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Power Functions on Inclines


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#1 TheBrickster

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 05:43 PM

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Recently, I've been experimenting with different trains in my Train Town 6.  The rail has a very low climbing incline for the track to climb a three brick high bridge.  I first tried a train with single 9V engine.  The result was okay.  I then tried the R/C Cargo Train Deluxe pulling five train cars.  The result was very good.  To my disappointment; however, the Emerald Express can't climb at all.  Perhaps it's not so much the motor as it is the length of the engine, but it gets stuck on curves and even when the straight track jumps one plate higher.  As a result, I've got the cargo train deluxe circling my Train Town and doing very well as it makes it's way up through the desert to the bay.

Have any of you tried the Emerald with an incline?  I would be interested in knowing the result.

#2 Bruce

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 06:25 PM

Do the Emerald Nights drive wheels continue to turn? I have noticed that the leading and trailing trucks have no vertical movement. So when the track dips slightly, which happens at the beginning of an incline. The trucks lift the drive wheels off the rails enough that they lose traction.
Bruce

#3 fred67

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 07:58 PM

Interesting... I'll have to keep an eye on this thread, as I was going to use the traditional "cookie cutter" method to make inclines when I eventually do a layout... whenever I move, anyway.

Bruce makes a good point; perhaps you ought to see if you can modify the EN to see if you can get that sort of vertical flexibility.

#4 Davey

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 03:50 PM

Hey Brickster!  Good question here and I'd be interested to hear the answer.  My understanding is that the Emerald Night pulls like a beast (at least on flat ground) so I would be surprised if it had trouble once it was on an incline.

That being said...

We ran the Emerald Night at the La Crosse Model Train Show this weekend and ran into issues with uneven track.  The rigidity of the locomotive leads to just what Bruce and Fred describe above.  Occasionally the main drivers will lift off the track enough to cause wheel-spin.  In one case, I had to re-level the display tables because every time the train reached that point on the track that was not level, it would stop and the wheels would spin in mid-air.  I'm also thinking that better o-rings on the flanged drivers might help.  Now I just need to find a common o-ring size that works with those wheels.

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#5 gotoAndLego

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:49 PM

The obvious solution is to go faster. :D
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#6 Freddie

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 05:54 PM

Same experience here. Uneven track is the worst enemy of the Emerald Night, since the drive-wheels will occasionally be lifted up from the track and lose traction.

It's an excellent climber though, if the speed it reached on its own is any indication (incline: 2 plates every 16 studs) when I tested it.

#7 mrblue

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 07:19 PM

does anyone ever tried to use a standard motor put inside the tender with some modification? (i think if you cut the top peg/connector part you should have space for the battery pack as well)
in theory it should work, because in this case the motor would push the engine and there should not be any trouble of wheel without grip because of the rigid structure, except in the case the incline has a curve and maybe the wheel would get off tracks.
should give a try.

have a nice lego day
mrBlue

#8 Mark Bellis

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:05 AM

 mrblue, on Mar 22 2010, 07:19 PM, said:

does anyone ever tried to use a standard motor put inside the tender with some modification? (i think if you cut the top peg/connector part you should have space for the battery pack as well)
in theory it should work, because in this case the motor would push the engine and there should not be any trouble of wheel without grip because of the rigid structure, except in the case the incline has a curve and maybe the wheel would get off tracks.
should give a try.

have a nice lego day
mrBlue

I put a motor in the coach but it just pushed the loco off the track.
This is because the gear ratios are different and the 8866 motor is over-geared.
I tried changing the XL motor for a medium motor (speed x3) but the loco didn't have enough power and was still pushed off by the motor in the coach.

All this told me was that the 8866 motor is no good for trains that need real power.  The 9V train motor is much better.  I use them in pairs in diesels, wired together, with no problems at all on slopes or uneven track.  A pair of 8866 motors would not pull a load up a hill that two 9V motors can manage, and would run away and derail down the same hill when the 9V motors would stay on easily.

