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To start, it probably bears mentioning what I do and who I am, as I generally have turned into a lurker around here. I'm Dylan Lambert, owner of Lambert Locomotive Works. Up until this past June I've primarily focused on On30, but after some conversations I began development of a power truck for O Scale traction. The picture attached shows the rendering of where I am now. I've mostly talked about it on Facebook, but it bears mentioning here. The idea is for a fully under-floor power truck that can avoid major frame surgery to fit it. Below is a picture of the current CAD designs. LLW Type 1 Trolley Drive v18

Testing so far on the Corgi test units that a friend is assisting me with noted that there's some flexibility to the frame itself that causes a balance issue, so I'm working on a reinforcing plate to help deal with that. Each kit will come with the assembly jigs and parts to make a power truck and the dummy, along with the screws  and sideframes. At present the sideframes are the main remaining component to design. Suffice to say these will likely also work on other PCCs as well.

The cost for the kit will likely sit in the $130-140 range based on present information. If you're going to want to get on the list for the first batch, please email me at lambertlocomotiveworks@gmail.com. I'm looking at a max of 100 kits for this first batch. Once everything is finalized and final testing completed, I'll put out the word on the order procedures. By getting a head count now I'll have a good handle on what to expect once I'm ready to begin taking orders.

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  • LLW Type 1 Trolley Drive v18
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Some questions for you on this.  I will preface this and state that I has two Corgi PCCs that are powered with the no longer made GSC power trucks and one that I would like to power.

  1. Are these going to be for 2 rail DC operation or 3 rail AC operation?  Personally, DC operation is fine for me.
  2. Will these be gauged for standard O scale track?  The GSC power trucks are gauged for proto-48 operation.

I would be interested in powering my one unpowered PCC for standard O scale track. 

So with the kits I leave the wiring up to the assembler, but you can set these up for two or three rail operation easily, or through whatever catenary that traction modelers like to use. The wheels are all insulated. As for gauge the wheel assembly jigs are designed to put the wheels to standard o gauge track width. That said there's enough side clearance that you can gauge the wheels for Proto 48 track gauges.

@mwb posted:

I'll be a lot more interested in this development when you get beyond PCC cars.  I could use drives for under boxcabs and freight motors!

I do intend to go beyond PCC trucks eventually using the same core architecture. What really helps is that by using the MJF printed frames that are at the heart of these trucks, I can easily tweak wheelbases and other frame aspects to create powered trucks for a wide variety of applications.

I do intend to go beyond PCC trucks eventually using the same core architecture. What really helps is that by using the MJF printed frames that are at the heart of these trucks, I can easily tweak wheelbases and other frame aspects to create powered trucks for a wide variety of applications.

We'll have to talk more next time our paths cross in person again.  I'll try to remember to bring along some excess sideframes for reference points.

@mwb posted:

We'll have to talk more next time our paths cross in person again.  I'll try to remember to bring along some excess sideframes for reference points.

Please do Martin.



Anyway, an update is in order. So far I've got prospective takers for 61 kits out of the first batch of 100. If you're going to want to get your hands on a kit from the first batch, don't hesitate to get in touch. Right now we're on track to make more progress in testing this weekend. I'd say that if all continues going well, I should be ready to open the order books up around the end of September. That said, I'm going to give the priority to the people who got on the list first. If you don't get onto the first batch, I'll roll you over into the second.

In the FWIW category Q-Car trucks do not work well on three rail track. Most certainly not on tubular and my attempt on Gargraves was not successful. The wheels on these (and it looks like the Lamberts maybe) are really looking for a sharp square railhead IMHO. The tubular rail does not meet that need. I once upon a time asked about installing a wheel set that could work on tubular and was told to rip up the three rail and put down the correct 2 rail. Maybe Dylan can elaborate. I'm interested too but cautiously so.

