A Highland Miscellany

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:44 pm

To finish the story of the mounts for these signals, I have now managed to get a few photographs of the method I use for the ground signals.

They follow a similar concept. Firstly there is the mount that is permenantly attached to the baseboard. On this occassion though, this is mounted from below and will need to be packed to acheive the right height on the topside:

100_1977compress.JPG
The mount

The signal is then attached to a "male end" that slots into the mount. In much the same way as before, the final mating of these is a good fit so the joint will be all but invisible (I hope!).
100_1979compress.JPG
The signal itself and its servo attachment

The two when together look like this although only the very top will be visible to the public!
100_1976compress.JPG
And the two together

The second of these pictures also show my rather Heath Robinson approach to making the signal work. The main lamp is simple as it merely rotates and this is acheived with a spindle attached to the horn (ie the arm) of the servo. Getting the balance weight to then rock was a tad more difficult and I acheived this with a lever attached to the spindle at the point that it turned outwards to meet the horn. This movement was then transmitted through to the lever via an elbow.

Hardly fine engineering I know, but it does work!
Mark Tatlow

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:30 pm

The bracket signal is making progress; although perhaps rather slower than intended - but hey, little moddling doesn't in my house!

This is where we are at present.
100_1972compress.JPG
From the front
100_1964compress.JPG
Oblique from the left

I have had to go backwards a bit and change the location of the elbows for transmitting the cable across the bracket. I had assumed that they were attached to the main stringer but they are in fact on top of it.

These have just been finished which means that I just need to complete the handrail, fix a ladder that I can see I have bent and we can get this painted. The arms are done waiting to go on the completed model.
100_1963compress.JPG
Oblique from the right

Right, off to the work bench now...........................
Mark Tatlow

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Dave K
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Dave K » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:43 am

Mark,

What type (or whoes) signal post have you used for your bracket signal :?:

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:16 pm

The signal posts are solid nickle silver.

They are, however, tapered; so there was much filing to be done. Actually, it is not that difficult if you have a good vice and a reasonable selection of different cut files. MSE and Lochgorm Models both do taper signal posts in sheet etch which you fold up as two components and then solder them together but I think they take just as long to make so go for the solid version.
Mark Tatlow

andrewnummelin
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Re: A Highland Miscellany (ground signals)

Postby andrewnummelin » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:44 pm

Mark Tatlow wrote:To finish the story of the mounts for these signals, I have now managed to get a few photographs of the method I use for the ground signals.


Mark,
Your postings arrived just a bit late...... I'm half way through building 4 of these nice little things and almost all of what I have done is inferior to your design and workmanship. I've another pair to do and I'll be copying much of your design: many thanks for the inspiration.
I too wanted the signals to be easily removable but I didn't want to get under the baseboard each time so I have arranged the signal to plug into the servo drive. The signal lamp is mounted on wire that rotates in a (2mm od) tube in the signal base, this tube fits inside a 2mm id tube that passes through, and is glued to, the baseboard. On the end of the wire a small piece of square tube (2mm across the diagonal) is soldered - this then plugs into a bit of the next size up square tube fixed into the servo drive. The servo mounts are rather cobbled together as I'd not thought out the signal operation system when the baseboard was built (another lesson!) - the first signal is directly above the servo axis and this was found to be a bad idea (no visibility when assembling) so the next 3 are driven via cranks and were much easier to mount.
DSC00974.JPG
Tubes, signal, bush with square hole for drive, servo crank with bush fitted.


What I can't see from your photos are how the balance lever is pivoted on the signal post and how the little crank underneath is actually moved by the servo - any chance of a sketch as I suspect this might be clearer than a photo?

Do you by any chance have a prototype drawing that shows how the movement of the balance lever was transmitted to rotate the lamp? If I ever get round to extending the layout I'll have to build some more of these independent discs but they were not on the ground. There were several (3 or 4) mounted on a single post.
Regards,

Andrew Nummelin

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:12 pm

Re the Model Operation

I hope this photo with some notes added to it will assist:
100_1979compress with notes.jpg

The main drive (A) is drilled into the bottom of the lamp and secured with low melt (you need to be very fast, I have a 50% casualty rate on the lamps but do have a plan to deal with this!). It passes through a hole in the signal base and then through my mount.

At point B it is turned outwards to the same degree to match the throw of appropriate hole in the servo horn sticks out. It then turns down again and goes into the servo at this point. This twists the lamp in unison with the operation of servo, which is one half of the task.

