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Use of Code 88 wheelsets and the US HO Standard


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This one was given a pretty good airing at http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/43379-ho-anyone-using-semi-scale-wheel-sets-88s/

 

As Martin Wynne noted, they do pass through an NMRA standard crossing with a bit of a bump, discernable if you gently move a truck through the crossing with light finger pressure, but under layout running conditions I can't say it's looked very noticeable.

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This one was given a pretty good airing at http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/43379-ho-anyone-using-semi-scale-wheel-sets-88s/

 

As Martin Wynne noted, they do pass through an NMRA standard crossing with a bit of a bump, discernable if you gently move a truck through the crossing with light finger pressure, but under layout running conditions I can't say it's looked very noticeable.

 

I started this because I noticed several of the old myths return on the P:87 thread, along with a few "I'm going to use 16.2 mm gauge with code 88 wheels and save a lot of work" comments

 

Martin's quote is of the "all swans are birds AND  all swans are white - Therefore all white birds are swans" variety.

 

The wheel drop gap is proportional to the length of the crossing (frog).  It's highly likely that you couldn't make a #20 crossing work at all with code 88 wheels and the regular NMRA standard. The limited case doesn't apply to the general case. And I bet Martin wasn't using equalized RTR trucks, such as Kadee's.

 

Suppose you (or more likely we in the US with our larger layouts) can't successfully back your 50 car freight into the yard, over say a #10 crossover and a few #8's, then who can say what the problem is when you know there will always be bumping over the frogs?

 

Andy

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Okay! Explain to me as if I was 5....

How can empirical tests regarding 16.2 mm gauge and .88 wheels constitute a myth?

I have built quite a few long turnouts now to those exakt standards and have no problems with code 88 wheels or RP25.

I have also built to the exact .650 gauges made by Railway engineering with no problems up to #8 turnouts...

Mr Reichert, I guess you and the owner of Railway engineering must start talking to each other.....

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All my US HO stock and locos are fitted with a mixture of Kadee and NWSL Code 88 wheels running on Micro Engineering Code 83, 70 and 55 track and I am yet to experience any problems with any wheel drop at the frogs of the #6 Turnouts I use. I also use Kadee Semi Scale Couplers and Hi-Tech pipes to try to achieve a bit of extra fidelity in my small fleet.

 

Whilst I understand that there is no 'official' standard for Code 88 wheel-sets I take the simple view that any attempt that modellers make in trying to improve the visual standard of their track, rolling stock or any other aspect of their modelling should be encouraged and to me the use of Code 88 wheels falls into that bracket.

 

I spent years modelling UK outline to P4 standards and whilst I was mostly successful in getting stock to run on P4 track on reflection I never made half the progress or had half the pleasure I had when I modelled the same subject in EM (which I see as the UK equivalent of the use of Code 88 wheels and Kadee semi scale couplers).

 

I really admire people who are successful in modelling in P4 / Proto 87 or Proto 48 etc. In the same way I also admire those who build and weather rolling stock, locomotives etc to what I would call Proto standards. Some of the work I see is breathtaking, inspirational and a credit to their modelling skill and dedication. Those who produce such masterpieces of creation are in my view driven by the need to excel in their modelling, and deserve all the praise they get. 

 

I do find however that such an approach to modelling does not mix well with my current situation where I have a busy life, limited modelling time and more recently health challenges which have frustrated all my attempts to reach the standards I used to find were do-able given adequate time and a good dose of patience. I now get tired faster, I then end up making stupid mistakes which leads to frustration and negativity which is not a feeling I want to get from what is supposed to be a hobby.

 

Proto 87 is more achievable now than ever thanks to the work of Andy and others, but to me the extra time needed to make P87 work cannot be justified when the application of my personal semi-scale standards takes me to a level where I am satisfied. I know what I am doing is a compromise, but doing something to what I feel is a decent standard is more important than striving for excellence but achieving little. Just my thoughts.

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I started this because I noticed several of the old myths return on the P:87 thread, along with a few "I'm going to use 16.2 mm gauge with code 88 wheels and save a lot of work" comments

 

Martin's quote is of the "all swans are birds AND  all swans are white - Therefore all white birds are swans" variety.

