Author Topic: Electric or Petrol Locomotive  (Read 15895 times)

Offline NickG

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Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« on: May 09, 2009, 05:34:23 PM »
Hi guys,

At the Harrogate Model Engineering Exhibition today I was struck down by  :proj:  :nrocks:. I have inserted a line in my list of projects and typed in "5" or 7 1/4" Gauge Electric or Petrol Locomotive"!

This has come about as my 3 year old son is showing a real interest in them, especially when we go to our ME club to watch the engines running on the track. I would really like to build something that's relatively simple so quick to make, easy to use, clean etc. just so we can join in the fun on the track really.

Initially I thought 5" gauge electric as they should be fairly simple to make, liftable and quick to get out / put away. But I've looked into it a little today and motors are expensive, controllers are expensive and batteries are expensive. I'm sure in the past I've known people use car fan heater motors, cobbled together controller and a car battery to power it for pulling small loads like I want to, however, speaking to people there they seem to think you need proper motors, controllers and semi-tractive batteries. Any ideas guys?

These issues made me think, lawn mower engine, we used to have things like suffolk punch when I was little and I remember those engines being fairly quiet and fairly powerful. They'd inevitably need a wider frame though so probably 7 1/4". Could I use the centrifugal clutch that powered the lawn mower (providing it's properly guarded etc)? The main issue with the lawn mower would be lack of reverse gear I guess. Also, to fit the width I may have to mount the engine logitudinally with some sort of prop shaft / bevel gear arrangement? Surely people must have used this sort of engine before? The added advantage of the petrol powered one would be that there are no batteries to charge etc. However, it would inevitably be heavier.

So basically I just wanted to throw some ideas into the pot at this stage and ask for other peoples thoughts!

I know  :worthless: so I need to get cracking!

Nick
Location: County Durham (North East England)

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2009, 05:49:03 PM »
Nick

I think you may find this link usfull follow it through to his quicky builds he used windscreen motors..

http://mokei-jouki.hp.infoseek.co.jp/index_e.html

Have Fun

Stew
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Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline NickG

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2009, 05:54:47 PM »
Hi Stew,

Thanks, am I missing something obvious .. I can't seem to find it on that site. Hope you had a good day and didn't spend too much!

Cheers,

Nick
Location: County Durham (North East England)

Offline sbwhart

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A little bit of clearance never got in the road
 :wave:

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline Bernd

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2009, 06:56:04 PM »
Nick,

I'm interested in building a 1.5" scale electric locomotive. I kicked around some ideas as to what I wanted for an engine an picked a boxcab. That's as far as I ever got.

I've done a bit of research into both elctric  and gas powered. My opinion is that both can be exspensive. It all depends on were you can find parts.

For motors for the elctric I've gathered several motors from the plastic cars that kids have. They use a 12V battery. The only thing i don't like about them is they have plastic gearing and are specificly made for these small cars. Electric scooters are another source, as are wheel chairs, among other things.

As far as batteries are concerned there are the car type as you mentioned. Also look at the marine batteries used in boating, they are some what made for deep cycleing.

Controls can be scratch built if you know a bit about electronics. I studied some of the drives used for robots and think they could be adapted.

As far as the gas powered goes you got that pretty well covered for engines. Another drive that gets used often in the gas powered ones are hydrostatic transmission. It's basically a fluid drive system with an oil pump and a hydrulic motor. A bit messy if they leak. And they are also expemsive. Another type of transmission to use it the geared type. I believe you can adapt almost any lawnmower drive. But from what I see of your lawns over there riding mowers are not in great demand.

Keep your eyes open to any small powered vehicle, wheather electric or gas powered and see if it can be applied to a scale model locomotive.

Bernd

P.S. now that I have a larger mill and a rotary table I can start building my electric loco. We'll see as I sort out what project I will tackel this coming winter.
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Offline Bernd

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2009, 06:59:08 PM »
Stew,

Good find. I should have remember Jan-Eric's articles in, believe it or not, Live Steam.

Bernd
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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2009, 02:47:19 AM »
Nick,

I did a lot of research into drives a few years back, not for locos but for machinery. Mainly for driving a project I never got around to, a cam grinder.

The quick and easy way is what is now becoming the favoured transport about town. The electric buggy.

I picked up a new motor on ebay for £18, and if you want to do a quick and easy manual control, you can buy the throttle control gear as well.

