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Member postings for Ramon Wilson

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

Thread: Anodising
04/05/2010 12:28:34
Hi again,
I now have some results - not great - but  at least something to report.
First off though I'd just like to say thanks to all of you who have responded so far, your input is much appreciated.
I finally cobbled together the neccessary items to have a go at this process and have jury rigged a set up using a 20 volt power supply that was made years ago to drive the cross slide milling spindle motor. Control was via a Variac on the input side and a test meter ut in circuit to measure the current. A spot of 'alchemy' provided dyes - two greens from Dylon cold water dyes and two from disolving whole tubes of artists water colour into about 300mls each.
The tank was filled with acid that was mixed several years ago as a pickle though never used. It appears very 'clean'. Having thought about it I'm sure I mixed this with clean rain water.
The cathode is a lead strip about 75mm wide and runs down the side, across the bottom and half way up the other side.
The hanging wires are from 1.5 mm ally welding wires bent back on itself and pushed a tight fit into a hole drilled into the test pieces (these were parted off from the stock the cylinder heads were made from - probably HE30 though not certain.
The first test piece was cleaned in cellulose thinner dried off then washed in the cold (room temperature) washing soda degreaser.  20 mins or so produce a rather striated effect which I put down to poor degreasing. It did however have a different 'feel' to it rubbing it across some wet and dry on a flat surface. It would not however take any colur. After ringing someone I knew who had some experience with anodising I was told to make sure the soda degreaser was hot and to increase the current and time to about 40 - 60 mins. His experiences weren't very encouraging regarding the colouring however as he had had a similar lack of take up. What he had been able to get to take albeit poor colour though had been acheived by an increase in amperage.
The second piece was left in for 50 mins and the current increased. This resulted in a much better part - a smooth and uniform nice grey finish. Dissappointment then to find despite an hour in the dye not so much as a speck of colour anywhere. I mixed up the violet dye as I have read that greens can be difficult but no luck there either.
These are the second (left) after treatment and the third part before 
I decide then to do as Bernie had suggested and use a 12volt battery to get a much higher current. Left in the same amount of time this did not come out any near as evenly coated as the second and as you can see left a deep pitted hole near the hanging wire.
Despite the much higher current this did not take up any dye either.
The second part will not pass a current across the surface. The third will in areas - passing the test probe over the surface leads to intermittent connection.
My thoughts so far are that the current needs to be increased lightly more than the first set up can give. The time could be slightly longer perhaps. The biggest area for improvement has to be the connection between the hanging wires and the parts as I think that the area of contact is too small and probably reduces throughout the process.
I've bitten the bullet and ordered a decent supply unit which is something that's been needed for some time but always got by without.
I'm perplexed by the lack of dye take up at this time but quite impressed by the surface finish on the second piece. I will try inks next and wonder if solvent based dyes would work too
If anyone has any furth <
Thread: ED Racer 'times two'
30/04/2010 22:36:38
Hi Terry,
Thanks, that would seem to explain the concern in not allowing - shall we say for the 'non anodiser' - the soda to come into contact with ally.
I shall use washing soda then as a 'final' degreaser after using a solvent (acetone) first and it's pleasing to hear that you had no problem with the doubled up wire too - I feel a little more confident in the method. I have several test pieces of ally cut from the same stock as the parts were made from to experiment on before biting the bullet.
So far the expenditure has been reasonable. The two big glass jars were a quid each from Tescos, the poly box was three, and the dyes and soda seven. Just some de-ionised to shell out for tomorrow and it should be all systems go.