Jim K

@Bogart posted:

In the FWIW category Q-Car trucks do not work well on three rail track. Most certainly not on tubular and my attempt on Gargraves was not successful. The wheels on these (and it looks like the Lamberts maybe) are really looking for a sharp square railhead IMHO. The tubular rail does not meet that need. I once upon a time asked about installing a wheel set that could work on tubular and was told to rip up the three rail and put down the correct 2 rail. Maybe Dylan can elaborate. I'm interested too but cautiously so.

Jim K

So the wheels are RP25 contoured, something I didn’t model in the CAD as the ones pictured are there for checking dimensions and making sure that I wouldn’t impinge on parts of the design.

Dylan,

You won't want it but if your trucks have a wheel set that works on tubular or Gargraves you will get a BIG hug from me! I tell you when I suggested or asked for that the fellow I was communicating with went bonkers. The direction to rip out all the three rail wasn't given kindly. Since then I have built a couple of Labelle units and had to seek out three rail power. I guess all the serious traction folks have shucked the 3 rail and gone to 2 rail. I can understand that as the trucks and motors can be made more prototypical. But running three rail has always kept me happily one step back from proto!  8-)

Traction ON!

Jim K

I doubt the "serious traction folks" were ever in 3-rail to begin with. An underfloor power truck (that isn't a locomotive truck) is one thing that has never been available in 3RO. Over the years I've seen a number of traction kits that I think would be within my abilities to build. Or rebuilding one of the Ken Kidder Japanese EMU's that I kept seeing year after year at the Fall Trolley Extravaganza...the only thing stopping me was the lack of a 3-rail compatible power truck. Could (kinda) get them in 2-Rail. Could definitely get them in  other scales (Magic Carpet, Black Beetle, etc). Never existed in 3R.

Later on, I found out about the Dickie Toys "City Liner" tram, an O-scale proportioned modern articulated streetcar (I believe it's modeled after the Bombardier Flexity Outlook), and the "City Train", (modeled after an Alsthom Coradia LINT 27 diesel MU). Both are floor toys with no means of running on track...unless one hacked out whatever it is the toy wheels were mounted to and fabricated mounts for functioning power and dummy trucks -- again, something within my ability to do except for sourcing 3RO compatible powered trucks.

Q-Car, as hinted at above, would tell you to pound sand if you mentioned 3-rail O. He could afford to--he had enough trouble keeping up with his 2R orders as it is. I, on the other hand would like to keep everything compatible and "in the family". The four Western Hobbycraft trolleys I bought attest to that.

There was once upon a time (early 1990's?) an outfit called "Methodology" marketed something called a "truck-mounted traction unit". It was a slot-car motor geared to an O-Scale wheelset. You could put however many of them you needed in any kind of unit, from streetcars to freight locos. It was even reviewed in OGR (may have still been O Scale Railroading back then). You could even stick one in a freight truck if you wanted. And, unlike Q-Car, they did offer them with 3RO wheelsets in multiple sizes. They faded away without fanfare, and no one to date has done anything like that, even despite the proliferation of 3D printing.

Although I currently have no "tinker space" to work on such a conversion, I would watch this with interest--I've been known to buy stuff and take years to start the project they were intended for (eyes his PS2 and TMCC conversion kits)

---PCJ

@RailRide posted:

I doubt the "serious traction folks" were ever in 3-rail to begin with. An underfloor power truck (that isn't a locomotive truck) is one thing that has never been available in 3RO. Over the years I've seen a number of traction kits that I think would be within my abilities to build. Or rebuilding one of the Ken Kidder Japanese EMU's that I kept seeing year after year at the Fall Trolley Extravaganza...the only thing stopping me was the lack of a 3-rail compatible power truck. Could (kinda) get them in 2-Rail. Could definitely get them in  other scales (Magic Carpet, Black Beetle, etc). Never existed in 3R.

