Titan Trains Titan Jr electric

This forum is dedicated to Riding Scale Railroading with propulsion using other than steam (Hydraulics, diesel engines, gas engines, electric motors, hybrid etc.)

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Re: Titan Trains Titan Jr electric

Post by rrnut-2 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:23 pm

If you are going to go with Honda, the 5 HP is available with 2:1 reduction which puts the output shaft back into the center. I have had good luck with this combination with the switcher that I built 25 years ago. Just a thought.

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Re: Titan Trains Titan Jr electric

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:44 pm

wa6mdi wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:32 am
My two choices seem to be electric and gas, but I'm not a fan of the V twin engines.... nothing wrong with them from a reliability stand point but just way too noisy.
Real locomotives do make quite a bit of noise, y'know, especially at full throttle whilst hauling a heavy train upgrade. :D

As for the V-twins, they vary in noise output. All of the V-twins that are suitable for model locomotive propulsion have an odd firing interval due to the 90 degree configuration and the use of a common crankpin for both connecting rods. The result is they tend to have the same sort of exhaust note you'd hear from a Harley. Most of the V-twins make less mechanical noise than the one-cylinder engines, and produce a lot less vibration. In this video, which starts about one minute in, a locomotive powered by a Briggs & Stratton V-twin is idling for a short while. It isn't making much noise at all while idling—most of the noise you hear is from the air compressor, not the V-twin. The exhaust noise only becomes apparent once the unit is loaded and the train starts.
So I guess the next thing is the Honda 5.5 hp series. I plan on asking the question on another thread, but does anyone make a switcher such as the SW 1500 or similar with the Honda?
If you're concerned about engine noise, you may be dismayed by how much of it the one-cylinder Hondas produce, especially mechanical noise from the valve train. That is quite clear in this video. I won't even mention the vibration—a one-cylinder engine cannot be brought into perfect primary balance without the aid of a balance shaft, which feature is rare in lawnmower-style engines. On the other hand, a 90 degree V-twin with a common crankpin has perfect primary balance, resulting in very little vibration due to reciprocating forces, even at low RPM. A relatively massive flywheel dampens the effects of the uneven firing order, resulting in a smooth-running engine.
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Re: Titan Trains Titan Jr electric

Post by Glenn Brooks » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:52 pm

As FYI, One of the big issues with enclosing small gas engines in tight spaces with sound dreading insulation is the enclosure itself builds up a lot of heat- which damages, sometimes kills the motor. Basically these small engines are air cooled motors, and they frey themselves to death in a closed space. So then if you provide proper ventilation, you increase noise. A real nuisance if you do or you don’t.

We ran a lot of Honda GX 160’s in the commercial go kart business years ago. Wonderful engine, and very quite compared to any other on the market. However, twice the cost of all the others. Just gotta be careful of overheating.

FWIW, we tootled around train mountain at the trianneal with a little electric boxcab. Up and down the big grades all day long with nary a problem. No overheating on the grades, no loss of power, no issues at all. So I guess selecting the proper electronics package design would be the key to successful operation.

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Re: Titan Trains Titan Jr electric

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:14 am

The "big block" as we call them, GX340, GX390, and 4XXcc Honda Clones contain a balance shaft. They aren't too bad as far as vibration from RPM, but are still a single cylinder.
Regarding cooling and sound deadening, yes it is a bit of a catch 22, but it isn't impossible either. Noise doesn't like to turn corners and cooling air will. These engines pull air in from the pull start, or flywheel side, and exhaust it out the other side. As long as this air can flow you'll be ok. An electric fan can also be added. I think I posted on here about my friends generator he mounted on the tongue of his camping trailer. He made an insulated box to put it in that covered the top and all 4 sides of the generator from aluminum diamond plate, lined it with acoustic foam, rock wool, and expanded metal. Then the bottom of the box was mounted so that there was a gap and we laser temp gun checked the generator and played with the gap. In the end we set it at the frame thickness of the tongue which was about 4".
Oh, we also extended the exhaust pipe so it was pointing down and out of the box, and header wrapped it for obvious reasons. It was a lot of work, but no one likes to hear the endless droning generator in the campsite, and the noise reduction was well worth the work and provided an extra layer of protection against theft.

If you are on a tight budget, you can watch craigslist for Honda motors from dead pressure washers, generators, tillers, and the like. Some of the smaller ones like the 4HP and 5.5HP, can be picked up in good running order for $100 or less. I'm also not against using one of the Harbor Freight $100 clone engines, they are larger in displacement and one model # contains a flat top piston, but they require a few modifications to assure longevity. I can fill you in if interested.

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