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Dinmore Manor

(No name yet!) Indoor Live Steam BLT in a limited space......

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A bit of background info, last year I had started to collect a few O gauge bits and pieces, I had been doing the usual of doodling trackplans for hours on end etc and had just made a start on making some baseboards to suit, then I visited Warley.... Did some further O gauge shopping in the morning but then mid afternoon I spotted something I hadn't seen before, Hambleden Valley, with R/C live steam running and shunting in a prototypical manner thanks to an inertia device fitted to the locos. A chat with the builder, Stephen Howard, left me hooked but thinking there was no way I could use such a scale in the space I had available.

 

One of the locos in action on Hambleden Valley showing how docile they can be:

 

 

Once home and doing some research I started to realise that a 3 compartment coach in this scale is shorter than an O gauge Mk1 and a tank loco no longer than a Prairie/Std Tank or similar, so why couldn't it work?? The recently acquired O gauge stuff was moved on in short order and SM32 track etc purchased.

 

I followed Stephens innovative idea of using clear roofing sheet for the base board, strong enough to walk on but very light which is important for me as due to the track plan/point locations I am stuck with a board 5x3. Overall scenic section is 10x3 with a fiddleyard of 5x3. Whilst I could have just about got away with sticking with the 2'6" width I was intending for O gauge the additional depth has made a big difference.

 

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Track laying complete and platform base going in

 

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Points are controlled by wire in a tube via a ground frame that shouldn't look too out of scale.

 

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A start made on the rock faces, under the rock face are two hidden storage sidings. Lots of work, chopping, weathering etc still required on the rock, plus a gentle upward slop extending to backscene plus the continuation on to the second board, tapering out toward the back corner.

 

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General overview, bridge near exit will carry a footpath, a working stone loader may be used on the siding nearest the camera.

 

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A bit of progress on the platform/station

 

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Recent over view, hell of a long way to go....

 

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Next up needs to be placing uncoupling  magnets in the right places prior to ballasting, complete the rock faces then crack on with building more engines and stock. Bit of a back burner project in between many other things but steady progress is being made, I shall keep the thread updated if there is interest.

 

Mike

Edited by Dinmore Manor
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Fascinated to see progress here. I love 16mm stuff but I tend to be less keen on things rushing around circles of track (though my N gauge roundy roundy-s suggest otherwise!).

 

Looks fascinating.

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Cheers Will, I was exactly the same, totally put off by the usual tail chasing type of layout which are common place but seeing Hambleden Valley was a breath of fresh air. Shall be trying my best to make the layout as detailed as possible.

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Not done a huge amount to the layout itself in the last week or so but have instead had a go at making my own inertia device as an experiment. First test run has shown I could do with skimming a few grams off the flywheels as from a scale 15 mph or so the loco will free wheel over half the length of the layout....! Also need to change one gear to delrin to reduce noise, but like I say, all an experiment :)

 

Few construction pics and a little video below of first test run:

 

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Must get on with some more scenic work instead of playing trains!

 

 

 

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Very impressive - I hadn't seen this thread before, but I'm definitely going to follow your progress with this project.  I love the your Slo-Mo style inertia device - very clever.  I've tried all sorts of things over the years to get my live steamers to run slowly and smoothly, and the only thing that has consistently worked has been running them at 10psi or so below the normal operating pressure and loading them up well (for example my Welsh Highland 7 car rake weighs in at 18kg, which tames them nicely, until they have to run around the stock at the end of the line, when they revert to type again) - and of course this approach is no use on a shunting layout.  So I'm really interested in how this all works out with your Lady Anne. Thanks for sharing,

 

David

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Cheers David,

 

