Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

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Tonycardall
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Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Tonycardall » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:57 pm

I’ve put together a set of Mk 2 levers to make a 33 lever frame and used the two extras as mock detonator placers.
Considering my ham fisted and clumsy abilities I am naturally thrilled that everything works perfectly. I’m using the frame with micro switches to operate the points by tortoise units and the signals through Dave Fenton’s (Megapoints Controllers) servo controllers which give a two movement pull off and bounce on return.
In a fit of madness, hope over experience, I bought a set of locking mechanisms for the lever frame. Now here’s the problem:- I have the locking chart for my station, (Southam Road and Harbury) but have little confidence that I can draw up how to create the mechanism physically.
Does anyone know where one can go for a foolproof (and I mean that quite literally) method of producing such a scheme?

Any guidance would be most welcome.
Tony Cardall

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John Bateson
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby John Bateson » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:13 pm

https://modratec.com/ss4.php

Modratec is a company based in Brisbane Australia. The software SigScribe4 will allow you to define the locking diagram, you don't have to buy his mechanical gear.
He is in the process of retiring to the country just north of Brisbane but it seems to be still possible to download the software and documentation.

I do not know how this would link into the Society levers and locking but it may be worth a look.

John
Central.jpg
Here is one I did earlier
Slaving away still on GCR stuff ...
Avoiding the soaps ...
http://www.greatcentralmodels.co.uk

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LesGros
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby LesGros » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:22 pm

John Bateson wrote:
I do not know how this would link into the Society levers and locking but it may be worth a look.


Tony,
SigScribe4 is designed for UK railways rules and procedures. You will find these three links useful:

1. Articles about installation of Modratec equipment: http://www.modratec.com/mud.php

2. Installing MSE Signal Levers on a Modratec Lever Frame - Stephen Buck: http://www.modratec.com/article14.php It is primarily concerned with marrying the MSE frame (similar to society levers) to a Modratec mechanical locking frame.

3. Interlocking Table File Specification (An Interlocking Table File (ITF) is a text-based computer file that defines mechanical interlocking)
https://modratec.com/cart/index.php?mai ... nftmhpbsj5

There is a bit of an overhead in learning to manipulate the workspace tiles, but the online tutorial support is very good and easy to follow; it is also a fun process to try different signalling schemes in which the program allows you to operate levers to test the interlocking scheme; both semaphore and light signals are supported.

Electronic interlocking is also possible.

Enjoy,
Last edited by LesGros on Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LesGros
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby LesGros » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:32 pm

Tony,
It also occurs to me that you could find use for "Trax 3" Signalling & Lever Frames by Jeff Geary

ISBN 978-1-9064-61-5. Obtainable from Amazon.
Last edited by LesGros on Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JFS
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby JFS » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:57 pm

Hello Tony,

Given that you have it all working perfectly, I think you have more ability than you think!!! And certainly, you will have honed your skills that will for making the locking!

John has suggested the SigScribe software and I have no personal experience of that, but if you give it a go, please let us know how you get on and how easy you find it to use. I suspect it is intended for the Modratrac locking which has a number of limitations which do not exist on the Society locking, and so if you need help to "convert" its output to suit the Society locking, I will do my best to help. Perhaps try using it to lock a simple layout first to give us all some practice!!!

If you find that approach is not for you, then there are a couple of things I would suggest.

The first thing is that on a layout, you may not want to fit all the locking which the real thing used. For example, Lever 4 (Down Starter) has a lot of "Hold the Road" locking - ie it locks no less than 6 levers "Either way" and 5 levers Normal plus a "Conditional" lock (10 When 13R). Now if you are really interested in the locking for its own sake, then it will be good fun to do and it will impress your friends, but I doubt you would get much real benefit from it on your layout. Similarly, if not all the ground signals were "fully" locked, you could probably manage fine.

The second point concerns the drawing. If you have working knowledge of a CAD programme - or even a drawing programme like PowerPoint - then these can be made to serve, but equally, in the early stages then pencil and paper sketches are a good place to start - the reason being that there are many ways of skinning the cat and keeping your options open to make changes is useful. Sometimes, rubbing out a bit of pencil or screwing up a bit of paper is easier than re-doing a CAD drawing!

I am not sure how much you know about how to "read" the locking chart, and I would not want to talk down to you, but remember that with mechanical locking, only half of the locks on the chart are needed - the "converses" happen automatically - for example - Lever 2 (Down Home) locks 6.11.20.23.26 Now assuming you provide all of that on a single bridle, you can forget the "2" which is shown in the "locks N" column against each of those levers - those locks come for free as the via the same bridle.

