Author Topic: RC Model Steam Project  (Read 18550 times)

Offline Bernd

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RC Model Steam Project
« on: June 07, 2009, 07:53:55 PM »
After much contemplating and a bit of inter-web research I've come up with an idea for a project. As I had mentioned in The Water Cooler section of the forum I had a project brewing in the back of my mind that would consist of two steam engines, two boilers and an airplane prop. I believe I've come up with a concept that might be workable.

What would take two steam engines, two boilers and a prop to make a project you say? Well I guess it's actually a bunch of small projects put together to form one complete project. What I have in mind is building a steam powered radio controlled vehicle that will tow a trailer with the second vehicle aboard the trailer. What I have in mind is a steam powered trike, ala steam punk, towing a trailer with a radio controlled, ala steam punk, steam powered air boat.

For the steam powered trike I got the inspiration from Crabfu-Steam.com. http://www.crabfu.com/steamtoys/diy_steampunk/
The first image is of a steam-punk motorbike. I thought it would be neat to build a trike. Much easier to keep up right.
The second steam powered vehicle will be an airboat or swamp boat. Here's a pic of a real one in case you don't know what I'm talking about. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Air_boat.jpg

Of course I'd need a trailer to haul this on behind the steam trike. That one will be the simplest of this project.

Ok, now I've got a concept or an idea of a concept. We already know how the boat is supposed to look like. The trailer is easy to imagine, but the trike was a bit hard. The Crabfu Steamworks image wasn't going to work to well, but did give me a few ideas.

I needed a platform to build on, enter William Harris' Steam Roller.

I'm looking at just the frame , nothing else. A pair of wheels in the back and one single one in the front. So now I've got something to work with. I'm going to build the engine he uses on the steam roller but will lay it down between the frame. This will power the vehicle. A pair of fake pistons will be visible to make it look like they are driving the trike.

So that's it for now from the design committee. If any more ideas or concepts surface I'll be sure to post them here.

Regards,
Bernd
You can't fix "STUPID".

Offline sbwhart

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2009, 01:19:54 AM »
Well thats a real humdinger of  a project I think you've got a good dose of  :proj:

Like the idea of using the frame from that steam roller, it looks like it was based on a shay, is it a model or a full size roller can't tell from the pic  :scratch:

Have fun

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

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline PTsideshow

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2009, 09:13:53 AM »

 towing a trailer with a radio controlled, ala steam punk, steam powered air boat.

The second steam powered vehicle will be an airboat or swamp boat. Here's a pic of a real one in case you don't know what I'm talking about. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Air_boat.jpg


I needed a platform to build on, enter William Harris' Steam Roller.
Regards,
Bernd

Here is the site you want for your trailer item http://www.rcairboats.net/phpBB/index.php more than you might want to know  :D It sometimes takes awhile to load. The vid's and photo's are something else.

I found it looking for info on building a 2 stoke weed wacker engine powered air boat!

The village press has a book out on the articles that where in Live Steam & outdoor RR magazine. From a couple of years ago. I believe that is a picture of the model.
glen
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Offline Bernd

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2009, 09:14:22 AM »
Stew,

That's a 1 1/2" scale model.

I wish I could sketch better as I have created the whole thing in my mind but can't get it down on paper.

Was looking over the engine again that I was going to use on the roller and have decided not to use that form of engine. Going to seriously look at the engines used on steam donkeys (used to haul logs). Would have to run it through some gearing and a final drive with a chain to the drive wheel to slow the engine down enough and give enough power to move the vehicle.

Time to turn to the frame and see what i can come up with there.

Bernd
You can't fix "STUPID".

Offline sbwhart

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2009, 09:18:28 AM »
Thanks Bernd

That a real nice model, very unusal configuration for a roller especialy to UK eyes.

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

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline Bernd

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2009, 09:31:25 AM »
Glen,

Bit of a surprise for you. I've been a member of that forum for quite some time. As a matter of fact I started building an airboat. Here's a page from my web site I never made public. http://www.kingstonemodeleng.com/ModelAirboat/First/first.htm

Never finished it because my parents bought me a power boat to play with. Unfortunatley the engine blew up during run it and that's where everything just stopped.

Bernd
You can't fix "STUPID".

Offline Bernd

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2009, 09:38:50 AM »
Stew,

Here's a pic, courtesy of Live Steam, of the real things with real people standing next to them. Gives a better prospective of size.



