Controller problem

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Boghopper
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Controller problem

Postby Boghopper » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:13 pm

I took my 0-16.5 inglenook, Duncton Yard, (see separate thread) to Expong as a substitute for Peter Marshall's Two Sisters Farm. (Hope you're feeling better Peter). I used an old H&M controller and could not acheive slow, smooth running with my Hornby bashed locos, which was quite frustrating as this is one of my bete noirs.

Back home I've tried two hand held controllers, a Gaugmaster and a KPC Kentrol feedback. I've used these for many years with my 009 stock and they have performed well, but with the 7mm narrow gauge stock they run as badly as with the H&M. Curiously, a very old Triang Dock Shunter, whcih I'm converting to a Dick Kerr, runs very smoothly.

I wonder if the hand-held controllers have just had their day and I should buy a new one. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?
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Postby Si » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:31 pm

Have your hornby locos run smoothly at slow speeds with any controllers? Just wondering if it is the controller or the locos...as you probably know, some hornby 0-4-0s are well known for not liking slow speeds, esp the pre-Chinese Desmond types.

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Postby Broadoak » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:57 pm

Thanks for asking about my health Chris,
I have been diagnosed as suffering with Polymialgia but am recovering well now I am receiving treatment.

I use Gaugemaster hand held controllers and they work very well with all my stock including models with the early Hornby chassis on the farm layout.
I found a tad of electro lube in the pot seems to keep them working well. A bit of a bodge really I know but this has worked for me. I have three that are twenty years old and have been used for both my American exhibition layout, my switching layout at home and Two Sisters. All three still work perfectly.
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Postby rue_d_etropal » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:42 pm

I have used H&M controllers at exhibitions, but for slow running always set to high resistance, and never use the other switch(?) as it can overheat some motors.
Used a basic Bachmann controller( I think it might have been the higher powered one) and that seemed to give good control.
I ill try out my H&M controller with one of my Hornby locos(I think it might be the only one!), it is the Bill/Ben loco so is obviously newer and Chinese.
Seem to remember someone here always add extra weight to get better performance for basic Hornby 040 loco chassis.
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Postby Boghopper » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:59 pm

Thank you for your replies. Si, Both the Hornby mechs are fairly new. I tried an old Triang power unit and even on high resistance, they nearly took off, but did run smoothly, albeit at speed. Then I reverted to the old H&M multipack controller and that gave the best running. Maybe time to invest in a new one?

Interestingly, the Planet runs on a Black Beetle chassis and performs best of all using any of the controllers.

Simon, I think you're right about additional weight. The Hawthorn Leslie is still in bare plasticard form so I shall seek out my stash of lead.

Peter, I'm glad you've got a diagnosis. I hope your recovery continues smoothly.
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Postby Si » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:45 am

Running an unweighted hornby 0-4-0 (couple of years old - from the GWR slope tank model) on my H&M Duette, on clean track it does run OK at slow speeds but not half as well as my bachmans. At medium speeds it runs as well as the bachmanns.

As CP often says, adding lots of weight to the hornby 0-4-0s is always good....and having seen his in action you'd be amazed at how well they can run.

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Model railway controllers

Postby Jon » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:46 am

The following link may be of help:
http://www.scottpages.net/ReviewOfControllers.html
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Postby Boghopper » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:13 pm

The Hawthorn Leslie now weighs a respectable 200gms and runs better although it is still subject to surges. Two of the Greenwich members have kindly offered to come over with alternative controllers so I'll keep you posted with the results when that happens. Thanks for your hlep.
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Postby Steve Bennett » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:55 am

Will be interested to hear if it is the controllers, but very much doubt it.
The old Hornby 0-4-0 is not one that is known for decent slow speed running.
If you havent checked already, have a look to see if it sits level on the track with all 4 wheels touching the rails. I have had a couple over the years where the clip holding the motor has been badly put on, twisting the chassis out of shape. Your comment about the surging motion would fit with this.
It, would also be worth removing the motor to check the chassis runs smoothly with no binding or tight spots.
I wish you luck Chris and hope you get it sorted.
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Postby Boghopper » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:12 pm

Thanks Steve. I've checked both Hornby-chassis locos and they sit nice and square. The Hawthorn Leslie has an unmodified chassis but even with the extra weight, still surges. There have been some interesting answers on the Greenwich site and Richard Glover came up with what may be at the root of the problem. This is what he said:

I think the fact that the old Dock Shunter, which certainly has a chunky, iron cored, open framed motor, runs happily is the clue. Even cheap modern chassis usually use nice can motors, which are efficient and have low current consumption.

"Feedback controllers like the Gaugemaster and the KPC were designed for relatively in-efficient, open framed motors and usually did a good job of controlling them. But higher efficiency cans produce more back emf for a given speed and this can lead to poor control and surging. I’ve used KPCs for many years and originally they gave good results. The originals finally wore out, but the replacements were rather disappointing. I came to the conclusion that the problem was changes in the types of motor in the latest generation of chassis.

The old style resistance controller is no help either, as they were designed for motors that drew an amp or more and will give little or no speed control with modern motors.

One answer is a true, variable voltage controller. The non-feedback Gaugemaster is of this type as is their Type W handheld."
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Postby Geeky Gecko » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:27 pm

I have never managed to achieve good slow running of the Hornby 0-4-0 chassis, so some time ago I experimented by introducing a second stage of gearing (3:1) with good results.
This design still fits under the 06 body.
Image

I also elongated the axle holes of the non-driven axle to help pick-up on uneven track.
Last edited by Geeky Gecko on Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Tomo » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:47 pm

The 3:1 second stage gearing is an interesting idea...

