What on earth have I bought?

A very popular starting point for Live Steam. With their low cost comes a number of problems which can be discussed here
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ashover
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What on earth have I bought?

Post by ashover » Wed Jun 07, 2023 8:00 pm

I just acquired this lovely SL1K… first live steam loco.

I then realised I couldn’t put the burner tray in, owing to the cylinder thing being in the way.

I’m totally new to this… but I’m assuming this is a gas conversion?

There was also the brass attachment you see in the clear bag.

Thoughts welcome! I have no idea what I’m doing!
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Andrew
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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by Andrew » Thu Jun 08, 2023 8:44 am

Hello!

Looks good to me!

Yes, the cylinder's a gas tank, with the handle on the top to regulate the flow, ie how much gas you're burning and so, in turn, how much steam you make. It looks like a small-ish tank, probably designed so that the gas runs out before the water, so you don't run the boiler dry. I wouldn't want to put that to the test, although it does look like you've possibly got a replacement boiler on there too, which will cope better with running dry than the original.

The brass fitting in the bag looks like an adapter. One end should fit over the filler valve on the gas tank, the other should screw onto a can of butane, the sort they sell in DIY shops to power blow lamps. Taymar (?) is a brand that seems to be readily available and that it often used for live steam models.

There are far greater experts on here than me, but do shout if you want further advice, between us I'm sure we can help!

Andrew.

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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by ashover » Thu Jun 08, 2023 9:04 am

Thanks so much Andrew!

Between yesterday and today I managed to find more info online too.

The issue I have now is there's no hole in the cab roof to insert the filler attachment/adapter!

But oddly, I moved the regulator and gas flowed through! So it has been filled at some point?

I'm wondering if I need to drill a hole in the roof, or whether there's some sort of further attachment that would let me fill the tank some other way? Very odd!
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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by philipy » Thu Jun 08, 2023 9:18 am

ashover wrote:
Thu Jun 08, 2023 9:04 am

I'm wondering if I need to drill a hole in the roof, or whether there's some sort of further attachment that would let me fill the tank some other way? Very odd!
If it was mine I'd be reluctant to start drilling holes, but thats up to you :D It looks as though removing the brass screws holding the roof on would be simple though?
I know that some people do use very strong rare earth magnets to attach roof's etc, so that might be an option.

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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by ashover » Thu Jun 08, 2023 9:22 am

Believe me I’m very reluctant to start drilling holes 😆

Removing the roof sounds like a plan!

For running, do you reckon you’d open up the gas regulator fully then control with the regulator on the front of the engine, or the other way around? I guess I’ll just have to have a play!
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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by Andrew » Thu Jun 08, 2023 9:40 am

The gas tank/burner assembly doesn't lift out, in a kind of "lift up and pull; back" motion, does it? I had one that did, but it was a very long time ago!

I'd probably have the gas up high to raise steam, then turn it down to achieve a balance (or as close as I could get to one!) between making enough steam and the safety valve not blowing off - because that's just a waste of steam/water/gas. How much steam (and so gas) you need will depend on what you're asking of the loco, so a heavy train or steep gradients will need more.

I'd control the loco itself with the regulator lever on the front - it'll take practice though, Mamods re tricky, don't get disheartened!

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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by ashover » Thu Jun 08, 2023 9:47 am

This steam railway lark definitely shows shortcomings in the grey matter in my case! Yup- I was able to remove the gas cylinder :) Problem solved!

I heard they're a bit temperamental yes. The plan is to sell it, I think. But I'll have a play first.

Thanks for the help Andrew!
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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by Andrew » Thu Jun 08, 2023 10:03 am

ashover wrote:
Thu Jun 08, 2023 9:47 am
Thanks for the help Andrew!
My pleasure! It's giving me a warm glow, because it's normally me asking the questions - my technical knowledge is very limited!

If you want to run it quickly and can't get to a DIY shop, the gas they sell in newsagents for cigarette lighters works, no adapter required.

Don't forget to oil around, and to draw some water out of the top of the boiler once you've filled it (c 30ml), to allow space for steam creation and avoid priming.

Steam it on blocks for a while to get the hang of it...

Good luck!

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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by ashover » Thu Jun 08, 2023 12:24 pm

Andrew wrote:
Thu Jun 08, 2023 10:03 am
ashover wrote:
Thu Jun 08, 2023 9:47 am
Thanks for the help Andrew!
My pleasure! It's giving me a warm glow, because it's normally me asking the questions - my technical knowledge is very limited!

If you want to run it quickly and can't get to a DIY shop, the gas they sell in newsagents for cigarette lighters works, no adapter required.

Don't forget to oil around, and to draw some water out of the top of the boiler once you've filled it (c 30ml), to allow space for steam creation and avoid priming.

Steam it on blocks for a while to get the hang of it...

Good luck!
Thanks again :)
Nicholas J

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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by ashover » Fri Jun 09, 2023 8:43 pm

Hi Andrew… that lighter gas you mentioned from newsagents.. does that have some sort of inbuilt adapter then?

Just posted here https://www.gardenrails.org/forum/viewt ... 29&t=14366

The bottles I bought don’t have any thread so I can’t attach the adapter sadly.
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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by Lonsdaler » Tue Jun 13, 2023 3:39 pm

ashover wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2023 8:43 pm
Hi Andrew… that lighter gas you mentioned from newsagents.. does that have some sort of inbuilt adapter then?

Just posted here https://www.gardenrails.org/forum/viewt ... 29&t=14366

The bottles I bought don’t have any thread so I can’t attach the adapter sadly.
I've answered your query on that post. You will be able to use those gas canisters.
Phil

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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by 3 minutes of fame » Tue Jun 13, 2023 10:50 pm

I built a little brake force wagon to control the speed of my steamers. It has an electric motor and gearbox which has just enough power to slow the loco to a halt, and give it a little shove when the steam pressure starts to drop off.


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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by ge_rik » Wed Jun 14, 2023 6:39 am

Intriguing. Is it a sort of electronical momentum van?

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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by 3 minutes of fame » Wed Jun 14, 2023 8:55 am

Think of it as an electrical assist! The motor is an Appletree unit, which are quite low geared with low rolling resistance. The loco cannot quite overcome the resistance when set to about half regulator, so a little current is applied to the motor to get it moving. Once it's going, on flat track, the motor is no longer powered, but on any inclines or sharper curves - my layout has both, some power is applied.

To bring the train to rest, the power to the motor is reversed, so it creates more drag. This is sufficient to bring the loco to a halt. Tim at Appletree doesn't recommend or warranty his motors to cope with this abuse, but I've not had any problems during my running sessions.

Control is via a basic r/c car radio control and small speed controller. All has been totally reliable in operation, with no running after the loco trying to adjust the regulator! I can get 3-4 circuits of the layout on a run using solid fuel, so about 160m total distance. Running on gas or meths should more than double the range, as there was still plenty of water in the boiler.

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Re: What on earth have I bought?

Post by FWLR » Thu Jun 22, 2023 6:30 am

Nice to see you haven't been disheartened by the new loco. I was and still am a novice running my RH 'Billy', but I always now run with just enough gas to still hear it burning in the boiler. The resistance wagon is very interesting too, would it be possible to give us a thread with the how you built it please.

Love your line by the way, some nice long straights to have a run with. :thumbright:
Rod

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https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic ... 41&t=11364

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