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Discussion Starter #1
Cutting straight to the chase:

BRASS outdoor is the way to go. SS is over rated and any way either will cut the cake for outdoor service. Simply put... both carry the same mtnce issues. This being conductivity or otherwise.. there is no winner. ( conductivity Vs scaling)


FREE FLOAT the track in northern climes and "git-over-the-extra-spring-work" Most of you forum guys really do not understand what "freezing" is and what it means re "frost heave"


DCS technology is best for true "Gardeners"....


DCC is best for "techno-Geeks"


Focus on: Train product simplicity which in turn allows focusing on the flowers on the range.

Want a real pic: 1:32 says all.

Want a prostitute: 1:29 says all. (sorry guys simply an opinion) North America missed out on this one...


gg




PS: strictly a personal opinion.... hopefully allowed on this site
 

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I appreciate your enthusiasm.

For track power, the maintenance between brass and stainless is no comparision. I don't know how you came to the conclusion they are the same. That information is not from this forum.

The conductivity difference in SS vs. brass is overstated, but it's not a maintenance issue anyway.

DCS vs. DCC, take your pick.

Personally I wrestled for quite a long time on 1:32 vs. 1:29, I came from HO, N and Z scales, where anything like 1:29 would be horrors. But I liked the "wow" factor, and my trains are on the ground, so 1:29 won. Also when I started, there was no reasonably priced 1:32. With MTH, that is a different story now, and they make a heck of a nice line of locos.

Regards, Greg
 

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Oh Dear Me...

What the rails are made of is in my opinion totally purile... I have used rails made of Wood, Brass, Nickel Silver, Indural 938, Zinc plated mild steel, Nylon curtain track and Stainless steel.

I don't live as close to the equator as you -but I think understand permafrost better than you do. My track is built on planks with 60cm deep piers and is free of the surface of the garden.

I use batteries, I use steam, I even use clockwork, and (soon) I will use 2 stroke internal combustion...

I have built and designed my own DCC system for my son to use -he is 9. I have always found the term GEEK to be very insulting.

I don't build in the small scale of 1:32.

I also have an open mind.....

regards

ralph
 

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Is Washington DC a northern clime? It was 7 degrees F. outside one day last week, and it's been consistently under or around 20 for the last 7 days. I would be hesitant to free float the track. Ballast will wash away in rain or be dug away by critters, unless you find a way to fix it in place and then it's not free floating. The ladder method has worked very well for me and I've had no troubles with expansion in heat and very little trouble with heaving from cold after a year outside
 

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Ralph:

Did you read my sentence:

"For track power, the maintenance between brass and stainless is no comparision. I don't know how you came to the conclusion they are the same. That information is not from this forum"


The 3 words at the beginning of the sentence are important. For Track Power.



He said that there was no difference in maintenance between SS and Brass for maintenance. That's COMPLETELY untrue.


Then you go on to talk about wood rails? That works good with track power.
You indicate you run everything but track power.



Really... SMFH.....




Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Paul,

Currently all my track is in the living room and I'm currently designing the outdoor track layout. As such my interest in everyone's opinion on "how they did it".

I have an LGB starter set and some Aristo cars. Had a HO layout many years ago till it destroyed itself through a poor assembly job on my part. I will be migrating to MTH and PS2 and am zeroing in on the loco. At that time and thanks to the valued opions from this forum I will be poised to marry the track design, installation of same with the loco of choice. My LGB "put-put" will continue to play a role be it inside or out.




gg
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes cold and frost and your comments are very valid.

My location enjoys (roughly I believe) the same latitude as that of Newcastle (UK) however being in the western Prairies, we have continental weather. We just came off a cold snap that lasted the better part of a month with daily highs of -25C. Lows of -30C +


Takes me a day on an airplane to get even close to the equator.


I put an extension on my home. Building code for the concrete pad pilings: 7 FEET down ... (need to get past the frost line I suspect)


As such my concern re track laydown. Once landscaped adjustments I suspect would be a bit trickier.




gg
 

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OK let me see if I got this straight....

1) the WORLD is in the middle of an economic meltdown.
2) We have no less than ten varieties of viruses and bacteria that the CDC has red flagged as becoming so virulent and drug resistant that they threaten all life on earth.
and
3) There is a chunk of rock in space roughly the size of Rhode Island (Apophis) that will pass close enough to The Earth in 2029 that if we get LUCKY it will pass inside the orbit of the moon and NOT hit us...

BUT
Someone has taken the time to really set us straight on the priorities of our Garden Railways and what track is good for what....

Thanks for that..



(Tongue firmly implanted in cheek...)
 

