Eurobricks Knights
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About Doug72

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    South Shields - Tyne & Wear
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    Cycling, Railways, Industrial Archaeology


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  1. Now tested for prolong run and working exactly as I envisaged. Tidying up the build and have settled on a hopper and discharge chute to feed the discharge conveyor. Buckets can hold up to five Lego balls and empty OK into the hopper / chute without requiring any trip mechanism. L motor re-positioned and better braced. A way to load balls has yet to be investigated. Only thing I would like to change is the 5 x 11 angle yellow panels to grey but they do not appear to be available. More buckets are on order which will give 8 or 10 if I lengthen the bucket ladder. Next step is to modify the BWE base to include 2 x XL motors, a PF Rx and battery box. - then sort out how to mount the bucket ladder unit onto the rotating upper part.
  2. Problem solved:- Added two guide rails ( yellow 3L x 7L bent beams) to support the upper chain run within the discharge housing and has had the added effect of no longer requiring a chain tensioning device. Cutting angle is good at approx 40 degs. Now working on collection hopper and transfer conveyor.
  3. The driven sprocket axle is supported by pin w/hole connectors for ease of trying different positions for the drive sprocket while testing - can be changed to p/n 32184 once satisfied. Chain sag on top chain run allows for buckets to pass clear beneath upper part of housing - which can be modified OK. The upper and lower runs of the chain within the housing are tight especially as each bucket reaches the end of the guide rails and empities its contents. Have tried an long axle through the pin holes in 5L x 11L panels with 2L pin connectors to support and also tried small sprocket to keep chain runs apart. Think I have found the best location for this axle now. Removing or adding one chain link alters the sag considerable. Remove one chain link and its too tight and angle that ladder can be lowered is reduced. Add a link = more angle but a slack chain. Part of the problem is due to slack chain as it passes around the return sprocket before the bucket enters to guide rail. Going to try a chain tensioning device I used during my Gyro Tiller MOC, using two shock absorbers with soft springs.
  4. Video of balls unloading automatically without any modification to the buckets. Balls loaded by hand only for demonstration video. Driven by an L motor with 24:1 reduction. Chain is a little bit jerky, hope to improve this - somehow. Next step is to build a hopper to catch the balls to roll down onto the discharge conveyor. Time to clean up my Lego working table full of discarded parts from many failed attempts !!!! Doug
  5. Thanks - your comments are helpful - have shifted drive sprocket position and added a smaller sprocket above the ladder pivot axis which allows chain to sag in between when ladder is raised keeping chain engaged on the drive sprocket. Going to shift the ladder pivot axis inside the discharge housing - think that will also help. At the moment its a lot of trial and error getting the best arrangment location for the drive & guide sprockets to give a wider operating range. Looks like it will function best when the ladder is lowered into cutting position. Doug
  6. Previously the guide rails for the bucket chain ended at the pivot point for the bucket ladder. Now extended these beyond the pivot point so as the bucket ladder is lowered the end of the guide rails within the discharge chute rise - aligning the guide rails - so that the buckets remain in tilted back position retaining the balls. As bucket chain passes over the end the guide rails the chain droops before reaching the drive sprocket, allowing each bucket to tip forward enough to drop the balls into the hopper below. Still refining to get the best range of operation when in bucket ladder is in lowered by altering the axis of the drive sprocket wheel / chain length etc. Probably won’t work when bucket ladder horizontal.
  7. Bucket un-loading: Finally figured a way to unload balls from the buckets without ANY modification. At the moment works OK when bucket ladder is in the lowered position - needs a bit more refining so that it will work at any angle between horizointal and lowered positions. Balls will fall off the front of each bucket into a hopper feeeding the discharge conveyor. Hint: no tripping mechanism required and automatic in operation without any power input. More wil be revealed tomorrow !! Doug
  8. Put it lock position and rotate the upper part of the machine - then put in unlock position and do it again. In the lock position the conveyor swings with the upper part rotation - in the unlock position the conveyor doesn't swing as the upper part slews so contents can discharge into the truck. There is a bit of backlash so it moves a bit then stops. Try it and you will see how it functions.