One last point about building the locking - you do not have to finalise the design before making a start on the bits - you can make up the locking frame, the cam plates, crossheads etc and fit them to your frame before you have designed the locking. Only when you come to make the tappets and the bridles / nibs do you need to worry about what to put where and where to cut all the ports.
It might therefore be worth getting started on that in parallel with your design work - that way you will get a good feel for how it all goes together and it helps you visualise what can fit where. Equally, you can make up the indivdual tappets (without any ports cut of course) as well as a selection of nibs and bridels to get a feel for it.

Since you have 5 or 6 "Spare" levers in the frame, you will have a few spare tappets, so you can use these to practice cutting the ports and getting the locking to work - for example, do a simple lock, like 1 released by 2,4 (assuming you are modelling it after 3 was abolished), or 33 release by 31.32 . That will give you a bit of experience and a lot of confidence!

Hope that helps, and hope that you will continue to post your thoughts - I will certainly try to help as it develops.

Good Luck!

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Tonycardall
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Tonycardall » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:06 pm

Wow, thank you all for the advice thus far. I had, in fact, made a start on the Sigscrib4 software having been pointed in that direction by Danny Cockling when I sought his advice at Warley. I am finding it excellent and I’m sure that, if one was starting from scratch, would help enormously in creating a dog chart. I’ve almost got all of the signals and points located properly and am working through the routes.
At this stage though, I’m not convinced that I will end up with anything more than I have now. Such as, (I can’t believe Howard that you actually took the time to look up the track plan that I’m working on to give actual guidance on the station I’m modelling) No 11 needs to be reversed to enable 13 to be reversed before 14 can be pulled off.
That much I can work out.
It’s that next stage of learning the physical aspects of the frame to achieve the locking, and indeed releasing, that is where I have no clue.
Howard, I had not thought about starting putting the components together ahead of working out the locking mechanism and I thank you sincerely for that. No excuse not to make a start now.
I want to thank you all again for your assistance. I will post updates as I go if anyone is interested

Thanks again,

Tony

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Tonycardall
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Tonycardall » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:09 pm

Les, thanks for the advice on the book which I have just ordered through Amazon

Tony

JFS
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby JFS » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:05 pm

Tonycardall wrote:...
That much I can work out.
...
Tony


You are spot on, and if you have got that far, you have pretty well got it sussed! In truth given that you have the locking table (the one I was looking at is here:- https://www.s-r-s.org.uk/html/gwr/S2754-3.pdf - sadly, the same source fails to cough up a dog chart!) you are more than halfway there. What I am not sure about with the SigScribe is whether it actually helps create the dog chart - and certainly not in the form you need it. Without doubt that is the tricky bit, and thinking it through at that stage saves a lot of work. My suggestion would always be to study what the real thing did - if you can find a few real examples and see how they did it, you can do a lot of copying of good ideas!

You have probably already looked at the "GREEN BOOKS", but another good resource you may not have come across is Chris Hall's website:-

http://www.svrsig.org/software/SigBoxAll.htm

If you follow the "Mechanical Locking" tab, there are quite a few good examples to look at - in particular, it is instructive to look at the locking table, then find out how they chose to provide each lock physically. Again, if you need any help to decode them please post and I or others can do our best.

Some of the examples are animated ( ie http://www.svrsig.org/diags/Lkg1a.htm) and are fascinating to follow - though some of them cannot be described as simple!
The drawn versions (ie http://www.svrsig.org/diags/S2248-6c.pdf) also give you a good idea how to lay the dog chart out - but remember that the GW versions are 3 or 5 bar whereas you need a four bar! But at least they are similar in principle.

You can also download and run Chris's signaling simulation. To be honest the Exeter West simulation is nowhere near as good as mine - http://www.blockpostsoftware.co.uk/ - (even Chris says so!), BUT all his sample boxes include a "working" dogchart - so (in "Ground frame mode") you can pull a lever and watch the locking move.

Before you get too far in your design, be sure to post your initial thoughts - I might spot a few pitfalls based on experience, and it might help carify some details.

Just to mention that I am more than willing to help if I can - As it was me that inflicted this madness on the modelling world, it is the least I can do! You are the first person brave enough to stick your head out (though I know that quite a few locking kits have been sold!) so I hope that when you make a go of it, it might encourage others to take the plunge...

Hope that helps!

Best Wishes,

JFS
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby JFS » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:19 pm

... just to make the point about not waiting till the design is finished, here is a photo of the Leeds Wellington frame I built. Look closely and you can see that all the tappets are blank and all the channels are empty!

Wellington Frame.jpg


Hope it encourages!

