I had the opportunity to "test drive" one of these wagons on a real garden railway last month. I visited Keith N and his miniature W&L railway and he allowed me to drive his "Countess" with the momentum van. I thought combined with R/C it showed some real advantage in terms of realistic motion. It was interesting because I've only tested mine behind a manual engine on the workbench. It was great to see one working in real life and see it in conjunction with R/C control.
The track is kinked and the curves are all kinds of haphazard radii, so other than the fact that the floor is probably pretty level I think it shows how the momentum van will keep an engine running at a nice steady pace. When it was running forward, it ran for about twenty minutes at an almost clockwork pace without stopping. On the next run I turned the engine around to run backward and it would do about one and a half laps before stopping for a "breath" and then pulling away with a flurry of wheel-slip before digging in and taking the load- still fairly realistic I think. It also had a slightly heavier train while running backward so that might account for the difference, or else it was just the gas and regulator were in a less optimal balance than the first time. I think the gas may have been a bit too high, and the regulator not open enough for a nice steady run. Still, it's not terrible for a manual locomotive to pause for a blow-up every now and then.
This engine is manually controlled so I hope you can see how well the momentum van is working. Usually this engine blasts around at a silly speed unless you turn the regulator right down, and then it stops at the first curve or bump until it raises enough steam to blast off again. The momentum van makes it much nicer to run.
In the very last shot you can see as the train comes to a stop, the momentum wagon, which is at the back, gives the train a shove after the locomotive stops.
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This was tempting... But if I were to put two Zecar equipped axles into a train, why not put them both in the same wagon? So I did... http://moelrhos.uk/?p=236Mr. Bond of the DVLR:115578 wrote:Has anyone tried multiple MVs in a train?
The result is very satisfactory. With a fair bit of weight, the wagon transforms the running of my new Millie. It was a bit noisy, but I've quietened it down I think (something was scraping, and I'd boxed it in amplifying the noise). Also I'll have to do something about my functional-but-ugly Zecar frame, which is still visible. Still, proof of concept achieved.
Somehow I missed Crayfish's video. Your railway (Crayfish) has some pretty tight corners; it's very interesting to see how the flywheel helps keep the train to a reasonable speed in those conditions. I'm very tempted to resurrect my little island railway, which was just an oval in the dirt on a flat spot I found near my house on an island. (Not on my property, which is why I found it sub-optimal)Then we could see the van's performance on really uneven track!
Personally I favour the flywheel in a separate van idea over the flywheel being in the engine, primarily because I don't think I would like to see gears and chains in between the frames on a live-steam engine but also because it's the train that is supposed to have the momentum. Makes it more interesting to see the locomotive struggling to shift the train, rather than itself. When you see a real locomotive running light, it doesn't huff and puff as though it still has a train on. Minor points I suppose. I do admire the motion of slomo-equipped locomotives, but I feel the device being mounted in the frames robs the locomotive of some mechanical fidelity. I'm not so picky about the wagons, I guess.
Yup, a lot of oil, and a bit of fettling and the noise has become acceptable. Thanks for your kind words about the line!Keith S:118144 wrote:That worked out well. I've found that keeping the gears on the flywheel liberally oiled keeps the mechanism pretty quiet. Your track is coming along nicely too. And the Millie looks great. Those are nice engines..
I take your point, although I think the performance of the Millie doesn't reflect the relative weight of even a small narrow gauge steam loco. I suppose the perfect solution would be to include a small flywheel in the loco and every piece of rolling stock - but that would involve lots of gears/chains and be far too involved for me!Personally I favour the flywheel in a separate van idea over the flywheel being in the engine, primarily because I don't think I would like to see gears and chains in between the frames on a live-steam engine but also because it's the train that is supposed to have the momentum.
- Dr. Bond of the DVLR
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The railway which people forgot
As luck would have it, we have a friction-drive Greendale Rocket as illustrated on page 1 of this thread (23rd April 2015!), which when dismantled should yield one of these:
https://gardenrails.org/forum/myff/1875 ... 351+LR.jpg
But what wheels and method of fixing them to the axle should I use?
(Solutions requiring basic tools only please!)
I suppose it depends on the diameter of the axle. If it's 3mm or close enough, you could use Binnie wheels, as I think most of us using ze-cars did - then you can use Binnie axleguards too... Mine was a small wagon (too small really, not enough weight) so I was able to do the same with the axle that wasn't connected to the mechanism, whereas others created a new real axle.
Good luck with the project,
Next silly question: Is anyone able to tell me whether it is necessary to destroy the toy to access the drive mechanism?
I never like wrecking things if I can avoid it, but it isn't obvious how the cab roof and smokebox come off with out force or sawblade...
If the axle is the same size it might be a push fit. Binnie wheels push fit onto Binnie axles, and I think that worked for the zecar mechanism too. If it won't stay put of its own accord but is close I think I'd go for 5 minute epoxy, to ensure a little time to get it just right...
Don't know about the Greendale loco - I thought of Tony B's article, but I see you've already found that...
Good luck with the project,
Just checked mine - the flywheel and most of the rest of it is metal, with one of the gears in plastic of some sort. Hope that helps?
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