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DT
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Please help - I know nothing about this.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

G-scale is 1:22 scale locos and rolling stock 14mm to the foot running on 45mm gauge track.

-> This is a Narrow Gauge. It is suitable for garden layouts. Figures are about 75mm to 80mm high.

What are the major brands involved in this scale?

What track is available? I've heard of LGB and Peco. Looking at the Peco catalog, I see nickel silver or aluminium is available. What is best for out doors?

What voltages are used? What DCC decoders are used? I think wireless DCC could be a good thing here. Who produces wireless systems for the garden?

 

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Scale,
This is a tricky one & what I say here applies equally to the 16mm steamers that run on "O" gauge track.
The main difficulty is that whilst main lines run on 4ft8.5 inches & thus there is a definite scale for any given track gauge - this falls apart when talking narrow gauge which G scale is/was & which does not have a definite gauge. The tradition is that UK narrow gauge was mainly around 2ft although 18" was also common and even 15" for the larger fairground type railways.
G scale was initially invented, I think by LGB, to model continental 1 metre narrow gauge on 45mm track. Coincidentally this makes the scale not that different to UK 2ft/32mm. What has happened is that lots of other real gauges run on both 32 & 45mm track but are still considered either 16mm or G scale depending on the track that they use but independent of the actual scale of the models. If you look at USA trains & Accucraft for example they both scale 1:29 models of full scale US trains that run on 45mm. LGB also sell models of standard gauge locos but uses a different scale! This is why a LGB F7 is a much larger loco than the same prototype when made by USA trains/ Accucraft but runs on the same track! It also means that you regularly see a loco hauling a train of wagons/coaches that are a different scale. I have seen full size US diesels running on the same track as an 18" industrial engine. Wildly different scale but the same track. Somehow in the garden it just does not matter as much .Garden railway people tend not to be rivet counters & accept the if it looks right it is fine principle of modelling. In conclusion I am really telling you that there is no such thing as definitive scale in either 16mm nor G gauge.
Your size of figures sounds about right for narrow gauge.

The major brands are LGB - look at their US range as well as the European one as they are not the same. Accucraft, USA Trains & Bachmann - who make logging engines to die for. Many of the smaller UK manufacturers - who make battery powered or live steam models - make models where the gauge is adjusted between 32 & 45mm by sliding the wheels on the axles. Says even more about scale. The is a US magazine called Garden Railways & a totally different & unconnected UK magazine called Garden Rail that will provide lots of reading.

Track wise LGB & Peco are the most common but Accucraft have come into the market at lower prices. Opinions vary between them. Which is best for outdoors depends on whether you want to run power through the rails. If you do I would be more concerned about bonding the joints than the track material. Cleaning is an issue.

Voltages tend to be higher than the smaller gauges. Think 20 volts & you will not be far wrong although this has tended to go up ,over the years as the demand for lights, steam etc has gone up & the first 5v or so now powers the accessories & does nothing for the motor at all.

DCC is normally from the people who make the trains. LGB have their own system as do Aristocraft. Decoders are an even bigger issue where many locos have more than one motor & can haul very long heavy trains. A loco can easily weigh 15 pounds & take some real power from the system. Mostly locos use one 5amp controller per motor - not per loco. Think £50 per decoder.

To get started LGB supply a 1 amp controller with their starter sets & there are thousands around spare from these sets where users have found they are not powerful enough for anything but small locos on small tracks with small trains. They are however dirt cheap second hand, totally reliable & will get you moving.

DCC wireless is lovely but my choice is radio control & batteries in the locos. It really is not much more expensive & gets round all the track issues.

Hope this helps a bit.

Chris
 

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"I have seen full size US diesels running on the same track as an 18" industrial engine. Wildly different scale but the same track. Somehow in the garden it just does not matter as much .Garden railway people tend not to be rivet counters & accept the if it looks right it is fine principle of modelling."

Chris, that's the advantage of not having scale scenery!


60134
 

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60134

You are of course right although many garden railways do have nicely modelled wayside halt stations etc. Funny that a full, size US loco pulling continental wagons through a UK narrow gauge station does not seem to be a problem. Try telling that to the Hornby/ Bachmann critics.

One thing that I should have mentioned is the problem of loading gauges. I would allow at least 8" from the railhead to any overhead obstruction and then the problem of width. When a US streamline carriage can be 3ft long & someone decides to take it around a 4ft radius curve- or even less - the overhang both of the inside & outside of the track is horrendous. I strongly suggest buying the longest thing that you intend to run first & them make the track at least that big. If you can work with 6ft min radius you will not regret it although 4ft is OK unless you want the really big stuff & 2ft6in will just about do for many things.

One of the nice things about Garden Railways is that it is very social. Both the G gauge society & 16mm Association have a thriving programme of meets based on member railways. Remember that when building your railway. I just did not believe the size of an Aristocraft railcar when I first saw one. I don't want one but I have seen visitors at a meet turn up with one.

Chris
 

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DT
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60134, don't you have trains in the garden?

ChrisE, I really like the idea of radio control. It solves track power, pickups and dirt in one go.

