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Old 12-26-2019, 11:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The Accucraft 2 truck Climax uses a piston valve reverser, but the Westside #3 Heisler has proper Stephenson valve gear and is harder to converted to RC I have read. Most due to be very compact and harder to take apart to mount and hide servos, radio gear ect. My recomendation is to look into one of the 2 truck, 2 cylinder Shays or the 2 truck Climax. Mike
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Old 12-26-2019, 11:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by steamdriven View Post
So as I am looking at grades. Pretty much think going 1:20.3 rod colorado narrow guage not big like k-27 but more like the C-18, C-19 or mogul.
Curves planning to be 6ft radius minimum larger as transition.
Grades looking at max 1.5%. Is that reasonable for a rod locomtive with short (3-4) freight or 2 passenger cars especially if not RC.
With RC is switching posdible with live steam as above or best just let them run in a circle?
Is RC hard to add? I have sern a kit for a Ruby but wondered if adaptable to say the mogul or one of the consolidations.
I'm quite surprised no-one mentioned Jack Verducci, who runs/ran an extensive garden railroad quite prototypically using live steam - including all the switching.
Yes, you need r/c to make it work, and you need to fine-tune the loco throttles and learn how to manage the engine. I have had fun switching with a live steamer. Look into the RCS r/c throttles, which are knobs and shirt-pocket sized, yet DSM2 r/c compatible.
1/5% is easy, and small live steamers are just as powerful as the real ones. My EBT Mikado could start 11 hoppers on a 3% grade. It used lots of steam, but it was magnificent to see.

As was mentioned, it's going down hill where you need some finesse. With my C-19 I use the reversing lever (Johnson Bar) to slow/stop the loco, as a trailing throttle doesn't have a very positive (negative?) effect.

As far as fitting r/c, it take practice. I would suggest reading lots of threads here about how to do it. There's no preset easy way.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I can get pictures of that at the next steam up if you need to see them. There are high torque and even metal gear/water proof servos on the market, even in the micro size.
Mike, I'd be very interested in seeing those pictures, and I'd also like to know more about those high-torque servos! I'm currently running a two-cyl. Accu Shay with a single servo on the J-bar, and a three-cylinder manually which I'd like to convert.

TIA,

-GaryW2-
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:49 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Need my friend that does more RC related hobby stuff to chime in as he would know more on the servos. But a call to any good RC hobby shop, we have a couple in the Indianapolis area that have an awsome RC department, should answer servo questions. I am using mostly older Futaba full size servos in both my Pearse Earl and 0-4-0 Switcher. I will take plenty of pics when I do my Aster Climax. I will talk to the owner of the 2 truck Shay and see if he can bring it to the next steam up. He will be at the large Diamondhead steam up in a couple weeks. Not sure if he is taking that Shay there this year or not. On Shays or Marine engines with proper Stephenson valve gear, shifting the gear does take some balls on the servo, especially when everything is hot and not run in yet. This was also an issue on the real engines I have read in my books on them. The trick according to one hogger was the shift the gear to the other direction as the engine just came to a stop. This helped the die block slide in the expansion link vs waiting till the engine completely stopped. Use of stiff wire rods with ball and socket ends helps with flex when trying to shift valve gear. It does take some thought along with trial and error to find the right geometry when setting up servos sometimes. Mike the Aspie
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Old 12-27-2019, 11:17 AM   #15 (permalink)
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All I can say is that grade really affects our small (Even large) model steamers more then you would think.
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Old 12-27-2019, 11:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
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My mainline is a level loop, but the branchline running up to my steamup bays has a 2.5% grade. I also have a siding off the main as another place to steam up or to die for those who don't want to tackle the grade, but there is something very satisfying about the sound of a live steamer tackling the grade with a decent train in tow. I also arranged the sidings in my steamup yard based on the design of the iconic John Allen "Timesaver" switching puzzle. It's fun to switch with live steam, and running out of fuel or water adds a built-in time restriction for Timesaver operations. Having R/C helps but isn't absolutely necessary.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for the advice. Yes, I could go larger radius if I wanted a simple loop but really want to have something more. While I wish everything could be live steam I am looking at mixing in at times steam outline with battery.