Regards - Ramon
30/04/2010 20:40:02
Hi again,
Had a good look today for dyes. It appears that Dylon have apparently discontinued the range of dyes in those small round tins. The only thing I could find is a new display stand that features 50gm sachets in a limited range of colours (This is what I had found in another store in my home town). They did have a green though and also an older 100gm box of another green so I bought both. It also occured to me as I was coming home that possibly I could make a strong dye using artist quality water colour paint. I assume that is just another form of pigment - very finely ground in a water soluble binder. Anyone any thoughts on that possiblity?
I also bought some washing soda crystals for degreasing but having checked the label noticed the first item - "Do not allow to come into contact with aluminium!!??" Any thoughts on that one too? Does this mean the actual crystals or is it to prevent the surface of domestic aluminium objects being affected when washing.
I have 'found' the bottle of sulphuric stored in a container under the bench. This is labeled diluted 4 to 1 - that was from neat acid probably with tapwater. I was given it so long ago and also have a 25 ltr drum filled with 'pickling' strength too but cannot remember what strength I made that - 10 to 1 springs to mind would that be about right? None of this has been used.
There is also a small amount of neat acid so I could start from scratch but with de-ionised water which I still need to get - probably tomorrow.
Thoughts from our 'chemist' brothers would be most appreciated at this stage.
Here is the intended set up so far.
One thing I'm not confident about is the contact between the part and the ally wire. At the moment the wire is bent back on itself o provide a 'spring' push fit in the hole. Question is once the process starts will that contact dimish? (Hence the two wires)
Ian I do have a 'professional' less than two miles away. Before I thought about having a go myself I did contact him but his minimum charge was £35 - one off or the maximum amount on a 'tree' - it didn't matter. Unfortunately I didn't get the feeling he was particularly 'interested'
but if I don't get any success with what I have so far I suppose it would be worth taking the bits along just to see if I 'caught him on a bad day'!
Thanks for all your input everyone - much appreciated as always - thanks for the links too  - it's amazing what's out there.
Regards for now - Ramon
30/04/2010 08:10:48
Thanks as usual for your thoughts
Having spent a bit of time viewing what I can find on the subject it appears that green can be a bit difficult to take with some dyes. I have known about Dylon for some time and this was my first intention as it is so readilly available - thanks for your kind offer Terry but I can get it locally - however I have not been able so far to find the Dylon in the 'little round tins' but only a limited range of colours in sachets. There is a another Dylon type that is intended to be put into the washing machine but according to one source this was not successful. Another states the the small round tins marked COLD WATER DYE are not successful either but that the tins with just the colour and range number printed on are! I would have thought the dyes are the same just different labelling as they are all 'cold water dyes'. It does appear though that some colours simply wont 'take'. 
I could not get green locally so settled for intense violet! (Yea I know, I know!) but have decided not to use it (for the Racers).  The reason I would like to get a good green is that I have the head of a DC Rapier to do too.
So far I have found a couple of 'professional' dye suppliers one selling a small 20g sample for £6 and another selling the proper anodising dye 500ml for £14 plus several types on ebay. I shall try in town today but if no luck will probaly settle for the 'sample'.
I did consider your thoughts on the printer inks the first time Ian but Terry has summed my thoughts up - the mixing problems and the cost for such relatively small volumes.
I have investigated green ink - this evidently works well but unlike years ago when you could purchase inks in largish bottles they are seemingly only available in 30ml or so bottles.
Whatever the search goes on - the engine parts near completion so I need to be ready to get on with this asap - Thanks again
Regards - Ramon
27/04/2010 22:46:39