If that is too large, I do have in my possession a very nice 'new' 550 sized industrial 24 volt motor with an all metal gearbox on it. The about 1/4" output shaft turns at around 160 rpm on 12 volts, and it would pull down a house if it was anchored down correctly.

Again I think somewhere I have exactly the same thing but based around the 380 sized motor.

It is a shame really as I gave away about 200 of these types of motors at last years Harrogate show to a model boat club, and they auctioned them off to make money for their dwindling club funds.

http://www.paddleducks.co.uk/smf/index.php?topic=3434.0

If you are interested in the gearbox motors, I will take a couple of piccies of them, so you can gauge the size, and if suitable, I will donate one to your project FOC.

BTW, I have a lot of experience over my years in model boating, and the sealed gel cells definitely come out tops, and if you wanted to 'radio' your loco, it could easily be done for under 100 squid for all the control gear. A good 12 volt battery and charger for the motor drive would be about another 40 squid.


John

Offline NickG

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009, 09:21:35 AM »
Thanks Stew, some good info there.

Bernd,

I was thinking more about this on Sat night. I also went back to the show on Sunday and got a few ideas and had a chat with a guy from a company that sells all the bits and pieces for electric locos.

Nothing really new came out of this except his advice to use gears rather than belts and use axle hung motors. I saw an example of that on a club stand and it looked really neat, compact and once done it never needs adjusting. Also caters for the fact that the wheels are sprung.

I picked up a couple of metal gears at the show but with hindsight the ratio isn't big enough, depends whether I can reduce the driving wheel size enough to increase the ratio. Also, I didn't think enough about the size of the gears and they aren't big enough to go with the 2 fan motors I had intended to use, so I may have to look into windscreen wiper motors, some of them are a smaller diameter.

My son has one of the ride on type 3 wheeler bikes, I remember looking at that and the motor is diminutive, as you say it's geared down a lot with plastic gears. I think due to the large wheel size on the childrens toys the ratios of these motors wouldn't be any good for a loco, I think it would be far too slow. Really I want something that is capable of 8mph but 6mph would be OK.

Might look into the lawn mower one again, I know somebody in our club has made something with some sort of innovative reversing gear! Will share when I find out more!

Thanks for your thoughts, good point about the hydraulic drive but it does sound quite complex, I want to keep this as quick and simple as possible!

John,

I had never thought about electric buggies. I will have a look! What does the 550 and 380 refer to? Just been doing some quick calcs and if the output is 160rpm, 3" dia. wheels would give a speed of around 5.7 mph if geared back up with a ratio of 4:1, or 7.6mph with 4" dia. wheels. Do you think it'd be possible to take the gearbox off and use the motor shaft? Anyway, thanks for the offer that's very kind and I'd be very grateful if you could take a couple of pics and I'll have a look.

I hadn't thought about radio control but in this case somebody would always be sat directly behind the engine to control it. It's the Pulse Width Modulation controller to control the speed of the motor that I really need to find out about now!

Many thanks all, am getting a lot of information helping me decide on some of the finer details here.

Nick



Location: County Durham (North East England)

bogstandard

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2009, 01:33:38 PM »
Nick,

Before I forget, it is not adviseable to gear up in a hi torque situation, as yours is, it is ok if you are spinning up something like a grinding wheel, but not anything that has a heavy load involved. Either the motor will stall and most probably say goodbye and lose all it's smoke, or you will start to get teeth flying off the speed increase gears.


Now on to the motors.
These are 24 volt motors, except the buggy one which is rated for 18 volts, but they run very sweet on 12 to 30 volts, except the buggy one, which I don't know what it will handle.

The small and middle sized ones are commercial hi torque, very low drain motors. The 550 size will pull less than 200MA on full load at 12 volts. So if you had say a 7AH gel cell battery (size about 6"L x 4"H x 2"W), that could give you up to 35 hours continuous running on one charge.


This first one is a 380 size. On normal model car racing buggies they are usually 540 sized, this is about 2/3rds the size of a 540.




This is the one I talked about, the 550 sized. It is about 1/4" longer than a 540.




As you can see, the buggy one is rather larger at about 5" diameter.




I do have a rather large amount of gears I have collected over the years. The large metal ones, if memory serves me right, are just over 25mm in diameter. All the metal ones are much of a muchness and with the limited sizes I have give roughly a 3 to 1 reduction. The very high quality ones, still in their clusters, are off the 550 sized motor I showed you above. All would need re-hubbing or machining to get them to how you want them




If you can use any of the above, except of course the buggy motor, when I am able to get out of the house, I will pop them in the post to you.


