This page last updated: December 21, 2012 as of February 2017
Rotary Dumper Paper-plant Building instructions
The code is posted to SourceForge : there is a subset that has only the Arduino code - that is all you need - the Rotary Dumper code. The Main download has Delphi code for the Missile launcher.
My plans on building several dumpers, using knowledge gained and an Arduino micro controller are here. Actually this is the latest information, as this is the fourth dumper.
- Links to Paper-plant sub pages... Rotary dumper, Positioner, Buildings, and woodchip cars images.
- Plan to have two rotary dumpers at the paper plant
- Standard Walthers made for 62' wood chip cars and another Walthers for 72' rotary gondolas ... either dumper would dump either size cars ... it is the positioner that flummoxed the one dumper does both size cars. Could not get past the car length requires positioner contacts that would become damaged-non functional during use.
- As of 2017feb4 : Two dumpers could not move their chips to the loader below, so am trying to use Adafruit sensors as they would not get touched by the positio
- Building a Walthers rotary dumper
- Real dumpers dump away from you, which is what Walthers designed for this dumper. I prefer to watch the coal dump out, so when finished the 'machinery' will be placed on what Walthers calls the back of the dumper -My front. On the first page I delay doing steps 5 though 10 until the dumper is placed and ready to be landscaped. Put all the 'machinery' and fences in a safe place where you will never find them again. The instructions can be followed, just pay attention to the figures - especially for the base bottom - the bottoms inscribed line goes on the outside and the wall inscribed lines are on the inside.
- The inscribed lines are where the base is cut to make a coal car size dumper. The clamps are cut at their base where they change from one size to the other- cutting the clamps lowers them and a locomotive CANNOT drive through the dumper. This dilemma is leads to several solutions, none of which are desirable. This may be why Walthers Wood chip green kit dumper does not include instructions for a coal -or- wood chip dumper like the red kit did.
- Push the cars through from the back.
- Create a locomotive that can fit through the dumper.
- Add a quarter inch rail to the top of the coal cars ala ore cars and Do NOT cut off the lower part of the clamps.
- After I had done this I realized maybe a carefully placed styrene bumper could be made on the rails that grab the car - as long as they clear the rail supports as they go up and down, allow a locomotive to go through, and actually do not slip off of the car edge. TBD.
- Tried to move a locomotive through and there is not enough clearance to have descending bumpers on the rails.
- Make a H bar thingy underneath that raises the clamps - after cutting out the base bottom and the clamp rails - or actually just not glueing them in.
- I have done the first three and have yet to figure out how to successfully accomplish the fourth.
- I build in groups (so the parts can be positioned correctly while still gooey), except for the tubes and walls- which are prebuilt and allowed to get hard and dry before going into the dumper.
- IF Painting is to be done make sure the clamps and gear teeth do NOT get painted as they must remain unsticky and free moving. If painting prior to glueing in the railbed portion make sure to cover the areas where it is glued into-onto the dumper. It has a small area that holds it and needs a good glue bond.
- To enable a locomotive going through the dumper the rails need to be connected to power. O yeah, and You supply the rails.
- All together now - well no, it was when I tried to put the dumper into the base I discovered a fatal error. Also to prevent the clamps from getting broken there needs to be a car in the dumper when it is rotated -or be real carefull and lift the clamps past things- rather difficult, huh.
- Shown are two base units and one dumper. Notice that the clamp rails are Not correct in the middle base- the inscribed lines are on the inside - Wrongo Bongo
- The gear to drive the dumper is a Traxxas 3956 54 tooth 32 pitch gear. Glued to a full rotation servo six arm horn with pins through holes to hopefully stabilize it together. Many types of gears could be used, just make sure they fit each other and have a 3mm -ie-1/8" hole for the gears in the dumper and on the outside of the rod that is driven by the big gear on the servo. Also the gears in the dumper have to be small enough to fit into the hole. Larger than 3mm makes for too big a hole in the plastic gear that mates to the dumper; smaller is great as long as you get 3 pinion gears that have the same size hole. Too many words before the pictures explain things...
- The wood base that holds the dumper with parts ready to be glued around the dumper and the servo.
- 1x4" on three sides making a 8 x 16 inch box. 1x2 inside box to support the dumper at the correct height. 1x4's on their side to complete the base bottom. A 1x2 across to support the servo. Lots of little wood bits to hold the dumper and servo and support the drive rod against the servos force pushing it away from full gear contact. That large servo arm is used for Rod support.
The Arduino sits on the base bottom after the servo - where those wood bits are now.
- The base has steel support rods glued underneath and a lot of the (MY) front of the dumper cut away to allow the coal to fall through.
