This page last updated: December 21, 2012 as of January 2017
Coal Flood loader conveyor Building instructions
- The code is posted to SourceForge as of Feb 2015
Main parts visible
Ready to flood
Coal in train cars from mine floodloader
is transported up and delivered to be rotary dumped into conveyor into ship loader into ship. Ship sails to distant port. Then the ships conveyor unloads at dock into conveyor-flood loader that loads train cars for delivery to steel mill rotary dumper and from there the coal is conveyored down into the mine flood loader.
- Conveyors move the coal (from the rotary dumper on the level above) into a funnel over the unit train of gondolas
Instructional videos by Dan Sheppard and NSmodeler24 provided ideas that were bashed together and then devolved into what follows. A flood loader similar to the one by Paul Mack would solve some of the bin requirements noted below. And so as of January 2017 I have a
Western coal floodloader. It may replace this one or become its big brother at its side.
- Train driver moves the cars at a slow speed... and sensors turn on/off the conveyor dumping coal into the cars.
- I opened the box and only saw khaki and OD green plastic - where was the blue flood loader?...
- Painted it blue... missed the edges - probably should have painted the back side too - would have painted the edges then.
- Like most of the Walthers kits - Clean and paint, dry assemble to discern trouble areas, follow the instructions and plan to do it all at one time and quickly so the glue is still soft when the pieces have to be pulled apart to get in that last edge...
- To use as a functional loader, it is too fragile - standing on those thin pillars - plan to reinforce and have supports for stability when loading coal trains... Do what others seem to do and use it only as a 'shell' and have the operating mechanism 'free standing' yet firmly secured and sturdy, and lower the plastic flood loader onto the working bits.
- Added some styrene strips and plan to mount a rod into the base and mount a tube onto the loader so it can be removed if required. The stairs and platform in the back add support to the structure. or maybe not as of May 2015, glueing on the back stairs strengthened it.
- Operating mechanism : Some kind of conveyor to move coal to-into the flood loader (TBD), a bin with a servo controlled gate at the bottom to control the flow of coal, a rectangular hood that moves up and down : up over the locomotive and down to the coal car...
- Conveyor... TBD and no idea of how to actually make it work at anywhere near HO scale... Send in the Nano-bots stat.
- Ordered GT2 gear and belt from Adafruit and shafts and bearings from EBay... dunno how/or if it will actually go together.
- Vex robotics makes a track, but it is 1.5" wide; will use it inside the bottom of the boat to move the coal to a vertical lift -up and out- to the conveyor that moves the coal from ship to land - probably something like whatever gets done here....
- All above is OBE, will probably build a large bin under the rotary couple and simply have a funnel into this flood loader ... ala NSmodeler24.
- bin with gate... (Similar yet different version is at ships conveyor - it has pictures)
- 2 1/4" square box (make it more so there can be an overlap 2.25x4=9"+1"overlap=10x4") 4" tall, then 1 1/2 (1.5)" slit cut up the corners and folded in then 3/4 (per side) + 3/4 inch triangle cut from the bottom up to the top of the slit - so the folded in portion make a 1" square at the bottom... use the triangle bits on the outside to reinforce the cut corners.
- Gate: 2.15" square (with a 1" hole drilled in the center) on 5/16 x2.15 rails on each side on another 2.15" square with hole: so a 1.5 x 4" tongue with a 1" hole drilled 1.25" from one end can slide though to have an open-closed coal chute...
- a 1" tube fastened to the bottom of the square fastened to the bottom of the bin...
- Fasteners and mounting brackets TBD... (Household Hogar version of Amazing GOOP made by Eclectic Products does all my magic mending)
- lower hood...
- 1 1/8" square box(5" strip to allow for overlap) 2 5/8" tall...
- brass tube fastened to the bottom of the hood so it can slide up a larger tube fastened to a 1.25" square 5/8" tall mounted inside the plastic coal chute...
- 3/8" square (so 3/4 long- half in and half out) with a 1/16 hole drilled in it on the close corner to link to the servo arm...
- 0.010" brass was used for most - 0.025 was used for the closing coal cutoff. A soldering iron set for >700 degrees works for the thin and turn it up to > 800 for the thick bits. It is a large heat sink so it will take a while to heat up but then the solder flows into and fills the crevices to make a solid solder joint... Make a puddle of solder to aid in heat flow into the material , when the solder flows into the joints it is good. Using a large wide tip helps considerably with the heat flow.
- Holes were drilled so the power wire could be fed up on one side near the back frame and the control wires could be fed down near the front frame and back up outside the frame area. A support pole tube and rod are on the other (right rear) back side frame rail(but not really installed yet- maybe when this gets put on a layout permanently).
- Without a doubt there will be coal spillage so taking more direction from NSmodeler24 a square hole is cut beneath the track to funnel spillage into a holding container and keep it from derailing the train.
Electronics front, back
- Arduino mini powered with 6 volt wall wart so the servos can be driven from power rather than Arduino.
- 6 buttons mounted in a coal hopper(not 4 in a container as of May 2015) [Gate open-close, Funnel Up-down, Autorun start, Emergency stop-reset], 2 servos: Gate and Funnel, 3 smd led for interest, 3 light detectors under track for automation.
Coal Load: 3/4 cup to overfill 1 car
30 fl oz plastic Miracle whip jar holds 4 cups = 5 cars [When did a quart become 30 oz?]
20 cars = 4 jars
100 cars = 20 jars
As it turns out the ship will be built - not a kit. Based on a 36" conveyor that will be 9 hopper holds. Each hopper hold of the ship can hold less than 1 jar. Estimate about 8 jars so that would be 40 cars ... make it 2 20 car sections.
The rotary dumper takes about 30 seconds to dump a car, it takes a lot less time to flood load the cars, this will require a LARGE holding bin between the dumper and the flood loader. A large bin will allow dumping the cars and flood loading at a later time as doing a concurrent operation would be crazy on the flood loader side.
Even going with 20 car train sections, a 4 jar bin that is sloped and has a gate will take up a lot of room between the dumper and the flood loader - there is already a height crunch due to the dumper extending below the track level and the flood loader being about a foot tall - of the 18" distance between the 30" lower and the 48" upper tables. The conveyor between the bin and the flood loader has to angle a little and the coal does not disperse like water - it will mound up and not flow back down without some kind of applied force, thus the need for a sloped bin.
as of 2015 it looks like NSmodeler24 has started a functional rotary dumper with a large bin into a functional flood loader. See NSmodeler24 videos for examples.
Copyright © 1991..2017 by Ivan Lee Herring