 

The wheel drop gap is proportional to the length of the crossing (frog).  It's highly likely that you couldn't make a #20 crossing work at all with code 88 wheels and the regular NMRA standard. The limited case doesn't apply to the general case. And I bet Martin wasn't using equalized RTR trucks, such as Kadee's.

 

Suppose you (or more likely we in the US with our larger layouts) can't successfully back your 50 car freight into the yard, over say a #10 crossover and a few #8's, then who can say what the problem is when you know there will always be bumping over the frogs?

 

Andy

This is simply NOT true. Use of code 88 wheels requires the use of an appropriate flange-way. The reason wheels "drop" is because their width is not appropriate to the flange-way gap and consequently the wheel is not supported at some point. If the correct gap is used then the wheel is supported throughout its travel through the crossing and no "drop" will occur. This is why in P4/S7 you never get a "drop" whatever the angle of the crossing.

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Okay! Explain to me as if I was 5....

How can empirical tests regarding 16.2 mm gauge and .88 wheels constitute a myth?

I have built quite a few long turnouts now to those exakt standards and have no problems with code 88 wheels or RP25.

I have also built to the exact .650 gauges made by Railway engineering with no problems up to #8 turnouts...

Mr Reichert, I guess you and the owner of Railway engineering must start talking to each other.....

 

Sorry if that was confusing. Let me re-arrange and embellish my sentence into two:

 

I started this because I noticed several of the old myths (including regarding using Code 88 wheelsets for standard HO ) return on the P:87 thread. Separately, there were a few "I'm going to use 16.2 mm gauge with code 88 wheels (in order to)  save a lot of work" comments.

 

Andy

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Posted Today, 14:24

Andy Reichert, on 02 Apr 2014 - 10:05, said:snapback.png

I started this because I noticed several of the old myths return on the P:87 thread, along with a few "I'm going to use 16.2 mm gauge with code 88 wheels and save a lot of work" comments

 

Martin's quote is of the "all swans are birds AND  all swans are white - Therefore all white birds are swans" variety.

 

The wheel drop gap is proportional to the length of the crossing (frog).  It's highly likely that you couldn't make a #20 crossing work at all with code 88 wheels and the regular NMRA standard. The limited case doesn't apply to the general case. And I bet Martin wasn't using equalized RTR trucks, such as Kadee's.

 

Suppose you (or more likely we in the US with our larger layouts) can't successfully back your 50 car freight into the yard, over say a #10 crossover and a few #8's, then who can say what the problem is when you know there will always be bumping over the frogs?

 

Andy

 

This is simply NOT true. Use of code 88 wheels requires the use of an appropriate flange-way. The reason wheels "drop" is because their width is not appropriate to the flange-way gap and consequently the wheel is not supported at some point. If the correct gap is used then the wheel is supported throughout its travel through the crossing and no "drop" will occur. This is why in P4/S7 you never get a "drop" whatever the angle of the crossing.

 

What part of my earlier quote are you saying is not true? I absolutely agree with your reply except the first sentence.

 

Andy

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Andy,

You seem to be misunderstanding Martin's recommendation of using 16.2mm gauge. He does not suggest using it with regular NMRA standard flangeways, in fact the entire purpose of reducing the gauge is to allow for narrower flangeways and hence narrower wheels without breaking the crossing flangeway rule, ie TW > 2*CF+B. (Tyre Width greater than twice the Crossing Flangeway plus width of the Blunt nose). This condition is met with code 88 wheels and 1mm (40thou) flangeways so long as you keep the blunt nose less than 8 thou.

What is untrue is your criticism of the 00-SF standard.

Regards

Keith

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Andy,

You seem to be misunderstanding Martin's recommendation of using 16.2mm gauge. He does not suggest using it with regular NMRA standard flangeways, in fact the entire purpose of reducing the gauge is to allow for narrower flangeways and hence narrower wheels without breaking the crossing flangeway rule, ie TW > 2*CF+B. (Tyre Width greater than twice the Crossing Flangeway plus width of the Blunt nose). This condition is met with code 88 wheels and 1mm (40thou) flangeways so long as you keep the blunt nose less than 8 thou.

