Zach Bond "Momentum Van" project

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Keith S
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Post by Keith S » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:06 pm

I filled the empty space in my wagon with rigid insulating foam. I also placed a large block of steel in there, supported by the foam. The heavier you make your wagon the better it will work. I recommend you find something heavy to fill your little wagon with, like some lead fishing weights if you can get them. Filling the cavity with anything will deaden the sound, and that little wagon needs to be quite a bit heavier than it is at the moment, I suspect. Also some nice thick oil or grease on the gears will make it run fairly quietly.

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Post by Crayfish » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:58 am

I threw some used dish sponges in to mine to fill up the space inside the van. Most of the noise comes from below the chassis though so making sure it is well oiled/greased is the biggest factor in making it run more quietly.

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Post by Crayfish » Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:59 pm

Annie:115551 wrote: I would imagine that a MV would work just as well with battery locos that only have the most basic speed control on board.  After reading through this thread I've already checked out where I can buy a zecar which I shall do when my model making budget recovers a little.
To test that theory I had a play with my momentum van and a battery powered loco I have that lacks a speed controller.

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFgyFOtS3Ew[/video]
This particular loco is a bit on the heavy side for the van to have much effect.  The only noticeable difference is that the motor struggles a bit more when pulling the van.  I made a fairly heavy version of the van weighing 880g so that's to be expected.

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Post by tom_tom_go » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:36 pm

First test run and very impressed with it's ability to slow down my Silver Lady:

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https://youtu.be/3256Eu4k9pk

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Post by Mr. Bond of the DVLR » Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:34 pm

Super result!
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The railway which people forgot
(to build)

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Post by Keith S » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:16 am

That's great! I really like that engine too.

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.

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Post by tom_tom_go » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:07 pm

Just need to get some ironwork fitted and should be finished:

ImageImage

Good idea with the fish weights as being lead you can cut them easily to size and slot them into the wagon.

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Post by Keith S » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:07 am

Here's a pretty silly video of my version of the wagon in action with my RH "Billy". I got tired of running it back and forth across the workbench so I waited until my wife wasn't home and put a circle of track on the floor in the basement.

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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Post by SimonWood » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:20 am

Absolutely beautiful slow running.

I definitely need a momentum van! Just placed a zecar order on Amazon.

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Post by Crayfish » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:18 am

Slow running really showcases the beautiful valve gear on your Billy.

Enjoy the lingering smell of steam oil in your basement!

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Post by Crayfish » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:36 am

Here's a longer video of my Leader running with it's momentum van:

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xMD4UWcXF8[/video]

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Post by SimonWood » Wed May 18, 2016 8:12 am

I've been inspired to by Mr Bond's Momentum Van to build my own Momentum Wagon with the aim of achieve slo-mo-esque running.

But...
Mr. Bond of the DVLR:115578 wrote:Has anyone tried multiple MVs in a train?
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=236

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.

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Post by Keith S » Wed May 18, 2016 9:06 am

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.

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.

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Post by SimonWood » Thu May 19, 2016 10:28 am

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..
Yup, a lot of oil, and a bit of fettling and the noise has become acceptable. Thanks for your kind words about the line!
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.
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!

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Post by Mr. Bond of the DVLR » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:31 pm

I took River Butley to the Peckforton Light Railway last Friday with the Momentum Van to really test it. Steep gradients, a long run and sweeping curves. I really had fun driving the line with more gas and regulator going up the hill and barely a whisper of either coming down as you can see in Rik's excellent video. I really like the way you can see the loco bouncing around slightly and watch the motion. You can also watch a couple of small steam leaks around the cylinders spurting steam with each revolution. I think the results in the video speak for themselves in terms of the usefulness of the MV. I wouldn't be without it!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWHnjB0esWM
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The railway which people forgot
(to build)

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