I have several Lionel Gantry Cranes that I will use in a "dock" area. The will ride on the Gargraves special track - Bumper on each end. Toyed with making them motive as I have seen shown on the forum but decided to postpone that for a later date.
The controllers and track placement don't work well together. I was planning to cut the control wire, extend it, hidden, to a location where the controller boxes will be located. Makes it more fun to use and useable. Is this workable, electronically? Cutting the wires blasphemy and ruining the value of the cranes dramaticaly?
The connectors on the newer models are Molex Micro Fit. I made an extension cable using male and female housings and pins crimped to ribbon wire. The attached cable was tucked under the platform and the extension cable run through a slot in the table and glued to one leg using non drying Scenic cement. This is on a portable module where the crane is taken on and off.
Norton: I've looked this up and it might be a good choice. I was hoping to get one complete with the pins/wire. But looks like any port in a storm. I will most likely add this connector to all of the cranes, which if I do resell, will become an added feature/benefit.
I have rebuilt all of my gear boxes also.
And once that grease turns hard and freezes, I have noticed that most people lather on the oil/ grease on all the exposed areas, melt/ fry the belt and then sell them.
I can open and clean and rebuild in about five minutes. Except for that hard Grease on the worm gear. I spray it with Wd-40. Wait about ten minutes and use a dental pick and a used tooth brush.
Thanks DK and Fred. Good info and I'm going thru what I will do.
as to TMCC, well, adding another - in my case a bunch - of TMCC accessories with all of the otherLegacy/TMCC data/comm issues that this will hive me, LEVERS, more fun as DK has described. Pretty much where my layout is headed.
FYI. I'll call moles to see if the have ribbon cables, pre assembled to work with my IM cranes.
I assume the Crane Commander goes in the control box for power? It may be more responsive as the commands would go directly to the board. With the ARC/TMCC crane the commands go to the Command base and then relayed to the control box via the serial line.
I doubt adding a connector is going to be perceived as a value added benefit by buyers.
Well, I should've explained better that, if you're going to feed the wire down through a slim crack in the table top, not much wider than the flat cable itself, so that the gantry can travel along its track without the cable being draped across the table top/edge, then an in-line mini/micro connector sure beats disassembly and unsoldering/resoldering if you have to remove the accessory from the table.
But, hey, whatever floats the boat. It sure made it a lot easier for me to deal with the bound up gear boxes after the original installation!
I think the Crane Commander only needs two Wires for power. I'm not sure but it may eliminate the controller.
I guess you could even put roller pickups on the feet.
I am pondering how to get another Dc can up under the tower with an extended shaft and friction drive. So it will move like a loco.
Consider that most prototype cranes had the vertical supports connected. The motors were visible at wheel height. My first attempt at moving the crane involved magnets. I had changed the die cast wheels to sintered steel hoping rare earth magnets under the wheels would move it. That didn't work very well so I made a structure to bridge the supports and put additional magnets in the bridge. That did work but the movement was not smooth. Here is that version. You could put small motors on the bridge with gear drive. Maybe wheels off an HO engine with gears would work.
Can not post the picture from my phone but the building behind the cranes is where I have worked since 1984.
The little one is very similar to the Lionel
They dismantled a third awhile ago.
In the twenties there was a huge steam version.
Google Boston dry dock cranes. They also have nice period prototypes near the USS Constitution.