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Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray

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4 years 3 months ago #18054 by ZRailFan
Replied by ZRailFan on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray

...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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4 years 3 months ago #18055 by southernnscale
Replied by southernnscale on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray
NMRA Spec. are use then way haven't they did them for Z scale there Are many shows with Z over the years and it seem to be getting more every year. They must have some control over getting spec. I just don't understand! Trains are a hobby just like any other scale but for some odd reason they leave us out just like model railroading does. I just wonder what needs to happen to get Z scale on the right track! there is lots of people that would get into Z if there was more stuff designed in Z and in today's world with all the micro Electronic's and Engineering you would think it would be that time now!

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4 years 3 months ago #18056 by markm
Replied by markm on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray
Guys, I'm afraid standards are a sensitive issue for me, having worked for a company that failed because they felt whatever they made WAS the standard. I've also seen how standards affect sales (think VHS V. Betamax). That said the NMRA standards and recommended practices basically come from the scale users. They use whatever the Z standard committee ( groups.yahoo.com/group/Z_Stds_Cmt/ ) recommends. If you check out the site, it's been a long time since they have done anything. The basic track and gage standards for Z date back to 1986 and the last standard to add Z was the clearance standard, S-7, in 2011. The RPs, such as car weight have been untouched. Speaking to members of the NMRA "management" they would like to include Z more, but we need to supply the data.

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?
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4 years 3 months ago #18057 by ZRailFan
Replied by ZRailFan on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray

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.

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4 years 3 months ago #18058 by ZRailFan
Replied by ZRailFan on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray

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. :)
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4 years 3 months ago #18061 by southernnscale
Replied by southernnscale on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray
ZRailFan! Those turn out look great so far ! I have never tried the challenge to do them yet! But I'm the type that if I put my mind on it I will do it. I also play around with scratch building in wood in Z also. I have done several building and even designed a two level wood trestle bridge! Well I guess we need to get back to the slinky fray! I haven't done any more with the cars. I guess I need to start with some of the cars I already have some marklin and some MTL and AZL and get the weights for each car and run them then work each car into a consist until they run without problems. Then once that's done put all the added weight car back together and see if they run any better. This I got from a friend who said this might work! (The slinky effect can be overcome by placing a small coupler spring on the outside of the axle between the axle end and the truck. It causes just a little drag that makes the last car slow a bit and it acts like a break to some extent. It won't affect the pulling power of the loco enough to cause any problems. It may take two springs or more to get the desired effect. The idea is to cause the last car to 'drag it's feet.)
I though this also would work. Try to send another email I will check why it won't send back!

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4 years 3 months ago #18062 by ZRailFan
Replied by ZRailFan on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray

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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4 years 3 months ago #18064 by garthah
Replied by garthah on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray
Some moe on the slinky effect. Once you have the weights up and the metal wheels installed designate your end car and re install your delrin wheels, in the trucks again, most trains of up to 40 cars this tends to prevent slinky on flat surfaces, but not on grades, I have 2 to 3% grades and on trains that stretch from top of grade to the bottom plus 50%. I put some heavier 50 ft cars at front of consist with body mount couplers and a track cleaning car from Aztec then a end car with delrin wheels he end result is slinky is under control, coming down the grade the 50 ft cars with body mount couplers ensure that if there is a bit of catch up the lead cars are not punched off of the track and the delrin wheels in the last car provide enough drag that when the consist is stretched out no slinky until last car come over the top of grade then there is a bunch up effect due to free running metal wheels but there is a sweet spot in the speed where with a train 50% longer than the grade where the bunch up occurs very slightly with 50% of train still on grade and 50% on the flat and the run-out means there is not punch left when it reached the front of the consist., and the heavier cars with body mounted couplers ensure no punch out of the wheels should one occur. My show layout is on a 2 x 4 ft module with grades in two locations, when the speed is correct no slinky effect is noticeable. There is one other variable that can change the dynamic and that is the use of cars with auto latch couplers, they have far less slinky effect than straight Micro Trains. To this end I have been installing some body mount couplers in which I have reduced the length of the spring pocket, because as I assemble these couplers In can modify them before I install them. There is a noticeable decrease in slinky effect but I am not convinced it is worth the effort for the small difference acquired by doing this. A nice mix for Micro trains and auto latch with last car drag can further reduce the slinky effect. What does not work is to load your consist with light cars at front of consist. doing this can ensure some spectacular pile ups. been there done that, the kids like to see it but It take a great deal of patience to put it back on the track and usually means closing down the adjacent track, to clear the wreck.

cheerz Garth
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4 years 3 months ago #18065 by garthah
Replied by garthah on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray
I have had to add weight to any cars I have from Shapeways to get them to run right, I have had trouble on old MTL Z roadbed turnouts with stuff picking the points if the wight is not right up to at least a minimum of 4 grams. I This is a problem I have not encountered with my new show layout using Roikuhan turnouts. On shapeways cars I have used lead putty from golf supply on underside of car to add weight at either end, this stuff is not a readily available as it used to be but there are other things such as wights used in fly fishing and non lead based weighting material for golf clubs. I found that putting weight inside car tends to place weight to high in car body because you want the wight below the car floor height for best performance. I also like to use body mounted couplers but they do not work on cars that are longer than a 40 scale feet, as the coupler pocket on MTL 905 is too wide to allow truck swing on reversing through" S" bends that are not compensated with radii of 195 mm or smaller. Talgo ( trucks with coupler attached) trucks work fine but they are subject to punch out when reversing and under slinky bunch up conditions at urnouts

cheerz Garth
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4 years 3 months ago #18066 by southernnscale
Replied by southernnscale on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray
Garthan, Thanks! I'm not as experience as you are with the cars haven't done any shows and just have the one layout for now but working on another one the same size and want to add more track to be able to do operation that would be more fun then watching the train go round and round. I doing most of my test on 3D printed train car models! I have been designing in the FUD material and they are really light. I have run up to eight cars without using any weight in any of the cars but don't have weight cars in the consist. I have run the track twice without problems. the layout is 76" x 32" there is only one track except for one spur and a siding in front of the station for passing. It hold 10 cars consist.

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4 years 3 months ago #18068 by markm
Replied by markm on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray
Getting back to the Slinky fray, I was wondering: has anyone seen the effect on trains with non-MTL couplers?
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4 years 3 months ago #18069 by ZRailFan
Replied by ZRailFan on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray

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!)
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4 years 3 months ago #18073 by southernnscale
Replied by southernnscale on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray
Thanks! For the layout comment! ZRail fan. As far as any other couplers I wouldn't be able to help ! I'm still working with the MTL couplers! I do have a few AZL couplers but I do like the MTL for operations I use the magnet track or uncoupler track on spurs and sidetracks.

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4 years 3 months ago #18079 by garthah
Replied by garthah on topic Joining the Anti-Slinky Fray
There is less slinky effect to see using auto latch or dummy knuckle couplers, but there is still some as on the auto latch latch the moving parts have to be pushed aside to allow one knuckle to slide past the other to couple. So once the knuckles have engaged there is only the gap between the hook of the knuckle and the back of the pocket, so a rattling fit, and it is a smaller distance than the spring pocket of the 905. Dummy knuckles fit a bit tighter but still a loose fit but you need to use your hand to connect and disconnected them with others of their type, but usually they will auto couple with either the MTL or the auto latch. When you mix and match in a train consists the slinky effect is a function of the ration of auto latch to MTL and dummy couplers.

cheerz Garth

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