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    • April 27, 2020 3:55 PM EDT
    • Today's task was to rework the R/C on the throttle and run another steam test. The servo mount for the throttle was a pig, so I drilled out the frame and substituted an M2 screw and nut (I found my box of metric nuts and bolts.)



      Much easier to hold it still while I add the nut underneath. Another reason was the servo cable, which runs along underneath. No clips are supplied, so to stop it dangling I added some made from brass wire.



      And away we go!



    • April 26, 2020 11:07 PM EDT
    • Pete,


      Cool stuff!  Live steam is something we are not likely to be able to pursue, so I am enjoying following this as you go from kit to locomotive!



    • April 26, 2020 4:13 PM EDT
    • The R/C kit arrived so I got back to work. I had to swap the rod to the reversing valve clevis, and use the M3 bolt to attach it to the servo arm/horn. Unfortunately the servo arms were tiny. I picked a thick one and carefully drilled it out to take the bolt.



      The rod doesn't have to move more than about 1/4", and is quite stiff, so I drilled as close to the hub as possible. So the bolt is too long. Fetch the Dremel and cut-off disk.



      I mentioned that I marked the reversing position on a piece of tape. When I got the servo working, it wouldn't operate in the desired range (between my two marks.] In this pic it is fully out to the right.



      The answer, of course, is to remove the lock nut and screw the clevis tightly to the rod. That got things aligned nicely. I'll probably have to trim the arm when the trucks go on, but for now it can wait.


    • April 26, 2020 1:29 PM EDT
    • Jerry Bohlander said:

      Nice Pete- coming along very nicely.  When you get back, I can watch from the deck and you can run it on the SC&M!


      Unlikely. I have so much stuff to move to MD that the Heisler is probably staying in FL. Besides, it is perfect for the Calusa Creek RR.

    • April 25, 2020 11:20 PM EDT
    • Looking good Pete!

    • April 25, 2020 5:52 PM EDT
    • Nice Pete- coming along very nicely.  When you get back, I can watch from the deck and you can run it on the SC&M!



    • April 25, 2020 5:52 PM EDT
    • Nice Pete- coming along very nicely.  When you get back, I can watch from the deck and you can run it on the SC&M!



    • April 25, 2020 3:48 PM EDT
    • The next project on my desk is to make up my Regner Heisler kit. I took a few photos for your entertainment.


      It comes in a plain box and all the parts and bags of small parts are wrapped in paper. On the left in this pic is the stack of wrap. Big parts (cab, etc.,) in the other box, and smaller bags and stuff in the tray on the right. I luckily got my hands on a set of instructions in English from the UK dealer, though I got the kit from The Train Dept.



      The first 3 steps are to attach the steam pipes and reversing valve to the pre-built cylinders, then bolt it to the chassis.  The 4 steam pipes were a struggle to fit, but they went in eventually. I included this pic so you can see the tools I'm starting to accumulate next to the project area, and the myriad of parts for the next step - trucks. The tube is 'thread locker' as all those universal pins have to be screwed in and it is best that they be locked.



      With the trucks under way, I got out my Regner wheel back-to-back gauge. This is a very useful tool when your wheels are just held on with setscrews - the screws tend to let the wheels move occasionally.



      One comment from the UK dealer was to make sure there was a little play so the frame could expand when it got hot. There were several places where the paint obstructed the fit (I couldn't even get the steam dome to sit over the safety without clearing the paint in the hole.) In this case, I put some 320 grit emery on the bench and rubbed the paint off the back of the wheels to give myself a little more play against the sideframes. In this pic 2 wheels are done, and 1 is halfway. I also sanded the paint on the truck side carefully. I ended up with wheels in gauge and a tiny bit of play from side-to-side.



      Quartering the wheels and rods, so that one side is 90 degrees different from the other, was easy, as you can see through one wheel to the back of the spokes on the opposite wheel.



      With the trucks on, you are then supposed to contort your fingers to reach the reversing rod bolt above the truck and between the frames. A fiddle but not too difficult, as the hole is threaded so you don't have to hold a nut at the same time!



      And here we are ready for an air test. Feed air in to the steam pipe in the center, and the engine should spin. (A little oil all around also helps.) It did, though only in one direction.



      As the reversing rod seemed to need some adjustment, I removed it and tried the air test again with some blue tape and a handy marker. In this pic the 2 black marks correspond to the position of the start of the threads on the rod for fwd and reverse, which were easy to find with the tape and the engine upside down. I didn't re-fit the rod, as I am waiting for the R/C kit to arrive.



      A potpourri of boiler fittings ready for the next step.



