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Rod,

 

What advantages do Dinghams offer over Spratt & Winkle?

 

Rgds,

 

FWIW I think they look a lot better. Seriously thinking about trying them as I dabble in 0 Gauge, as I still can't cope with 3 links.

 

Ed

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Rod,

 

What advantages do Dinghams offer over Spratt & Winkle?

 

Rgds,

 

Good question, Andy, and I'm afraid I can't give you a reasoned answer.  It's just that, over the years, as I've read articles and talked and worked with other modellers, I'd come to the decision that if I went down the route of automatic couplings, Dinghams are what I would use.  I've seen them in operation and they're unobtrusive and effective (however, I'd not seen them in use on Heljan vehicles!!)  I'd never done it, though, as I always believed "real men use 3-link and screwlink couplings"!! 

 

The decision time came a couple of weeks ago when I was trying to couple the screwlink on a Heljan Mark 1 from under the corridor connection and between the pipes onto the recessed hook on a Class 25, also between the pipes!!  I remember it vividly -  "  ********* (expletives).  I've had enough".  So I came into the house, onto my computer and ordered the Dinghams!!

 

All very emotional and not very objective, perhaps, but it was based on the knowledge I'd accumulated.  So far, I'm not regretting it but watch this space!!!

 

Rod

Edited by Dmudriver
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I'm trialing Dinghams in 00. The two issues I've found are the loop pivot has a lot of slop and is tricky on bogie freight due to the swing of the buffer beam on corners

 

I'm not yet convinced

 

Hi.  I can imagine they might be a bit tricky in 00, being that much smaller.  As for your freight stock, it might be worthwhile investigating fitting them to the bogies: I've read of people doing this to avoid the problem you talk about.  I've done it on my parcels stock but that's because the Kadees wouldn't all fit on the buffer beams of my bogie parcels stock.  I'll look back in my thread and find the posts for you if that will help.  Admittedly it's 0 gauge but the principles might be applicable to 00.

 

Rod

 

Edit - to add:  The description of the bogie-mounted couplings is on page 46, starting at post no. 1146.

 

HTH

 

Rod

Edited by Dmudriver
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"Could you cut away the floor of the corridor connections to allow the free movement of the bar? From a side view the missing bit may not be seen as easily."

 

​Hi Jinty.

 

Yes, that's exactly the way I had been thinking!!  However, at the other end, there's a hook and loop and I want to see how that fits as another solution may pop up.  I certainly think that the return leg (for the want of a better word) under the loop, to which the soft iron wire is attached, may foul the underside of the buffer** beam/underframe but I'll know that soon!!  I'll also see if the loop is impeded by the corridor connection.

 

If I do cut it away, I'm sure there'll be ways of covering it up (says he, hopefully!!!)

 

Rod

 

**  Dodgy typing again - came out as "biffer" at first!!!

 

 

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There will now be a short intermission ............

 

unfortunately, drinks on sticks will not be available.

 

 

What that means is that I'm holding off doing any more Dinghams because I've always had an idea of changing the Heljan bogies for Easybuild ones.  If I do this, it's just possible the ride height might change and that could affect the couplings.

 

Why change the bogies?  The Heljan ones do not get along with my handbuilt pointwork - for 2 reasons:  1)  I built the points from C&L kits as separate items: with what I know now I'd have built the whole complex as one to get freer flowing curves and less rail joints.  However, what's done is done and I haven't got the time or inclination to rebuild it as it's only Heljan that really rattle through them.  Also, the point blades are machined on the side that rests against the stock rail but on the other roughly half the railhead is left.  When constructed this creates a bit of gauge narrowing - which I didn't realise at first, but which Heljan wheels keep reminding me about.  [i realised this after the 2nd or 3rd point so I altered the others but 2) stil applies]. 2)  the design of the JLTRT tie bars means that there is a bit of a shoulder just under the railhead on the switch blades.  If I soldered them slightly high Heljan wheel flanges bounce on them. 

 

No other wheels do any of this, so it's the Heljans I need to focus on.  I've been told it's pretty simple to change them to Easybuilds, so I've got some kits to test them out.  I'm just building the first pair of bogies, so watch this space.

 

More soon.

 

Rod

Edited by Dmudriver
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Hi all.

 

Just a short update.  The Easybuild bogies do fit the Heljan coaches and there's very little to do to them to make them fit.  And they run really well!  Success!!

 

I'll take a couple of pix in the next couple of days.

 

Rod

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As promised, a couple of pics.  The first is a comparison of the 2 models of bogies:  Heljan on the left, Easybuild (adapted) on the right.  There is a peg on the underside of the Heljan vehicles (not shown) which passes through the hole in the centre of the bogie and into which a screw is inserted, which holds the bogie in place.  The Easybuild bogie has a pivot bearing (centre) which is normally the other way up and produces a bearing surface on the floor of the vehicles.  The intention is that that same peg will sit in the middle of the inverted Easybuild pivot and be screwed in in the same way.