What is untrue is your criticism of the 00-SF standard.

Regards

Keith

 

I'm getting really confused about which statements I've made that are being criticised.

 

This is a thread specifically about "the" NMRA HO Standard.

 

I absolutely agree that 16.2 mm gauge and 1 mm flangeways will work flawlessly as a standard with code 88 wheels and the appropriate BB setting.

 

As will NMRA HO Fine, with 16.5 mm gauge and 1mm flangeways and code 88 wheels with that appropriate BB setting.

 

I haven't said otherwise to either. But the OP is about HO scale, not anything "00".

 

Andy

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All my US HO stock and locos are fitted with a mixture of Kadee and NWSL Code 88 wheels running on Micro Engineering Code 83, 70 and 55 track and I am yet to experience any problems with any wheel drop at the frogs of the #6 Turnouts I use. I also use Kadee Semi Scale Couplers and Hi-Tech pipes to try to achieve a bit of extra fidelity in my small fleet.

 

Whilst I understand that there is no 'official' standard for Code 88 wheel-sets I take the simple view that any attempt that modellers make in trying to improve the visual standard of their track, rolling stock or any other aspect of their modelling should be encouraged and to me the use of Code 88 wheels falls into that bracket.

 

SNIP

 

 

Here's the problem with that argument. Not only is there no "official" standard for running code 88 wheels on 16.5 mm track with 1.25 mm flangeways, there is "no standard" at all.  Why?. Because the numbers don't add up.   For the last 20% or so of the distance the wheel travels towards the vee of the frog, it's "flying" on thin air. Thank goodness for your rigid trucks. . . . .

 

I'm now putting my logical man hat on, so please don't take this as a personal remark.

 

If you think that using wheels that are too narrow to be supported all the way along by the wing rails, over frog crossings is a forward thinking idea, then why shouild we not be even more innovative and encouraged to use even more narrower wheels as an even greater visual improvement?

 

What do you think would be even better? Code 80 wheels?, Code 72 Wheels, Code 64 Wheels.? What could possibly be optimum level of wheel drop that would give the greatest satisfaction and unobjectional bumping?  After all no-one did that calculation for code 88 wheels. They just happened to be the next size down that the NMRA had a drawing and refence number for.

 

Andy

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We get that a code 88 wheel is going to suffer a bit of bumpy running on NMRA standard HO track, though operationally it's probably not significant on the kind of turnouts most people use. I haven't see any comments from users of those wheels to the contrary.

 

I wouldn't worry about the odd gap in the rails to be honest...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdfFCaDOM3k

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Andy:

 

I see using the code 88 as a transition to something more scale. I see people using code 88 as people who see there needs to be something better and are trying to work their way towards that. If you would be more supportive of that effort it would eventually result in more people going towards P87. YOU are a barrier to going towards P87 because you are a barrier to people incrementally moving in that direction. People using code 88 wheels are people you want to encourage because they are people who see a disconnect between NMRA standards and the prototype.

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In the past I got some 88 wheels from Reboxx and ran them with no problem on Peco Code 75 track and pointwork.  They were in Walthers trucks under some large Woodchip hoppers.  The solid truck supports the wheel as it goes over the crossing.

 

I also have some P87 wheels that came in a job lot.  They look anorexially thin, but that's just when compared against 'normal' RP25 wheelsets. 

 

Dave1905 has pinned it down when he describes Code 88 as a transition.  People look at what they have in terms of resource (track and rolling stock) then weigh this up against what where they want to be in the future. 

 

In my case I like the smaller gap at the crossing (frog), closer gap between the switch and stock rail, plus the improved look of thinner wheels on tank cars and hoppers.  On a lot of other cars the wheels are hidden.  I also like Sergent Couplers and Kadee trucks (even those with springs as well as the newer type without springs).

