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    Narrow gauge, Radio Control, Pre 20's and mid 60s road vehicles, Edwardian, The unusual

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  1. Lovely work as usual Giles. I'm sure you said 4mm was too small for you! I wish I could keep up with even half your productivity
  2. This works well if you have headlights or tail lights, as you can assign this 'LED2' function to an existing light. However it will (at least on some models /settings) flash if you are using the selecta function and have deselect this reciever, which can be annoying. I have recently bought a couple of 3mm flickering orange Leds to try fitting them in the grate, and then connect to the LED2 function. My hope is the flashing of a dull grate will be less noticeable They look OK on the bench when used with a high value resistor to tone them down, but I need to actually build another steamer to try them in anger. .
  3. Are they back in stock now. Micron still seem to have mostly empty shelves, I gave up waiting for an RX43 and bought a Rx47, its marginally narrower which was valuable and I'm hoping to try out some of the advanced features to make up for the extra price. nice work on the truck
  4. Very nice. Can you get a vehicle to drive on, or is it too steep a ramp and therefore deliveries only. Either way, brilliant.
  5. Progress has been slow but steady, but the results have not been very photogenic, with the details not really being visible. But its now starting to come together. I have focused on the tipping mechanism before worrying about the wheels and undercarriage. The body is built from plastikard, there is still lots of detailing like strapping etc to add. The tipper body features a set of transverse L section rails, which in turn rest on beams that form part of the lower chassis. Underneath, a windlass hauls the body sideways until gravity causes it to tip. Stay chains at each corner restrain the movement. On the prototype, the windlass would be wound by the driver (or his mate) using a 3ft long ratchet wrench. On the model I am using a 4mm planetary gear motor from sol-expert. It has to fit between the frames, which is very limited space, so I had to dismantle the gearbox, which is modular and separates into 3 rings, each with an epicyclic gear-set inside. So I reduced these from 3 down to 2. (125:1 reduced to 25:1) and swapped the motor for a shorter 4mm motor. The standard motor gearbox is held together by a tube of heat shrink. Having modified the contents, I re-assembled them into a pair of brass tubes to keep everything rigid and concentric. Everything except the output gear is 4mm diameter. These then fit into one end of the chassis, driving the windlass via parallel worm gear. At the opposite end, there is a pair of latches, these hold the 'top hinged' doors closed. The weight of the body resting on the slide rails of the chassis keeps the latches closed until the body is winched off centre. These work nicely now, I am hoping these will still release when there is a load inside pushing against the doors. The control system is still under development, the motor is driven by a bi directional ESC which uses the servo signal from the tow vehicle's receiver. An Infra Red LED is connected to the RC receiver and was intended to control the ESC via a photo-diode. However, the best range I could achieve was 5mm between LED and photo-diode. Which is not enough to be useful, so I now have now ordered some phototransistors to hopefully increase the sensitivity. However, the basic principle did work, the motor could be controlled smoothly with an air gap between the 2 vehicles and it coped with them being moved out of range, without the motor running away due to lack of signal. So far all the above has been tested independently, but next needs to be fully assembled and tested. If it works, I can then take it apart to start painting and build the running gear, turntable, etc. This last picture shows the new wagon (without doors) alongside my existing wagon for the Atkinson for perspective.
  6. How good is your eyesight? I crimp these with a fine tipped pair of needle nose pliers. Its decidedly fiddly, and I use a magnifier. But if you only want to do a couple it will get you going. Expect to waste a few on the way though. Sorry I cant help with the proper answer.
  7. Very nicely done. The UK, RC road vehicle, niche of railway modelling moves on (or perhaps down) another notch. Great work.
  8. I was tempted to come up to the show. (havent been for over a decade) cost, distance and other commitments put me off. But I am glad it went so well for you. the minor issues sound very minimal for a first exhibition outing. hopefully there will be some videos on youtube in the usual collection of exhibition montages that get put together by visitors. Operating a full 2 day show with only just enough operators is exhausting. And whilst I have found driving the trucks to be more interesting than several of the layouts I have had the privilege to operate at exhibitions. It is also more demanding on concentration. You can usually allow your mind to drift for a second or two (or longer if the layout is big enough) once a train is rolling, safe in the knowledge it isnt going to wander off route. I would imagine you had a lot of interesting conversations with the visitors. interesting note about the permanantly on lights. I have been reprogramming a couple of my vehicles to use the selecta function having added the necessary knob. I will have to pay further attention to the behaviour of the lights. Do you have any more exhibitions scheduled, or has that one put you off? I would really like to see the layout if it's in the area.