I limit the slopes on my layout to 1 plate per 16 studs on curves and 1 plate per 12 studs (4 plates per 48 stud baseplate) on the straights.  This is the maximum 1 in 30 slope recommended for model railways.  The change of slope is limited to half a plate per straight.  I use Technic bricks on their sides or jumper plates to get the half plate height offsets for track heights.

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#9 mrblue

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 04:49 PM

 Mark Bellis, on Mar 23 2010, 01:05 AM, said:

I put a motor in the coach but it just pushed the loco off the track.

1. isn't the speed of the PF motor (the one with wheels, not the XL or M one) variable with the remote? if so, did you try to make it run at lower speed?

2. did you try to put one or two of those heavy bricks that were used once with the 12v loco inside the front part of the loco?

I have an Emerald night, but it's still in his box waiting to be built so I don't know much about its powertrain, and I never had any motor different than the 4.5v or 12v so my questions are just for my knowledge purpose.

have a nice lego day
mrBlue

#10 CBFasi

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 08:49 AM

Wondering if anyone has come up with a successful modificatin for Emerald night to deal with the incline /corner problems

#11 Mark Bellis

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 01:01 PM

 mrblue, on Mar 25 2010, 05:49 PM, said:

1. isn't the speed of the PF motor (the one with wheels, not the XL or M one) variable with the remote? if so, did you try to make it run at lower speed?

2. did you try to put one or two of those heavy bricks that were used once with the 12v loco inside the front part of the loco?

I have an Emerald night, but it's still in his box waiting to be built so I don't know much about its powertrain, and I never had any motor different than the 4.5v or 12v so my questions are just for my knowledge purpose.

have a nice lego day
mrBlue

1. The idea is that the train motor and the XL motor have to vary in speed together, so they should be powered from the same output of the IR receiver so that the user doesn't have to constantly fine tune two motor speeds relative to each other.  The difference in gearing is the problem.

2. Where would the weight blocks fit?  The XL motor fills the cab!

Best to use the Emerald Night for what it is - TLG's best ever official steam engine set.  If you want lots of coaches, add more engines as well!
If the Emerald Night can be pushed without derailing, put two train motors in the first coach instead of powering the loco.  Better to use 9V train motors than 8866 motors.  I hope there will be a better motor in the new train sets than the 8866 motor!  I have been petitioning TLG for a motor with regulation as good as the 9V train motor.

You might like to try a 12V train motor at the front of the carriage as it has the equivalent power of two 9V train motors.  When I converted from 12V to 9V I had to double up on motors for 8+ wide trains.

 CBFasi, on Apr 11 2010, 09:49 AM, said:

Wondering if anyone has come up with a successful modificatin for Emerald night to deal with the incline /corner problems

The Emerald Night has a fundamental problem because it attempts to make 6 wheelsets touch the track and support the weight of the loco without using suspension.  Try running without the front and rear bogies and see if it will balance.  If so, reduce the heights of the bogies and let the loco weight rest on the driving wheels.  If not, suspend the driving wheels off the rails, make each bogie into 4 wheels and put the motor in the carriage.

My large steam engines, like Olton Hall, the 9F and this 0-4-0 chassis have suspended driving wheels (mostly wheels too big for the track, or not compatible) and use the front bogie and tender motors to carry the weight.  That way the weight ends up on the motor wheels, which is where you need the traction, and the loco rides like a Bo-Bo diesel.

Mark

Edited by Mark Bellis, 11 April 2010 - 01:10 PM.

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#12 DaCheese

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 10:39 PM

To stop 10194's driving wheels lifting off the track, the front bogie and rear pony truck need to be able to move up and down. Unfortunately there's not enough weight on these wheels to keep them turning as the loco is now! I've often looked at my EN and wondered how the front bogie could be altered to use proper axles instead of stub axles, and to make it look more British a wheelset off the tender needs to be stuck under the cab. The tender should really be non-articulated too, but that's another story...

Springing the driving wheels would need the side rods from the front axle to the centre axle to be seperate from the ones running from the centre to the rear axle. It could also reduce pulling power. Not ideal. It's probably best to just try and keep your track as flat as possible I suppose :hmpf: .

