Friday, May 03, 2019

Romford Bulldog motor

Romford Bulldog Motor

Found in the basement of an old model shop, this is proper, vintage model railway stuff.

An unused Romford Bulldog motor. Basically, a 5-pole version of the famous Hornby/Tri-ang X04 motor found in pretty much every loco they made many years ago. 

Those wanting smoother operation or better control would bin the X04 and replace it with one of these as I understand it. 

You'd also fit one in your kit-built locomotives if you were the sort of modeller who didn't hoover up discarded X04's. 

Motors like this come from the era when you could service things yourself. The makers might have preferred you not to take it to pieces, but you could with hand tools. Replacing the carbon brushes is simple and I suspect they are the same as the Tri-ang versions, so something you could pop into any model or toy shop and buy. 

The box and instructions mention W&H models, another famous but now departed establishment. I never went, too young, but from all accounts, it was a place to visit. I wonder if David Mellor Design who now occupy the premises, have anything interesting in their cellar?  



Rob said...

Hi Phil,

I actually work for David Mellor (In the Hathersage factory anway!) As far as I'm aware, prior to opening the Marylebone shop in 2017, it was totally empty, cellar and all.

Sorry to dash any hopes of a time capsule of Romford Motors turning up! ;)

Phil Parker said...

Booo. And there was I hoping to break down a wall and find exciting (to toy train fans) treasure!

Mark Collier said...

Romford Bulldogs were the cream of the crop in the days before the arrival of can motors and their more modern cousins. I fitted them to pretty well every Tri-ang steam loco I ever owned and, being almost a direct replacement for the Tri-ang X04, they worked beautifully in virtually every kit on the market in the 60s and 70s. Unlike the X04, their five pole armature made them virtually free of pole cogging. The example illustrated is of the earlier version as the accompanying use and service sheet makes no mention of the availability of 50:1 and 60:1 ratio gear sets that were part of the Romford range in the last few years of W&H. These gear sets made slow speed running finally possible when used with a Romford five pole motor. Although both the worm and gear were fitted with grub screws, the better technique was to use the grub screw only to position the appropriate gear on the shaft and tighten it up ever so lightly. Final tightening was achieved by application of a small drop of Loktite on the end of the toothpick to either end of the gear. This was because, despite the accompanying blurb, the two gears were a relatively loose fit on their respective shafts and tightening of the grub screw pretty well always produced axial misalignment resulting in binding and cogging. One final point is that Bulldog motor brushes were (are?) not interchangeable with those from the X04. The brass part of the brush is slightly smaller on the Bulldog and shaped differently to clip into the tensioning spring. In addition the carbon pad on the Bulldog’s brush is smaller than that on the X04. I wonder if I still have any unopened boxes of Bulldogs in my collection of ‘Miscellaneous Motors’? Should dig the box out and check sometime!