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Interesting way to view HO scale versus N scale Experiment!

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Interesting way to view HO scale versus N scale Experiment!
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:23 PM

Hello everyone, recently i had been kicking around the idea of just scrapping my N scale layout and going back to HO scale. My thought was to just remove all the N scale track i had laid, salvage evrything of value and sell it off to recoop part of the money i had invested in track and switches. Then i would just use the same benchwork and basically the same track design i had for my N scale layout. After thinking on it for a while i decided to just see what it would be like to take my benchwork design in AnyRail and add code 83 rail in HO scale instead of N scale. What a difference it was. I thought i would post the 2 images here just in case someone else was curious. Needless to say i am sticking with N scale lol....The top image is HO scale...The bottom is N scale!

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:30 PM

NO, forget 17" or 18" radius for HO.  NOPE.  You WON"T be happy.  Minumum radius for HO, in my book, is 24"  30" better, anything bigger, best.

Stick with N, or start all over with WIDER bench work, fo HO, at least at the end return loops.

Mike.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 6:31 AM

mbinsewi

NO, forget 17" or 18" radius for HO.  NOPE.  You WON"T be happy.  Minumum radius for HO, in my book, is 24"  30" better, anything bigger, best.

Stick with N, or start all over with WIDER bench work, fo HO, at least at the end return loops.

Mike.

This ^

The major difference in taking the same track plan and adapting it to HO is the curve radius.  I agree that 17 or 18 inch radius will be an unhappy thing in HO.  Those are very sharp curves.

Many have different standards for what radius they can tolerate, from the well healed who can have minimum radius of 36" or higher to those with modest means who keep minimums around 30 inches.

If you plan on running passenger cars, even 24" radius is pushing it with some brands, like Walthers.

If those are 12x12 inch squares, then you could squeeze in 24" radius on the turnbacks on the left side (top, middle and bottom), and larger on the right hand side.  That will still get you nearly 3 feet entry way on the left middle.  Pinch points above and below the center lobe would be about 2 feet which is slim, but doable.  If 

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 7:03 AM

Trainz, I could not believe it when I came across this most recent thread that you started. I have been thinking about this very idea. Why not build your layout in HO? 

I do agree with the others though. You would need to expand your layout to accommodate 24" radius curves, or better yet 30" radius curves.

If you have the extra space, I would encourage you to switch from N scale to HO scale.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 8:11 AM

 Simple but inexact rule of thumb, just double it all for HO. If you have 17" radius in N, to get the same appearance, you need about 34" radius in HO.

 Just remember people don;t scale, so if you have a 3 foot aisle in N scale, you don;t need to make it a 6' aisle in HO (but ti would sure be nice... but wasteful). A 2 foot reach in, perfectly acceptable, in N becomes 48" in HO, not doable unless you are Elastic Man. The aisle problem is usually present the other way, when shrinking an HO plan to N - people don't get smaller, so you can't just cut that 3' aisle down to 1.5', no one will get through.

 Grades too - HO requires greater vertical clearance. So what was a 2% grade in the distance available is going to get MUCH steeper to get HO clearance.

 SO if that is the space you have, an exact replica of the plan would not work in HO, except possibly as a logging only, with geared locos, or an old time layout where the BIGGEST loco is a 4-4-0.

                                        --Randy


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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 8:31 AM

I'm think the center island would have to go.  Wider bench work, wider curves, no more room for the island.

Mike.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 8:38 AM

mbinsewi

I'm think the center island would have to go.  Wider bench work, wider curves, no more room for the island.

Mike.

It would be a tight fit for walkways, but the center island could be kept. 

The outer lobes could be 50 inches wide to accomodate 24 inch curves, or maybe a 22 inner and 24.5 outer if double tracked.  That would leave the entry way at 32 inches wide, which may be acceptable.

The center lobe could just squeeze in 24 inch radius curves but the outer benchwork at that point would need to be narrowed few inches, probably to 22 inches width, to maintain a minimum 24 inch pinch point - which may be ok for a single operator.  The length of the center lobe may need to be cut back a couple of feet to get it all to fit but I believe it is doable.  The the side benchwork could even be narrowed to 20 inches and that would allow the 24 inch radius (center lobe) and give 26 inches walkways at the sides of the lobe.  Those walkways would widen past the lobe as well.