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Sorry Ralph, on the way to work, I realize I should have said:

I'm interpreting GG's post as HIS decision for HIMSELF, not a blanket statement of what is better in the global sense.

I've been following his questions on the forum, so that's how I took it, although if you take his post literally without that context, it would appear to be telling the world.

I should have been more clear, and put something in the beginning of my post....

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes my comments could have been misread. As mentioned, the comments reflect on my thoughts and are not meant as an edict for anyone. On this confusion you have my apologies.

The issue with email or this type of communication is that the written word can be misunderstood and read differently by any individual with a different paradigm. As I read various threads, this becomes very apparent.

Regards,


gg
 

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GG,

I have no idea why you think Stainless steel is the same work as brass. I've been doing this silly hobby for 20+ years, and have been outside for 15. Brass was all I had to work with, and being track powered only, required cleaning the brass every single time I wanted to run a train. And not just cleaning it, but really scrubbing it with sand paper or other abrasive to get it shiny.
4 years ago, I installed a mainline of all stainless steel track, and have NOT had to do that kind of scrubbing to get the trains to run. I do use a track cleaning car every so often to clean the gunk off the rails, but a few times around and it is done. Not the case with the brass track where I was down on my hands and knees with the sanding block.


Floating roadbed is a lot of work. Do not for one second think that installing it once will be the last time you do trackwork. I have to relevel and regrade my entire railroad once a year. No easy task, but that's part of the fun for me.


IF you go with battery power, you can use whatever you like for the rails.


What does your subject line mean?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Mark,

Yes, I'm hearing all sides of the track material selection bit. And I've heard very positive comments about the use of Brass outside. And conductivity limitations of SS...

Maybe success or failure with the use of Brass depends on where you live? Ie salty environment associated with being on the coast Vs say being inland like Utah? Humidity Vs a dry environment etc... Lets look at Greg and San Diego and the preference for SS. Pitting corrosion on brass associated with salt air?
SS's corrosion resistance is due to its ability to build a passive protective layer on its surface which may (or may not) be a defacto insulator and therefore "conductivity" issues?


As for the title, just trying to pull MTH buffs out of their closets to say something... ie) their choice of rail given their technology selection or otherwise. This whole topic would be worth a "poll".


Track material used, Inland or coast, DCC, DC or DCS.

If I had the time or inclination I would dig into the archives on this material topic and do a correlation study.


As for floating track. I don't think there is a true winning formula for where I live short of drilling piles DEEP. I will probably need to experiment.


gg
 

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Raymann uses all stainless with MTH DCS and swears by it. http://www.rayman4449.dynip.com/ I'm pretty sure he's in the midwest.


I have mostly brass with some sections of stainless. I sometimes see the trains slow down on the brass. I'm gradually switching over to stainless, but brass for me is hardly a big deal to clean. Stainless is even less of a deal. To my mind the whole track cleaning thing is vastly overblown. I have a car barn/engine shed on my layout, which is where the trains stay year round. I found that the brass track would oxidize so that often the trains would not start without some coaxing. I switched to stainless, and the problem has gone away. If I had a lot of surplus dough I'd switch to all stainless at once. But nobody would notice a big difference except me. Brass, in my experience, is fine but not optimum

Do you have to dig deep pilings? The track and trains are not very heavy, all things considered--what if you only go a foot deep, and then adjust the footings as needed? The worst thing would be to just straighten 'em out and bang 'em in again I don't have the temperature extremes you do. But in most places on my layout the supports for the ladder are only a foot or so deep, and we go form near zero F in the winter to near 100 F on the summer. It's been fine for over a year, but that's not all that long
 

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What he said about brass and stainless... I have had the same experience. The passivation layer is something that came up in the Aristo forum when Lewis told people not to "grind down the surface" because that would "remove the protective coating"..... that was pretty funny...

The conductivity of stainless is less than brass, but it's a moot point, because you lose more in joiners and corrosion than through the thick rail, which is like having a huge buss feeder.

Brass will be less conductive over a number of sections unless you solder all the rails together. Many people run loops of 300 foot of stainless with a single feeder and no problem

Remember that there will always be people who will put something down because they are now committed to something else.

It's sort of like someone judging the horsepower of a car by measuring the exhaust pipe diameter, it can have an effect, but there's a lot more to the story!

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Posted By lownote on 01/22/2009 4:39 PM
Raymann uses all stainless with MTH DCS and swears by it. http://www.rayman4449.dynip.com/ I'm pretty sure he's in the midwest.


