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Doug72

GBC Train Module: Bucket Wheel Loader. Improved and new video.

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(Train GBC)  Bucket Wheel Loader Mk. 3

This has gone though several builds & strip downs until I am almost satisfied with the module.

Mk:1
Basic layout and drive system devised with wheel having eight buckets which I had used for a previous MOC, now dis-assembled.
(LEGO Black Shovel 5 x 7 x 4 1/2 with Hole/cross (18943 / 42196)
Drive from train was direct to two 16T gears engaged with the curved gear racks for a gear ratio of 8.75:1
Loading chute made with 4 lobe rotor to load 3 per bucket.

This failed as I was unable to get ball loader to synchronise with bucket wheel rotation.

My thoughts turned to how the Train rotary dumper was synchronised which used the magic number 21.

Mk 2:-
As per Mk 1 but with the drive for ball loader rotor taken from the axis of the bucket wheel but still unable to get correct synchronisation.

49037506972_d4f490eaa5_z.jpg

Mk 3: Success at last.

21 x 3 was the solution.

Train arrives and directly drives the bucket wheel in via 21:1 gearing which turns two 20T gears which engage with the curved gear racks. To giviOveral reduction is 63:1
140/20 x 24/8 x 36/12 ( 7 x 3 x 3) = 63

At same time the drive to the ball loader also starts using another 63:1 gear train gearing to match rotation with the bucket wheel.

Drive to the ball loader is 63:1 gearing using a 56T turntable with two 3/1 gears to get the desired 63/1 to match the bucket wheel gearing. ( 56/8 x 24/8 x 24/8) 7 x 3 x 3 =63

But only four buckets were loading.

Solved - 8 wheel buckets but only 4 lobes on the ball loading rotor.
Solution, speed up ball loading rotor using 1:2 step up gears so the ball loader loads every bucket.
Overall gear ratio to drive loading rotor is 31.5:1
Next step was to build the collection chute to deliver balls into the train ball hopper.

Tested and have some minor issues if too many balls are on the inlet ramp which tends to overload the number of balls trying to enter the wheel buckets. ( to be improved )

Last task is to set the train unit release timing.

One rotation of the bucket wheel with 3 balls per bucket = 24 balls.

If set train to release after 10 buckets = 30 balls per trip matching GBC rules.

Some images of the build below - a video will be made & posted later.

Biggest problem during the build was the 1/2 stud offset, both vertically & horizontally between studful & studless parts & axles.

Update:-
Train reverser gearing changed to 72:1 for the trip rotor with only in one trip arm which makes bucket wheel rotate by 9 buckets, carrying 27 balls per trip cycle of approx 24 seconds.
If more than three balls try to load per bucket then some balls escape, still to resolve this problem.

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Improved ball loading control gate

49037295866_7a654e70b0_z.jpg

Modified train reverser

49037512822_6331737f9f_z.jpg

Edited by Doug72

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Ball loading chute modified and less balls now escaping !

Buckets able to carry 3 ball without any problems, any more tend to fall out before reaching the discharge chute,

This due to the internal shape of the bucket.  See video at 30 - 33 secs.

After running the video at 0.25 speed I noted the point at which excess balls fall out of the bucket if its over loaded.

Three solutions:
1/. improved ball inlet control gate to load only 3 balls per bucket.
2/. Install a seperate collection chute to catch errant balls and re-cycle them back to the inlet loading gate.
3/. Widen the collection chute to catch balls that fall out early.

Option 3/. adopted and catches 99% of balls in the system

 

Edited by Doug72

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Hi @Doug72 I've followed your builds with interest, a solution to your dropped balls under the bucket run may be to tile it with these or something similar, as this may allow the next bucket round to pick them up.

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6 hours ago, LucyCol said:

Hi @Doug72 I've followed your builds with interest, a solution to your dropped balls under the bucket run may be to tile it with these or something similar, as this may allow the next bucket round to pick them up.

Thanks for your comments,  When testing I had a ball jam in there, which resulted with balls flying everywere !!! 
Clearance is very tight but I see if can fit them. Idealy I need a curved concave filler that fits the radius required so that bucket edge just clears it.
I will make a mock up to try some ideas.
The widened collection chute is working well & catching balls that drop early.

One new problem, as train departs sometimes a late ball drops & misses the train hopper & drops into the train reverser and hard to retrive, have now filled in the  space between the track to make easier to pick up.

Edited by Doug72

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PUpdate

Improved ball collecting ramp:
49048141667_c5b72d18ab_z.jpg

While further testing to sort out ball loading problem I noted the bucket wheel was out of sync. with wheel not stoping at same point each time train releases, causing some balls to drop and not enter the ball carrier. This due to train reversers 72:1 reduction not matching the bucket wheel reduction.

Still looking for a solution to the ball loading problem.

Bespoke 63:1 reverser now built, see images which show how. This will replace the existing 72:1 reverser.

Reverser with compact 63:1 reduction:
49048141987_bd9aacf389_z.jpg

49048142507_55ff3bfb48_z.jpg

 

Edited by Doug72

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Ball loading control gate.
After a lot of experimenting and failures I finally found a way to stop too many balls trying to enter the bucket loading rotor.
Tried various versions of a rotating horizontal disc with pins to transfer a limited number of balls to the rotating ball loader but none successful.

Either too many or only one ball at a time. Had many spectactuar jams with balls flying everwhere, still hunting for some !!
Loading speed was very slow so tried speed up gears but evereything ground to a halt if a ball jammed.

Finally settled on rotor made using knob gears and changes to stop ball jamming in the loading chute.

Some fine tuning done to stop balls over shooting the discharge chute as they drop from the buckets.

49063123588_bb54709502_z.jpg

Edited by Doug72

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Update and new video:

Module still un-reliable and reverted to the original 4 lobe ball loading rotor with moderate success.
Too many balls on the loading unit caused balls to jam or fail to enter each bucket.
Each bucket can hold 3 balls without any problems but if any more try to load and enter the bucket they either don’t load or fall out as wheel rotates.

Have now come up with a solution that allows only maximum 3 balls to load into each bucket.

This required a new rotor as seen in image made using eight LEGO Half Beam 3 x 3 Bent 90 Degrees with Curve (32249)

New ball loading rotor -  3 balls per bucket.
49088753788_67726aab32_z.jpg

To synchronise balls loading into each bucket required speeding up the rotation of the new rotor by 2, requiring another 1:2 gear box in the drive chain.

At first tried a planetary gearing giving 1:4 step up but rejected as too large and had high friction.

1:4 Planetary Gear box
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The existing right angle / 1:1 adjusting gear box was replaced by a new gearbox with  1:2 step gearing with adjusting gear for timing.

Extra 1:2 gear box
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New ball loading unit
New 2 lobe rotor along with axle with pin connectors prevents any more than 3 balls from enter the ball loading rotor.
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Module now tested and consistent in loading only 3 balls per bucket without any ball dropping.

New Video:

 

 

Edited by Doug72

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