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Fed up with space restriction in 00, I am contemplating a new layout in 'N'. My major concern is point operation, and having surface-mounted obtrusive point motors to disguise. I am ancient, wheel-chair bound and disabled, so under baseboard operation is out of the question. Any possible suggestions appreciated. Also, what other snags await a newcomer?
 

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I can definately recommend Kato track I use it myself and the wiring is already done for you as well and the switches are connected to the point by an adaptor which takes 2 seconds to connect. The only thing you have to be aware of is that the track is slightly higher than that of peco and as I have found mounting buildings needs a little creative thinking to bring them upto the right height.

I hope this helps
 

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Hi Stirling and welcome to the MRF.

For the same reasons as yourself I moved over to N Gauge about a year ago and don't regret it for an instant. Not sure how 'ancient' you are but I'm rapidly aproaching OAP status so am certainly no Spring chicken myself.

Poliss has already hit the nail on the head regarding using the Kato track system with its built in point motors. I am, luckily, not under the same mobility constraints as yourself so am able to use Peco Code 55 trackwork with the points mounted beneath the boards.

As regards draw backs, one has to accept that the level of detail on locos and rolling stock cannot be the same as 00 for instance. Having said that, however, it is probably up to the same level as 00 was 10 years ago and is improving all the time.

The other thing to bear in mind is that N Gauge models are roughly only half the size of 00 which does tax the old eye-sight a little. This can be compensated for, to a certain extent, by investing in a good workbench light and magnifying glass.

The range of locos and rolling stock available in N Gauge is already quite extensive and, with the growing popularity of N Gauge, is increasing with every month that passes. Just look in any railwy mag and you will see plenty of reviews of new N Gauge items. Don't expect the prices to be half of 00 though. While a small tank loco can be picked up for under £30 and a King or Castle for about £75, which is about the same as 00, the newer, finer detailed locos such as the Ixion Manor will set you back £100 or so which is actually more than the equivalent 00 Gauge loco. This is, I believe, due to production runs being smaller but, as interest grows and more modellers move over to N Gauge, I would hope to see these prices coming down.

In case you are considering using DCC Control I can assure you that with the recent progress in DCC chip miniaturisation even the smallest 0-6-0 tank loco can now be DCC chipped so all of the benefits of DCC can now be enjoyed by us N Gaugers. The wiring is somewhat different to the traditional block sector approach but is, I believe, less complicated. You will, however, need to install a power bus beneath the baseboard and connect every piece of track and every point to that bus. The myth of just having 2 wires providing power to the entire layout is just that; a myth.

Hope this helps but if you have any more specific questions please feel free to come back to me. There are several of N Gaugers here at the MRF, though we are still in the minority, and we welcome all new-comers with open arms.

Regards,

Expat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to all who replied.(I am 85 by the way). Will certainly follow up suggestions for Kato track, and as I am currently using 00 DCC, albeit crudely, I would like to continue with DCC operation. I realise the components are small and I have Parkinson's to contend with so the challenge is big! I would like to model Churston and the Brixham Branch in early BR days. This means a 14XX tanker and Auto coach to start. If I have to stick to DC control what power supply do your reccomend for typical slow running, - pulsed DC ? and are Kato points 'electro-frog'? Do they require a CDU? I have 18 passing contact point levers - are they compatible? I am finding this forum's system a bit confusing and hope this comment succeeds. Regards Whitty.
 

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Hi Whitty,

If you stick with DC you need to be careful using any form of feedback/pulsed controller with the small N-Gauge motors - they tend to run hot & don't like it at all. Better to make sure that you have decent smooth running stock & clean rails (you wont go far wrong with the Kato track either).

Avoid using CDU's with nicely engineered points like Kato (& for example Flesichmann Profi - another nice albeit "costs more than Peco" trackage system). CDU are (IMHO nasty things that are required for nasty mechanisms) - they will often make the motors "bounce", "chatter" & damage them.

Hope this helps - if you need any more information about the Flesichmann Profi-Track send me a PM.
 

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QUOTE have 18 passing contact point levers - are they compatible
I expect so....you could always buy a Kato turnout and try it out for size?

In fact, I suggest you try a small 'test' layout first.....maybe a 14XX , a couple of points and a small bit of [Kato] track to start with?

For DC control of N gauge [small] motors, have a word with Gaugemaster?

I have used an old AMR handheld controller from way back with enough success for my liking...but I don't think they're available these days.

Modern electronics in DC controllers allow for slow smooth running without the need for pulsed power, or the other ideas tried in the past to overcome the deficiencies of older-style motors.

however, given your stated problems..I would hesitate before plunging into the realms of N gauge, due to it's small size.....''fiddly'' is how I'd describe it....

however, try it out for size first, before committing wholeheartedly is my suggestion.
 

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QUOTE (alastairq @ 25 Aug 2008, 11:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I expect so....you could always buy a Kato turnout and try it out for size?

In fact, I suggest you try a small 'test' layout first.....maybe a 14XX , a couple of points and a small bit of [Kato] track to start with?

For DC control of N gauge [small] motors, have a word with Gaugemaster?