I have mostly brass with some sections of stainless. I sometimes see the trains slow down on the brass. I'm gradually switching over to stainless, but brass for me is hardly a big deal to clean. Stainless is even less of a deal. To my mind the whole track cleaning thing is vastly overblown. I have a car barn/engine shed on my layout, which is where the trains stay year round. I found that the brass track would oxidize so that often the trains would not start without some coaxing. I switched to stainless, and the problem has gone away. If I had a lot of surplus dough I'd switch to all stainless at once. But nobody would notice a big difference except me. Brass, in my experience, is fine but not optimum

Do you have to dig deep pilings? The track and trains are not very heavy, all things considered--what if you only go a foot deep, and then adjust the footings as needed? The worst thing would be to just straighten 'em out and bang 'em in again I don't have the temperature extremes you do. But in most places on my layout the supports for the ladder are only a foot or so deep, and we go form near zero F in the winter to near 100 F on the summer. It's been fine for over a year, but that's not all that long













[end]
Yup, I'm sure that Ray will be happy to comment here. And Ray, track material and signal relay comparison between DCS and DCC. DCC is constant voltage however "pulsed" to feed information along the track yes? DCS is constant voltage, not pulsed however with an "overlay" signal that feeds the message to the track yes?


So, in your opinion does the use of SS bode better for DCS technology?


Ultimate solution to this issue.... SOLID GOLD TRACKS !!!!!



Only when I win the lotto however.

AS for the ladder business. I have a place in the East with temperate temps comparable to yours (maybe a bit colder but by not much) I have seen my property survey markers/stakes (1" rebar with a cap 4' long) heave a good 2 feet out of the ground due to the thaw in the spring.


Otherwise the ladder system is fantastic. the issue is simply heave associated with freeze/thaw cycles.

gg
 

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I had the brass track originally. Got tired of the constant cleaning when trains where not run on a daily or every other day basis. I change to all SS, now if I do not run a trains for several weeks I can go out put a loco on the track and we are running. I live in the south so temps can vary 100 degrees which it has come close to in the past week getting close to O. I know about frost heaves as I came from the cold country and work for Major RR up there. I never saw a frost heave as sever as you have diatribe. Seems exaggerated to me. We could not surface track in the winter and use wood shims to remove cross level and profile defects not exceeding a 2 inch shim. Temps where in the 25 below area.

I free float the track I have here and it works quite well for me. Yes you may need to re ballast every once in awhile but it's nothing any different than what the real RRs have to every now and then. This is known as maintaining a RR. If you want less maintenace of a RR then raise it but then you loose the guarden effect of running ground level and adding detail to make it look right. later RJD
 

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Yup, I'm sure that Ray will be happy to comment here. And Ray, track material and signal relay comparison between DCS and DCC. DCC is constant voltage however "pulsed" to feed information along the track yes? DCS is constant voltage, not pulsed however with an "overlay" signal that feeds the message to the track yes?


So, in your opinion does the use of SS bode better for DCS technology?


Ultimate solution to this issue.... SOLID GOLD TRACKS !!!!!



Only when I win the lotto however.

AS for the ladder business. I have a place in the East with temperate temps comparable to yours (maybe a bit colder but by not much) I have seen my property survey markers/stakes (1" rebar with a cap 4' long) heave a good 2 feet out of the ground due to the thaw in the spring.


Otherwise the ladder system is fantastic. the issue is simply heave associated with freeze/thaw cycles.

gg




On the DCS DCC signal relay I would imagine that it would be pretty much transparent to DCC which track type you use because the transmission of commands are part of the power like you said, which is not the case with DCS with it having a carrier signal frequency also like you indicated. So I would guess for DCC: no difference between stainless and Brass. For DCS I know: Brass seems to work better because of the low electrical resistance and Stainless steel can result in more issues. (which can be addressed with jumper wires)

LOL I guess solid gold tracks would solve the problem alright. ;)

On the difference between brass and stainless and maintenance (i.e. having to regularly clean your track) It seems that some have good luck with brass, others report that you do need to do some cleaning on a regular/semi-regular basis. All I can say is from my original research (and observation of at least one other person using brass outdoors) was Stainless was near maintence free from a "track cleaning because of non-conductive corrossion perspective" and brass would vary. I visited a fellow this summer and ran my mallets with no problem at all and he hadn't cleaned his track in a while. I've also seen another brass user here in my area cleans his with a drywall sander pole each time he runs. My experience so far with stainless is it is as maint free as everyone says it is. Brass seems to vary. (I wonder if brand and brass alloy has something to do with this.)

The rest I think I'll leave to personal opinion. ;)


Raymond
 
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