Modelling Standards - a general discussion. Be nice, please

  miktrain Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide SA
Yes but like all things in this world a step forward in technology is not always a good thing though. How many things when I was younger had to be turned off for a couple of hours just to reset them selves. None that I know of, but today you do this to computers, modems, Tv's and set top boxes to name a few all made with modern technology. Like I said this is not a step forward  at the best of times, if you have to do this then the technology could have been improved a lot.

Oh and I have had to do all of these at some time in the last few months.
David Peters
I have never had to turn anything off for a couple of hours to reset it; if I had to it would then be repaired/repaced as it sounds like your equipment should be. IF it needs it the computer is a few seconds while it restarts, the TV has never been restarted. I must admit the hard disc recorder has been done many times but it is a cheap piece of %^&*$% and should be in the bin.

The real questions you should be asking yourself are:
How many items did you have back then?
Of those how many were powered?
Thirdly of those how many could do any of the the things we can now?

I've never heard of the internet being restarted, although some would say that it should be.

The model T was not broken but it has been improved many times to the point that it goes faster, stops better, uses less fuel, is safer and more comfortable and in California, it cleans the air as you drive it.


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  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Of course there are better standards around if you want to use them, but any standard is only an ideal my dictionary defines Standard as follows.

Standard. Flag, type, model, average quality, upright support, shrub grafted onto an upright stem. Also an ideal.

So if we removed all the unwanted stuff we are left with Average Quality, type, model or Ideal. All of which have a wide scope though. So which to apply is really up to the individual a lot as there is certainly plenty of leeway in the definition of it.

My Dictionary by the way is a Oxford School Dictionary. Year unknown though as that page was torn out of it.

Any standard is only an ideal situation and I don't think anyone would actually ever get it right every time using any standard, near enough to it is good enough for most purposes. To get it right every time is not a standard but perfection and no one is perfect. So you have to take second best or near enough. But as we have all pointed out this near enough works and is still working for most of us so best to just go on enjoying what happens, I know I do and I dont give a real gnats eyebrow to standards I only use them as a bit of a guideline.

I used to be a plumber and had to use standards but sometimes you find a situation that the standard does not cover, in plumbing there are plenty and one day you come across it so what do you do. You cannot deviate from the standard you are told, but the standard  just wont work so what to do. The customer wants his job done and the water or sewer connected not some lame excuse that it is not possible. So with permission from a higher authority the standard is temporarily suspended for that place and the customer gets his water or drainage put on.

In laying drains the standard distance away from the foundations of a house is 1.5 metres but if the property only has a metre from the foundation to the dividing fence you can see that you cannot lay it to the standard, unless you want your drain in the next door neighbors yard. So a compromise has to be agreed on between the water and drainage Dept or whatever and you to make this compromise, if you just go and do it you have broken the law, but with permission you have not. So I will just compromise my standards and get on with running my model trains and successfully as well on Peco track and points despite what the so called experts say.

By the way Miktrain those things that I quoted were not all mine but just some things that friends have had gone wrong over a period of time and they asked me for advice. Switching them all off and leaving them off for some hours cured all of them. I don't know why it did it just did. I was told this trick by a friend who is into electronics etc, so I took his word as he was more of an expert in these things than I was.
  NSWGR1855 Deputy Commissioner