Bernd
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Offline sbwhart

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2009, 09:52:11 AM »
Thanks for posting pic Bernd

It looks a very manouverable bit of kit with the rear stearing wheel and short wheel base, and that big bevel gear at the front looks an interesting maching job, it looks like the one at the front has a double bevel.

 :beer:

Stew

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

Location:- Crewe Cheshire

Offline PTsideshow

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2009, 11:07:18 AM »
Quote from: Bernd
Going to seriously look at the engines used on steam donkeys (used to haul logs). Would have to run it through some gearing and a final drive with a chain to the drive wheel to slow the engine down enough and give enough power to move the vehicle.

Village press also has a book on them that was in articles years ago.
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=5045.msg83039#msg83039 here is the model and small scale thread on brass googles.


There is a book out that is devoted to everything logging donkey in Oregon. Lots of photos and info. I got it from Nation builder books. http://www.nbbooks.com/ Here is my post on another site about it
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=4907.msg83037#msg83037

I believe you sent me that link on another forum when air boats came up as i Have seen it before.

glen
"The internet just a figment, of my imagination!' 
 
 There are only 3 things I can't do!"
Raise the Dead!
        Walk on water!
                 Fix a broken heart!
and I'm working on the first two!
glen

Offline Bernd

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2009, 02:58:16 PM »
Glen

Been to the Brassgoggels web site. Also have the book "In Search of Steam Donkeys" and Bill Harris' book The Steam Donkey Engine.

I think I might come up with my own design using an engine that has .750" bore and .750 stroke. That's what the engine on Bills steam roller is. Only he uses Stuart castings for the cylinders. I'm kind of up in the air about the engine for now. Think I'll start working on the chassi. Maybe I'll have one rolling by winter.  :med:

 :proj: has biten me hard.  :lol:

Bernd
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Offline rleete

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2009, 01:04:23 PM »
Maybe I'll have one rolling by winter. 

Yeah, but what year?

You're like me.  The phrase I hear most often from the wife isn't "I love you", but rather "when are you gonna finish _________?"
Creating scrap, one part at a time

bogstandard

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2009, 02:30:43 PM »
Bernd,

If you need any help with the engine design, don't be afraid to ask.

Even a humble oscillator can be made into a very good powerhouse.

This is a picture of the oscillators I make for cash exchange, and the one on the right is designed for a paddler, having a 10mm (3/8") bore and 20mm (3/4") stroke. Very compact indeed, under 5" long X 2" high X 2.5" wide (without the lubricator and width of shaft), but because of the 3 to 1 gearing, at 5psi it is impossible to stop the shafts rotating using your fingers. Unlike most designed 'square' engines, this long stroke is slower revving, and usually a lot more economical with steam. It has great fwds/rev and speed control and it can all be done from one servo.



Maybe something to consider if the 'engine' isn't going to be seen.

Bogs


Offline Bernd

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2009, 04:40:07 PM »
Thanks Bogs,

I was going to tap your knowledge on this one. SO be prepared for an onslaught of questions. I am definatley thinking of reduction. I'm contemplating using one gear set and then a chain and sproket for the final drive.

As I mentioned at the begining of this post I am thinking of using the size of the engine that is being used on that steam roller. It's a square engine, 3/4" bore X 3/4" stroke. I would use the same boiler as he uses for his steam roller.

I see I didn't mention the size of that roller. It is a  1 1/2" scale model. The model has a total length of 19" long by 7 5/8" wide and 14 3/4" tall over the smoke stack. I'm going to use the layout he uses for the frame. I originally thought of using copper tubing and two I beams to hold the tubing apart. The tubing was going to be used as a storage tank for the butane/propane fuel. Some how the very rough sketches I made of using the tubing for the frame just didn't seem to work out somehow.

Here's my thought on the engine. Twin piston somewhere near the width of the frame. Perhaps horizontal or at a slight angle up to 45 degree. The thing that confuses me a bit would be the reversing linkage. I looked at your "Engine built from Junk" and liked the valve you used on that. No need for a Stevenson linkage. That would work nicely. That brings me to some questions I was going to ask you. Does that control valve need a piston valve engine in order to work? Will it work with a D-valve and if yes, how would you port it?

The bad thing about this project John is that I have a complete 3D vision of the finished product in my head but can't for the life of me draw it on paper to show others. This is going to be a tough nut to crack, so bare with me.

