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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a follow up to Sunday's poor running, I decided to try again today with the beautiful mid-60s weather we are having today.

I added a little bit of white vinegar to the water in the boiler. This is to remove any scale that prevented the safety from lifting the other day.


I used pure butane, not the mix of butane and propane. Fired up, nice gas burner sound. I also adjusted the air flow, and opened it up wide. That seemed to make a big difference. It had been half open before. Steam pressure came up fairly quickly, and I put the gear in forward and off she steamed.

I was able to do several laps, but none without stopping briefly for pressure to rebuild. I believe this is the nature of this particular locomotive running on this particular railroad. I was able to take several short videos and one longer one. The longer one is a ride in the tender. She sure does fly along, but uses up that steam pretty quickly. At this point, I am still manually controlling the throttle, and perhaps I have it open too far. (As an aside, I hooked the radio control throttle bar back up, and tried it in the basement at the end of the run. It moves the throttle from 7 o'clock to about 5 o'clock. Most of these runs the throttle was set at closer to 4 o'clock, so perhaps the running will be better going forward.)


I am currently uploading the videos to youtube so you all can enjoy.

My next project for this locomotive is to construct a better locomotive carrier. Something along the lines of the one done in the thread "hot loco carrier".


All in all, I am quite pleased with these trial runs. I attempted to make an adjustment to the left side valve timing, since it appears to get stuck at top dead center, but both adjustments made running worse. So, I think it is set as good as it can be.

OK, Videos!!


This one is what happens when you put the camera too close to the tracks.



Cruising around the big curve. I thought she was going to stop, but she just kept on going.


After a brief stop, I opened the throttle, and hit the start button on the camera. As you can see, she was already well on her way.



And finally, the ride around the line. Sort of reminds me of that video of the narrow gauge in China where the tracks were really bad!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jim, I was thinking that your original line would be perfect!! Mine has too much of a grade...
 

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Posted By markoles on 02/11/2009 2:42 PM
Jim, I was thinking that your original line would be perfect!! Mine has too much of a grade...

Thats what steam helpers are for!!!!
 

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Looks/sounds good. I always try to just have the gas valve open enough to get the pressure I want and keep the throttle down a bit also, will give you longer runs, but I don't have grades. Good to see it running again. After a run, I always like to drain the lubricator and refill it while warm. I also suck out the remaining water.
 

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Yeah, Mark is steaming again!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jerry, Charles, and all,

Thanks!! I have been properly trained to drain the lubricator after every run. This loco tends to have no water left when the gas runs out. Next thing will be troubleshooting the goodall valve. I think it just needs a new piece of tubing.

After watching the on-board run, I think that the throttle could have been closed more, which is good because with the RC hooked back up, the throttle will not open as far. I am happy with the slow speed performace, too. Now I can finally break this engine in!! Only been 15 years....


As for the grades, well, I have a bunch of old brass track in the basement that mostly catches the dust. I am considering laying a steam only line but at this point, that might prove to be a disastrous political move here. Probably be better to simply run the loco on the regular mainline with lower throttle settings.

Charles, is there room for another small steamer on the PLS track for the ECLSTS? Might be kind of fun to run her along side some of those huge locomotives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jerry,

The new versions of this loco have a nice wood cab and a different headlight. My headlight, as you can see, is gone and has been since about the third steam up. Apparently they used some soft solder to mold the headlight bracket. It melted off, and that's where that silver streak on the front of the smokebox came from. I am toying with the idea of stripping the paint off the smokebox, repainting it flat black, and painting the boiler blue or green. A while back, I was considering making this a regular outside frame 2-6-2, but after tearing it apart and rebuilding it again, that would be impossible.

Anyway, I hope your mikado gets sorted out. Live steam is fun, but usually only when it works.


Mark
 

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Mark
Mike is very generous to most all members of the live steam community but there is a sign up board that can at times become filled with enthusiasts wish to enjoy their locomotives, so check in with him at ECLSTS (assuming Aikenback Live Steamer are invited- I will check with Mike this weekend).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Guys,

I have finished working on the Liberty Belle! After the last set of posts, I painted the boiler a royal blue and the smokebox flat black. I steamed her up yesterday (first time since the last videos) and had a fairly good run. The blue in this video looks a lot lighter than the actual. I will try and get some real photos posted soon.

Mark
 

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Mark
One could tell by the video that you must of been quite excited. An attractive engine and amazing engineer to handle the camera at the same time bring it to the station stop- spot on! Looking forward to more steamup opportunities for you, the little engineer and the Roundouse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Charles,

Thanks!! The station stop was unintentional!! There is a slight grade at that point, and she simply didn't have the pressure to overcome!! But, perhaps she was enjoying the spotlight?

More updates:

I decided that last night's run was too short to make an accurate evaluation.

I used the butane/propane mixture I got at WalMart, and that seemed to burn just fine. Steam built and the first run was not that great. Burned up all the gas, so refueled gas tank and refilled the boiler with water. Shutting down after reaching max pressure to refill the gas has increased my run times.

The second run was a lot better. Steam generation closely matched throttle setting (I had reduced the throttle setting trying not to use steam faster than I make it). Even though I have radio control on this locomotive, I am setting the johnson bar and the throttle and then turning the RC off. These servos and transmitter are very sensitive and that causes me a lot of problems, like slamming from forward to reverse unexpectedly. Got about 3-5 laps out of the locomotive, with only minor 'station stops' (unintentional) when steam pressure dipped below required force.

Finally burned up all the gas, shut down, refilled boiler and gas and fired up again. Steam pressure built back very quickly and off I went. I noticed on this third run that the locomotive seemed to have no problem running at full speed and keeping pressure up for almost a full lap. That's a record for this engine. Because it seems to be too hard on the equipment, I am trying to find that happy place in the throttle where the locomotive will chug along at a decent speed on the uphills, yet not run away on the down hill. The third run I used the RC a bit more, but it wasn't as fun as just watching the loco run on its own. I also shoved two aristocraft tank cars with bachmann metal wheels. There was some pretty nasty wheel slippage, which tells me that perhaps I need to add a little weight to the loco to give it some more traction. At 40 PSI, and a full throttle, there was no problem shoving uphill. At 40 PSI and about 2/3 throttle, not a problem. Even at about 20 PSI, she still managed to get the cars moving.

At the end of the run, I noted a steam leak from the steam delivery pipe. Might just need a little tightening (I hope). There were other oil leaks on the cylinder covers, and I tightened those screws while under pressure. All in all, I had a lot of fun running this engine, but I can see why black is the favorite color!! I oiled her running gear at each refueling stop as well. That might have helped some.

Mark
 

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Mark, it is evident that you are really having fun with your engine. Can't beat a Roundhouse for that.

Larry
 
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