At point B on the main drive but a little way down where it moves out to match the throw of the servo horn, I have introduced a link to a crank (C). This is prevented from slipping up and down the throw of the main drive by a couple of washers (10BA nuts soldered in place in this case). Thus as the throw of the main drive rotates, it moves the crank back and forth.

The crank then operates the secondary drive wire that is attached to the crank and moves it up and down.

I did find that the hole in the link at point B needs to be a little elongated (not massively) otherwise it jams up/distorts.

Hopefully this describes it? As I said, it is a tad Heath Robinson but it does work quite well. If it does not, I might have a bash at doign a little Youtube video as I think this will show it better than a drawing.

The Prototype

I have a dollop of information on MacKenzie & Holland products, including a full 1895 catelogue from them. It does show these ground signals but it does not show the workings I am afraid.

What I can say is that It looks like the tail of this crank (which is not visible in my photos as it is hiding behind the signal base) appears to actually go into the base, rather than sits ont he outside of it - which is what I have built and is how the MSE etch leads you to beleive it will be. However, I can not see that I could make it work in such a case, so I am ultimately going to ignore this!!
Mark Tatlow

andrewnummelin
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby andrewnummelin » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:55 pm

Mark Tatlow wrote:At point B on the main drive but a little way down where it moves out to match the throw of the servo horn, I have introduced a link to a crank (C). This is prevented from slipping up and down the throw of the main drive by a couple of washers (10BA nuts soldered in place in this case). Thus as the throw of the main drive rotates, it moves the crank back and forth.

The crank then operates the secondary drive wire that is attached to the crank and moves it up and down.

I did find that the hole in the link at point B needs to be a little elongated (not massively) otherwise it jams up/distorts.


Mark,

Many thanks - this was the bit that I didn't understand first time.

The photo below should have been with my previous post.
DSC00973.JPG
Tubes, signal, bush and just a bit of bush in servo horn.


Your interpretation of the MSE etch is the same as mine: I assume that on the prototype that there was a mechanism in the box to convert the horizontal movement of the crank to rotation of the lamp. Over the weekend I'll try to dig out a photo showing a bit of my future challenge and post this in the "semaphore signals" section in the hope that someone else has looked at this.
Regards,

Andrew Nummelin

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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Armchair Modeller » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:39 pm

Looking at similar ground signals for railways like the Midland and the LNWR, there was a vertical extension from the pivot point of the crank for balance weight/wire pull which engaged in a horizontal lever attached to the base of the signal lamp. The lever was either V shaped, or a collar. When the signal wire was pulled or released, the vertical extension rotated with the balance weight, pushing or pulling the lever on the signal pivot, so rotating it. Here is an illustration

mrsgl0002.jpg
mrsgl0002.jpg (17.28 KiB) Viewed 6742 times

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:16 pm

Andrew;

It would appear that just because I did not know the answer did not mean I did not have the answer:

M&H Ground Signals.jpg


This is from the M&H Catalogue and whilst it does not show the innards of the box that MSE give you, I suspect it works just the same as the naked one.

Whilst we are on the topic of signals and the like; if anyone has a copy of the Stevens and Sons Catalogue (any year I suspect); our immediate past chairman would be your friend forever if he could see it for a bit.
Mark Tatlow

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grovenor-2685
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:25 pm

Interesting that version A is the same one as from my source, version C is also shown in my source as an LNER signal, I did not scan it as the operating linkage is concealed in the box and hence not visible in the drawing.
Versions D and E show the most basic mechanism, apparently patented, any benefit from the lamp not rotating would seem to be negated by the extra complexity, i wonder if anybody bought them?
D is for use as a point indicator and E for use as an independent signal.
Regards
Keith

PS My source is Tweedie and Lascelles 1925 book

billbedford
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby billbedford » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:46 am

A Pictorial Record of LNER Constituent Signalling by Sandy McClean show that version A was GNR and version C was NER. There is also a photo of an example of version E which is preserved in the NRM, but no provenance is given.
Bill Bedford
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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:10 am

The scan that I posted was from a Mackenzie & Holland catalogue dating from 1895. I know that they supplied to both the GNR and NER - I think they also supplied to several other companies either on an exclusive or predominant basis.

Type C was used by the HR as their ground signal in nearly all cases.

