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OHLE - Where to start? Lots of research still no idea!





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#1 topsy11

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 16:00

Hello.

 

I've been deliberating whether to bother with OHLE on my layout as its my first layout and I already think I've jumped in at the deepend a little sometimes but I really really want OHLE on my layout (non working) to complement the modern scene I'm trying to model.

 

So far I've done quite a bit of research looking on here and google.

 

I've purchased some of the Dapol catenary masts, which I think look pretty good and some will certainly be gracing my layout. However from looking at the tracks around here they seem to use various gantry designs.

 

So in my research it seems like I've certainly got to build the majority of my own gantries which I don't mind doing. I have quite a decent soldering iron and not too bad at soldering.

 

However I'm struggling to get my head around what I actually need to build something to represent a gantry with all the bits n pieces (don't know the technical terms)

 

I've found the N Brass website which seems to have the kits for the gantries / portal supports but I want other designs as per the Minsterly layout / Warren Lane etc.

 

I know there are a few topics dotted around but I just can't seem to grasp what I actually need to buy to build what I want - unless someone reading this fancies building me a couple of pieces, I'll pay of course!!

 

Many thanks


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#2 Joseph_Pestell

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 16:17

It depends a bit on what part of the UK railway network you want to model. The types of equipment have changed over the years.

 

Anyway, best of luck. Not enough layouts around with OHLE.



#3 Titan

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 16:21

It really depends upon what level of accuracy you want. If you want something that is  close to any of the various UK types, you will have to scratch build, and if you are running a reasonable length double track main line, which would be the typical situation for OLE that could take a long time.

 

The more compromise you are prepared to make the quicker and easier you can get the wires up. I opted towards the quick and easy and used the Hobbex range, which whilst not UK type, does have sufficient in the range to wire any configuration as it is easily adaptable, and it is cheap.



#4 topsy11

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 16:22

I'm not modelling anywhere specific to be honest - but seeing as though I live in the West Mids - something around Birmingham / WCML.

 

Thanks

Mark


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#5 cravensdmufan

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 16:25

Will be following this as I'd also like to add WCML type OHLE and would welcome advice as well!

 

I spoke to Dapol about a year ago who said they would be doing the wires to go with their nice masts, but couldn't give an estimated date.

 

Also, do I seem to remember the same company would be making two types of pantograph in 4mm?  Single arm and Faiveley?  Or was I dreaming?



#6 topsy11

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 16:30

It really depends upon what level of accuracy you want. If you want something that is  close to any of the various UK types, you will have to scratch build, and if you are running a reasonable length double track main line, which would be the typical situation for OLE that could take a long time.

 

The more compromise you are prepared to make the quicker and easier you can get the wires up. I opted towards the quick and easy and used the Hobbex range, which whilst not UK type, does have sufficient in the range to wire any configuration as it is easily adaptable, and it is cheap.

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

I'd like something fairly accurate if possible. I don't want working OHLE and don't want to mess around making all the pulleys working etc like I've seen on some of the stunning layouts.

 

I would like something that is representative of the UK stuff used. My main loop is a double track approx 15ft x 9ft. I don't mind spending a bit of time constructing some gantries although would probably work on small sections at a time.

 

Cheers

Mark



#7 cravensdmufan

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 16:30

We need nice 4mm British scale (and preferably working) OHLE to go with the superb Bachmann class 85 and forthcoming 90.


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#8 topsy11

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 16:33

Will be following this as I'd also like to add WCML type OHLE and would welcome advice as well!

 

I spoke to Dapol about a year ago who said they would be doing the wires to go with their nice masts, but couldn't give an estimated date.

 

Also, do I seem to remember the same company would be making two types of pantograph in 4mm?  Single arm and Faiveley?  Or was I dreaming?

 

You are indeed correct mate, whilst doing some research I cam across a thread where they'd produced some double track gantries but then told they were the wrong design and so they canned them!!

 

I find it quite hard to believe that no one else has build some ready made gantries - the Dapol ones are very good but I don't just want a layout full of the single mast types!


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#9 cravensdmufan

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 16:45

I agree.  Just single arms and one type of double gantry (maybe even a simple kit to expand to 4 track) would surely cover most people's needs.

