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Author Topic: DCC and Fleischmann roadbed track N-gauge question  (Read 197 times)

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Offline Dave_K

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DCC and Fleischmann roadbed track N-gauge question
« on: May 19, 2020, 10:35:51 AM »
Hello. I'm a UK modeller looking to move to European modelling.

I have been looking at starting afresh, getting a new DCC controller, etc and using Fleischmann roadbed track (to avoid ballasting which I have always hated!) - I have a number of questions but the most obvious one at the moment is, how is the DCC power connect to the roadbed track? (Am I as thick as mince?  :D).
I am unable to find any information on how this achieved - do I have to install droppers like I would on 'normal' track?

I am loath to commit to such a large investment in a different outline, new track, new controllers and stock without understanding it fully! Any help or guidance would be gratefully received!

Dave
- Dave

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: DCC and Fleischmann roadbed track N-gauge question
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2020, 12:41:33 PM »
How you connect wires to the track is the same regardless of whether DC or DCC. 

The Fleischmann pre-ballasted system includes specific sections with connectors for wiring, eg. #9108. I have to admit the power feed tracks look a bit ugly to me.  As a Peco track user on my European layouts I've been soldering my feed wires since the 70s.



How large is your layout going to be?  You won't need multiple droppers and DCC bus wiring for a small table-top layout.

If the layout is going to be larger and more complex and you feel additional droppers will be necessary then you can solder the droppers yourself, or maybe use pre-wired rail joiners. 

What is it about ballasting that you hate? I actually find it an enjoyable relaxing process :)



Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Dave_K

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Re: DCC and Fleischmann roadbed track N-gauge question
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2020, 04:34:39 PM »
Thanks for the reply.

#9108 connector looks very ugly! - I prefer to have that kind of thing out of sight, below board.

My last two layouts have used Peco Streamline and I have used the pre-soldered fishplate droppers by Peco (Peco PL-82 Power Feed Joiners). Would these be compatible with Fleischmann pre-ballasted track? You say you've been using Peco on your layout, you've had no problems with this?
As I have no knowledge of how different or how similar European N gauge rolling stock or systems are in general, I don't want to make assumptions and charge in making expensive mistakes! Best to speak to those that have done it before and have knowledge I feel!

My current layout is 7'x3' but if do make the move to European, I am investigating the possibility of a shed. This would give me a much larger space! Domestic authorities have been consulted but nothing definitive yet!

I dislike ballasting at such a small scale having come down from OO where I managed - through inexperience - to write off a few expensive pair of points with excessive glue usage! Although much better now, I am not happy with the method, results or the time it takes. I have precious little spare time and spending the best part of 12 months only ballasting on the layout is a sure fire way for me to lose interest and go out with the camera instead! I thought perhaps a pre-ballasted system would suit my needs better.

Dave
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Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: DCC and Fleischmann roadbed track N-gauge question
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2020, 04:59:43 PM »
#9108 connector looks very ugly! - I prefer to have that kind of thing out of sight, below board.
Yeah it's ok for a train set but not a proper layout.   

Quote
Would [Peco pre-wired joiners] be compatible with Fleischmann pre-ballasted track? You say you've been using Peco on your layout, you've had no problems with this?
The rail section of different brands of track can be different which can lead to compatibility problems with rail joiners. I've just checked and Peco joiners don't fit the Fleischmann rail of my turntable, I used Fleischmann joiners to mix the two types.  Fleischmann do offer their own version of pre-wired joiners so you'd need to try those I guess.

Quote
As I have no knowledge of how different or how similar European N gauge rolling stock or systems are in general, I don't want to make assumptions and charge in making expensive mistakes!

My experience of European N began in the early 80s, and I regularly run models going back to the 70s.  You have a much larger choice of brands than British N does.  Basically you can pretty much run anything with anything. You will find there are top brands and lesser brands in terms of quality, and every brand has had the occasional "lemon" model but generally very good.  The old cheapo brands such as Lima, Piko and Ibertren have fallen by the wayside (Piko and Ibertren brand names live on with completely unrelated and much better stuff!) 

The track systems by Fleischmann and Minitrix etc. are good and have loyal fans I'm sure, but most of my German friends use Peco - indeed Peco code 55 is the specified standard for the N-Club International modular system I'm now following. That suits me as I've used code 55 trackwork since the mid 90s anyway.

Are you definitely sold on the Fleischmann system over Kato or Tomix pre-ballasted track?   Tomix isn't so easy to get hold of in the UK but Kato is readily availalable.  Kato power feeds plug in neatly under the ballast, and the points have built-in motors also under the ballast.  I'd say the drawbacks are less choice of points and no out-of-the-box flexi track (I believe some people make the track semi-flexi by cutting slots in the base).  Several folk on this forum are using Kato track.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Dave_K

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Re: DCC and Fleischmann roadbed track N-gauge question
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2020, 05:36:44 PM »
Quote
Fleischmann do offer their own version of pre-wired joiners so you'd need to try those I guess.
Ah, good to know. Thanks.

