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Buildings / Scenic / Anything not covered by above categories => Other Topics => Topic started by: Geoff Nicholls on March 11, 2018, 11:21:46 AM

Title: A query about Controlling live steamers on small layouts
Post by: Geoff Nicholls on March 11, 2018, 11:21:46 AM
Although I'm doing exactly what I like doing with my exhibition layouts, I'm aware that for perhaps the majority of G3 modellers, the chief attraction is running live steam. And live steam does attract crowds at exhibitions.
So I'd like to make live steam the feature of my next exhibition layout.
The layout has no name yet, but is a circular test track/scenic diorama, one third inlaid of a road, one third ballasted over the sleepers, one third plain track.  It will take up just under 9 feet square, the track is 4 feet radius and will have two track power.  The boards are only 9" wide, low relief scenic items will be bolted to the outside or inside of the boards, removable the transport. The scenic inspirations are W & U, Wantage, and Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth harbours. It will only accommodate small locos with that radius.
However I know nothing about live steam, and find the whole idea scary and dangerous.

Is it possible to control live steamers so they trundle slowly along, pulling three or four small wagons?
There will be a lifting section, to allow access, which can also act as a fiddle yard cassette to transfer stock to a table.
It would be easy to include a scenic fence, hedge or wall around the outside, would that be advisable or even necessary?
Most importantly, are there people out there with live steam locos willing to come along and run their locos  in small circles at exhibitions?
Title: Re: A query about Controlling live steamers on small layouts
Post by: Doddy on March 11, 2018, 12:11:47 PM
Just how slow? Given the confined layout, perhaps a small locomotive with a highly geared oscillator motor driving the wheels? That way you can have both the animation and slow speed control.

(http://thumb.ibb.co/gT0s2n/2.jpg) (http://ibb.co/gT0s2n)

Although I am sure that there are many other means to this end. Your observations on what factors drive the attraction for viewers are also relevant for non-steam and diesel outline.

I have just had this Chinese smoke generator delivered with a view to moving the design forward from a single piston to 4, 6, 8, 12 and 16 cylinder versions for both steam outline and diesels.

(http://thumb.ibb.co/hmcrTS/smoker.jpg) (http://ibb.co/hmcrTS)

My local Wantage line locomotives would be very small in relation to most G3 standard gauge models and may need some technical inspiration from the Live 'O' gauge fraternity for boilermaking and cylinder drive designs.

In terms of local interest, then the Ipswich dock system could also provide a wealth of architectural and operational interest.
Title: Re: A query about Controlling live steamers on small layouts
Post by: Geoff Nicholls on March 11, 2018, 12:43:17 PM
the speed walking be the G3 equivalent of walking pace, 4 to 8mph.
Perhaps I should stress I have no intention of building or owning a live steamer myself, merely offering scenic exhibition space for those who do.
Title: Re: A query about Controlling live steamers on small layouts
Post by: hornbeam on March 11, 2018, 01:28:32 PM
Well I have a GRS Austerity powered by angeares steam mortor and it will run very slowly. One project I’ve just started is a sentinel using the exact type of steam motor that doddy posted a pic of. Sounds like it would be perfect to use on your layout!
Title: Re: A query about Controlling live steamers on small layouts
Post by: Geoff Nicholls on March 11, 2018, 02:49:50 PM
how do you set it to go slowly?
Title: Re: A query about Controlling live steamers on small layouts
Post by: Doddy on March 11, 2018, 03:10:34 PM
Well I have a GRS Austerity powered by angeares steam motor and it will run very slowly. One project I’ve just started is a sentinel using the exact type of steam motor that doddy posted a pic of. Sounds like it would be perfect to use on your layout!

The picture I showed was of the old motor built by the late Tom Cooper of Merlin and Steamlines fame. I would be very interested to know who builds these motors these days.
Title: Re: A query about Controlling live steamers on small layouts
Post by: IanT on March 11, 2018, 04:00:22 PM
In 16mm circles - the ability to steam "slowly" has apparently been mastered by the use of 'Slo-Mo' units. I've looked at SSP (the Australian) manufacturers site and it appears to be a geared flywheel arrangement that has been designed to fit certain Roundhouse & Aristocraft  locomotives.

http://smallsteamperformance.com.au/products-2/

I think they might be available in the UK from Summerlands (who make the 'Chuffer' units) - but there are some photos on their site of the Slo-Mo unit.

http://www.summerlands-chuffer.co.uk/ssp-slomo-1/4585810685

Another thing to consider Geoff is the impact/point of having a boiler pump on a small moving engine. There was a German 16mm guy who was advocating not using any pump and also conserving steam via varying the air allowed into the coal fire.  There were some interesting YT videos about his engines a year or two back.

So the 16mm guys undoubtedly have a lot to teach us about running slow-moving small engines - but it would probably be best to have some new small G3 live steam locos, designed to incorporate these features from the start....

Regards,

IanT
Title: Re: A query about Controlling live steamers on small layouts
Post by: MikeWilliams on March 11, 2018, 05:59:46 PM
I echo all the pisitive responces on here inclyding thr slo-mo which is chain driven. Jamie Page has one and I am keen to see what he does with it.
Title: Re: A query about Controlling live steamers on small layouts
Post by: hornbeam on March 11, 2018, 07:47:36 PM
Doddy, on another group people were asking about who makes steam motors now and I feel there could be a few who would buy one. GRS no longer offer theirs as the guy who made them has retired. Colin Bennie used to do one and his son took them over but no longer has the materials needed but maybe he would do a batch.

As for slow runnning, the Austerity with a gentle open of the regulator on RC gently takes off and will stay at that speed regardless of curves, I’m hoping my sentinel will do the same. Interesting my
14xx is nowhere near as capable of slow speeds.

I’ve seen the slo-mo and looks interesting. I’ll keep and eye on your layout development Geoff with interest.
Title: Re: A query about Controlling live steamers on small layouts
Post by: IanT on March 11, 2018, 08:35:16 PM
This video shows a 16mm (slo-mo equipped) engine shunting and it seems to work pretty well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTU2IGfAr2A

I couldn't find the actual video I recalled about the damper controlled coal fired engine - but I did find this one by the same guy (he was Dutch - not German) and his (Dutch) company is called 'Riverdale' - but he does describe how the idea works... 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kragxU23Ptk

Regards,

IanT
Title: Re: A query about Controlling live steamers on small layouts
Post by: Doddy on March 12, 2018, 08:29:37 PM
The scenic inspirations are W & U, Wantage, and Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth harbours. It will only accommodate small locos with that radius.

Lowestoft Quay looks interesting . . .

(http://thumb.ibb.co/d57vOS/Lowestoft_No38.png) (http://ibb.co/d57vOS)