It may be that each company had their own preference as to what form they would go for but in practise they were MacKenzie & Holland standard products.
Mark Tatlow

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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby andrewnummelin » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:42 pm

Many thanks to all who provided information to help me get going with building ground signals.
Regards,

Andrew Nummelin

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:25 pm

The fabrication of the signal is now complete; so we have hit the painting stage. Then the really fun bit - the final assembly and playing with it comes!

_DSC0248compress.JPG
Mark Tatlow

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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:47 pm

Attached is a close up of the signal that I am modelling (almost anyway, I have slightly adjusted the priority of the arms);

Strath at Inverness compress signal.jpg
Strath at Inverness compress signal.jpg (36.64 KiB) Viewed 6463 times

Not wishing to deprice ourselves of a much nicer picture than the extract; here is the full view. This is one of Jones' Straths, Strahtspey in this case, at Inverness in the early years of the last century.

The Straths in their day were the most powerful locos in the British Isles and one was almost the last Crewe framed (this refers to the double framing) loco in the country - two other Highland locos won that accolade!

Strath at Inverness compress.jpg

Now isn't that view enough to convert some prodigal "Highland sons" back to the true path of enlightenment from the path of darkness in East Anglia?
Mark Tatlow

allanferguson
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby allanferguson » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:50 pm

Mark, that's a lovely picture of "Strathspey" (tho' I'm afraid it won't convert me from the True Blue Path!)

Can you tell me what the "thing" is on the tender side?

Allan F

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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby John Palmer » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:56 pm

allanferguson wrote:Can you tell me what the "thing" is on the tender side?

Allan F

According to Anthony Lambert's Highland Railway Album it's the alarm gong connected to the communication cord. About an eighth of the way through this book there's a really good shot of the apparatus upon the tender attached to another Strath, Sir George.

Mark, I'm much enjoying this thread about your fine HR signals. My own interest is in North British practice, in which I shall need to pay less attention than you to laddering, but will have a bigger problem with the Stevens pinnacle in the form of a spike atop an orb-shapped cage.

Did you consider taking a direct drive from the servo output shaft to the shaft of your point disc? If the servo can be made to rotate through only 90 degrees this might offer a straightforward connection, perhaps through a dog clutch, and might help to eliminate lost motion in lever connections.

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:16 pm

allanferguson wrote:Mark, that's a lovely picture of "Strathspey" (tho' I'm afraid it won't convert me from the True Blue Path!)

Can you tell me what the "thing" is on the tender side?

Allan F


Shame that you can not be diverted from the true blue; although perhaps a station between Stanley and Perth?

As John has stated, the bulk of what you are looking at is an alarm gong. I think thsi was used not only as the passenger alarm but also as the guards means of communicating with the driver. However, I do not really know beyond this and I think it is a worthwhile question, I will ask the HR community about this and report further!
Mark Tatlow

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Flymo748
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Flymo748 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:37 pm

Mark Tatlow wrote:Now isn't that view enough to convert some prodigal "Highland sons" back to the true path of enlightenment from the path of darkness in East Anglia?

Damn you Tatlow!

Whilst rummaging for something LNWR in my stock boxes, you've at least caused me to drag this out and have a look at it...

IMG_6800.JPG


Now, what do I do with it next?

And is there a set of etched plates available for that awful transfer numberplate?

Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:57 pm

Excellent, it is working................

Kings X used to do plates for a number of the Highland's locos; although I don't know if this covered the Yankee tanks. You will be as lucky as a lucky thing to lay your hands on one though.

I'll ask the HR chatline, but I suspect that Gareth at Guilplates is the answer.

Remember to fit AJ's and bring it to ally Pally on sunday; where portchullin will be having a repeat of the Highland-fest!
Mark Tatlow

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:14 am

I have managed to finished (for now anyway, see below) the bracket signal. So here are some pictures:

100_2020compress.JPG
100_2018compress.JPG

One error I did manage to include in the build was to make the holes in the balance levers, the crank elbows and the signal arms a tad to big for the operating wire I used. I used 12 gauge guitar wire and the slop that this creates in a 0.5mm hole is rather too much. 0.5mm drills were the smallest I had when I built this so I have invested in a stack of 0.4mm and 0.3mm from drillsuk (on ebay). Next time I will try these really small drills because the thin operating wire does look the part.

The effect of this is to allow the arms to slop too much and they will not be capable of being made to bounce properly. This signal will be in a cutting of the proposed layout, so I will have to replace the wire with something a bit thicker to overcome this.

