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Richard, re turning high efficiency worms on armature shafts, there are two examples that spring to mind.

Romford used to make a seven pole motor and gearbox assembly back in the fifties and sixties that had a coarse pitch worm turned into the armature shaft, it was also so efficient that the loco would often drive the gearbox after the power was turned off.

But even further back than that, in 1938 Meccano produced their first electric locos (a sort of N2 and recognisable A4) admittedly in 6volt so it could be powered from the accumulators that in those days powered many of the prewar radios. After the war a twelve volt version was made which had, and many thousands of then still have a vertical armature with a single start worm turned in the armature shaft, the motors used ballbearings as thrust bearings and were adjustable and very powerful when newly-magnetised.

Meccano then moved on in 1958 or so to their own ringfield motor, again designed in house and used in the Castle, Stanier Eight F, Light Pacific and D/E shunter all of which had the same style of motor. The Ring Field motor was huge and would only fit in the cab areas, I wonder if we would put up with that in this day and age.

A long time ago I had a long conversation with Brian Rogers of Ultrascale fame as he was developing a range of bevel geared motor gear box combinations and although I had one to try out, it was never as quiet as his worm and wheel gearboxes he produced for a while.

I, like a lot of others l know, have long abandoned the Portescap / Escap m/g as they have a inbuilt whine which no amount of tweaking seems to eradicate. Better to use one of Chris Gibbons excellent gearboxes with the silence of delrin gearing specailly developed for use in the motor drives of camers and videos.

Still, would be pleased to see what you come up with as an alternative.

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