A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby Nevadablue » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:42 pm

Well, it's officially a Porter! The Works Plate was installed today.

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Thanks to Ozark Miniatures for a perfect little builder's plate.

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Ken

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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby lesmond » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:06 am

Hi Ken,

Big progress there, and looking great. You've captured the spirit of the prototype perfectly. Detail like the makers plate set the whole thing off perfectly.

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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby Nevadablue » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:52 pm

Thanks Les!

I got the sander made and the radio in it. Also, the Builder's Plate is painted gold to look like brass. Now I'm struggling to get the wiring installed the way I want it. I don't want to see it but it won't fit inside. I'm toying with a 'tool box' on top of the tank to hide the connections. I'm also working on a couple of ideas to run the wiring below the heat exchanger and below the sander to the back of the rig. It will work out eventually.
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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby Nevadablue » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:08 pm

I think I'm winning. I have the radio installed and it looks like the proper wire routing from the batteries to everything else. The battery wires will run over the top of the motor and then down the back and around. The batteries are removable, but I want the convenience of charging them in the loco. The connectors are on a slow boat from China, so I'll finish this with pigtails left for the connector.

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Here is the sander with the radio inside and the wires trailing...

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And a couple of views of the run/charge switch. Pretty tight quarters there.

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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby lesmond » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:18 pm

Lovely neat job with the wiring, Ken, very discreet location for the switch too.
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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby Nevadablue » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:20 pm

Thanks Les, but it isn't as pretty as it could be.

The rat's nest of wiring starts here. I didn't want to cut the long wires on the receiver, since I may want to use it in other models. So, I have lots of wire to hide.

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this is what the inside of the air tank looks like. The batteries are in the front, motor in the back and the wires run from plugs on top of the battery saddle, over the motor and out the bottom at the back.

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Here everything is connected, but not concealed yet. The radio and batteries can be unplugged for convenience. That makes replacing batteries relatively simple and use of the radio in other rigs possible. I did get the switch wired in (waiting for the charge plug though) and I think I will be able to hide the extra stuff OK. Black paint will help.

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And finally, here it is in running condition. A piece of masking tape is holding the wad of wires in and holding the pipe that keeps the radio wires corralled under the sander. Again, finishing the operator's area with side plates and paint will help hide all of this. The driver is being painted by my wife. (I wonder where a miner in 1937 got those funny looking Formula One driving slippers? )

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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby Nevadablue » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:33 am

Ken

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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby ian holmes » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:14 pm

Great!
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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby docnjoj » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:16 pm

That is slow and smooth, Nevada. The layout is also looking good. I wish I had more time to work ion mine, but life interfered again with work. Soon, perhaps, I'll have railroad time again.
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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby lesmond » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:27 pm

That's running like a dream - well done.
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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby Pierre Chatelet » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:09 pm

Wonderful work ! Thanks for the video.

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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby Nevadablue » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:07 pm

Thanks guys!

This has been a lot of fun. I'm going to set it aside until the charge plugs arrive. I may put some details on the air tank, but nothing more on the chassis until I know for sure where the plug will fit.

Since this went so well, I think I'll put the other radio in the Little Mine Loco (the one peeking out of the loco shed) and play with it. It will have LIGHTS! :D
Ken

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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby Gavin Sowry » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:53 am

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Comes in black, too, and with a cab.
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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby Nevadablue » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:10 am

I just received some first hand operation information from an old friend who worked at the Homestake Mine. Enjoy...

The air system at Homestake was of course a separate and dedicated system that was supposed to operate at 900 psi. Underground piping was galvanized two or three inch lines as I remember. The compressor for this pressure was almost certainly three stage and could have been four. I never saw it but wanted to go looking. There was a separate building near the Yates shaft for the compressors but when I was in there I was too fascinated by the huge IR type 10 Imperial compressors that provided the mine service air to think to look for the high pressure unit.
There were, I think two locomotives still operable underground. One of these was on the 1700 ft. level and I used it several times to haul parts. The air system pressure was usually between 700 to 800 psi when I recharged the thing. These locomotives were a little dangerous to use when not towing a load.
There was a parking place for several of these old, unused units at the Ellison shaft station on the 1700 level and two different sized of units had been used. The large ones were made by H.K Porter and were about 10.5 ft. long and the smaller were about 8 ft. in length and I don't remember the maker.
The smaller was what I used. The air system was kept operable only because they had a very large twin tank unit still in use for hauling ore trains from the underground around the hill to the mill.
Ken

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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby Nevadablue » Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:05 am

I got a bit more info on the operation of the little locos from my friend. Seems they were something else to operate. Note that the charging connection he speaks of carried 900 pounds of air pressure.

