NBL Class 16 from Heljan

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Re: NBL Class 16 from Heljan

Postby Bigmet » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:41 pm

My class 16 'stuttered' in operation yesterday, and my rule is that this constitutes 'failure': a replacement loco is found to take over the working, and the offender is set aside for attention.

Had a bit of a look around and on one side three out of four of the pick up wipers were not running on the wheelback but isntead flopping about in front of the wheels not doing much for stable current collection. Now I innocently assumed that would be an easy fix. For those unfamiliar with Heljan's construction, normally there is a peg on the internal gear tower casing between the wheels, on which the wiper hangs, held captive by the dummy outside frame. The dummy outside frame pulls off a couple more such pegs, the wiper can then be easily coaxed back into position.

But not this one! For some reason the peg for the wipers is on the dummy outside frame, making it the most awkward job imaginable. Was it given to the apprentice to design, or was there too much aquavit imbibed the night before? Talk about making a screw up of a perfectly simple and satisfactory arrangement.

As I swiftly discovered, do not remove the bogie frames at all! Instead unclip the keeper plate from the underside, reform the wipers and then spend ten minutes going cross-eyed getting both wheelsets in with the wipers correctly bearing on the wheelbacks. Now hold your breath, and position the keeper plate perfectly witout disturbing either wheelset so that with one push it re-engages. Didn't quite go? Return to square one and try again...

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Re: NBL Class 16 from Heljan

Postby GeraldH » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:59 pm

I completely agree with you Bigmet. Trying to dismantle the Class 16 mechanism for servicing is a nightmare. It's not just the Class 16 either. Heljan make some useful and attractive models, but they really need to pay more attention to how purchasers are going to service these things. Having had issues with their Class 14, 15 and 16, I'm now steering clear of their products.
Gerald H - BNR Correspondent :)

My layout: http://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Fo ... hp?t=28854

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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: NBL Class 16 from Heljan

Postby Bigmet » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:32 pm

But the really weird aspect is, other of their models have a vastly superior arrangement that is simplicity itself. Why change to such an awkward pig's breakfast? I think a note to Ben Jones is called for. Just in case they venture another subject that turns out well, and would be useful.

Mind you, all this is as nothing beside the weird materials choices and construction techniques on their steam locos, but those I had some idea about in advance from my continental cousins.

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