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scratchbuilt
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Hi all,

I have started on a RC loco, its called Herbert and every simularity with existing models is not quite coincidental...... It will have the cassettemotor I used before, a 3V batterie, and reciever and ecs from the 1:87 micro-scene. Scale is 1:45 16,5mm track. Oh, there is something more, I made a few scetches before I started to cut plastic, quite an experience for me....:doh:


Here is one pic to start with: the chassis...


More to follow,

Albert

scratchbuilt
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A picture:



After I looked at this thread in the Buntbahn-forum : http://www.buntbahn.de/modellbau/viewtopic.php?t=7415&highlight=

I thought I make hood and cabin in card. I've built in card before so it is not as strange as it sounds. Now Herbert is my first loco with a plastic frame and a card housing. The radiator is plastic to. More details will be added as soon as it runs. And, comming to that, running is possible after the last part arrives: the send christal. The sender I bought was cheap and now I know why, many parts were missing. So next thing to do is building the RC-stuff and batterie in.

More to follow.

Huw Griffiths
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scratchbuilt wrote: After I looked at this thread in the Buntbahn-forum : http://www.buntbahn.de/modellbau/viewtopic.php?t=7415&highlight=

I thought I make hood and cabin in card. I've built in card before so it is not as strange as it sounds. Now Herbert is my first loco with a plastic frame and a card housing.


A very interesting thread - I can see why it inspired you.

As I haven't used the German language since I was in school (nearly 30 years ago), I obviously found it a bit difficult to work out exactly what everyone was saying - but I understood enough from the pictures.

I quite liked the drive mechanism on the first page - and the card "diesel draisine" later in the thread also looked interesting.

Making locos and rolling stock from card doesn't sound strange to me - it's actually a very old idea - but a lot of people use this method even now. Quite apart from all the card kits produced by Alphagraphix (and others) - garden railway kits from http://www.locolines.net - and downloads from the likes of http://www.papiermodelle.de - it's noticeable how many models on Freerails started as card mock-ups.

Also, a few years ago, I saw some guy at a model railway show, demonstrating how to build models from card - and he'd brought with him a display case full of excellent rolling stock models he'd built in this way. Card might not be the easiest modelling material to work with, but it's perfectly usable if you know what you're doing - I just wish I did!

Sorry to hear about the problems with the R/C gear - I'm sure you will have learnt a lot from that.

Anyway, that's more than enough from me - it'll be interesting to find out how you get on with your models.

Regards,

Huw.

W C Greene
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Albert-great looking model so far! I am sorry you had problems with the r/c stuff...carry on and you will be rewarded. Cardstock, strathmore board, even old "shirt" cardboard were used many years ago, before things like styrene sheet, milled basswood, etc. became available. In fact, locomotives were built from oak and pine with cardboard cabs and tenders. I remember reading a construction article in which the author built a rather large HO locomotive, turning the boiler from wood and the frame was made from wood also. Parts like drivers and wheels were available, but little else. These days, the models would be considered rather crude, but considering the materials used and the talent it took to make something neat from a shoebox and piece of an orange crate-today's modelers have it very easy! Cardstock seems to be a reasonable medium even now. Please, more photos.

             Woodie

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Hi all,

I'm bussy fiddeling the rc-gear into Herbert. For I'm not the most talented electronic engineer I thought it might be wise to consult you, Free-Railers......

This is a 'drawing' of the wiring I suppose it should be. There are no more point to attach wires to. Does this make sense? Please advise. L:

Oh, the third thing from the left is the ecs... S is signal (white wire). + = red, - = black. There is no + or- givven at the motor end from the ecs, the motor itself does have a black and a red wire. The christal is at the left-under corner on the receiver.



Buildingphotographs will follow, be patient......;)

Albert

Last edited on Sun Jan 3rd, 2010 05:08 pm by scratchbuilt

W C Greene
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Albert-I am not familiar with the receiver you are using. Black wires (usually) mean negative and red (ditto) mean positive. The input from battery to board is critical, polarities must be observed. The wires to the motor are not critical. If the loco doesn't run in the direction you believe it should, just reverse the motor wires. I am confused about the 2 boards shown and the three wire connection. On the boards I have, there are just 2 in, 2 out, and an antenna. Do you have some sort of schematic from the board that can be followed? Things look OK to me but someone else needs to give you the "green light" on the hookup.  Maybe a photo of the receiver/esc would help. Sorry to be so indefinate, but again, I am not familiar with this board and don't want to get you into "hot water"...    Woodie

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Pictures as promised. Still waiting for the internetshop comming out of their wintersleep. Until then there will be no further action on Herbert because I can not test run.

