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And with that compliment, here are some more details...

 

I finished the suppressor stacks and they're ready to be installed once the painting's done. I glued on the bushing bases for the secondary side and added two more conduit runs: radiator fan wiring and radiator temperature sensing.

 

Firstly, I did air brush the sky gray on the primary and suppressor insulators. I always force dry Tamiya and other water-based paints using a heat gun. I start it hot and then immediately click it on cool to keep it from melting the part I'm attempting to dry. The tool I use is a Top Flite  heat gun for applying mylar aircraft skins.

 

When they were dry I assembled the stack using a couple of V-blocks clamped to an angle block so the stack would be comparatively straight. I use CA between each part. Remember, they're all held together with the 1/16" brass rod.

 

Lightning Suppressors 06

 

The only problem using the light gray is that you can now see clearly that the "insulators" are not finned all the way around. But since they're so convincing from the viewing distance they're going to eventually lie, I'm okay with it. I would have had to machine them from scratch to make them and that would have been very difficult. I tried it on a test piece and was not happy with the results. In looking at these pictures I'm realizing that I've yet to build the corona rings. They're going to be challenging, but are so cool to look at that I'm willing to give it a whirl. I can't be any more difficult than building the hand-made masts and yards for the Battleship Missouri project that I did two years ago.

 

Lightning Suppressors 07

 

When these were finished, I created the radiator fan wiring conduits using the same scheme as I did with the current transformer conduits; i.e., making junction boxes and CA'ing the brass into them.

 

Details 04

 

I didn't permanently glue this conduit into place. I will after the radiators are installed (which they are not yet).

 

I then formed a conduit that would go behind the radiators to serve as a connector to radiator temperature sensors.

 

Details 05

 

This conduit is permanently glued since it just lies against the radiators.

 

I realized that the secondary bushings were not yet installed so I made the bases out of some 1/4" sq. styrene, cut with a saw and miter box and then trued up on the Tru-Sander. The centers are the same as the primary bushings.

 

Secondary Bushing 1

 

I'm going to use the same plastic Christmas tree fasteners for the secondaries as I used for the High Voltage transmission towers. For these I'm turned some nice, domed caps for them. I don't think they have current transformer bases, but I'll check my resources. If they do, I'll turn them too. It there are current transformers on them, I have to add more conduit for their sensor leads.

 

I have a very cute little spherical turning attachment for my Taig lathe that I used to make these perfectly domed shapes.

 

Secondary Bushing 2

 

Tomorrow's the weekend and I usually don't do any shop work then. And next week is preparation for my #1 grandson' Bar Mitzvah with lots and lots of family and friends coming to L'ville from all over the country, so I may or may not get shop work then. If I do, y'all will know about it.

Attachments

Images (6)
  • Lightning Suppressors 06
  • Lightning Suppressors 07
  • Details 04
  • Details 05
  • Secondary Bushing 1
  • Secondary Bushing 2
Last edited by Trainman2001

    Trainmann2001 I see what you are talking about on the insulators. the fins not going the whole way around. In my past I have worked on lots of cars and trucks and the door panel plastic pins that hold the interior panel to the door were completely round like what you are looking for. I don't know if you are that worried about the look of them. I asked A friend of mine at A body shop and he will give me some and I could mail you the ones that the fins go the whole way around for free. I know you already have A lot of time into them and you may not want to start over again. Just an option I am not judging your work so please do not be offended by my statements. Choo Choo Kenny

Excellent detail.  I do not remember, if I ever knew, what the third gauge was for.  However, I was wondering if you are adding a sudden pressure relay (SPR).  Here is a link I found that describes it and gives a drawing and photo.

http://electrical-engineering-...ed-power-transformer

 

It should be mounted near the bottom of the transformer, and have a conduit for wiring to the Trip circuit.  When there is a fault in the transformer, the pressure increases.  The relay detects the sudden pressure increase, and closes it's contacts which are wired in the trip circuit to open the low side breakers and high side automatic switches.  It would be an easy project for you to add.

Thanks Mark and Lee!

 

I will try to add an SPR. I also have to add the drain valve and oil filter. I need to get three scale globe valves: one for the SPR, one for the drain and one coming out of the conservator. Plastruct values are too clunky, but PSC makes some really nice ones for locomotive details that might just work. I'm guessing that these pipes are between 3 and 4 inches. Most of the loco lines are smaller than that. I've thought about scratch-building some valves, but this is getting ridiculous (getting???) and I need to finish it up to do the rest of the substation and get it on the railroad. After all, this is all about model trains at some point. Right?

 

I also spent time checking out some terrific videos that were linked from that site including some good ones on transporting 350 ton large power transformers by Schnabel cars on rails that the many-tired specialty trucks that haul them on roads. I was able to pull a screen shot off one showing some great exterior details of a newly installed transformer. I learned about Ferroresonance and Turns Ratio Testing too. I have no idea what I'll do with that information. I'll just file it away with the rest of my eclectic trivia on things technical to impress my friends.

