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  • Topic: Should I build a rail sweeper or buy one?

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    • February 12, 2018 4:45 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Ah, that's why I run the higher voltage and move the brush down, it will throw stuff quite a ways down the track, although parallel tracks need a couple of passes.

       

      The higher speed, and lower brush position gives this velocity. Also, the simple fact that the stuff moved never goes perfectly straight, throw it further and you have a better chance of getting it off the tracks.

       

      After actually experimenting and observing, I'm pretty sure that's why it works so well. It will move big pieces of ballast, I use stuff that is just about the diameter of the tie spacing!

       

      Do you have the model pictured? The manufacturer calls it the "rail broom" but there were a few clones made too...

       

      Greg

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at February 13, 2018 11:04 AM EST
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    • February 14, 2018 8:35 AM EST
      • Chelmsford, MA
         
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      We have the rail broom and love it. Got it on MyLargeScale years ago. We use it to clear sticks and ballast from the track in our tunnels.  We have some rather long tunnels and using the railbroom before each operating session prevents derailments which is a good thing.

       

      After years of use the brush needs replacement.  Does anyone have the email address for Bill (the person who builds these?  His direct email address is on the invoice but I threw this out years ago.

       

      Because these are all built individually, you apparently have to send the brush back for replacement.

       

      I was wondering if anyone had replaced the brush themselves and if so what brush did they use?

       

      Thanks

       

      Stan

       

    • February 14, 2018 9:14 AM EST
      • Burbank, CA
         
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      For curiosity sake, I just checked eBay for the Rail Broom Kits. $85 and three left as of five minutes ago.

      This post was edited by Gary Armitstead at February 14, 2018 9:16 AM EST
    • February 14, 2018 11:18 AM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      The person's contact and information on the Rail Broom has been on my site for years:

      https://elmassian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=176:sweeper-car&catid=15:rolling-stock&Itemid=211

      dorbill93@comcast.net

       

       

      ____________________________________

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    • February 14, 2018 2:26 PM EST
      • Chelmsford, MA
         
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      Greg

       

      Thanks. Bill changed his address from comcast to Gmail.  Its correct on you site in one place and incorrect later in the page.

       

      Apparently Bill will also make one with a 1" longer brush which will be the one I order as a second unit.  

       

      Anyone find a suitable brush replacement for older ones that have worn out?

       

      Stan

    • February 14, 2018 2:33 PM EST
      • Cape Cod,
         
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      Stan.

      My invoice has Bills email as  dorbill93@gmail.com

       

      In the directions he has another Email for getting belt replacements but I don't see anything about getting a brush replacement.  This email is lastof9th@gmail.com

       

      Todd

       

       

    • February 14, 2018 2:58 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Thanks guys, I updated the website, but only fixed part... his original email was dorbill@comcast.net, and then dorbill93@gmail.com, I had both on my page, and updated the old one to dorbill93 but left the comcast on it... argh! This is what happens when you do something quickly.

       

      Brush replacements I believe depend on the bearings, and I think he needs a measurement from your original unit. I know he is on vacation during these months, so he has some stock with him, but not the means to make the replacement brushes.

       

      So, I'd wait until May and contact him then. I think the replacement brushes are just a bit under $30 each, and I believe they come with the bearings. (that other email address is his temporary one for his vacation time I think, keep using the dorbill93 email)

       

      Regards, Greg

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at February 14, 2018 3:00 PM EST
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    • February 15, 2018 6:35 PM EST
      • Cape Cod,
         
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      I contacted Don at RCS for NiMH battery choices. i have a charger for the NiMH.  He has a 12 volt that is good for about 45 minutes at $36 and a 14.4 volt that will go for 2 hours at $39.  Will the 14.4 be too much power for this little motor? Does anyone know how much current this draws?  Don asked.   

      Here is the track cleaning car that I am working on.  It is built on top of a Centerline Products track cleaner car.  The tank has a valve in it that will drip cleaning solution through a bar and onto the paint roller.   The rail broom is attached to the front.  I'm thinking about making a shield to cover the motor to help disguise it.  The roof on the cab comes off and the battery will go inside next to the driver and the on/off switch will be mounted on the rear of the cab.

       

    • February 15, 2018 6:50 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      I measured mine once and I thought it was about an amp, but I would recommend the 14.4 volt voltage... as I wrote earlier I'm sure that voltage will be ok.

       

      Wonder how he can estimate the run time without current draw?

       

      Might want to read my February 10 post.