Incidentally, to recharge the tank, there was a three piece metal arm made of piping with ball joints that you swung out from a hook on the rib and lined up with the charge port on the locomotive, They were a kick to run/play with but the worn out throttle linkage made them very touchy. The things would take off and go like a bat out of....
The braking system was somewhat of an after thought and just as worn out as the go system. To slow down, just put the thing in reverse, carefully. The smaller units were put in use about 1907.



(a couple of days ago... )

The balance charging plugs and sockets finally arrived from China. I whittled a set to make them looser, just a snug fit for charging is all that is necessary. Today I got the socket mounted and worked on the charging circuit. Hopefully tomorrow the wiring will be complete and I can button up the operator's area. Then a few more details and some weathering.

Yesterday...

I got all the wiring sorted out, made the operator's station complete, put the fill valve on the tank... and got it ready to paint. Then I thought, let's play a bit and run it for a while. NOPE, it wouldn't work. I ripped it all apart and found the main positive wire on the switch had broken off. fixed it... tried it again, NOPE, another wire had broken off the switch! Grrr... HAVING FUN!

I have repaired it for the third time and tested it and then potted all the wiring in glue. Drying now... I hope this doesn't turn out to be a shelf sitter, inert model. It is SO close. I'll win... glue drying.

Yesterday afternoon...

I just thought of a good way to make the charge port 'invisible' on nearly any locomotive. Put it somewhere on the model where there is a 'feature', like the air fill valve on this model or a dome or port... anything that could conceal the socket for charging. Then take a plug and glue the 'feature' on it. Remove the feature for charging and put it back and the port disappears!
Wish I had thought of that sooner.

Success! I'm too tired to post pics tonight, but I got it working. OMG, I hope the batteries last forever! It is an absolute BI&$H to put together, but it looks good now I think. All the wires are hidden now. I'll slop some flat black on it tomorrow and post a few pics.
It had an ANNOYING lurch going forward, in time with the wheel rotation. Grrr... not in reverse. I looked at everything and saw nothing that would cause such a thing. I almost gave up and then watched it once more. The rear axle isn't completely straight, but not enough crooked to cause what I was seeing. I think it was balance... the slight wobble caused the thing to 'rock' when going forward, but not in reverse. That makes sense. I draped a slab of lead over the front end and it runs fine now! I had planned a lead ballast as part of the front bumper so that will work out. I'll make the clamp for the front of the air tank out of lead too. I think I won this round.
:D

Today...

With some paint applied to the new parts, she's looking spiffy. Still some detailing to do and weathering and it needs couplings, but it WORKS great!

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The camera angle makes it look like it is running up hill, but it isn't.

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I remembered to drill a tiny hole so I could see the receiver status light... the green spot on the sander.

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Video to follow as soon as it gets converted and uploaded.

Here is the video. Note when I stop to back into the shed that I stopped on the switch. I had to move forward a bit and it just eases on. Great control with these radios. That switch also still has a huge lump in it. I have a switch stand ordered so I'll fix it then.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G61f9Cu ... e=youtu.be
Ken

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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby docnjoj » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:21 pm

That really looks fine. Thanks for the idea for the little green light. My receiver is sitting atop one of Steves mining cars with all the batteries below. I still nave this dream that I can put the radio gear in this separate car, but haven't had tine to work on it lately. Soon.........
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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby Pierre Chatelet » Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:12 pm

Very interesting video. Thanks. :D

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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby Nevadablue » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:23 am

Thanks!

I had wanted to make a 'radio car', and still may do it, but as long as the money holds out, I'll put a radio in each loco for now. I am amazed at how well this LifeLike chassis runs. It will actually run on ONE 3.7 volt LiPo. It is running on two in this model. I have another of them (ebay purchases) and it will become something one of these days.
Ken

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Re: A Porter Air Powered Underground Loco

Postby lesmond » Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:49 pm

Keep them coming, Ken!

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