 

post-7571-0-44343600-1491676776_thumb.jpg 

 

The second pic shows the alterations in more detail.  On the right, on top of the bogie is a pivot bearing as it comes in the kit.  This is normally the underside (the other side being the flat surface) but here it is put upside down in the bearing slots.  It isn't quite low enough, though, so the middle has to be reduced in height.  I use a small countersinking tool, but there still needs some cutting away to get it level.  It doesn't look the neatest exercise, but they work - the Heljan coach sits nicely in them and does not lean or wobble as it runs. 

 

I did these 2 in situ as I misunderstood the advice I was given - I did not realise something needed cutting away!!  The others will be done on the workbench before fitting.

 

post-7571-0-06805400-1491676785_thumb.jpg

 

As I said yesterday, they run really well - much better than the Heljans - so it's an exercise I consider well worth doing.  Obviously you've got the cost of the Easybuild bogie kits to consider but, to me, this is cheaper and quicker than relaying all the pointwork in the station throat.

 

I'll see if I can do a video of the coaches with the different bogies on them.

 

I do hope this is useful and I'm not getting boring.  More soon.

 

Rod

Edited by Dmudriver
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Would it have been possible to just change the wheelsets or did I miss something earlier on?

JF

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Would it have been possible to just change the wheelsets or did I miss something earlier on?

JF

 

Hi Jon.

 

Good question and, no, you didn't miss anything as I never mentioned it.  I did look at the Heljan bogies but I could see no simple way of getting them apart.  I did try pulling here and there but there were no signs of anything giving, or being able to be loosened.  I've actually just had another go now and, again, can't see anything that could indicate a way to dismantle them.

 

Now I've got the Easybuilds I could take one to pieces - destroy might be a better word!! - and, if I do, I'll put something on here.

 

Rod

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TBH I've never had a look at the Heljan bogies (Always seen their bogie stock as a smuch expensive) but I imagine if "wheels can go in-Wheels can come out". !

 

I'll await the forthcoming destruction!!

 

JF

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Rod,

 

please can we have some photos from all angles before the destruction begins?

 

it's a challenge to understand how they did it!

 

best

Simon

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Hi Simon.

 

As requested, a few pics.   The first 3, of the top.  The pegs are moulded on and stop the body rocking. 

 

post-7571-0-02665500-1491861942_thumb.jpg

post-7571-0-95620100-1491861621_thumb.jpg

post-7571-0-36346200-1491861634_thumb.jpg

 

One end:

 

post-7571-0-60847000-1491861646_thumb.jpg

 

One side:

 

post-7571-0-10745800-1491861656_thumb.jpg

 

The springs can be removed as the castings on the sideframe unplug.  The tie rods are also removable.

 

Finally, 3 views from underneath.  The brake blocks are separate fittings but I can't get any to come off.

 

post-7571-0-38191200-1491861666_thumb.jpg

post-7571-0-20632600-1491861675_thumb.jpg

post-7571-0-40559000-1491861691_thumb.jpg

 

I cannot for the life of me see how to start taking them apart - I can't find any weak spot.  I've tried levering the sideframes off via the wheel openings - no joy.  I've tried sliding a craft knife blade into various joins - again no joy.

 

I can only think the wheels have been fitted and then the whole bogie welded together.

 

However, you may well see something I've missed.  And I'm not really keen on destroying one as I want to see if I can sell them (cheaply!!)

 

Over to you!!

 

Rod

Edited by Dmudriver
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Rod

 

Thanks

 

Not a clue!

 

Best

 

 

Simon

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Good morning Rod, if the long tie rods and springs are unplugged do the axle boxes not then slide down and out of the bogie moulding ?

 

But upon exploding up the image it looks like the Axle boxes are part of the moulding, if the removable parts are taken away is there then enough twist of flex in the moulding to gently prise the axle boxes away so one end of the axle and bearing can be lifted out ?

 

Best regards

Craig

Edited by muddys-blues

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Good morning Rod, if the long tie rods and springs are unplugged do the axle boxes not then slide down and out of the bogie moulding ?

 

But upon exploding up the image it looks like the Axle boxes are part of the moulding, if the removable parts are taken away is there then enough twist of flex in the moulding to gently prise the axle boxes away so one end of the axle and bearing can be lifted out ?

 

Best regards

Craig

 

Hi Craig.

 

In short, no and no!!  I checked a couple of bogies after I'd read your post: the axleboxes don't slide out - as you say, they're part of the moulding.  There's a tiny bit of flex in the bogies, but nowhere near enough to get the axles out.

