Impact and momentum detection car...

Discussion in 'The Academy' started by shaygetz, Oct 29, 2003.

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  1. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Following on the heels of my "Free FREDs..." project, I've now found a use for those flashing circuits found in promo rubber balls and other toys. Ala John Allen, I've designed a car that tests one's ability to couple cars without damaging the goods as well as throttle up or down smoothly and in prototype fashion. It is a great device to see just how well you or a friend handle a throttle, just how smooth a runner that new lokey is or a great way to introduce someone to the hobby in a fun and different way.

    The circuit used has an advantage that John Allen's car didn't. The light circuit has a timer built into it that keeps the lights flashing for 7-15 seconds, removing any doubt as to whether it was tripped or not. It also is very sensative and unforgiving.

    Instead of using a piece of N gauge track, this uses a variation of an old pinball machine tilt mechanism, easy to adjust, rugged and using no critical measurements save sizing it for the interior of the car carrying it. An alternative mechanism for N scale cars will be provided at the end.

    Beginning with the circuit removed from it's tomb, in this case a gell filled squish ball desparately in need of retirement.

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  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Locate the fine wire spring used to trigger the flashers. Clip this and the post it surrounds.

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  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Carefully solder two wire leads, one to each point where the spring and post were. Test to make sure there is no heat damage.

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  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Three wire pieces are made, one to hang the pendulum from, one for the pendulum and the contact hoop. The pendulum is made from an old Athearn flywheel hung from a wire. The hanger needs to have a small bend on the end to keep it from rotating on the cradle and a small V in the middle to keep the pendulum centered. The hoop was made by wrapping it around the flywheel, then adjusting it to within an 1/8" around the flywheel.

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  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    A cradle is needed to hang the pendulum. Drill a small hole in the top of one of the posts to take the small bend in the hanger wire. Dimensions are not critical so long as the pendulum swings freely and it fits within the interior of the desired car. The car chosen needs to be free rolling. I used wood but scrap plastic would do just as well.

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  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Mount the hoop just above the floor and centered with the pendulum.

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  7. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    A side view...

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  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    OK guys, I can tell I've been in the hobby alot longer than most folks. Only those who've been on for 25 or more years can remember one of these things. Use to be a day when you couldn't graduate from yard goat to mainline engineer until you could make one lap around a fellow's layout with one of these without making it blink.

    Tyson, think of it as a brush stroke on the whole canvas:eek: :p ;) :D

    Now, solder the leads, one to the hanger, one to the hoop. Fasten them in place with Quick Gel glue or something similar.

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  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    From the top...

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  10. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Drill two holes in the roof of your chosen car, in my case, an old Tyco billboard reefer with rolling qualities that would put these new fangled $20 cars to shame. Other suggestions would be a cattle car or passenger car, something that implies a fragile carload. Make the holes snug as you will not be gluing the LEDs in.

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  11. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Mount the cradle, favoring one end of the car, to clear the LED assembly in the roof. Add additional weight to the other end of the car, making sure that it closely matches the weight of your pendulum. Gently press the LEDs into the holes in the roof then place the carbody on. You're now ready to bust some egos, have your's pinched a bit and add a new dementia (?) dimension to operations.

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  12. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Hook her up...carefully...to your newest high dollar creation from Athearn's Genesis line, take her outta the yard...carefully...then...

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  13. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    oops...blinkity blink, ya finds out she don't perform nearly as well as the old Penn Line you got in a box lot at some yard sale...he he he...:mad: :eek: :rolleyes: :eek: :( :D ;) :p :cool:

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  14. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    I actually have an Athearn Hustler that's been regeared and remotored that I would put up against anything in our club roster.

    Vic, my layout is the "Timesaver" with one extra turnout so that it can be used as a module in train shows. I am looking forward to seeing what this thing can do as an added twist to the puzzles. I cut my teeth on John Allen's "Gorre and Daphetid" pics all the way thru high school. The man truly was "The Wizard of Monterey".

    For N scalers, I came up with this switch using a ball bearing found in a child's shuffle bowl toy. It would fit in just about any car and is rugged and easily adjustable. It uses two lengths of wire, one bent into a 2 rail cradle, the other into upright posts. Contact made between the ball on the track and either post sets off the flashers.

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  15. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Soldering leads, one to either piece of wire, completes the switch. The only problem I foresee would be the circuit not fitting in the car easily. Unsoldering the LEDs, running flexible wires to them from the circuit, then mounting them in the roof, shouldn't be too difficult though.

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  16. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    An update...

    While an entertaining addition to ops for oldtimers like me who love to tinker with classic models and old brass, the general reaction from the young pups was ho hum. The newer drives are just too well built to really be challenged by this contraption---until---two minor modifications were made;

    1., I replaced the pendulum with one made from some brass wire soldered to a short piece of copper pipe making it less sensative to movement.

    2., I turned the light setup from holes in the car roof to holes in the car floor, casting the light onto the track instead of the open air and distracting from the looks of the car itself.

    By making the pendulum less sensative, there is a randomness to tripping the lights not available before. Instead of running it as a sensor car, it now runs as a ticking timebomb that simulates a hotbox very effectively. When the lights go off, the effect is startling, simulating a fire under the car very well. The operator now has to stop his train for 1/2 hour scale time (2 1/2 minutes on a fast clock) while the problem is addressed. This can, of course, draw the ire of other operators and the dispatcher, who now have to operate around the stopped train. It only happens once or twice during a session, but the humbling factor is just as good as any impact test was. By changing out the bodies of the car, no one is the wiser as to who drew the bad car in their train.

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  17. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Thanks, CN1...the idea itself came from an article by John Allen in the Oct. '62 MR, page 57, I just adapted it to what I had available. I just love those old MRs. That, this forum and club membership have brought out in me the fun and inginuity that I grew to love in this hobby all those years ago.
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