 

I've pulled hundreds of screen shots off both stills and videos using SnagIt. It's not free, but is a much more sophisticated way to capture any kind of image (or audio) from you computer. Very much better than "Print Screen". In SnagIt, I can put in time delay so I can enlarge an image full-screen before it captures it, and i can also crop the picture while capturing in one step instead of having to do it either in SnagIt's editor or in Corel Photo Paint. In the SnagIt editor I can also annotate the image more easily than in most paint programs.

Originally Posted by Mark Boyce:

Excellent detail.  I do not remember, if I ever knew, what the third gauge was for.  However, I was wondering if you are adding a sudden pressure relay (SPR).  Here is a link I found that describes it and gives a drawing and photo.

http://electrical-engineering-...ed-power-transformer

 

It should be mounted near the bottom of the transformer, and have a conduit for wiring to the Trip circuit.  When there is a fault in the transformer, the pressure increases.  The relay detects the sudden pressure increase, and closes it's contacts which are wired in the trip circuit to open the low side breakers and high side automatic switches.  It would be an easy project for you to add.

Wow, a sudden pressure relay!  That was the very first work order I ever did at a utility.  I assisted my boss with adding one to a 138/12.47 kV unit at a substation near the ship-channel on my third day at Houston Lighting and Power, back in June '68.

Originally Posted by Lee Willis:
Originally Posted by Mark Boyce:

Excellent detail.  I do not remember, if I ever knew, what the third gauge was for.  However, I was wondering if you are adding a sudden pressure relay (SPR).  Here is a link I found that describes it and gives a drawing and photo.

http://electrical-engineering-...ed-power-transformer

 

It should be mounted near the bottom of the transformer, and have a conduit for wiring to the Trip circuit.  When there is a fault in the transformer, the pressure increases.  The relay detects the sudden pressure increase, and closes it's contacts which are wired in the trip circuit to open the low side breakers and high side automatic switches.  It would be an easy project for you to add.

Wow, a sudden pressure relay!  That was the very first work order I ever did at a utility.  I assisted my boss with adding one to a 138/12.47 kV unit at a substation near the ship-channel on my third day at Houston Lighting and Power, back in June '68.

A small, but vital part of the fault protection scheme of any transformer!  

Oh yes, protective relaying is really intricate and difficult to learn.  Relay protection engineers are a class unto themselves - its takes a special type of person and a special type of commitment.  I am not saying they are better than other types of pwoer engineers, but the really good ones I know had a really different worldview compared other types of power engineers.  I was (and am) a T&D planner - about as different a worldview of power systems as you can have - in many cases the polar opposite.  It takes all types to make it work.  The largest group of people we have in my company now is our protective group. they are the busiest, too. Good guys all . . . 

While it took a while to learn protective relaying, I liked it because the concepts didn't change even after 19 years.  After being laid off in '95, I ended up at the telecom company.  That technology changes way too fast for me.  I still can remember concepts from the power company, but have trouble with the new stuff.  I have worked with some great people in both fields.

 

I have thought of another way...sort of. It might be easier to make the fixture in the positive rather than negative. What I mean is make a cone with a hole in top for the hub and a lip around the bottom for the corona ring. Slots cut in the sides of the cone to support and space the hangers. This is easier (to me) than first using a forstner bit to create the counter-bore for the corona ring and then drilling to a specific depth for the hub and then trying to slot into the sides of this hole for the three hangers. I was thinking about this while trying to fall asleep last night and realized that making the slots would be very tricky at best and impossible at worst.

 

Here's the re-designed fixture top and side views.

 

Corona Ring Fixture alt

 

Even though this won't be a slam-dunk either, it is still better than trying to assemble the corona ring just sitting on the workbench. The problem is the hangers that just don't face sideways, but support the ring well below the hub. I'll create a diagram sitting under spool to set out the 120º hanger spacing.

Attachments

Images (1)
  • Corona Ring Fixture alt

The more the merrier... I'd really appreciate to hear what they think moving forward. Thanks for doing that!

 

I bought more paint and some metals to finish up the project. I stocked up on #73, 74 and 75 micro drills since I seem to eat these things. I also bought some small aluminum tubing that will be used for the HV bus bars. I bought six pieces, but I may need more. I bought some 1/4" brass rod to attempt to make some scratch-build globe valves. Like the corona rings, this one has me thinking.

 

Like Jack Nicklaus, I pre-vision what I want to do. I'll build it many ways in my head until I think I have something that works. Jack always used to play an entire upcoming golf match in his head as part of his prep. To me, it's a fun part of the model building process. I try to get my grandson to do it too since he likes to dig in and start building before really understanding what has to go together and what problems may arise.