The receiver is under the white hood. The ecs is hanging between wires. It will be attached on to the receiverhood.





The tiny black thing on the frame is the switch. I think things can approve when I change to Lipo's, the (selfmade) batteryholder is taking a lot of space.



More to come.....

Huw Griffiths
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W C Greene wrote: I am not familiar with the receiver you are using. Black wires (usually) mean negative and red (ditto) mean positive. The input from battery to board is critical, polarities must be observed.I am not familiar with this board and don't want to get you into "hot water"... 

This is an issue I've often encountered.

Because I've got some electrical / electronic training, a number of people (students - more recently friends and relatives) have collared me, expecting instant, detailed, guidance about equipment I've never seen - then haven't liked it when I've been unable to answer.

The advice is excellent - but anything else needs manufacturer's data.

A lot of equipment will have the manufacturer's name and model on it - perhaps other info as well - often on a plate or sticker known as a "nameplate". Given this info, it might be possible to go to the manufacturer's website and download datasheets, instructions, application notes, or other info (much of which is likely to come in very useful).

It's a bit like the component datasheets I rely on whenever I design, build or modify electronic circuits. Without this stuff, I might be lucky and just about able to guess how to switch something on. With this stuff, there's a chance I might actually be able to do something useful.

This is why I've always made a point of holding onto data - I just never know when I might need it!

By the way, the build is looking very neat so far - always a good sign. When you've got things finalized, I hope you're also able to run the wires as neat as this - and label them - then draw up an easy to follow wiring diagram.

(There's nothing wrong with a bit of slack in the wires, to allow for moving things when you need to access other stuff - all that matters is that the slack doesn't get in the way and doesn't get tangled!)

This isn't a criticism - I'm just thinking ahead, in case you need to modify it or do any repairs a few years down the line. This could easily happen - usually after you've forgotten what goes where - and I wouldn't want all your good work to be in vain. (Before you ask, this comment is based on experience - I've often had to modify things, especially other people's work - and I'm just trying to stop you falling into a common trap!)

Regards,

Huw.

Last edited on Sun Jan 3rd, 2010 11:39 pm by Huw Griffiths

Herb Kephart
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I would like to echo two points that Huw made-

Leave slack in the wires--that way you will never need it

AND

Make a diagram of the circuit


Now if i could just remember where I put all mine for safe keeping-------:bang:




Herb:old dude:

scratchbuilt
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IT RUNS !!

I asked the supplier how to wire things. He also told me to put a capacitor 47nF in it against receiverproblems. Today the sendchristal arrived. I had some startup problems but now it runs, speed is indeed adjustable, it can crawl but with noise, and it goes forward and backwards. It is able to push a few cars up a hill. Still I'm not quit satisfied. I will have to sophisticate things, but not sure what, to make it more smooth running. As soon as my daughter and sun explained me how YouTube works I show you a small movie.

Have to go now, more to come..








W C Greene
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Wonderful news! I knew you would get it figured out. Not knowing what type of transmitter you have, it might be possible to get even finer speed control by using the "trim" on the throttle. Of course, what I am thinking about may be ancient technology. The trim is sort of a fine tuning capability on older transmitters to get optimum performance from motors or servos. It appears you are using a 3 volt camera battery in the loco, you might get better response with more voltage. Again, not knowing about the system you are using this may be unneeded advice. A great small Lithium-Polymer battery is made by TEAM LOSI, 7.4 volts, and would fit into your loco. This company makes the battery along with a small charger and is available from most r/c suppliers. If you are interested, you might check it out.

Now it seems that you are "hooked" on wireless operation, you won't be sorry. Please keep us posted on the progress.             Woodie

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Hi Woodie,

Your right, I use a 3V batterie and that is a bit poor.

