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Member postings for Nick Clarke 3

Here is a list of all the postings Nick Clarke 3 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Wheels to Axles - locomotives
14/08/2018 14:03:19
Posted by Clive Foster on 14/08/2018 13:30:20:

I often wonder what the actual strength of such threaded keys is when compared to more conventional keys. Or even a simple round pin held in place by a bolt and washer.

Possibly the weakness is even more important than the strenth. If the parts ever have to come apart a socket grubscrew can split and become immoveable, as the components then become too. A plain pin is no problem as after applying some heat the wheels can be pressed off and the pin falls out!

14/08/2018 12:37:51
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 14/08/2018 12:25:24:
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 14/08/2018 12:16:30:

I got chucked out of B&Q for going round with a sharpie writing 'retainer' on everything...


Would that have been a Sharpie, Neil ... or just some generic fibre-tipped writing instrument being passed-off as the real thing ?

devil MichaelG.

Surely the real thing would be the aluminium bodied 'FloMaster' pen my infant school teacher used nearly 60 years ago? I can still recall the smell of the ink (no H&S issues then!) and the appalling squeaking it made as she wrote with it!

Thread: Class 22 Diesel (next project)
13/08/2018 11:07:24

Ron - You may already know but the Project Class 22 Society who are aiming to build a new class 22 have a side elevation of this loco on the homepage of their website.


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 13/08/2018 11:08:33

Thread: Small Brushless Motors - can they generate?
13/08/2018 09:58:41
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 11/08/2018 21:07:16:

Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 11/08/2018 20:34:57:

Sorry but no - for that to work with any accuracy you would need two 'selsyn' type devices.


Reality check, I doubt a genuine vintage mechanical rev counter head is going to win any awards for accuracy!

Agreed the magnetic heads which came in during the 1950s were notoriously inaccurate, but I assumed that a chronometric head was being referred to. These are usually accurate but are far more expensive to produce and don't give an instantaneous reading. They measure the revs, display the result measure again etc etc, the needle moving in a series of steps.

Thread: Which books
12/08/2018 22:17:25

Dunno about 3d printing as I only have experience of my own machine, but I was teaching CNC in school in g code using a small CNC lathe attached to a BBC computer in the late 1980s

12/08/2018 21:51:57

Posted by Andrew Johnston on 12/08/2018 21:43:21:

Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 12/08/2018 21:20:34:


Topics that I think need to be in an updated book, even since I modelled in the 1970s, could include:


Wot? No CNC? Must be a step too far! smile


I quite agree Andrew - originally I included it but lost my post through operator error before I uploaded it and missed it when reposting.

Incidentally I used to work with a teacher of technical drawing who claimed to teach from resources in a filing cabinet, none newer than 25 years old. At least with CNC & CAD that is unlikely to happen!

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 12/08/2018 22:01:22

12/08/2018 21:20:34

Returning to model engineering after a gap of nearly 45 years has really brought home to me the need fir an up to date readable book on modern techniques. Reading through the posts I suspect I am not alone in this.

Topics that I think need to be in an updated book, even since I modelled in the 1970s, could include:

Metrification, DROs, 3D printing, tig and mig welding, the ready availability of machines, not so Myford focussed as in the past, invertors, no blowlamps or air/towngas, disappearance of one-off foundries, new materials like plastics, laser cutting and changes to boiler codes and soldering materials.

And I have no doubt many more could be added!

Apart from books about model engineering, Tubal Cain’s reference book is essential as a source of information, but I have to admit it is not really a bedtime read!

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 12/08/2018 21:29:30

Thread: Small Brushless Motors - can they generate?
11/08/2018 20:34:57
Posted by Tim Stevens on 10/08/2018 14:03:09:

But now I have a further question - just confirmation if you like. If I connect the three wires of two identical drone motors, colour to colour, and spin one of them, the other will spin at the same speed - won't it? And swapping two of the pairs would reverse the drive? This would give us a further option, in effect replacing a too-convoluted cable run with three wires, driving a genuine vintage mechanical rev-counter head.

Sorry but no - for that to work with any accuracy you would need two 'selsyn' type devices.
As to why not consider these two cases:
Firstly turn the 'sender' motor slowly - it will generate little or no electricity and so the 'receiver' motor is unlikely to turn at all.
As an other example if the motors are designed to run on say 5 volts at 3000rpm spinning the 'sender' motor very quickly may generate more than 5 volts and damage the 'receiver' motor.
Between these two extremes the results are unlikely to be linear and from 0 rpm to max rpm definitely not.
Thread: Cleaning Lathe after use
10/08/2018 18:38:32
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 10/08/2018 18:19:58:

Make bread before washing your hands


Or to put it another way - make bread, no need to wash hands, don't eat the bread! 😂😊😂

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 10/08/2018 18:40:13

Thread: British empire lathe
09/08/2018 21:17:41

Can't see the pictures

Thread: Small Brushless Motors - can they generate?
09/08/2018 21:14:28
Posted by Jeff Dayman on 09/08/2018 20:36:31:

You may be able to find an old style bicycle generator driven off the bike tire - the old style of these make a DC output varying with speed.

I used to get pupils in O level and A level Physics classes to connect a bike dynamo to an oscilloscope when showing them how to use a scope - the output is AC and roughly (VERY roughly!!) sinusoidal not DC. The faster you spin it the higher the frequency of the output obviously.

Thread: Engine plans
07/08/2018 22:27:35

Today the only sensible thing to do is to work with metric dimensions because that is what tools and materials are generally available in.