My first thought is to get a rolling frame first and then perhaps mock up an engine using some bit's of wood and cardstock to see what will work. Others will then be able to see better what I want to accomplish.

Your input will be highly valued. Although I might not use all you suggestions, they may help in guiding me through this prject.

Nice looking engines you built there. I really like the horizontal one.

Rregards,
Bernd
You can't fix "STUPID".

bogstandard

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2009, 05:35:32 PM »
Bernd,

If you mean slide valve when you talk about a D-valve, then no, you cannot reverse a slide valve just by swapping the inlet/exhaust over, it is the way the steam is fed into the chest, and requires mechanical means to swap over fwd/rev, it is done by changing the valve timing.

On the oscillator, it uses a very simple swap over plate that changes the in/ex over, while on the piston valve, it uses a rotary barrel to do the same thing.

So basically if you need to easily swap over fwd/rev, your engine will have to be either an oscillator or a piston valve.

Metal chain and sprocket final drives usually cause havoc with radio gear, producing radio spikes that are very hard to filter out. You can buy small, very strong nylon chains and sprockets that overcome the problem, but they are rather expensive.

I personally think that a 3/4" square engine will grossly overpower this small model, and so waste steam, a 1/2" bore X 3/4" stroke twin would be more than enough. But of course the choice has to be yours.

The whole top end of both engines I showed are exactly the same, and can be swapped back from one to another in about half an hour. That design of engine would be dead easy to change to the size you want as it is already 3/4" stroke. Put a 4 to 1 reduction instead of 3 to 1 and that would drive the wheels direct from a slow crawl to a fast blast. You could easily work out the top speed. Say the top speed of the engine is 1500 RPM (about normal for a low loaded steam engine), divide by 4 = 375RPM. Circumference of say a 6" wheel is for approximations sake 20". Multiply 20" by 375 = 7500 inches per minute = approx 7.1 mph (a steady jogging speed). It all depends on how fast you want to go.

BTW, using a tank for gas as you suggest is highly dangerous. In the UK they have to be made to very high standards and undergo stingent tests before they are allowed to be sold. If a small gas tank as you envisage explodes, an area of at least 20 feet across, maybe more, would be ground zero. So I would suggest a little more thought on that one.

Bogs

Offline DeereGuy

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2009, 06:26:31 PM »
John I am very interested in your geared horizontal model.  They are both very nice indeed.

Offline Bernd

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2009, 08:44:51 PM »
John,

Quote
So basically if you need to easily swap over fwd/rev, your engine will have to be either an oscillator or a piston valve.

Just as I thought. So you confirmed that for me because I couldn't see no way of doing that.

Quote
Metal chain and sprocket final drives usually cause havoc with radio gear, producing radio spikes that are very hard to filter out. You can buy small, very strong nylon chains and sprockets that overcome the problem, but they are rather expensive.

Didn't know that. Very interesting. I knew I was talking to the right guy about this design.

Quote
I personally think that a 3/4" square engine will grossly overpower this small model, and so waste steam, a 1/2" bore X 3/4" stroke twin would be more than enough. But of course the choice has to be yours.

Ok, that's why I gave the specs on the engine size he uses and the size of approximatley what the chassi dimensions will be. I figured you'd point me in the right direction here.

Quote
BTW, using a tank for gas as you suggest is highly dangerous. .............. So I would suggest a little more thought on that one.

That's one of the reasons I decided against using the frame with the copper tubing. To close to the open flame. This will need a bit more research. This can come near the end of the project.

Ok, so I guess here is what I'm looking at for an engine. A piston valve twin with a 1/2" bore by 3/4" stroke running a 4 to 1 gear reduction to the wheel. I think the wheel size I am going to use is going to be about 5.5" dia. and a single front wheel of 2" dia.

I guess I've got enough info here to get me into trouble.  :lol:

Now I'll need to find some time to start "squeezing" this project in amongst the famous Honey Do List.

But first will come the frame for this project and the wheels. In the mean time I can see if I can draw up the engine part of it.

Many thanks for the suggestions John. BTW the boiler will be DOM tubing. I have a 4 foot long piece I'm going to use. More on this later. Right now I need to get busy and start on the frame. Looks like rain in the forcast for 3 days after Tuesday. So may have some shop time. I'll post when the first pieces are going to be made.