       

      Greg

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at February 15, 2018 6:54 PM EST
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    • February 15, 2018 7:15 PM EST
      • Cape Cod,
         
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       I read all your posts Greg because I consider you an electronics guru and I appreciate your input and that is why I think the 14.4 volts will be good balance between the recommended 6-9 and your experience with 18 v. 

    • February 15, 2018 9:41 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Yep, but you mention my experience with 18v, and my experience is 20v as I posted.  Thus I was a bit confused when you quoted my experience with 18v.

       

      Actually I found out recently (during this thread) that I have been running mine at 20v with no damage, I was very surprised, I have a power resistor dropping the voltage, but my calculations were based on trying to run it with a 1 amp regulator, so I miscalculated somewhere, I was intending to run at a lower voltage.

       

      I should do more measurements, and as I just got more units, perhaps I can measure current at different voltages which would be more helpful.

       

      I'm also going to contact the manufacturer and relate my experience and also inquire about how the motor voltage recommendation came about.

       

      What amp-hour capacity are you going for? Remember this motor seems to be relatively high current, so I would be concerned with AA cells that do not have a high discharge rating.

       

      Regards, Greg

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at February 16, 2018 8:56 AM EST
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    • February 16, 2018 8:15 AM EST
      • Hendersonville, North Carolina
         
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      Todd,

       

      Although I'm using one of Reindeer Pass's sanding cleaners, I thought I'd mention and show the device I use to control the speed of my sweeper.

       

      I'm using a 14.8 v battery that provides my power.  The little white rectangle sitting on top of the black weight is the speed controller that I'm using.  The handheld white control unit allows me to turn the controller on or off and control the speed.  It's actually one of those LED lighting controllers.  The range sucks but at least handles the current and voltage.  You can find them on Ebay and typically run in the $6 to $8 range.

       

      Doc

    • February 16, 2018 8:56 AM EST
      • Cape Cod,
         
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      I guess this is what stuck in my mind from your post on the 10th Greg   "I'd run at 16-18v myself, definitely 6-9 is too low... "   

      I agree that 6-9v is too low and 16-18v would be best while a compromise would be the 14v.

       

      I like that idea Don and I just might have to add one of those to this contraption.   I should have made the cab a bit bigger! 

       

       

       

       

    • February 16, 2018 10:27 AM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Yeah, that is a good idea, a nice remote variable speed control for a low cost.

       

      I do still wonder what amp hour pack you will use, the motor might overwhelm a AA nimih pack.

       

      Doc, what is the amp-hour rating on your pack?

       

      Greg

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at February 16, 2018 10:27 AM EST
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    • February 16, 2018 1:26 PM EST
      • Hendersonville, North Carolina
         
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      Greg,  it's a 2600 mAh pack. I have about 300 ft. of track and it takes about 15 min to clean the track thoroughly. I can make 4 or 5 runs before recharging. I run sweeper motor at about half speed. 

       

      Don

    • February 16, 2018 2:39 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      That sounds like a balanced setup... I do run full blast because of the size of my ballast, and large stuff like parts of palm fronds fall on the track.... it will even give the errant weed that get near the ROW a hard time!

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


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    • February 16, 2018 9:46 PM EST
      • Sacramento, California
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      I should do more measurements, and as I just got more units, perhaps I can measure current at different voltages which would be more helpful

       

      Greg,

      The height of the brush will make a difference as to how much load is on the motor also. if the motor is free running without the belt on it will pull less amps. With the belt on = more load = more amps. Lower brush, pushing more stuff= more work= more amps.

      Add this to your different voltages to really confuse things.

       

      Just a thought

       

      Adam

    • February 16, 2018 11:34 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Yep, most people trying to measure the current will have it with the belt on but pretty much a no load situation.

       

      In any case, the motor draws a fair bit.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


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    • February 17, 2018 10:37 AM EST
      • Cumming, GA
         
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      I use a 12 volt rechargeable battery that i bought from battery plus and runs the sweeper motor at a very fast pace.  I might charge the battery every 3 months.  It is a good size battery and fits inside  the Bober caboose . Later RJD

      This post was edited by R.J. DeBerg at February 17, 2018 10:51 AM EST
    • February 17, 2018 2:35 PM EST
      • Chariton, Iowa
         
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      I have one of the Rail Clean units that I run on a 18V. tool battery, direct hook up, no speed control. It'll blow stuff EVERYWHERE, including all over the engine it's being pushed by. At least one idler car in between helps with that, though.

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