#13 Beej

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 12:41 AM

 Mark Bellis, on Apr 11 2010, 10:01 PM, said:

Try running without the front and rear bogies and see if it will balance.
I tried this recently, and yes indeed the EN does balance on the 6 driving wheels. It looks a bit unwieldy going around the track like that, but it does go around!

 DaCheese, on Apr 16 2010, 07:39 AM, said:

To stop 10194's driving wheels lifting off the track, the front bogie and rear pony truck need to be able to move up and down.
Yes that's the next step. I'm going over some ideas at the moment, no guarantees I can come up with something that will work, but hopefully it can be done.

 DaCheese, on Apr 16 2010, 07:39 AM, said:

It's probably best to just try and keep your track as flat as possible I suppose :hmpf: .
No that's not good enough, I won't accept defeat!  :tongue:

#14 skaako

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 05:46 AM

Hi, just tried my EN powered by a 9V train motor in the tender up an incline of 1 plate per 16 studs going around a corner. It did quite well pulling four carriages (one EN and three Metroliner). The drive wheels did lose a bit of traction at the apex but not for very long, i only have one o-ring on one of the rear drive wheels to make them turn.

#15 Mark Bellis

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:06 PM

 skaako, on Apr 30 2010, 06:46 AM, said:

Hi, just tried my EN powered by a 9V train motor in the tender up an incline of 1 plate per 16 studs going around a corner. It did quite well pulling four carriages (one EN and three Metroliner). The drive wheels did lose a bit of traction at the apex but not for very long, i only have one o-ring on one of the rear drive wheels to make them turn.

The advantage of using only one o-ring is reduced friction on the curves (no differential wheelslip to overcome).  Does that help reduce the amount of drag the engine creates, when driven from a tender motor?

Would it also help if the rods were lengthened to join the connecting rod nearer to the middle wheels (reducing the angle between the rod and the cylinder axle)?

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#16 skaako

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 09:05 PM

 Mark Bellis, on May 4 2010, 04:06 AM, said:

The advantage of using only one o-ring is reduced friction on the curves (no differential wheelslip to overcome).  Does that help reduce the amount of drag the engine creates, when driven from a tender motor?

Would it also help if the rods were lengthened to join the connecting rod nearer to the middle wheels (reducing the angle between the rod and the cylinder axle)?

Mark

Hi Mark. Yes by removing the o-rings makes a considerable difference in drag. You can tell just pulling it by hand, and makes the biggest difference when going around corners. Also the next biggest difference i saw was when i put the axle through the front smaller set of wheels, there is quite a bit of friction caused by these wheels when using pins.

I'll have to try that with the rods, although i have not noticed much difference from running with or without the rods in place.

#17 hoeij

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 12:59 AM

With my EN I'm using the O rings only on the rear driver wheels (both of them).  It reduces friction in the
corners significantly and the traction is still very large because there is more weight on the rear
wheels since that's where the motor is.  But the main reason for removing the O rings in the front
is that it makes the EN run less bumpy.  My 9V track is all bought used, and some of it has
some minor bumps on it.  Without the O rings in the front, it runs quite a bit smoother on the
lower-quality portions of the track.

My EN is pulling an 8-feet long passenger train without any difficulty, so it has plenty of pull.

But how to get to the uphill part without stalling at the bottom, I don't see any simple way to do
that.  I think you're looking at major modifications to the underside of the train to make room
for the front truck to be able to go up and down.  Same problem in the back.  I'd love to
hear a solution if you have one (if so, I may consider widening my train bridge, which at the
moment is not wide enough for the EN to pass through...).

I don't like the idea of pushing the EN with 9V motor(s).  First of all, an engine is supposed to
pull, not be pushed, but also, the gearing of the 9V motors is not good for the EN, too much
speed and not enough force, it's really too much of a burden for one 9V motor.  It's better
to use the power-functions stuff (yes, the rechargeable battery and the rest of the power
functions stuff is very expensive, but you can re-use it to make the old 857 technic
motorcycle remote controlled, and that's worth something too).

#18 skaako

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 12:49 PM

Yeah, the o-rings cause quite a bit of friction.