Last edited by Trainman2001

Today was a "Details" day. Installed some inspection ports, and added bolts and washers to them. I painted the corona rings, and then turned my attention to turning some scale globe valves. 

 

Here's access hatches on the conservator (both ends)

Details 09

 

Large bolts holding the tank top in place.

Details 08

 

Access ports at the bottom of the tank (5 places)

Details 07

 

The small nut/washers are from the Tichy Group. The larger bolt/washers are from True Details Ia Squadron product).

 

Here are the painted, glued and completed corona rings. Suppressors are not glued to transformer and won't be until transformer is painted. 

 Corona Complete 2

 

I don't know about you, but I couldn't imagine the rings turning out better than they did.

 

As to the valves. I'm starting the process by attempting to turn the body on the lathe. I'll then mill a flat on one side and drill a hole to receive a turned bonnet and valve spindle. The hard part will be making the hand wheel. I'll experiment with brass or styrene for that. 

 

The first valve I'm doing is the large one that will sit in the conservator oil line.

 

Valve 02

Valve 01

 

I'm not completely happy with this first attempt since I turned it while the work was in the 3-jaw chuck. This created interference that prevented me from using the ball turning attachment for the center bulge so I approximated the curves like you do on an Etch-a-Sketch with both hands turning both of the lathe's hand wheels.

 

I'm going to try again next time. On this attempt, I'm going to put the brass bar either between a collet and a dead center, or a collet and the steady rest.  Either way gives me room to swing the ball-turning device. All of this is kind of new for me so it's a process of experimentation. We're taking a quick trip to Chicago so next work session with be Monday or Tuesday.

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Images (6)
  • Details 09
  • Details 08
  • Details 07
  • Valve 02
  • Valve 01
  • Corona Complete 2

Thanks Lee! Hope everyone had a nice Labor Day weekend. It bums me out when Summer is ending and the days are getting shorter. While October is one of my favorite months, it leads right into November and that is not my favorite.

 

Back from State College, PA. Saw my granddaughter since the National Anthem at the Spikes Minor League baseball game. She's 9, has an amazing voice and left me speechless... which is very hard to do I'm told.

 

Back in the shop today and finished the drain valve an pipe assembly and almost completed the Sudden Pressure Relay blocking valve. 

 

I made a smaller hand wheel for the drain valve and just drilled some holes in it. I did add a small Tichy Group NBW on top. That took as long to do as machine the valve body.

 

Valve 2 03

 

I decided to glue this pipe and the conservator pipe into position. I initially thought about priming and painting them off the model, but after re-thinking it, I decided that the chances of messing up the paint were greater than any difficulty in painting the whole assembly.

 

For the SPR, I made the smallest valve so far. For the gate valve bonnet I filed down a piece of round brass rod since I didn't have any rectangular stock. For the drain valve I re-shaped a piece of square brass tubing. I didn't like how this worked so well and took the different approach for this small valve.

 

Valve 3 01

 

You can get an idea of scale being that it's held in a hemostat in a Pana-vise. This valve handle will even be small and will have no holes in it.

 

For the SPR itself, I'll shape that out of styrene and CA it to the valve body. I will add a piece of brass rod to the valve's back and drill a hole in one of the blocking plates on the tank's bottom.

 

There are a couple more conduit runs needed, from the Bucholtz valve and the SPR which won't take long, and then I'll build a permanent ladder going up the side. Many big transformers have ladders permanently in place to reach the upper regions. At first I thought about building it from brass, but the drilling of the small holes could be a nightmare since there would have to be so many of them. So I'll do it out of styrene. 

 

I just did the ladder design after doing a bit of fast Google research. The rungs will be 0.030" styrene rod and glued into spaced holes on the 0.030" X 0.080" styrene bar stock. The rungs are on 1/4" centers (1 scale foot) and is 3/8" wide (18 scale inches). The tricky part will be making the flat bends for the upper hand rail area. I may cut that out of styrene sheet and bond it to the ladder's rails. Bending materials edge wise is generally not easy.

 

Ladder Print

 

Tomorrow will see more progress.

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Images (3)
  • Valve 2 03
  • Valve 3 01
  • Ladder Print
Last edited by Trainman2001

You continue to add more and more.  The small parts are amazing.  Glad you have the SPR on your list.  

 

You could add a model of Lee standing next to the transformer with a clipboard, and me on the ladder taking a reading.  Not too high, unless you have it switched out of service.  I don't want to get electrocuted.  

 

I've been on top of many a transformer in my younger days testing the CTs with a megger.

Thanks to all.

