Finescale track

Hi there, I'm currently trying to decide what track to use on my new OO finescale layout. Can someone tell me what are the differences between SMP and C&L
flexi track? Also, I was considering using Marcway ready-built points (building my own sounds a bit daunting) but do these have chairs or can they be added? Does anyone have any close-up photos of these different track types so I can see how they compare? Cheers Matt
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<BUMP>
I was hoping someone with first hand experience of Marcway or/and OO SMP/C&L would have replied to this already!
I'm tempted to use Marcway + SMP. I don't know much about either other than a description & photos at ...
www.penhallick.co.uk << using Marcway points & SMP flex.
www.marcway.co.uk/marcway.htm
... and it looks better than Peco for sure!
The Marcway points in the OO/EM section at read the same as Rocoline HO points with live (as in Electrofrog) and auto-switching frogs which is something Peco should've done ages ago ... to save idjits like me melting plastic sleepers with a dangerously wielded soldering iron! ;o)
It has been mentioned several times, either here on on various forums, about the lack of RTR 'more to scale' OO pointwork & track ... Marcway, SMP seem to have done that already ... well, sleeper size and spacing at least!
Hopefully someone can add something useful to this thread! :o)
Loco
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On 22/01/2006 19:14, El Loco said,

What, apart from "finescale OO" being an oxymoron? :-)
It could just be that no-one has any experience of the three brands mentioned. I believe Marcway points are soldered construction, so might look a bit odd with both C&L and SMP flexi-track, which has at least some semblance of chairs.
Personally, I handbuild all my track, so can't really comment any further, I'm afraid.
Well, yes I can! Don't be daunted by building your own pointwork. Buy a "point kit" from SMP (soldered, so a good way to start). Follow the instructions, and get a feel for how it all works. You will need some gauges from somewhere - the Double-O Gauge Association? Don't expect your first point to work, but if it does, well done! I would also suggest getting Iain Rice's book "A Pragmatic Guide to Building, Wiring and Laying PCB Track." His style of writing makes you wonder what you were worried about!
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I hadn't replied to the original posting coz it asked for differences between brands, and I only have C&L.
I can say that it is a fairly straightforward set of components to put together. The only thing I wish I'd done to save later hassle was to use a coarser set of gauges - as I run RTR stock, the B2B/WCG almost always needs to be adjusted so it will run through the points (most RTR vehicles have too narrow gauging on the wheels - fine for Peco, next to useless for finer scale track - though that said, one of my recent Bachmann Mk1 coaches had an over wide gauging on one of the axles!).
C&L does use a compromise sleeper sizing and spacing - somewhere between HO and P4, rather than being one or the other.
I actually got my first point to work, though I found that the sleepers have a tendency to curl upwards if not fixed down very firmly (the suggestion of double-sided sticky tape isn't ideal ;), I think it would have been better to use impact adhesive (such as evo-stick make) to fix the point timbers down with, then let it cure for 24 hours before laying the rail on top of that.
Overall it takes me about 2-3 hours in total to make a point now, but initially it took half a day!
The end result looks much better than Peco, and if you use a program like Templot on your PC, you can get the basic template for almost any standard turnout of any curvature (though be careful with sleeper spacings as the standards that are in it aren't for C&L - you have to improvise to get the sleepers spacings to match those of the flexitrack!)
Ian J.
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<snip>

program like

standard
as the

get the

Hmm, knowing the origins of the C&L range I would suggest that there is a problem in Templot. There are at least two 'standard' sleeper spacing for 60ft track panels, one with 24 sleepers and the other with 26, there was also a 45ft track panel with 18 sleepers - this equates to +/- 24 sleepers per 60ft of track IYSWIM.
HTH someone... :~)
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Hi Jerry,
> Hmm, knowing the origins of the C&L range I would suggest > that there is a problem in Templot. There are at least two > 'standard' sleeper spacing for 60ft track panels, one with > 24 sleepers and the other with 26, there was also a 45ft > track panel with 18 sleepers
All these settings, and several others, are available in Templot. They include the correct closing-up of the sleeper spacings towards the rail joints.
You can also create a custom setting for any rail length and set of spacings of your choice, or for long-welded cwr, or for staggered rail joints as in US (and some Irish) practice, or to match any flexi-track.
What is the "problem in Templot" which you are suggesting?
Templot is not connected in any way with C&L or its origins.
regards,
Martin. ---------------------------------- email : snipped-for-privacy@templot.com web : http://www.templot.com
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<snip>