Terry Bendall
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:39 am

Not sure about encouragement but it is certainly very impressive. :D

Terry Bendall

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Tonycardall
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Tonycardall » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:10 am

Howard, thank you so much. I now have a lot of information to start the detailed research. Your frame is certainly more aesthetically pleasing than mine but, as I said before, it works. And yes, the picture of the frame prior to filling it with gubbins is certainly encouraging. What has really scared me in your latest message is the sentence, ‘ You are the first person brave enough to stick your head out ’!!!!! I rather imagined that I would be the dolt following on the shirt tails of experts.
I can’t imagine why everyone using a mechanical frame wouldn’t want mechanical locking. Perhaps I’m about to find out.
I do like a challenge though I may need to invest in earplugs for my wife when the going gets tough.
Anyway, onwards and upwards, this will be a good Christmas project. I’ll work through the links you have sent and let you know how I get on.
Many thanks for the encouragement.
Tony

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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Pannier Tank » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:11 pm

LesGros wrote:Tony,
It also occurs to me that you could find use for "Trax 3" Signalling & Lever Frames by Jeff Geary

ISBN 978-1-9064-61-5. Obtainable from Amazon.


A CD is included with this book with Software to help design your Interlocking Table.
Regards

David

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Tonycardall
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Tonycardall » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:28 pm

Thanks David.

Howard,
On the subject of Modratec’s software, I found it thoroughly absorbing to work through and quite rewarding when it works. It is a useful tool to check that you have the locking table correct. Interestingly it seems to work as per your thoughts in that (this is going to be clumsy), it accepts locking only certain levers because others are locked by those being locked. Err. I hope you get what I am trying to say.
I also found it useful as it gives a visual indication to test against the locking chart. As an example, I would have made say, 10, free and capable of locking 11 either way as that seems most productive for run rounds etc. Whereas, when I looked at the locking table and worked through it on Sigscribe4, I could see that 10 should only be released when 11 is reversed.
I am now going through the signal diagram on SigScribe4 and changing the route availability of the free signals so that they can only be cleared when the corresponding point lever has been reversed as appropriate.
I suspect that working this all through on SigScribe4 has saved me from making errors and consequently extra work.

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Tonycardall
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Tonycardall » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:37 pm

John,
I am fascinated by your track plan. It is certainly significantly more complex than my little wayside station. Can you please tell me how you managed to insert the text and platform?
Regards,
Tony

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Tonycardall
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Tonycardall » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:48 pm

My first attempt at constructing a locking table. It's very basic but hopefully gives an indication of where I'm going. I'm up to lever 11 so far.
Tony
Slide1.JPG
Last edited by grovenor-2685 on Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: IMG tags removed

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:58 pm

Tony,
You don't use the 'img' tags for attachments, just use 'place in line'. The 'img' tags are to link to images elsewhere on the internet, eg if it was on your own website.
That is a 'dog chart' not a locking table.
Is it meant to followthis locking table?

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Tonycardall
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Tonycardall » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:36 pm

Keith, thank you. It’s the first time I have had cause to insert anything other than text.
‘Dog Chart’ got it. Last time I mentioned dog chart it turned out not to be. I’ll get it eventually.
And finally, yes, that’s it. Southam Road and Harbury.
Thanks.
Tony

JFS
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby JFS » Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:59 pm

Tonycardall wrote:My first attempt at constructing a locking table. It's very basic but hopefully gives an indication of where I'm going. I'm up to lever 11 so far.
Tony
Slide1.JPG

Hello Tony,

Good start and glad you have found a way of doing the drawing that suits you!

I am away from home at the moment so can't respond in detail (Keith may well contribute in the meantime!) but there are a couple of points to raise before you go too much further.
The first is a small "short-cut - you have 8 releases 7 and 9 and you have a separate 7 locks 9. However these two locks can be combined by using a "butt" in the releases - I can show you that towards the end of the week.

EDIT:- just deleted a chunk as I realised it was in error ...

Assuming that you do wish to do the conditional lock, this is the one to "fit-in" first as it uses up space which then precludes certain other thing. I suggest that the conditional lock is ftted in the bottom-most channel.

More later...

Best wishes,

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Tonycardall
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Tonycardall » Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:25 pm

Howard,
Many thanks. This is most kind of you.
The remaining 6 sets of locking frames have now arrived so I have plenty to get on with.
I must admit that I really struggled with the cam spacer jig. Resourcing 1.4mm brass rod proved impossible so I bought 1.4 od brass tube. This was a terrible mistake as I made a proper mess of keeping the rod straight whilst soldering it in. When I had it looking ok I cut the pieces to length and found that they had distorted.
If I had more (any) experience I would have known to insert a steel rod inside the brass tube whilst cutting. School boy error!