Regards,
Bernd






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bogstandard

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2009, 10:28:46 PM »
Bernd,

I think I have the plans for the perfect engine for you, and they are a freebie download. As long as you don't mind it being in French and metric.

But, as usual, I can't find the damned site I got them from, so I have put them on my own server and you can download from here.

http://rapidshare.com/files/245020764/french_piston_valve_horizontal_twin.pdf

Bogs


Offline DavesWimshurst

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2009, 01:35:38 AM »
Bogs,
Is this the french engine site?
http://jpduval.free.fr/Plans_moteurs_vapeur_p1.htm
Dave

bogstandard

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2009, 02:42:01 AM »
Yes Dave, but this plan was stuck away in the background and I was very lucky to find it.

I spent half an hour searching, but couldn't refind it. Maybe it has been deleted.

Good free plans on there though, even though you have to do a bit of translation first. There is a nice download series for a garden rail loco and rolling stock.

I forgot to add, as usual, if you download from my server, if you don't have a Rapidshare account,  you must choose as a free user and wait for a minute to access the download.  But very safe, no viruses or trojans, just what I want you to have.

Bogs

Offline kvom

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2009, 08:44:34 AM »
I like the look of the Duval plan for the 4 cylinder v-osciallator.  Might be my next project.

bogstandard

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2009, 12:15:52 PM »
Kirk,

The plans are very well done, but double check everything. Assemble it in your mind before making a part to ensure it will fit correctly.

I used one for the basis of my commercial units shown above, with loads of mods to it, and there were a few basic miskates that would have caused problems if I hadn't found them beforehand.

John

Offline Bernd

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2009, 01:32:33 PM »
Bogs,

Thanks. I've been to the jpduval site and downloaded a few of his drawings. Think I may even have downloaded the one you suggested. I remember the 3D drawing of the valve portion. I think I can use parts of that design to build an engine. Have been going over it in my mind and was going to ask you how you would go about putting a piston valve chest on a round cylinder engine. Problem solved.

Hopefuly this weekend I can get started on the frame. Have some ideas I want to try out in making some parts to see if it'll work.

Bernd

P.S. I did download from your rapidshare. Thanks.
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bogstandard

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2009, 02:15:33 PM »
Bernd,

Making your own design of engine is rather easy.

Pinch the idea from someone else.

Just joking of course, but if you can understand how the valve system works, it is very difficult to design an engine that hasn't already been done before. So basically I look to see if there are any plans that suit the size I want, then use the port timing in my own engine. My piston valve engine did in fact come from my own dimensions and working out, and I have no reservations if someone was to use them.

Over the last 200 years or so, everthing has already been thought of, even a lot of new designs are only modified old ideas.

So don't think it is wrong to use other peoples dimensions and working out, all you are doing is saving yourself a lot of hard work getting to the same end result. Using that method, I could most probably get a working sketch to make a wobbler in about half an hour, and it would be guaranteed to run.


John

Offline Bernd

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2009, 10:34:26 PM »
Bernd,

Making your own design of engine is rather easy.

Pinch the idea from someone else.

Just joking of course, but if you can understand how the valve system works, it is very difficult to design an engine that hasn't already been done before. So basically I look to see if there are any plans that suit the size I want, then use the port timing in my own engine. My piston valve engine did in fact come from my own dimensions and working out, and I have no reservations if someone was to use them.

Over the last 200 years or so, everthing has already been thought of, even a lot of new designs are only modified old ideas.

So don't think it is wrong to use other peoples dimensions and working out, all you are doing is saving yourself a lot of hard work getting to the same end result. Using that method, I could most probably get a working sketch to make a wobbler in about half an hour, and it would be guaranteed to run.


John

John,

Exactly what I was going to do. Find out how a piston valve works by using somebody elses design and then adapt it to how I want to use it. You were the first one that has written a complete write up on how it works and how to make it. So I was going to use that valve design only in a twin cylinder engine that will be sepaerated by about 3 to 4 inches but still have a common drive shaft.

That engine from jpduval, I had already found that site and had a copy of it downloaded and printed out. I like the crosshead design on that engine, so I'm going to attempt to use it.

Now I just need to study how it all operates when assembled.

Bernd

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bogstandard

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Re: RC Model Steam Project
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2009, 11:51:37 PM »
Bernd,

The steam control valve off my piston engine will work perfectly if connected to that engine. Might just need to change the pipeworks route a little.

Bogs