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OKWB - Kato Portram evolves to a Lister

OO9 4mm




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#26 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 13:24

Parcelforce are the default UK option for EMS/SAL. Sadly their use is not optional...

The fee does depend on the value of the package. Usually I get hit with £13.50, but it has been over £20.00 for some packages. It has not been unknown for the combination of the VAT and the fee to tip over the £50.00 mark for me in the past!



#27 Burkitt

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 14:50

Kenton, I'm planning on buying a Portram to motorise the N scale tube train I'm building and am wondering whether to get it from Japan via Ebay or from the Ffestiniog shop. Was the Portram you bought from Japan purchased on Ebay? Doing the sums on postage, 17.5% VAT and the Parcelforce charge, am I right in thinking the Ffestiniog shop actually works out marginally cheaper?

Thanks,

Paul

#28 Kenton

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 15:10

Now where did I put my hammer and blow torch .....

Seriously it was much easier:

  • From underneath pull the side panels of the tram slightly away and forward from the chassis under-carriage.

    Posted Image
  • Take hold of the central pivoting section and peel back the 4 tabs holding the lower half on to the upper half.

    Posted Image
  • This exposes the two clips holding the upper half, gently squeeze apart and remove.

    Posted Image
  • Holding the units firmly, twist about the central coupling, this is flexible, and remove the coupling.

    Posted Image
  • The plastic mechanism cover can now be detached from the metal chassis carriage by inserting a screwdriver to expel the tabs from underneath.

    Posted Image
  • This reveals the motor housing (which is designed to rotate slightly), wiring, pickup contact strips and a small (very small) circuit board Posted Image

    Posted Image
  • Prize off the plastic cab unit base from the front (two tabs), taking care not to damage the circuit board - it might be needed Posted Image

    Posted Image
  • Lift up the circuit board from under the pickup strips and peel the wires back from the strangle clip to free them

    Posted Image
  • Slide out the pickup strips. The motor unit can now be dropped out by releasing its two small clips. Take care not to split the motor unit. Do not pull it completely out. Inside the metal under-carriage is a flexible plastic retainer. By flexing it, it can be removed.

    Posted Image
  • Finally cut through the flexible plastic retainer to release the motor unit and its circuit board.

    Posted Image

Now would seem to be an appropriate time to check to see if the animal is still alive.

#29 Kenton

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 15:17

Was the Portram you bought from Japan purchased on Ebay? Doing the sums on postage, 17.5% VAT and the Parcelforce charge, am I right in thinking the Ffestiniog shop actually works out marginally cheaper?

Yes, and yes :sadclear: - go with the Ffestiniog shop unless you can find a UK source cheaper. There still seems to be the suggestion on that other forum that the chassis may become available as a separate part soon and without the wasted trams. It has a Part #14801 on it so should be obtainable from Kato ?

#30 PhilJ W

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 16:59

It wasn't £8, it was £13.50. I didn't have any contract with ParcelForce - I didn't have any choice in using them, just who made that choice?

This should be managed by HMRC - I don't have an issue with the VAT so much, even though if I was travelling with the package it would be without VAT.
I also have the issue with the delay incurred. Tracking this item from Japan it left 1 day after ordering and arrived in UK a day later - the rest of the time has been ParcelForce fif-faffing-around sending me an invoice (snail mail) and moving from one depot to the other. I have to ask why it took less than 24 hours for a parcel with the Lister kit to arrive and over 7 days for a letter from less than 10 miles away to be delivered? ... but then we have been there before.

Anyway what is done, is done and I'll know not to take that route in future. Buying from the US never seems to have this problem.

You have been lucky with your purchases from the states. I was stung for £27 by PF for a package from the states, on top of the VAT!

#31 Burkitt

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 17:52

Yes, and yes :sadclear: - go with the Ffestiniog shop unless you can find a UK source cheaper.


Thanks Kenton, Ffestiniog it is then.

Paul

#32 BobD

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 17:56

What is the wheelbase on the motor bogie and the size of the wheels.

Please.

