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    The world is on the edge of their seats waiting for the next big innovation by Apple, and rumors have been floating around about an Apple car, which has the car industry up in arms. No one seems to know if it is just a rumor or if Apple is really hiring engineers for an automotive project. Would it be that big of a surprise if the rumors were true? Apple never ceases to amaze the world. The question is, would an Apple vehicle hurt the business of the rest of the car industry?

    Is Apple a threat to the car industry

    Sales always fluctuate in every business, and maybe the Apple car will cause sales to go down for other car brands, but it is too early to really determine if Apple is an actual threat to the other brands. Some companies are naturally worried, but big name, Mercedes, has yet to express their fears about the new Apple car, and the industry wants to know why. According to Fortune, Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz does not fear the idea of an apple car because it is just another form of competition. He even went as far as stating that Apple would not be threatened if Mercedes started building smartphones. Companies plan on competition, and that is what makes an industry successful.

    Healthy competition

    Growing industries are great news for the country because it means more job availability. Popular companies such as Apple have the obligation to constantly come up with new products in order to remain popular, so Apple is just running like a good business. Competition is always threatening, but it also keeps companies on their toes and producing worthwhile products for consumers. The idea that the car industry could be making room for another big name like Apple is great news for car insurance agencies as well as it will likely boost their sales. Competition is what keeps businesses running, and a little fear does companies good because it lights the fire for them to deliver.

    The right time to fear

    The car industry should definitely feel the pressure to build business, because a new man in the game means less business coming their way. Companies need to take the rumors and run with them, generating new innovations and bringing in business. Let fear drive up the business.

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    Source: http: //fortune. com/2015/02/25/mercedes-apple-car/

  1. This can be a confusing topic and frankly, most of the confusion is brought about by people who do not understand the relationship between Scale and Gauge and then use them incorrectly. So from all my research, here is how a very clear topic became so catawampus that even many train dealers don’t really understand what they are saying and use the words scale and gauge incorrectly.

    First I will cover what should bring no arguments; because there is nothing to disagree about.

    Scale: Is a proportion from the original size. The prototype, often abbreviated as proto, a real locomotive.

    Gauge: The distance between the insides of the rails. For “Standard Gauge†in the US, the proto distance would be 4’ 8.5†or 1435.1mm

    From here, everything starts to get a little muddy because you are dealing with the first element of confusion; two standards. One from Europe (where the first working steam locomotive was built and many of the large scale trains were conceived), NEM (Normal European Modelling) and the second from the US, NMRA (National Model Railroad Association) who doesn’t seem to like large scale trains.

    It appears that rather than saying the scale of the model you wanted (like 1:87.1) is was much easier to say and remember letters (like HO). So for a 1:64 scale (3/16†= 1’) train, they decided to call that “S†scale. For 1:48 scale (1/4†= 1’) they decided to call that “O†Scale (see Note 1). For 1:87.1 (3.5mm = 1’) they decided to call that HO (half O scale) (See Note 2). And for my beloved MTH 1:32 Scale (3/8†= 1’) they decided to call that “1†scale.

    Note 1: The second element of confusion is that some letter designations (like O scale) have different scales sizes in different countries. (Somewhat like “G†but different) In Great Britain and France; it is 1:43.5. In Germany, Japan, Russia, Czech it is 1:45. In the US it is 1:48 scale.

    Interestingly, O scale was originally called “0†Zero Scale (1 – 10 were larger scales already in use in Europe), because 0 (aka. O) was a step down in size from 1 scale (My beloved MTH) they called it zero scale. From the 1920s until after World War II, 0 scale dominated the model train market. But as model trains became more affordable for the average person, the space required to set up the tracks became a major consideration in purchasing model railroad trains so sizes (scales) got smaller. It is easy to see how the Zero scale morphed to O scale because it happens today when people say their ZIP code which is all numbers; like 17078. Instead of saying One Seven Zero Seven Eight they will frequently say One Seven Oh Seven Eight. The third element of confusion; is it a letter or a number???

    Note 2: Although the HO nomenclature was meant to be half of the O scale, because the size originated in Europe, the metric system did not successfully become exactly one half of O. The fourth element of confusion; combining English and Metric measurements.