Later on, I found out about the Dickie Toys "City Liner" tram, an O-scale proportioned modern articulated streetcar (I believe it's modeled after the Bombardier Flexity Outlook), and the "City Train", (modeled after an Alsthom Coradia LINT 27 diesel MU). Both are floor toys with no means of running on track...unless one hacked out whatever it is the toy wheels were mounted to and fabricated mounts for functioning power and dummy trucks -- again, something within my ability to do except for sourcing 3RO compatible powered trucks.

Q-Car, as hinted at above, would tell you to pound sand if you mentioned 3-rail O. He could afford to--he had enough trouble keeping up with his 2R orders as it is. I, on the other hand would like to keep everything compatible and "in the family". The four Western Hobbycraft trolleys I bought attest to that.

There was once upon a time (early 1990's?) an outfit called "Methodology" marketed something called a "truck-mounted traction unit". It was a slot-car motor geared to an O-Scale wheelset. You could put however many of them you needed in any kind of unit, from streetcars to freight locos. It was even reviewed in OGR (may have still been O Scale Railroading back then). You could even stick one in a freight truck if you wanted. And, unlike Q-Car, they did offer them with 3RO wheelsets in multiple sizes. They faded away without fanfare, and no one to date has done anything like that, even despite the proliferation of 3D printing.

Although I currently have no "tinker space" to work on such a conversion, I would watch this with interest--I've been known to buy stuff and take years to start the project they were intended for (eyes his PS2 and TMCC conversion kits)

---PCJ

So on that Methodolgy drive, you know what that sounds like to me? A magic carpet drive. Now maybe they're form is totally different, I've never seen one, but I have been thinking on how do you make something like a magic carpet? It comes down to available gears. The good news is that with the wider O scale dimensions I can fit a motor between the inner faces of wheelsets. But it comes down to designing a workable gearcase. Easily done if the gears can be found. I suspect they can, but there's only so much time in the day to do research.

The TMTU was mounted much like the prototype, axle hung with maybe a couple of extra reduction gears before reaching the axle Much of the device was indeed a (possibly Delrin) housing mounted to the axle containing the gear train to which the motor was mounted, parallel with the wheel axle. Only thing you had to add was a means of securing the motor housing to the truck frame. The motors were your standard open-sided rectangular slot-car motors, which probably was responsible for the recommendation that you use multiple units wired in series for typical model installations.

I had some of their literature from back then. I've been looking for that envelope for years, might be easier finding the OGR/OSR magazine that contained the review.

---PCJ

I have lots of different 3-rail streetcars, including powered Corgi's, but in each case I've sacrificed doing an interior to accommodate the motor (also most have frosted windows).  In 3-rail, you just decide what compromises are OK for you.

But what I have never figured out is how to do an open car.  With either a single or two-truck version, you need a below-the-floor motor. So kudos to Dylan if he can make a 3-rail powered truck.  

What I would be most interested in would be a powered single truck that could be adapted with different side frames for Birneys, early Brills, etc.  Right now I am trying to 3-rail a G-Mark drive for a single truck streetcar.  I tried a few years ago and made a botch of it, so not too hopeful.

With apologies for posting in the 2-rail forum . . .

So, in the game of waiting on stuff to arrive to do some more testing on power truck, I'll admit I got a bit bored and came up with this... Figure this is gonna go into the development que a ways down, but yeah... The Methodology drive got me thinking on how to do a drive around the same idea. And then I cranked this out in less than ten minutes... Its literally so new I haven't the slightest clue what I'll call it, even if it is probably 3-6 months before I could reasonably put it into production (simply on the grounds of there's only so much time in the day).

