Nelevation issues

Discussion of N gauge model railway specific products and related model railway topics (problems and solutions). (Graham Farish, Dapol, Peco)
CeeDee1947
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Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:18 pm

Nelevation issues

Postby CeeDee1947 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:39 pm

I am posting this to see if any other users are having the calibration problems that I seem to have with my Nelevation (n gauge - medium)? Despite Allen (designer)'s two visits now (for which I am very grateful!) it still falls out of registration between one end of the device and the other after a period of time.

I have read the adjustment instructions carefully and have set level 5 accurately adjusting it, both electronically and manually in order to get each end of the level level with their respective interface tracks yet by four levels later, one end seems always to be just enough out of alignment to uncouple rolling stock or at worst, derail a loco.

When it is adjusted an working correctly, Nelevation is a brilliant bit of kit, no question! However, having recently nearly had an uncoupled (and unseen) coach almost crushed, I find I am constantly checking to see if the selected levels are correct.

As I said, I wonder if any other user has had this sort of problem and whether there is another 'fix' I have missed? :?:

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Mountain
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Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: Nelevation issues

Postby Mountain » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:33 pm

It is quite a complicated looking gadget. Does it have a failsafe to prevent damage to anything which is sticking out a bit?
I have to say that I'm tempted to make my own but with a more simplified design. The concept and potential for space saving makes the concept an ideal one.
I guess it is a case of working with it to find the best happy medium when it comes to track alignment.

I hope that you can get all the little issues sorted and it does not have an appetite to eat too much rolling stock...
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Nelevation issues

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:43 pm

It's mechanism looks rather like the elevating paper tray of a 1970's photocopier, which had an alarming capacity for self destruction. I can readily believe that they are having some problems implementing an 00/H0 version.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

fourtytwo
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:41 pm
Location: Norfolk (Bodecia's country) UK

Re: Nelevation issues

Postby fourtytwo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 am

Having designed and built my own many years ago I can say alignment in N gauge is particularly important as the room for error is very small indeed, maintaining that alignment with temperature, humidity and ageing is also a challenge. In my case I resorted to servo self-leveling at EVERY shelf, both ends to achieve this. It sounds from your description this is not the case with the commercial product, perhaps it was developed using larger gauges OO/O where tolerances are naturally larger.

It is possible that the foundation for your unit is moving, for example a shed with a wooden floor or an upstairs room with a suspended floor, the latter is true in my case and the self leveling compensates for people walking around the room. For anybody embarking upon a "simple version" be careful to cover these issues or perhaps simply make it manually operated with the old bolt lock method.

It is a superb space saver, in my case obviating both storage loops with there attendant throat pointwork and/or multiple return loops I have used in preceding layouts.
Does the pain of N gauge steam ever end!

Mike Parkes
Posts: 520
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:25 pm

Re: Nelevation issues

Postby Mike Parkes » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:13 pm

Mountain wrote:It is quite a complicated looking gadget. Does it have a failsafe to prevent damage to anything which is sticking out a bit?

Under development apparently - see the section heading "Traffic Lights" at
http://www.nelevation.com/nelevation-ne ... #more-1638

Bramshot
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:55 pm

Re: Nelevation issues

Postby Bramshot » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:55 pm

I had something similar to this with mine,( N gauge short) and it was due to my not following initial set up instructions correctly. Some of the rail ends had crashed and either bent downwards or pulled upwards out of the sleepers, depending which way the Nelly was going when it happened. This makes those rail levels wrong relative to others. If one happened to be the 5 th level, all the others would be wrong.
The solution was to remove and replace or turn the rails around, (I am only using one end of mine for entry/exit).
If yours does this repeatedly, is it catching occasionally and bending rails? The clue is a slight ‘clunk’ as it is moving.
Further thoughts:
When one end goes out of sync with the other, is the one end correct and the other wrong? Is it always the same end that goes wrong?

CeeDee1947
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Nelevation issues

Postby CeeDee1947 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:57 pm

Mountain wrote:It is quite a complicated looking gadget. Does it have a failsafe to prevent damage to anything which is sticking out a bit?
I have to say that I'm tempted to make my own but with a more simplified design. The concept and potential for space saving makes the concept an ideal one.
I guess it is a case of working with it to find the best happy medium when it comes to track alignment.

I hope that you can get all the little issues sorted and it does not have an appetite to eat too much rolling stock...



Mmmm...it has already chewed a couple of coaches. Correct track alignment is crucial at this small scale. One half of the unit works quite well with minor dependencies which, at worst can decouple rolling stock. That's when you have got be eagle-eyed to see if any item gets caught in the crush zone. I believe that Nelevation are working on a warning system using sensors and lights.

CeeDee1947
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Nelevation issues

Postby CeeDee1947 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:05 pm

Bramshot wrote:I had something similar to this with mine,( N gauge short) and it was due to my not following initial set up instructions correctly. Some of the rail ends had crashed and either bent downwards or pulled upwards out of the sleepers, depending which way the Nelly was going when it happened. This makes those rail levels wrong relative to others. If one happened to be the 5 th level, all the others would be wrong.
The solution was to remove and replace or turn the rails around, (I am only using one end of mine for entry/exit).
If yours does this repeatedly, is it catching occasionally and bending rails? The clue is a slight ‘clunk’ as it is moving.
Further thoughts:
When one end goes out of sync with the other, is the one end correct and the other wrong? Is it always the same end that goes wrong?


