Sariel

Automated Rotary Railroad Dumper + Automated Conveyor Belt Loader

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What happens when a Technic guy plays with Trains:

Please forgive me for the crude aesthetics, the entire layout is mostly just a proof of concept. I has a couple of ideas to test, and well, these are the results.

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Awesome idea. I was wondering how long before someone is going to use those new gear pieces from the Bucket Wheel Excavator for that. :thumbup:

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Damn those fare dodgers!! Mind you, if fare dodgers really were that cute I think I'd allow them to ride for free.

Thanks for the hamster-eye-view tour of your home. You've got some great stuff there. Maybe more Technic guys should do trains, and perhaps some of us trains guys will attempt some Technic.

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Spectacular mechanics here! While your rotary isn't %100 accurate in looks, it is spot on in function! It's such a simple beauty to watch in function and makes me want to try building one someday.

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I just saw the video and i must say that i really like how it works, fast and accurate, something that i would really like for the rotary dumper is if there was and automatic decoupling system, some kind of mechanism that could separate the wagons from the locomotive, so the system would be 100% automatic, but it is ok how it is now, for the belt loader maybe the conveyor belt speed should be reduced a little bit, so it wouldn't spill too much material out of the system, but overall all the systems look very good and would be very amazing additions to a layout or a GBC.

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I just saw the video and i must say that i really like how it works, fast and accurate, something that i would really like for the rotary dumper is if there was and automatic decoupling system, some kind of mechanism that could separate the wagons from the locomotive, so the system would be 100% automatic, but it is ok how it is now, for the belt loader maybe the conveyor belt speed should be reduced a little bit, so it wouldn't spill too much material out of the system, but overall all the systems look very good and would be very amazing additions to a layout or a GBC.

To save time, real rotary dumper hopper cars use couplers that can rotate so that uncoupling is not necessary. Theoretically, if you can center the pivot point at the LEGO magnetic couplers touch, you should be able to rotate without decoupling. That also involves stopping the locomotive at the exact spot not to get tipped. Otherwise disaster ensues. :laugh:

There are a couple of self contained decoupler in locomotive MOCs in the Train forum that can also be used to automatic the decoupling.

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Brilliant. All of it. It works really well.

Ok not all beans end up on the conveyor belt or in the hopper wagons, but that's just aesthetics and can probably be solved.

And I really love the cockpit view ride.

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Great mechanics! You did a great job!

I beleieve, the next step, could possibly be an automated "production line", with the use of some mindstorms for the seperation of the locomotive from the wagons, and the way they empty with the use of a sensor that tracks the locomotive, maybe!

Overall, the whole project, looks great!

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I love it! soo cool! Now my gears are turning...not just for a rotary dump but for an automated "fare-dodger" pen! Automatic opening and closing doors and a mechanism to gently herd the "fare-dodgers" along into the waiting wagons.

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To save time, real rotary dumper hopper cars use couplers that can rotate so that uncoupling is not necessary. Theoretically, if you can center the pivot point at the LEGO magnetic couplers touch, you should be able to rotate without decoupling. That also involves stopping the locomotive at the exact spot not to get tipped. Otherwise disaster ensues. :laugh:

There are a couple of self contained decoupler in locomotive MOCs in the Train forum that can also be used to automatic the decoupling.

Didn't thought in that, thanks for the tip Doc, maybe some day (hopefully) if i can get some trains sets and i am able to make a similar mechanism i will use this information (and maybe use some of SarielĀ“s great systems and mechanism to make it)

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There are a couple of self contained decoupler in locomotive MOCs in the Train forum that can also be used to automatic the decoupling.

Interesting, I haven't seen any. Would you mind dropping a link?

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Interesting, I haven't seen any. Would you mind dropping a link?

These ones are hidden quite well: http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=49749

There's another one I've seen but haven't come across yet where there's a large linear actuator hidden in the lower frame of the locomotive, which does more or less the same thing.

