Dobbie-McInnes Farnboro Electric Indicator

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Steve Bratina
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Location: Cambridge Ontario

Dobbie-McInnes Farnboro Electric Indicator

Post by Steve Bratina » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:05 pm

I have one of these indicators and have been working on getting it back into operation. I have tried hunting for an operators manual on line but have had no luck. Would anyone out there have access to one?
One question I have is on the sensor unit that fits on to the cylinder to read the pressures. I don't see how you would fire the cylinder since the sensor has no way of creating a spark or having a spark plug installed with it.

Thanks

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ken572
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Re: Dobbie-McInnes Farnboro Electric Indicator

Post by ken572 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:25 am

Hmmm :?:

No information :?:

No picture's :?:

Need something to work with :wink: :roll:

:lol: :lol:

Ken. :)
One must remember.
The best learning experiences come
from working with the older Masters.
Ken.

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ken572
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Location: Mesa, Arizona. 85201-1517

Re: Dobbie-McInnes Farnboro Electric Indicator

Post by ken572 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:55 am

Steve, :D

Maybe this will help. :wink:

Look at the 6th picture down on this website page.

http://www.archivingindustry.com/Indica ... ntback.htm

Ken. :)
One must remember.
The best learning experiences come
from working with the older Masters.
Ken.

Steve Bratina
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Cambridge Ontario

Re: Dobbie-McInnes Farnboro Electric Indicator

Post by Steve Bratina » Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:14 pm

Hello Ken,
Interesting site. I see they call the machine I have a "spark tracer". Clicking on spark tracer along the left side columb gives good info on it. The machine that they show is the exact one that I have.
Thanks again!

Steve

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ronm
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Re: Dobbie-McInnes Farnboro Electric Indicator

Post by ronm » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:18 pm

Interesting. About 15 years ago or so, I went to an estate auction across town...the deceased had been an incredible packrat, there were long tables piled with skilsaws & electric drills, tools of every kind, the likes of which I've never seen before or since...
One item that caught my eye was a steam engine indicator, which I recognized only because I had recently read a book on steam engineering from another estate sale...it was in beautiful condition, in a wooden case, all nickel plated, even had the little cards that recorded the diagram. While I was looking at it, some old Doofus walked up & asked "What is that thing?" I told him & explained what it did & how it was used...all he said was "Is it some kind of dentists' equipment?" I said "No, it's a steam engine indicator..." Blank look...A minute later, some other joker walked up & said "What is that thing?" Before I could even open my mouth, Doofus says "It's something a dentist used" ... :|
I just shook my head & walked away...
A collector friend bought the thing that day for about $10, nobody else even bid on it...

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ken572
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Location: Mesa, Arizona. 85201-1517

Re: Dobbie-McInnes Farnboro Electric Indicator

Post by ken572 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:37 pm

Steve Bratina wrote:Hello Ken,
Interesting site. I see they call the machine I have a "spark tracer". Clicking on spark tracer along the left side columb gives good info on it. The machine that they show is the exact one that I have.
Thanks again!

Steve
Steve, :D

I'm glad I was able to help you out. :wink:

Ken. :)
One must remember.
The best learning experiences come
from working with the older Masters.
Ken.

Harold_V
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Re: Dobbie-McInnes Farnboro Electric Indicator

Post by Harold_V » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:25 am

ronm wrote: While I was looking at it, some old Doofus walked up & asked "What is that thing?" I told him & explained what it did & how it was used...all he said was "Is it some kind of dentists' equipment?" I said "No, it's a steam engine indicator..." Blank look...A minute later, some other joker walked up & said "What is that thing?" Before I could even open my mouth, Doofus says "It's something a dentist used" ... :|
I just shook my head & walked away...
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Some folks won't have anything taken from them, regardless of how poorly informed (read that "wrong") they may be. I've encountered them occasionally when trying to provide guidance. I've concluded they aren't looking for guidance, but approval. Sounds like that dude fits the definition.

Harold
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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ronm
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Re: Dobbie-McInnes Farnboro Electric Indicator

Post by ronm » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:33 am

Yep, some people are so set in their own ideas they can't even register anything that upsets their notions...reminds me of comedian Ron White's line "You can't fix stupid"... :?

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ken572
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Re: Dobbie-McInnes Farnboro Electric Indicator

Post by ken572 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:46 pm

One must remember.
The best learning experiences come
from working with the older Masters.
Ken.

Steve Bratina
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Cambridge Ontario

Re: Dobbie-McInnes Farnboro Electric Indicator

Post by Steve Bratina » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:32 am

Very interesting sites Ken. Some of the indicators show are ones that I have. The first one I acquired was a Thompson indicator used on an 1898 Triumph Ice Machine ammonia compressor. It has no brass fitting due to the ammonia coming in contact with it. The Crosby unit and the Thompson unit that they show is similar to the one I have. I also have the Robertson-Thompson indicator that they show with the reducing wheel. I have used this several times at a local steam show. It was hooked up to a friends Sawyer Massey traction engine. After four days of demonstrations, only two people showed any interest. One was the chief engineer as Seagrums in Windsor Ontario and the other was a shift engineer at a compressor plant. I also use the indicator as a tool when I used to teach Stationary Engineering.
One of the interesting points that I have noticed over the years is that people seem to think that you can use an indicator to set the valves on a steam engine. While it does show the valve events throughout the stroke on one side of a piston, the valves still need to be set "mechanically" then verified with an indicator.
To finish, a very good friend of mine, Harold Crouch, operated the indicator during the test runs done on New York Central Niagara 6023. This was one of their second batch of 4-8-4's. He sat just in front of the cylinders and behind a shield placed on the front pilot beam, going 80 mph down the track around Albany NY. If I can locate the picture of him taking the cards, I will post it. He is long gone now but he was quite an interesting man to talk to.
Thanks again Ken!

Steve

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ronm
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Re: Dobbie-McInnes Farnboro Electric Indicator

Post by ronm » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:05 am

Steve,
If you would be interested in the one I was talking about above, I could do some checking. They guy that bought it is no longer with us, & his kids are gradually dispersing his collection, which was massive...tractors, construction equipment, fire engines, you name it...he had an X-Ray machine, of all things! A whole double-wide trailer house full of adding machines & typewriters...
Anyhow, I have no idea if they still have the indicator, but I can inquire if you're interested.
Ron in CO...

Steve Bratina
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Cambridge Ontario

Re: Dobbie-McInnes Farnboro Electric Indicator

Post by Steve Bratina » Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:28 pm

Hello Ron,
Yes I would be interested in this unit. Would there be any way of knowing what it's history was?

Steve

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