Radio control also is expandable at least as much as DCC. The RC Batteries will help keep the loco on the track and I can get rid of some of the lead.

As you see with my Garratt, there is quite a bit of space available for the receiver, speed controller, batteries and servos.

As it happens, RC is another hobby and I have quite allot of spare kit. Bonus.

Any pointers on a sound module that I can modify the recorded sound?

This will be a good Spring project.
 

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"60134, don't you have trains in the garden?"

Guilty as charged, Doug!

I was a founder member of the 16mm Association (well, one of the first 200) and have continued to persevere with the techniques I used back then! Live steam, scratch built rolling stock and track made the hard way, brass rail, white-metal chairs, wooden sleepers and lots of creosote!
Much of the track work has been recycled three or four times - as my poor, sore fingers will attest.....

I thoroughly agree with ChrisE about the atmosphere at garden rail meets, much less clique prone than other scales.

60134
 

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I have the Peco G 45, and it's OK, but I would definitely use LGB if I had the money.

For voltages etc., I use a Gaugemaster 'E', and it quite happily powers my Mogul.

Hope this is of help?!
 

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Doug,

The sound chip is difficult. I know of no sound chip that you can easily self modify the sound. Even the Loksound in OO needs the module to modify the sound & whilst it will work with DCC in G you might like to check the price. It will not work with radio control unless someone can tell me how.

The only sound modules that I know of designed for radio control are the:

http://www.brianjones.free-online.co.uk/page9.html or

http://www.dallee.com/sound_systems.htm

You cannot modify the sounds yourself as far as I know. The Brian Jones system sounds great & he will, I believe, change the sound for you if you wish to another of his sounds. It was designed to work with his speed control - you might ask him about whether it works with any speed control.

Chris
 

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Hi everyone,

My garden railway has now been down for about 10 yeards (at ground level, track srewed directly onto concrete base with plastic wallplugs & solid brass screws & in one place on a piece of hardwood - all against the "rules".)
Track is all brass with every railjoint bonded with 1.5mm single flexible cable soldered with a 200w iron. All the points are Tenmille & the track itself is a mixture of LGB, Tenmille & some Bachmann with replaced a section of Tenmille which was damaged by rocks from the rockery dislodged by an intruder.
Except for the occasional bonded joint comming adrift, electrically there have been no problems at all.
Control is anaolgue, but will be changing to DCC this year.
I rarely clean the track - it's basicall an oval 150' long with a passing loop, so I run a train every day for about 1/2 hr to 1hr. All the rolling stock whells are steel which helps.
There are only three things that stop trains running ;
1) Frogs - they get stunned & either stop the train or get pushed gently aside & don't seem to suffer any bad effects.
2) Sometimes it gets too windy & blows the rolling stock off the track (there is, I think a wagon at the bottom of the pond, caus' I can't find it !).
3) Snow - if it falls when nothing is running.

Just some info' that may help.
 

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An interesting problem re the frogs; do others have this problem? Which part of the UK or the world are you in?
Regards,
John Webb
 

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I guess this thread will re-ignite the "live frog" versus "dead frog" debate again! Though it sounds like you have high speed moveable frogs, very impressive for a garden line..... only normally found on 100mph plus lines or ICE routes.


60134
 

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Get the magazine 'Garden Rail' which I think comes out on a monthly basis as I have been told by a mate, it is an excellent mag for 'G' gauge. This same mate has the mag and his own garden railway which is 'G' gauge.
 

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QUOTE (John Webb @ 23 May 2006, 11:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>An interesting problem re the frogs; do others have this problem? Which part of the UK or the world are you in?
Regards,
John Webb

Hi John,

Sunny Margate (actually) Garlinge but I can see what used to be the Hornby factory from my house !
Also have a problem with cats (mine) they take the odd swipe at the trains if they think I'm not looking !

best regards
Brian
 

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Thanks for that. A number of members of the forum are in more tropical climes than the UK and I just wondered if you having to deal with larger frogs than we expect to get in the UK!

Re the cats - don't cats dislike orange peel or other citrus fruit? Perhaps have an open truck behind the loco carrying something as a deterrent?

Regards,
John Webb
 

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Not had any problems with frogs yet and have had to block all gaps in the fence to deter a fox who used the garden as a shortcut getting from one garden to another - it left a clear trail across the garden in the snow late last year!!

Biggest problem in Folkestone (around the coast from Margate) is seagull droppings - they make a big, big mess!!! My next-door neighbour used to feed the damn things and my track was under the approach to their feeding tray....bombs away as they say!!
 

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QUOTE Biggest problem in Folkestone (around the coast from Margate) is seagull droppings - they make a big, big mess

One of the biggest restricting factors I am having to think about in my garden is that my neighbour has this huge gum tree (Eucalyptus). These regularly drop their branches and loads of leaves onto my garden and would damage track if put in the wrong place. The branches I'm talking about can be quite large. One fell of one of my trees a couple of years ago and spanned three peoples gardens! So I'm restricted to the part of the garden which does not come under the tree, which unfortunately cuts out the back lawn.
 
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