Thank you to Ed.for Steve's excellent Big boy video and also to Charles for some really great pictures.
To see two engines running together is truly inspiring.
Just occasionally there are models that come along which are particularly special. In my opinon the Aster BB is just one of these, as indeed is the Accucraft Cab Forward.
Andrew at Aster UK is a bit grumpy about my CF because he hasn't driven mine yet!! Andrew, for goodness sake be patient......
Getting bact to my own Big Boy, I would welcome an opinion from you folk about the quietest way to light the burners?
The long boiler can trap the gas resulting in a bit of a bang if you are not careful when applying flame through the smokebox.
Lighting through the firebox end presumably means releasing the burner 'catch' and fiddle around a bit.
I know it must be a question of experience but what do you guys recommend?
PS Do you have a blower down the chimney when lighting?
Yes, you can have a "Bang" with the BB if not careful. Because of the three large burners, a lot of butane can get trapped in the firebox and boiler flues if you do not lite them fast after you turn on the gas. To avoid this, make sure that when you lite your BB up that you have about an 1.5" to 2" of the burner out the back of the firebox. Lite quickly, then slide burners all the way in. The most important thing is to leave the front of the smoke box door closed but not latched. This works as a safety precaution. If you do get a lot of trapped butane and it flashes the smoke box door will pop open from the blast relieving the pressure. The smoke box door snaps shut tight enough that I leave mine unlatched all the time anyway. You want to use a Aster suction fan when liteing. Even though you are running on butane, the boiler is so long that the suction fan helps draw the heat down the boiler flues until you have enough pressure to turn on the blower. Because of the two smoke stacks, the fan goes in the first and I cover the second with a quarter. Good luck. We are lucky that in our steam group we have two BB's to run and have fun with.
Another thing that some people have problems with when running their BB is the flow of the steam oil. This is an easy fix. The BB has a true oil pump. When the drivers are turning, oil is being pumped to the cylinders. The oil tank at the running board has a hose that feeds the oil to the oil pump sump under the engine. Some have trouble getting the oil to feed through this line to the pump. The answer is to use a lighter weight steam oil (Roundhouse steam oil has worked perfect for me) and to then push the engine around the track before you lite it up. Pushing it pulls the oil out of the tank down into the oil sump before lite up and gets the flow going. Remember that now a lot of the oil from the tank has been pulled into the sump, so top the oil tank at the running board back off.
That info on lighting sounds sensible. I will try it when the weather improves here in the UK.
It's either too wet or too cold or both at the moment. Yes I am an enthusiast but there are limits!
Interesting points made on the lubrication also. When I first ran my Big Boy under load the oil came back up out of the open feed plug resulting in water replacing the oil in the top reservoir. Obviously not good news.
Andrew located a replacement spring for the warn one (yes he does have his uses) and Geoff Calver refitted together with some of the other pump parts.
So far it is working brilliantly. I am making sure to keep it topped up now. It's all part of the fun of driving a steam engine.
I am interested in Rayman's extra sound possibilities, particularly the whistle. The current whistle is somewhat hysterical.
I have never been in a position when a real BB or Challenger has gone by with the whistle/horn blasting.
I would probably burst into tears! Why not?
Yes, the Aster whistle on the BB leaves much to be desired. You do have to remember though that these engines were made over 20+ years ago. Whistle technology in small scale has come a long way since then. When people ask me to blow the whistle on the BB I usually say that it does not have one. It can spoil the moment..........here comes this awesome steam beast lumbering down the tracks pulling every car that I own with ease, everyone watching in awe...............................and then if you blow the whistle you hear.........peeeeeeep, peeeeep. Like I said, kind of spoils the grand moment.
The Aster BB's came set up to fire on butane. You also get grates and accessories to fire them on coal if you want to. The last one that I saw for sell was a factory built at a public auction. The winning bidder was represented by E Bay. This was about a year and a half ago.
The person who bought the BB at the US auction had to pay transportation fees and UK Tax on delivery which put the price nearer to $25,000. He still got a good deal when the UK Pound was 1.00 = 2.0 $US. These locomotives are good to look at, sound investments and run really well.
Posted By Steve S. on 12/14/2008 9:35 PM The Aster BB's came set up to fire on butane. You also get grates and accessories to fire them on coal if you want to. The last one that I saw for sell was a factory built at a public auction. The winning bidder was represented by E Bay. This was about a year and a half ago.
A Big Boy with gas ?
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