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Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray
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...those cars without weight runs good as long as there no problems with the track my switches have been the derailment problem...
True, but I'd anticipate well-running only if the un-weighted cars trail any weighted cars, and dying on turnouts isn't surprising (a well-known and documented issue with light cars).
As for car location, I think about it like a string. If I take, oh, 3' of string and hold each end in my hands, allowing the string to droop, that simulates a string of cars on a curve. But if I pull the ends away from each other, which is what a locomotive pulling the head and a heavy car pulling back on the tail would be doing, then the string becomes taught and the curve straightens out. Well, in the case of the (very light) middle cars, that means derailment. They can't help but derail.
So you don't want overly heavy cars, but you don't want overly light ones either. That's why the NMRA specifications for weight in larger scales.
I can only guess as to why no Z spec, but (I'm guessing) could be just the age of the specs. These were developed quite some time ago, although N scale is included and that's "only" ten years older than Z. Maybe the process for updating the spec is arduous or something... No clue.
But that's why I essentially threw a dart at the wall and said "If the trend as we scale down is X, then Z scale should have weights in the neighborhood of Y". Once I get some track laid I'll experiment with the weights and see if my estimates are reasonable in actual fact. That process is starting (will blog some on creating custom turnouts before too long, hopefully).
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Regarding car weight, I'm certain that Märklin and MTL have data, but don't feel a need to share. We of course weight all their cars and come up with the formula. But would anyone agree to it?
there is lots of people that would get into Z if there was more stuff designed in Z
Actually, coming from HO, I'm impressed with what is available. I'm more impressed with folks such as yourself, leading the charge into new frontiers, like your 3D printing. Can't find what you want? Make your own! Since I started back into the hobby, I was researching white metal casting and brass etching, but hadn't considered 3D printing. Now, I can't wait to get started on it. Exciting stuff.
The other thing I really like is the enthusiasm. Z may not be for everyone, but for those of us interested in it, we're passionate. I know I'm a newb, but I feel passionate about it. Heck, I'm building hand-laid turnouts, so you know I'm passionate.
So being new, I don't feel any disparity or reluctance on the part of manufacturers. I think they're just doing what the market bears and creating for and selling to folks who buy their products. No question there are more HO modelers, so there is more available. I suppose the guerrilla outlook would be we innovate, design, and create more, if only because we have to.
Guys like you keep doing what you're doing and it'll grow. Trust me.
Speaking to members of the NMRA "management" they would like to include Z more, but we need to supply the data.
An interesting, and frank perspective. I, too, live in a world of standards and even participated in the generation of some, if only on the periphery. I know firsthand how...challenging...they can be.
My original thesis was offered in the spirit of offering a solution I hadn't come across in my research. If eventually the standards body takes this up, that's great. In the meantime, I'm curious and want to see if any of my suggestions help. I know once I get some track laid, I'll be experimenting.
Until then, I know you're spot on. I'd only offer the notion that if there is no standard, there is a reason for it. I may not know the reason, or even like it if I did know. But that's how things progress (or not) at times. It may not be optimal, and it may not even be fair (beta was superior to VHS, after all). But it is the real world.
Thanks for the post.
I though this also would work. Try to send another email I will check why it won't send back!
I have never tried the challenge to do them yet!
The turnouts? Loads of fun. Once I get some materials, I have a curved crossover I'm going to build. That'll be really cool.
I'm emptying my piggybank on Shapeways at the moment. Seems a certain designer has a TON of stuff there, so I'm helping the cause. Love your oil-related work...
If you meant I should send an email, I'll try that again. I PM'd you mine...
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markm wrote: Getting back to the Slinky fray, I was wondering: has anyone seen the effect on trains with non-MTL couplers?
In my research I've not read of other manufacturers having this issue, but that's likely due to how MTL couplers work versus other brands. Years ago I understand other manufacturers could ship with MTL couplers, but some time ago MTL disallowed that, so other manufacturers designed their own. The problem is only MTL couplers can couple and decouple without fingertip intervention (or so the theory goes).
An excellent question, though, and I'd also be curious. Anyone?
(Damn fine layout, Walter!)