I use this ecs: http://store.sol-expert-group.de/1zu87modellbau/FM-Bauteile/Fahrregler-fuer-FM/Fahrregler-ER100::622.html .

It handles no more than 5,5 Volts. I can use a 7,2V Lipo but will have to cut it down to max 5V like "Troeffelholm" once explained here:  ".........a 5V low drop regulator and a 100uF capacitor........" Or I use 4 1,2 V cells. This might improve performance. 

Albert

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Hi all,

My little Herbert is doing fine now, although I haven't finished it.  It runs like it should after I changed a 'gear-wheel'. (Don't know the english word.L:) I find myself playing a lot with Herbert, neglecting the other loco's. Then I thought: lets play them together! Didn't work, the trackpowerloco's made my little Herbert go mad. Radiodisturbance or so....  Then I thought I try again finding a way to change the other locs, with the funny shaped chassis with lots of iron, to RC-drive. In a German forum I found a guy, Martin, who just did it! http://www.kostenloses-forum.com/board/waldbahnlok-ferngesteuert-,nxu,01642644nx1878,t,2854,start,10.html  (scroll down a bit) So, there is hope!:glad:

While enjoying Herbert I thought it would be nice to park it somewhere out of reach and still be able to switch it off. Mr. Martin wrote he maybe will try this with a reed-contact or magnet-switch. Has anyone tried this before and did it work?

Albert.

W C Greene
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Howdy Albert. I don't know why your loco "goes crazy" on track power...unless you have pickups installed on it and there is some sort of feedback through the board. All my r/c locos operate well on DC and DCC layouts (even when those layouts are not operating due to wiring problems). You might try some small capacators across the motor brushes to nix any interference. Someone else needs to advise as to these, I have 2 locos with the caps and they got rid of small problems.  I have no pickups for track power on my locos, I believe that's why everything works. As for the reed switches, a magnetic on/off switch can be connected in line with a battery to board wire (negative) and the loco can be switched on & off easily. The switch needs to be placed correctly to operate right. Keep us posted.        Woodie

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Hi all,

Now really Woodie, pickups on Herbert? Please............. :)

I'v tried and changed everything, channels, sticks, wiring..... It runs fine now for 95%. It might be the engine or the sender, it might be the tubelight at the sealing of my hobby room, I don't know. I leave the technics for what they are, I give up on the last 5%...

But there is more:

The esc has moved into the receivers casing.... (should I take on production and sell them as plug and play ecs-receiver?)



I drive LIPO's .....



I've tried belt drive, didn't work. Also tried glue on the wheels for better grip, no succes. I get to that later. I've added a loading dock for the lipo. When switch is 'off' Herbert is ready for charging, when switch is 'on' Herbert is raedy to roll and can not be charged....



Unless heaven comes down I'll work on Herbert's looks further... Reedswitches not for Herbert, maybe on other projects.

Albert

 

W C Greene
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Albert-nice looking...on powering the other axle, check out GRANDT LINE's line of small sprockets and chain. There are many small locos using these parts and run great. You also might try to find some MAMOD spring belt material, used for their live steam engines to run "power tools" with. The spring would work on the pulleys you have now. How does she pull with one axle?        Woodie

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Woodie, the spring (or the belt I used) was not the problem. It was Herbert's frame itself. It is not rigid enough to prevent the belt pulling both axels towards eachother, and that on one side off the center. Making the belt less tide (longer) had no effect, it would just slip. I would need a more rigid frame, better bearings, and so on, and so on. That all is for a second RC loc, 'Herbert II'. Herbert is not the goal, Herbert is the path..........

You once (twice?) learned us all that a poor running chassis will stay poor running even with batteries and rc. That is why I would like to use an existing good running chassis and rebuilt it to rc. Herbert can become a 'critter' or a 'railtruck'. Or I can leave it as it is and live with it (after all it can pull and push a few cars), and just finish the looks.