I think I have also painted this a bit heavilly as the wire handrails in particular have "bulked up". I used Humbrol spray acrylics for the first time on this - they are very good, but I think I will airbrush the next one as my new Iwata (from Eileens) is the business for thinness of paint coat.

You live and learn!

I am also having a bit of trouble with the MERG servo drivers; I may be cooking them with my power supply so this needs a bit of work too!
Mark Tatlow

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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby beachboy » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:55 am

Mark,

Nice Signal build.

Reading the problem incurred from the 0.5mm holes, occured to me the possiblity to plug the 0.5 hole with a 0.5 dia tube that has the 0.3mm hole.

Steve.

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:34 pm

The latest completion off the workbench is a goods brake van.

This is a diagram 39 version; which was the Highland's last brake van design (and there is some speculation that they were not delivered until after the start of the LMS era but if someone has a photograph in HR days, we would be all eyes!). These were quite modern by the Highland's standards and were the first ones for several decades to do away with the lookout on the top of the roof which was likely to be a retrograde step given all the twists and turns of the line.

100_2092compress.JPG
A general view of the van

It was built from a Lochgorm kit; constructed mostly as intended. However, I elected to insert some sprung suspension using Bill Bedford sprung W irons, rather than the designers intention of compensation. I also found that the sides were a little tall, so these needed to be cut down a tad. Other than this, it is was pretty easy. Having bought some of the NBR 4mm Developments etched builder's places, this became the first model of mine to be fitted with one - so a small first!

100_2093compress.JPG
The Bill Bedford spring W irons and NBR 4mm Developments builders plate

Back at post 60, I confidently noted that I had come to a wheeze to get around the problem of some dreadful white metal castings provided by the kit by taking one from a Big Ben that I have in my kit stockpile. Well it serves me right for being smug but I have made a co*k up in that whilst one loco did take a chimney from a Big Ben that particular loco did not end up in the LMS red that I particularly wanted to portray. Grrrrrrrrrrr!

This has therefore compelled me to turn out my own replacement chimney as I have not managed to find a proprietary replacement that looks the part. Most of this has been done, as below (the workmanship marks are much better in real life - it is only 9mm high!) but I do still need to anneal this and introduce the curve of the smokeboax on the flange.
100_2097compress.JPG
My new chimney - my first turning effort in 25 years! The workmanship marks are not as bad as they look in the picture - this is only 9mm high!
100_2097compress.JPG (146.36 KiB) Viewed 5929 times
Mark Tatlow

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:28 pm

One of the features I propose to include on my next layout Glenmutchin (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2420) is an interlocked lever frame. This is because one the most common “issues” now on Portchullin is driver error running signals or attempting to go over a turnout that is against it. Glenmutchin will be a much more complicated trackplan and there will be a fair number of signals on it, so we are bound to have more operator issues! The use of an interlocked frame is intended to be one of the means of controlling these – after all it is how the prototype did it!

Interlocking frames have been built before but they are not written about much – there are some pieces here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=343TlIld ... e=youtu.be
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index. ... ver-frame/
http://www.lbscrmodels.co.uk/pg1.html
or viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1772&p=14884&hilit=interlocking#p14884
if you want to look them up. Whilst is it possible to do this electronically (and people have) I decided I wanted to go down the traditional route of locking tappits, so that if the road was not set correctly, the lever would not work and you knew you had a problem.

Given that Glenmutchkin looks to be heading for a 45 lever frame, with a lot of interlocking I thought it would be a good idea to start on something simpler. Thus, I have concocted myself a simple layout with a moderate amount of locking; this is what I have gone for:

Test Layout Signalling Plan.jpg
Signalling plan for a test layout
Test Layout Signalling Plan.jpg (17.09 KiB) Viewed 5803 times

And this is the locking chart that I think is right:

Test Layout Frame list.jpg
Frame list and locking chart

If people out there think there are errors in this; especially the locking chart (locking logic is a bit mind twisting) then please pipe up as I will be building it soon!
Mark Tatlow

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TonyMont
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby TonyMont » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:32 pm

Hi Mark,
Interlocking is a mind twister and takes time and quiet, your locking chart is a long way from complete, consider that the yard entry has to be locked before you can signal a train into the station and that the yard entry must be enabled before its signal can be set. Also loop entry and exit need to lock and unlock signals. It is a worthwhile exercise, I hope that helps.
Regards,
Tony.


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