 

To achieve this I have picked one locomotive to start with and will be using code 75 for the main line and Code 55 for the shortline connection.  Code 88 will do for me.  Having a smaller portfolio allows fettling of the individual items if something doesn't perform as expected

 

If I were younger I would go the whole hog and go P87, but I have too many other things on my 'bucket' list.

 

One question for Andy.  What wheels can run through the 'self guarding frogs' in the 88-safe range?

 

Have a nice day.

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Here's the problem with that argument. Not only is there no "official" standard for running code 88 wheels on 16.5 mm track with 1.25 mm flangeways, there is "no standard" at all.  Why?. Because the numbers don't add up.   For the last 20% or so of the distance the wheel travels towards the vee of the frog, it's "flying" on thin air. Thank goodness for your rigid trucks. . . . .

 

I'm now putting my logical man hat on, so please don't take this as a personal remark.

 

If you think that using wheels that are too narrow to be supported all the way along by the wing rails, over frog crossings is a forward thinking idea, then why shouild we not be even more innovative and encouraged to use even more narrower wheels as an even greater visual improvement?

 

What do you think would be even better? Code 80 wheels?, Code 72 Wheels, Code 64 Wheels.? What could possibly be optimum level of wheel drop that would give the greatest satisfaction and unobjectional bumping?  After all no-one did that calculation for code 88 wheels. They just happened to be the next size down that the NMRA had a drawing and refence number for.

 

Andy

 

Andy

 

I understand exactly what you are saying, I am a railway engineer by trade and understand the need to work to tolerances and standards when necessary, I also understand that standards are essential when working in P87.

 

Believe me, my natural instinct is to strive for excellence and perfection in whatever I do, my personal motto was "if you are going to do something, do it to the best of your ability", modelling to P4 standards was something I thought everyone should strive to do. Then something changed, I became ill and found that I was physically compromised in what I could achieve. It was a shock to the system.

 

My modelling friends meet in a pub on a regular basis and all work in the finer scales modelling UK outline. I used to sit there and watch these guys producing excellent models in the same way they had always done and I was achieving nothing due to a combination of fatigue, poor eyesight, shaking hands and an ever growing feeling of frustration. I had two choices, work to a lower standard I could achieve or pack the hobby in all together.

 

I chose the former, and deliberately moved to modelling HO US outline, I needed a fresh start and had always loved US 1980's railroading. Furthermore HO was a scale where suitable rtr track and highly detailed models (and excellent manufacturer support) were available that required a minimum of work to get them to look good, and where I could improve them, and get my fine scale fix, through fitting finer scale wheels, finer scale couplings, weathering them etc. I was able to get satisfaction knowing that I was improving models without needing to achieve total perfection and I was happy modeller once more. I still have times where I am very tired after a day at work or am unable to keep my hands steady due to some medication I have to take. At these times I cannot model at all, but I know these are mainly short term problems and I can achieve what I want when I get better using an approach which achieves 95% of what I want. 

 

I choose nowadays however to leave my engineering hat and pursuit of perfection at work. For me Code 88 wheels and Micro Engineering track work perfectly together, I know that it is a compromise, but for me that is ok.

 

Chris

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The whole NMRA conformance issue is what has lead to all this code 88 vs 110 or Proto:87 debacle....

The problem with NMRA track specs, and especially when interpreted by the manufacturers, are that they are made separately from the wheel specs!

So if you have two rather different standards for wheels and trackwork, the results may vary!

I prefer my trackwork built to suit the wheels! Not alter my wheels to suit a track....

One of the pioneers; John Allen, NEVER used a NMRA gauge or any other gauge when building tracks.

He used a truck with wheels, and his layout was very operator friendly with no big track problems.

And the fact that he used a truck as a gauge tells me that his track probably were more in the region of 16.2-16.3 mm gauge rather than 16.5.

A standard NMRA wheelset is 16.1 mm and can be between 15.85-16.18 mm. In either way it will work with a narrower gauge than 16.5 mm.

The use of a code 88 wheel on a track built after the wheel standard WILL work better than on a mass produced track.

AND the fact that a narrower gauge on the straight track REDUCES the hunting all steamers are prone to do.

This is my version, and I think it stands for itself.