 

These are the first Heljan items I've come across where nothing drops off!!!!  And yes, I've put a couple of windows out of the coaches when I've been handling them.  They're back again now, though!!

 

If Simon (above) hasn't a clue I don't think there's anywhere else to go and I don't really fancy destroying one if there's no chance of a reasonable solution.  I'm at a show the weekend after next - I'll see if I can sell them there!!  At least it'll be a contribution towards the cost of the Easybuilds!!

 

Rod

Edited by Dmudriver
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Check this page at Howes as it shows the spares/sprues etc for the underside of GUVs and Mark ones. The bogie frame is definately all one moulding without any working suspension so I can only imagine the frames are spread and wheel sets are forced in like the 00 versions :O

Some useful looking bits though!

JF

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Hi Craig,
 
I had a similar problem with my Heljan GUV. I found the wheels were too deep to run through my 31.5mm pointwork. If I remember correctly I prised off the springs and this allowed access to the bearings from the outside and somehow I got the brass bearing out and flexed the frames to get the wheels out. I was able to prise off the spring from one wheel to demonstrate what I did. Apologies for the pics, I took them on my phone.
 
DSC_0108_zpsoagxsc9a.jpg
 
I replaced the wheels with coach wheels from Peartree Engineering (Model Railway Parts).
 
To install the new wheels I reversed the Heljan bearing and slid the Peartree bearing inside.
 
DSC_0110_zpsgm7kdeei.jpg
 
The wheels were put in  place between the frames and the new bearing set slid over the pinpoint axles from the outside.
 
DSC_0112_zpsacllakug.jpg
 
The only work then was to mill out some of the plastic from the spring moulding to accommodate the bearing flange that is now on the outside of the frame
 
DSC_0113_zps7omfsnem.jpg
 
Then glue on modified spring mouldings back in place. I used superglue for this.
 
This GUV now runs through all my points with no lifting or wheel drop.
 
I'm sure there must be other ways of doing this but this worked for me.

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I was looking for the hidden glue line but couldn't see one anywhere - I reckon Robin gets the award!!!

 

Neat solution - one piece bogie with push in bearings to locate the axles, and cover them with cosmetic axleboxes

 

Best

Simon

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When I altered a Heljan GUV the wheel sets were slightly out for 31.5mm crossings with 1.5mm flangeways, but I managed to move the wheels, on their plastic bushes whilst still set into the bogie, using a C&L B2B gauge and gentle but firm persuasion. I'd certainly replace them for either Peartree sets or Easybuild sets though if given the chance!

 

Jinty ;)

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I agree with Simon - Robin definitely gets the award!!  I've prised off an axlebox (glued on) and, yes, it works.

 

However, I've now done 2 sets of Easy Build bogies and it's not really worth my while changing as I'm not going to benefit too much by selling the remainder and then buying new wheelsets.

 

Plus, as I'm fitting Dingham couplings, the fact that the Easybuild wheels can be fitted with no sideways movement is really helpful.

 

On with the Easy builds!!  More soon.

 

Rod

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Hi all.

 

It's been a while!!  I've been doing some modelling, but mainly, I've found out the cause of the sciatica - it's a slipped disc!!  Diagnosis was complicated by the fact it occurred just at the peak of the side effects of a course of radiotherapy for prostate cancer.  Thankfully, the cancer's in remission and I'm having 2 sessions of physio a week to ease the back pain - and it's so far, so good.  So, it's back to modelling.

 

I've done some and also had a couple of running sessions with visitors.  They seemed to enjoy themselves - well, they want to come back, anyway!  So it's on with the bogies.  

 

I've now done 3 sets of the Easy Build BR1b bogies and they run superbly - I can't praise them highly enough.  I did buy a set of their Commonwealth bogies - for a bit of variety!! - but unfortunately, the Heljans ride a bit high on them.  It's not bad at all for the normal screw couplings, but heights of the Dingham couplings are rather critical so I've sold the pair and bought another set of BR1bs.  (I sold the 5 sets of Heljan bogies at the same time!!).  3 coaches are now fitted with the new bogies - just one more to go, plus the GUV.  Oh, and a window to put back in the last coach** - which is why it's last on the list to do!!

