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

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  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. I spent some time today taking various videos. But suffering slight problems on the editing front after remembering the software was on the old and very dead laptop. In the mean time here is an atmospheric still. All together now, just a few detail parts, and some weathering. But before I get it too grubby I want to get some custom decals for the whole fleet. So trying to create the artwork for these.
  6. I have been contemplating this same arrangement for my planned layout. I intend a simple shunting trackplan that could be powered from a single pair of wires (It wont because of reliability risks, but it gives a context of complexity). The locos will be very small OO9 Wren's, simplex's etc that will prove challenging to squeeze a reciever or Dcc chip. But I wanted to be able to operate from front or rear of the layout and with the controller in hand as per my rc trucks. I also intend some moving machinery diaramas on the layout and control of the couple of points. Being experienced with the Deltang transmitters and recievers. Some of the more complex loco recievers would be sufficient I think to drive all my functions and I could built a portable wireless reciever with the cab control track diagram and extra switches included. Whilst it would be more expensive than a cheap controller and some buttons, I think it will be cheaper than buying a full Dcc system, with the ability to customise it easily to my requirements (I can solder but I cant programme). I think your Idea works for a low complexity layout. But I think it becomes cumbersome and challenging if you exceed 1 transmitter / reciever set.
  7. Back from various travels over the last few weeks and a little time to get progress on the canvas tilt. The video transmitter is quite large (and hot) so the triangular topped version from the kit had to be replaced. I fitted a set of 2mm x 1mm magnets behind each of the vertical posts. Then a set of hoops made from soft iron wire, which sit nicely on the tips of the magnets. I then draped some Pva soaked rectangles of paper over the top to create the canvas. Still need to add the end sheets. The cab uses the original molding but I have added framework detailing. Just held on by the tight fit for the moment. The Tx aerial will be doubled back inside the body eventually, the magnets hold it securely but allow removal to access the battery.
  8. Sorry for not having commented earlier on this developing work. (Have been away on business and holiday) Lovely job as usual Giles, I particularly like the tail gate release, I have been contemplating the same problem, and your solution is particularly neat.
  9. Very true, there is a superb youtube video of a b type at some bus convention. It looked like a half sized miniature. AEC also made quite a lot of trucks for the war department from scratch, based on the chassis design, and exploiting their proven ability to build in volume etc. WD models do a version of this too. But I think their Thorneycroft will be next on my christmas list.
  10. Thanks PhilJ. I had noticed that too. Now i'm torn between the WD models and the Roden one. Although buses dont feature highly on the layout requirements, but I wont be able to resist at least one accurate representation of the B type. What I really want is an open charabanc. But whilst Oxford diecast claim to have done one in their 1:76 range, the only evidence any where else is in 1:43. And then pricey! I think they were done for a promotion. Shame as the Leyland X type chassis it sits on would be great for commercial vehicles too.
  11. Progress. Most of the assembly is now complete. The canvas cab, canvas tilt and a few details to add. The wiring is done for now, other than shortening the wires for the headlights, which are a little straggly, and making a new battery cable to suit the new, more compact 250mAh battery. As you can see, the driver has a large bucket on his head, but otherwise it's not too compromised. Once the cab roof is on it will be even less noticeable I think the transmitter should squash down enough to fit under the canvas tilt. I had intended to switch the fpv on and off with the Deltang reciever, but couldnt get it to provide 100% duty cycle, instead the slight off pulses of the pwm made the fpv transmitter grumpy. So it is hard wired to the main switch for now.
  12. The model T is by RPM. To help with the search. And the Vauxhall is by Roden, with an 'e'. I quite like their D type car as well, will have to try converting one of them at some point
  13. I have managed to get the first decent shots from the micro video camera. The problems turned out to be a camera with the wrong format. I was sent the default Pal format as that is normal for the UK, but since the decoding is happening on a smart phone, and all smart phones are NTSC, it didn't know what to do with the signal. Image taken from cab of the Dennis, wirelessly transmitted to a phone. The camera is 800Tvl so a bit grainy for photos and colour is a bit poor. But it looks great through the head set. The transmitter consumes a hefty 380ma at low power seeing, so it's going to need a massive battery to get half way decent run time.
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