Monday, March 08, 2021

Billings Dana 200 rudder linkage


My dad is fiddling with a Billings Boats Dana 200 kit. He found it on a shelf and decided a little boat would make a change from bigger projects. 

Needless to say, I got roped in to help with the technical stuff, and of course, despite the kit being suitable for RC, according to the box, you are on your own trying to fit the stuff. 

Drive is easy, rudder less so. There's not a lot of space to fit everything so we had to build the rudder and post from the (static) wooden version and some brass tube. 

To rotate the rudder, I cut a 4BA thread in the top of the post and made an arm up from a bit of brass. This is soldered to the nut and the screwed on to the post. It's help in place with a drop of superglue on the top. 

The servo just squeezes under the deck and the whole thing is a bit tight. The linkage hooks through the arm, retained by a bent bit of wire fitted through a hole drilled in the fat wire. 

It all works though, so now I just need to wire the boat up. 

Sunday, March 07, 2021

Video: Making model hedges


Another of my BRMTV videos - this time making model hedges.

Saturday, March 06, 2021

Saturday Film Club: Steam turbine TGV in Gauge 1


The story of the development of a Gauge 1, steam powered, tilting TGV. German with translations throughout. I don't claim to understand the technology, but it's fascinating.

Friday, March 05, 2021

Plastic trams

Dad's birthday - and I spotted that the Wythall Transport Museum shop eBay account had some of the Atlas Editions tram models for sale for a fiver each. Well, I couldn't think what to get him, and I rather like the look of them.

I'll confess, I've not carried out any research into these - so they may be horribly inaccurate, but neither of us is bothered, they just look so good. 

To be honest, if the partwork that these hail from re-appeared on the shelves, I suspect we'd sign up for it. We're not into foreign trams really, and don't need any more models, but how can you resist? All the models are HO scale, and moulded in plastic. This wasn't cheap to tool up.

Still, a present bought, and money gone to a good cause. Now, I wonder if we could build a very small transport museum, with a display of trams from around the world...

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Fixing the front door lock

I like taking apart mechanical things, especially those with chunky fixings. When the catch on our front door stopped working properly, after being allowed to slam shut in the wind a few times, it needed investigating. 

OK, it needed replacing with an identical one, but after that I took the old unit and had a play. 

The basic device is simple enough, there's a bit that turns which shoves a cage back and forth, on to which is fitted the brass tongue bit that locates in the other side of the unit to hold the door shut. Obviously, I've not looked up the correct technical terms...

The fault was that every so often, the handle inside the door seemed to lose contact with the slidy cage and flop around. My first thought was that the cage could move out and miss contact, but there didn't seem to be a problem there - no obvious wear in the plates holding the thing together, and the two, chunky retaining screws were tightly fitted.

Eventually, after about half an hours tinkering, I spotted the cage was slightly distorted. Slamming the door on the latched unit had whacked the tongue and moved the metal. Five minutes with pliers (it's quite soft) and a hammer and the whole thing moves silky smoothly. As good as new. 

Now, we have a spare front door lock all parcelled up in the garage, where it will probably manage to vanish if we ever need it. 

Anyone else like this sort of job?