Bogs

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2009, 04:01:44 PM »
John

Nick works for the same company as me but is based up in Newcastle upon Tyne, there,s quite a bit of toing and frowing of people so I could take them in, hand themover to somone wose going up to Newcastle job sorted.

Stew


A little bit of clearance never got in the road
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Location:- Crewe Cheshire

bogstandard

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2009, 04:05:32 PM »
That is even better Stew.

I can make him up a bit of a goody bag to play around with.


John

Offline NickG

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2009, 05:55:31 PM »
Bogs,

Thanks for taking the time to do that, I really appreciate it. It's a big box of goddies you have there!

Just from looking at the motors, the smallest one definitely looks too small, but the medium sized one might be just about big enough if I can find another 1.

The only reason I was talking of gearing up was because the 160 rpm output speed would be too slow. I think this sort of motor normally runs at 3000 rpm so the gearbox must give something like a 20:1 ratio. If I used the gears I got at Harrogate (1:2) to gear it back up a bit it would still have an overall ratio of 10:1, do you think they would still have sufficient torque at that ratio. It would limit my speed to a pretty slow 4mph with 4" wheels though. Does the 550 have a speed or power rating written on the motor anywhere?

Stew, good idea, thanks.

Nick
Location: County Durham (North East England)

Offline NickG

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2009, 06:29:47 PM »
I've just been doing a quick scour of ebay and found these: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=360151297838

What do you guys think? I think they may be more suited to my application. If I used my gears with a small wheel diameter of 2" that would give 8mph top speed. I suppose a larger wheel diameter spinning more slowly would be less likely to slip though?  :scratch: I'm just trying to utilise the bits and materials I already have but without making too much of a compromise, otherwise the work will be wasted and I don't get much time to repeat things!  :doh:

Here is another type: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=120414973185

More powerful still, but looks a larger diameter and not sure if the output shaft is long enough.
Location: County Durham (North East England)

bogstandard

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2009, 07:21:58 PM »
Nick,

Wait until you get a couple of these ones from me, and stick one across a battery. Then count the revs, I might have got it slightly wrong.

I would ask what size those motors are, if I recollect, they are both fairly large physically.


Bogs

Offline Bernd

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2009, 09:07:15 PM »
Nick,

Here's a site that sells scooter motors. They have dimensions on them and may help in your search for the proper motor. Unfortunatley it's a US based seller. But it may help.

http://www.scootersupport.com/motors.htm


Bernd
You can't fix "STUPID".

Offline NickG

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2009, 06:03:24 AM »
Bogs,

I've asked questions to the sellers and the 100 Watt motor is 65mm dia and 100mm long, which sounds ideal. The 180W is 75mm dia and 122mm long which I think will be just too big for my gears and for 5" gauge. I just don't really like taking things from people if I'm not going to use them, but I could do a few experiments and return them if not suitable?

Bernd, thanks for that website link, the top motor (100W) looks the same sort as I'm looking at on ebay so that confirms the size should be just right. It should just fit between the frames of a 5" gauge but it could be a bit touch and go! If push comes to shove I might have to make a 7.25" gauge.

Thanks,

Nick
Location: County Durham (North East England)

bogstandard

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2009, 06:45:44 AM »
No problems Nick.

I had no idea of the phyical size you needed for your loco.

What I can tell you is that if it is a fairly high revving motor, the easiest way to get spot on reduction down to the speed you require is to use a worm drive.

They work on the principle that the worm is classed as one tooth, so if you want to reduce say 8K rpm down to 400 rpm, then just divide the 8K by 400 and that gives you 20. So you use a 20 toothed gear on your drive shaft and the worm on the motor shaft. That would allow the motor to sit along the loco length rather than across it, giving a much more compact drive system. It is also a low stress method of getting speed reduction, and the motor is usually running at it's optimum speed.

It is a shame I don't have any metal worm gears in my box.

John

Offline Bernd

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2009, 07:43:31 PM »
Bogs,

I'm not sure but with a worm drive your not going to get any coasting when you shut the throttle down fast. I would think that the engine would come to wheel skidding stop if you shut the power off to quickly. I think RMI here in the states uses a worm and wheel to drive there engines. You can't push them with the power off because the wheels will only skid along the track. Just my 2 pence on the subject. (is that to much money?)