240890827_4549220361789542_6107533772106392252_n

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So in news today, I've gotten the final prototype assembled. Some final tweaks and it'll be ready for torture/operational testing out in Roslindale. Everything turns over nicely by hand (those flywheels make great points to turn the motor, I might add) and I'll do a power test with a 9 volt battery later this week. Mechanically we're still solid. Gears engage nicely, and the truck is basically is in the mechanical form the production model will take bar final adjustments or if something needs correction that the testing outlines. Some thanks are definitely in order. Martin Brechbiel, who planted this idea in my head in the first place when I saw him at the Harrisburg On30 show this past June. If he hadn't brought it up? I might have never started to really look at this seriously for who knows how long. And both Rob Brogle and Justin Chasse of the Connecticut Trolley Museum. Rob (the president) has been someone I've been acquainted with for years, well before he became president. Me asking him about Brill 27E trucks had him pointing me to his VP, Justin (an O scale traction modeler himself), that gave me one **** of an advisor and idea board. Without Justin I likely wouldn't be this far along or have such a wealth of knowledge a text message away. And without Rob telling me to go talk to Justin? Yeah, wouldn't be here this soon with the very real possibility of launching this powering kit this year.

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So I did a battery test (i.e ran the truck off of a battery) and suffice to say I continue to be please. The video is posted to my facebook page, linked below. Listening to it, I frankly hear more gear noise on the video than the pulsing I heard from what I think is a slightly off kilter flywheel, but the simple fix that I see to the gear noise is to muffle it in a box. I'm not terribly concerned about the flywheel at the moment, as this is a prototype meant to be tortured a bit. A casing around the gear and worm should at least help on the noise as nothing would be out in the open. I did also note something interesting. I did notice another neat effect. The grease in the bearing top reservoirs leveled out while the mechanism was running. I don't know if that's an effect of the various vibrations of a suspended mechanism having that effect or if the rotation of the axles had some sort of capillary effect as the truck ran and helped pull grease down into the bearing surfaces. Either way I didn't notice it until I brought the truck downstairs.

But either way so far I'm happy with what I'm seeing. The next step will be to mount to a PCC, get some side frames and do the operational testing.

https://fb.watch/8szsYc87f_/

I've been following your posts on Facebook and like what I see.

To my 3-rail colleagues, three-railing a two-rail power unit isn't that difficult. You can even live in both worlds like I do and make a 2/3 switchable with a DPDT switch and a little patience. I did it with an old Atlas Plymouth Switcher, a Weaver flat car and a QSI DCRU about 30 years ago.

Hybrid_Locomotive_Wiring

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So, in the game of waiting on stuff to arrive to do some more testing on power truck, I'll admit I got a bit bored and came up with this... Figure this is gonna go into the development que a ways down, but yeah... The Methodology drive got me thinking on how to do a drive around the same idea. And then I cranked this out in less than ten minutes... Its literally so new I haven't the slightest clue what I'll call it, even if it is probably 3-6 months before I could reasonably put it into production (simply on the grounds of there's only so much time in the day).

240890827_4549220361789542_6107533772106392252_n

Color me interested This could make conversions of 2-rail open-bench streetcars and street-railway freight/MOW motors a reality. Not to mention scratch-built rapid-transit and other EMU equipment.*

*well, somebody might have to 3D print truck sideframes for them, but that's a smaller hurdle than getting tractive effort to 3RO wheelsets.

(starts looking at the previously-mentioned floor-toy streetcars/DMU's)

---PCJ

So while final operational testing is at least a week or two out, I'm ready to open the order books. Suffice to say running the truck on a makeshift stand for a few hours today today has me convinced that there won't be much left to examine. Just final checks to ensure nothing has been missed. The full kits will run $139.90, and each order will get a set of the assembly jigs. At this point of the first batch of 100, I've got potential takers for 70. Talk about a good response so far!

So to expound upon the previous post a bit, my goal is to have the first batch ready to ship in January at the latest. I say that to account for possible issues with parts arriving when expected. I'd rather say January, then everything gets here early so I can send the kits out then say something sooner, something happens and they go out late. So if there's interest please do let me know. Like I said yesterday, I've got potential takers for 70 out of the first batch of 100.

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