 

I've been playing with the Dinghams and I bought some blackening fluid at the Leigh Show.  However, I've sorted the hook and latch on one of the end coaches.  I cut away part of the corridor moulding.  Here's a pic of it done.  Not very pretty, I know, but bear in mind this is a cruel closeup and it won't be that easily seen from the side (as Jinty suggested some time ago):

 

post-7571-0-75184500-1494275877_thumb.jpg

 

The latch now lifts further than it did and is enough to uncouple: it doesn't go properly vertical, but it's good enough and this end will only be for locos uncoupling at platform or siding ends.  This is how it looked before (except it didn't have the chequer plate moulding - which I've seen tonight for the first time!!):

 

post-7571-0-50837700-1494275891_thumb.jpg

 

To make it more presentable, I've painted the corridor end floor with weathered black paint and it looks better.  From normal viewing distance it will be fine.  This is a close up:

 

post-7571-0-87286500-1494275903_thumb.jpg

 

Bogie set no. 4 is on the work bench  and that's the job for the morning.  Once the bogies are done, Dingham fitting will go into full swing: it's critical to get them all at the same height and centred so a lad at the club who has a 3D printer is willing to print off a jig for me.  I've done a drawing and a rough model, so we'll see what he produces.

 

And just as an aside: when I was testing the Easy Build bogies, I found a very tight spot on the curved crossover.  It turned out to be a check rail too close to the running rail - a bit of levering with a screwdriver and a spot of superglue sorted that!!  So the Heljan bogies weren't completely to blame for jumping at that point but it's the only one where the Easy Builds did so too.  Everywhere else was down to the design of the Heljan wheels!!

 

More soon.

 

Rod

 

**  With all the handling, I'm pleased it's just one!!

Edited by Dmudriver
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To go back a few post to answer the question as I see it about the superiority of the Dingham over the S&W:

 

When Dingham fitted wagons are  pushed over an  energised electromagnet, the coupling loop flips up, and the delayed action device on the opposite hook lifts to release the loop, then drops down again preventing the loop from re-coupling.

 

The train stops and reverses, the uncoupled wagon remains whhere it has been shunted to whilst the loco and/or rest of the train can move away.

 

With the S&W, to enable the delayed action to work, requires a stop a slight reverse and then a push forward again which is best described as a bit of shuffling over the electromagnet.

 

The disadvantage the Dingham has in this respect is if you have a fixed magnet, as any train propelled over the magnet will be automatically uncoupled:  Each and every vehicle! 

 

I was always opposed to 'handed' coupling systems such as the Dingham until it dawned upon me that my railways have neither tender locos or turntables, so handing didn't really matter.

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Hi Rod,

Sorry to hear the health hasn't been good, but delighted to hear the cancer is in remission and the slipped disc is improving.

 

The work with those Dingham couplings looks great. Shall be using the same coupling on my stock so your details of how you've fitted them to the Heljan's is really useful! I'm told the Easybuikd kits are good to construct (not just the bogies!!) so I can see me having a go at one or two of their DMUs once I've finished the current kit.

 

Always look forward to the WKT updates, you've done really well with the layout so far!

 

Rich

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Sorry to hear the health hasn't been good, but delighted to hear the cancer is in remission and the slipped disc is improving.

 

Snap

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Evening all.

 

Thanks for your clicks on the friendly/supportive tabs, Rich's comments  and the "agrees" to beast's "Snap".  We'll not go on about it, but all I'd say, gentlemen. is, as you get older, if you have "waterworks" problems - get yourself checked.  I did and we caught it just in time - before it spread.  Don't hang about, just do it!!  If anyone wants advice or to know a bit more, PM me.

 

Right - on to modelling.  Referring to Richard (Happy Hippo)'s comments, I can't comment on Sprat and Winkles, but I'm using fixed magnets on my layout and I accept his point about the disadvantages.  However, the only problems will be when I'm reversing the parcels stock into a platform or siding and then the GUV and the 4-wheel van will uncouple: but, as I'm planning to attach those to DMUs or the 131 on occasions, it won't be too much of a problem.  In other words, I can live with it.  Apart from that I didn't fancy the hassle of fitting electromagnets, with all the wiring and having to put the switches somewhere!!!

 

I've sprayed the 4 wheel van with primer today - it's been in unpainted condition for far too long!!  Spray painting in blue will follow next week, I think.  

 

My pal at the club has got my drawings and a rough model of the jig (for setting up the Dinghams) to do on his 3D printer so I look forward to getting those.  Finishing of the hooks and latches also needs doing and then they'll all need blackening before fitting.

 

I've done one bogie of the 4th set so that will be the coaches sorted: the final pair is for the GUV.

 

I've had a bit of a shunt around today and found out 2 things: 1) my 37 has definitely succumbed to the split gear problem and I've checked Howes' website and they're out of stock at the moment!!  I have a feeling I've got one somewhere - amongst piles of spares.  Will I find it?  I'll let you know shortly.  2) my 131 - with a single power bogie - pulls 3 x BGs (2 x JLTRT and 1 x Easy Build).  Whether they'd have pulled 3 in real life I doubt but at least I know it will pull the 4 wheel van and the GUV - separately, if not together.

 

So, that's it for now.  More soon.

 

Rod

Edited by Dmudriver
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