 

Hornby had a go years ago but everything was so over scale presumably to cope with the train set market.  Even Tri-ang did one back in the 60's.  Presumably neither sold well. 

 

But now that times have moved on and lots more electrification on real railways must make this worth another effort.  Come on manufacturers - who is going to grasp the nettle?  There's a lot of us "sparky" modellers waiting out here!


Edited by cravensdmufan, 31 March 2015 - 16:46 .


#10 Titan

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 17:06

I am a bit surprised that Hornby have not introduced a basic OLE in their UK range. They own Electrotren which produce a range of OLE not too dissimilar to UK equipment (and much better than the old Triang). It is not expensive either. How hard could it be to just put an extra production run in, put it in the UK catalouge and ship it over?


Edited by Titan, 31 March 2015 - 17:07 .

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#11 Dutch_Master

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 17:55

Turn it around: why aren't you buying the Electrotren masts yourself instead? :P Or go to your local Hornby reseller and ask them to import it for you :P


Edited by Dutch_Master, 31 March 2015 - 17:55 .


#12 Doughnut

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 17:57

Agree that a manufacturer should do OHLE, it really is the missing link in Modern image modelling, esp. as there are so many Electric trains on the market now. As for scratch building Mark, the materials are fairly standard. For the portal shown in the first pic below the only 'ingredients' are  4 lengths of Brass L-section ( Eileens Emporium - K&S, Albion alloys etc), 4 lengths of brass C-section (For the legs) and some Slaters 30 thou. brass wire. You need to bend 4 pieces of the wire into a zig-zag, with each zig and zag all the same length,about 11 or 12 mm. These are then soldered to the 4 L-sections to make the long box or truss. The legs, which look like ladders, ie 2 C sections with 4 short straights soldered or glued inside them as rungs, on each side . Thes are then soldered to the truss you made earlier. Finally the wire supports or registration arms are made with 30 thou brass wire, bent to shape. These have the insulators (Readymade Sommerfield type or home made from plastic tube turned on a Dremel) threaded onto them; the whole thing then soldered to the truss. As you can see, each leg has a copper nail soldered to the foot, which is used to fix the mast firmly into 2 pre-drilled holes in the base-board. Bit of grey primer and some dark red for the insulators and it's done. The Headspan (Second pic, is the easiest to do, of them all - 2 lengths of brass H-section (K&S), with holes drilled in them for the wire spans. Again a copper nail soldered to each foot, and the supports fixed into position. 3 lengths of 0.4mm brass wire (Hobbeycraft) ares stretched between the 2 H-sections and soldered. (Thread on the insulators firs before soldering)Then the registration arms are made, as mentioned above and soldered to the wire spans. Grey primer and dark red for the insulators and job done. Hope this helps.

 

Dave

 

 

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#13 topsy11

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 18:17

If it looked like someone was going to bring out a decent set of OHLE for the UK market I would happily wait a little while but there doesn't seem to be anything on the horizon. The amount of time it takes to get stuff to the shelves I'll happily keep researching to build my own as it'll probably be a lot quicker!

 

Many thanks for such an excellent reply Dave, pretty much what I was hoping for.

 

I know you're a very busy bloke but would you, or someone else with nice OHLE, consider doing a little step by step blog with some pictures of each step? I'd be more than happy to pay for the materials and a few beers (don't expect it to be built for me just for guide purposes). Your explanation is very good but a few pics always helps, certainly for me anyway.

 

Thanks again

Mark



#14 Clive Mortimore

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 18:24

Hello.

 

I've been deliberating whether to bother with OHLE on my layout as its my first layout and I already think I've jumped in at the deepend a little sometimes but I really really want OHLE on my layout (non working) to complement the modern scene I'm trying to model.

 

So far I've done quite a bit of research looking on here and google.

 

I've purchased some of the Dapol catenary masts, which I think look pretty good and some will certainly be gracing my layout. However from looking at the tracks around here they seem to use various gantry designs.

 

So in my research it seems like I've certainly got to build the majority of my own gantries which I don't mind doing. I have quite a decent soldering iron and not too bad at soldering.