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Dear Michael,

 

IIRC one half of John A's original Timesaver still exists. I would be interested to see if an actual measurement of the gauging on this artifact bears out your hypothesis...

(Beyond an actual measurement to back it up, I'm not sure I'd personally be comfy making such statements otherwise...)

 

Happy Modelling,

Aim to Improve,

Prof Klyzlr

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Dear Michael,

IIRC one half of John A's original Timesaver still exists. I would be interested to see if an actual measurement of the gauging on this artifact bears out your hypothesis...

(Beyond an actual measurement to back it up, I'm not sure I'd personally be comfy making such statements otherwise...)

Happy Modelling,

Aim to Improve,

Prof Klyzlr

I call it a well founded asumption.... ;-)

As he used actual wheels to build his track, it would be very hard to add fractions of a millimeter just because....

I know that when I mislaid my track gauge kit and used a boxcar to check the gauge on a diorama I made. The gauge turned out smaller than the NMRA gauge....

I agree that it would be very interesting to get someone to measure the timesaver!

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In the past I got some 88 wheels from Reboxx and ran them with no problem on Peco Code 75 track and pointwork.  They were in Walthers trucks under some large Woodchip hoppers.  The solid truck supports the wheel as it goes over the crossing.

 

I also have some P87 wheels that came in a job lot.  They look anorexially thin, but that's just when compared against 'normal' RP25 wheelsets. 

 

Dave1905 has pinned it down when he describes Code 88 as a transition.  People look at what they have in terms of resource (track and rolling stock) then weigh this up against what where they want to be in the future. 

 

In my case I like the smaller gap at the crossing (frog), closer gap between the switch and stock rail, plus the improved look of thinner wheels on tank cars and hoppers.  On a lot of other cars the wheels are hidden.  I also like Sergent Couplers and Kadee trucks (even those with springs as well as the newer type without springs).

 

To achieve this I have picked one locomotive to start with and will be using code 75 for the main line and Code 55 for the shortline connection.  Code 88 will do for me.  Having a smaller portfolio allows fettling of the individual items if something doesn't perform as expected

 

If I were younger I would go the whole hog and go P87, but I have too many other things on my 'bucket' list.

 

One question for Andy.  What wheels can run through the 'self guarding frogs' in the 88-safe range?

 

Have a nice day.

 

 

In answer to the question, here are the "88-safe", Self Guarding frogs in action.

 

 

To confirm they work with both wheels sizes, hHere is an quick pan of the wheels under the same cars. As you can see, there is a good mix of of code 110 and code 88 wheels used to demonstrate that both work wheels sizes still work properly at just about all possible speeds

 

ALL the frog designs labelled "88-safe" are SPECIFICALLY engineered to run both code 110 AND code 88 wheels safely, while still staying within the NMRA  HO Standard and 16.5 mm gauge, including the full gauge widening tolerance. But in the special case of the Self Guarding frogs, they will not work at all, if you narrow the gauge any amount below the NMRA specs. That's an area where anyone messing with the track gauge loses out.

 

Andy

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We get that a code 88 wheel is going to suffer a bit of bumpy running on NMRA standard HO track, though operationally it's probably not significant on the kind of turnouts most people use. I haven't see any comments from users of those wheels to the contrary.

 

I wouldn't worry about the odd gap in the rails to be honest...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdfFCaDOM3k

 

Notice they only removed the rail on straight track.

 

If they had done that on a model railway tight radius curve, they would have needed a new train for each new test. :jester:

 

Andy

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Andy:

 

I see using the code 88 as a transition to something more scale. I see people using code 88 as people who see there needs to be something better and are trying to work their way towards that. If you would be more supportive of that effort it would eventually result in more people going towards P87. YOU are a barrier to going towards P87 because you are a barrier to people incrementally moving in that direction. People using code 88 wheels are people you want to encourage because they are people who see a disconnect between NMRA standards and the prototype.

 

Dave ,

 

I feel that is a little unfair. 