Hi again,
Spent an interesting couple of days making the pistons and liners. As said elswhere it was decided to make one from cast iron and the other from a 'tough steel'. The cast iron was an offcut and has an exceptionally close grain - much finer than the continuous cast bar I have. Shame there wasn't more for the pistons. I have no idea of the steel - it came from a largish stud - 1-1/4 dia by a foot - 'surplus to requirements' from offshore days. Probably of American manufacture the end of the stud was neatlly marked ie engraved not punched - 'CR 8 S  7' Whether that relates to the grade I have no idea.  
It turned reasonably well and gave a good finish just have to see how it stands up to the task now.
The cutter(s) for the ports - three were made just incase (just as well) -  came from 2mm thick GFS. Heat treated and tempered light straw the first two did not stand up to the steel liner both wearing quite quickly despite low speed. This was put down more to insufficient backing off so ensured this was better on the last one and left it hard and untempered as well. Slowest possible speed and 'Bingo' - sailed through !    
Piston material came from a slab of continuous cast bar - this was rather than waste the larger diameter round bar 'in store'. Hit a 'snag' tonight when lapping the first piston to go into the liner. Just realised in time as I was beginning to think I had left rather too much on for lapping that I was trying to fit it to the wrong (and tight) end of the liner! I think I may have caught it in time, it is still quite tight at the very top of the bore but won't really be able to tell if the compression is good enough until it's assembled If one bore had been made slightly larger and that done first then it could have been used for the smaller - must keep that in mind ???.
Not far to go now - hope this is still of interest
Regards - Ramon
20/04/2010 22:46:12
Had a good session on my friend Lee's bead blaster today and finally got the cases and backplates done along with parts from a couple of other rebuilds.
Heres how they look now
I can now build the bottom ends up though I think I will wait a bit until all the parts are made. Liners and pistons next and an attempt at that anodising.
Regards for now - Ramon
Thread: Rivers 2.49cc and DC 1cc engines
20/04/2010 22:36:19
Thanks for your info Jens.
I do find this interesting that you do this as I have never ever given a thought to the mathmatics of compression. As I'm sure you are aware compression varies depending on load as well as fuel and of course ambient temperature too.
I confess my knowledge is purely practical having run them for many years and the technical side has never been a concern - all have their individual characteristics though - some start and run so readily whilst others can be so obstinate at times. I mainly used diesels with the odd glow - Mercos mainly - until I began to take an interest in control line aerobatics in the eighties when I began using glow motors in earnest. Apart from a very short period into some very low key team racing the diesels have always been used for sport flying.
I do not 'collect' engines but I do think they collect me! I've always had a passion for them since that first one at age thirteen but most of them have been very much 'come and go' over the years. It never fails to amaze my long suffering wife how they seem to accumulate so rapidly though the current 'stock' is well down on what it used to be. I had a good clear out at the last Watford 'Swapmeet' and sold all I took bar two. Funnily enough Ian they were OS 40s - I still have 'em.
Apologies - going off topic,
Thanks agin Jens regards for now - Ramon 
20/04/2010 19:51:58
Hi Terry,
Welcome to the club! Take no notice of 'old show off' (TiC) above - those diesels can give you quite a nip ha ha - my first cut came from an even 'whimpier'  AM10 - first engine. It was running backwards so I put my left hand behind the prop to put my finger over the intake to stop it and the Frog 7x4 nylon 'razor blade' cut into the side of my fore finger for near its length. Quite a baptism for a 13 year old! and the scar is still to be seen when my hands are cold - happy days.
Big or small though they all bite it's just some bite more than others but I would agree the bigger they are the more they can hurt !
Going back to your cut
If the nylon prop you bought was a 'glass filled' type - Graupner, Master, APC (particularly APC!) etc then its a good idea to take a bit of wet and dry and sand off the flashing down the edges of the blades as these can be very sharp and can give a really nasty cut especially if, when against over compression/flooding your finger is forced to run down the prop blade. - Don't ask
That won't affect the prop in any way for your current needs. Glass filled props are normally opaque and more rigid than the type you broke.
I've had a good day today - been over to my friend Lee's and used his bead blaster. The Racers and a couple of other rebuilds are now looking much nicer.
Keep the elastoplast handy
Regards - Ramon
PS If you have got it firing as you say you are not far off the settings - don't be tempted to increase the compression too much at this stage but let it fire and run like that a few times - the length of these short runs should gradually increase . If it does break into a run but is a bit intermittent then increase the comp a bit but if all you can get is just short bursts then open the needle slightly and increase the comp a tad.

