Question by Shadow: for the Model railroad experts?
I have found some HO scale overhead or “”gantry”” cranes and some of them are not powered. I was wondering is there anyway of making them Remote controllable or at least automatic for my ho scale layout?
I’m looking for overhead cranes for a machine shop
Answer by PM Railfan
yes this is doable. a lil time ‘scratchbuilding’, some parts, and maybe a small amount of $ $ $ can make this happen. im not aware of any kits that can be bought for this but im sure your not the only one who has done it. matter of fact the B&O museums layout has a container crane that runs automatically all day long. so it can be done.
you just looking at a small motor or servo, some sensors, and a control mechanism. ofcourse it helps if your good at kit bashing.
think about this…. our layouts are generally dc powered. so youll be using a dc motor ( for movement or raising/lowering your cables). im sure your machine shop also has a lit interior (hope so, so you can see all the details your putting inside. also dc power). so, doesnt it sound like your actually running a radio controlled loco (dcc)? forward and backward can be your gantry movement or your cable going up or down. the forward and rear lights on a loco are just the same as lights in an interior. so if you think about it, a scrap loco motor and controller could do just what your looking for. and you would control it, just as you would a dcc locomotive. ofcourse the loco id would refer to your gantry crane and not a loco, but thats easy to do to. this is but one way you can accomplish your task here.
ya see, its quite simple to animate your gantrys. just takes a lil time, a lil effort, and ofcourse, the pleasure is all yours and is rewarding. thats why this hobby is the worlds greatest!
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