 

I specifically created "88-safe" crossings/frogs so that ANYONE could use any number or proportion of code 88 wheels, and not have to modify the track gauge of any model railroad track or turnout, RTR or handlaid. Nor suffer any serious bumping beond perhaps a slightly louder "click". No criticism of the use of code 88 wheels is offered or implied. Quite the reverse, since I clearly benefit as I currently seem to be the only one applying such technology. (Which BTW only came about from my work on making Proto:87 frogs). An it is not patented, so any other manufacturer (and the NMRA) can copy and/or publish it.

 

The point about staying with the same track gauge, is that your track is then still READY FOR ANY FURTHER IMPROVEMENTS, whether it being the RTR industry adopting code 88 wheels, and/or skipping over code 88 to adopting say code 72, or adopting even finer wheels in the near or distant future. And of course, your track is still good, if you might even consider upgrading to Proto:87 at any time. Your hard work and investment in any pike from a small switching shelf, right up to a club size layout with 400 ft main lines and 200 turnouts is still protected from obsolescence.

 

If you want to complain about the REAL lack of helpful support for code 88 wheels, then please email the Current President of the NMRA, Charlie Getz,

 

Email: pres@hq.nmra.org

 

and ask him why the use of the "88 Safe " technology IS SPECIFICALLY DISALLOWED for The NMRA's "Achievement Program" (AP certificate). You cannot qualify for their exalted "Master Model Railroader" (MMR) status if you submit track that uses those frogs, although the use of expensive turnout jigs and CNC machined PCB ties and solderdering instead of spiking is welcomed and given free publicity.

 

As per my website, I'm happy to supply parts for sticking with regular HO, that take advantage of my personal interest and work in going to Proto:87. If I wasn't,  why on earth would I bother?

 

I just don't want the universal interchangability, with NO RESTRICTIONS, that the NMRA created 50 plus years ago, to just fall apart through so many peoples' misunderstanding of the limitations created when the standard gauge's contribution is misunderstood.

 

Andy

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What part of my earlier quote are you saying is not true? I absolutely agree with your reply except the first sentence.

 

Andy

"The wheel drop gap is proportional to the length of the crossing (frog)." 

 

There is no "wheel drop gap" as the wheel is supported throughout the length of the crossing.

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"The wheel drop gap is proportional to the length of the crossing (frog)." 

 

There is no "wheel drop gap" as the wheel is supported throughout the length of the crossing.

 

This comment refers to the (mis)use of code 88 wheels on the regular NMRA HO Standard with .050" frog flangeways.  Which do have potential wheel drops, the extent of which are absolutely affected by the frog length. (AKA frog number)

 

As is frequently the case, there was confusion in the re-telling, because the original post stated that the bump was not noticeable (BTW a subjective assessment) and that was interpreted that if the bump was OK on #6 frogs, then it was OK on ALL frogs.

 

Andy

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I said the bump was not very noticeable under layout running conditions. I agree that is a subjective observation but it seems to me to be the observation that counts. And given the lack of complaints from users of code 88 wheels, the bump would not seem to be unduly annoying. I suppose you could measure it if you really wanted an objective view, but I don't know what you would do with the information.

I don't see anybody interpreting experience with #6 frogs as applying to all frogs. Post #4 says the wheels have worked fine with "long turnouts", but didn't define "long" and didn't say "all turnouts".

Frankly I don't understand the point of this thread given that nobody using code 88 wheels is complaining about their performance with the NMRA HO standard, even if the standard doesn't support that type of wheel.

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  • RMweb Gold

Frankly I don't understand the point of this thread given that nobody using code 88 wheels is complaining about their performance with the NMRA HO standard, even if the standard doesn't support that type of wheel.

Well said that man!

 

I have to say - 'Each to there own'...

 

If whatever standard you work to works for you - keep on with it.

 

There has to be a greater tolerance towards how everyone decides to model.

 

I'm fed up reading of people who are fed up with how 'Joe Blogs' aka A N Other models stating that they model one way or another to whatever standard.

 

That's why I say 'Each to their own'!

 

Now - just accept that that is how they do things and let them get on with it.

 

If the end product is a good representation of what they said they were modelling - good on 'em!

 

Thanks

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