It just depends on what one is willing to tolerate.

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Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 9:47 AM

Bravo to those who can run HO locos on tight curves.  Curves under 24" in HO also are rarely realistic.  I avoid them like the plague, and suggest you do also. 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 10:34 AM

So if it were me, and I had a 12x20' room, I'd bump the radius up to 28 inches.

Center lobe would be 60 inches (5 feet wide) at the widest point.

Walkways would pinch down to 2 feet at narrowest point.

One side would narrow down to 24 inches and the other side down to 12 inches, or say, 20 inches and 16 inches, you get the idea.

The above scenario is possible and would allow decent curves that could handle longer cars.  They may not look pretty on 28 inch curves but most will operate ok.

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Posted by Trainzman2435 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 10:41 AM

Everyone, i really appreciate all of your suggestions and ideas but after giving it much more thought i am just going to stay with the originol N scale plan. I have way too much money invested in not only track, turnouts and buildings etc. not to mention about 75% of my trackwork is already installed and wired for DCC. I think to stop now and start over would be a waste of not only money but time. I just wish my eyes were like they were when i was in my 20's lol but i have learned to wear my glasses anytime i work on my layout. I think after all of the prior suggestions and recommendations on my originol track plan that if i see this through i will end up with a nice operational layout in N scale. Rest assured though that if i ever move into another house that has a basement or large spare room that the new layout will be HO scale.....Thanks again everyone, now to get back to layout work lol......Wink

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 10:46 AM

Glad we saved you from wasting money on HO.  But you know you can do HO if you need in that space; file it away in case you lose your mind and decide to switch again.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 10:48 AM

You started it!  Laugh  Good thing you replied.  I've seen stuff like this go on for 4 pages before the original OP says, "Never mind, thanks guys"  Indifferent

Mike.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 10:57 AM

Aye!  Led us down the garden path and the switched back.  Is that what they call a bait and switch?  I'm wonder if all the trains and track are THAT far along, why was HO being considered?  fickle?

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 11:07 AM

Radius depends on what you run. I use 18" radius but then I run late 1930's trains.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 11:11 AM

rrebell

Radius depends on what you run. I use 18" radius but then I run late 1930's trains.

There were still 85' passenger cars in the late 1930's but I assume your just running freight.

Yes, radius can depend on what you run, but broader sure is nicer and the broader the better.

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 11:20 AM

We seem to have talked the OP off the ledge ...

I do think the exact opposite idea could have good results - that is, take an HO layout and build it to the same footprint in N, with appropriate alterations for track spacing and such.  

I have seen one local layout that was HO and the owner basically removed all the structures and changed over to On30.  But it was a very different themed layout, more like a contractor's temporary railroad.  He was having a ball scratchbuiklding all the wood freight cars.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 12:21 PM

riogrande5761
So if it were me, and I had a 12x20' room, I'd bump the radius up to 28 inches. Center lobe would be 60 inches (5 feet wide) at the widest point.

I don't know if you are allowing for the two end turnback blobs to grow to 60” as well – not sure that fits.

Most efficient is usually eliminating the center lobe (to remove one space-eating "blob"), resulting in a G-shape like this 13'X19' HO logging layout.

Byron

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 3:14 PM

Hmm, now I am thinking that he should go Z scale.  Smile, Wink & Grin

Rich

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 3:20 PM

I'm kinda thinkin' On30, myself.  Whistling

Mike.

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 3:48 PM

T gauge anyone?

Rich

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 8:17 PM

cuyama

 

 
riogrande5761
So if it were me, and I had a 12x20' room, I'd bump the radius up to 28 inches. Center lobe would be 60 inches (5 feet wide) at the widest point.

 

I don't know if you are allowing for the two end turnback blobs to grow to 60” as well – not sure that fits.

Most efficient is usually eliminating the center lobe (to remove one space-eating "blob"), resulting in a G-shape like this 13'X19' HO logging layout.

Byron

 
 
Yes, but both turnback blobs grow to  58 inched not 60.  Would work but tight.  I was working with his general plan but your G shape is also good.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 11:08 PM

mbinsewi
I'm kinda thinkin' On30, myself

The track plan could make a very pleasing HOn3 layout.