Edited By Ramon Wilson on 20/04/2010 20:00:37

19/04/2010 22:59:02
Hi Terry,
That figures on the fuel - it's the way things seem to be going for most of the hobbies that require power units. Understandable really - far less mess, clean (no oil!), quiet-ish and awesome power output but as you so rightly note no smell and 'noise' (and short endurance to boot).
It's a real sense of the times when the only engines in a model shop cabinet are for nostalgia display only! A couple of years back I was asked to sell a small collection of marine (model) engines for someone who had died. Most of these were new in box so I bought two model boat magazines to get some idea of current pricesand there was not one listing for an IC engine in either
It's possible the other Rivers in the shop is the 3.5 Silver Arrow. Similar in layout but a beefier crankcase with possibly a longer intake tube than the Streak. Heres another site - scroll down to the bottom, there is a Silver Arrow second row up.
Some lovely engines on here, real 'objets-drool'.
Offer is still there if you need the improver. PM me your address when you're ready
Jens my aplogies for not reponding to your last post. I have the Moulton book - thanks.  I too have used various oils both castor and mineral for diesel fuels but that was a few years back. If I ever do mix any fuel again I will keep in mind the MEKP and see how it compares.
Thanks again - Ramon
19/04/2010 22:55:45
Hi Terry,
That figures on the fuel - it's the way things seem to be going for most of the hobbies that require power units. Understandable really - far less mess, clean (no oil!), quiet-ish and awesome power output but as you so rightly note no smell and 'noise' (and short endurance to boot).
It's a real sense of the times when the only engines in a model shop cabinet are for nostalgia display only! A couple of years back I was asked to sell a small collection of marine (model) engines for someone who had died. Most of these were new in box so I bought two model boat magazines to get some idea of current pricesand there was not one listing for an IC engine in either
It's possible the other Rivers in the shop is the 3.5 Silver Arrow. Similar in layout but a beefier crankcase with possibly a longer intake tube than the Streak. Heres another site - scroll down to the bottom, there is a Silver Arrow second row up.
Some lovely engines on here, real 'objets-drool'.
Offer is still there if you need the improver. PM me your address when you're ready
Jens my aplogies for not reponding to your last post. I have the Moulton book - thanks.  I too have used various oils both castor and mineral for diesel fuels but that was a few years back. If I ever do mix any fuel again I will keep in mind the MEKP and see how it compares.
Thanks again - Ramon
19/04/2010 18:45:10
Hi Terry,
Have a look at this - it might explain the difference.
Did the shop have any fuel by any chance?
Keep at it - Ramon
19/04/2010 10:25:20
Hi Terry,
I'm probably a bit late for you to get his before work but I would get a 9X4 prop if you are able. The engine will turn this with ease and the low pitch will allow the engine to rev freely without loading - 'rev' means run smoothly not 'top screaming whack!'. Your nylon prop has probably suffered with light degradation over the years. A blessing in a way - had it gone whilst running ????????
Jens advice on establishing the starting position may prove problematic if the contra piston is very tight in the bore. Screwing right down over compresses the engine and it could (not will) lead to damage to the con rod. Personally I would think that your problem at this stage with such a short time to get it going is down to lack of good 'flicking' practice. Rivers engines have/had a good reputation for ease of starting so I think it unlikely theres a lot wrong there.
If you are right handed set the prop at about  'ten past eight' with the top blade pulling up against compression. At this stage leave the compression where it is only because you say you ran it before so it should be somewhere near. Needle valve as already said about 3 - 31/2 turns. Pull some fuel through by putting your finger over the intake and flicking the prop a couple of times and then flick it several times to bring the fuel through the engine. A squirt of fuel in the exhaust port and then flick a bit harder. If the engine is under compressed it will feel quite 'easy' and unresponsive. If it's over compressed it will feel hard and fairly resistant. If you flood it it may be difficult to get it over compression in which case blow across the exhaust port to clear some of the fuel out of the cylinder. You may need to do this several times - if it keeps flooding close the needle right down, clear the engine of fuel as above then start again with less turns on the needle.
Under compressed - keep flicking but at he same time screw the comp screw in a 1/4 turn at a time - this could quite be a few turns - depends on if the comp has been backed off previously. Continue screwing in until a compressive resistance begins and you are getting near. Don't expect it to fire and burst into continous running at first - once you establish the settings it should do that. If - When - it fires it may run a few seconds then increase in revs and the stop - that's too lean and/or slightly undercompressed - open the needle a 1/4 turn and/or increase the comp a tad.
If it runs 'hard' - exhaust a bit black - and dies off slowly, revs reducing fairly rapidly thats overcompressed and possibly flooding too so do the opposite.
You don't need to use anything else other than the fuel to help starting. Despite what I said previously about the fuel probably being okay (which I still think it should be) if the engine simply won't fire at all then that's the first thing to suspect. You could be flogging the proverbial so sourcing some fresh fuel should be the next step.
The one thing that I would strongly advise against is using any form of starter motor on a diesel. You could do some serious damage to the internals - starting a diesel is very definitely a 'feel' thing.
Terry, I hope I'm not granny teaching with the above. There's a few 'armfuls' of flicking gone into these marvellous little pieces of engineering over the years - knowing what to do is one thing but trying to put it into words is actually quite difficult and another and very different ball game.
Hope this helps as well  then
Regards - Ramon
18/04/2010 14:09:35
Hi Terry,
Yes I do, it's a bit embarrasing to see what you've done when it's too late. but I think David has already made reference to it elsewhere that for some reason it can't be done.
Sticking to bought fuel is probably the best option at his stage but just in case you do decide I have just found 'in the back of the cupboard' a nearly full bottle of 'D A NItrate' which is the stuff sold by Southern MC for ignition improver. You would be most welcome to a drop of this if you need it, just let me know.
The 'Racers' are coming on but nothing done since the last post. The parts  are all ready for a visit to the bead blaster this week and I have now got all the stuff ready for anodising.
Bye for now - Ramon
18/04/2010 10:55:48
Sorry about this computer kept showing page cannot be displayed. Obviously the post was going up.