I can of course take no credit for the slo-mo idea, but being a tight so and so and not wanting to wait for one to come from AUS I thought I'd have a go at putting one together as an experiment. To fit it in the Lady Anne I had to move the regulator servo in to the cab as this was previously mounted under the floor. Once it is proven and reliable I shall detail and re-paint/weather the engine plus change the radio for a smaller hand held device with rotary knob control which also helps smooth out control inputs. The inertia certainly makes a huge difference to the running, as above I had always been put off by the rather lively nature of these types of models which is why so many opt for roundy roundy type layouts which just isn't for me. Hambleden Valley is superb, I fell in love with it and have been lucky enough to be invited to be one of the operators at exhibitions, however, it is rather more grand in size than I have the room for. I'm hoping to prove you can have a worthwhile, interesting layout in less space than many would use for OO, and for it to be predominantly live steam operated too!! 

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 Really  interested in the  the inertia control . What sort of pressure do you run at ? and what sort of run time  do you get out of the jack ? Does the inertia  shorten the run time? 

 

       phil

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This I like a great deal!

 

There was a 16mm live steam shunting layout on the circuit a few years back, and I think the guy running it used a standard Roundhouse loco simply fine-tuned, with no inertia added.

 

One issue tends to be burner control, especially as the gas tank warms up and pressure increases slightly, but I think one can buy regulator valves to help with that.

 

I've found that running at say 30psi, if you can tweak the control to keep the heat down low enough, yields great control, although that naturally comes at the expense of tractive effort ...... which isn't going to matter on your excellent layout.

 

Kevin

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Hi Phil,

 

The Jack isn't mine, it's one of the Hambleden stable, for use on that layout each loco has a timer set at 30 minutes then it is swapped out for another loco to avoid the embarrassment of an engine failing 'on scene'....! However, his Billy has run for 50 minutes, though granted this isn't hard arduous non stop work as per non stop running on a garden line. usual sort of 30-40psi is fine, will run happily lower though.

 

Kevin, one of the advantages of running on an end to end/shunting type layout is that the gas can be kept down extremely low as it doesn't matter if you lose a few psi whilst on the move as it will be regained whilst stationary or crawling around slowly. In an exhibition hall its actually quite hard to adjust down low enough because you can't hear it over background noise! Lower pressure certainly helps control but nothing comes close to the docility achieved with an inertia device fitted in my opinion.

 

Mike

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Hi Phil,

 

The Jack isn't mine, it's one of the Hambleden stable, for use on that layout each loco has a timer set at 30 minutes then it is swapped out for another loco to avoid the embarrassment of an engine failing 'on scene'....! However, his Billy has run for 50 minutes, though granted this isn't hard arduous non stop work as per non stop running on a garden line. usual sort of 30-40psi is fine, will run happily lower though.

 

 

Mike

     Hi Mike  One of the peter angus geared locos

5773164794_1086b8c0ca_z.jpgDSCF0918 b by phil, on Flickr

   These run superbly slow and are very well behaved, I promised myself if I see one of these up for sale somewhere ill get one .

  http://www.timpdon.co.uk/timpdon/index.htm

  Have you seen chris,s layout  ,all his locos run slow and gentle although he doesn't shunt, mainly about entertaining the kids with a lot of little cameos around the layout. My Katie light load, about 20psi runs for about 65 mins outside but no gradients totally flat Roundy,  Roundy .  phil

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Now that is proper engineering! :)  and something i could'nt hope to make in a million years, i do hope it works well and you can churn a few more out to sell for yourself! I've seen those from down under advertised but the price and waiting time is just too much for my own coffers. The indoor layout looks Very impressive as well, i can't wait to see it's further construction, and maybe out at a show some day? :)  

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My Katie light load, about 20psi runs for about 65 mins outside but no gradients totally flat Roundy,  Roundy .  phil

 

You get a 65 minute run time from a Katie?  Wow - I thought I was doing well when I sometimes manage to get 45 mins from mine - that's seriously impressive.  Does anyone know how long the Hambleden lads manage to get per run from their shunting locos?