...Theoretically, if you can center the pivot point at the LEGO magnetic couplers touch, you should be able to rotate without decoupling. That also involves stopping the locomotive at the exact spot not to get tipped. Otherwise disaster ensues. :laugh:

I'd go for this version though, because you already have a hard stop in place so that the wagons don't roll off the end of the dumper. All you'd have to do to your current setup is to get the spacing just right with the wagons and the hard stop so that the magnets align over the joint. I'm thinking that even if the axis of rotation isn't aligned with the magnets, they'd get pulled apart by the action of the dumper alone, and then automatically re-couple once the dumper is done with its cycle... whether or not this would work would depend on if the locomotive is heavy enough to not be pulled off the track when the magnets are pulled apart.

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To get the coupler to rotate while coupled would also require moving the track to the center of the ring and keeping the center point of the circle the exact spot the couplers will be during the entire cycle.

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Interesting, I haven't seen any. Would you mind dropping a link?

The most ellegant solution for me is this:

The mini LA (linear actuator) integrated in the bottom of chassis moves the magnet in and out, thus separating the loco magnet from wagon magnet for a remote controlled shunting.

Example:

15690302088_7e169ae6e3_z_d.jpg

Max

Edited by MaxSupercars

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These ones are hidden quite well: http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=49749

There's another one I've seen but haven't come across yet where there's a large linear actuator hidden in the lower frame of the locomotive, which does more or less the same thing.

I'd go for this version though, because you already have a hard stop in place so that the wagons don't roll off the end of the dumper. All you'd have to do to your current setup is to get the spacing just right with the wagons and the hard stop so that the magnets align over the joint. I'm thinking that even if the axis of rotation isn't aligned with the magnets, they'd get pulled apart by the action of the dumper alone, and then automatically re-couple once the dumper is done with its cycle... whether or not this would work would depend on if the locomotive is heavy enough to not be pulled off the track when the magnets are pulled apart.

This one.

15690302088_7e169ae6e3_z.jpgT44 PF Decoupler 006 by Thomas Selander, on Flickr

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Theoretically, if you can center the pivot point at the LEGO magnetic couplers touch, you should be able to rotate without decoupling.

That's how real dumpers work, and they can process the entire train car by car. However, the problem is space between two adjacent cars. It's very narrow and I've decided that I won't be able to fit the ring piece and necessary bracing between the cars. Basically, I would need to narrow down the cargo bay on a car to do that, or to dump cargo over the ring pieces & bracing.

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Hey Sariel, now that all we know that this rotary dumping system can work perfectly with those curved gear racks, what would you think about to make a bigger one using the hailfire droid wheels?, so you could make the dumping pivot point to be at the same point of the train magnetic coupling, and so, decoupling would not be needed; is only an idea i have and i am not sure if it will work as good as the original system.

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Hey Sariel, now that all we know that this rotary dumping system can work perfectly with those curved gear racks, what would you think about to make a bigger one using the hailfire droid wheels?, so you could make the dumping pivot point to be at the same point of the train magnetic coupling, and so, decoupling would not be needed; is only an idea i have and i am not sure if it will work as good as the original system.

No need. The curved gear racks are big enough to allow placing the pivot point at the coupling. I didn't do that for reasons explained in the comment exactly above yours.

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I found an HO scale model of a rotary dumper. It is giving me ideas on how the Lego mechanism could be further improved. It looks like the gear rings from the Mine Excavator set are a bit bigger then they need to be, but since Lego hasn't made anything smaller it will have to do. The hardest part as has been mentioned to perfect, would be the locking mechanism to prevent the cars from flying off, while still being simple enough to not obstruct the unloading.

With that said, I am continually amazed by the programming and engineering that went into your version Sariel. I hope that your model is an inspiration for many many more rotary dumpers to come! I am also very impressed by your loading mechanism to. The level of automation is astounding!

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Very nice concept. The yellow excavator parts scream for Train applications although I hope LEGO will also release them in different colors.

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