 

However I'm struggling to get my head around what I actually need to build something to represent a gantry with all the bits n pieces (don't know the technical terms)

 

I've found the N Brass website which seems to have the kits for the gantries / portal supports but I want other designs as per the Minsterly layout / Warren Lane etc.

 

I know there are a few topics dotted around but I just can't seem to grasp what I actually need to buy to build what I want - unless someone reading this fancies building me a couple of pieces, I'll pay of course!!

 

Many thanks

Hi Topsy

 

As the others have said it all depends on the location and the time period. For example if you are modelling the WCML south of Wever Junction then the Dapol mast are wrong as they are Mk3 where the southern end of the WCML was Mk1. This has been upgraded in most locations to UK1standards.

 

Take a look at

http://www.rmweb.co....ne-plain-track/

http://www.rmweb.co....o-curved-track/

http://www.rmweb.co....-anchor-points/

http://www.rmweb.co....t-four-overlap/

 

I do have loads more drawings but many need reworking and at the momnet I do not seem to have the time (or Mojo) to do so.

 

25kv mk3a 1110arm headspan rm.png

This needs updating as since drawing it I have found out that the dip in the cross cantenary wire (the curved one) is 1/6th the distance betwen the mast.

 

25kv mk1 portal power feed headstone lane rm.png

And time to do a write up explaing mast like this one.


Edited by Clive Mortimore, 31 March 2015 - 18:31 .

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#15 topsy11

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 18:36

Hi Clive,

 

Thanks for the reply. I think it was yourself that pointed out to Dapol that their masts were the wrong type.

 

My own layout is just for my own entertainment and I honestly wouldn't know the difference between a mk1 / mk2 etc etc mast. I just want something that's fairly standard and looks like it belongs in the UK and not Switzerland like I've seen on some of the HO examples I've looked at.

 

The two portals/gantries/masts added by Dave above would be perfect for what I'm looking for at the moment just to break things up a little. There are definitely masts very similar to the Dapol ones on the line that runs through Smethwick Galton Bridge, Rolfe Street which leads to/from New Street.

 

Thanks again.



#16 Clive Mortimore

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 21:22

Hi Clive,

 

Thanks for the reply. I think it was yourself that pointed out to Dapol that their masts were the wrong type.

 

My own layout is just for my own entertainment and I honestly wouldn't know the difference between a mk1 / mk2 etc etc mast. I just want something that's fairly standard and looks like it belongs in the UK and not Switzerland like I've seen on some of the HO examples I've looked at.

 

The two portals/gantries/masts added by Dave above would be perfect for what I'm looking for at the moment just to break things up a little. There are definitely masts very similar to the Dapol ones on the line that runs through Smethwick Galton Bridge, Rolfe Street which leads to/from New Street.

 

Thanks again.

Hi Topsy

 

Back to "As the others have said it all depends on the location and the time period", when first electrocuted the Birmingham area was equipped with Mk1 mast, these have been updated to UK1 standards. Many of the canterlever type mast have been replaced with ones that look like the Dapol mast. The portal mast have had their registration arms replaced with new UK1 fittings. The N Brass Locos portals would be suitable but you would need to add your own registration arms. http://www.nbrassloc....uk/oocat.html Andi Dell uses them on Ravensclyffe, http://www.rmweb.co....clyffe/?p=23804 It might be worth sending him a PM for advice on making the registration arms.

 

Here is an early drawing I done with the two outer registartion arms being UK1, note I wrongly identified them as Mk3 arms.

25kv mk1 portal over revised rm.png

 

Edit helps if you include the picture


Edited by Clive Mortimore, 31 March 2015 - 21:24 .

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#17 Nile_Griffith

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 19:09

Hi Topsy

 

Back to "As the others have said it all depends on the location and the time period", when first electrocuted the Birmingham area was equipped with Mk1 mast, these have been updated to UK1 standards. Many of the canterlever type mast have been replaced with ones that look like the Dapol mast. The portal mast have had their registration arms replaced with new UK1 fittings. The N Brass Locos portals would be suitable but you would need to add your own registration arms. http://www.nbrassloc....uk/oocat.html Andi Dell uses them on Ravensclyffe, http://www.rmweb.co....clyffe/?p=23804 It might be worth sending him a PM for advice on making the registration arms.

