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 Post subject: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:54 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:22 pm
Posts: 5
I believe the title speaks for itself. I am looking for some air operated locomotive bell swingers to substitute for the W&W's light speed air ringers on the steam locomotives.

Anybody have any sources or someone who might have one for sale?


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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:54 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:06 am
Posts: 466
Location: NE PA
Steve have you tried installing a regulating valve in the air feed? The regulating valve has a long tapered plug, sort of like a large volume needle valve. Your bell ringer must be in good condition and must not have excessive blow by of the piston or the valve will not work. If you can not find a regulating valve of the size you need, a properly sized air pressure regulator will work, but they can be finicky and require more maintenance.

Mike Tillger


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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:40 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 800
Location: NJ
Try an industrial needle valve (or a flow control, the right way around). They are in McMaster, Grainger, MSC, catalogs (online, even) easy to source. Brands like Parker, Norgren, ARO; available with 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 etc. pipe threads. I use them all the time to control cylinder speeds and RPM of mixers at work.

Later, edited- Just took a quick look, had a minute, at http://www.mcmaster.com and entered 'needle valve' in the search engine. They show 'easy-set needle valves', brass, 46425K12 for 1/4 NPT, 46425K13 for 3/8 NPT. Plus or minus 40 bucks, one of these should do the trick.


Last edited by EDM on Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:00 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5262
Location: southeastern USA
They are easy to fabricate if you can't make the needle valve work or find an original. I think searching the cyclopedias will get you a drawing to work from. You can make rings from teflon rather than cast iron for even better peformance.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:14 pm
Posts: 458
Location: Essex, Connecticut, USA
Greetings:
I think what Steve is looking for is an air powered ringer, typical on steam locomotives, which swings the bell and yoke, rather than the ringer, typical of diesel locomotives on which an air piston operates on just the bell clapper (bell remains stationary).
That said, these are rather hard to find, should anyone have a source, please share...
J.David


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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:29 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5027
J.David wrote:
Greetings:
I think what Steve is looking for is an air powered ringer, typical on steam locomotives, which swings the bell and yoke, rather than the ringer, typical of diesel locomotives on which an air piston operates on just the bell clapper (bell remains stationary).
That said, these are rather hard to find, should anyone have a source, please share...
J.David


How common were these in the steam era?


Les


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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:02 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5262
Location: southeastern USA
Vary, from the 1920s on.

Google GOLLMAR BELL RINGER and you will find the patent information and drawings sufficient to fabricate your own.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1058
Location: Pacific, MO
Be advised they are also a pain in the butt and very ticklish.


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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5262
Location: southeastern USA
Like most of the firemen who have to climb out and restart them.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:47 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:06 am
Posts: 146
Dave wrote:
Like most of the firemen who have to climb out and restart them.

dave

Which is why you leave the rope hooked up to the bell......mld


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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:21 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:37 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Bay Area, California
I have worked with a couple different air ringers on steam locomotives and here are my thoughts:

The Gollmar ringers can be a real pain. They will stay in adjustment until you get from the shop to the mainline then they either require the fireman to kick start them with the bell rope or they become so "energetic" that the bell begins a flat spin and doesn't ring at all...I'm not a big fan of these.

The horizontal air ringers allow the bell to swing both directions and still function like a traditional bell when pulled by a rope. However, when the clapper is "energized" with air the bell rings faster than a toddler banging on a frying pan with a spoon...I'm not a big fan of these either.

If you must use an air operated ringer and do not want the bell to swing when pulled, just install a standard EMD vertical bell ringer. With a new piston cartridge the bell will ring slowly on 105psi of air.

Personally I prefer the traditional bell ringer...the fireman pulling a rope. They are quite reliable, simply remind the fireman to ring the bell and presto!

Good luck,
Johnathon


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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 1:37 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 286
Location: Oroville, CA
The Bell ringer was one of the items stolen off SP 1727 a few years ago (along with the Whistle and a few other cab items)--prior to this theft, the locomotive was intact.
However, as was posted prior, they're not that complicated, and could likely be fabricated fairly reasonably, especially with a CNC milling machine.
And, yes, they sometimes start the bell swinging in a circle!

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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 8:31 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2126
Location: Northern Illinois
Kruger wrote:
I have worked with a couple different air ringers on steam locomotives and here are my thoughts:

The Gollmar ringers can be a real pain. They will stay in adjustment until you get from the shop to the mainline then they either require the fireman to kick start them with the bell rope or they become so "energetic" that the bell begins a flat spin and doesn't ring at all...I'm not a big fan of these.


Simple solution for that is to install a crossbar under the bell mounting bolt that keeps the bell from going all the way around. Soo Line used these on all their locomotives.

Image

The swinging clapper style operators give a consistent beat that sounds like a diesel. The air operators that swing the bell maintain the traditional "tolling" sound. I think that's worth preserving.

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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 7:49 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1251
Location: Strasburg, PA
Steve J Jr wrote:
I believe the title speaks for itself. I am looking for some air operated locomotive bell swingers to substitute for the W&W's light speed air ringers on the steam locomotives.

Anybody have any sources or someone who might have one for sale?

Frisco1522 wrote:
Be advised they are also a pain in the butt and very ticklish.

Occasionally one might come up on EBay, usually attached to a bell. As has been mentioned, they are dirt simple and one could be made up from (mostly) cast iron round stock without too much trouble, scaled from the drawing in an ISC book or cyclopedia.

We have two in service, and while they are less reliable than internal ringers, I find them preferable for the more natural ringing sound that they produce, and they are fun to watch. The main issues regarding reliability are that they need to be lubricated every morning, the crank arm needs to be maintained in the proper location (why these are not keyed to the shaft I’ll never know), and the adjusting screw needs to be adjusted to suit the ambient temperature (screwed in for cold weather and out for hot).

We have had some internal ringers that were trying hard to imitate an alarm clock. Horrible!

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 Post subject: Re: Air operated bell swingers
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 8:30 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Monticello, IL
Here is what we did at Monticello, no CNC required. We found one to borrow as a pattern, measured it up and made the parts. Also did some scaling out of the cyclopedia. As Kelly noted, they are very simple, and ours, after some initial fiddling and adjusting, has been pretty much trouble free... so far. Every now and then it won't start as it is stuck on center, but a quick tug of the rope starts it right up. We have not had to change the adjustment since the initial tuning up, but then we only run during warm weather.

Attachment:
File comment: Bell ringer parts in process.
P1010827_EMAIL.jpg
P1010827_EMAIL.jpg [ 323.45 KiB | Viewed 636 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: Bell ringer mounted to bell during testing, note the air hose connected directly to the ringer.
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IMG_0308.JPG [ 189.72 KiB | Viewed 636 times ]

Years ago we tried a diesel ringer in a steam loco bell, and the problem with that is the clapper length is designed for the much smaller bell found on diesels. This put the clapper way up inside the larger bell, with the clapper not striking the rim of the bell, but the side. While it did ring, it didn't sound right.

Kent


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