Another long overdue progress report... it has been over month since the last one, but there has been significant but slow progress
First some some construction photos - Pile driving for the tipple and deck was completed for the tipple deck area at the end of July
When complete it should look something like the photo here:
In late August, motive power arrived for the SG tracks shown in the piledriving photo. A green Ixion Models Husdswell Clarke 0-6-0ST will stand in the the two 1888-vintage Yorkshire 0-6-0T locos that actually worked the prototype.
Photos of the Hudswell Clarke in the 3 final liveries are at:
Details of UK suppliers are on Ixion's home page. The model is even better than the photos.
Over the last month, work continued in fabricating and fine-tuning a rake of 15 final design coal skips. Two members of the team are resin casting our own skip bodies. Significant work was done to set up of uncoupling ramps and the DG couplings so that we can reliably uncouple one skip at a time from a rake of loaded skips as the skip is dragged forward by the next arriving under-track magnet. The top end test rig was recommissioned. A new "final" bottom-end mock up was built at final dimensions with multiple chain runs to test hands-off, fully-automatic handling of the tipping operation and the return of the empty skips.
The skips, uncoupler ramps and DG couplings are now sorted. There is still one stubborn skip that doesn't roll as well as the rest, but it is good enough to roll away under gravity on the 1-in-7 kickback to the empties incline.
Also finally sorted today is the gravity operated set of points with a moving weighted point lever that handles the empty skips after tipping at the down hill end of the incline. After tipping another undertrack chain simulates the creeper chain that lowered the skips after tipping from the tipple house to the return siding on the prototype. At the end of the creeper chain the empty skips were allowed to coast down a grade and then push wrong road through a set of points into a dead end. On the prototype, with approx 200lb of empty skip, there was enough inertia to push through a weighted point blades set for the empties incline. A short sharp grade after the points washed off the speed of the skip and sent it back through the points and down to a holding area just before the start of the empies incline that returned to skips uphill to the 400' level.
On the model a skip weighs in at just 15 grammes. The attraction between the magnet under the skip and the magnet on the undertrack chain provides enough downward force to prevent the skip from being derailed as it pushes the point blades over and raises the weighted point lever. As the last flange clears the point blade, the weighted lever takes over, resetting the blades for the diverge route. As the chain rolls over the sprocket at about a skips length clear of the point blades, the attraction betwwen the magnets is lost, gravity takes over, and the skip rolls away, and is sent down the other track to a dip that will be hidden by the screens building. The skip will wait there for the next magnet to arrive on the empties incline chain. The empties incline grade starts out reasonably shallow as it passes the tipple deck, but steepens quickly to the rulling 1-in-4 grade at the start of the second module.
Work continues on the building and testing the sequencing & integration of the control gear that manages the hands-free tipping operation. The building of another timer circuit, and the fine tuning of chain speeds is still in progress. The aim is simply to "unbolt" the electronics and attach them directly to the final drive motors and tipple cage.
I hope that all this is still of interest. Now, back to the soldering iron,
hopefully I won't fry too many silicon chips.