 

Here is an early drawing I done with the two outer registartion arms being UK1, note I wrongly identified them as Mk3 arms.

attachicon.gif25kv mk1 portal over revised rm.png

 

Edit helps if you include the picture

 

:o  :o  :o  :o  :o  :o  :o  :o  :o  :o  !!!!!!!

 

Wow! And thanks for sharing the drawings. Am a long way off having to create catenary for my planned layout, but it's something I want to do but am also dreading......... Oh please Lord, let a lottery winning enthusiast subscribe to a kickstarter type venture to manufacture Clive's drawings before I have to try and make them myself!!!!!


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#18 Southernman46

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 22:46

What about 3-D printing ?

#19 Dagworth

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 23:06

 Wow! And thanks for sharing the drawings. Am a long way off having to create catenary for my planned layout, but it's something I want to do but am also dreading......... Oh please Lord, let a lottery winning enthusiast subscribe to a kickstarter type venture to manufacture Clive's drawings before I have to try and make them myself!!!!!

Just get on with it Nile :)

It's incredibly satisfying building it yourself, even more so when you know that what you are building is the right type of equipment for your chosen area rather than either a generic or a continental design. Yes it takes time (and money) but this is a hobby, the building of the layout is half the fun.

 

The OLE on Ravens is based around the N-Brass portals with scratchbuilt hanging gear, I've got some more on the go at the moment, I'll try to post some more details over the Easter weekend when I'm not working.

 

Andi


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#20 topsy11

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 15:43

That'd be superb Andi, if you can add a few build pics of the portals and hanging gear.

 

Cheers

 

Mark


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#21 topsy11

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 20:22

Could someone offer a little help.

 

On doing my research I found that the masts would be fitted as long / short / long etc so the catenary lines run in a 'zig zag' pattern to prevent excessive wear on the pantograph.

 

On a set of single masts on a double track line, would they be running as the same masts (i.e two long/short masts together on the up and down line) or would it be a long on the up and short on the down (opposite each other) along the line?

 

I hope that makes sense??



#22 Clive Mortimore

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 20:51

Could someone offer a little help.

 

On doing my research I found that the masts would be fitted as long / short / long etc so the catenary lines run in a 'zig zag' pattern to prevent excessive wear on the pantograph.

 

On a set of single masts on a double track line, would they be running as the same masts (i.e two long/short masts together on the up and down line) or would it be a long on the up and short on the down (opposite each other) along the line?

 

I hope that makes sense??

From http://www.rmweb.co....ne-plain-track/

Stagger.

 

The wires on plain track are held above the line normally by cantilever mast, arranged so that the contact wire zigzags as it goes along. This is called stagger, and is arranged in this fashion to create even ware on the pantograph of the locomotives and multiple units.  The cantilever mast are positioned opposite each other on twin track, there is a push off assembly which holds the contact wire away from the centre line towards the centre of the two tracks. Above the other track is a pull off assembly that pulls the contact wire towards the outside of the track. The distance from the centre line of the track and the position of the contact wire at the registration point (where it is held by the mast) is 9ins for Mk1 OHLE and 230mm for Mk3. If working in 4mm scale this is 3mm.

 

 

You cannot have two push off mast opposite each other as there is not enough electrical clearance on normally spaced running lines.

25kv mk1 push off -push off.png


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#23 jamie92208

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 21:09

Hi Mark

 

I'm doing OLE on my Lancaster Green Ayre layout (see link n my signatire) it's totally the wrong type for you but I would encourage you to have a go.  You have had some breat replies and Clive's drawings are a great resource.  I was lucky enough to inherit the original 1907 production drawings for the Midland OLE.   If you look at the last couple of pages of my thread you will see that it is starting to come together and is very satisfying to do.  Keep up the good work.   I've used spark erosion wire for the actual wires it's0/3mm diamter brass coated with a steel core.  Local companies that use the stuff (Yellow pages) are a good source of part used reels.  It soldrs well and is nice and strong.

 

Jamie