# Another question

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by babydot94513, Feb 18, 2006.

1. ### babydot94513Member in training

Don't laugh at this, but this has bugged me for years and since nobody knows me and cannot take cheap shots at me I feel obligated to ask this question.

Just exactly what does HO scale stand for?

Yeah, we have Z, N, O, S, G and a host of other sub-scales, but why is HO called, HO and not H or O?

JD
2. ### CDJrNew Member

If Im not mistaken, it stands for "half-O" scale.

4. ### cidchaseActive Member

Hoo says we can't take cheap shots???

(Jeff Davis, funny name fer a Yankee, ain't it?)

OK, OK, Cahlifawnia wasn't a "northern" state, was it?

(Someone make me stop )
5. ### Chessie6459Gauge Oldtimer

We wouldn't take no cheap shots at you. All the info you recieved here is correct. HO is Half O. Most people don't know that but that is a very good question to ask here since a good amount of us are modelers.
6. ### TriplexActive Member

HO is half of British O, which is 7mm/foot. It is not half of American O, which is 1/4inch/foot.
7. ### cidchaseActive Member

Hey babydot, ya gotta know I'm all in a spirit of fun there,
not tryin' to ruffle yer feathers

Ron, that was a good overview of the scales, I didn't know about
the "N"scale derivation!
8. ### babydot94513Member in training

Thanks all for the answer on HO scale. I should have figured the answer was so logical it would have slapped me upside the head.

JD

BTW - Mom was from the north (Pennsylvania) and dad from the south (Tennessee) and my middle name is Lee. I am constantly at-war with myself<g>
9. ### 60103Pooh Bah

Part of the explanation is the O started out as 0 (zero), the smallest of the numbered gauges. H0 looked awkward to printers, so it became HO. Then 0 became O ( and don't a lot of people read the number as "oh" anyway?) and 00 became OO.
The funny ratios for the scales get explained when you look at the gauges. Most of them are reasonable fractions of inches (not sure why the Germans used inches) but the ratio to 56.5 inches comes out badly.
10. ### RailRonActive Member

Yep, it sounds crazy why anybody in his right mind would come up with with a scale of 7 millimeters to the foot (British 0 --> scale 1:43.54), while American 0 (quarter-inch-scale --> 1:48) seems logical for users of imperial units.

At least the Europeans went on 'logically' with H0 (half 0) defined by 3.5 mm/ft ('Continental' H0 --> 1:87.1 ) Then the British created the somewhat bigger 4mm/ft scale (00 --> 1:76).

BTW: Apart from normal N scale --> 1:160, there is also British 000 scale --> 1:152 which is half 00 again! Whew!hamr

Ron
11. ### TriplexActive Member

56.5" is 1435mm, so it's clear how N scale came about - 9 x 160 = 1440.

Just to make it clear: 1:152 (2mm scale) isn't the most common British analogue to N (1:160). The British have their own form of N, which is 1:148 but still uses 9mm gauge.