High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Andrew
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High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby Andrew » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:01 am

This is the thread for those who have a High Level 0-4-0 loco kit in the "todo" box and wish to contribute, follow along, comment etc. A group project via the web if you will. The aim being to hopefully, complete a brace of running P4 locos.

Liberal use of photos, particularly showing points to watch out for would be most welcome.

So if I may offer encouragement to others whilst arming myself with a dram of fortitude and remove the etches from the box for the final time. :shock:

Happy modelling.

nigelcliffe
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby nigelcliffe » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:21 pm

Thanks for starting the thread.

First question; suspension system. The kits come for three-point compensation, but I've fancied trying springing on a loco. My locos to date have all been three-point compensation, with pickups onto wheel treads.
So, what method to try for springing ? There are several options, and the Continuous Beam Spring mentioned in the earlier thread is a possible, though I'm not quite sure how to work out the appropriate spring grade, or how to find/set the natural resting place of the axleboxes/hornblocks independently.

Second question, probably related, is whether to go for split-axle pickup, and use insulated hornblocks.

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Will L
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction - GER Coffee pot Y5

Postby Will L » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:51 pm

For the GER Coffee pot, I though I'd like to spring mine even though Chris Gibbon (Mr Highlevel himself) is on record as saying it couldn't be done. So Hum.

I planned a CSB (Continuous Springy Beam) suspension system. I fitted a set of Highlevel horn block and guides. The guides needed to be cut down to fit the chassis frames, but that was no problem. I set out the fulcrums for a CSB and then I tried to put it all together. I discovered that the gearbox and motor fit the firebox and boiler like a glove and that there was not enough room between the hornblocks to fit the gearbox. Much head scratching followed and then I remembered the following quote

Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But, he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't" but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
And tackled the thing that couldn't be done
And found he couldn't do it!!

With apologies to Edgar Guest who was an optimist as well as a poet.

To cut a long story short. The driven axle is now mounted rigidly in the frame, the lack of clearance in the bodywork don't give you much option. The front Axel is still lightly sprung but to avoid the levelling problems inevitable in trying to get the spring rate just right, I installed the compensation pivot over the front axle and fitted very light springs. They now cushion the impact of any irregularities in the track but don't prevent the compensation action (i.e. probable have no useful function but why bother to remove it once it's there).

There is a lot of detail between the frames which might make fitting split axle pick up fun and again there are likely to be issues separating electrically live bits from motor, gearbox and the closely adjacent bodywork. But who am I to say it can't....

coffee pot.jpg
Detail Photos may follow next time I take it apart, but its all in one complicated to assemble lump at the moment so this will have to do for now. Crossheads and connecting rods are done but not currently fitted. The crack pins need cropping back and wont go past the slide bars It is waiting for me to pluck up courage and fit the pickups.
coffee pot.jpg (196.35 KiB) Viewed 11406 times

nigelcliffe
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction - GER Coffee pot Y5

Postby nigelcliffe » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:24 pm

Will L wrote:For the GER Coffee pot, I though I'd like to spring mine even though Chris Gibbon (Mr Highlevel himself) is on record as saying it couldn't be done. So Hum.

Chris has said a few other things are not possible to me before, but I think he was being "cautious" as he doesn't want to untangle disasters from people messing with well-sorted designs.

Thanks for the observations, I will study the parts very carefully before committing to any particular system. My first aims (mods) will be altering the body fixing screws to clear the centre line (makes couplings easier), and working out whether the chip is going to be Zimo MX620 (ideally with capacitors) or a CT DCX75. Springs or compensation come after that, but are related to split frame ideas.

My split axle thoughts revolve around using insulated hornblocks (delrin?), fitted with a conducting internal bush (brass?), and three part axles where the splits are carefully controlled so that any parts on the axle (gearbox, compensation beam, etc) are in the insulated centre section. Then pickup would simply be a matter of connecting a wire to the conducting bushes, plus a shorting wire from wheel rim to axle. The chassis remains as a single soldered together item, electrically neutral, as it would be for wiper pickups.