  9. After much building & re-building I am finally satisfied with the Mk. 4 version. The down cutting angle can be increased by adding extra links, if use too many the chain links can slip on the drive sprocket when ladder raised. Once installed onto main body of the machine I will probably extend the length of the bucket ladder by adding 5L x 7L frames and track links and add more buckets. Next step is to continue building the BWE 42055 and then modify it to take the bucket ladder instead of the bucket wheel. Ultimate aim is to have all functions powered - tracks - steering - slewing and conveyors. I will wait until all completed before attempting to modify buckets to discharge from the rear.
  10. Was it like the machine in the bottom left of this page. Still trying to perfect the bucket ladder and still to decide how to unload buckets. Once OK the rest of the build should go a lot quicker by modifying the BWE track unit, base and rotating upper section and conveyors. Doug
  11. Thanks for the comments and the encouragement. At times it can be frustrating trying to get it working but as an ex engineer I enjoy the challenge of problem solving. Need to improve the discharge housing to replicate the real machine better - its a long term project which will use componants from the BWE 42055 set. PS: I too am not into cars or robots but enjpyed watching the final of Robot Wars on BBC last Sunday where the winner decimated every other robot and the arena !! Doug
  12. Still a few glitches to sort out but getting there. The conveyor belt This can be made longer but at the moment it will stay as built until proved and installed into the main body of the machine. As I am now using the 5L track links (instead of the studded links) - I have plenty to elongate the chain belt. The length of the chain belt will depend on its weight of the bucket ladder and the counter-balance required to keep the machine stable. I may widen the discharge housing by 1L to give more clearance for buckets as they pass through, as they are tending to catch on the slightly raised lip around the pin holes on the 11L x 5L panels. Panels are 7L apart / buckets are 7L wide !! I am basing it on the Man Takraf as shown in an early post. Unloading of buckets. At the moment they won't be able to unload but once everything is functioning OK I will probably have to modify them to discharge from the their rear via ball size holes. Would be much easier if chain rotated the otherway ! Contents will drop into a hopper and then either slide down a chute or use a short conveyor to discharge onto the conveyor system as used on the BWE 42055. Doug
  13. Bucket Ladder Mk 3 with video: Bucket chain driven by an XL motor with 8:1 reduction. Mounting of XL motor to improve. Only four buckets at present but many more can be added. Bucket ladder can be raised to 45 degs or lowered to to 45 degs. Small chain sprocket removed from inside the yellow section as was causing jams - works OK without it. Guide rails improved to ensure buckets ride smoothly. Discharge housing enlarged and made more rigid as clearances are tight between side of the buckets and inside of housing to prevent contact.
  14. Agree not ideal or Lego legal. I will build it with un-modified buckets to prove workable before deciding if to modify them. Some minor adjustments to make on the bucket ladder to ensure smooth movement of the chain. Have opted to use half 5L beams on the bucket attachments to ensure hole with pins stay secure. This means altering the guide rails so that they guide the the 5L half beams OK - if there was a 3L half beam with 3 pin holes that would work better. Using the hole with pin is OK but even better would be an axle hole with pin which would make connection to each bucket neater.
  15. Progress:- Bucket Ladder Mk. 1 - failed ! Excessive droop and buckets failing to line up correctly or jam as they enter discharge chute housing. Rejected. Bucket Ladder Mk 2 Guide rails installed along underside of bucket ladder. the track links run along this keeping buckets close to the boom arm and aligns them to enter the discharge chute housing. Return rollers still to install along top of boom arm above the yellow panel section to support chain when the arm raised above the horizontal. Bucket ladder now uses 5L track links with each bucket connected ridgedly to a track link via pin/hole connectors. Buckets no longer tip to discharge contents - instead once satisfied this works will modify each bucket to empty from the rear as it rotates around the drive wheel. Hope to install 10 or 12 buckets with a longer ladder. The red beams are there just for demonstration only to keep end of boom up so buckets can pass OK when testing. Next step is to install a drive unit using an XL motor which will drive the excavator bucket chain and also the two discharge conveyors. More improvements required for the discharge chute housing and build in a collection hopper above the first stage conveyor which will in turn transfer onto 2nd conveyor similar to that use on the BWE that can stay still or rotate with BCE as it swings.