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> Consolidated Nickel Mines Co. H0 Layout
nickelminers
post 2 Jan 2013, 16:22
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Dear all,

we are a couple from Italy, and we have built, starting in 2008, our small mining layout, depicting the loading station of a nickel mine, complete with operational 2-way hoist and skips, silos, conveyors, rail link, and operating rotary railcar dumper. Attached a link to a web page of SWR with one video of their 8 Dec. broadcast. At elapsed time 6 minutes 10 seconds, there is our layout, filmed at the Intermodellbau Dortmund 2012.

http://www.swr.de/eisenbahn-romantik/775-m...mhb0/index.html

At the time of this video, the layout was not 100% complete. At the following Euromodell Bremen 2012 and Jahresausstellung Eisenbahnfreunde Breisgau Freiburg 2012, the layout was (finally..) complete with the rail link to the dumper.

1) we would like to enter in contact with other modelers interested in mining layouts.
2) we are trying to post some photos of the finished layout (but, when a layout can be considered "finished"??). So, how can we post photos? Please help.

All the best for the coming year.

Mario & Bice
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Pete Smith
post 3 Jan 2013, 11:05
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Dear Mario and Bice,

Nice layout but couldn't find the video - only 1 picture. Why nickel mining by "Nickelminers". Did you have some connection?

I am in South Africa, model HO (Fleischmann/Uhlenbrock) and spent 40 years working in the mining industry based in South Africa, South America and the UK. I have had a close association with nickel mining (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Australia and Canada) as well as gold, uranium, copper, zinc, lead, mineral sands, etc, etc and therefore wpould be very interested to see more of your layout.

The method I use to upload photographs is when you start a post or add a reply to an existing post, 3 text boxes appear at the lower bottom right had side of the screen. I press "Browse"and then go to the hard drive of my PC where I store photographs. I select the image I want, select open and then press "Upload"on the original post screen. The picture then is listed in the box above the first 3 boxes with options for placing it in the text of the post.

It is important to re-size the original photos to the correct size (pixels) on your hard drive before uploading. I use Microsoft Office Picture Manager to compress to "Document" size which seems to work well for the Model Rail Forum - the picture is normally compressed to about 120kb and I save them in a seperate file on the hard drive for posting. This works well for me which I figured out by lengthy trial and error. I am sure there are quicker and more efficient ways and hopefully somone else will be along to advise you. Try the Google custom search at the top right of the Forum page.

I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Regards,

Peter Smith
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nickelminers
post 3 Jan 2013, 18:10
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Dear Pete

thanks for your reply and advice on how to post photos. "Nickelminers" means that we are just 2 (an old couple...). With regards to the video, click on the link to SWR, then click on the "Sendung zu sehen" (broadcasts to see) - "Zur videoseite" (to the video page), then go to 6 minutes something. I re-checked and it works. Another page of SWR has still pictures from the Intermodellbau Dortmund, but it is not this link. In short, with some minor deviations from reality, our place has become a purely sulfidic deposit with lodes of high-grade niccolite, exploited through conventional mining and stoping. Since the place is quite impervious, the most logic solution was a short private rail link between the loading area and the unloading (through rotary dumper), crossing a tunnel under a mesa. From the unloading/dumper area (beyond the limit of our layout) the ore is loaded onto larger trains that go the smelting factory through a class A railroad.

We try to give you some other links to videos of our layout, which a gentleman from Holland has posted onto Youtube some time ago. The videos were taken at the IMB Dortmund, and at the Euromodell Bremen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T53a0bdwmSg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWF7mRefhJU[font="Arial"][/font]

It should work; otherwise, typing on Google either "consolidated nickel mines + intermodellbau" or "consolidated nickel mines + euromodell" , something comes out. The best available photos on the web are on the website of MOBA Deutschland, but they are a little difficult to find, since there is a misspelling of the name; it is necessary to go into the moba-deutschland website, and search among the photos of the Intermodellbau 2012.

Sincerely

Mario & Bice


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Bill Veloz
post 3 Jan 2013, 19:55
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Intricate modelling. Well done and beautifully displayed and operated.
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Pete Smith
post 4 Jan 2013, 09:34
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Dear Mario/Bice,

The Rotary truck dumper is truly awesome! Also the shaft, skip, conveyors, hoppers, etc, etc. Truly fine modelling and clearly intricate and home designed. Most impresive! The SWR videos don't work as well for me with a lot of bufferering9 where I am located we have poor internet infrastructure compared to Europe) but Youtube worked very well.

