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I was going to respond in another thread but decided it was more appropriate to start another.
The original thread is HERE

So, to follow on:

3mm Axle diameter?
This looks like a typically late entry to metrification by UK!
I'm not sure whether it's a case of better late than never.
UK is an odd place, officially been metricated for I don't know how many years, yet still measures road distances in miles and fuel consumptin in miles per gallon, even though gallons have not been a legal quantity for donkeys years either.

If, and that's a big IF, all the manufactureres have actually AGREED on a standard diameter, that is no bad thing for the future. But it's going to take a heck of time for the eventual advantage of standardization to cancel out the shambles of multiple size that will exist for many years to come. The current problem is that the so-called 3/32" axles not only use what are no longer British units of measurement, but cannot be relied on to be of the same size from different manufacturers. It certainly makes sense to classify them metrically when the whole of Europe is completely metric and I believe USA is reluctantly following. This will result, eventually, in World Standard Units - again an excellent thing.

After all that, one might say that 3mm is a nice round number, that everyone can remember, but there will still be no guarantee that all "3mm" axles will be exactly the same diameter and, in that case, we would have gained nothing! If it is going to be a 3mm standard, then the figure needs to be defined as 3.00 mm to ensure adequate compatibility.

The other problem is that there is a body of opinion that says, OK we'll metricate it, but 3.00 mm is a little too big and this figure should be reduced to . . . and that's where the arguments start!
3/32" is 2.38 mm
1/8" is 3.18mm
IS 3.00 mm really 'too big'?
If it is, what should the figure be?
2.40 mm sounds good to me - barely any thicker than existing 3/32" (assuming they really ARE 3/32" and some are not!)
But achieving agreement is always going to be problematic.
Perhaps Scalextric, arguably the biggest manufacturer, have enough 'clout' to force others into the new standard. imho, it's more important to achieve a reliable and consistent standard figure than to argue about exactly what that figure should be.
But you may, and almost certainly will, disagree!
 

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By a happy coincidence, just after my previous post, a digital caliper arrived, mail order, so I will be doing a lot of measuring of various things in the days to come. It's good to be able to check for yourself and not have to rely on what manufacturers say they are making and providing!

Only slightly off topic - UK members (and maybe others) might be interested to know that Maplin, the fairly well-known electrical/electronic supplier, is doing this caliper at a special offer price of £20 - normally £40. I thought it was too good to miss. So be prepared for a flurry of measurement statistics in the coming weeks! I intend to develop a table of axle diameters from various manufacturers, naturally. But I have already started to find some rather interesting figures on guide blades and braids that are probably every bit as critical as those axle diameters.
For instance, based on just a single example so far, the common Scalextric black guide has a blade depth of 5.6mm but the EFFECTIVE depth has to be reduced by the thickness of the pickup braid (worn and compressed = 0.4mm) AND the folded over braid (unworn & uncompressed = 0.5mm) giving a total effective blade depth of just 4.7mm.
Not a lot!
 

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Oh it's always good to see Larry joining on on the metrics!


Reminds me of an entertaining thread at Old Weird Herald, a site some of you might know but many might not. For an entertaining read about metrication, and how people feel about it, please do have a look at
This Thread.

It starts out discussing the origins of 1/43 scale and meanders into metric measurements rather nicely. Allow yourselves a good few minutes and try to make it right through to the end of the second page.
 

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Thomas

you asked for arguuments against the metric system . . .

The metric system has a lot going for it but it also has snags.
The worst common problem, in my opinion, is the point that was made at Old Weird Herald - the centimetre is a little too small and the millimetre is quite a bit too small for human beings to easily measure in everyday life. The graph paper example was an excellent one, where most people can't write a date legibly in a 1 centimetre square. Even when they can do it, hardly anyone, including the writer can read it!

Another snag is the repeititive longwindedness of terms and how easily they can be misheard and confused and the prefixes 'kilo' and 'milli' seem not to be used consistently.