However to talk about a single imperial system is a little misleading as there were many many different sets of units used in different situations - those suitable for a pharmacist making up a medicine were ideal for that but not suited for bags of coal. Similarly the units used by a jewellery maker were not suitable for a manufacturer of steam locos. Despite all of these different sets of units (and more) there was rarely any need to convert between them. Horses for courses.

Along comes the metric system and all of a sudden it is time to try to use a single set of units to cover all of these situations - I say a single set but during my lifetime (and I am not yet retired) I have used imperial units, cgs, mks and SI units in science and engineering. Things are still changing - the most recent I am aware of is the change from 1 kilobyte = 1024 bytes to now referring to 1000 bytes.

Unfortunately the system of units used for most of the history of model engineering was fractions of inches, number and letter drills and gauges for tube, sheet and wire thickness, If these tools and materials are no longer available then yes, you do need to convert - but this trivial using a calculator, provided that clearances and strength of components are not compromised. the original designer might have erred on the tight side for example, and using a standard conversion might be just too much - common sense has its place here.

I have in front of me a drawing by Martin Evans that includes number drill sizes, fractions and decimal inches and it is not the easiest to follow to say the least!


PS Recently I tried to show how easy it was in the 1970s when I had to do 12.5% VAT in my head. This was done by working out how many half crowns were in the total sum - it degenerated into confusion when I realised the person I was talking to had no idea what a half crown was. I must be getting old!

Thread: Issue 271 Cover picture
04/08/2018 18:18:06
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 04/08/2018 09:30:55:

To adapt an old aphorism:

Calculate twice ... Print once

I'm sorry but I think you have that wrong - Shouldn't it be 'measure twice, cut once - then force it to fit??'

Thread: A Replacement circuit board
03/08/2018 17:57:24

I know you have made investigations, however does applying power directly to the latch solenoid unlock the system? if it doesn't there is your fault.

There is no eprom in the system - the chip will be a processor as has been already mentioned. If that is the fault you will need to replace the chip (quite easy) and then find the code it was programmed with (IMHO unlikely to impossible)

I doubt if pcbs were ever made independently of the safes so your choices are down to someone who has a faulty safe with a good pcb (what can go wrong with the rest of the safe except perhaps leaky batteries?) or buying a good safe and hoping you can swap the board. I note your safe seems quite large, but the 'front panel' seems the same as those on cabin/hotel room sized safes that go for £15 upwards on the auction site. 


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 03/08/2018 18:09:28

Thread: Steam Turbines Large and Miniature
02/08/2018 10:59:49
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 02/08/2018 10:00:55:

The following link was the horrific end to the "Princess Anne" Turbolocomotive (Modified)

But the only good thing to come out of that disaster was that Robin Riddles was able to show the need for a new class 8 loco to replace Princess Anne and so give us the wonderful Duke of Gloucester!

Thread: Password Problems
28/07/2018 20:27:51

The 'remember me' is a feature of your computer, usually in the particular browser used to access the site

Thread: Songs for the Workshop
23/07/2018 21:12:49

The old mill by the stream (Nellie Dean?)

Lathe Lady Lathe - Bob Dylan?

Anything about sheet metal forming by the Spinners

and of course when some new equipment is needed - Money money money by Abba

Thread: BR1 Tender tunnel
23/07/2018 07:45:43
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 22/07/2018 20:04:43:

You have my sympathy, Brian ... and my respect for trying !!

I remember [decades ago] watching the chap in BSA, lining a petrol tank.

Tank supported on his left hand, and a fully loaded dagger brush in his right

The classic D shaped line was produced in a matter of seconds; then he flipped the tank around on his hand and did one to match on the other side [these are of course, mirror images!].


In a previous life I sold lining tape, both the type where a centre section was torn out leaving a strip either side and also the type that left a line of colour when you pulled a carrier tape away - Perhaps if the first type is still available it might help? - mind you I also remember a TV documentary about Van den Plas where they showed a strip being applied the full length of a BMC 1300 in one go with a long brush loaded with paint, like Michael saw on the tank. No guide or anything - just a steady hand and years of experience. I am deeply envious of course!

Thread: Microsoft Windows 10S - One to Avoid?
18/07/2018 17:26:19

Posted by Vic on 17/07/2018 20:44:55:

Then there’s this.

“Just 5 percent of IBM’s Mac users needed to call the help desk; In contrast, an astonishing 40 percent of PC staff request tech support help“.

All this recognises is that a greater proportion of PC users needed help than the Mac users. For example if the PC users are low level clerical users just given a computer and similar their computer knowledge might be low.

If a user was sufficiently high level to be able to choose a far more expensive option or a graphic artist, media creator or mac developer they might be more independent as a computer user.

or perhaps any of many other different situations.

The statement is not justified by any valid evidence.

Thread: New application of Mole Grips
14/07/2018 15:43:10
Posted by Martin Connelly on 13/07/2018 12:34:11:

This reminds me of a day in my youth when waiting at a bus stop to go to school. A bus went past with the driver wearing an open face crash helmet, goggles, scarf, heavy coat and thick gloves. He was driving a bus (a Leyland Atlantean) with absolutely no bodywork on it. This was in the late sixties or early seventies so he had no seatbelt and nothing around him to stop him from coming off the seat.

Martin C

I saw one of these once, and they were so common a sight that either Dinky or Corgi produced a 1/43 model of a bus chassis under test with weights on to simulate a body.

Nowadays it is harder to drive round with no body on a vehicle than with a body in the boot!!!

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