Quote
My experience of European N began in the early 80s, and I regularly run models going back to the 70s.  You have a much larger choice of brands than British N does.  Basically you can pretty much run anything with anything. You will find there are top brands and lesser brands in terms of quality, and every brand has had the occasional "lemon" model but generally very good.  The old cheapo brands such as Lima, Piko and Ibertren have fallen by the wayside (Piko and Ibertren brand names live on with completely unrelated and much better stuff!) 
The track systems by Fleischmann and Minitrix etc. are good and have loyal fans I'm sure, but most of my German friends use Peco - indeed Peco code 55 is the specified standard for the N-Club International modular system I'm now following. That suits me as I've used code 55 trackwork since the mid 90s anyway.
Thanks for that. I'd long since ignored European stuff as 'foreign' and focused on UK BR era - but since 2000 ish I've been to Europe much more and have warmed to the variety that can be seen. I spent my 50th in Switzerland for a week doing Alp related trains, a long weekend with friends in Hamburg at Minitur Wunderland, also spent a week with my brother based in Fluelen and watching the freight there, Arth-Goldau and Pratteln. I love the locos and the colourful liveries. These experiences is making me think long and hard about whether I could embrace a new direction for my modelling. Plus, the variety of European rolling stock is quite extensive.

Quote
Are you definitely sold on the Fleischmann system over Kato or Tomix pre-ballasted track?   Tomix isn't so easy to get hold of in the UK but Kato is readily availalable.  Kato power feeds plug in neatly under the ballast, and the points have built-in motors also under the ballast.  I'd say the drawbacks are less choice of points and no out-of-the-box flexi track (I believe some people make the track semi-flexi by cutting slots in the base).  Several folk on this forum are using Kato track.

No, not definitely sold on Fleischmann system, it just seemed to offer quite a bit plus flexi track with ballast - unusual! I will investigate Kato track as well, I do like the sound of hidden point motors and power feeds!

Definitely more for me to read up on before making a decision. Thanks for the help.

- Dave

Offline Railwaygun

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Re: DCC and Fleischmann roadbed track N-gauge question
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2020, 08:17:11 PM »
Look in the Track / points area for unitrack info - I’m a confirmed fan - IJW ( It Just WOrks)

It can be sceniced ad Mortem  if you wish or just used as is!

Train trax and Osborns are NGF supporters and good stockists. There are starter sets for an initial  evaluation / play)

Look here: https://www.traintrax.co.uk/starter-sets-gauge-c-10.html

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?board=131.0

Also do a search on Unitrack to see recent comment here on NGF
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Offline Dave_K

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Re: DCC and Fleischmann roadbed track N-gauge question
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2020, 10:36:04 AM »
Look in the Track / points area for unitrack info - I’m a confirmed fan - IJW ( It Just Works)
Also do a search on Unitrack to see recent comment here on NGF

Thanks Railwaygun.
- Dave

Offline husafreak

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Re: DCC and Fleischmann roadbed track N-gauge question
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2020, 06:08:28 PM »
I am a "new guy" so take this with a grain of salt. I model Z scale using Rokuhan rack, it is just like Kato. To me the Fleischmann roadbed track is a much nicer system! I don't see much love for it on the forums and it is pricey but I have some observations. The roadbed is no wider than the ties and they sell a matching ballast. So ballast on either side of the track to blend into the scenery seems to be the intent. You could even put a dirty paint wash between the rails and highlight the ties, it should look great, with no glue on the tracks. The track roadbed is thin in height so I believe it should be raised by a couple of mm too if you want a nice crown, or left as is where you don't, unlike (maybe) a Kato track where a road or platform has to come up to meet the track hight. They have flex track that looks exactly the same but the roadbed compound is rubbery, really nice. I have too many hobbies and not enough time. I see track ballasting as a necessity to get a really good looking layout. But when I look at ballast it is on the sides of the track and into the scenery that I focus on. I'm hoping the Fleischmann system will give the beauty of ballasted Peco track with half the work.
And soldering your wires to the track is easier than you can imagine. A nice hot fine point iron, some thin solder, and presto, you just touch them together and it's done. Or solder the wires to the track connectors and then slide into place. In Z scale the Atlas company sells them pre soldered, but I don't know if Fleischmann does. Anyway just my ideas on the subject.

Offline honestjudge

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Re: DCC and Fleischmann roadbed track N-gauge question
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2020, 08:47:51 PM »
I acquired a lot of Fleischmann track about 10 years ago and I think it is excellent, especially the ballasted flexi-track. Its expensive though.

I can recommend Scograil in Ipswich as a good supplier of continental stuff. Mr Scog is also quite generous with his discounts if you buy in person (post Lockdown) obviously.

Offline Buffin

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Re: DCC and Fleischmann roadbed track N-gauge question
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2020, 06:34:40 AM »
I think when I last looked at Fleischmann track (years ago) they only had 4 radii, the smallest tighter than R1, then another one to make double track with it, then two much larger. If they'd had a better choice of curves back then, I'd have gone for it rather than Kato.

 

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