 

David

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Just found this thread.  Runtimes vary between 25mins and 45 mins.  As stated above, the trick is to get the gas turned down as low as possible without turning it out. On Roundhouse locos this has to be done by listening to the burner roar and at exhibitions, background noise can make this diificult to hear, However the gas control knobs are fitted with a pointer to give a visual indiction of the setting.  As Mike said above, I now use a timer device and swap locos over after about 25mins to avoid them running out of steam on the layout, plus the audience doesn't want to see the same loco for long periods of time, I currently have four spread over a 90 minute schedule

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 Really  interested in the  the inertia control . What sort of pressure do you run at ? and what sort of run time  do you get out of the jack ? Does the inertia  shorten the run time? 

 

       phil

The run time is purely a function of how fast you burn through the contents of the gas tank.  What the engine does or how much steam it uses has no bearing on the run time.  You just need to get the burner as low as it will go wothout turning it out.  If the burner is left wide open, the standard Roundhouse 32ml gas tank will empty in around 28mins.  Given it takes 7-8 mins to raise steam to 40psi, that leaves a running time of around 20 mins.  The lower you can set the burner, the more you will extend this time. 50mins is my best.

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Now that is proper engineering! :)  and something i could'nt hope to make in a million years, i do hope it works well and you can churn a few more out to sell for yourself! I've seen those from down under advertised but the price and waiting time is just too much for my own coffers. The indoor layout looks Very impressive as well, i can't wait to see it's further construction, and maybe out at a show some day? :)  

 

Cheers, I must state I have no intention of making them to sell, for one I simply don't have the time to be honest between current work.  SSP have put a lot of effort in to designing their units, I most certainly wouldn't want to tread on toes as that's just not my style. The units they sell fit very easily in to the models that they provide for without modification. I have had to move the regulator servo in to the left hand tank to be able to fit my somewhat more agricultural device. To be able to make them the way he does you need access to CNC machinery for it to be cost effective. I fell in to the trap of thinking that the gears would just be a few quid but there are well over £80 worth of parts in that unit. I can see where the cost comes from and good luck to the chap, such a revolutionary idea. It is a shame there isn't a UK importer though I must say.

 

I have already been invited to an exhibition but I have had to decline as there is no way that the layout would be ready let alone atleast another 2 steamers to build etc. But something for the future if there is the interest.

 

Have had another little go with the engine earlier, what did I say about getting on with scenics and not playing trains.............! In my defence I have done a bit more ballasting so maybe it's justified?!

 

Vid below at 40 psi, steady crawl achieved.

 

 

Cheers for the interest and good to see Steve posting on here too, his layout is well worth seeing in the flesh if you get the opportunity.

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Not had a huge amount of time recently due to being away a fair bit, however, I have managed to get a bit more ballasting and infilling done. I am having to leave a few gaps here and there ready for the installation of uncoupling magnets which can then be covered over. I also purchased a nice wagon with a shiny new tractor ready for delivery on. Next up I want to complete my coaches as these have sat around part finished for far too long now.

 

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Also managed to take the Lady Anne for an extended test run of the inertia device on a garden railway, lovely set up there:

 

post-7911-0-67069400-1501516387_thumb.jpg

 

Mike

Edited by Dinmore Manor
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Picked up another three swift sixteen resin wagon kits to assemble for the stone train. Shall try and get on to these over the weekend. More progress has been made with the fiddleyard too but yet to take any pictures.

 

 

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Spent a couple of hours yesterday making a start on the front fascia/lighting board. Quite pleased with the light, a 50/50 mix of cool white and warm white LED's, now needs finishing off with a hinged joint in the middle (instead of the clamps....!)  and wire in the power properly. More wagons have been built recently, another loco chassis kit purchased and the Lady Anne stripped for detailing and repainting. Ignore the naff greenery, just random bits from an old bag dotted about to give a bit of colour for now!

Still not thought of a name for the layout ... Any suggestions!?