- All edges are styrened and puttied to make an angled surface to direct the coal so it does not catch in the edge corners. The hole for the track wires to go out is visible at the back of the right image; the hole for the bronze to go in - not so much. The holes on the unused side are covered with glued on styrene.
- The sensor to stop the servo is phosphor bronze flappers. I used copper before and when I started to redo these - to lower the positioner- they no longer closed the circuit when pressed together. Hopefully these do not develop that problem. The plates sticking out from the dumper are Mechano parts - whatever - there needs to be a nut and bolt that can be loosened-tighted to allow moving the plate out of the way.
- Full rotation servo turns the Traxxas 3956: 54T 32P which drives the Traxxas 3947: 17T 32P turning the 1/8" metal rod which has a pair of Robinsonracing RRP0100 10T 32P pinion gears superglued to the little green gears which have no known pitch, although they are 12T. Traxxas are 1.5mm, Robinson are 1/16" : get all of the same brand to use only one allen wrench hex key. As the Robinson is the one used for the inner gears - get all Robinson? And it is 1/16" so you probably already have an Allen key that size. A 10 tooth gear is as Large as can barely fit in the dumper hole, a 9 tooth gear might be 'safer', smaller than that might lead to other problems.
- The green gears sitting glued to the 10T pinion gears with their nuts laying across a pencil and the rod across the top of the image. It is a 12inch rod - the 10 inch did not cover the distance.
- Looking down inside to see the gears in position.
- The servo is surrounded by glued in bits of wood. The cover is leaning to the right side. Once everything is put together the only way to remove the dumper is to loosen the pinion gears and pull out the rod. Try not to need to do that.
- So of course I did... Closeup of the servo mount, with the screws in now.
- All together now... Yes, I painted it blue to match the GN cars. The other wood pulp rotary dumper is out of the box green, and it matches the green IP extended Bethgon coalporterish cars.
- All the positioners have been rebuilt to lower the VEX mechanism so the grab arm is close to level with the coupler. HTH. To make 2 wood chip positioners; since the cars are longer, they got repaired to the dumpers and a fourth was made using a bashed printer mechanism which will be used for the ship dumper. Discovering that the wood chip cars required longer travel than was available on the printer and on one of the others made for some readjustments to about everyting.
- A box of wood holding a VEX linear gear mechanism with a servo glued to it with an extended arm to grab the car coupler to position the unit train....
- On the near side is a servo mounted on stilts with a servo horn with spread eagle bronze wings to hold the cars in place while the positioner moves...
- Moar phosphor bronze flappers to signal the travel limits of the positioner...
- Rotary dumper and positioner mounted together
- Ship dumper and positioner using a printer mechanism
- Steel mill dumper and positioner
- When this was done I stepped outside for a smoke and realized that the two wood chip dumpers would not be able to dump their wood chips close enough together to be effectively transported to the lower level flood loader. And then I realized that if Adafruit break sensors were used they could be hard placed and not get hit when the positioner moved past them to get to the other sensor for the other type wood chip car.
- Plan to use the positioner attached to the GN dumper to test the sensors, just because it is narrower and thus makes it harder to mount the sensors. Gluing the sensors to brass plates that have a slot in them to allow adjustments makes mounting easier.
- The Adafruit break sensors require one pin per set so that is 4 pins versus the one pin used currently and three more than available on a Mini-pro, So Mega board it is. Googling Mini-pro gave results that indicate it is a Pro Mini.
- Wood chip Arduino, control box, for both the chip dumpers.
- Three dumpers are made the same - it was when the fourth became needed - much later, that a different design was done.
- An Arduino mini-pro mounted to a board with wires and power inputs glommed together mounted to a wood board to keep stray contacts from electrifying my world. The Arduino is connected with pins and receptacles so it can be removed if disaster strikes.
- The code for all four is at Sourcforge.
- Ship dumper Arduino, control box
- The printer mechanism requires a L293D to output 6V and allow reversing - the chip in the lower right of the board.
- As the Arduino and control box were to be newly made for this, all the buttons required to Debug and operate were put in the box - the earlier ones were made for minimal space - only buttons there are what is required to operate - Once it all works correctly.
- Steel mill dumper Arduino, control box
- Kinda hard to see beneath all the wires...
- The metal plate with 6 buttons is for debugging the servo positions.
- The dumper positioner using Adafruit break sensors breaks the pins on a Pro Mini, So a redo using a Mega .. and thus Moar blinkies.
- Four became 3 again and the control boxes were redone
- Ship loading coal with L293D chip
- Paper plant wood chip with Adafruit sensors
Copyright © 1991..2017 by Ivan Lee Herring