1.29.2007

1/2"n2 chassis

There is a space 1.74" x 3.48" clear under the tram body to permit the installation of a powered chassis. The only item that can stick up into the "control cabin" on the loco is the electric motor itself. None of the wheels, gears, or sprockets can protude above the floorplate.

The plan is to drive a single rigid axle using a 59:1 Falhauber gearhead motor through a set of 90ยบ helical gears. Ideally, the second tilting axle will be connected to the first using Serv-o-link Delrin sprockets and chain. The helical gears will need to be enclosed in a small gearbox to keep them in proper mesh and reduce any strain on the motor shaft and/or bearings.

Drive wheels should be slightly larger than 14" diameter, but that will depend on the minimum size of sprockets that can be used. Bearing boxes will be hung on the ends of the axles. One set will be fixed, the other will be free to move in their vertical axis.

1.26.2007

over compensation

Current projects (on hold due to "real life" getting in the way) are to build or re-build three locomotive powertrains using proven methods of equalisation from the "Flexichas" booklet by Mike Sharman and "Principles of Locomotive Suspension" by Russ Elliot.

The first will be an 0-4-0 tram chassis in 1/2" scale on 1" gauge track in order to get my feet wet and prove a few points, the second a scratchbuilt chassis system for an 0-4-4 Forney in 1:24 scale on 32mm gauge track, and the third a rebuild of a solid framed MDC 4-4-0 kit in HO scale. There's an awful lot of work involved, but the predicted improvements in operation will be well worth it. Increased traction for a given weight, improved electrical pickup, and proper tracking through special work are all laid out in the texts.

I've also managed to acquire the following Wild Swan reference books:

  • Whitemetal Locos - A Kitbuilders Guide (Iain Rice)

  • Etched Loco Construction (Iain Rice)

  • Locomotive Kit Chassis Construction In 4mm (Iain Rice)

  • The 4mm Engine - A Scratchbuilder's Guide (R. Guy Williams)



Don't let the "4mm" reference in the titles fool you; the techniques are applicable in virtually any scale or gauge. These books go a long way towards demystifying proper locomotive construction.

I highly recommend Bott Books in the UK for their price and exceptional customer service.