To know about laterite deposits and design a system like you have, you must have had some connection in the past. I project managed a latrite mining and smelting project in Venezuela in the 1990's (recently effectively nationalised by the Chavez government) but it was a wet laterite. I visited most laterite nickel operations in the world but cannot imagine what yours might have been modelled on.

Regards,

Peter
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Brian Considine
post 4 Jan 2013, 11:27
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Very nice work & thanks for showing it to us.

A warm welcome to MRF.
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nickelminers
post 4 Jan 2013, 17:31
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Dear Pete,

thanks again for advices on how to post photos. By now, we try and paste some links to our Flickr account, we hope it works.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/...in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/...in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/...in/photostream/

I am a chemical engineer, so I have a basic knowledge of mining equipment (even though I always worked in plastics...) The layout does not reproduce a specific mine, but we designed it from scratch. This had to be "our" mine, a kind of family-run small mine, using salvaged equipment from larger sites, everything placed in a small, remote area. This design also justifies the small size of the 3-section layout, which, disassembled, packs up into a 3-layer solid piece of 120 x 90 x 45 cm (which is the limit size for transportation in our car...)

Best wishes from Milan

Mario & Bice
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Norman Byrne
post 4 Jan 2013, 19:33
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Hello Mario & Bice,

A very warm welcome to the Forum (* if a little late).

Wonderful modelling & for me anyway something very different. I have to say the working conveyors & the wagon loading & unloading arrangements, not to mention the "drum" wagon lift tipper, are fantastic.

Look forward to looking through the latest links & seeing much more of your skills, Cheers,


Norm
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nickelminers
post 5 Jan 2013, 21:14
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Dear modeling friends,

we attach some other photos, with some details of the rotary couplers under construction, the first test of the tippling operation, and the complete rotary railcar dumper as a working stand-alone exhibit at the German Rail Hannover 2011. Hope the links work...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream

Sincerely yours

Mario & Bice
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Pete Smith
post 5 Jan 2013, 22:19
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Dear Mario/Bice,

Impressive engineering design and attention to detail - presume the rotary couplers operate in an arc which keeps their elevation constant with respect to the stationary truck and the tippling truck?

Regards,

Peter
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Norman Byrne
post 6 Jan 2013, 09:04
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Hello again Mario & Bice,

Thanks for the latest / further info. all very very impressive modelling & interesting to see. Out of interest how long did the builds take from when the primary design was completed; I assume there was some degree of "tweaking" / fine tuning of the design during the build ?

Any plans for any exhibitions in the UK by chance LOL ?

Cheers,


Norm
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nickelminers
post 6 Jan 2013, 18:13
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Pete,
you are right. The axis of the rotary couplers must coincide with the axis of the barrel of the dumper, and everything must stay there during rotation. In the modern "tippling" units, the barrel has a diameter large enough to allow keep the axis of the couplers almost into their original position (down), even if this generates a large imbalance in the barrel during rotation. In our little plant, the axis of rotation coincides approximately with the center of weight of the barrel loaded with full-loaded railcars. Take note that, in reality, nickel ore has a bulk density (weight per volume) of 2 - 2.5, much higher than that of coal or other materials. So, in the "prototypical" story of our place, the salvaged USRA 55-Tons cars that we use are carrying more than twice the load they were designed for. So, they underwent (in prototype) a series of modifications, such as reinforcement of structure and bogies (and their hoppers were permanently welded - they were not hopper cars anymore). In H0 scale, we had to do some adjustments to obtain the requested clearances and tolerances between railcars and barrel:1) We got rid of plastics wheels - spent a fortune to import from the USA some decent axles and avoid the railcars wobbling along the rails 2)We did some serious work on the plastic bogies, to guarantee a decent rotation of the bogie, no backlash, bogie axis really vertical, etc. Before adjustments, none of our cars was level or correctly aligned with the others. Now everything has been "straightened out" (in the real sense of the word), and, just to stay on the safe side, we keep the two 4-car consists in a fixed configuration.
Sincerely
Mario & Bice
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nickelminers
post 6 Jan 2013, 19:45
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Hi Norman,

