Author Topic: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!  (Read 13687 times)

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peteski

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2021, 12:15:40 PM »
0
Well John, thanks for trying the SLA type printer. In the past you voiced such strong opinions agains using that technology that I did not think you woudl even try it.   Good to know that you did, and that it has so far not been successful.

I did watch the spring test video.
Spring temper stainless steel wire is available at https://componentsupplycompany.com/stainlesssteelwire.php in diameter from 0.003" and up.  As I mentioned earlier, those smaller sizes might be flexible enough to be useful.  And maybe adding another turn to the spring woudl make it softer. The way the coupler works is pretty ingenious. No slinky, and will fit into a simple slotless coupler box. No pivot slots required like MTL coupler needs.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 12:27:55 PM by peteski »
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DKS

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2021, 01:28:03 PM »
+25
Hello all, I thought I'd pop in and fill in a few gaps in the history of the Protomate. As everyone can clearly see, the version that John is working on is quite different from the patented design. After a very lengthy period of evaluation and a few failed attempts to obtain a working prototype, I realized that the big problem with the original design was the spring: it would have been very costly to manufacture--if indeed it could even be made.

So I scrapped everything except the knuckle geometry, and began a years-long effort to develop a design that offered the same advantages as the original but with a simple-to-make (read: economical) spring, and I was pleased to see that the new concept also simplified assembly. I started asking around for recommendations on someone to help prototype it, and John's name kept popping up, so we collaborated on the new design, with John providing a fresh perspective that helped bring it to life. However, not long afterward, I got my diagnosis, and so I decided that John ought to inherit the project, rather than let it die with me.

When the Protomate came up in another thread recently, John asked if he should "go public" with the new design. I thought this was probably the perfect time and place to do so, given that it also offered an opportunity to crowdsource some of the final details to help get it off the ground. I am delighted to see that is exactly what has happened.

I feel that the project is now in very good hands, and that it may one day soon become a reality. I may or may not live to see that happen, but it doesn't matter; my job here is done.

Maletrain

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2021, 01:53:12 PM »
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Wow, that looks really promising.  Simple design to make and to assemble.  Scale size and prototypical appearance.  I won't care if it isn't made to be operated magnetically, I would be in for a huge number of those.

DKS

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2021, 02:03:46 PM »
+10
A few more notes specific to the coupler design...

The original knuckle geometry is a compromise between something realistic and something that ought to be compatible with most of the current commercial couplers (no guarantees, mind). Although we have more contenders now, at the time I developed the original Protomate, there were just four with which to contend (excluding Kato's non-functional thingie):



This means the knuckle is about the same size as all the rest. I know that may be disappointing to some, but it was done in an attempt to make everyone play nicely together rather than immediately become the incompatible oddball. Much as with MTL, a Z Scale version was planned to be a more scale-sized alternative to the original N Scale version. The current design should be easy to shrink down--much easier than the original, in fact.

Compare the original patented mechanical design, above, with the final one John and I settled on, below, which is Protomate Version 2D rev C.


Rivet Miscounter

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2021, 03:32:52 PM »
+1
a Z Scale version was planned to be a more scale-sized alternative to the original N Scale version. The current design should be easy to shrink down--much easier than the original, in fact.

Compare the original patented mechanical design, above, with the final one John and I settled on, below, which is Protomate Version 2D rev C.




Great news about Protomates continuing down their path.  I'm in for the Z version.
Doug

GimpLizard

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2021, 04:53:49 PM »
+1
You know, that design is so brutally simple as to be absolutely brilliant. Nice work you two.

timwatson

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2021, 10:06:54 PM »
0
Does this answer your question?



@peteski so, yes, I have tried resin prints. The clearances are very tight inside the box and the shape of the coupler must be accurate.

The first resin set bloomed so much, the un named helper had to manually remove pixels in the slicer for each section just to keep the shape close, but even that did not work. I had to create a special model, just to get it to engage.

The FUD is perfect for dimensional control at this stage. Regardless, there is no printed version that can rival the smoothness and slipperiness of the delrin castings.

That said, and many resin printing lessons learned, later there may be new reasons to try it again.

WRT the spring, I assume you watched the short video link and the spring will be the biggest challenge going forward, but I do not see any insurmountable obstacles.




This is exciting.
You might try them in Siraya Blu v2 Clear with some black alcohol dye - it flexes and will get the spring action you're looking for - and will be black.
Tim Watson
My pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nscalerail/sets/

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Lemosteam

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2021, 08:10:41 AM »
0
Like @delamaize I too am super-interested, especially for extended draft gear usage.  I need to double-check the vertical dimensions of the ProtoMate...

  Frank

Hi @delamaize , please send me a PM regarding.

Lemosteam

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2021, 03:04:21 PM »
+2
For those asking for comparison photos, coupled comparisons, and an image of a mounted coupler, see below. Protomate is always on the left in the pics:

Next to a solid mount Unimate:


Next to another version of Uniate (I think, or maybe old Red Caboose?):


Next to Mt Z-905:


Next to Bachmann:

 
JUST ADDED:Next to the MT TSC:


And finally, next ro the MT N anything:


Coupled with An Intermountain solid coupler:


Coupled with the MT Z-905:


Coupled with a Bachmann:


Coupled with an MT N anything:


Coupled with an Intermountain articulated coupler:


Coupled,with a Kato coupler:


Coupled with an Atlas coupler:


Body mounted in an MT 1015 box and lid under my 74’ PRR X30 ambulance shipping boxcar., I test ran this car around my double folded loop at the end of a rrain and she tracked and stayed coupled for 15 minutes with no issues. The 74 fitter handled the sub 12” curves,with no issues.


« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 10:12:02 AM by Lemosteam »

sirenwerks

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2021, 03:20:54 PM »
0
If dimensions are so important and you're using a material that is white, when the prototype always verges on black, how is the application of paint going to change the equation?

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learmoia

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2021, 03:28:48 PM »
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Honestly.. it looks closer in size to a MT-Z905 then it does an MT-N

And a Proto-Proto coupled pic would be good.
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Lemosteam

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2021, 04:00:15 PM »
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If dimensions are so important and you're using a material that is white, when the prototype always verges on black, how is the application of paint going to change the equation?

@sirenwerks This is only a dimensional prototype for testing.  The last image of the X30 shows the Protomate printing after I used a permanent marker (no thickness).  Remember that FUD is very porous.  I have even dipped part in Max's black juice (for the LIFE of me I cannot remember the name of that stuff!)

Lemosteam

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2021, 04:03:12 PM »
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Honestly.. it looks closer in size to a MT-Z905 then it does an MT-N

And a Proto-Proto coupled pic would be good.

@learmoia , I will take that as a compliment!  Hoping this pic serves for the Protomate to Protomate coupled.  If not I will mount another one onto another car for an on-track pic.


ednadolski

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2021, 05:08:12 PM »
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a Z Scale version was planned to be a more scale-sized alternative to the original N Scale version. The current design should be easy to shrink down--much easier than the original, in fact.

Would the Z-sized version still be compatible with the other N-scale couplers?   If yes then is there any other intrinsic benefit to having the larger N-scale size, or does the Z-size serve both scales equally well?

Granted, that seems like a pretty big 'if', but I figured I'd ask anyways.

Ed

GhengisKong

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Re: Rumors of Protomate’s demise are greatly exaggerated!
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2021, 05:46:22 PM »
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Will you be doing a test like Trainworx did with multiple locos hooked up to a concrete block? I'd be interested to see how well FUD or a resin print would hold up compared to a delrin casting.