David Knight
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby David Knight » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:48 pm

I took great inspiration from the article in MRJ 147 as a starting point and decided that Chris knew a lot more about building kits than I did so followed his instructions to the letter, more or less... I was also tempted to try CSBs but bottled out once I saw how tight the clearances were inside the boiler so am going with simple compensation. I include a pic of the components assembled so far. More detail bits have been added since the picture was taken, it just boils down to taking one step at a time.

Cheers,

David
Attachments
Neilson tank components.jpg
the separate sections of the engine can be seen here

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Will L
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction - GER Coffee pot Y5

Postby Will L » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:26 pm

nigelcliffe wrote:Thanks for the observations, I will study the parts very carefully before committing to any particular system. My first aims (mods) will be altering the body fixing screws to clear the centre line (makes couplings easier),..


Fitting AJ's I presume? Three link are designed in and easy and anything else would be a monstrous intrusion. I think anything but fixed AJ hooks is going to be a significant challenge. The front fixing screw may be difficult to relocate because it gets all tangled up with the cylinder block and smoke box mounting. I'd tamper with extreme care in this area!


nigelcliffe wrote:... and working out whether the chip is going to be Zimo MX620 (ideally with capacitors) or a CT DCX75.


Don't know how big DCC chips are these days. There is some room in front of the motor, though not much. There is also space in the wings of the saddle tank, though there is also a fair amount of structural metal in here to which might get in the way. The best bets are probably the coal bunkers in front of the cab or possibly in the firebox above the gearbox, but neither of these is available in the Nielson version David is building. These are all sites I have earmarked for a lead filling!

nigelcliffe wrote:Springs or compensation come after that, but are related to split frame ideas.
My split axle thoughts revolve around using insulated hornblocks (delrin?), fitted with a conducting internal bush (brass?), and three part axles where the splits are carefully controlled so that any parts on the axle (gearbox, compensation beam, etc) are in the insulated centre section.


The surprisingly wide design of the gearbox means that the location of the splits on that axle are going to be critical. They are going to be close to the ends! There is very little room in her for horn blocks either, and they will need to be of the through frame variety rather than the behind the fame mounts which I tried. Does make you wonder how this all goes together in OO!

The thing that stopped me thinking about suspension is the lack of clearance for the gearbox and motor to move with the axle, though fitting the wrong sort of hornblocks are a part of it. The ash pan and insider valve gear detail may also occupy space you might otherwise expect to use for any springing gubbins. The ash pan is fun as it isn't fixed to anything but is gripped in place between chassis and body. It works because the kit goes together so accurately, but it is b****r to get in when your putting the various sub assemblies together.

This is a lovely kit to build, so long as your happy to do fiddly. It's amassing how much metal Chris gets in, this is no single sheet of each metal job like some kits you see. There is very nearly as much metal in the coffee pot as is the O4 2-8-0 loco Anchorage kit I was doing at the same time.

Good Luck

Will

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Flymo748
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby Flymo748 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:27 pm

nigelcliffe wrote:First question; suspension system. The kits come for three-point compensation, but I've fancied trying springing on a loco. My locos to date have all been three-point compensation, with pickups onto wheel treads.
So, what method to try for springing ? There are several options, and the Continuous Beam Spring mentioned in the earlier thread is a possible, though I'm not quite sure how to work out the appropriate spring grade, or how to find/set the natural resting place of the axleboxes/hornblocks independently.

I'm certainly tempted to try CSBs in my chassis. I haven't tried it before, but having seen the smootness of Ted Scannell's chassis it is certainly the way forward. I haven't looked, but I believe that the default springing rate is an 11 thou guitar string.

All of the information is out there. The plot showing the fulcrum points for an 0-4-0 (and many others) is on the CLAG website. The first worked example is the relevant one, and shows that the outer mounts are at 0.35 x the wheelbase. I haven't checked my Coffee Pot to see if this can actually be accommodated within the length of the frames. I must dig the box out and see.

I do recall reading somewhere recently (E4um?) that there was a problem with CSBs and High Level locos as you couldn't squeeze a functional hornblock between the gearbox and the frames, but I guess that will only be evident once we start putting things together.
nigelcliffe wrote:Second question, probably related, is whether to go for split-axle pickup, and use insulated hornblocks.