Edited By Ramon Wilson on 18/04/2010 10:58:42

18/04/2010 10:54:58
Nice work Terry, looks very clean and mean.
Mixing your own is no problem though I think you will probably find castor from the chemist rather expensive volume for volume. Like wise you may have dfficulty getting ether from the same source. I'm not sure about Model Technics now (they used to sell ether at 2.5 ltrs min) but Southern Model Craft who I mentioned do sell all the separate ingredients including an 'ingnition improver' - problem is as said only available at shows but their address is - 58 Salisbury Road, Tonbridge, Kent TN10 4PE - 01732 350691. Very helpful peoplem, they are a 'husband and wife' team and have been mixing and selling fuels for many years.  Might be worth giving them a ring.
A few years back mixing your own on a sport basis was another 'addition' to the hobby. I don't want to put you off but unless you want to mix a reasonable amount - or rather have to purchase the volumes for a reasonable amount - in these days its probably far easier to use the readily available stuff. It depends on how much you intend to use I guess -all down to paying yer money etc.
Jens I'm intrigue by the MEKP haven't heard of using that before - does it work as well as Amyl Nitrate? It is virtually impossible to obtain that over the counter these days.
Keep at it - Ramon
17/04/2010 23:13:42
Hi again Terry,
No, that should be fine. It's when its been opened and half gone and the top not really tight that the evaporation can leave it a bit lifeless.
The amounts of the three basic ingredients vary depending on performance wanted - a basic 33-33-33 will run an old side port but the Rivers definitely wont like that!  Virtually all diesel fuels have an ignition improver (used to be either amyl nitrate or nitrite but try going in a chemist and asking for that these days!)
A look  at will give you their mixes.
If you are able to get to any of the major model aircraft shows there is a company called Southern Modelcraft (unfortunately no website and they don't (or didn't) supply shops) that usually attend most major events. They specialise in fuels and do two very good diesel mixes at very reasonable prices.
Fire it up soon - Ramon
17/04/2010 19:55:30
Hi Terry, SWMBO's had me digging all day -glad to sit down for five mins
First off is your fuel fresh. If it's old it may have given off some of it's ether content which will 'confuse' its starting characteristics - may not even fire!
Given that it is then needle valve open about 3 turns Finger choke a couple of flicks and a squirt in the exhaust is all that's needed. Make sure ypur fuel tank isn't above the needle valve as you will get gravity feed and it will run  rich conversely too low and suction might be inadequate. Ideal position is centre line of tank level with spray bar. If the engine feels 'hard' back off the compression at least a turn. If you really are in doubt back off two or three turns and gradually bring it in as you flick. Once you establish the comp setting starting from cold should just be a matter of opening the needle valve half a turn or so - it will fire and stop for a few times as it gets warm then will pick up and be away - you shouldn't need to alter the compression to any great extent once you are happy with it. Turning the needle valve in will lean it out - too much and the engine will go hard and the revs will die off I would guess running setting will be about 2-1/4 2-1/2 turns open. Running it rich and backing the comp off will give a nice 'burpy' rich run not what she was designed for but nice to do. Big thing is not to let it get too hot
Bet it doesn't take much flicking - I can smell it now - must go tea's ready.
Have fun, good luck and  tell us how you  get on.

