I've just drooled all over the touchpad on my lappy.

Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,502
51
North Essex
Go on, Mike, you know you want to.... I'm sure you could meet the "easy monthly payments".... :devil:

Jon.
 
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ebay mike

ebay mike

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It's tempting Jon, plus I will get, 40,000 Nectar points and 630 Tesco Clubcard points. May just have to discuss with SWMBO as housekeeping will have to be subject to review for the next 24 months.
 
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Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,502
51
North Essex
It's tempting Jon, plus I will get, 40,000 Nectar points and 630 Tesco Clubcard points. May just have to discuss with SWMBO as housekeeping will have to be subject to review for the next 24 months.
Easy Mike, just offer to let her spend the Nectar points on something for herself..... :devil:

Jon.
 
ebay mike

ebay mike

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Easy Mike, just offer to let her spend the Nectar points on something for herself..... :devil:

Jon.
You must be joking - they'll be added to my account ready to convert into eBay vouchers when the next boost offer comes along. The Tesco points fund our holidays in France.
 
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ebay mike

ebay mike

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My finger is itching to slip (although I've bought three locos this month already plus a load of other stuff). My Tesco Clubcard/Credit Card has no outstanding balance and there's an 18 month interest free period too. Should I? Shouldn't I? Should I? Shouldn't...…………………………………………...
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,502
51
North Essex
My finger is itching to slip (although I've bought three locos this month already plus a load of other stuff). My Tesco Clubcard/Credit Card has no outstanding balance and there's an 18 month interest free period too. Should I? Shouldn't I? Should I? Shouldn't...…………………………………………...
........CLICK!!!!! ;):devil:

Jon.
 
ebay mike

ebay mike

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Norfolk
But the real question is: will it do R1?
Not sure Henri - it doesn't have LGB on the bottom. Wouldn't matter too much anyway as most of my curves are R3 or bigger.
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,502
51
North Essex
Not sure Henri - it doesn't have LGB on the bottom. Wouldn't matter too much anyway as most of my curves are R3 or bigger.
I'm thinking that even R3 might be a struggle for such a beast.... don't the Gauge 1 Boys normally have huge tracks with massive radii that would make R5 seem tight by comparison....?

Jon.
 
tac foley

tac foley

Registered
11 Apr 2017
1,711
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Near Huntingdon, UK
I'm thinking that even R3 might be a struggle for such a beast.... don't the Gauge 1 Boys normally have huge tracks with massive radii that would make R5 seem tight by comparison....? Jon.
This locomotive needs TEN-foot radius curves.

tac
G1MRA #3641
 
ebay mike

ebay mike

Registered
6 Dec 2011
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Norfolk
Ah - but I've got about 200 feet of flexi-track stored under the layout just in case. Should give me an adequate oval in the other garden. She'll just have to be careful with the mower!
 
tac foley

tac foley

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Have you much experience with meths-fired live steam in Gauge 1? There are a few other things you'll need before you can fire it up and go, apart from a bit of experience, that is.

It would be a great idea to check out the local regional Gauge 1 people before coughing up a considerable amount of money on what might be a veritable élephant blanc.

Just sayin'.

tac
 
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Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,502
51
North Essex
Have you much experience with meths-fired live steam in Gauge 1? There are a few other things you'll need before you can fire it up and go, apart from a bit of experience, that is.

It would be a great idea to check out the local regional Gauge 1 people before coughing up a considerable amount of money on what might be a veritable élephant blanc.

Just sayin'.

tac
Tac - in simple terms for a non-expert in such things, what are pros and cons of meths firing compared with gas? Just curiosity and a desire to expand my knowledge, since I'm very unlikely to ever get a meths burner......

Jon.
 
tac foley

tac foley

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Well, the fact is that the overwhelming majority of Gauge 1 live steam models are alcohol [meths] fired, either using the purple stuff [that makes your lips blue, I'm told] or pure ethanol, which is the fuel of choice.

Unlike gas models, that have their own oxygen entrained in the fuel and are self-drafting, meths-fire models require a forced suction draft - a small electric fan placed in the smokestack to draw air through the firebox after the fires are lit. More later.....

It goes without saying that this stuff is not only highly volatile, but extremely flammable, and more to the point, burns without any visible flame in daylight. So great care is needed in handling it. Most people I know, me included, add a little food-colouring dye to the ethanol so that it doesn't get confused with equally clear water.

Starting up a meths fired loco is quite simple, after the necessary no smoking precautions have been taken, and that includes staying well away from other, already-running live steamers that also use open burners [wicks or ceramic] in the vicinity - a separate steaming bay is de rigeur on a Gauge 1 track.

After topping up the lubricator reservoir [just like a gas-fired loco] and oiling all round - again, the same deal -

1. Making sure that the boiler is filled to the correct level, using the hand-pump in the tender [no Goodall valves here]. Filling can be made easier by opening the blower a little. When it's full to the usual 3/4 levle- close the blower - you'll be needing it again in a little while for something completely different. After the loco gets moving, those fitted with an axle pump can have it adjusted by using the by-pass valve to maintain the level of water commensurate with use - this comes with learning the loco under different loads and conditions, but unlike gas-fired locos, they are not affected by cold weather.