    Now comes the fifth element of confusion; people calling a gauge by the scale name because of the standard prototypical relationship. People with track that has a gauge of 31.8mm (1.25â€) started to say I have O gauge track. What they really mean is that 1.25†track is the gauge that O scale reflects when wanting to make a “standard†railroad (not narrow gauge). The sixth element of confusion comes when you use that same 1.25†track for models in Europe that call there models: 16mm scale (actually 1.19.05 scale) or Fn3 scale (Actually 120.3 scale) or Scale 7 (actually 1.43.5 scale) ARE YOU REALLY CONFUSED NOW? Wait, it gets worse!

    The seventh element of confusion. The model railroad community is mixing and matching different scales with different gauges to replicate narrow gauge railroads faster than girls mix and match their clothes. You’ll read more on this later.

    Now, to the heart of the matter, and my eighth element of confusion; “G†or large scale. There are several accounts as to what “G†stands for. Some say it is from the Note 3: This link states that 1 scale was also a US scale.

    Because people quite often mix and match terms without a great understanding of the words they use, the 45mm track is most often referred to as 1 gauge. But as you know, they use the same track associated with 1 scale (1 Gauge / 45mm) to operate all the other large scale trains. Did you know that for LGB (1:22.5 scale), the “standard†gauge track for that scale is actually 3 gauge track which is 63.5mm. However, in the US, they use 1 gauge track for all large scales (except 1:32 scale) to replicate a narrow gauge railroad. In the case of LGB, its proto would be operating on 40†track. Aristocraft’s 1:29 scale, for standard gauge, is best suited for 2 gauge track 50.8mm.

    “So Larry, if 1 gauge track got its name from being associated with 1 scale trains (the scale of 1:32); can you really call it 1 gauge track when it is track that is being used by a 1:22.5 train?" I say, "Call it what you want, but if my cat had kittens in the oven I won’t be calling them biscuits!†(Meaning it should no longer be called one gauge track when it is being used by any train that is not 1 scale / 1:32 scale)

    As you can see, it is very confusing when people talk about model trains; especially when mixing and matching scales and gauges.

    In conclusion, there is no “one†scale named G; just a bunch of large scales that fit into a category that people call “G.†And I find it hard to accept we should still call a track width by the scale name it was associated with (1 scale) when you are using it with another scale…it should just be called 45mm gauge track.

    Remember, although your trains may fall into the G category; not all G category trains are 1:32 scale, or 1:29 scale or 1:22.5 scale.

    Comment: Mike’s Train House (MTH) refers to their 1:32 product line as “Railking One Gauge†trains. From a technical standpoint, this is incorrect as they sell 1:32 scale trains (1 scale); not track associated with that scale commonly referred to as 1 gauge. In easier terms (?), they are calling their 1:32 train by a term used for distance (gauge) versus what a 1:32 proportion is called; “scale.â€

    Want to get an idea of how convoluted model railroading has become with the

    scale/gauge relationship? Check out the links below:

    Larry G.

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    I like the ability of the MTH engines to be able to drop cars anywhere on the layout. I think that's what is one of the biggest features in O gauge. When upgrading other brands of engines to run on my layout, I still wanted that ability in any engine I chose to run and in any position in a consist. Adding the MTH couplers to USA trains engines was fairly easy. I believe I just screwed them onto the screw mount stand on those engines, using their spring mechanisms to keep the couplers straight. Mounting them on the Aristo, there is just a bit more to it.

    First, the coupler post gets cut flush so that it protrudes about 3cm from the bottom of the frame. I then modified some coupler mounts I had from a MTH car. They get cut in a plus design flush to the hole so they'll sit flat on the Aristo posts with the posts stiffners locking into them. The bottoms of these pieces gets a notch so that they will fit around the rear pilot piece as they're screw mounts won't work. Hopefully the pictures will help clear up the descriptions.

    The MTH electro-coupler doesn't get touched this way and their return springs will keep them straight.


    One other thing that needs cutting is the pilot above the coupler so that there's clearance for the taller electro-coupler. After mounting, I used hot melt glue to help reinforce the assembly. Make sure not to bond to the coupler itself.


    This is my first blog, so bare with me.

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