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The Figure-8 Plan Resolved

| August 28, 2013 | 9 Comments More

In our previous article, Inaccuracy In Track Planning?, I looked at why a simple Figure-8 that looked good on the back of a Rokuhan track package couldn’t be replicated to a 100% degree of accuracy using AnyRail track planning software. As I mentioned in that article, I’d write to both Rokuhan and AnyRail and include screenshots to illustrate the “misaligned” situation.

I heard back from both companies today, David from AnyRail said he’d have a look at their pieces for accuracy and immediately after David’s email, I heard from Rokuhan. Excerpts from the Rokuhan email:

You will see the attached image (top image), which explains the case of R270 30° Figure-8. You will see the 55mm track is too long to connect with the 90° crossing and 25mm track is too short. However, both can be used to make the Figure-8. With this understanding, we’ve suggested using the 55mm section in the instruction manual, which will be better for the customers (according to our thoughts).

In the case of a R245 30° Figure-8, the situation is similar as there are two choices: to connect a 25mm section of track or connect nothing. Our conclusion, we’ve suggested to use the 25mm track section to connect them.

John, please understand there are several factors to generate such “inaccuracy” in Z scale track such as the ratio (we use) of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, the nature of the injection material we use, etc.

We selected, by chance, to develop 25mm and 55mm straight track. If you ask for real “accuracy” on Z scale, really PRECISE dimensions would be necessary, such as 18.678mm (just as an example). However, we think pieces like this would be impractical in the current Z scale world.

I’d like using the 25mm sections of straight track in these figures rather than the 55mm sections, but this is just my personal preference. I came away from this email and sketch sent to me from Rokuhan feeling good. I appreciate a manufacturer responding quickly and thoroughly to a concern. I should also point out that I’ve had a Figure-8 set up for a while now and use it for breaking-in locos. Had I not seen the “inaccuracy” on the computer screen, likely I would never have noticed any issue at all.

I can definitely be a bit picky, and in this case I’m glad I was as I now have a better understanding of the wiggle room that’s sometimes required to make things work in the real world, away from the computer screen.

I’ll also contact David from AnyRail with link to this article so he’ll also know all is right in Z scale world tonight.

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