Read the thread, I was replying to a remark made about Templot when used along side C&L components. I can't comment personally as you still don't seem to allow people to evaluate your product before parting with their money...

I wasn't suggesting any what so ever, quite the opposite in fact!
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Hi Jerry,
> > What is the "problem in Templot" which you are suggesting? > > Read the thread, I was replying to a remark made about > Templot when used alongside C&L components.
As I explained, there is no problem in using Templot with C&L components.
> I can't comment personally
So why did you?
> as you still don't seem to allow people to evaluate your > product before parting with their money...
And I'm not intending to, as there is no way to disable parts of Templot and still make a meaningful evaluation. Also, I do not have the resources to provide support for users who have not paid.
However, there are several hundred screenshots in the tutorials section on the Templot web site, and shortly there will be some animated video sequences showing Templot in use. In addition, if you are unsure whether Templot will meet your needs you can join the Templot email group and ask other users for their opinions. Everyone is welcome to join.
regards,
Martin. ---------- email: snipped-for-privacy@templot.com web: http://www.templot.com
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Martin Wynne said the following on 23/01/2006 12:03:

Jerry - whilst it would be nice to have evaluation copies of Templot available, it would also be nice to have evaluation copies of Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Pinnacle Studio 10, IBM Websphere...... all expensive bits of software backed by multinational companies, but you still have to buy on trust that it will do what you want. With Templot however, see below...

That is the best bet. There are a lot of people on there with a lot of combined knowledge. If your primary use for Templot is to do a particular track formation, then asking if it is possible will get you a response. These responses will often be from Martin, but just as often will be from people who have actually bought the software and are using it. Which other software package do you know of where you can discuss issues or queries with other users *and* the actual man who wrote it?
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Paul Boyd wrote:

On a strictly MR theme, DecoderPro for one, but it's more men who wrote it.
MBQ
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com said the following on 23/01/2006 13:20:

It was really a rhetorical question :-)
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Paul Boyd wrote:

But you knew you would get at least one smart arse answer ;-)
MBQ
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<snip>
d I'm not intending to, as there is no way to disable parts

I can think of two or three ways in which you would not be disabling the evaluation of design functions but would limit the end usability in an unregistered installation, either disable printing, saving and / or prevent the screen from showing full size (1:1) drawings in any given scale (this would stop people using the 'screen print' function to obtain a template).
I suspect that if you have more competition you would consider your "take it or leave it" attitude...
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Hi Jerry,
> I can think of two or three ways in which you would > not be disabling the evaluation of design functions > but would limit the end usability in an unregistered > installation, either disable printing, saving and/or > prevent the screen from showing full size (1:1) drawings
There you go again -- making statements about Templot despite admitting that you know nothing about it.
The prime function of Templot is to print construction templates. How could a user evaluate that if printing was disabled?
It is so easy to create standard templates with a few clicks and adjustments that many users never need to save anything. How would their usability of Templot be restricted if saving was disabled?
How could a user evaluate the design features if they can't see the template full-screen? Anything too small to be usefully enlarged on printing would be too small to be meaningful on the screen.
I have considered all these points and others in great detail many times and I have reached the conclusion that a free demo version is not feasible.
> I suspect that if you have more competition you would > consider your "take it or leave it" attitude...
Templot is my intellectual property and if you want to use it I'm afraid you just have to accept my licence terms for it. That's life. I believe those licence terms are entirely fair and reasonable, and the many Templot users worldwide would seem to agree.
But there are several alternatives available, some entirely free. Or you could write your own track design software. Your choice.
regards,
Martin. ---------------------------------- email : snipped-for-privacy@templot.com web : http://www.templot.com
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Well, seeing that you don't allow evaluation....