2. Make certain sure that the ethanol tank filler is tightly closed, and open the valve to allow a flow to the burners - you'll be able to see it trickle in the feed tube. Give it a minute or so and then using a long/flexible gas lighter, fire it up, either through the open smokebox door that many models have, or from underneath the burners. Use a mirror on a stick to see them all alight, and then turn on the suction fan, after closing the firebox door - if fitted.

3. After about five or more minutes, depending on the size of the boiler, the pressure should rise to about 2 BAR or 30psi, and it's time to let the loco do the work. Open the blower valve a tad, and remove the suction fan and watch the pressure rise to about 50 - 60 psi, depending on the model.

4. When pressure is building, at about 45 psi, lift the safeties using a fine-nosed set of pliers to make sure they are working. When the working pressure is reached reached - usually around 60 - 70 psii on a larger loco - and the safeties blow off, it's time to get a move on. Without a load, put the loco in gear, gently open the throttle and close the blower somewhat - all locos are different - it might run better with a bit of blower - and run the loco back and forth a few times to clear the condensate out of the steam chests. If it has drain cocks, use them. At this juncture, make sure the boiler is topped up again to the required level using the hand-pump. With the loco standing still, the axle pump will not be working - if there is one that is. If there is one, make sure it is closed all the way - this ensures that all the water being pumped is going into the boiler, and not being returned to the tender. In any case, top up the tender, too.

5. Stop the loco using the throttle, and open the blower to keep the flames burning, hitch up the load - open the throttle and close the blower - again, maybe shut it completely, maybe not - all depending on the loco, and start gently, opening the throttle until the desired speed is reached. Thereafter it's a matter of keeping an eye on the water glass. If you don't have an axle pump you'll need to hand-pump it at a halt. If you DO have an axle pump, just make sure that the water level in the glass is more or less maintained. It the level climbs in spite of the use, then open the by-pass a little - again, this will do two things - the loco will slow down, and the water will be partly sent back to the tender.

Seeing as how we generally run at staged events and to a timetable of about 30 minutes, most locos will still have sufficient steam to carry on way past this time, but there will be somebody else wanting to run, so in you come to the steaming bay sidings to shut off your loco.

1. Turn off the fuel. This might take a few minutes to come into effect as the wicks or burner uses up the remaining fuel in the line. You CAN blow the fire out using a piece of silicone hose down the stack, making sure to BLOW and not SUCK, or you can do what I do, and use a Co2 tyre inflator to blow it out.

2. There will be a good deal of residual pressure left - ourr little boilers are usually VERY efficient. So, you can either operate a blow-down valve - if fitted - or simply, with the loco in mid-gear - open the blower and let it vent through the smokestack. Wipe the loco down while it's warm and that's it.

Basically, what you are doing is running a full-size steam loco, but smaller - the only thing different is that we don't have injectors to introduce water into the boiler under pressure - physics are agin us here.

Hope this is useful
So, a lot different and a lot more hands-on that gas-firing, for sure. But you CAN radio-control a meths-fired live steamer - one servo for the forward/reverse, one for the throttle and one for the blower. Many people, excluding me, have done it very successfully.

Hope that's useful.

tac
 
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PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
22,702
229
Tamworth, Staffs.
Excellent tutorial Tac..
That and a 22 foot wide garden should (just) do it! :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Now, where did I put that winning lottery ticket? :think:
 
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Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,502
51
North Essex
Thanks Tac, I appreciate the time taken to put together that pretty comprehensive set of notes!

What I was really trying to ask, however, was what are the advantages and disadvantages, in (simple) technical terms, of choosing meths/alcohol vs. gas for firing any given loco? Is one more efficient than the other?
I had always kind of assumed, rightly or wrongly, that gas firing would give better and faster heating than burning meths....but maybe that is completely wrong?
Is there a particular reason why the G1 makers tend more toward meths, while the 16-millers are predominantly gas?

Jon.
 
tac foley

tac foley

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11 Apr 2017
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Pros and cons?

Pros.

Meths-fired locos make NO noise - no gas-jets, y'see.

Meths-fired locos can run in sub-zero temperatures, unlike gas-fired models.

Meths-fired loco need no chuffer - indeed, they cannot be fitted with one because of the need to maintain a real blast in the stack to draw the fire. The sound they make is all their very own.

Cons.

Need serious care in fueling up because of the invisible flames if spilled.

Lack of garden railway-scale - 16mm and 7/8th models that use meths firing. The original Roundhouse locos were all meths-fired, BTW. Gauge 1 and older Gauge 3 is dominated by meths-fired locos.

At the moment, the most economical meths-fired loco is the recently -introduced Accucraft UK 'Victory' loco, a post WW1 0-6-0 tank loco. It's around £1250 or so from the usual supplier, so hardly bargain basement stuff. But it IS a great little runner and as powerful as a very powerful thing, and makes an excellent introduction to Gauge 1.

Accucraft and Bowande make a good range of gas-fired Gauge 1 models, with Tornado, Mallard, Flying Scotsman and their ilk all gas-fired without the option of meths these days. Older models from Accucraft US were often available either/or - my Hudson is still available with either method of firing - mine is meths because it has the most stupendous chuff when working. Take a peek at Youtube - tac's trains - Accucraft Royal Hudson Daylight for an example of real engine workings. Older models from Aster et al tend to be meths - you pays your money and takes your pick.

tac
 
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