Personally I'm going to stay with wipers. I've not built a split chassis before, and don't want to try too many new things in one go!

Flymo
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nigelcliffe
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction - GER Coffee pot Y5

Postby nigelcliffe » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:18 am

Will L wrote:
nigelcliffe wrote:Thanks for the observations, I will study the parts very carefully before committing to any particular system. My first aims (mods) will be altering the body fixing screws to clear the centre line (makes couplings easier),..


Fitting AJ's I presume? Three link are designed in and easy and anything else would be a monstrous intrusion. I think anything but fixed AJ hooks is going to be a significant challenge. The front fixing screw may be difficult to relocate because it gets all tangled up with the cylinder block and smoke box mounting. I'd tamper with extreme care in this area!


DCC operated AJ's (press button on throttle, loco uncouples without requiring track-side magnets, videos and text on blog in link at end of posting).
With the three-links added for appearance.
If I can get DCC controlled AJ's into a 2mm scale shunter, then I would be surprised if a 4mm scale loco is impossible. With my current designs, I need a minimum of 4 x 4 x 5.5 mm for the mechanical bits, and they can come inboard if required. They're already working on three High Level 0-4-0's.

The front screw, through the cylinder block, is less of a problem, I have a solution with a forward bracket to carry the coupling system on my Coronation, which, I think, uses the same basic cylinder block arrangement. The rear screw was a real problem on the Coronation, and fitting two smaller ones in the corners would have been better for my purposes.

Don't know how big DCC chips are these days.


The DCX75 will fit without question (1.3 x 7 x 11 mm if I remember correctly). The MX620 should fit, the question is how many capacitors can be squeezed in; they make such a difference to running qualities.
The problem is, sometimes, routing wires around for extra features, I have wires running through the gearbox on the Coronation.

This is a lovely kit to build, so long as your happy to do fiddly. It's amassing how much metal Chris gets in, this is no single sheet of each metal job like some kits you see. There is very nearly as much metal in the coffee pot as is the O4 2-8-0 loco Anchorage kit I was doing at the same time.


Building it "straight" from the instructions doesn't worry me; I know Chris' kits align correctly, and its huge bits of metal compared to anything in 2mm finescale.

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David Thorpe
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby David Thorpe » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:04 pm

Having prevuiously said that I was going to reboot my model making by reconstructing an 0-6-0 chassis, I've instead started on a High level Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST. On the basis that the High level kits are highly regarded and that instructions are comprehensive, i thought this would be a good reintroduction. I have to say I'm enjoying it, although its tiny size and the number of finicky bits has meant that as far as soldering is concerned I have rather been thrown back in at the deep end. The very first item, attaching the tiny valance strips to the footplate, took quite a lot of time and even more cursing! I'm finding my cheapo Maplin temperature controlled unit very useful, though am having trouble maintaining tip temperature with my Antex 25W.

I had hoped to use CSBs and spilt axles, but in view of the comments elsewhere in this thread about the tight fit of the 108:1 gearbox (and I assume that in this respect the comments on the Y5 will apply equally to this kit)) I'll probably just build the chassis as per the instructions. Rather to my surprise there are no hornblocks included in the kit, a pity because I was looking forward to trying out the High level ones.

David

nigelcliffe
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby nigelcliffe » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:29 pm

DaveyTee wrote:.......... I've instead started on a High level Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST. .............. Rather to my surprise there are no hornblocks included in the kit, a pity because I was looking forward to trying out the High level ones.


The High Level ones look nice (not assembled them yet), but without measuring, I think they will need modification to fit the 0-4-0's. I made my own when building the 0-4-0ST, a fairly simple lathe job for the block, and a bit of T-section brass strip for the guide verticals. They were far from perfect, and needed a lot of bodging to make them slide really well. All my fault for not bothering to get some commercial guides and reducing the size of the commercial blocks.

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Will L
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby Will L » Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:41 pm

nigelcliffe wrote:The High Level ones look nice (not assembled them yet), but without measuring, I think they will need modification to fit the 0-4-0's.


Absolutely, I have them on the front axle of the coffeepot. They need to be reduced in hight as originally they were taller than the frame!

