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27th May 2009 Blocksetter and Blackpool

Top: The blocsetter Above:The blocksetter dwarfs our Meccano table!


A conversation between myself and Sue…

SUE! Fancy going to Blackpool on Saturday?… Blackpool why?… I have never been there before and it is on the way back…. Way Back?! Where on earth from… Morecambe Bay… Are you bonkers?… No but we have a crane to collect!

If you have been following our Meccano adventures you will know that we are keen on building in zinc, so when a whole lot of girders came on the market in the form of the super models leaflet blocksetter we were first in the queue. We did our sums and came up with a figure, made an offer and after a bit of a friendly haggle and a 260 mile drive a bundle of cash changed hands and the blocksetter was on its way to London, via Blackpool! Just to prove we did go to Blackpool we took a picture of the tower, had fish and chips  for lunch and it rained - hard!

Now what?

All this happened a couple of weeks ago. Ever since I have been pondering. We bought the blocksetter for the bits, there’s lots of girders in a block setter - checkout the parts list! I also expected it to be fairly average run-of-the-mill parts. When we saw it I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was made almost entirely from new or very good parts. It also had some additional electrics. The builder had added remote, relay controlled reversing of the motors and flashing red warning lights.

The reversing relays on the E20R. A circuit board is visable, this is the LED flasher control Board

and some more
Similar treatment is given to the drive motor

After getting back here and realising just how much work must have gone into it we decided that we would not unceremoniously dismantle it but we would have a go at a few improvements. This is no reflection on the builder as he made a really good job of it, but it is a faithful reproduction of the original model straight from the plans. The only exceptions being the electrics, the addition of a second motor, some ladders, walkways and hand-rails. Although the model works it is very noisy, mainly down to the E20R motor and a lot of gears. It also struggles a bit with the weight - this is no lightweight.

Most of the meccano was in great condition

So, we are open to suggestions at the moment. It will obviously benefit from some form of compensation system applied to the wheel sets to increase the traction. New modern motors and a gearbox redesign would be good - We will let you know what we decide. In the mean time if you have any suggestions please get in touch…      

Fidler's block setting gear - stringin this monster is fun...

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The Tower
Blackpool tower - in the rain!
Remote control