I'll have to try the power functions someday, but they will be hooked up to an old 9V motor or something to get the power to them, i am really not fond of battery powered trains.

#19 hoeij

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 01:58 PM

I took a dead 9V train motor, opened it up, and removed the electrical DC motor that's
inside it.  I also attached some wiring to this "9V train motor without motor".
That could be put in the tender, and then run the wire to the XL motor in the EN.
This way you can run the EN with the usual 9V controller.  I do prefer the usual 9V
controller over the RC one because it is easier to quickly select the desired speed
setting.

By the way, the DC motor in the 9V train motor is I think quite el cheapo, and I've been
considering replacing them in some of my other near-dead 9V motors.  But I don't
know yet where to get the right dual-axes DC motors that fit in the housing.

If anyone is interested in buying a "9V motor without motor", I'm not using it at
the moment.

Mark

#20 Bricktrix

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 05:13 PM

 hoeij, on May 14 2010, 02:58 PM, said:

If anyone is interested in buying a "9V motor without motor", I'm not using it at
the moment.

Mark

I'd be interested in it. Could you email me and sort it via there please?

Carl

#21 legokitty

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 05:56 PM

 hoeij, on May 14 2010, 01:58 PM, said:

I took a dead 9V train motor, opened it up, and removed the electrical DC motor that's
inside it.  I also attached some wiring to this "9V train motor without motor".
That could be put in the tender, and then run the wire to the XL motor in the EN.
This way you can run the EN with the usual 9V controller.  I do prefer the usual 9V
controller over the RC one because it is easier to quickly select the desired speed
setting.

By the way, the DC motor in the 9V train motor is I think quite el cheapo, and I've been
considering replacing them in some of my other near-dead 9V motors.  But I don't
know yet where to get the right dual-axes DC motors that fit in the housing.

If anyone is interested in buying a "9V motor without motor", I'm not using it at
the moment.

Mark

Is there a name or any numbers on the side of the motor?

#22 skaako

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 11:57 PM

Hi,

Actually the DC motor in the 9V train motor is quite a standard size.  But yes, to find one with a gear on each end of the shaft is more difficult, i havnt found one yet.  But i did find a 12V motor of the same size from a car central locking mechanism, it had quite a long worm gear on it and when i removed it from the shaft, the shaft too was quite long. Now i'm not sure if this works for different motors but i managed to open the motor and removed the shaft and rotor. Then placing the rotor on a rod with a hole big enough for the shaft to fit through, i forced the rotor along the shaft more by using a press. Then i reassembled the motor, put the gears on from an old 9V motor and cut the shafts to length.  Now i can run it on 12V and it has quite a noticeable amount of power.

This was quite a time consuming and frustrating process, but the end result was what i had hoped.  All the motors i have seen have the end of the shaft visible from a small hole at the rear of the motor, that way if the shaft can be pushed through, it should be able to be converted.

I havn't ever seen a motor with exactly the same size gear as the train motor, so if anyone has an burnt out one (just the DC motor) i would be interested as i dont have any more dead ones to take the gears off.

Thanks

Mike

#23 legoboy3998

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 01:58 AM

Mike and Mark:

I know I have seen motors with dual output shafts with varying voltages.  try local hobby shops and the internet, modelers use similar motors for model trains and cars.

Sal
WFB, WI

#24 skaako

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 02:07 AM

 legoboy3998, on May 15 2010, 02:58 PM, said:

Mike and Mark:

I know I have seen motors with dual output shafts with varying voltages.  try local hobby shops and the internet, modelers use similar motors for model trains and cars.

Sal
WFB, WI


Hi Sal,

The only thing stopping me from looking around online is that to get it sent here to New Zealand usually makes it too expensive. Model train motors, though they do have dual output shafts are usually the incorrect dimensions to fit in the 9V train motor casing. Also finding one with the right size gears would be very difficult.

Thanks.

Mike

#25 legokitty

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 02:57 PM

I these are not dual shaft, but seem like they might work if modded. I bought the motors for my CNC at this place, they are cheap and ship fast too.

Check down further on the page "hobby motors"

http://www.sciplus.c...18/category/172




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