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Postby Mike Lee » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:57 pm

Stefan,

That 3:1 second stage is an excellent idea :idea: Can you tell me what the gears are and where they came from please :?: Although the photo seems self explanitory do you have any other photo's showing how you did it please :?:
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Postby Geeky Gecko » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:08 pm

No pictures taken during construction, and no drawings exist as yet as I just sort of jt made it up as I went along.
I used the chassis with cylinders (L6057) because the side frames need slots cutting inboard of the cylinders which will help maintain rigidity. The gears (10 teeth and 30 teeth) and 2mm diameter shafts are from Squires (no connection). Beneath the motor is a box of styrene (secured to the chassis with a screw) to which the motor is glued. I enclosed some lead sheet for weight in this box. The standard motor mount is discarded. The forward styrene construction is also secured to the chassis with a screw. The layshaft, on which is mounted the original worm, runs between the two styrene sections. The motor shaft is extended by joining a short length of shaft with a length of biro tube. All shafts run in brass bearings. The resultant gearing is 54:1.
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Postby Mike Lee » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:14 pm

Thanks Stefan :D

Will have to get the bits and have a go at this :arrow: Will have to have a look at other chassis to see if they can be modified :?:
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Postby Mike Lee » Mon May 05, 2014 3:03 pm

Stefan

Was just getting around to building/modifying a chassis similar to the one you posted here in 2012. After much searching eventually found the thread again, unfortunately the pictures have gone! Do you still have the pictures, and if so would it be possible to post them again please :?:
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Postby Geeky Gecko » Mon May 05, 2014 7:29 pm

Mike,
soon after my last post I decided to approach Railway Modeller to see if they were interested in an article on this subject. It has just been published in the June edition. I did agree not to post a similar item on the internet before it was published in the magazine. So I suppose if I leave it a few of weeks before I put some similar pictures on here nobody will get too upset. By then I will hopefully have a bit more free time and I will be able to do a detailed step by step of the actual construction. Here is a brief reminder:

Image
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Postby Mike Lee » Tue May 06, 2014 1:44 pm

Stefan

Thanks, that's the one :D Have been away on holiday, just got the Railway Modeller, good article :D If your going to do a tutorial in the near future I will hang on for that :wink: Things don't move that quickly in my world that I can't wait a bit longer :wink:
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Postby rue_d_etropal » Wed May 07, 2014 8:38 am

its looks an interesting idea, not dissimilar to what Hornby did when they designed the Bill/Ben chassis.
One of the advantages of the old Smokey Joe chassis is is cheapness(well it used to be) , and it could be tweaked to work well at exhibititions(ask Christopher Payne or Les Coleman) and you could keep a stock of spares units to swap over if one failed.
One of the few improvements Hornby made when they transferred to China was better(or not so bad ) motors. This has been mentioned not just with these models but also the ex Airfix and Dapol locos. Odd thing is I am sure the motors were Chinese made before so not sure why.
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Postby Si » Fri May 09, 2014 9:14 am

Went out and bought RM to read the article - very interesting, Stefan.

Couple of questions though: what did you stick the motor to the mount with? I'm tempted to use araldite - should be OK?
And also, do you have a product code for the Intercity bearings as I can't find them on their website?

Thanks for an inspiring article!

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Postby ian_g_griffiths » Fri May 09, 2014 6:50 pm

One more question, you say in the text to the diagram that the pinion from Squires has been modified. What modification did you make?

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Postby rue_d_etropal » Fri May 09, 2014 7:07 pm

would have had a sneak inside RM, if they had not wrapped it in plastic. There might have been more interesting articles but by wrapping it they lost a sale. I never feel guilt having a look, as its in supermarket where I spend enough money.
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Postby Geeky Gecko » Fri May 09, 2014 7:28 pm

Yes, Simon, I know it is possible to achieve good running of the Smokey Joe chassis with the addition of weight and the use of a sophisticated controller, but my previous experience of several of the little beggars (all of Chinese origin) using a basic controller left me unimpressed. I wanted to design a simple and low cost method of improving the running quality of these basic models and encourage other modellers to have a go. My idea was originally aimed at 4mm scale modellers, but is equally applicable to those modelling in larger scales. The method of achieving a second stage gearing is used in many chassis designs and could be achieved with minimum disturbance and still fit under two of the Hornby body designs.
Since writing the article I have purchased another similar chassis, with the lightweight GWR body, as fodder for an 'outside framed' design with external cranks and rods. This chassis runs slowly and smoothly even as bought!

Si, I used a contact adhesive, probably UHU. Similar bearings on the Intercity Models (no connection) site are under Superoller near the bottom of the page. They may no longer be available. There are similar bearings available in the Alan Gibson range (no connection) parts 4M65 and 4M65S.
I have also used a short length of 3/32" external diameter thinwall brass tube as a bearing for 2mm shafts with a washer for thrust purposes.

Ian, no simple 10 tooth pinion gear is listed in the range, so I cut it from one of the double gears eg GS0220. Being nylon the cutting with a junior hacksaw was not too difficult. I then cleaned up the edges of the teeth with a sharp knife.
Stefan

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Postby Si » Sat May 10, 2014 10:30 am

Thanks for the info Stefan. I hope to start hacking soon.

BTW, the article in that edition on the 18" gauge 6mm:ft layout is well worth a read too....dunno how it wasn't Layout of the Month.

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Postby rue_d_etropal » Sat May 10, 2014 3:32 pm

The old Hornby controllers were hopeless at low speed, partly because there were not proper DC. Having said that I have seen some handbuilt layouts running very well using these controllers. Obviously some controllers work better with some motors.
I still prefer the KISS method and try to always take spares to exhibitions. Mind you I do love a challenge, and was asking a while back on ways to change motor on Mehano(ex Rivarossi) loco.
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