Free-moN in Australia

(NOTE - Both an Australian Free-moN standard and Forum are pending. Keep watching this space)


Introduction

Free-mo N scale (Free-moN) is an N scale modular railroading system that specifies standards for benchwork, track and digital control. The main features are: single main line, code 55 rail, prototypical scenery and operations, rolling stock that meets NMRA standards, and DCC control.

Following are the variations to the Free-moN specifications to suit Australian conditions (ie metric dimensions, commercially available materials, etc). The variations must be read in conjunction with the Free-moN standards.

The variations have been approved by the coordinator of Free-moN, Wesley Steiner of the USA.

Free-moN Standards

These may be viewed at: Free-moN Standards   (also includes drawings)

Links

Australian_Free-moN forum
Free-moN forum
N-Land Pacific Free-moN group


Australian Amendments
to the Free-moN Standards

(amendments shown in BOLD type)

Framework

End Plates

End plates shall be constructed of 20mm birch plywood or equivalent and be 600mm wide and 150mm high. Module to module end plates shall be secured with C-clamps.

A 600mm width, without fascia material, is recommended for ease of transportation and continuity with other modules. Any deviation from this recommended width would result in cosmetic misalignment of the fascia with other modules. Avoid dimensional pine lumber since it has a tendency to warp.

Legs & Bracing

Each module shall have legs that support the module free-standing. Each leg must be vertically adjustable plus and minus 25mm to compensate for uneven floors. The bottoms of the legs shall have rubber tip or equivalent floor protection. Nominal and minimum height of railhead from the floor shall be 1270mm. On modules with grades the maximum height of the railhead shall be 1570mm above the floor and the elevation of the high end shall be some multiple of 20mm above the low end.

Fascia

Each side of a module shall have a fascia that covers the side rail. The fascia shall be 3mm thick hardboard or Masonite type material. The top edge of the fascia shall be contoured to match the scenic topography of the module. The fascia shall be painted a semi-gloss, satin or equivalent black color.

Track

Main line track shall be code-55 nickel-silver flex or hand laid with prototypical tie dimensions and tie spacing (Note - Atlas and Microengineering Code 55 track is not readily available in Australia, use Peco). Minimum radius for the main line shall be 560mm with at least 150mm of straight track between reverse curves. Main line turnouts shall be at least #6. Main line maximum grade shall be 2.0 percent (20mm per metre). Main line roadbed must be 3mm cork or equivalent. At the end plates the track shall be centered on the width, perpendicular to the end, straight and level for at least 100mm from the outside face of the end plate. Rail shall be cut off exactly 19mm back from the outside face of the end plate. Ties and ballast shall be continued to the module end for good appearance and matching with the adjacent module.

Wiring & Electrical

Main Line Track Bus

Track Bus wire shall be 12 gauge or heavier stranded or solid spanning the length of the module between the end-plates. Track feeder wires shall be 24 gauge or heavier solid wire. Each end of the module shall have a pair of male and female 2-pin RCA plugs (‘Cinch-Jones’ type connectors are not available in Australia - see recommendation below). The 2-pin RCA plugs shall attach to the track bus wire at the end-plate with a short length of 16 gauge minimum stranded wire. The length of the wire shall be such that the plugs extend a minimum of 150mm below the end-plate when hanging free. Wiring for the RCA plugs shall be as follows (must be facing the module end for correct perspective): Male connector’s pin 1 (centre pin) and the female connector’s pin 2 (skirt) must both connect to the left-hand rail (or the nearest rail when facing the front of the module).

Applications that require an AC or DCC signal may utilize power directly from the bus.   In Australia - buy ready-made RCA cords and cut in half, eg 90cm RCA plug-socket cable available from Tandy stores.

Scenery

Main line shall be ballasted with a fine light gray material and some form of scenery hiding the bench work. Scenery for the first 150mm at the end plates shall have a flat profile roughly 6mm below the top of the main line rail.

Landscaping along the module ends must be designed to flow smoothly into adjacent modules - avoid features such as roads, lakes, and so forth from running against the module ends. Use a generic grassy / sandy terrain.

Miscellaneous

Crowd Control Barrier System

Each 2400mm length of module should have one barrier stand per side. A crowd control barrier system consists of stands and ropes. Ropes are 6mm yellow nylon style (available at any hardware store). Stands consist of a base and upright designed for simple construction and setup, and which may be separated for efficient storage and transport. Stand bases are 600mm square made from 25mm plywood (or equivalent multiple plywood layers). Painting is optional. A hole is centered in the base to accommodate a 12mm white PVC pipe end cap, used to receive the stand upright. Stand uprights press-fit into the base and are 900mm tall 12mm white PVC pipe with a PVC "T-junction" mounted on top, through which the nylon rope is threaded. Painting is not allowed - leave uprights white.

Australian Amendments Revision History


If you have an inquiry, please email the Coordinator

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