Good suggestion from Alastair about the test layout - forgot to mention Gaugemaster as well - a good range & a lifetime warranty.
 

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QUOTE (alastairq @ 25 Aug 2008, 15:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>For DC control of N gauge [small] motors, have a word with Gaugemaster?

Hi Alastair/Brian.

If I understand Whitty correctly, he would prefer to use DCC not DC Control.

Whitty could you let us know which controller you have/ are planning to get please.

I have a 14XX + Autocoach set which is chipped with a CT Elektroniks chip and is a very smooth slow runner.

Regards,

Expat.
 

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QUOTE (Expat @ 25 Aug 2008, 11:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Alastair/Brian.

I think there may be some crossed wires here as, if I understand Whitty correctly, he is planning to use DCC not DC Control. Not sure which controller he has though.

Whitty could you let us know which controller you have/ are planning to get please.

Regards,

Expat.
Not really, Whitty says he would prefer to stick with DCC, but if he has to/decides to use DC........................
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
QUOTE (poliss @ 25 Aug 2008, 13:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Kato point motors use a 2 wire 12v dc system. You need to use the official Kato #24-840 Turnout Controllers, and the #24-842 DC Converter (ie Power Adapter). See this wiki article for more info. http://www.dccwiki.com/Turnout_Motors
Firstly, I am struggling a bit with this forum's complexity in sending replies - just which buttons to press to get a given result I am not sure! Anyway thanks, Chaps, for your considered, very prompt and helpful replies. I have 'toured' the MG Sharp Web Page and printed out relevant copy. I have obviously much to digest, and , if funds available, much to try out. Particularly interested in the references to DCC, for I have spent the last 9 months aquainting myself with the principles in my 00 layout, and the running quality seems much superior to my previous efforts with DC 'pulsed' and 'plain'. I was interested to note that the installation of a chip into a 14XX was a practical proposition, and would like a reference to any service agent who carries out this installation in 'N' gauge locos. You will realise that my tremor rules out soldering in all but its' cruder form. I am now wondering if I could combine Kato and Peco tracks without too much compromise, thinking mainly of straight lengths of Peco flexible track in country-side locations. A lot to mull over before experiments begin, but the enthusiasm is rising -- I'll be joining the N gauge Society next!
Regards to all correspondents, Stirling (Bomber)
 

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QUOTE (stirling @ 25 Aug 2008, 18:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I was interested to note that the installation of a chip into a 14XX was a practical proposition, and would like a reference to any service agent who carries out this installation in 'N' gauge locos.

I'll be joining the N gauge Society next!

Hi Stirling, (or is it Whitty).

Glad to hear your are becoming enthusiastic.

Re. chipping locos I did not feel sufficiently confident of my own soldering capabilities, though they have improved recently with practice, and had all my locos professionally chipped by Digitrains in Lincolnshire including 3 little 0-6-0 Pannier Tanks.

Their web site address is http://www.digitrains.co.uk/company.html

Mailing Address:-

Digitrains Ltd

The Stables

Digby Manor

North St

Digby

Lincoln

LN4 3LY

Tel. 01526 328633

They don't usually respond to e-mails as they prefer to talk to customers in person. You will find Chris very helpful.

I can also highly recommend the N Gauge Society as a source for some of those difficult to find items.

Look forward to hearing of your progress.

Happy Modelling,

Expat.
 

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Kato and Peco track fit together quite nicely. All you have to do is remove the Unijoiners and put 1/8th inch thick underlay under the Peco track. You don't need to use the 20-045 conversion track as actually the fishplates are on the wrong side of it.
 

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QUOTE Firstly, I am struggling a bit with this forum's complexity in sending replies - just which buttons to press to get a given result I am not sure

There are a lot aren't there.

I use the "Add reply" button which is at the very bottom. This just opens up a plain window and I type away in that. If I want to quote something, I select the text myself using my mouse, copy it to the paste buffer then paste it into this window. The quote boxes come from the last but one button just above this text entry window.

The "Quote" button just below the particular post you want to reply to will grab all the text and put it in a quote box for you. I prefer not to use this method as most of the time I'm only picking up on one part of what might be a long message. I think that gets in the way of the flow of the thread, but that's just my personal opinion.

I hope this helps

David
 

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another alternative is to use the fast reply button........this simply open a box underneath the thread....on the same page......it has most of the features of the add reply box, without too much hassle.....

as dwb says...to reply to a specific point of quote, simply hilite the text, copy...then find teh 'wrap in quote tags' button...and insert between the two 'quote' words..for a tidy appearance.

you'll also soon learn which buttons to press to stamp your feet, or shout....or otherwise emphasise a point....
 

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Personally, I use the quote button & just delete the irrelevent text - this has the advantage that it retains the posters name that you are replying to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Looking back over this topic after waiting almost 2 months for an experimental point/track order from M G Sharp and no indication of when delivery can be expected, enthusiasm is waning. Looks as if Peco will win. My GW railcar, chipped by Digitrains, bought expressly for tests, remains forflorn in it's box, having got fed-up running back and forth on a test length of flexible track. Thanks for all the suggestions and comment. Stirling
 
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