Topics

T-trak to N-trak module

Matt Rossman
 

I’ve been away from the group for a while and I’m looking to get back into showing modules.

I only have N-trak, 4 mainline style modules. I’d like to return to showing them, but I realize the clubs has moved more away from that now.

Is there a T-trak to N-trak conversion/adapter module? Or maybe I make a special adapter and shorter legs for my current modules.

Any input or links would be appreciated.

nycrr8
 

Hi Matt,

Welcome back, we hope you are well.

There was an article in one of the N-Trak Newsletters not too long ago of a module someone built for that. It changed the track elevation from the table top T-Trak up to the normal 40 inch height of N-Trak. It also accounted for the track spacing differences as well.

Be well,

"John Henry"

Geoff Dunn
 

Hi Matt. This is not quite as simple as it sounds. It depends on where in a TTrak layout we would put one or more N-Trak modules.

Long ago, I built an adapter module. We used it once at the PCC, in the bar area (you had a train that almost hit itself coming around the T-Trak section), and we sort of used it at the following GTE. I also built some blocks to put under the TTrak table legs to lift the TTrak modules up to N-Trak height. It worked well but there wasn't enough interest in TTrak at the time to keep using it. Mine was a straight, 2' N-Trak module with curves to let the TTrak layout join at a 90 degree angle. It functioned as one end-cap for the TTrak part, and it required the 25mm spacing (original spacing) for the curves at the other end of the TTrak section.

Of the five TTrak shows that we do, we are very space constrained at the two PCC shows, and relatively unconstrained at the others. If Poughkeepsie switches to TTrak, we probably can get plenty of space there too. IF. Given the space constraints, one or more four foot modules plus adapters would not fit at the PCC. At other shows, you could make adapters to bring two sides of a TTrak loop to meet up with a four track N-Trak module and put it in the middle of a TTrak loop, using two tracks going one way and two tracks the other. Or you could make smaller adapters to allow two tracks of an N-Trak module to be used in the TTrak layout. But then you have to worry about spacing within the TTrak layout. Most N-Trak modules are 2' deep. Most TTrak layouts are 2.5' across.

One other issue is that a 4' N-Trak module is some significant fraction of an inch shorter than four 1X TTrak modules. That means that either only one (or 2 or whatever) N-Trak modules ALWAYS are used with your adapter set, or you make several N-Trak module lengthening mini modules. Or you make adapters that can change length, which might be a fun engineering challenge.

However, Forest has a pair of 19" corners, and I just bought a pair, so once I finish mine, there will be more room for an N-Trak module in a layout.

If you're still listening... My suggestion would be to make shorter legs for your N-Trak modules, then make two adapters to connect two N-Trak tracks to TTrak modules, making the total 5X or 6X TTrak modules in length, and we'll hopefully be able to get together sometime and test this. I have a couple of tables and lots of modules.

If any of the above blathering is confusing, I can draw some things out.

Neat idea, let us know how things go!

Geoff

nycrr8
 

Matt, There are a couple of photos of an N-Trak to T-Trak converter module in the January/February 2020 N-Trak Newsletter. Pages 34 and 35. It's a 3 loop helix with a 1.1 per cent grade. Unfortunately there were no detail for building that, but maybe in a future article.

"John Henry"

Geoff Dunn
 

I looked at the TTrak wiki (http://ttrak.wikidot.com/) but didn't quickly see any modules showing that this had been done. There was one where TTrak modules were put on top of N-Trak modules to handle the mountain division.

But I have another thought. The official TTrak standard sets the top of track at just under 3". We (and other clubs, notably NV NTrak) have been raising that to 3.5" or 4", to provide easier access to the leveling bolts and to wiring. Most N-Trak modules are built with 4" nominal sides and ends. The N-Trak module without legs, sitting on a table, may be close to the right height to match up with TTrak modules. Alternatively, tables without N-Trak modules sitting on them could have 3/4" shims under their legs to raise them just a bit to match up with an N-Trak module. The module back-to-back spacing is still an issue but this might work.

An N-Trak module will need a wiring adapter too, since the official TTrak standard is to use the Kato connectors. That should be pretty easy.