Fortunately, having bought the other frames I was able to start from scratch with a set from one of those.

The split pins are due to arrive tomorrow so I should be able to do a test fit.

Euphoria or deep depression awaits!!!

Tony

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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby CornCrake » Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:17 pm

I purchased some 1.4mm diameter nickel silver wire from Hobby Holidays, see http://www.hobbyholidays.co.uk/products.php?cat=68&pg=2

Steve

JFS
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby JFS » Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:26 pm

Tonycardall wrote:Howard,
...
I must admit that I really struggled with the cam spacer jig. Resourcing 1.4mm brass rod proved impossible so I bought 1.4 od brass tube.
...


Hello Tony,

Don't worry - it gets easier with a bit of experience! And you have enough spare levers to play with!

I did discover a while back (via another member's feedback) that 1.4mm rod is not obtainable so I deleted reference to it in the "instructions". At least I thought I had but now you mention it, I see it is still refered to in the Alignment jig! Looking at my own jig, I see that I too used tube - for cutting tube like this, (ie after it has been soldered to something else) I always use a piercing saw with a 6/0 ("six-oughts") blade - it cuts a perfect square end almost as quick as any "Xuron" (which I think should be barred by Customs at the borders for exactly the reason you hint at!!). Even if your tube is looking a bit sorry, you might be able to open it back out with the point of a scriber / dividers / compasses etc. Perfect is not essential!!

If you don't have piercing saw and 6/0 4/0 and 0 blades, now might be a good time to ask Santa - I can point you at suitable suppliers.

The only thing where 1.4mm dia rod is critical is for opening out the slot in the cam plate and for the crosshead drive pin - for these, the piano wire is the answer and that is definitely available in 1.4mm. (Have you got your Carr's "Brown" flux ready - it is THE stuff for soldering the crossheads!)

I accept that the cam spacer jig is not easy to use - not least because it feels like you need four hands - but it does an important job of keeping the two halves of the cam in alignment. With experience (that word again) you will find that you can easily do without it by using the crosshead to maintain the spacing, but it is worth persevering with the jig in the meantime until you know what it is supposed to look and feel like.

Are you able to post photos? It might be that I can't spot any issues which need heading off!

More on locking design later - keep going with the hardware for now!

Good Luck

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Tonycardall
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Tonycardall » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:26 pm

CornCrake wrote:I purchased some 1.4mm diameter nickel silver wire from Hobby Holidays, see http://www.hobbyholidays.co.uk/products.php?cat=68&pg=2

Steve

Steve,
Thank you. As you will realise, I am a total novice and, as such, I take the instructions literally. Therefore, because Howard has specified Brass, that is what I went for.
Anyway, if I understand it correctly I only need a very short piece for a single template. As that is now made I ‘should’ be ok.
Thanks again,
Tony

JFS
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby JFS » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:36 pm

Here is an illustration of a "butt". Below, three diagrams showing the same three levers worth of locking. In the Left most example, you can see that 2 releases both 1 and 3 via the "loose" nibs. In the middle example, you can see that two short lengths of bridle have been attached to the nibs which do not quite meet above the point tappet. In this example, they do not have any other function. In the right most diagram, you can see that pulling 3 back-locks 2 (of course), but also, the attached short length of bridle is "butting up to" that attached to the nib for lever 1 - thus lever 1 is locked. So the addition of the two lengths of bridle provides the 1 locks 3 function and its converse.

BUTT 2.jpg


This a really useful dodge as such a configuration occurs at every crossover with its shunt signals! You will also spot plenty of other similar uses for it.

Hope that helps!

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Tonycardall
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Tonycardall » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:43 pm

Howard, yes please, suppliers of suitable piercing saw blades would be useful. Though, if I understand correctly, I don’t actually need to cut any more tube as the alignment jig is made and I should be able to use that for each of the drive mechanisms. What is your revised recommendation to replace 1.4mm brass rod?
I used Carr’s Red, that’s what I had to hand and brought out the heavy iron. All of the Five cams seem ok but I’ll order some Carr’s brown and try to be patient until it arrives.

I’ll send some photos though I do feel as if I’m setting myself up for some well justified scorn.

They should follow tomorrow.
Regards,
Tony

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Tonycardall
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Re: Lever frame mk 2 and the locking frame

Postby Tonycardall » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:51 pm

BUTT 2.jpg

This a really useful dodge as such a configuration occurs at every crossover with its shunt signals! You will also spot plenty of other similar uses for it.


Howard,
Ingenious. I feel that there is a mountain of learning ahead and I am hardly at base camp 1.
Thank goodness there are experts on hand.
Lead the way Sherpa Bolton!
Thanks again,
Tony


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