Is there a market for US TT?

Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby TinGoat » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:32 pm

Bernd,

I know belts and pulleys are quiet and efficient but the addition of ball bearings adds to the complexity and expense.

For something that could be quick and inexpesive for a cottage industry to assemble it would be better to stick with gears for the basic version save pulleys for a deluxe version.

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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby Bernd » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:24 pm

TinGoat wrote:Bernd,

I know belts and pulleys are quiet and efficient but the addition of ball bearings adds to the complexity and expense.


No more complex than installing a friction bearing. A customer will always remember a jerky running engine, but a smooth running engine will bring him/her back to buy more. Bearings can be had for as little as $2 a bearing. See if you can find the proper diameter friction bearing without having them custom made.

https://www.vxb.com/Slot-Car-Ball-Bearings-s/245.htm?searching=Y&sort=13&cat=245&show=15&page=2

For something that could be quick and inexpesive for a cottage industry to assemble it would be better to stick with gears for the basic version save pulleys for a deluxe version.


The GP38 chassis with the combination belt/geartower drive would give the proper top speed easier than trying to find the proper set of gears. Just my take on it. Also I can make my own pulleys easier than I can make the proper gears or have them custome made.

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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby krokodil » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:34 am

pic 12.jpg
Saw mill
pic 02.jpg
Climax
Bernd

In the early days ( late 70-ies), I was thinking very similar as you. why not to make a simple belt drive instead of not available gears. My first 2-3 models were belt driven. Unfortunately never delivered the required satisfaction.
I do not say that it does not work, I just say that is not optimal for our purposes.

There are few points what is very difficult to design in advance
1. you never know exactly what tension is needed for the drive. You can get heavier or lighter belts. Completely different performace on the same mechanizm.
2. the round cross-section belt has a different performance as the flat belt, what is easier to make in a cottage industry.
3. the belt running on the pulley has bigger friction as the same transmission with gears. For example in our sizes the belt drive will eat up completely the effect of the small fly wheel on the motor axle. I had exactly the same drive as on your picture, the small pulley was a part of flywheel on the motor. Absolutely no effect for the performace!!! When I replaced on the same mechanizm the belt drive with gears the truck got a 5 cm runout. What a difference!
4. It is very difficult to calculate the optimal tension for this miniature drives. If the tension is high, the belt will create to much losses, if the tension is small, the belt will slip. What will you do when you discover such problem on your final drive chain. Will you search for a new belt with 1-2 mm difference in the length? Good luck!
5. Rivarossi, and some others used in the past even timing belts (with cogs) those models also failed. Roco had a round crosssection belt drive in its crocodile. The loco run quite, but the running performace was very bad, and a belt replacement was a nightmare. Why you do not want to learn from other's experiences? On the pictures everything is perfect. Today to get any gears is not an issue at all. In worst case you can make them on 3D printer. For model locomotives you generally need 4-5 different gears, in many cases 3 types are enough. ( for any kind of locomotive or railcar). The belt can replace just 2 of them! If you really have serious plan I can help you to get any gears ( just for your requirements).
6. On this Climax I experimented 1 year with different friction drives ( belt etc). ( maybe you know, that there is one very special gear, what is generally not available, was used only in this construction.). Today the locomotive runs quite well without any belts and friction gears. The lesson was just to rotate the axle on the steam gear, almost independently from the trucks.
7. On that sawmill I have 3 belt transmissions. The belts are from watch sealings, cross diameter about .8 mm overall diameter is 20-40 mm.

Finally I do not want to convince you, it is your job and decision. My comments are just inputs for your decision from my 40 years modelbuilder history.
Greetings from Austria
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby TiTan downunder » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:01 am

Whilst, I have spent a considerable amount of money trying to bring a few items to the US TT market I have deliberately stayed out of this conversation, noting that it has gone all over the place.

I will give one piece of info for those looking at doing a drive chassis - stay away from belt drives.

I bought a Hollywood Foundry drive for one of my GP38's and it gave an unexpected problem. On the long hood end the belt rubs on the inside of the body casting. It took a while to figure out why the loco was slipping on curves and it wasn't until I took the body off I found the cause with the rubber marks on the inside of the shell. On the cab end with the wider clearances it is no problem. A geared drive would have had more clearance and not be a problem.

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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby Bernd » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:30 am

Well Gentlemen I leave you to your designs. I'm off on my own. Good luck on a committee designed drive.

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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby TinGoat » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:12 am

Bernd wrote:Well Gentlemen I leave you to your designs. I'm off on my own. Good luck on a committee designed drive.

Bernd


As the old expression goes...

When everything is said and done: There's usually a lot more said than done.

Nothing ever gets done by committee.

My advice:

Everyone needs to stop waiting for someone else to step up and build 'it'.
Get busy and build 'it' for yourself.
If 'it' works, build another and sell it to your brother.
If that was profitable (Or at least you break even) make a couple more. And so on...
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby krokodil » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:35 am

big601b.jpg
Articulated


Many of us went on the same road. We studied the few available commercial solutions and developed our own mechanism......
On the picture the biggest European articulated in comparison with BigBoy. For the European engine there were no commercial parts available,
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:09 pm

TinGoat wrote:Everyone needs to stop waiting for someone else to step up and build 'it'.
Get busy and build 'it' for yourself.
If 'it' works, build another and sell it to your brother.
If that was profitable (Or at least you break even) make a couple more. And so on...


That.


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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby RodTT » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:40 pm

TinGoat wrote:
Bernd wrote:Well Gentlemen I leave you to your designs. I'm off on my own. Good luck on a committee designed drive.

Bernd


As the old expression goes...

When everything is said and done: There's usually a lot more said than done.

Nothing ever gets done by committee.

My advice:

Everyone needs to stop waiting for someone else to step up and build 'it'.
Get busy and build 'it' for yourself.
If 'it' works, build another and sell it to your brother.
If that was profitable (Or at least you break even) make a couple more. And so on...


That's all very well for those who are that way inclined. But what if you are the brother wanting to buy 'it' when it's finished?
Not everyone wants to do it the hard way, though I admit it's looking as if that's the only option with American TT locos for the foreseeable future.

But can anyone explain the recent rise of AZL and suchlike with American Z scale? Not a month goes by without at least one new product appearing. They obviously hit a sweet spot that just isn't there with TT, and it's not cheap.
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby railtwister » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:09 pm

Z scale was fortunate enough to have a couple of manufacturers willing to put up some of the investment $ to get started.

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