Edited By Ramon Wilson on 17/04/2010 20:02:25

17/04/2010 14:26:31
Hi Terry,
That's good news - doesn't matter how you get there as long as you are comfortable with the journey.
I'm not surprised at the 'silky' feel to the bearings they really are a remarkable piece of engineering for a model engine - unique (certainly in their day), I think, to Rivers as I don't recall any other manufacturer going to such limits.
Reassembling with 3in1 should be okay but at one time this was not recommended for storing an engine (it would stain it) Best thing found for that is hydraulic fluid.
Happy flicking, watch the digits and post those pics - Ramon
17/04/2010 09:29:25
Hi Terry,
The taper on the needle isn't usually that critical particularly on a sport engine like the Spitfire. I usually make needles from either 18 or16 swg piano wire grinding the taper by hand on the side of the wheel on the off hand grinder. Needs to be a fairly slow taper but not excessively so - only thing to keep in mind is to get it reasonably concentric. Silver steel would be a suitable alternative left in the soft state but of course could be easily bent.
Big problem with using ally for the housing is that this needs to be a good fit on the needle (if it's brass then a quick dash of solder sorts that out). Using a piece of the piano wire itself ground across at an acute angle as a reamer produces a good hole, and if you stone the diameter of the wire first you can produce a tight fit. To establish the position in the housing first put the housing on the spraybar and screw home then back off a turn. Measure from the engine to the end of the housing. Remove the housing and put the needle into the spray bar until it stops then mark the needle at the previous dimension. Pushing the needle into the housing (off the engine that is) to this mark will ensure the needle closes before the housing bottoms out. A smear of Loctite helps too.
The hole in the spray bar is a # 65 drill. It goes right across and the accepted way is to have the holes set at right angles to the intake ie across the bore though it will work in virtually any position.
You may these days have a problem getting fuel - very few model shops seem to stock it in small quantities - let's hear how you get on.
Regards - Ramon
Just watched the video on the ultrasonic cleaner  - truly amazing - and to think I have one bought for cleaning airbrushes (another life - don't ask!) as yet still unused. 'Change of intention' coming up then - thanks Jens.

Edited By Ramon Wilson on 17/04/2010 09:36:44

Edited By Ramon Wilson on 17/04/2010 09:54:52

16/04/2010 22:54:38
Hi Terry
Thought you might like to see it after a four hour coating! I forgot to check it regularly!! This really is a very good product indeed. I will try to see if I can get hold of a really badly carboned up engine and see how well it does on that.
Might pay to buy two bottles - bound to come off the market now it's found to work!
Regards -  Ramon


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