I suspect most people want to see what the CAD aspect will do, printing out a template is not the issue, you could supply an A6 (or some other odd ball) turnout template for those who want to print a sample template.

disabled?
That is why I suggested restricting printing! Duh...

enlarged
Err they would not see it at 1:1, anything above or below would be fine, anyway, many CAD operators zoom in and out of their work so seeing the drawing on the screen at 1:1.6 (or what ever) scale is not going to cause many problems (other than to those who are trying to miss use the software evaluation copy. I don't see that it would be a problem as the CAD aspect is what people will be evaluating after all, surely?...

I suspect that it not in your interests more likely, after all, once you have someone's money and they can't do what they want it's not really your fault it is.....

life.
Yes, and so is criticism, even when it is based on ignorance of the product due to your own actions!

OTOH they could just be making the best of a bad job, or perhaps they don't really know anything about track and are taking what you say as the gospel truth, the like of myself will never really know what the truth is...

Or just use one of the many free CAD programmes and all that - after all, 45 quid will buy a lot of track components, even from the likes of Exactoscale...
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Hi Jerry,
> I suspect most people want to see what > the CAD aspect will do,
For the umpteenth time of saying so, on this and other groups, and not least on the Templot web site:
TEMPLOT IS NOT CAD
If you want model railway CAD, try 3rd PlanIt, Cadrail, XtrkCad, and several others.
Templot is a workshop tool for track builders to print track construction templates in infinite variety. As a secondary function the templates can be laid out to create a track plan.
regards,
Martin. ---------------------------------- email : snipped-for-privacy@templot.com web : http://www.templot.com
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Templot is a very good program, though it takes a little getting use to the method of the interface if you're use to Microsoft programs, I strongly believe it is about the best tool there is for designing realistic track and implementing it. And as Martin says, it isn't CAD.
Ian J.
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So it *is* a Computer Aided Design tool, that assists in the design of sections of trackwork, what it is not is a *layout* design tool.
One of the most important aspects that I would want is the ability to interlace turnouts and crossing, setting crossing timbers correctly etc. and then being able to divide up the resultant trackwork plan into convenient track building 'templates' - I would hardly consider that a 'secondary function', more like a prime function.
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Hi Jerry,
> So it *is* a Computer Aided Design tool, that assists > in the design of sections of trackwork, what it is not > is a *layout* design tool.
Correct. But CAD usually means Computer Aided *Drawing*.
Templot is not a drawing tool. There is no function to draw a line on the screen and have it somehow become track. You can do that in all model railway CAD programs, and that's why Templot isn't one.
> One of the most important aspects that I would want is > the ability to interlace turnouts and crossing, setting > crossing timbers correctly etc. and then being able to > divide up the resultant trackwork plan into convenient > track building 'templates' - I would hardly consider that > a 'secondary function', more like a prime function.
You can do all that in Templot, although there is a distinction in meaning between such printed sections or pages of the track plan, and individual "templates".
Whether you regard it as a primary or secondary function depends on where you are starting from. For a great many users, simply being able to print a single B-7 turnout curved onto 8 chains radius, or any other size of their choice, is the single most significant feature of Templot. Being able to incorporate it into a complete track plan and adjust the timbering to suit is a bonus.
regards,
Martin. ---------------------------------- email : snipped-for-privacy@templot.com web : http://www.templot.com
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...
I shouldn't as you are all having so much fun but CAD really does usually mean Computer Aided Design ... or if you arein the police Computer Aided Dispatch but I suppose that's straying justa bit to OT.
Crawling back on topic my 2ps worth (FWIW) is that I'd appreciate some form of "demo" Templot, I look at it every six months or so and every six months or so I say to myself ... how much? I want to know I can use it before I spend that much money.
--
All the best,

Chris Wilson
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