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Author Topic: Time Ratio  (Read 4910 times)
WGL
Great Northern


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« on: May 19, 2009, 02:54:34 AM »

 Reading the manual for MRC Prodigy Advance, I found Fast Clock & settings for time ratio.  The manual is too brief to explain the use for such a feature (or its other complex features) but refers one to “How to Operate Your Model Railroad” by Bruce Chubb.  I looked up the book on amazon.com & found that it was published in 1977 & costs $49 used!   HO minutes & hours don't seem to equate with HO feet & miles.
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rustyrails
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2009, 07:10:56 AM »

Because the distances between stations on our layouts is so small, model railroaders started using a fast colck to time operating sessions.  Concurrently, some modellers started measuring the distance between stations in "smiles," or short miles.  The net result of short miles, a fast clock, and keeping our speed down  is to make the railroad seem larger.  As far as I know, there's no standard for a short miles (an HO scale mile is about 60 feet).  Rather, you decide how far apart your landmarks are.  The most popular ratio for a fast clock is 4:1.  That means that a short hour is 15 mins.  An 8 hour chunk of the timetable would take two "real" hours to perform.  I probably haven't described this very well, but maybe you get the idea.

Rusty
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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2009, 07:34:36 AM »

Here's some more information:
http://home.earthlink.net/~mrsvc/id27.html
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I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
CNE Runner


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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 10:53:44 AM »

The subject of selectively compressing the 4th dimension is certainly a personal one. Since my entire layout is composed of switching (shunting) in a 12' long area, I have experimented with selective chronocompression (ooh...I like that word) over the years. Personally I have found that ratios of less than 4:1, on a switching layout, to be recipes for runner stress. Most of my switching scenarios take 2 hours (or more). If we assume an 8-hour shift, the 4:1 ratio just fits the need. If we shorten that compression, the runner would time out before the "day's" work would be completed. While this isn't a huge problem, as the switching assignment could be completed by the following shift, there would be a problem for the single layout operator. Leftover switching moves would have to be transferred into the next shift - thereby adding to that shift's workload...this would cascade into a worsening situation as the "days" went by.

So what is the answer? There isn't any. 'Forced to give some modicum of advice I would say the 4:1 ratio works well for switching/yard situations. For through running or peddler freight operations; ratios somewhat less may be in order. My Prodigy Advanced is set for the 4:1 time ratio...but then again things were slower in the 1800s.

Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
ebtnut

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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 04:13:41 PM »

On a broader note, you don't need to worry about time compression unless you are going to get into "serious" operations; i.e., timetable and train order systems or other advanced operational schemes.  Certainly, early on, you want to focus on getting a layout up and running, and enjoying it in that way.  If you want to eventually build a large layout designed for multiple operators with several trains running at the same time, then you may want to consider going the fast time route with timetables, schedules, rights of trains, etc.  That is an interesting and challenging part of the hobby, but it is not for everybody. 

CNE notes one thing to consider - switching moves, if done at scale speeds, take almost as long as the real thing.   Whereas, for most of us you can get from one end of your main line to the other in about 5 or 10 minutes, even though it is supposedly many miles.  It is one of those compromises you have to account for when shrinking things down to 1:43, 1:87 or whatever. 
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rustyrails
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 04:40:34 PM »

I forgot to mention the Bruce Chubb book.  I have it in my library and I believe it is pretty much the authority on model railraod operations.  It is really hard core, so, while it's a wonderful book, don't get it if you're looking for a light read.
Rusty
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2009, 08:53:11 PM »

I guess I should have mentioned, in my post above, that my feet and/or back give out long before I time out - making time compression of limited value. Those of you who have surpassed a half-century know of what I speak.

Ray
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grumpy

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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2009, 12:55:09 AM »

I am well past the half century. The application of fast time and time ratio is redundant if you are at home with your layout and you are in your own world running your locos. In my opinion the application of fast time would only be relevant if you had a large layout and it was being run as a real railroad with 2 or 3 guys co-ordinating train movements. My opinion.
Don
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WGL
Great Northern


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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2009, 02:11:24 AM »

 Thanks for the information & interesting discussion.  Thanks for the link, Bob.
  This question occurred to me:  suppose my layout is 1/2 HO scale mile & I am running my train at 50 HO scale mph.  If I speed my clock from real time to 10 x real time, so that my layout now seems to be 5 miles, is my locomotive still travelling 50 mph?  I suppose the speed remains the same.
  I also find it interesting that we use real time to calculate scale speed for scale distances.  Scale time just doesn't seem to fit.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2009, 02:29:43 AM by WGL » Logged
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2009, 08:56:29 AM »

The "Operation Handbook for Model Railroads" by Paul Mallery also provides all you need to know about fast clooks and timetable operation. It is still available new from Carstens for way less tha $49.

Sheldon
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rustyrails
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2009, 09:28:06 AM »

John Allen, of Gorre and Daphetid fame, was rabid about speed.  He was constantly after folks operating his railroad to slow down.  Most of us run our trains way too fast.  Measure a 15 foot section of main line.  That is 1/4 scale mile.  If you run a train over that 15 feet of track in 30 seconds, that train is going 30 scale miles per hour.  Try it.  I think you'll be amazed at how slow your train seems to be going.  Just slowing down goes a long way towards making our railroads seem larger, since we equate speed with time.  Most of us don't ask how fast we're going, but rather when we'll get where we're going
Rusty.
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2009, 09:31:28 AM »

A truck, carrying an aquarium, is traveling west at 50 mph. In the aquarium is a fish that is swimming east at 1 mph. What is the speed of the fish?

Ah, relativity...you have to love it! BTW: be careful with your answer to the question above. Remember relativity.

Ray
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glennk28

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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2009, 09:11:25 PM »

Basically figure how long a "day" in your operating session will be--how many actual hours, and how many "Scale Hours" in that day you will use--as an example Mano layouts I poerated on usually spent two hours operating.  Within that time we would run from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm--12 scale hours in an operating day--therefore a "scale hour" was ten actual minutes.  Those were comfortable sessions.  I know of others using four or more hours--that gets old in a hurry.   

On John Alen's G&D we used the above figures.  He even rigged it so the "sun set" about an hour from the end of the session--so we had to use "lanterns" (penlights) to see.  gj
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WGL
Great Northern


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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2009, 02:14:53 AM »

 Thanks, Atlantic Central, but I just looked up Operation Handbook for Model Railroads on amazon.com, where the cheapest used copy is $45!

 I enjoyed the further discussion.  Maybe I'll let someone else answer the question on relativity.   Smiley

  Yes, I will try to slow my trains down!
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2009, 07:32:40 AM »

Bill,

The Chubb book is available from the "Wiscat" inter-library loan system. 

Ask your local librarian to order one of the 9 available copies in for you.

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik

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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
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