Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of progress and pressure

12th February 2012

Not quite sure why I’m bothering with a posting this week. With Andrew away at his girl friend’s on Saturday, and me having to investigate a non-starting Dorman 8JT today, it has been another weekend when nothing has been done on the locos.

But there again, that is not entirely true. The long list of  “things that simply must happen” to D2128 we compiled last weekend galvanised me into spending some more time on CAD and finalising a few things.

The tandem charge pump, intended to be the furthermost belt drive off the front shaft, needs to be in place before we can complete all the hydraulic hosing, and once the reservoir tank is installed, that ought to be happening. Similarly, although Andrew reckoned that, at a pinch, we could run the loco without a radiator fan, it really ought to be there and spinning. Our bottleneck continues to be in machining, so both drives needed to be revisited maximising the simplicity of laser or similarly accurate profiles and minimising time taken on the lathe. Just for fun, here’s an extract for the resultant concoction for the charge pump drive, which bolts (for alignment before welding) to the front engine support mounting. Not all the pump is drawn, only the important parts of its front flange and shaft – the profiles for the resultant bracket should be ready this week.

charge pump drive edit

The charge pump drive arrangment

Of course, another thing it won’t work without is electrics, so let me introduce you to the front room table at Briddon Towers. Traditionally, I normally only manufacture such panels at Christmas time – at least 14 901s was done then (2008) and I can recall manufacturing one at my parents place in the 1990s which must have been Christmas time too. But here it is in February, after the first day of setting up and getting started. The black panel you have seen before when we trialled it in place on the upper half of the frame in D2128’s cab. The brown (paxolin) “connection” panel farther back will bolt to the front cab bulkhead, with the cabling doing a U bend in between. The left hand side of the connection panel is largely clear because all the cables will enter from this side (Swindon made it that way) and the main pos and neg cables from battery isolator and the alternator will terminate on the big studs to the left, while the charge and distribution fuse boxes are sited at the top. There is a further timer to mount off the connection board, but the 5 relays so far required slot into the black boxes at the lower right of the connection board. Like I have said before, I am not a wireman but a number of strategically placed tiewraps should tidy the whole show up once the rest of the wires are in place. Andrew has not yet provided me with all the bits to go in the panel (you are of course seeing the backs of the switches, indicators and meters) which does add a further complication to tidy wiring.

img 0616 edit

Electrics in progress - no comments about the wallpaper, please!

So we are gearing up towards next weekend and pushing on with as much as we can as fast as we can. Andrew tells me that even “Rail” picked up on D2128 being booked to operate at the gala in May. Nothing like piling on a bit of pressure.


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