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    • May 11, 2020 5:54 PM EDT
    • Jon, in my 20-something years of futzing around with Accucraft's models I've found that the head sizes are approximative, to say the least.  My advise is to get a set of metric, and yes they are MEANT to be metric,  China is metric, just like most of the rest of the world, AND, if you can find them, a set of British BA sizes as well.  There is, oddly enough, a degree of cross-over at certain sizes.  BA - stands for British Association - were used for small electrical fittings and models of all kinds.  The system is also one of threads, as well as bolt head sizes and nut sizes, ranging from the largest, 0, to the absolutely minute 16 BA.  Taps and dies, too, of course.  For certain model applications, there is also a range of bolts with one or two size smaller heads, to get a decent thread with a more scale appearing bolt head.  They are all hexagon, BTW.

       

      If you get stuck, gimme a call and I'll send you a set.  :)

    • May 11, 2020 5:25 PM EDT
    • I am about to order up a set of mini hex nut drivers so I can work on my Accucraft Live Steam Shay.  I'm almost certain they are all metric sizes, but one I could measure with a micrometer came out to 3.2MM. While it is not an unreasonable to think there is .2MM error in my measurement or the painted nut is a bit oversize, I just want to be sure before I order!

    • May 11, 2020 9:40 AM EDT
    • Running in at the Calusa Creek RR in Fort Myers, FL.

       

    • May 1, 2020 1:43 AM EDT
    • Really, really neat looking engine, Pete!

    • April 30, 2020 2:26 PM EDT
    • I was wondering about my next project and tidying up the bench and the excess parts, when I came across the original bunker top, which was replaced by a new one in the R/C kit. Aha! This could be used to make a bunker front to hide/protect all the R/C wiring.  And it did.   (I put the steam dome on before taking this pic.)

       

    • April 30, 2020 12:06 PM EDT
    • Jon Radder said:

      Thanks. What I was thinking was weight. The gearing makes it powerful, but if it's too light all that power goes to waste in wheel slip.  My 2 Cyl. Shay would happily pull more up hill if it could hang on to the rail :D

      The reason I ask is that my outdoor features a curving grade that approaches 5% in spots.  That really limits any LS locos I could consider.

      This thing is solid brass and is quite heavy compared to my other live steamers. It's 2-3 times heavier than a plastic loco with battery r/c and needs 2 hands to pick it up. I doubt it would slip on your grade. (It handles R1 curves too, apparently.) In fact my only design complaint is that it has solid trucks - while they are allowed to rock front-to-back, there is no lateral yaw in the truck mount and the axles aren't allowed to rock independently.  Probably because it would make the rods bind or the gears slip. Any track irregularity from side to side will reduce the grip.

    • April 30, 2020 9:43 AM EDT
    • Thanks. What I was thinking was weight. The gearing makes it powerful, but if it's too light all that power goes to waste in wheel slip.  My 2 Cyl. Shay would happily pull more up hill if it could hang on to the rail :D

       

      The reason I ask is that my outdoor features a curving grade that approaches 5% in spots.  That really limits any LS locos I could consider.

    • April 30, 2020 9:16 AM EDT
    • Jon Radder said:

      Very nice Pete.  Is it hefty enough to handle a good grade?

      Jon, it is geared - 4:1 or greater, so it can probably handle anything! My local tract (Calusa Creek RR) has lots of hills so we will see.

       

      We will also find out if I set the wheels (8) and gears (2) with the setscrews in good positions, or if they will creep and throw everything off!  Regner's do that until you get them set. They also take a while to run in so I am not expecting too much this year.

    • April 29, 2020 8:11 PM EDT
    • Very nice Pete.  Is it hefty enough to handle a good grade?

    • April 29, 2020 5:17 PM EDT
    • And the final report until I get a track test.

      Installing all the pretty bits did pop up one small problem - a bolt that was supposed to be installed behind the manifold. No way.

       

       

      The solution is to release the cab from its bolts so you can get the bolt in the steam line under the whistle.

       

      With the bunker in place, I started working on hiding the R/C gear. I seem to be missing a tab to screw in the bunker cover.

       

       

      Oh well, I want access to the R/C gear anyway. The slot is for the reversing lever, which I am not using. Here's the new cover which came with the R/C kit. (A friend who is clearing his bushes promised me some twigs to make scale logs.)

       

       

      The R/C gear is well hidden. I tidied up the long cables from the servos, and discovered the receiver would fit next to the battery and servo in the floor.  The on/off switch and charging socket were pre-wired, which is nice. No idea what size the socket is, but my 5.5mm ones seem to fit. In practice, I charge the batteries out of my locos as I try to make sure I carry them between my 2 homes - I don't want to leave one for 6-7 months without a top-up.

