6th Sep 2018, 09:21 AM
Proper N scale dynamometer car.
I'm looking for all our fabricators and electronics tinkerers.
There are plenty of miniature "strain gauges" available in popular electronic distributors catalogues. These are solid state devices that can measure the strain, or pull, and by extension weight of something. They get incorporated into a product such as this: https://www.amazon.com/Smart-Weigh-P.../dp/B00ISDG4O2
What I have wanted for a long time is a working n scale dynamometer car. That is not something that looks prototypical, but rather something that actually measures the train forces.
Conceptually this is simple. A simple mounting arrangement so you can attach a MT truck to each end of one of these strain measuring devices along with a very small "computer" that can read the output of the strain gauge and print the current and perhaps max value on a display. Basically the exact same stuff that's in the suitcase weighing handle above, simply attached to two N scale trucks.
Installing this "car" right behind the locomotive it would be possible to get precise measurements on tractive effort (this locomotive has 4.75 lbs of pull before slipping), to measure the resistant of different cars (metal v plastic v wheels with wipers), and to measure the pull of entire trains. It would be possible to see the effects of grades and curves, helping folks tune their layouts.
Problem is, I don't know how to make all the parts work. I'm handy in this area, but not handy enough. I'm happy to collaborate with folks on it though. Is there anyone else interested in working on such a project?
6th Sep 2018, 11:43 AM