More to come,

Albert

Last edited on Mon Jan 25th, 2010 10:19 pm by scratchbuilt

W C Greene
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Albert-now I understand about the belt slipping. Here's a high tech thing you may try in the future for making a sturdy frame without soldering. Find some carbon fiber sheets of the proper thickness, it ain't cheap but it will be as rigid as any brass frame. You can use CA or epoxy to glue the parts together and as tough as the cf is, you shouldn't ever need any bearings, etc. because the material wears like steel! A model plane friend "turned me on" to this and I am duly impressed. A plate frame can be made rather easily and even details could be made with careful work. The only problem I see is that when you file or motor tool the cf, the dust is VERY VERY BAD! Do not breathe it or get it into your eyes! But then working with brass, etc. is the same thing just about. Thought I would throw this out, if I was to be building a new loco, I would probably try this.           Woodie

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W C Greene wrote: Find some carbon fiber sheets of the proper thickness, it ain't cheap but it will be as rigid as any brass frame. You can use CA or epoxy to glue the parts together and as tough as the cf is, you shouldn't ever need any bearings, etc. because the material wears like steel!A plate frame can be made rather easily and even details could be made with careful work. The only problem I see is that when you file or motor tool the cf, the dust is VERY VERY BAD! Do not breathe it or get it into your eyes!

In my last job, I frequently worked with carbon fibre sheet, amongst other things. Based on this experience, I would definitely echo Woodie's warnings about working with the stuff. In fact, I'd go further.

I was a "labrat", doing instrumentation in a university civil engineering department. A lot of my job was about installing strain gauges on test specimens - and teaching students how to do this work for themselves. A number of students and postgrads were doing experiments, to see if carbon fibre sheet could be used to reinforce damaged bridges - so I found myself fitting a lot of gauges to the stuff.

I agree the stuff is very strong and rigid - and probably self lubricating - it's also very cold to the touch, just like a lot of metals - but there the similarities end.

When you install strain gauges, you have to ensure that the gauge can't detatch itself from the specimen surface - with carbon fibre, this means abrading a shiny surface which is brittle, yet as hard as many of the abrasives you're trying to use. In desperation, one student just tried throwing superglue at the surface - this usually worked.

Abrading this stuff was one thing - cutting it was quite another. Carbon fibres are a bit like glass - very hard, very strong, but brittle - this is why I normally encountered it in sheets, about 2 millimetres thick. I wouldn't be surprised if the fibres were actually used as a matrix, embedded in epoxy resin and rolled flat under pressure before the resin cured - but I never saw how it was produced. All I do know is that it could only be cut cleanly using an industrial guillotine.

Perhaps I should qualify the words "cut cleanly" - I'd often find dust and splinters along the edges of the strips (or rolls) as supplied by the manufacturers - I quickly learnt to avoid these edges.

You know what often happens when you use a fibreglass pencil - dust gets everywhere (especially your hands and face, leaving them sore and itchy for days after) - fibres spear into your fingers (and you can't get the stuff out).

Wait till you try carbon fibres - then you'll know what real splinters are like. An unforgettable experience - that is a promise.

The really frustrating thing about both glass and carbon fibres is that they seem to find their way through a lot of personal protective equipment - carbon fibres also seem to be very efficient glove shredders (they work great on the plastic gloves labrats use when working on specimens).

Anyway, you now know why I hate carbon fibre with a vengeance. It's strong stuff - and it looks really nice - but it's evil to work with (and I'm not sure how well it would take paint).

That's my opinion on the stuff. If you choose to use the stuff, then good luck - just take care, that's all!

Regards,

Huw.

W C Greene
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Huw-I wasn't trying to get someone to use something dangerous!  Most all my model airplane builder friends make stuff from carbon fiber and they swear by it. Sure, you have to observe proper safety procedures to work with it..most stuff modelers use needs some safety procedures. You can make your own by using what is called carbon fiber tow-looks like fine threads-and lay that into epoxy or other resin. The guys I know use industrial epoxies, not the cheap stuff from the hobby shop. When done properly, it is hard as h#$$ and for something like a locomotive frame, it would probably be fine. Well, I don't use it but I know many who do, so this is just my uninformed opinion. I hope I am not endangering anyone with errant radio control waves wafting through the air..that will cook a brain for sure!      Woodie

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W C Greene wrote: Huw-I wasn't trying to get someone to use something dangerous!  Most all my model airplane builder friends make stuff from carbon fiber and they swear by it. Sure, you have to observe proper safety procedures to work with it..most stuff modelers use needs some safety procedures. You can make your own by using what is called carbon fiber tow-looks like fine threads-and lay that into epoxy or other resin. The guys I know use industrial epoxies, not the cheap stuff from the hobby shop. When done properly, it is hard as h#$$ and for something like a locomotive frame, it would probably be fine.