Oh yes, correct setting up is vital. I had the same problem with some rail ends! I discovered the main item which tends to catch the tracks are the plastic 'tunnel mouth'. I also discovered that they can simple be pushed out and dispensed with. The interface tracks I discovered need to protrude just a cm or so beyond the current connectors. I haven't had bent tracks now for a long time.
My Nelevation is on a very stable platform purpose- built for it.

Quite clearly with my Nelevator one motor at one end of the front array of tracks is slipping and unable to keep its calibration. I manually adjusted that end so that Level 5 was correctly aligned. By the time I had driven a Level 1 to Level 10 that end had dropped by a colossal 2cm! One half of my Nelevator is completely unusable.

CeeDee1947
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Nelevation issues

Postby CeeDee1947 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:11 pm

fourtytwo wrote:Having designed and built my own many years ago I can say alignment in N gauge is particularly important as the room for error is very small indeed, maintaining that alignment with temperature, humidity and ageing is also a challenge. In my case I resorted to servo self-leveling at EVERY shelf, both ends to achieve this. It sounds from your description this is not the case with the commercial product, perhaps it was developed using larger gauges OO/O where tolerances are naturally larger.

It is possible that the foundation for your unit is moving, for example a shed with a wooden floor or an upstairs room with a suspended floor, the latter is true in my case and the self leveling compensates for people walking around the room. For anybody embarking upon a "simple version" be careful to cover these issues or perhaps simply make it manually operated with the old bolt lock method.

It is a superb space saver, in my case obviating both storage loops with there attendant throat pointwork and/or multiple return loops I have used in preceding layouts.



My Nelevation is on a very stable platform purpose- built for it. It is in an environment (Victorian House cellar) where the temperature ranges from 19 deg C to 12 deg C. My Nelevator has one motor at one end of the front array of tracks slipping and unable to keep its calibration. I manually adjusted that end so that Level 5 was correctly aligned. By the time I had driven a Level 1 to Level 10 that end had dropped by a colossal 2cm! The result is that one half of my Nelevator is completely unusable.

It's a brilliant concept that when it works, is fantastic. However, I am getting nowhere trying to communicate with Nelevation at present.

fourtytwo
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:41 pm
Location: Norfolk (Bodecia's country) UK

Re: Nelevation issues

Postby fourtytwo » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:57 pm

CeeDee1947 wrote: I manually adjusted that end so that Level 5 was correctly aligned. By the time I had driven a Level 1 to Level 10 that end had dropped by a colossal 2cm! The result is that one half of my Nelevator is completely unusable.


That is astonishing, having looked at the tiny pictures on there website and examined the user manual I have a few sugestions
First it is important to note it is the motor shaft that is repeatedly aligned by the optical encoder and many couplings with backlash etc are present between this and the actual track ends. The first problem might be the toothed belt sprocket grub screws as I note these are on a smooth shaft so relies upon the screw grip alone and the starting torque may be enough to loosen it, a dab of paint between the shaft and sprocket would allow you to see if this is the problem (both ends).
Moving back into the motor unit the worm and pinion may be jumping teeth due to poor alignment or again either the worm or pinion are slipping with respect to there shafts.
Finally I have no idea how the toothed belt is attached to the shelves but perhaps that attachment is slipping.

I forgot to ask, you say "one half" is unuseable, does that imply the other half works as expected ?

There doesnt seem to be much feedback here from people who have actually got one of these......
Does the pain of N gauge steam ever end!

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Mountain
Posts: 2686
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: Nelevation issues

Postby Mountain » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:19 am

CeeDee1947 wrote:
Mountain wrote:It is quite a complicated looking gadget. Does it have a failsafe to prevent damage to anything which is sticking out a bit?
I have to say that I'm tempted to make my own but with a more simplified design. The concept and potential for space saving makes the concept an ideal one.
I guess it is a case of working with it to find the best happy medium when it comes to track alignment.

I hope that you can get all the little issues sorted and it does not have an appetite to eat too much rolling stock...



Mmmm...it has already chewed a couple of coaches. Correct track alignment is crucial at this small scale. One half of the unit works quite well with minor dependencies which, at worst can decouple rolling stock. That's when you have got be eagle-eyed to see if any item gets caught in the crush zone. I believe that Nelevation are working on a warning system using sensors and lights.

