I was wondering about the equipment performance and its lifetime capability 'in the field' in the earlier thread. viewtopic.php?f=20&t=49041
I would guess this puts a lid on the likelihood of an OO version anytime soon, as the order of magnitude greater moving mass that the larger scale implies will demand a mechanism redesign. I considered this type of device for my own OO application, and it became serious engineering that would need interlocked operator safety provision among other aspects: sufficient for me to realise it was out of scope as a DIY job.
Very impressed with 'fourty-two's' DIY device for his own N gauge layout, worth looking atthe earlier thread for any who have not seen it.
Bufferstop wrote:...If you want to see a well designed mechanism that relies on shafts and gears (rather than pulleys) go to Bletchley Park and look at Alan Turing's Bombe, not the side with all the wires, round the back where the motor, shafts gears, pulleys etc.are. If you are lucky you might see it find a match, the whole lot of it rotating in sync very fast. When it gets a match a bell rings it does an emergency stop, I think they zap the AC motor with DC, but it still overshoots. It then goes into a low speed reverse until it finds the match again and stops. Who ever did the design of the mechanics new what they were doing. Even down to the pump driven lubrication delivered to the bearings.
My late friend Alan was a small part of the Bombe design team, which drew its mechanical switching expertise from the now lost world of analogue telecommunication. They had the accumulated half century of operational knowhow in making mechanical telephone exchanges work reliably day-in, day-out to draw on; and by Alan's description it was pushed to the limit to make the Bombe a working reality.
What really makes the achievement impressive is that the mechanism designers were not allowed to know just what the machine was for, or to see it in anything like its complete operational state. Alan had to wait for the Bletchley operation to be declassified and opened to public view to see what the end result of his work was. As a young GPO engineering employee when WWII started - and classed as reserved occupation and therefore not permitted to join up, much to his frustration - he lived long enough to see the end result. Many of his older colleagues went to their graves with no idea of what their work had enabled.