Don't worry, I wasn't trying to suggest that you were encouraging people to take risks.

I was merely hoping to warn people that they need to be careful with carbon fibre. As some people might have guessed from my comments, I had some painful splinters from this stuff - I wanted others to be able to avoid them.

I recall that, when I worked at the university, some people in another department used carbon fibre matting (probably the stuff you're talking about) - this stuff had some flex in it, so was less likely to "spear" you (well, at least until you added the epoxy). Even then, my friends were still wearing 2 sets of rubber gloves!

I also remember the industrial epoxies - we used one of them to bond the ready made sheets to concrete beams - these were real adhesives, which put the mass market stuff to shame.

From what my friends told me, they got best results from the epoxies (and carbon fibre stuff) when joints or encapsulation was done under pressure - weights on top, that sort of thing - this reduced the chance of voids in the epoxy. This was also the case with other adhesives, being used for other purposes.

Since these guys were doing PhDs based on their research into adhesives, I think they probably knew what they were talking about. However, there is a difference between what you can do in a lab and what you can do in the real world.

 

It's interesting that you mention about the need for safety precautions with many things connected with modelling (and life in general). I had my fair share of accidents when I was younger - most of them very minor, often soldering iron burns (which healed fully after a few days). I don't doubt that there will be others.

The accident which had the most effect on me was also one of the silliest and most minor. As a 7 year old, I tried my hand at card modelling - unfortunately, I was stupid enough to use a stapler for fixing things together - and I ended up stapling into my left thumb. The next day, I was in school, being taught joined-up handwriting (that was the theory), so I was forced to start writing with my right hand. A week later, my thumb healed up and I picked up a pen in my left hand. I was told to keep using my right for writing and I complied - a big mistake, which I've regretted for the last 37 years. Since then, I decided that I wasn't going to allow myself to be pushed around so easily in future. These days, I'm something of a maverick (albeit a law-abiding one).

 

There's another reason why I brought up this stuff. In my last job, I was the only "electrical" guy in my department - so I ended up doing a lot of health and safety enforcement. This started off as electrical safety testing on plug-in equipment - and progressed to include keeping students away from test beams that were about to break - and holding safety details of all the chemicals used there. I didn't enjoy having to tell people what they couldn't do, but it wasn't as tedious as all the paperwork that could have followed an accident.

This sort of stuff would obviously make anyone risk-averse - I hope I didn't cause any offence by jumping in.

Anyway, that's more than enough from me.

Regards,

Huw.

Last edited on Wed Jan 27th, 2010 11:10 pm by Huw Griffiths

scratchbuilt
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Hi all,

After spending a few weeks testing Herbert and trying to improve it's performance I decided to try something else. Here is the result. It's called 'Herbert II'. The total lenght is 7 cm. in this stage. (about 2.75 inch)



It is an old HO Fleischmann Anna chassis. She used to be a steamer but I removed cylinders and drivegear because Herbert II will become a freelance diesel. I replaced the original motor with something made in China. If I remember well this motor comes from an old stearing servo. Even with one 3,7V lipo it is a bit too fast at topspeed. But who cares. It can crawl. Herbert II runs 200% better as Herbert. Four wheel drive and more weight. It pushes a short train up a 5% incline! It proves Woodie's theorie about the good and bad running chassis. So this will be the road to follow. Old Herbert will be dismanteled later, and offcoarse re-used in a next project.

More to come,

Albert

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Hi all,

After the really promesing start with Herbert II troubles took over soon. The chassis runs very fine but there are still unexplainable radio disturbances. I tried every prevention tip available but without succes. This tiny 1:87 rc car stuff I use seems to perform fine in cars, but not in my trains. I would have to buy and try other boards, receivers, esc, radio's, freqences and batteries and what so ever but, you know, for now I'm done with it. :f:

I stay tuned on RC trains. It might strike me again.  :Salute:

Albert


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