my height ;) , but I do find operating at 1000 just as comfortable as 1143 Freemo and as most of my layouts are exhibited I prefer them being visible to kids. 

Like I said earlier though if more people preferred higher it’s easy for me to add extensions for a group meet :) 

 

The Kato and MDS pantographs are plastic and posable at any height so don’t actually need wire to hold them down. 

C91D253C-3CC1-4467-A21C-0575E2132743.jpeg.9dd0a50c16216d17e6117528f84fec84.jpeg

 

I use Microtrains, (they split from kadee years ago), and they are happy down to the 150mm if mounted on the bogies which all the Kato and MDS are too. 

I’m using down to 9” at home to fit some bits in.

I used down to 16” radius in HOm which would equate to 9 ¼ inches and it looked ok, as below. 

 

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I’ll also have bigger 18” corners so could use them if others are involved and keep to the N-RE absolute minimum as the guide for any meets. 

:) 

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A Thought regarding height especially as this is RhB orientated: How about using both 1000mm and 1300mm a standards and utilise a Brusio spiral type module to transfer between the 2? Admittedly 300mm is a big height change in N, but this opens up a lots of options for passing 1 line under another, hidden storage tracks in the home environment being on a lower level, etc.

 

Alternatively if you're feeling clever with leg design you could create adjustable leg options at 1000mm, 1100mm, 1200mm, and 1300mm to break up the vertical distance a bit. Just need 100mm raises on each module that way. A 'bridge' module at 1300mm could span a valley module at 1000mm without the 2 boards needing to be directly connected to each other.

 

I like this idea but I don't need yet more Swiss narrow gauge in another Scale!... Unless you'd accept standard gauge N running on the same lines...

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Heathen! :laugh_mini: 

 

I think we’d have more than enough stock to lend you some proper RhB trains ;) 

 

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On 29/03/2019 at 00:25, PaulRhB said:

I used down to 16” radius in HOm which would equate to 9 ¼ inches and it looked ok, as below.

 

Which, incidentally, equates to just about 2/3 of the minimum radius on the Bernina  line! It should look quite OK!

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My first module, it’s my BonsaiRhB standard so it will require adapters to any wider standard we adopt but this suits my home set up. 

The backboard will be cut down once I’ve landscaped it so it isn’t a backscene. Kato track will be replaced with code 55 Peco.

It’s 1370mm x 300mm

 

D70EB396-B2F6-417A-B1EE-D4CCA5FBD45A.jpeg.e5b7046a06ef4f42fc8cba78619c02e1.jpeg

 

E59B7F59-867D-4471-82FC-27E35EA10DE7.jpeg.dc0312099e68a5a57dbf9572f1bdbd93.jpeg

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One thing Neil raised is do we specify a minimum loop length so a station will accommodate a certain length train? If so a Kato GEX set of loco and six coaches seems to be an option of a good minimum. 

I’ve stretched the loop on my module to accommodate that as I’d gone with a local set initially. 

F23FF5BE-98D9-47BE-BD70-D6B7E2FA076A.jpeg.a7f05cd3a1937bc853a6111d689ce659.jpeg

 

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8 minutes ago, PaulRhB said:

One thing Neil raised is do we specify a minimum loop length so a station will accommodate a certain length train? If so a Kato GEX set of loco and six coaches seems to be an option of a good minimum. 

I’ve stretched the loop on my module to accommodate that as I’d gone with a local set initially. 

 

 

 

Ah yes, I hadn't considered that, but it seems logical.

 

Jon

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Posted (edited)
On 24/03/2019 at 22:37, PaulRhB said:

 

1. Are there any existing, N module standards, such as FREMO, with mountainous RhB scenery suitable endplates?

 

Hi Paul.

Yes, there is the INGA.netNG (narrow gauge) standard for Nm modules, below the link to the endplate drawing, we are using it (among the others) for the Nm modules in Stuttgart, at the Nm meeting during the European N Scale Convention, in november.

You can find it here:

http://inganetng.spur-n-schweiz.ch/attachment.php?attachmentid=4

 

Edited by VanBasten
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