Thursday, December 20, 2012

Uncouple Anywhere 04

I have been working on the guts for the paper boxcars, and in doing so have been evolving the servo uncoupler.  The first version which I made for Salt Wagons 1.0 swung the coupler down.  In the boxcars, I am planning to drop the couplers straight down.  This will make things absolutely reliable when the couplers happen to be under tension.

I played with all kinds of attachment methods for the draft gear box and decided that fabricating brass draft gear was the cleanest, strongest and most reliable.  The servo horn will act directly on the vertical shaft so there is very little slack in the mechanism (I still need to add the slot to the shaft in this picture.

I made a batch of draft gear box / shafts.  These were later changed to eliminate the overhang at the back of the shaft.  The entire works slides up into the boxcar body like the bottom half of a hat box.  A couple tabs projecting from the floor hit the pockets on the side of the body, and the mounts inside support the ridge beam of the box car.  Together, the assembly is very solid.  I kept the middle of the boxcar clear in case I want to do a ventilated box or open door.

Doing this has made me re-think the salt wagons.  I have some small servos, even some linear servos.  If I play my cards right I see no reason that Salt Wagon 2.0 could not have a straight drop.  I also see that I could put the works in the roof of a stock car.  I am going to get these boxes worked through before designing anything else.  I learned so much from the salt wagon mechanism. . . I'm sure the same will be true for these.

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