For example a kilometre is a common term but where is the kilolitre?
There are too many prefixes.
Example: the metre is the standard unit of length and the next largest is normally a kilometre (1,000 metres). But confusion sets in when going smaller. A consistent approach would be to use only the millimetre, which is 1/1000 of a metre. But, no, some feel they must use the centimetre, though they never use a decimetre, a dekametre or a hectometre!

Similar criticism applies to volume, where the base unit is the litre and a tendency to stay with litres, no matter how large the number gets. Yet going smaller, it is not uncommon to use decilitres and centilitres before arriving at the standard millilitre term.

Volume is further confused by sometime using the litre and sometimes using cubic centimetres etc!

Weight is the one area where there appears to be consistency, in that the base unit is a gram(me) and 1,000 of them are a kilogram(me) and 1,000,000 of them are a Megagram(me). Going smaller, the sequence is 1/1000 = milligram(me) and 1/1,000,000 is a microgramme. So at least weight is not so inconsistent, although a million gram(me)s is often referred to as a (metric) tonne which is nearly, but not quite the same as an Imperial Ton and I think USA uses a 2,000 pound (weight)US Ton, which is about 10% smaller!

Another snag is the habit of abbreviating long words so that it is common to refer to a kilometre simply as a 'k', but that is an abbreviation that is equally often used to describe a thousand units of the local currency, £, $, €!

When speaking, it is common to shorten the large mouthful of millimetre to 'mil', especially so when it is necessary to repeat it many times, yet this can be so easily confused with 'ml', short for the other big word, 'millilitre'. It can also be confused with the old fashioned 'mil' which is 1/1000 of an INCH - I imagine Larry will be familiar with that one!

Further, to English speaking ears, there is much confusion over the natural and inevitable association of the sound 'mill' with 'million' rather than with the french word 'mille', meaning 1,000 but which is ACTUALLY used to mean 1/1000!

I'll finish off with the craziness of English speakers who pronounce kilometre with same emphasis as pronouncing gas-OM-eter and mile-OM-eter, as if a metre was a meter. It's crazy because these same people would never pronounce millimetre with the emphasis on 'IM' nor kilogramme with the emphasis on 'OG'!

So, logical though it may be in THEORY, there are quite a lot of problems with the metric system and the way it is used and pronounced in everyday life.

Oh, nearly forgot one of my favourite screw ups, which isn't strictly a metric problem but they do go together very nicely.

This is the totally opposite way in which two major parts of the world use decimal points and commas to define numbers and their magnitude. For example I, in UK or USA might offer to produce an object with a length of
1,120.505mm
In the rest of Europe, this would make no sense and would have to be written as
1.120,505mm
yet this format would be meaningless in UK or USA.

This is horrendously confusing!
But just imagine if this was a list of many items, with each item separated from the next by commas! .Just to relate it to slot cars (!) a supplier might offer brass rod in diameters of
3.35, 3.00, 2.80, 2.38, 2.00mm.
Does this list make sense on the right hand side of the English Channel?
I would add that the same problem applies to money, where the commas and points are exactly reversed in the same way! Now put sizes with prices and we have the perfect opportunity for absolute and total chaos and it is going to have to be addressed eventually!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
QUOTE You're not familiar with the complete metric system and are not aware that you can convert almost everything to anything
Just to set one thing straight, working in the field of testing construction materials, I personally have been using metric units as a standard for around 25 years and am very familiar with it. Familiar enough that I can see the real problems listed above!


The problems began long before the French foisted their ten based system on the rest of the world and, although ten seems like a good base number to work with (10 fingers and thumbs), it really isn't!
The duodecimal system, base 12, would have been better and hexadecimal, base 16, would have been even better than that. Did you know you can count on your fingers and thumbs using both these systems?

But, no matter which numbering system we use, I still believe in the good old INCH as the BEST convenient, human sized unit!

Notice the thumb above
- pouce in French
- an inch!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes!
My problem has been a peculiar one - (OK, what else would one expect!)
My Excel was refusing to work, but it's ok now - I THINK, so I am able to start compiling info again. Going to be a little short of time over the weekend though as I have to sort out some killer cars for Sunday's championship meeting. Major work required on an old 'Johnson Motored Saloon' (Rover 3500) and an F1.
After that - progress, I hope!
 
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