By Bob Bath
At last year’s Association AGM (2008), I had only been a member for a few weeks and was desperate to find a quick easy loco to run on the new club 32mm track. At the time my efforts were being aimed at a De Winton to the Dave Watkins design and soon it became obvious it was not going to be as quick to the track as anticipated. Happening on the IP Engineering stand I found they were selling their Jack diesel outline at a very affordable price. In fact they were going like hot cakes. Getting carried away with the crowd a purchase was made.
The following day having got it in the workshop under the radar, I soon realised that this again would not be a weekend build. I soldiered on with the De Winton, but got to thinking if so many of these kits had been sold there are going to be a lot of Jack’s about. How can I make mine different? After all it’s a generic design! Before starting I measured all the parts and drew them up on the computer. Then modified various bits to come up with the effort you see now.
The list of changes is as follows:-
1) New set of shaped buffer beams with rivet detail and eye bolts.
2) Six new fly cranks to a design similar to the Baguley Drewery.
3) Cut one inch off the length of the bonnet.
4) Cut all the windows out to a squared look, make frames to suit
5) Add doors
6) Create a new control panel with room to fit a receiver underneath.
7) Make new steps front and rear
8) Add lighting front and rear.
9) Make and fit hand rails / guard rails.
10) Purchase one of Rob Bennett’s excellent drivers (with Woodbine).
Jack was built alongside the De Winton needless to say both took longer than anticipated.
About the time a decision was needed to how the motor was to be controlled. I purchased a Accucraft Baguley Drewery to get up and running. This had an unsightly motor control on the back. So I started to look at electronic speed controllers with the view to radio control. The three in the frame were the Brian Jones Mac Five, the Roundhouse Locoglyde and the Timpdon RadioCon+.
Unfortunately Brian Jones’s lead time was too long so I went for one Locoglyde and one RadioCon+. The Locoglyde was fitted into the Baguley and in true Roundhouse tradition worked like a dream. So Jack was fitted with the RadioCon+. I have to say I am a little disappointed with the RadioCon+ it has a very long delay after activating the throttle and makes squealing noise when in use, but was about £12.00 cheaper and these things aside can be used effectively.
Jack has been up and running for about three months now and the performance is very good even with a considerable load on the back. The De Winton is also now running and again runs very well, but that’s another story.