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Old 08-12-2020, 06:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Drag/Inertia Car

This little beast turned up today, from Peter K's estate. It's essentially a flywheel car that makes a live steam loco work harder to accelerate or slow down, thus simulating the interia of a real train.





Those look like solid steel flywheels and the ends of the 'box' are solid cast iron. The thing weighs a ton - intentionally to make sure the wheels grip and it doesn't just get dragged. One flywheel was disconnected (the gear was moved on the shaft so it didn't get driven.) That may be a way of making it work with only 1/2 the inertia!

I have no idea who made it but it is a nice job. I will be taking it to Jerry's SC&M to see if (a) his track can handle the weight and (b) whether it works. I have a little english train of Thomas stuff with a 'Countess' to pull it. If it works, I'll have to find a Thomas box van to hide the internals.
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Old 08-12-2020, 06:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That looks like a good design. It should certainly cut down on the throttle tweaking to adjust the rate of accel/deceleration.
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Old 08-13-2020, 09:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I had something like this about 1/2 way done inside of a Bachmann two axle car when other projects took priority. I got to thinking that I would like a way to increase the drag as the speed increased. With the flywheels, once they are up to speed, they don't apply much resistance to keep them spinning.

I was thinking about some type of fan that pushes against air or possibly fluid (like a torque converter in a car). Or possibly a generator that spins against a bank of resistors like a dynamic braking scenario, like Dave Hottman's load testing setup.

Will I ever get back to that project? Guess I better finish my heavy Mikado, for some reason the timing is kicking my a$$. Timed light Mikados, S2, Challenger, FEF, Hudson, K4, among others....... Why is this one being a little b(it hard)?
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Old 08-13-2020, 09:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
some type of fan that pushes against air
In prior discussions I have heard that a fan is the way to go if you want to limit the speed. Something to do with aerodynamics and non-linear resistance?

This inertia simulator isn't designed to control top speed. If you reduce throttle once the train is moving, it will help the train continue to roll, as if it were big and heavy.
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Old 08-13-2020, 11:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Interesting!
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Old 08-13-2020, 01:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Inertia mechanism can add a surprising degree of realism to live steamers. Here is a short video of an inertia equipped loco. Best wishes from Indoors, Zubi
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Here is a short video of an inertia equipped loco.
I assume that's a Slo-Mo from our friends down under?
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have one of those inertia cars as well. The guts were made by Ernie Noa. One change I made was the belt.
I cut the width to about a third of what yours is. This reduced the power needed to get and keep it rolling.
Bob Paule, Kevin O'Conner and Larry Bangham made 3 inertia cars before Erinie. They were more complex with higher speed gear driven flywheels with ball bearings everywhere. Kevin used to pull his with his Aster Big Boy.
It was calculated to simulate a 50 box car load.
Bill Payne also made a few inertia cars using music box gears. Bill has one for his Aster Lion.
Ernie used to pull his inertia car with several different engines. He got some great stack talk (bark) from his Aster SNCF 140-C-302.

Last edited by bonzo1953; 08-14-2020 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Pete, on that loco there is a self-made contraptioon (thus not the Slo-Mo) https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/in...omment-2764329 But the principle of operation of these devices is all the same. Best wishes from Indoors, Zubi
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zubi View Post
Inertia mechanism can add a surprising degree of realism to live steamers. Here is a short video of an inertia equipped loco.
I guess it all depends on whether you consider "realism" includes having a steam loco sound like an electric street car. 00:52 refers.
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