Geoff

Geoff Dunn
 

I found the photos of the layout with TTrak and N-Trak! It was in 2006 - many many moons ago.
http://www.capital.net/~geoffdun/PCC-11-19-06.html

Geoff

nycrr8
 

I like that idea, Geoff. One potential issue is that while all the T-Trak Modules have standard side heights, N-Trak modules do not, since there is no standard for that, only for the track height with legs being 40 inches above the floor. So it may work with some, but not all N-Trak modules. I did find the two pages from the Newsletter that shows that helix adapter. It is attached to this post as both a pdf and jpeg, since I don't know how things post to this group).

jh

Michael Romanowski
 

I recently bought tables on Amazon, that with legs fully extended, come to a height of 36 inches. add the TTRAK module on top and you almost match the 40 inch height of the NTRAK module. You would would only have to build a four track to two track adapter module which could include the required electrical connections.






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Three Adjustable Height Settings; (24-Inch, 29-Inch and 36-Inch)
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On Apr 13, 2020, at 5:25 PM, Geoff Dunn via groups.io <geoffdunnsoccer=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

I looked at the TTrak wiki (http://ttrak.wikidot.com/) but didn't quickly see any modules showing that this had been done. There was one where TTrak modules were put on top of N-Trak modules to handle the mountain division.

But I have another thought. The official TTrak standard sets the top of track at just under 3". We (and other clubs, notably NV NTrak) have been raising that to 3.5" or 4", to provide easier access to the leveling bolts and to wiring. Most N-Trak modules are built with 4" nominal sides and ends. The N-Trak module without legs, sitting on a table, may be close to the right height to match up with TTrak modules. Alternatively, tables without N-Trak modules sitting on them could have 3/4" shims under their legs to raise them just a bit to match up with an N-Trak module. The module back-to-back spacing is still an issue but this might work.

An N-Trak module will need a wiring adapter too, since the official TTrak standard is to use the Kato connectors. That should be pretty easy.

Geoff


Geoff Dunn
 

Pretty neat! Put two N-Trak modules together back to back, and it's 4' front to front. Put a few of these next to the N-Trak modules and it would be easy to make a layout.

Geoff

Matt Rossman
 

Thanks for all of the input!

The helix is a neat idea and would be a fun project.

What I’ve been thinking of was a sort of Y module as I have 10’ plus an in-construction end loop using bend track standards.

Geoff, do you still have that adapter module?

I was thinking again of making a junction sort of that fits in the middle and creates a leg off the T-Trak layout, and the N-Trak would be on shorter legs.

Matt

Geoff Dunn
 

Matt, I still have the N-Trak adapter module, but it was built for the old track spacing. Going the other way, there is a TTrak module style called a "Jackson Junction" (Steve Jackson designed it) which can be used to run the outer line around a separate loop. Some pictures of the original junctions are here: http://ttrak.wikidot.com/nvntrak:gentle-meadow . This might be a good way to have a loop for the outer line of the TTrak layout to pass through N-Trak modules.

Spacing between N-Trak tracks is 1.5", or 38.1 mm. Spacing between TTrak tracks is 33mm. The adapter module doesn't have to be very long to accommodate that difference. You could also put a couple of switches on the adapter module so you could use all four N-Trak tracks, although that would make it substantially longer.

One concern with adding N-Trak modules is the physical connection to the TTrak section. We have problems at shows with TTrak modules being bumped and the layout being deformed, or modules even coming apart. Having larger modules might add to this problem. Maybe there's a way to clamp the N-Trak modules to the TTrak table.

Geoff

Geoff Dunn
 

This was recently posted to the TTrak wiki.
http://ttrak.wikidot.com/green-ntrak-adapter-left-1
On that page are links to three other adapter modules as well. None of the pictures show how they deal with the height difference.

Geoff

Matt Rossman
 

Thanks for the info. I’ll have to draw something up and see what’s needed do make an adapter and the modifications to my current modules.

Matt

On Apr 28, 2020, at 8:54 AM, Geoff Dunn via groups.io <geoffdunnsoccer=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

This was recently posted to the TTrak wiki.
http://ttrak.wikidot.com/green-ntrak-adapter-left-1
On that page are links to three other adapter modules as well. None of the pictures show how they deal with the height difference.

Geoff