I got quite a long way down the CSB rout (fulcrum points calculated drilled and fitted) before finding it wasn't a go-er. So the front axle still has its horn blocks and springs even though the rear axle is now solid to the frame. Having thought further about how a loco with one axle sprung and one rigid would ride, I also installed the compensation pivot on the front axle so it is now both sprung and compensated. Belt and braces is my way, but you wouldn't need to know that if there wasn't a useful tip and a sting in the tail to follow. Read on.

The highlevel horn block assembly is created by folding the basic etch in half. The two halves are designed to click together and not to be soldered. If you are so foolish as to ignore the instructions by going for belt and braces and applying solder to ensure the bent over parts stay together in perpetuity, you can find a small fillet of solder will form in the horn cheeks just where it prevents the horn block from sliding up and down smoothly.

Well you live and learn and it isn't impossible to clean the offending solder out again.

The point, however, is that in reducing their hight to fit these little chassis, you may well find you have to file off the fold! :mrgreen:

Will

Elventhumbs
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby Elventhumbs » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:59 pm

Will,
? Tack soldering rather than a nice smooth but intrusive fillet?

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David Thorpe
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby David Thorpe » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:13 am

I owe Chris Gibbons an apology. Having said in another thread that my Hudswell Clarke kit didn't include a required 14BA bolt, I've now found it in a pack among some other very small items. Sorry Chris!

I haven't done much with the kit over the last few days, but got it out tonight and that ended up with my having a lengthy and increasingly frustrating struggle trying to fit the cast white-metal saddle tank. I've at last done it, but am pretty sure that it's not possible if tackled as the instructions seem to suggest. Now to proceed with the very detailed cab fittings though I'm not sure that they will in fact be seen once the roof and cab back are in place.

David

nigelcliffe
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby nigelcliffe » Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:15 am

You can easily make the cab roof removable - mine has two lengths of phos-bronze wire bent down in the (four) corners of the roof to provide location. Thus, easily removed/replaced to see the detail.

The detail does show, people at Scaleforum commented on the cab detail, even with the roof on.

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Flymo748
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High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby Flymo748 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:43 am

Just a quick FYI in case anyone has subscribed to this thread.

I started on my High Level chassis kit for the L&Y Pug yesterday. I'm not going to re-post the story here, but you will find it over on "Beer & Buckjumpers".

All the best,
Flymo
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steve howe
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby steve howe » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:24 pm

There was a very good thread going on RMWeb concerning building the High Level Pug chassis I think it can still be accessed here:
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=89&t=43547

I gave up on RMWeb a while back because it was so unreliable, however I have built two HL Pug chassis and have to say I was delighted with the sheer precision of the design and the brilliant gearbox which achieves a 108-1 reduction and totally invisible. I also have a HL RSH saddletank to build, but if the quality is as good as the Pug chassis, building these kits should be a finger singeing joy!

Thers's some pics of the Pugs here: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=653

Steve

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Flymo748
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby Flymo748 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:39 pm

steve howe wrote:There was a very good thread going on RMWeb concerning building the High Level Pug chassis I think it can still be accessed here:
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=89&t=43547

I gave up on RMWeb a while back because it was so unreliable, however I have built two HL Pug chassis and have to say I was delighted with the sheer precision of the design and the brilliant gearbox which achieves a 108-1 reduction and totally invisible. I also have a HL RSH saddletank to build, but if the quality is as good as the Pug chassis, building these kits should be a finger singeing joy!

Thers's some pics of the Pugs here: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=653

Steve


Hi Steve,

Thanks for the pointer to that thread on RMWeb. It's very interesting to read. I did cringe a little when I saw him solder the firebox wrapper on inside out :-(

I completely agree with you that the kit is an absolute delight to make. I've just got as far as the construction of the brake rigging, so I'd better write a note or two on the chassis so far. Build time to date is twelve and a half hours, and I've enjoyed every minute. There are one or two very minor errors in the instructions, where they could be a touch more precise, but that really is only because the quality is so good elsewhere you expect them to be faultless.

I've sidelined it in the past week for work on a baseboard, but I've now got itchy fingers again!

