Free Mo N.

Discussion in 'Modular Layout Forum' started by Operater, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. Operater

    Operater New Member

    hi Group,:) March 17th, 07.
    Saturday `13:25 Hrs. M.D.T.

    Anyone Interested in "Free Mo N"?:) I Model on the
    N Trak System, But do like the Free Mo N - Twin Trak Systems as
    Well. Would like to Share, Ideas, Comments:D etc

    Thanks Group,
  2. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    If you have a regular N-Trak club in the area, you might want to convince them to add some Free-mos to make things more interesting other than just having the trains go round and round and round.

    That's what we did at Ottawa Valley HOTRAK

    Bob M.
  3. DavidB-AU

    DavidB-AU Member

    The N scale club I belong to uses AusTrak, an Australianised and metric variant of NTRAK with only 2 main lines laid with Peco code 80. It has similar limitations to NTRAK with fixed length modules and mainly "roundy roundy" operation.

    A subset of the club want to do something in finer scale and preferably DCC, so Free-moN seems an attractive option. There are few queries which aren't immediately obvious from the somewhat brief standards documents.

    1) How strict is the baseboard width requirement? The standard says at least 12" with 24" preferred to avoid "cosmetic misalignment". Looking at a lot of Free-mo and Free-moN set ups, there is a lot of variation in module width and some misalignment seems inevitable. If somebody wants to build a 12" wide shelf switcher for use as a home layout and join it to other modules for exhibitions, does the misalignment really matter? The European Free-moN "standard" appears to be 400mm (about 16"), plus they have a different end plate arrangement with a hand/wiring hole in each end.

    2) Is there any standard for double track spacing? There is in the Free-mo standard but nothing obvious in Free-moN.

    3) The standard specifies Digitrax/LocoNet, but nobody in the entire region (in any scale) is known to use Digitrax. The early adopters of DCC generally had big layouts and went for Lenz, and the recent converts went for NCE mainly because the PowerCAB was not expensive and suited relatively small layouts. Is this an issue elsewhere and is there an easy solution?

    4) Are there any particular pros and cons of Atlas and Micro Engineering code 55? Apart from the current supply problems of ME turnouts. Hand laid track would be a longer term aim. Without wanting to open the obvious can of worms, does anybody use Peco code 55 for Free-moN?

  4. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    What is "Free Mo N", it's the first time I've heard of this.
  5. jasbourre

    jasbourre Member

    Same here, never heard of that either.
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Just a guess, but I would think that Free-Mo N is the Nscale equivalent of the Free-Mo standard. That's basically a modular standard allowing for a single main line to run down the centre of a 2x4 foot (or other standard size) module.

  7. DavidB-AU

    DavidB-AU Member

    Partially correct. It is the N scale equivalent of Free-mo but there is no standard size module (unlike NTRAK). It is a truly free form modular system where modules can be any size or shape you like. Can be single or multiple line and tracks don't have to be down the middle. The only hard and fast rules to adhere to are DCC, code 55 track (or smaller) and standard physical and electrical connections between modules.

  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Do you have a link or other reference to more info on Free-MoN?

  9. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    The Free-mo module ends are basically the only specifications, with minimum curve radius, maximum grade, and rail height being the other standards. Within a Free-mo module set (most have a set of sections to make up a Free-mo module for easier transportation), the internal section joints do not have to be compliant. The result is excellent flexibility in design, a push for more prototypical single track operations, and less round-and-round operations.

    The width issue has been a point of discussion on the HO Free-mo group at Free-mo : Discussion in English of HO scale Free-mo and Fremo modular model railroad concepts. (you have to join to post, but it's free). Consensus was that the 24" width applied across the fascia to minimize the visual mismatches. To match an existing 12" deep shelf, one could easily use 12" long (or longer) adapter section with width tapering from 24" to 12". This also gives some space to move the track to the correct location at the Free-mo end.

    Free-moN standards are here: Free-mo Standards N

    A word of caution. There is a North American Free-mo standard, and a European Freemo (sp?). The 2 are similar, but are not the same.

    The European version uses a series of standard profile end plates, which are generally pre-manufactured. Europe also runs the rails right to the module edge.

    The North American Free-mo uses fitter rails (2" in HO) and a single flat profile end plate design. Digitrax DCC is also standard. I know some Free-mo modules are fitted for both Digitrax and NCE DCC throttles - NCE at home and Digitrax at setups. I think that with careful wiring that the throttle plug-in plates can be used by either make throttle.
  10. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    Thanks for the explanations!
  11. DavidB-AU

    DavidB-AU Member

    Free-mo was adapted from FREMO, I think around 1994. The FREMO modular standard predates DCC and somewhere I have a set of FREMO cab control standards (in German) dated 1988.

    The same wiring should be able to use Digitrax, NCE or Lenz. But only one at a time. :)


Share This Page