  9. Lovely smooth slow control, as usual. Very nice. Is this a clue to your next layout?
  10. Just to show I can do 'railways' and not just roads. I recently completed this little set for the planned layout. This isnt entirely off topic. The wagons are to enable development of road to rail transfer. The concept for the layout is the "goods in" area of a housing construction site. Served by an internal contractors railway. Something I have seen in a number of pictures, most significantly Selsdon where I grew up and Letchworth garden city. Which between them are providing the inspiration. For this to achieve the operation I require. I need to unload from road vehicles to storage bays and directly to the wagons. Hence needing some wagons. The next stage is a side tipping trailer. I am trying to replicate a mechanism used in pre hydraulic tipping vehicles. The trailer bed is winched sideways until the centre of gravity gets far enough off centre and the load tips downwards. The idea is to use a set of infra red transmitter and reciever to transmit a servo signal from the main vehicle. I have a motor drive pcb which will then convert this signal to motor speed rather than servo position. When the signal is disconnected, it stays at the last setting until the signal is re established. (servos work the same way) The wagons will be helping test this tipper and define key geometries of the layout.
  11. I have been considering the same question just recently. My conclusion was yes, but not well. If you build the kit as instructed, but dont glue the skip to the body. It will tip, and if filled with a load of sand it runs precariously but stable over a simple short length of track and will then dump the load fairly nicely if you push it in just the right way. But, once they are empty, the skip wobbles around all over the place and easily rattles out of alignment. Repeated tests showed skip to be inclined to fall off with the slightest knock or bump. They dont have the mass to hold the skip in place properly, Weight doesnt scale well. It was also very easy to knock the skip off if I didnt push it exactly right when tipping and they tended to try and right themselves awkwardly once empty. I then tried kitbashing, using the chassis and skip but building new support ends based on the arched top frame style. I scaled the dimensions from the Robert Hudson catalogue, republished by the narrow gauge railway society. With the higher structures around the flat support plate of this design, the skip stays in place when running and when tipping. It also has a little friction which keeps the rattle under control. The first one seems to work well so I am going to try a small rake and then see if I can get the tipper mechanism to work. See below. Std version on the right. Modified version on the left. Please excuse the paint job, the next experiment was an excersise in trialling new rust painting techniques. Hope that helps
  12. Having spent a happy week or two trying things out on the low relief 'film set'. It all seems to work reasonably well. The truck runs well, although the steering is again a little asymetric, with more lock one way than the other. partially because its not quite centered. It also tramps a bit on full lock, but if your not too excessive on the steering, it goes round well. The top speed is almost exactly 3meters per minute, which equates to a scale 8.5mph. Slightly slower than I had planned, the gear ratio calculations targeted 9.6mph. But this makes for good slow running and given the speed limits at this time of the prototype (12mph I think), perfectly reasonable for in town driving. The battery lasts longer than I expected, but I havent timed a continuous run to see what the limit is. The FPV works reasonably well, but is not perfect. With the headset on, you get very immersed, it quickly feels odd for the view to not move when you turn your head as you forget you are looking at a screen. The pixels are noticeable if you look for them, but normally are unobtrusive. But this is at largely down to the phone i am using in the headset, as it's the boundaries of the screen pixels that stand out. The camera is theoretically higher resolution than the screen, which in headset mode is ½ HD. There are also some wierd effects when you drive over patterned road surfaces like cobbles, they strobe as the vehicle moves. Much the same way that tv presenters cannot wear stripey clothes on TV. Depth of field is not bad, things get a bit fuzzy when closer than 4-5cm and its good out to infinity. This camera has a glued in lens, so I can't adjust to get better macro. The big weakness is the field of view; The very small camera I chose was only available with a 70deg lens. This is fine from the perspective of looking at the layout, it matches fairly well with the area of vision that the fpv goggles presents. You can also drive very well using it, on spacious roads and open yard areas you can easily navigate - not to mention driving round beer glasses on the table at the pub. At least 10 people have given it a try, including non modellers and a 4 year old and all picked it up in a matter of seconds. But when the obstacles get narrow (<40mm) it becomes noticeably harder than with the experimental camera I did the early trials with on the Atkinson wagon. That had a 120deg field of view and I think if I build another truck I would compromise on a slightly larger camera to get this wider view. Alternatively it is quite common in rc aircraft and drones to mount the camera on gimbals controlled by a gyro on the headset, so that they move as you turn your head. Given the space constraints I think this is going to pushing it in OO but would probably be amazing. Maybe one for Giles in O. Incidently, the vertical range of view is actually limited by the truck, in the video you can see the roof at the top and roughly in the middle bottom you can see the bonnet mascot. Just out of sight below this is the line of the dash panel. Given that the camera is on the shoulders of a 6ft driver, the vertical view is, if anything, better than it should be. Overall the resolution and image quality is pretty good, creates a whole new level of experience and gives you the feeling of being shrunk down into the layout and able to wander around. I really rather want to try it on a real layout now.
  13. I searched for what other products they do, found lots via Banggood and aliexpress, quite a range. I may have to try some of their motor gearbox sets, and the steering links on the trucks and unimog look more to be finer detail than the plastic linkages from Germany. They also have some electronics, but quite a lot appears to be clones of other manufacturers.
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