Finally we agree on something, "I don't need to change anything that is already working". Terry I do not know if my points and wheels happen to fall within AMRA standards, I don't give a crapper doodle if they do or don't, you are so befuddled with your own arguments that you are not listening (or reading) to what people are saying.
To iterate my comments, I use the NMRA gauge to check my wheelsets, I find they work best if set to a minimum setting, BUT THEY ARE STILL WITHIN THE NMRA TOLERANCES, DID YOU HEAR ME THIS TIME? I don't know how they compare to AMRA, I don't care, I use Peco points quite reliably, some older points have required shimming, I find the code 75 points are ok. I have laid my own points and I have used the NMRA gauge quite successfully for that, I use their wheels, I use their standard, makes sense to me, so to summarize, my NMRA wheels (which I assume are all correct, I only check ones that play up) work thru the Peco points I have and the points I have laid, which according to you won't work, I am happy with that. Incidently, I find the 'playing up' issue relates more to bogie swing and clearances etc than dodgy wheels, but I check them anyway.
My annoyance with your arrogant holier than thou attitude is you can not admit or see that we are happy with that, we don't need to attack all our points and wheels with verniers to check everything, if it aint broke, don't fix it.
I don't know about your brass 50 class, I didn't mention one of them at all, I talked about my SAR brass 520 class, that is a different engine dip stick.
And I will tell you again, I understand standards, they are a fact of life in my working world, I work in the railway industry, I deal with big real wheels, they have B2B measurements and flange wear and shape limits as well, I had a chuckle when you compared your model wheel profiles with a real one, do you realise how many different wheel profiles the real railways use? and they can't agree on the correct profile either.
I use the standards I need to use to maintain a smooth running railway, I don't go into it as deep as yourself, but I don't feel that I have to, I don't measure my B2B, I find the NMRA gauge is a good enough quick and easy to use gauge, I am happy with that, accept that Terry and give up on trains and take up bridge building, you need to get over one.


I see you are now changing your statement slightly about using your NMRA gauge/ using NMRA standards.
Name calling and SHOUTING does not change the facts. If you are using Peco code 100 or 70 turnouts without modification you are not complying with NMRA standards, even if some or all of your wheels are within the NMRA specifications. Fully complying with any properly designed wheel and track standard standard results in 100% derailment free running. The appropriate standard to use for today's Australian RTR models is the AMRA standard, your Peco track works because it complies with the AMRA standard.  The NMRA wheel standard is not the standard to use for Peco code 100 and 75 turnouts.

Your experience with the railways seems to be irrelevant in this case, as you have not grasped the importance of check gauge, no doubt you were simply working to standards, not designing them.

Yes I am aware of the different wheel profiles, and you would know this If you had read my web page which has a US, 3 UK and an Australian profile for comparison. I chose a modified NEM profile as it performs better under model railway wheel lift conditions, as confirmed in my test results. It also is close in profile to the Australian flange profile, and no doubt a European profile.

Instead of keeping your head in the sand about the AMRA standards, take advantage of them, a few measurements of your slip points will confirm what part of the track is a problem, or it could be your 520 wheel gauge, your NMRA gauge won't help with check gauge if gauging for Peco slips. Then again  referring to the AMRA minimum radius standard will tell you if our Peco slip is to sharp for your 520. The Peco slip radius is 600mm approx.

Terry Flynn.

H0 wagon weight and locomotive tractive effort estimates

DC control circuit diagrams

H0 scale track and wheel standards

Any scale track standard and wheel spread sheet

AMRA standards
  NSWGR1855 Deputy Commissioner

* Having built some points, using first the NMRA gauge, then using Terry's/AMRA fine scale dimensions and also a set to the OO-SF standard (which is very close to Terry's fine scale), the latter two are by far much better looking than the NMRA ones, and by default of being built to closer dimensions work better. All of my loco's and rolling stock are RTR from Austrains, Trainormama, Eureka, and Austrains, with some older AR Kits stuff I built nearly thirty years ago as a pimply teenager, and they all run through the finer points with no problems, apart from some where the back to back was wrong from the factory. My opinion about what I have found to look and work better is thus based on practical application of the three standards, that was undertaken with an open mind.

If you want some interesting reading, go to the following link and read Question 5 and 6, it explains some of what has been talked about with the NMRA standards, and shows more practical experience that it is not the "best" way to go.

A loaded question, but I am a bit of a stirrer, has anyone used the AMRA std and found it works worse than the NMRA standard?
I Dazz,

Good to see others building their own track to fine scale standards achieving excellent results. I am interested in your views on building turnouts using the 00-SF gauges (the UK way) and the other method you used for the AMRA fine tolerance track.

I have noticed no one has answered your question so far.

Terry Flynn.
  NSWGR1855 Deputy Commissioner

This thread sums up why this is one of the least progressive and technically challenged hobbies around, with genuine improvement in wheel and track standards challenging continental drift for speed!

I think unfortunately an actual discussion on finding better ways to do things is not able to be had due to those who steadfastly cling to old world ideas with no open mindedness for change.

