Rotary unloader

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tirebiter

New Member
I am in the process of completing this dumper. The deck and some detail is all that is left. A microcontroller is being developed to animate the loader based on a prototypical video. This will have sound. I am going to produce this in the near future and am curious as to what the market will bare. This will also be determined by the response. Let me know if you want to see pictures of a particular component. I am making these in 3-bay and bathtub gon sizes.
Steve Paul
 
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Looks Great! There are plenty of hoppers out there that could utilize this. Also BLMA is bringing out the TopGon's which will add even more!

I'm not sure whats out there in the market for a rotary dumper now but I'm sure for the right price you will have a great product there.

Keep us up to date!
 

kjd

Go make something!
I found these photos on another site awhile ago and was wondering what ever happened with the project. Building things that animate is my favorite part of the hobby and it is always fun to see what others are doing along the same vein. As far as marketability, there seems to be a demand for rotary dumpers and rotary couplers. I have heard the old Walthers kit fetches up to $80 or more on Ebay. With your CNC cut ends, bearings all around and quality that seems to be shown, yours will be severl times that amount. The high price and lack of rotary couplers will no doubt hamper sales but some will sell for sure.

I built up one of the Walthers ones to animate but it has never been incorporated into a layout. People seem to be impressed when I show it operate though. Knowing the limited durability of the plastic parts inspired me to cut new ends from aluminum but they are not as nice as the ones you have done. There are photos on my website in my signature.

I have a couple questions though, how do you keep the dumper centered on the rollers? How does the clamp system work? Is your prototype a Heyl-Patterson?
 
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Hawkeye251

Member
Oh but there are rotary couplers available: http://www.sergentengineering.com/ click on "Products" and "Rotary" you'll have to use Sergents for the non-rotating end on all cars in a unit train, but since those don't really need to be coupled to other types of cars, it's not like you'd have to upgrade everything.

- Chris
 

bnsfjason

Maintenance in the way
I got nearly 100 bathgons and RD4's, I wanna add those couplers to the rotary end on all cars.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
You can use the Gatzl dummy couplers with the Rotary's.

I'd say try a small run, I bet you'll sell some!
 

tirebiter

New Member
Couplers

Here is a pic of the modified Glatzl rotary coupler next to the stock Glatzl coupler. The cars are Bowser 3-bay and the mods to the coupler mount are shown. The coupler is installed in the car on the right. The Sergent coupler is in the foreground. The new coupler is attached with a little CA and the truck screw.

You are right kjd,
The 1st picture shows a drawing that is of a Heyl-Patterson version next to the jig I use to hold the piece during machining. There is a picture of the Heyl-Patterson wheel done last week next to an HO version of an O scale Harry Robert’s unloader. The picture dump2_a.jpg shows the flanged ball bearings in the trunions that contain the unloader during rotation. The hold down system is made out of 7075 aluminum for the strength and lightness. The springs need only to be strong enough to hold the empty car on the track when it is upside down. As the dumper rotates back to the start the hold down bracket contacts an angled plate to raise the hold down bars off the car sides. The angle plate will be soldered onto a piece of brass H beam (not made yet) that will be fastened to the aluminum base. The whole mechanism will be guided by a brass H beam that will be soldered to the top of the lean board. You are right about function and the hobby. It all started when I added a switch to my oval layout back in 1964.
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
I think it the most complex project I’ve seen since joining the forum. I love these types of project. You’re doing a great job.

NYC_George
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
With all the work you have in that dumper I figure you would have to sell them for about $4 or 5 hundred bucks ea. That takes a lot of patience to mfg. an item w/that kind of workmanship.
I use to work in R&D for a bus company years ago that built custom motor coaches. My dept. was setup for making things like that & I took great care in what I did. The items that I made were quite costly although I didn't get into the detail you are doing w/the dumper. Anyway, it's a beautiful piece of equipment & I congratulate you for your work.

Larry
 

tirebiter

New Member
Materials

Most of the loader is made out of brass. Aluminum is used for the base since this will be out of site. The hold down mechanism is made out of aluminum for strength and lightness. Most of the fasteners are stainless as are the ball bearings, springs and shafts. The brass wheels are the most time consuming at 50 minutes per side on the CNC machining center. The picture shows the latest wheel being cut. The first pass was with a 1/8" end mill and the picture shows the finish cut with a 1/16" end mill.
Steve
 

kjd

Go make something!
I want one to go with the loadouts I made.

Glatzl couplers are from Sergent.
 

quadk

Pilar Valley Railway
Tirebiter.....These look fantastic with a lot of skilled work. I have one of these from Walthers and I am not real impressed with it. I've tried to animate it several times with no real luck. With it made all out of plastic things just don't want to turn like they are supposed to. Lots of binding of plastic.
I use mine for the big sawdust gons, do you make anything like this for the bigger cars? If you do could you please PM me with a price. I would also like a price of one of these for coal cars also. I have a big power plant that I am doing also and might incorporate one of these into that also.
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
Steve, have you came up w/a Guesstament price yet. W/all the work you have in that dumper, I figure it at $295.00 ea or there abouts. How close am I?
 

tirebiter

New Member
Cost?

This project is on hold until I complete a new building. I still have several things to complete before I can give a final price. I expect it to be around $2000 with a warranty period. I want to be able to cycle an assembly 500 times and see what wears. I still need to sell 20 of these to come close to paying for the project. I acquired the needed components to store and play a 50 second MP3 sound file. I have a friend working on the PIC microcontroller and C+ programming to control the animation. I will post more info as I make more progress.

Sorry Larry. If you knew how expensive the tooling and support machinery were, you would better understand the expense of a project of this size. When I first started this project I assumed it would take 6 months. I have been on this for 2 years.

Please send pictures of possible projects to copy. A lot of the parts can be shared with other designs and time to completion would be sooner.

The picture is of the the full size dumper this will be modeled after.

Thanks,
Steve
 




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