Nick,

I figured that would help a bit on size. I've been looking at those motors also. I have some ideas about controllers to. I'll have to follow up on that thought when I have a bit more time to write my thoughts down.

Bernd
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bogstandard

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2009, 11:49:46 PM »
Bernd,

You are quite right, I should have jump started my brain cell before coming out with that suggestion.

Bogs

Offline NickG

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2009, 03:40:37 AM »
I was liking the idea of the worm and wheel but good point about coasting Bernd.

Another idea I had many years back (the electric loco was going to be my first ever project but I didn't have the skill to do it) was to use bevel gears from a hand drill which also enables mounting the motor longitudinally. That seemed to give about the right ratio, however, they don't appear to be that accurately made, a bit rough and ready. I guess that depends on the quality of the drill though? Any thoughts on this method?

Thanks,

Nick
Location: County Durham (North East England)

Offline Bernd

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2009, 08:59:53 AM »
I was liking the idea of the worm and wheel but good point about coasting Bernd.

Another idea I had many years back (the electric loco was going to be my first ever project but I didn't have the skill to do it) was to use bevel gears from a hand drill which also enables mounting the motor longitudinally. That seemed to give about the right ratio, however, they don't appear to be that accurately made, a bit rough and ready. I guess that depends on the quality of the drill though? Any thoughts on this method?

Thanks,

Nick

Nick,

Not a bad idea. It's finding a set that can be cheaply had of good quality.

Here are a couple of US based companies that may help you with research on gearing.

http://www.pic-design.com/

https://sdp-si.com/eStore/default.asp

Perhaps a search for such equivelent companies in the UK might be a place to start. I'm sure Bogs might know of were to look.

Other places to look would be lawn care equipment and possibly farm machinery. Look at any machinery that would have gears in them that drive at right angles. It won't neccessarliy need to be a high ratio. That could be gotten by reducing the speed with gears on the motor before going to the final drive gears, the bevel gears.

Bernd
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bogstandard

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2009, 09:47:03 AM »
An old metal drilling hand brace has the necessary gears, but the large one that you turn might be a bit large for the project. But you can get them with the large gear as small as about 65mm. Like the one in the picture. You can't give them away any more, so a car boot should turn one up for next to nothing.

HPC gears are who I always use for speciality bits.

http://www.hpcgears.com/


John

Offline Darren

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2009, 09:55:43 AM »
Now that is interesting, and I've just thrown one out recently... :bang:

I'm thinking of a mod to the mill power supply to be able to keep the motor connected all the time?
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Offline NickG

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2009, 04:01:04 PM »
Well, I've got the motors from ebay, think they might just be small enough to work with the gears I bought at Harrogate! They seem pretty powerful too. If not I might have to go for the hand drill bevel gears route and mount logitudinally. The mount for the motors will be more complex though. If using gears the motors need to be axle hung to retain the right mesh when the wheels move up an down with the suspension.

I have also ordered a 30A PDM controller from ebay ... this is a gamble as it's from china. Might take a while for that to come. I figured it was probably going to cost me over £10 to make one so for another £18 it's probably worth just buying! Hopefully I won't get charged any import duty or tax or anything ... i know i didn't when I got my collets. Fingers crossed!

Just need to come up with a design for a frame now. I'm not sure whether to just try and wing this one or draw it up on the 3D CAD. I know which I should do, it'll just take more time but it's probably worth it!

Nick

Location: County Durham (North East England)

Offline NickG

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Re: Electric or Petrol Locomotive
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2010, 09:19:50 AM »
Well, a year and 4 months on and I think I'm going to make a start this project tonight. Really I should finish my 2 'Poppin' flame licker's off but I'm coming under some serious pressure from my now 4 1/2 year old son. I don't want him to lose interest so I want to make something he can play with, get rides on and learn to drive a loco!

I think I'll pretty much wing it if I can, otherwise I'll spend ages drawing it up and although it'd be better it'll just double the length of the project.

So it'll be some quick measurements tonight, decide what to do and get stuck in - it might not be pretty but hopefully I'll end up with something that can pull me and our 2 boys!

I'm not going to do a build log on this but will keep updated on progress under a new post in project logs.

Cheers,

Nick


Location: County Durham (North East England)