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Thread: Train assistance

  1. #1
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    Default Train assistance

    Hope I don't get in trouble for cross-posting but thought I might have more luck in here. I have seen quite a few different motorized trains and trolleys on here. I would love to build one for 2015 but am having a hard time understanding how exactly you use the motor up to drive the wheels. Could somebody walk me through this? I find that I do better with a cookbook method instead of pictures so I am just not quite getting it. Also, the majority of them seem to have two sets of wheels- a regular set of wheels for on the track and then a set of casters that ride inside the rails, how does this work? Thanks for any and all assistance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Train assistance

    Quote Originally Posted by CJDeeds View Post
    ... understanding how exactly you use the motor up to drive the wheels.
    I think you mean "how you hook the motor up to drive the wheels" (if not, skip this answer).

    Best way to illustrate, I think, would be to say to remember your bicycle as a kid: you put your feet on pedals, which were attached to a sprocketed wheel, which in turn was attached by a chain to another sprocketed wheel, which was attached to the wheel that had the tire.

    Substitute the pedals with a motor and you then transfer the energy of the motor to a wheel via a chain (or it could be pulleys and a belt).

    Does that make sense?

    Quote Originally Posted by CJDeeds View Post
    Also, the majority of them seem to have two sets of wheels- a regular set of wheels for on the track and then a set of casters that ride inside the rails, how does this work?
    Full-sized trains and trolleys ride on rails that have a head, web and foot; the wheels have a flange, which rests on the head and reaches down the web but doesn't touch the foot. This is pretty sophisticated for a little display that must be set up and dismantled every year.

    What I've seen most Christmas displays do is to build little troughs out of metal and wood that keep the train/trolley in line; the trough is high enough that the wheels won't jump over it. When in motion, the casters hit the side of the trough and bounce to the other side. This back-and-forth bouncing is kept to a minimum by keeping the trough not much wider that the width of the two wheels on the axle.

    I believe in most setups, both the driver wheels and the leading wheels (usually casters) are inside the trough, though I could be wrong about that.

    HTH.

    \dmc

    PS: My other hobby: http://www.steamup.com/
    ________________________
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Train assistance

    Thank you, I had been looking at pictures and just wasn't wrapping my head around the connections. It makes a lot more sense now. Hopefully I'll be posting a build here in the next few months, gotta see what finances allow.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Train assistance

    Quote Originally Posted by CJDeeds View Post
    ... gotta see what finances allow.
    Some of us work solely to fund our hobbies

    \dmc
    ________________________
    The only thing more dangerous than a software engineer with a soldering iron
    or a hardware engineer with a compiler is a liberal-arts major with either.
    [b]Christmas lights:[/b] [url]http://www.PacificaLights.info/[/url]
    [b]uC/LED hacking:[/b] [url]http://www.dmcole.net/[/url]

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Train assistance

    For a simple train try using a monorail of aluminum angle screwed to a plywood base . Small rollers on the bottom of the loco and cars slide along the monorail keeping the train on track. A wheel chair motor or power wheels motor can serve as power.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Train assistance


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  9. #7
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    Default Re: Train assistance

    Walter

    Nice train, any detailed plans available?
    Cheers!
    Steve

    Learn 1 new thing everyday.

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  10. #8
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    Default Re: Train assistance

    Walter, your train was actually one of the very first ones I saw and what inspired me to want to possibly build one. Thanks for the video.

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Train assistance

    I do not have a set of detailed plans but after the Christmas holidays I can help anyone wanting to build a train similar to the one in the video. e mail me at walter@magicchristmas.org if you are interested . A train build such as this takes about a year to get it right and there are many options that work in different locations.

  12. #10
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    Default Re: Train assistance

    Trains are a great piece of the display. Last year I had to sell my display during a hard ship and people still come up to me and say we miss the train the most of all the display.
    Will have to rebuild

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