Gosh! That thing sounds brutal! Just make sure you dont stick your fingers in there.
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

brit-in-bama
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:46 am
Location: Alabama U.S.A

Re: Nelevation issues

Postby brit-in-bama » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:26 am

we had a similar problem many years ago on a production line, the small items if not actually blocked from movement would vibrate with the machine and move towards the packer arm, we eventually stopped this by gluing a 1 inch strip of very soft foam to the back-bed of the machine, this was placed so it just touched the plastic box, and it stopped it moving down the line, but it didnt stop it from being pushed gently by the next box, it reminded me of that sticky foam to seal door cracks, as it was open cell and very soft, perhaps a small stick with a bit of foam or felt placed at the each end of the tray so it just touched the carriages, could prevent movement of the rolling stock on its own, but still allow a loco to easily push or pull them past it, just a thought,

CeeDee1947
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Nelevation issues

Postby CeeDee1947 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:17 pm

fourtytwo wrote:
CeeDee1947 wrote: I manually adjusted that end so that Level 5 was correctly aligned. By the time I had driven a Level 1 to Level 10 that end had dropped by a colossal 2cm! The result is that one half of my Nelevator is completely unusable.


That is astonishing, having looked at the tiny pictures on there website and examined the user manual I have a few sugestions
First it is important to note it is the motor shaft that is repeatedly aligned by the optical encoder and many couplings with backlash etc are present between this and the actual track ends. The first problem might be the toothed belt sprocket grub screws as I note these are on a smooth shaft so relies upon the screw grip alone and the starting torque may be enough to loosen it, a dab of paint between the shaft and sprocket would allow you to see if this is the problem (both ends).
Moving back into the motor unit the worm and pinion may be jumping teeth due to poor alignment or again either the worm or pinion are slipping with respect to there shafts.
Finally I have no idea how the toothed belt is attached to the shelves but perhaps that attachment is slipping.

I forgot to ask, you say "one half" is unuseable, does that imply the other half works as expected ?

There doesnt seem to be much feedback here from people who have actually got one of these......



Thanks for your time and suggestions. Yes, one rack of tracks actually works perfectly well. Spent the whole of Sunday morning unloading the Nelevation and packing each train carefully away. Tested the Nelevation without any stock on board and Bingo! both racks now work perfectly every time.....

CeeDee1947
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Nelevation issues

Postby CeeDee1947 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:22 pm

CeeDee1947 wrote:
Bramshot wrote:I had something similar to this with mine,( N gauge short) and it was due to my not following initial set up instructions correctly. Some of the rail ends had crashed and either bent downwards or pulled upwards out of the sleepers, depending which way the Nelly was going when it happened. This makes those rail levels wrong relative to others. If one happened to be the 5 th level, all the others would be wrong.
The solution was to remove and replace or turn the rails around, (I am only using one end of mine for entry/exit).
If yours does this repeatedly, is it catching occasionally and bending rails? The clue is a slight ‘clunk’ as it is moving.
Further thoughts:
When one end goes out of sync with the other, is the one end correct and the other wrong? Is it always the same end that goes wrong?


Oh yes, correct setting up is vital. I had the same problem with some rail ends! I discovered the main item which tends to catch the tracks are the plastic 'tunnel mouths' or portals. I also discovered that they can simple be pushed out and dispensed with then they don't interfere with the Nelevator rails. I discovered that the interface tracks need to protrude just a cm or so beyond the current connectors. I haven't had bent tracks now for a long time.

My Nelevation is on a very stable platform purpose- built for it.

Quite clearly with my Nelevator one motor at one end of the front array of tracks is slipping and unable to keep its calibration. I manually adjusted that end so that Level 5 was correctly aligned. By the time I had driven a Level 1 to Level 10 that end had dropped by a colossal 2cm! One half of my Nelevator is completely unusable the other rack seems to be unaffected and works well.

CeeDee1947
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Nelevation issues

Postby CeeDee1947 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:30 pm

CeeDee1947 wrote:
CeeDee1947 wrote:
Bramshot wrote:I had something similar to this with mine,( N gauge short) and it was due to my not following initial set up instructions correctly. Some of the rail ends had crashed and either bent downwards or pulled upwards out of the sleepers, depending which way the Nelly was going when it happened. This makes those rail levels wrong relative to others. If one happened to be the 5 th level, all the others would be wrong.
The solution was to remove and replace or turn the rails around, (I am only using one end of mine for entry/exit).
If yours does this repeatedly, is it catching occasionally and bending rails? The clue is a slight ‘clunk’ as it is moving.
Further thoughts:
When one end goes out of sync with the other, is the one end correct and the other wrong? Is it always the same end that goes wrong?


Oh yes, correct setting up is vital. I had the same problem with some rail ends! I discovered the main item which tends to catch the tracks are the plastic 'tunnel mouths' or portals. I also discovered that they can simple be pushed out and dispensed with then they don't interfere with the Nelevator rails. I discovered that the interface tracks need to protrude just a 5mm or so beyond the current connectors. I haven't had bent tracks now for a long time.

My Nelevation is on a very stable platform purpose- built for it.

Quite clearly with my Nelevator one motor at one end of the front array of tracks is slipping and unable to keep its calibration. I manually adjusted that end so that Level 5 was correctly aligned. By the time I had driven a Level 1 to Level 10 that end had dropped by a colossal 2cm! One half of my Nelevator is completely unusable the other rack seems to be unaffected and works well.


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