Well playing around with the track software some more, I can get more or less the idea I like without theoretical grades. I know that there will always be some dips and such that will form up in the roadbed that will need to taken care of.


Alright, now looking at the shay (28t version) as it reminds me more of what was used on some Colorado lines.



Anyone had any experience with the now older Accucraft Mason Bogies? I am thinking that with the chance of the 'bogie' to swivel, 6 coupled wheelbase and blind center driver perhaps as a rod locomotive might be more forgiving on such smaller curves like 12ft diameter. The cab and tender look large enough to get some RC gear in it as well.
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Old 12-27-2019, 01:37 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I dont think the Mason Bogie will like any type of grade. The 2 cylinder Accucraft Shay, such as the MIch/Cal #2 run much better than the 3 cylinder 28 ton models. The 3 cylinder ones gobble up water and just dont seem to run as well for one reason or another. Check out the 2 cylinder that is for sale from Peter Kasian's estate collection here on MLS. You can pick up a Shay for a really Keen price. Several other models on there for sale that would be of interest to you. Rich Black has the Accucraft Mason Bogie and it is really beautiful. I know on his the cow catcher is very close to the rail head, so smooth track work would be very important.
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Old 12-27-2019, 04:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for the advice. Yes, I could go larger radius if I wanted a simple loop but really want to have something more. While I wish everything could be live steam I am looking at mixing in at times steam outline with battery.
That's what los of us do. Jerry (NaptownEng) has steam, battery and track power. His corners are 5 1/2 ft radius, about 11 ft diameter and lots of steam engines will handle that. The Bowande Russian Decapod (2-10-0) ran fine, as does my C-19 and his C-16 and USRA 0-6-0.

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Well playing around with the track software some more, I can get more or less the idea I like without theoretical grades. I know that there will always be some dips and such that will form up in the roadbed that will need to taken care of.
I think you are over-thinking this. a 1% grade is nothing. Any live steamer will handle it, and as long as it isn't going too fast over the top it will manage to come down without derailing.

Quote:
Alright, now looking at the shay (28t version) as it reminds me more of what was used on some Colorado lines.
The shays are very forgiving, especially as a first loco, and will handle almost any scenario. And they do not go fast, unlike a Ruby!

Quote:
Anyone had any experience with the now older Accucraft Mason Bogies? I am thinking that with the chance of the 'bogie' to swivel, 6 coupled wheelbase and blind center driver perhaps as a rod locomotive might be more forgiving on such smaller curves like 12ft diameter. The cab and tender look large enough to get some RC gear in it as well.
I think you will find that most Accucraft 1:20 locos will handle 4' radius curves. Even the K-36, which I can attest will run on 4' radius curves. The ones that won't are the big engines in 1/32nd scale, like the N&W J611, or the Aster Mikados.
The Mason bogie says 4' min radius, so I think you'll find it a very nice engine. I understand it is quite fiddly to make the reversing gear work by r/c, due to the rocking lever over the boiler.
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Old 12-27-2019, 05:04 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I have 2 Mason Bogies, 1 that I built before I knew that Accucraft was going to build them and an Accucraft. They both will handle 10 ft dia. curves. I have done numerous modifications which include changes to the valve train to eliminate the built in slop and get the expansion link to be in the down position when in forward. The tender contains so much electronics that I cannot use it for water and it does not have an axle pump. I added an electronic water level with a quick disconnect Goodall valve and plumbing to allow a trailing water car to be used. I added RC to the throttle and J-bar and that works well. I did adjust the cow catcher a little and grind a bit off the bottom but it is still pretty close to the rail.
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