 

Dave, don't feel like a slacker... I just started this scratch-building thing and I'm 69. I never could imagine doing it since I always built models using instructions. I would read them over many times and build the entire kit in my head (a la Jack Nicklaus) before putting it together. All of a sudden I'm building a complex structure with many levels of details with no instructions at all other than a few drawings that I made. At each point you have to sit and think, "If I put this piece on now will I be painting myself into a corner?" It's a constant thinking process so it took me many years to get up the nerve. It also took amassing a ton of specialized tools with which makes scratch-building—especially in styrene—much more enjoyable.

Lee, I'm game! Alan had said that he was going to publish my coaling tower modification article, but my eMails were no longer receiving answers. I would be very happy to write an article about the transformer.

 

Speaking about the transformer; Everything came together today. I finished the ladder and installed it, mounted the instruments, painted the unit and attached all the bushings, and made a fixture to glue the lightning suppressors and then glued them.

 

I cut out the upper ladder railings using an Xacto, and used a half-round file to finish up the inside curve. These were then glued to the ladder rails. 

 

Ladder 05

 

For the brackets I used some pieces of 0.030" X .100" stock glued to little chunks of Evergreen angle. 

 

Ladder 06

 

After they dried I measured where the attachment points should be and glued 6 brackets to the ladder.

 

Ladder 07When dry I glued the ladder to the transformer and then added the brackets to the top handrail. Getting those in position was the trickiest part of the job. The thick rungs don't look too bad...

 

Ladder 08

 

The things to do before painting was to attach the three gauges. I first thought that I'd paint these off the Xfrm and then glue them on. After reviewing that decision, I reversed it, primarily because I needed to attach signal lines to them and mount them into the control cabinet. I marked and carefully drilled an 0.020" hole to accept the brass into the instruments' aluminum bezels, and then CA'd in the brass.

 

For the cabinet end, I also drilled a 0.020" hole in the end of a 0.047" piece of plastic round rod. I'm pretty good at this having perfected it when drilling out gun barrels on military models. These little plastic ferrules were CA'd to the brass signal leads and then solvent glued to the control cabinet.

 

Gauge Install

With this, the model was ready for the paint shop. The first thing I did was use some liquid mask on the gauge faces. I then sprayed the parts of the Xfrm and radiators that would be inaccessible when the radiators are mounted.

 

Paint 01

 

I used my Badger 150 double-acting airbrush and sprayed Tamiya Sky Gray. I also sprayed the cooling fans while off the model.

 

I forced dry the paint with a heat gun (only a little hot, mostly cool) and then CA'd the radiators in place. BIG STEP! With the radiators in place, I sprayed the entire assembly.

 

Paint 03

Paint 02

 

Already it looks a million percent better!

 

When this was dry, I assembled the high and low voltage bushings and CA'd them to the Xfrm. I then created a simple fixture to stabilize and hold the lightning suppressors while their CA cured. This was a quick job. I then glued them into position. Since I couldn't pull the fixture straight over the corona rings, I just took a mini tin snips and cut the fixture away. It did its job.

 

Paint 04

 

I put a few more stickers on the unit and with that this baby is ready to energize.

 

I think I'm going to put the beauty shots into its own post coming up next.

Attachments

Images (9)
  • Ladder 05
  • Ladder 06
  • Ladder 07
  • Ladder 08
  • Gauge Install
  • Paint 01
  • Paint 03
  • Paint 02
  • Paint 04
Last edited by Trainman2001

As promised here's the finished transformer posing for its "coming out" party. Before taking the pics I painted the valve handles red and some of the cabinet pass throughs black just to add some interest. I have not weathered it yet and may not. I quite pleased with how the black pre-shading of the radiator fins looks now that the finish gray coat is in place. It was the right way to approach it.

 

Transformer Complete 4

Transformer Complete 3

Transformer Complete 2

Transformer Complete 1

 

I now have to put this someplace safe until it's ready to install on it's 'concrete' pad in the substation and get wired up for business. 

 

Thanks to all who've been watching this sub-project since July 14th. I also really appreciated the encouragement and insights. It was a 7-week project and easily the most complicated part of the substation and its center piece. I don't think the remaining parts are going to be as intense. Starting next week I'm either going to build some of the lattice work, or get working on the HV breakers. It depends on what I feel like.

Attachments

Images (4)
  • Transformer Complete 4
  • Transformer Complete 3
  • Transformer Complete 2
  • Transformer Complete 1
Last edited by Trainman2001

Thanks to everyone for all the really nice comments.

 

I'm almost as amazed as all of you are. Considering when I started, I had the MTH transformer body, a load of styrene shapes, and the ideas to use HO cooling fans for the radiators and auto body fasteners for the insulators, and it ended up looking like it does, blows me away too.

 

Today, I'm going to clean up the shop a bit and get ready for the next project... the hybrid breaker/disconnect switch. It will be complex too, but no where near the transformer.

Last edited by Trainman2001

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