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Two rail to three rail conversion - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sun Jun 21st, 2015 06:46 pm
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wahiba
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After acquiring this model I have taken an interestest in 3 rail systems. Seems there are certain advantages and I really like the old Hornby Dublo Tinplate track.
Consequently I have been trying out my own concersions and learning quite a bit on the way.
First of all it is important to have the collector below the outer axles, as above or as near as possible.

This is what happens when the rule is ignored. Runs fine on straight track, but anything but a large radius the above happens. This example is using old Trix fibre track, Collector is a paper clamp that I acquired in Spain. I believe they are available in the UK but I have never seen any.

This is a close up of the conversion of some old Underground Ernie Bo-Bo chassis.

I tried a few, all with the same reslt. This picture is before the guiding tubes were held in with Sugru.

Initially I wanted to use the chassis as stand alone trams, but i reckon they need to have another chassis towed/pushed/both where the centre collector can be fir closer to the bogie axle without interfering with drive systems.

Currently an ongoing project. More efforts may be found on my website - link below.

David



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 Posted: Sun Jun 21st, 2015 06:55 pm
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BCDR
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Hi David,
Shouldn't the collector be attached to the bogie (in the middle) not the body? That way the collector follows the collecting central rail. 
Nigel



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 Posted: Sun Jun 21st, 2015 07:22 pm
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wahiba
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Collector should be as close as possible to the axle. However this is not much room so I was being clever. Worked fine on my straight test track, but on mild curves no go. In retrospect it is pretty obvious.

Trix track does not help. It is not very good compared to the Hornby. However it has one big advantage in that the two running rails are insulated from each other, not the case with HD. With insulated running rails a degree of three rail automation can be employed. More useful for tram type layouts than rail.

Sorting out the Trix track is also part of the fun. It is cheap to acquire. Wrenn made good three rail track but it is pretty rare. I thought at one time I could use the Trix stuff on a layout but I thinking that converting Peco track will be more reliable. At least they sell all the necessary bits. HD three rail is fine to use so long as three rail automation is not required.

David



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 Posted: Mon Jun 22nd, 2015 05:24 pm
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BCDR
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Hi David,

How about under the fuel tank using two sprung arms like the HD setup? That is the center of the BB and should follow the track exactly. Should give you a bit of space especially if you mill/file some material away and drill and tap the chassis. The chassis is electrically isolated from the outer pickups, no reason it cannot be live. [I'm used to working with a live chassis, working with old brass engines from the 1960's can get interesting at times, especially when putting a DCC decoder in].

Nigel



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 Posted: Mon Jun 22nd, 2015 09:44 pm
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wahiba
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Hi

There is actually very little room under these bachmann chassis. My original experiments a while back involved bent strips and it did work so long as the chassis was well loaded. Otherwise the chassis was just lifted off the track. I was hoping i might get a gravity system, which requires less weight, to work, but there really is not sufficient room.

Only one bogie is powered so the other could have the bottom plastic plate replaced by one of brass. It is so close to the track though that i am not sure how a collector might work.

I recently acquired a history of the Liverpool overhead railway and the three car units had quite a short centre car. While not spot on the bachmann chassis is near enough to fit. This means I could have centre rail collectors on the trailer cars at either end. As the Liverpool overhead actually used a centre collector for a short while it is a good bais for a centre rail model.

The bachmann chassis are quite low geared which means that they do tend to run with a good load on board. It also helps over old bent Trix track.

I am working towards an auto running end to end sytem using a latching reversing relay on the train. So far only tested the principle on a Meccano model. One reason for using Trix track rather than Hornby is the ability to use it for switching and setting off a train in another block without the need for fancy control systems.

David




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 Posted: Mon Jun 22nd, 2015 11:31 pm
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60019Bittern
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Those paper clamps you have look very much like the screw and post bindings that Gibbons use for some of their Stamp Albums, more especially the Exeter or Devon Albums. Might be worth contacting them to see if they are available as spares. Google Stanley Gibbons for contact details etc.



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 Posted: Tue Jun 23rd, 2015 01:30 am
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BCDR
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Hi David,[size=
]
I'm not familiar with Underground Ernie models, is that a plastic frame? If so a cast MAZAC frame and motor might be more appropriate. The front and rear of the fuel tank could be removed to give the space for the pick-up. What looked a good thing at the time might not be so good in practice. 

Nigel



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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2015 10:44 pm
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wahiba
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A more solid frame would be useful. It has been made down to a price, the drive pivot has the worm wheel pivoting beneath the worm!!

As for my 'Spanish' collector. while they work they also need to be near the centre of a wheel axle. Unfortunately this is difficult with this type of bogie. this set up only works well on straight lines or very shallow curves. Typical model railway curves, which do reflect full size tramway curves are too tight for the system to work effectively.

I am working out if I can get one to work down the centre of the trailing bogie. Not the best arrangement as it means only one collector. Other idea is to use the chassis for light rail rather than tram models and then fit collectors on the trailer cars. The UE chassis looks as if it might be suited to a model of the Liverpool overhead railway. the centre car of three was slightly shorter than the two outer cars. Also when it first opened it used a centre rail supply. There must be some reason why this is not used on mainly trains, the London Underground fourth rail being the exception, although it is just a supplementary retrun rail.  Also Volks railway as an offset from centre supply rail.

As my idea turned out to have limited possibilities I have enough parts from spain to be going on with. Thanks for the info on Gibbons though. Seems they do exist in the UK, just not common.

Below is a card tram body on a UE chassis testing out an auto end to end system. While body is meant to be a tram it looks more like a DLR car so I think light rail for the UE chassis is possibly an alternative use.

David

PS collector on test chassis is thin copper strip under trailing bogies connected to a screw up through centre of bogie. Bit rough and ready, but works.



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 Posted: Sun Jul 26th, 2015 08:29 pm
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wahiba
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Lousy weather means some time in the garage. I have actually managed to come up with a better solution for my spanish collectors. My first over engineered examples proving not to be capable of curves I looked at going down the centre of a non driven bogie.



It works. I even use the original screw from the collector. It is in the 6mm tube. The tube is held on to the bogie by a couple of self tapping screws through existing holes on the bogie. Also a new plastic bottom plate to keep the wheels in place and hold the tube in the centre. Existing plate is not easy to convert.

Spring on top helps keep collector on track. A fram fits over the chassis with a steel bar for the necessary traction weight.

It works, but means just one collector in the centre on the chassis. In practise another collector is needed and will need to be on a trailer.

Four wheel collection on drive bogie should be ok. Note the drive worm. The wheel it drives is part of the drive on the bogie and pivots below the worm! Seems to work fine on normal minimum model railway curves.


Wet July project

David



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