The really sad thing is that those who are new to the hobby, are often led down the old world road and spend up on items before realising there is a better way to go, and too late to then scrap everything they have bought and start again.

Nobody is saying if you don't use AMRA standars you are wrong, but why do those who fanatically defend the NMRA standard (some of which who seem to think having track set to 16.5mm gauge is using full NMRA standards) refuse to acknowledge that there may be (proven) other better standards?
Those in Australia who fanatically defend the NMRA standard are not only on this news group. A good example is in the latest review section of AMRM. The Auscision fine scale 'rp-25-88'wheels are reviewed, and the reviewer, Bob Gallagher, makes unnecessary references the NMRA. He falsely claims the flange depth and width is 0.6mm. The fact is all the Auscision fine scale wheels I have measured are within the AMRA recommended flange profile dimensions, that is 0.65mm to 0.7mm. To quote Bob Gallager' the flange form is a bit squarish'. What a load of rubbish. He knows these wheels use the AMRA flange profile not the NMRA profile, yet never mentioned the AMRA standard. At least his conclusion was accurate, again I quote 'Fitted to a bogie they rolled very freely,tracked quiet well....' and 'A very handy product for the railway modeller demanding good quality running'.

AMRM also had another section relevant to standards, that is the solution offered to stop some of the Trainorama GM axles from shorting. The solution is valid but AMRM suggests the correct back to back dimension should be 15.5mm or slightly more! As far as I am aware Trainorama are still using flanges around 0.76mm wide. That's a check gauge larger than what is suitable for Peco turnouts. 14.44mm is the maximum wheel back to back for smooth running through Peco turnouts for the usual Trainorama wheel.

Terry Flynn.
  Dazz Deputy Commissioner

I Dazz,

Good to see others building their own track to fine scale standards achieving excellent results. I am interested in your views on building turnouts using the 00-SF gauges (the UK way) and the other method you used for the AMRA fine tolerance track.

I have noticed no one has answered your question so far.

Terry Flynn.

Hi Terry,

I' haven't built any points using the OO-SF gauges, but seeing as the dimensions they use are almost identical to the AMRA fine scale ones, I don't really see a practical need to try both.

In all honesty the AMRA dimensions are so close to the OO-SF ones (we are talking 0.06mm here on gauge and 0.01-0.04mm on flangeways) that I can see no practical or visual difference in them.

I'm a very black and white kind of person when it comes to things like this, and having no membership in either AMRA or NMRA or any deep seeded feelings towards either of them, I simply came to a conclusion as to what was best for my use.

My wish list was simple with the point dimensions.

Have the finest flangeways possible whilst still being able to run the typical RTR wheels be they 110, 100 or 88 width (either NMRA or AMRA profile or whatever the Chinese give us) and operate as faultlessly as possible.

The NMRA dimensions are wider then the AMRA ones, so the flangeways and frog area are wider, and even Tim Werris from Fast Tracks who supplies those great jigs, advocates changing from the Std NMRA flangeway dimensions for smooth running with code 88 wheels.

The irony with this discussion is, that someone like Tim who manufactures point jigs to NMRA dimensions, openly admits that with finer wheels you need to alter the "NMRA" dimensions for them to work properly.

The clincher for me is that the AMRA fine scale dimensions (and OO-SF) save this problem of two sets of flangeway dimensions by thinking outside the square and forgetting the carved into stone old world NMRA dimensions, whilst at the same time giving equally as good running and reducing the drop through the flangeways you get when using 88 width wheels and NMRA dimensions.

If you want to read about a true poo fight of a standard, have a read of the discussion about the club layout being built to DOGA fine scale standards.

For those that don't know, DOGA advocates to make the flangeways smaller you have to increase the back to back to 14.8mm, so basically no RTR stuff will run on it as is!

So the two options put forward are OO-SF, which has the same sized flangeways but will run RTR wheels, or DOGA which means you have to change the back to back on everything you have. It also means that on the non scenicked parts of the layout they cannot use basic Peco points to save having to build them. Again, I see no logic in defending a std (DOGA) that makes no sense at all when there is a simpler solution.

I think sometimes it really is a case of not seeing the forest for the trees!

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