      After a lot of careful fitting and bending, I got the various parts in the right place. My instructions said it could be steam tested, so that's what I did. I left the trucks off, as there are plenty of parts to be fitted from below.



      You get the pleasure of installing the meter screw in the lubricator, and I didn't see an instruction telling me to back it out 1/2 turn or more before steaming. The other thing I didn't see was the 3rd blank plug/bolt. You can see the one on the boiler above, and the one on the back of the steam manifold. Once steam came up it wafted out of the hole in the far end of the manifold - the side away from me as I did most of the work this way round.

      Anyway, the bolt was duly fitted and the steam test was successful.



    • April 26, 2020 6:21 PM EDT
    • I posted a separate thread about my efforts to make the kit version.

    • April 9, 2020 1:21 PM EDT
    • I forgot to mention the R/C kit. While The Train Dept says it is "r/c ready", I was looking at the UK dealer's site and found a this:
      Heisler R/C Kit 25428:   + £57.00

      I queried Graham, the dealer about it and he responded:

      The R/C kit comprises of a replacement reversing rod to connect to a servo (the reversing arm in the cab and the existing reversing rod are removed). 2 servos, 1 servo bracket mount for the regulator, a replacement R/C regulator arm plus the control rod and connectors. A replacement bunker cover with the cut outs for the switch and charger socket and an assembled wiring loom including the switch and charger socket.
      You will need to find the rechargeable batteries, transmitter and receiver, they are not included.

      I have one on order, along with the UK English instructions. When I get the final quote I will post the cost in an edit here.


      Edit: The invoice says £47.50 for the r/c gear, and £22 for shipping (with a bunch of other stuff.) Thats $59 plus about $25 for shipping.  And I bought a copy of the English instructions from Graham at the same time.

    • April 18, 2020 4:42 PM EDT
    • I ran it today on our unfinished club layout (point to point right now). It performed perfectly and was marvelous!


    • April 18, 2020 11:51 AM EDT
    • Nice job!

    • April 17, 2020 6:23 PM EDT
    • I bought the servos and bracket from the eBay seller and the radio gear from Tony Walsham (RCS) in Australia. Bits and pieces from Servo City and the Train Department.

      It's been running pretty well after tweaking the valve timing and reversing the steam admission to "inside".

      I took off the side tanks, and made running boards. The batteries and radio receiver are in the tender I added for the purpose.

    • April 9, 2020 1:24 PM EDT
    • Roundhouse has also re-released the single fairlie "Taliesin".


    • April 1, 2020 5:52 PM EDT
    • I ran it light up the grade as far as Indian Hill Junction and back a few times playing with the throttle. Seems like 90 degrees might be enough, but with careful adjustment prior to starting up the grade, the Johnson bar control seems to be just fine. You can hear through the chuffer when the bar is set just right to match the throttle and it plugs away at a nice prototypical speed up the hill.  Trials with some rolling stock soon.


      Still runs very choppy in reverse, but I didn't expect that to change.  Probably not smooth enough for switching; but I'll keep playing - it might be my touch on the bar.

    • March 31, 2020 6:00 PM EDT
    • Thanks. That's an MG model in there now. I was concerned about heat.  I haven't fired it yet so I haven't played with the new throttle.


    • March 31, 2020 5:25 PM EDT
    • I am considering is a servo for throttle control and a pop style safety valve

      Well, the pop valves are easy - though personally I have lived with weeping Accucraft valves (very prototypical) on most of my locos and they don't seem to do any harm.

      Your new throttle is going to make things interesting for the servo. Accucraft locos are at full open when about 90-120 degrees turned, which is pretty easy to achieve with a lever and rod setup. If your new throttle valve gives you 180+ degrees to full throttle, you are going to have to try something else.  Many of my steamers have/had 1/8" chain drive for the throttle, and (in theory) you can set up the sprocket sizes so that a 90 degree servo can move the throttle 180 degrees. In practice I found that the servo struggled with the torque need that resulted from the 2:1 ratio, especially shifting the throttle from fully closed where it tended to stick. I'd look at something like the Hitec HS85MG with metal gears.

    • March 31, 2020 5:21 PM EDT
    • Thanks Pete. I did that about 12-14 years ago with a brush in my living room. It really looked great before I clear coated it which took away a lot of the dry brush effects, but from the right angle where you don't see the gloss (it was a matte clear), it looks pretty good.  While it was on the bench I wiped it down. On the cranks and rods I lost a bit of the paint from the oil.

    • March 31, 2020 12:58 PM EDT
    • Very authentic looking rust on that old loco. Nice work!

    • March 31, 2020 12:56 PM EDT
    • Jon my only point was the joysticks on the throttle, not servos or necessarily receivers.


      Glad you found a way to rekindle your interest.