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Edited by Dinmore Manor
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Oooops, been playing trains again...

 

 

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Have progressed the footpath bridge and turned up some tank vents though so not all been play time. To some extent the testing etc is most needed as before long I need to set uncoupling magnets in place in specific locations to be able to operate the layout effectively, keep finding places where another magnet will be required!

 

I've seen no name suggestions forthcoming, damn...!

 

Mike

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Didn't realise it had been so long, but that's probably because I've not done as much as I should, for a number of months things have been shelved and at one point I was going to get rid, but the person who wanted all the stock didn't turn up... So it's still here and now the cold dark nights have arrived a little progress has been made, the stone train is all assembled awaiting paint.

 

Back in April the newly painted loco was used on Steve's excellent Hambleden Valley layout at the National Garden Railway Show, he is seen having a go with it below.

 

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Just day's before I painted and weathered the engine, there are a few more details to add but so far additions have included front and rear sandboxes, different cab steps, lubricators, tool boxes, coal, tank vents, riveted buffer beams, blower pipe etc. At some point she will receive some running plates, re-railing jack and a copper chimney cap of course.....

 

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A little bit of trial greenery has been added to the end of the run round loop

 

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The footbridge has some initial paint applied and now awaits weathering and the addition of bolts.

 

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The framework for the goods shed is pretty much complete so next task is to paint that then iron clad it. Slow progress but better than nothing, just got to find some enthusiasm to crack on with it a bit over coming months.

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You have done a superb job so far. I agree that running live steam at an exhibition is difficult due to the inability to hear the burner properly. At a recent meeting I had my Lady Anne run out of steam, although that was due to the gas tank not being completely full. I shall be following your build with interest as I am also building a portable indoor layout.

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You have done a superb job so far. I agree that running live steam at an exhibition is difficult due to the inability to hear the burner properly. At a recent meeting I had my Lady Anne run out of steam, although that was due to the gas tank not being completely full. I shall be following your build with interest as I am also building a portable indoor layout.

Do share pics of what you are building... :)

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Do share pics of what you are building... :)

I will have to take some pictures! I am building my layout so it is capable of being incorporated into the Association modular layout. Only one board made so far, but most of the things I need apart from time are to hand. At the moment I am making the buildings and scenic features as I don't have anywhere to make progress on the boards. 

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Superb layout - your Lady Anne looks great!  I have toyed with such an idea in the past, and then discounted it, but then I see the Hambledon Valley videos again and its comes back to the forefront of my mind :)

 

Do you happen to know what radio system (manufacturer) Steve uses on Hambledon, and have you converted your loco to the same?  I know you mentioned you were thinking about doing it at one point?

 

Interesting take on the livery, gaining BR decals :)

 

Richard

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Hi Richard

 

I use a 2.4Ghz radio control system from Lococontrol.co.uk.  Dave Pritchard the owner does a small amount of customisation of the transmitters for me, but his standard offering will work just as well.  ( I don't use the extra function buttons and use a switch for direction servo rather than a pot. You can use the bind button which is on channel 5 to opearte a switch if required, my Anne has an electronic whistle on this channel)  I like the system for its small size and the ability to bind receivers without needing to gain access to them to fit bind plugs which gives me great flexibility and resilience.  The radio coverage is limited in range, particularly in the undergrowth in the garden, but is more than enough for my needs, particularly on my exhibition layout.  I get around 30ft in the garden and 50ft indoors but it greatly depends on circumstances and where the aerial is mounted within the loco, most of mine are under the cab floor, so not ideal for reception.  There are other alternatives from Fosworks and Micron amongst others.  (Usual disclaimer, I have no connection to any of these business other than as a satisfied customer).  However, the primary reason for the locos controllabilty is the use of Slomo inertia devices rather than the radio system and I could not operate the layout as I do without these devices.  http://smallsteamperformance.com.au/ They absolutely transform the loco performance and I wouldn't have any loco without one.

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