#33 Kenton

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 18:06

What is the wheelbase on the motor bogie and the size of the wheels.

Please.

WB = 12mm
DIA 4mm
B2B 7.7mm
Weight < 0.5g

#34 BobD

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 18:13

WB = 12.2mm
DIA 4mm
B2B 7.7mm
Weight < 0.5g


That was quick, ta.

#35 Nile

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 21:12

Gaugemaster are listing the Portram - chassis only for £48.50 , but not yet available.
Go to gaugemaster.com and put portram in the search box if you are interested.

#36 Kenton

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 21:30

Gaugemaster are listing the Portram - chassis only for £48.50 , but not yet available.
Go to gaugemaster.com and put portram in the search box if you are interested.

Interesting - but potentially confusing - I wonder if that is for the single chassis (in which case Ffestiniog do not have anything to worry about)
or for the complete double unit (In which case they had better watch out because there is going to be a run on them)

The clarity is certainly not helped by a photo of the complete tram.

#37 Burkitt

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 10:04

Interesting - but potentially confusing - I wonder if that is for the single chassis (in which case Ffestiniog do not have anything to worry about)
or for the complete double unit (In which case they had better watch out because there is going to be a run on them)

The clarity is certainly not helped by a photo of the complete tram.


I've just received an email from Gaugemaster saying that "the logical assumption is that this is a complete unit i.e. the chassis for both sections of the tram" but they aren't sure as they don't have any in stock yet.
So that's that cleared up, or maybe not.
I can't quite see the complete chassis being less than fifty quid to be honest, it seems too small a proportion of the overall cost for something so complex, especially since the unmotored Tomix Portram costs less than twenty quid.

Paul

#38 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 12:17

I would not get too excited about Gaugemaster listing these. Past experience shows that they take a long time to restock...often six months to a year after the item has been released to Japanese stores.

#39 Kenton

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 12:35

Of course there still is the rumour that Ffestiniog are in negotiations with their importers to stock the single chassis units at about that price. The part definitely seems to be available from Kato, Japan - so I wish them well. I have already designs on a couple more, and I have already been accused of being a spoilt child at Xmas breaking my toys.

Back to the current project:
From what I have read elsewhere the BIG question is should the small circuit board be removed or not? I gather it is some sort of voltage/current limiting circuit and that these tiny motors should not be run at 12V.

I guess the circuit could be removed and replaced with a simple resistor to limit the voltage. In a similar way to the Nigel Lawton & Meridian motors.

Sadly. but typically, the instructions with the Lister kit are totally blank in this respect, not indicating what should be done :(

In case you were all wondering what it looks like inside I wasn't brave(mad) enough to open it up (it is easy the black clips slide off either side) the following image (not mine) has been posted on Gnatterbox

http://i305.photobuc...TRAM TLR/P9.jpg

#40 Sam Moss

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 12:48

I'm currently trying to fathom the same thing out as well. Think I rig up a test rig and some resistors.

I also got stung with the PF handling charge on the tram. Damn thing.

#41 invercloy

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 14:52

I guess the circuit could be removed and replaced with a simple resistor to limit the voltage. In a similar way to the Nigel Lawton & Meridian motors.

Sadly. but typically, the instructions with the Lister kit are totally blank in this respect, not indicating what should be done :(



Kenton, I believe several people have mentioned matters relating to this on the relevant NGRM thread, might be worth a look?



#42 Kenton

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 15:27

Kenton, I believe several people have mentioned matters relating to this on the relevant NGRM thread, might be worth a look?

I am an occasional member of THAT forum - so I did have a brief excursion there while I was looking for more info. ;)

TBH, I didn't find very much there other than the same vague suggestions that the chassis were to become available - maybe -, the posts by the owner of RT Models showing the completed Lister - linked to in the OP above -, and the general experiences and completed 'other' models by some other members.
Nothing that was obvious, to me, about what to definitively do with the chassis to get it to function under the Lister, and nothing very conclusive about the circuit board.

