Working HO Scale Rotary Dumper

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by martyuk, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Scale railroading = scale TIME!

    Too many people in too much of a hurry means it isn't a hobby - it's an obsession.
  2. martyuk

    martyuk New Member

    I agree. I don't have a large layout, so running trains at full tilt is no fun a) they'd probably de-rail on the curves... One of my two Athearn locomotives (I've got SD-70/SD75's) is terrible at de-railing on every corner... (yet the Kato locomotive I've got is fine). I've modified the trucks a bit on it to give the axles a bit more movement for the corners... and graded a lot of the corners to give a bit of tilt, which helps, but it still derails frequently. I think I need new wheelsets for it, as there seems to be very little flange on some of them.

    The DCC system I've bought is a Bachmann Dynamis set - which I spent most of the day tinkering with yesterday, as I previously had a very basic Hornby Select controller, which is fine for just running a few trains, but you can't program CV's with it. So I now also have the better of the two Athearn loco's fitted with ditch lights that flash when one of the function keys is pressed, and I have managed to scale back the max speed on it so it will run happily in consist with my Kato unit, which runs slower to start with.. Hence, I haven't got much more on the dumper... but I did get a movie of the dumper in action, with a live load - as part of a train... which I've posted on youtube.

    I've got a couple of issues with the rotary couplers rotating, and then not rotating back fully - so going to have a look at that today.

  3. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    you say obsession like it was a bad thing! I'm obsessive about slow trains. It comes from being observed by my Dad while I ran my shays when I was a teenager. Dad would say "Slow it down, I can walk along side a shay with a log train, and keep up!

  4. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Your opinion, not mine.
  5. martyuk

    martyuk New Member

    Mmmm, I think obsession could go either way. But I'm not going to get into it - I think as long as we are all happy modelling the way we do, then there's no real problem.

    I've seen videos of people who zoom locomotives around tracks at full speed and then deliberately crash them into other trains, or inanimate objects - and I think 'what a waste of money, and a nice locomotive' but hey - it's up to them what they do. Me, I'm just happy being able to run a couple of trains around, and hopefully have a properly working Rotary Dumper!!!

    Now if I can only get the damn thing painted, then I'll be happier!! I tried the first coat with an airbrush today, but the paint was too thin (airbrush instructions said that the paint had to have a milky kind of texture)... but of course after I tried it on cardboard as a test, it was too runny for the plastic. So I've ended up brush painting the excess from the airbrushing, so as not to waste the paint, and I'll try a second coat tomorrow, but with a thicker paint mix. I also brush painted the dumper tray today, but in black, like a coal pit. I decided not to airbrush it, as there's moving parts, and microswitches for limits in there, so went with the more hands on option. Pictures will come, once I can post links!

  6. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

  7. martyuk

    martyuk New Member

    Hi Bill!

    Happy New year to you! sorry it's been a while since I've posted anything. I have a whole bunch of pictures which I need to sort out, and will host them online, and in a couple of posts time, when I reach the magic 15 number, I'll post the link to the pics.

    The current update is that the dumper is now painted. In industrial yellow, but with kind of a gunmetal grey across the horizontal struts, and the trackbed. I think it looks pretty good, but I don't yet have a video of it in action with the paint scheme. I've also got the loadout conveyor mounted and working - and I am re-designing the coal loading system to make it more efficient. I think the next chance I'll have to do any work on the railway will be next weekend - but will try and get a video of the dumper + conveyor working - now it's all painted up!

    Thanks for your continued interest!

  8. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hey Marty,

    Your coal dumper works very good!!! I am impressed. Those rotary couplers work nice too. I saw no movement in the adjacent cars as the hopper was rotated and dumped. More coal for more electricity in rapid time.......helps keep our computers glowing.
    Doc Tom
  9. martyuk

    martyuk New Member

    Hi Doc,

    Cheers for the feedback! I think you all will enjoy seeing it working, now it's painted. looks a lot more realistic (if you imagine that the bare MDF it's mounted on actually had some scenery to back it up!)

    The rotary couplers are good! I've had a few issues with them though - mainly when the car rotates, it jams, and doesn't rotate back, so the cars come undone. I've fixed it mostly - I'd originally only swapped out the rotary ends, for the rotary Kadee's that Pmack made for me, but I'd left the other non-rotary end as the Walthers couplers that came with the hoppers. On closer inspection I've found that these couplers are smaller than the Kadee's, and when the hopper gets rotated the static coupler isn't big enough to keep hold of the rotary, so they part company. I've since replaced all the static end couplers with Kadee No.5's too, and that seems to have solved the vast majority of the rotary issues!!

    I'll let you all know when I've got a new video up, showing the painted dumper, and hopefully (fingers crossed) with the loadout conveyor working - so you can see the dumped coal being taken away!

    Happy Railroading!!!

  10. martyuk

    martyuk New Member

    Thanks Hart!

    I'll Hopefully have a video up in the next couple of days of it going - and all painted... with the loadout conveyor working...

    Was hoping to get one done on the weekend - but had a couple of conveyor issues - with the driveshaft needing replacing etc. That's done now, but didn't have enough time to get a video taken... Watch this space though.

  11. martyuk

    martyuk New Member

  12. S class

    S class Member

    wow, all I can say is wow
  13. ekuth

    ekuth Active Member

    Very nice! Stunning work.
  14. Elliott

    Elliott Senior Member

    I'll see your "wow's" and raise you an "excellent"...
  15. martyuk

    martyuk New Member

    New Video out...

    Thanks for all the kind words guys.

    Just for your information - I've finally got around to putting up the new video. Shows the now painted dumper working with a 4 car train of coal hoppers, dumping them all, and the loadout conveyor removing the coal away to the hopper. The video can be found here:

    Since filming the video, the motor on the conveyor - which is mini robotics motor, with a 360:1 gearbox - has packed up - one of the gears has stripped a tooth... So I'm now awaiting a new motor.. bigger, and more powerful - with a 810:1 gearbox :thumb:

    I will also be putting up a new video soon, of the new and improved coal mine - as I found the old loading system was inefficient, and took ages to load the hoppers... But I'm just waiting on a point motor to arrive, so I can finish shuffling the track around - and make it so the train can be re-loaded.

  16. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Very nice Martin, glad to see you finally got your 15 posts! I also like your color choices. Good job!
  17. Elliott

    Elliott Senior Member

    Nicely done Martin! Been looking forward to seeing your rotary dumper in operation and I wasn't disappointed. Being an armchair model railroader I do have a question. How do the hopper wheels clear the rails? Is the track part of the dumper, rotating with it?
  18. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Good work Martin!, I can't wait to see a railroad get built up around around it. That is a very interesting focal point.

    Bill Nelson
  19. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    It works! :mrgreen::thumb:
  20. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member


    810:1 That my friend is some serious mechanical advantage! Thank you for sharing. I can't wait to see this project shape up. Thanks for doing your part to keep the logging , minning, and industrial section three notches above the rest.

    Bill Nelson

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