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Author Topic: Using UK OO Gauge in the US  (Read 4540 times)
Maarkus

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« on: September 03, 2013, 12:53:08 PM »

Hi.. I moved to the US some time ago and brought with me an extensive (locomotives, rolling stock, track etc.) OO gauge collection that was originally my fathers and then mine as a boy.
I've recently renewed my interest in building a layout here in the US but other than knowing that HO and OO are compatible can anyone provide me with any pointers to get me started in being to build a layout using my (very) old gear but using US power supplies and controllers as well as any other complications I may not have considered??

Thank you.
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rogertra


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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2013, 02:49:42 PM »

There are no complications.

Just buy what you need, it will all work together electrically.

Only complication is if you try to couple UK equipment to North American equipment as there will probably be a coupler incompatibility.

What equipment?  Hornby or Tri-ang?


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Maarkus

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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2013, 03:16:45 PM »

Hi Rogertra,

Thanks for the input, I had envisaged having issues especially with the electrics. Do you have any thoughts on using HO track with OO track? I've been reading that there are different 'types' of HO track, e.g. No83 and No.100

I have mainly some very old Tri-Ang and some more modern, circa UK 1980s, Hornby plus some Lima and various bits and pieces. I'll likely look to replace the couplings where possible.

M..
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Skarloey Railway

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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2013, 04:44:51 PM »

I would consider keeping the older items (even the 1980s is old compared to what's being produced in OO and HO today) as heirloom items and building and operating your layout with what's available now. Depending on what you choose to model it doesn't have to be hugely expensive and I think the great improvement in performance and appearance in the models of today will give you greater pleasure than trying to get reliability from what are now very old models.
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rogertra


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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2013, 05:19:11 PM »

Hi Rogertra,

Thanks for the input, I had envisaged having issues especially with the electrics. Do you have any thoughts on using HO track with OO track? I've been reading that there are different 'types' of HO track, e.g. No83 and No.100

I have mainly some very old Tri-Ang and some more modern, circa UK 1980s, Hornby plus some Lima and various bits and pieces. I'll likely look to replace the couplings where possible.

M..

All you need to do is to purchase a North American power supply.  OO/HO trains the world over operate on the same 12VDC.

Unless you get a step up transformer, your UK power supply, 240VAC, will not operate on North American 120VAC.

OO/HO track are the same gauge.  Peco in North America is the same a Peco in the UK for example.  Older Tri-ang, with its steam roller wheels, will only run on code 100 track but I'm guess that's not a problem.  Code 83 is more to scale but, beware of older UK flange depth, even Hornby's.  If you have Tri-ang track, that will cause you issues as it's no longer available.  You may have to take a piece with you and visit a hobby store and see if it's possible to match it with a current set track product if not, you may have to purchase new track.

You then have to decide if you will be using flex track or one of the several brands of set track.

Hope that helps.

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Philc40


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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2013, 07:39:42 PM »

I have quite a bid of the newer Hornby and Bachmann Branchline equipment, code 83  works fine the older equipment with larger flanges need code 100. Most of my equipment and accessories come from Hattons in Liverpool, they provide good services.
I also belong to BRMNA, British Railway Modellers of North America based out of Canada. They my have some additional information for you.

Best Regards
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"If I can't fix it, It isn't broke"
GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2013, 04:24:50 AM »


 I've been reading that there are different 'types' of HO track, e.g. No83 and No.100


code "83" rails would be 83 thousandths of an inch tall, 100= 100 thousandths tall

Hertz differences between US and UK vary also. Best to use a new power supply, or contact the manufacturer and find out if it can handle 60hz.
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rogertra


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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2013, 06:54:49 PM »


 I've been reading that there are different 'types' of HO track, e.g. No83 and No.100


code "83" rails would be 83 thousandths of an inch tall, 100= 100 thousandths tall

Hertz differences between US and UK vary also. Best to use a new power supply, or contact the manufacturer and find out if it can handle 60Hz.

50Hz Vs 60Hz is NOT applicable as the power supply to the rails is provided by the power supply and that is, for DC 12VDC.  No need to complicate things.  In addition, if he decides to purchase a step up transform so that he can use his 240VAV equipment on North American 120VAC power, then the set up transformer will take care of the hertz.

Besides, I've already suggested that he purchase a North American power supply.

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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2013, 03:09:40 PM »

Besides, I've already suggested that he purchase a North American power supply

If you want to count hens teeth Roger, Maarkus suggested it himself.


50Hz Vs 60Hz is NOT applicable as the power supply to the rails is provided by the power supply.

I have seen enough strange power supplies come out of the UK to know a solid state board may be affected by the hertz, as well as a wye or delta feed. Step up and step down transformers are not all equal, neither is the advice pertaining to them. I choose the "safe route". And while Im limited in HO train electronics knowledge, I am a former video/ amusement tech for the largest gaming company in the US. There was no mention of brand, supply voltage, or hertz. What's so complicated about a little electrical safety Angry ? Or another opinion mirroring yours?  Sad ... Roll Eyes "besides"Roll Eyes.O.K. understand this. Answering posts is not a contest! Wink and I'll write what I choose, especially if I feel there is even the slightest chance of a dangerous situation. If I make a mistake that would burn something down, then you have reason to moan. Wink
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rogertra


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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2013, 05:16:24 PM »

GG1.

The best advice we can both give, as we already have done, is to just purchase a North American power supply.  Smiley
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Maarkus

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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2013, 05:58:43 PM »

Thank you for all of the input.. You've all given me something to think about and to decide upon before proceeding.
For the record, it was always my intention to use a US PSU. I've been here long enough to know the pitfalls of trying to use UK electrical equipment here so for me it was a no brainer. I'm just looking for any input on using a US PSU with UK OO guage track and furthermore, locos. Both of which devoured a considerable amount of pocket money :-).
My immediate thought, having also done a lot of Internet research over the past days, is to develop a layout, using the existing track I have and supplementing new track, that would incorporate completely separate DC for nostalgic reasons for old locos and a larger proportion of DCC fed track for new locos

I have a long but hopefully enjoyable road ahead and any and all recommendations or suggestions would be appreciated

M..
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2013, 07:45:38 PM »

My immediate thought, having also done a lot of Internet research over the past days, is to develop a layout,......
.....I have a long but hopefully enjoyable road ahead and any and all recommendations or suggestions would be appreciated
M..
I recommend you post some pictures of that old OO, we just don't see enough of it in the US Cool. I suggest you do it sooner rather than later Cheesy
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Skarloey Railway

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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2013, 07:28:25 AM »

Thank you for all of the input.. You've all given me something to think about and to decide upon before proceeding.
For the record, it was always my intention to use a US PSU. I've been here long enough to know the pitfalls of trying to use UK electrical equipment here so for me it was a no brainer. I'm just looking for any input on using a US PSU with UK OO guage track and furthermore, locos. Both of which devoured a considerable amount of pocket money :-).
My immediate thought, having also done a lot of Internet research over the past days, is to develop a layout, using the existing track I have and supplementing new track, that would incorporate completely separate DC for nostalgic reasons for old locos and a larger proportion of DCC fed track for new locos

I have a long but hopefully enjoyable road ahead and any and all recommendations or suggestions would be appreciated

M..

Conceptually, that's rather interesting. You often see modern era layouts incorporating a preserved steam/museum line and what you're doing is similar, except that the museum line isn't displaying older prototypes but older model engines and rolling stock. It's better than my idea because at least the old models aren't stuck in a box where you can't appreciate them but are on display and see occasional use.
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