I am also acutely aware that THAT forum is not accessed by all those on RMWeb and is a membership only forum. Hence my posting here long before I realised that there had been discussions on-going on THAT forum for a few months. Even so some names there are familiar here ;)

This is all new ground for me and was brought to it by my interest in the Lister - partly why I am a little perturbed by the instructions for he Lister being so vague about the essential bit.

Oh, and because I didn't search RMWeb for `Portram` either
I only just spotted your post here - Nice one.

#43 Nile

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 18:40

Some people I know that have tried it recommend 330 ohms.

#44 invercloy

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 08:15

Well, THAT forum, despite having to register for is definitely worth it in my opinion, that's most of the reason why my post count and number of visits to HERE have dropped quite so much ;)

I was only suggesting it as you'd have contact with more people who own the chassis.

Glad you've found the post I wrote some time ago.

#45 Kenton

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 09:27

Well, THAT forum, despite having to register for is definitely worth it in my opinion, that's most of the reason why my post count and number of visits to HERE have dropped quite so much ;)

I was only suggesting it as you'd have contact with more people who own the chassis.

Glad you've found the post I wrote some time ago.

Sure, and I quite agree that the NGRM Forum is a useful resource for the Narrow Gauge Modeler - however,
- I'm a very loyal member of RMWeb (actually like everything in one place)
- NGRM is sometimes very slow moving (I fall into that instant fix trap)
- I would not call myself a Narrow Gauge Modeler - I guess I am more of a kit builder than anything, it really doesn't matter to me what the scale or the gauge is so RMWeb suits my needs better.

I still need to pluck up the will power to bring my soldering iron to bear on those wires. Having seen what is inside that motor I fear that the heat will simply vapourise the microscopic plastic gear. the temptation is to continue the disassembly down to that metal wheel/pickup assembly and solder to that without any plastic around but then the carpet is likely to devour everything.

#46 RThompson

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 00:14

[quote name=
I still need to pluck up the will power to bring my soldering iron to bear on those wires. Having seen what is inside that motor I fear that the heat will simply vapourise the microscopic plastic gear. the temptation is to continue the disassembly down to that metal wheel/pickup assembly and solder to that without any plastic around but then the carpet is likely to devour everything.
[/quote]


This is the reason i don't say anything in the instructions about modifying the chassis i don't wish to be blamed for anyone damaging their motor bogie, it is at your own risk.

I've done 4 motor bogies so far including soldering a resistor on the top on 3 of them, the first one still hasn't had one fitted (but only i drive it!) and i havn't had any problems, just don't have too much solder on or linger with the iron as you will damage the gears should you do, a quick touch is all you want.

Regards Mr T

#47 Kenton

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 11:59

This is the reason i don't say anything in the instructions about modifying the chassis i don't wish to be blamed for anyone damaging their motor bogie, it is at your own risk.

I've done 4 motor bogies so far including soldering a resistor on the top on 3 of them, the first one still hasn't had one fitted (but only i drive it!) and i havn't had any problems, just don't have too much solder on or linger with the iron as you will damage the gears should you do, a quick touch is all you want.

Regards Mr T

Thanks for the re-assurance.

I have decided that I will be running this on a 6v controller so it sounds like I can give the resistor a miss.

Sadly, just as suspected, the project - despite having all the parts together dropped down the queue behind the Billard, a Tin Turtle and a whole host of 7mm stuff (to ease the eye strain). But I will return to it.

#48 MML Jack G

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 22:54

hi, a member of my 009 area group (beds and bucks) has got the portram....and he showed us the chassis units on there own....you can BLOW them off the track!!!...anyhowz have you seen in the 009 news his (Stephen Sullivan's) article on 'Electric Mice'??

#49 Kenton

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 12:20

have you seen in the 009 news

No, I haven't.
But thanks for jogging my memory on this one - I need to locate the box of bits again and get on with putting them together.

#50 Jordan-Leeds

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:58

Kenton- i wouldn't call NGRM-online slow moving Infact recently its improved greatly and throughput has been superb
Kind regards
A NGRM frequent flyer












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