I switched scales over 25 years ago after accumulating a massive collection of N scale equipment. I just had to.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 11:19 PM

Squeezing an HO scale layout into the same dimensions as an N scale one and trying to keep its character won´t work at all. It´s like forcing a 4" peg into a 2" hole! Aside from the curves being way too tight, there is still the issue of buildings, which require nearly 4 times as much real estate on the layout.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

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Posted by Marc_Magnus on Saturday, March 7, 2020 4:12 AM

I'm an old N scale modeler, more than 45 years with N scale

You can say N scale is around the half scale of HO, in aritmetics this is right.

In reality no, we are far of this concept.

When building a layout for sure not,  they are a lot of difference and factors which are exclusive to each scale and they can't be extrapoled from one scale to the other

 Some say if you have the place jump to Ho and not N scale; there are no real good arguments about that, just a personnal feeling; I will not open the debate for pro and cons of each scale, its a never ending thread.

Today N scale run like a charm, sometimes better than HO counterparts and in  N scale place allow you to model train without the need of too much track doubling each other; this is far more realistic this is an after fact about N scale.

If you start from an HO plan ( which I have used in parts for my own layout) use first the surface the HO layout will use; one first trouble you must seen is the depht of the scene, they are big for N scale and like HO I suggest to not have track further than 2' from the edge as a maximum.

 For the two scales, aisle need to be the same and big enough to assure good access for two people, on this aspect no change from HO or N scale

A 1.5 to 2' depht scene in N scale is huge enough to have track and good looking scenery, so you need to remodel the Ho plan with this in mind, but 2' depht look ok also in HO, many layout hav'nt such depht for scene, this is just theorical

Again, we see we are out the idea of  N scale is around 1/2 HO scale

Radius are an important design feature for a layout in both scale, many have already speak about it in this thread.

The biggest radius,  the best in both scale, but space restrict the radius, it's an evidence, but you need to apply a rule design for a minimum radius use; in N scale 18" seems the minimum, but starting from a HO plan you have place to put 20" radius for sure at the end of peninsula, if you use the 2' depht scene this mean you can accomadate a 20" radius easily at the end of peninsula.

In HO, seems this minimum radius is around 32" may be a 34" minimum, this change the space of the end of your peninsula

 A yard for a 30 cars trains  in N scale ask around 10' track length and around the double in HO scale but turnout used  could be the same like #6 or #8 frog, just a 6#turnout in N scale ask around 5.9" lenght and a #8 and around 8" space, again this keep out the half idea between the two scale,  space between parallel track allow to put more too.

Grade are the same in both scale, 2.5% seems a maximum and no more than 1.8% in curves.

With these elements in mind If you go from HO to N scale, I will just use the end of the peninsula as starting point, and design the N scale radius you are ready to use; the depht of the scene need to be narrowed to be acceptable in N scale, this is not the half of HO scale for sure; yard were smaller but may be with bigger ladder and the space between towns will be greater but again not really the double as HO scale.

In fact your HO plan need a complete new approach to be suitable in N scale and far from just divided in two.

I encoured the same dilema when I used some HO feature plan for the design of my new plan for my N scale layout, for the most the basic idea stay but the scale radicaly changed the appearance, the position of the track and the possibility which were sometimes missing on the HO design because of the lack of space.

 

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Posted by Lazers on Saturday, March 7, 2020 10:25 AM

Arithmetics is the way to look at HO v N

N is Half the Length, a Quarter the Area and an Eighth the Volume - of HO

Of these, it is the Area that is the most important.

Tags: HO v N

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 7, 2020 1:45 PM

richhotrain
T gauge anyone?

Too 'last century'.  You should go to µ gauge instead.

Here is a picture of the setup that models the Pennsy Middle and Pittsburgh Divisions in a 4' by 4' modular layout.  Screens to the left provide dispatching information and a view of the operations; the computer is currently 'filming' switching operations outside Altoona station on August 3rd, 1954.

Special software overlay allows the visible controller to do throttle and braking (dynamic is emulated as well as air, via a function button) as well as reverse, horn/bell, and 'momentum' via the buttons)

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