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For the use of SWAG modular layout contributors

Stubby47

2012 Module Standards

  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think the standards are detailed enough ?

  2. 2. What Code of rail should be used ?

    • Code 100
    • Code 75 / or equivalent


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not that we've actually agreed any space as yet

Indeed we have not. There will be a deadline for notifying me of the final 'footprint', which will be sometime in the Autumn, and definitely by the end of October.

 

Thinking about the very nice 'Fremo'/modular USA layout at Exeter this year, how about making the whole modular thing bend back on itself, Stu? Might enable you to pack more layout in for your floor area and might make my floor arranging activities easier!

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Tim,

 

The idea of a U shaped layout has been discussed, and it would certainly enable simpler communication between the two fiddles yards !, but as yet we've not got a firm commitment for the number of modules and therefore the size required.

 

Stu

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Hi Jon,

No, there are no forms or secret handshakes. As long as you're happy with the standards, jump in and make a start.

If you want to show what you're doing, you can also start a new thread in the SWAG Module sub-forum.

And of course, if you have any questions, please ask.

Welcome aboard !

Stu

 

I feel this standard has a couple of serious weaknesses. The first and most concerning is the way the modules are joined. The bridging tracks are only 100mm long. This length combined with the end boards makes access to the bridging tracks difficult in order to put on the rail joiners. A fiddly job under ideal conditions. Secondly there is no physical locking between modules. This means If you successfully join your modules together, your hard work is easily undone by accidental bumping of one of the modules. The standard does not cover height adjustment. This is necessary as floors are rarely flat enough for modules to be set up flat enough for reliable running. Because the standard specifies a back board and maximum length there is less design flexibility compared to FREMO, Free-Mo and the AMRA free form standards.

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I feel this standard has a couple of serious weaknesses. The first and most concerning is the way the modules are joined. The bridging tracks are only 100mm long. This length combined with the end boards makes access to the bridging tracks difficult in order to put on the rail joiners. A fiddly job under ideal conditions. Secondly there is no physical locking between modules. This means If you successfully join your modules together, your hard work is easily undone by accidental bumping of one of the modules. The standard does not cover height adjustment. This is necessary as floors are rarely flat enough for modules to be set up flat enough for reliable running. Because the standard specifies a back board and maximum length there is less design flexibility compared to FREMO, Free-Mo and the AMRA free form standards.

 

I can understand your concerns here and the Module Standards you mention are highly detailed and well thought out. These standards are appear to be for modules used at various exhibitions and events on a regular basis.

 

In our case the intention, (correct me if I am wrong someone) is to have a set of "simple" standards to enable as many people as possible to join in without having to make a major commitment in time or financially.

 

The standards that Stubby47 has come up with, and tweaked a little by a few of us at this years show, are based on the Cheshire Railway Modellers - Modular Layout which appeared to work very well as this video shows

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-JdsQrgKY4&feature=related

 

:drinks: Mike

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I feel this standard has a couple of serious weaknesses. The first and most concerning is the way the modules are joined. The bridging tracks are only 100mm long. This length combined with the end boards makes access to the bridging tracks difficult in order to put on the rail joiners. A fiddly job under ideal conditions. Secondly there is no physical locking between modules. This means If you successfully join your modules together, your hard work is easily undone by accidental bumping of one of the modules. The standard does not cover height adjustment. This is necessary as floors are rarely flat enough for modules to be set up flat enough for reliable running. Because the standard specifies a back board and maximum length there is less design flexibility compared to FREMO, Free-Mo and the AMRA free form standards.

 

Thanks for your comments.

 

I accept this whole concept is no where near as robust as the Fremo et al methods of connection - it's not meant to be as defined as they are, to allow modellers of less carpentry skills (and I'm at the top of that list) to be able to take part.

The fishplates are soldered to the bridge rails, so the only 'difficulty' is attaching them to the modules. In practice, this is not a problem.

As for the modules moving, they just don't seem to. Once you have three or more connected up, the cummualtive weight holds each one in place.

The standard doesn't cover height adjustment - because all the modules will be laid on tables of the same height. If all the modules are built to the same 4" height of the track, any slight variations are catered for in the bridges between the modules.

 

These standards are an evolution (but not much of one) from those used by the Cheshire Modeller's Group (of which Mozzzer is a member) and by the very successful YMR module layout at Carn Brea, Cornwall last September, where a 55' module layout ran perfectly for two days.

 

Whilst I accept that there are more exacting standards that modules can be built to, the overriding concept of these standards and this project is to encourage the participation of those members and modellers who have never built a layout before, or have never exhibited a layout, or who just fancy a bit of light relief from any 'serious' modelling they may be doing.

 

Stu

 

Edit: Exactly as Tigger said too :D

Edited by Stubby47

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Stu,

My only concern about the standards and methods as so far mapped out is the conductivity of the fishplates for the 'bridges' although from what I saw things seemed to work well enough at Carn Brea. However a thought which has crossed me mind is whether it might be sensible (or practicable) to provide an independent feed to a bridge from the wiring on the adjacent module using a couple of simple plug/socket arrangements or screw terminals on the end of the module - these would also sensibly be standardised I think. Any value in it?

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Mike,

 

As each module is being electrically connected together via wires, each bridge is therefore powered from both ends. So for a bridge to fail electrically, both fishplates on the same rail would have to lose electrical connection - not impossible, but probably not likely.

 

And any that do cause a problem can be poked at with a screwdriver / sharp-pointy thing to encourage the fishplate to behave.

 

Stu

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