Flymo
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David Knight
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby David Knight » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:34 am

Just as a sidelight I have made a modification to the safety valve cover. Reasoning that the cover would have been brass I tried paint but the effect was less than wonderful. So I turned one, well, two as the first try was a bit portly but the desired effect is pleasing even if the shape is not an exact duplicate of the casting. The covers are (from left to right) original with paint, Mk2 version, Mk1 version. I now need to make a couple of slots for the salter safety valves at the back before mounting on the dome.

Cheers,

David
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Mk2 version.jpg

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Will L
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby Will L » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:29 pm

Ok so just how do other people fit pick-ups on Loco's like this. Mine's a Y5 coffee pot but the chassis on the Nielson tank is the same.

Will

David Knight
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby David Knight » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:11 am

[quote="Will L"]Ok so just how do other people fit pick-ups on Loco's like this. Mine's a Y5 coffee pot but the chassis on the Nielson tank is the same.

Hi Will,

There is a pic of my efforts with the Neilson here; viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1346
near the bottom of the page. I mention using 28 gauge PB wire but I am going to try 30 as I think the 28 is a tad stiff. Otherwise it is bog standard PCB secured with a screw and cross piece mounted on the dummy inside motion.

HTH

David

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Will L
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby Will L » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:20 am

davknigh wrote:
Will L wrote:Ok so just how do other people fit pick-ups on Loco's like this. Mine's a Y5 coffee pot but the chassis on the Nielson tank is the same.


There is a pic of my efforts with the Neilson here; viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1346
near the bottom of the page. I mention using 28 gauge PB wire but I am going to try 30 as I think the 28 is a tad stiff. Otherwise it is bog standard PCB secured with a screw and cross piece mounted on the dummy inside motion.


David

Thanks for That I thought there was something out there but I couldn't find it.

Looks good. I've been trying to puzzle out a way to leave the dummy inside gear unencumbered while leaving the pickups demountable for painting and maintenance. but I think I was over complicating things so I wanted somebody to bring me back to something fairly simple.

Will

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Will L
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby Will L » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:44 pm

Well, I've got the pick-ups on the Coffee-pot now, and even for Dave's method, simple isn't the word that comes to mind. Getting this right and short free took three goes. The clearances in there are tight!. Here's the picture.
Y5 pickups.jpg
Y5 pickups.jpg (192.03 KiB) Viewed 9028 times

Before anybody comments, the wheels are a sacrificial set, actually EM wheels but fitted to P4 back to backs These will be replaced by the P4 wheels when the chassis has been stripped down for painting. As you can see, I've haven't bothered to trim back the crank pins. I've got a few more of the fiddly bits on than David had got round to fitting to his. The pipework running down the frames then under the break gear on the real wheel makes life very difficult, and the finger wires on the pick-up plate are designed to ensure the 28 gauge PB wire pick-ups stay clear of this pipe. I chose 28 gauge because they are so short I didn't fancy using a thicker wire. The pick-up plate comes out for painting.

Next step is to start adding weight. Inside the cylinders, the sides of the tanks and the coal bunkers for starters.

Will

DougN
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby DougN » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:54 am

Will these pick ups look right. I have made the Q6's along this way and Morgan should take the credit as they "work" I have been debating how to do the same thing on the Black Hawthorn. Your set up looks better than plain copperclad. I am going to wait for my wheels to turn up in the next 7 to 10 days Then hit the pick ups. Of course I expect the wheels to either turn up on Friday at 5.00pm so I can't install them in time for the meeting at 8.00 OR wait until Next Monday... do I swear at "Murphy" or just expect him? :evil:
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

Philip Hall
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Re: High Level 0-4-0 locomotive construction

Postby Philip Hall » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:46 am

I've run pickups off the brake gear before now, having picked up the idea (sorry) from a High level kit review in MRJ years ago. So long as you accept that getting the wheels out is not going to be (easily) possible, it works a treat. I have some very thin PCB which was soldered to the brake cross shafts, usually underneath them, and this was then slit in three places carefully back to the paxolin, leaving two places on which to solder the pickup wires, done just as in the picture above. The only difference was that I used 0.3mm brass wire and put two or three turns in it.

Philip


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