       

       

       

      Doesn't it look nice? Mine has the optional headlight and a Ronson fill valve. I even got the rods almost at the same position!

       

       

      I put it on rollers and ran another steam test. I'll try to post a video when it gets some track time.

       

      It's a very nice kit that anyone who can handle a screwdriver and a set of small spanners can build. Quite impressive.

      Edit: Just realised I forgot to drop the steam dome over the safety! It was in a bag for scratch-free sate keeping.

    • May 2, 2020 12:29 PM EDT
    • Joe Zullo said:

      I suck out the gunge from the oiler after each run and refill it with fresh steam oil. I agree that the smoke is oil being burned. I already have a TD needle valve for the gas and the throttle. The "pop" is so strong that sometimes it blows the smoke box door open!

      It certainly is a strong Pop on your video. But Accucraft door latches are very wimpy, so the fact that it blows open is nothing surprising.

       

      So, moving right along, I have seen the inside of a smokebox when this was happening, and the oil/water mix (technically called an "emulsion",) coming from the cylinders oozes out of the pipe/chuffer and runs down into the hot smokebox and burns with a bang/Pop. Bill Allen, over on MLS, posted that an 8 thou wire (0.008") can be put in the oiler hole to reduce the amount of oil being used. Tricky.  Replacing the lubricator with an adjustable one might be a better solution. Regner makes one that is small and easy to use.

       

      But before you try anything drastic, I would experiment with the blast pipe. Get some aluminum foil and tie it (with copper or brass wire) to the pipe just below the stack opening. Crumple the foil to make a drip edge, so the oil/water globules disperse in smaller droplets or drop down the side of the smokebox. Don't block the stack though.

    • May 1, 2020 7:41 PM EDT
    • I suck out the gunge from the oiler after each run and refill it with fresh steam oil. I agree that the smoke is oil being burned. I already have a TD needle valve for the gas and the throttle. The "pop" is so strong that sometimes it blows the smoke box door open!

    • May 1, 2020 6:44 PM EDT
    • Heck I haven't even built my Ruby yet, but I have a little, very little knowledge!

      My thinking is water is flashing to steam, and if he hasn't sucked the water out of the steam oil when refilling, that may be the source.

      Carry on....

    • May 1, 2020 3:59 PM EDT
    • I've got five Accucraft live steamers, and only one is meth-fired.

       

      None of them has ever done what Joe's Ruby does, but the Ruby belonging to a pal sure does, although it has not blown out the fire, AFAIK.

       

       

    • May 1, 2020 3:38 PM EDT
    • I'd go with what Pete said. My Accucraft 2Cyl Shay does that, except it usually does not blow the fire out. Learning to regulate the fire takes some practice on an Accucraft. I recently upgraded the gas valve on my Shay to help in that regard.  Might just be a matter of finding the right setting for the gas.

       

    • May 1, 2020 3:28 PM EDT
    • Maybe it doesn't like your nick name Sparky

      Are you refilling the oiler before each run?

    • May 1, 2020 2:38 PM EDT
    • My first thought is a cruddy gas jet, or perhaps carp actually IN the gas you are using.  Do you invert the can before filling up?  Are you using a mix or straight butane? 

      Tac, it's not the gas. Rubys are renowned for burning oil and water in the smokebox, thus making the "POP" and the puff of blue oil smoke which you can see on the video.

      With a 'chuffer' in the smokebox, it is possible the wider chuffer is restricting the airflow and making the fire go out. For some reason these locos need airflow through the smokebox - my FWRR won't stay lit unless you leave the smokebox door open.

       

    • May 1, 2020 12:20 PM EDT
    • Hmmm, could be lots of things, Joe, so look at these posts - https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11947

       

      My first thought is a cruddy gas jet, or perhaps carp actually IN the gas you are using.  Do you invert the can before filling up?  Are you using a mix or straight butane?  

       

      Let us know if the gas jet might be blocked - cleaning them is NOT something that you can do properly unless you know how, in any event, do NOT use anything mechanical to try and do it.

    • May 1, 2020 11:07 AM EDT
    • I am new to live steam and am trying to learn the best way to run my radio controlled Ruby. It has been doing pretty well as my skills increase but one thing has me bugged. As it's running, I get a lot of popping in the smoke box. So much so that it regularly blows out the fire. What is the problem? If you listen to it in this video it will be apparent. Help is appreciated. Thanks