with regards to the "tweaking" we would say that it was like any full-size project. Everything was planned, designed, calculated, and, when transfered into the operational phase, the usual (nasty) surprises came out. One significant design issue was to transfer into H0 scale the rotating-cone dosing units/feeders that feed the conveyors with a constant flow of ore from the silos. Obviously, the design parameters of full-size plants did not fit into the tiny H0 scale. It took some trial-and error with operating mock-ups before the system worked properly. Another "trivial" issue was the material for the conveyor belts. We tried several materials with the required combination of high tensile modulus of elasticity, and low bending stiffness. Most of the materials disintegrated after half an hour of operation. In the end, we selected specific cotton ribbons, which exhibit the required strength, and also simulate well the texture of belts composed of steel-mesh scegments (note: the ability of Bice as seamstress was fundamental in splicing the ribbons into a loop - the splice itself was another very critical issue). Some anecdotes: most of the structure of the landscape is made of fiberglass. One lot of epoxy resin we used was defective, and took eternities to polymerize (imagine some dm2 of fiberglass mat, carefully draped into the final shape, the resin carefully brushed onto the fiber, wait 24 hours, resin still wet, sticky, jelly. Spend the next day with hairdryers, heating the mess with the hope to force the resin to harden (it did, in the end). Other anecdotes: metal parts carefully machined and honed, just to realize that we carefully machined all of them into the wrong size. And so on. Anyhow, the construction started at the beginning of 2008.

With regards to exhibitions in the UK, we would be very happy to take part to some. Unfortunately we have no contacts in the UK. Can you be of help???

P.S. we post some other photos. In one, there is our control unt for the dumper. To be noted, all our simple 3-section point-to-point layout is DC. The feed to the rail comes from a benchtop current-controlled DC power supply. The advantage of current-control is that it automatically compensate for variations of rail-wheel electrical resistance, keeping the motors of the locos at a constant torque. Speed is controlled in 2 ways: one by setting a certain current with the power supply, the other with a rheostat that progressively short-circuits the selected section. This has proven to be very effective in generating a realistic braking and millimeter positioning of the cars into the dumper. OK, do not shoot at us, it is not DCC, we have no sound, etc. etc. We know. But it works.

Sincerely

Mario & Bice

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream


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nickelminers
post 11 Jan 2013, 18:01
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In order to answer to the same questions from many of our acquaintances: “How do you stuff the layout into the car??? (the vehicle is a 2-door Ford Focus hatchback)

1. The backs seats of the vehicle are removed and stay in our garage as a piece of modern art.
2. All the tall components of the layout (larger rocks and peaks, silo n. 1, hoist tower) are disassembled and removed.
3. The layout is disassembled into its 3 sections.
4. The main section, 120 x 90 cm becomes the “base” and 4 plywood plates are fastened to its sides.
5. The other 2 sections (rail link and rotary dumper section), together with the large vertical underground landscape of the mine, are fastened onto the top of the plywood plates. The result is a solid piece (see photos).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.../in/photostream

6. The smaller section with the exit from the dumper is disassembled into “flat” pieces that stay in a small box.
7. All the tools, rolling stock, other pieces are packed into flat wooden boxes, which become the first layer on the floor of the trunk of the vehicle.
8. The solid piece of the layout becomes the second layer, which enters with close tolerances into the vehicle - crushed fingers and curses are the norm.
9. All the other material (stem lamps, legs, cross bracings, personal luggage) stays either in the remaining space in the vehicle or in the roof box of the vehicle - awful, how the roof box spoils the aesthetics of our car…
10. In the end, some small space even remains available for Bice’s evening dresses and high heels ;-)

As a reference:
Time for unloading the fully-loaded vehicle and assembling the layout: 12-16 man-hours (2 persons, 6 or 8 hours, mainly dependent on the amount of damage in transportation…)
Time for disassembling the layout and loading the car: ca. 6 man-hours (2 persons, 3 hours)

Sincerely

Mario & Bice
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Norman Byrne
post 19 Jan 2013, 10:38
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Hello again Mario & Bice,

Only just caught up again with your thread & your excellent latest posts & information. You certainly have both done your homework on this very unusual subject & through excellent modelling skills produced an exceptional series of models.

I unfortunatley do not have any links regarding exhibitions in the UK, but certainlyother members do, or would be able to suggest possible contacts for them. A good starting point I would say may be Brain Considine, who along with a collegue regularly attend shows in the Kent area, which given your location would be an idealpossible area. It might be worth sending a PM to Brian, or see if he spots this - he is at Canterbury show today / tmz; so may not get a reply untilearly next week. Other members may also be able to offer advice / contacts or even invites !

It sounds like you have the dismantle, pack & set up down to a fine art - evening dress & all LOL !!!!!

Best of luck & please keep posting, Cheers,


Norm
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