RiggenHO Series 4000 Guide Flag
designed and produced by Richard Picard
June 2009 test 2
I do have a 2/56 tap, and the mushroom cap weights s as well as the brass keeper nuts are 2/56 so all good. Have considered using plastic screw instead of brass screw to hold everything together...
I re-built a second car today using JW press on hubs with matching slip ons, BSRT gear set and kept red wire motor---plenty of horsepower...tweaked the shaker plate to get the "flop" back. 2 spots need attention, the front edge has a nib to locate the plate between the motor holder uprights, which interefered with the endbell at the bearing house for the shaft and kept it pressed down, so that was sanded off...then I simply just cut off the front end of the shaker---problem solved and the flop is back. If not handled properly, the pin tubes on the shaker can cause shorting against the brush tube so that was electrical taped over----problem solved...(4 fuses) tried to wear the wipers hard, no luck---very durable material....swapped to braid....even softer ride than the wipers but perhaps a personal preference. One great thing about this design is how easy to swap....loosen the screw, swap, tighten...EASY!!!
I had to snip the tip of the t jet guide pin because it hit the bottom of my tracks' center slot....after that, the car layed super flat and ran great....
This test car uses the stock wizz drill blank axle, needs to be trimmed a little bit and the body is a Noose job on a vintage Riggen Industries shell he did for me a while ago! Sweet!
here is the 4000 Series Spec as I see it right now:
picard drop motor chassis w rear bushings
picard 2 piece guide flag with 2-56 pan head screw, brass keeper nut AND brass mushroom cap (user choice)
t jet guide pin
choice of 003 pb wipers or multi strand braid, material provided, user must do the assembly
pin tube shaker plate, front tubes taped over and front edge removed...front pin tubes relocated back on request for non vintage or non pre-punched bodies
green wire motor
wizz gear set w spacer
059 drill blank axle
wizz hubs with silicon slip ons or wizz silicon sponge press on wheel/tire set
rtho brass fronts
I'd like to send test car 2 down to Terry for testing and comments, and then place an order for a buch of these....feedback appreciated!
June 2009 test 1
Had some good time with the flag yesterday....the product looks great and the concept is dead on---short answer, no doubt the pin makes for a MUCH better handling car.
longer answer...I built up a quickie "stock" car with 059 db axle, set screw wheels, silicon slip ons, wizz gear set, red wire motor, brass fronts, pin tube shaker and brass fronts...concept check--very good...this is actually a mish mash car but I put it together quickly as I wanted track time....
concept test A+
Some small issues I had with the unit were the wipers slipping out...tried to pressure fit the screw tighter and smashed the guide pin...replaced the guide pin and tried a clip similar to that used on cobramite later flags and that gave a tighter fit so I recut some bronze strips, folded over one edge to double the width and perfect fit...wanted to try a smaller diam screw holding it all together (not threaded) and went 080 screw/nut...held fine but had rattle and the chassis was no where near as secure as with the tapped screw...also handled way better with the tapped screw so we stay there...
need to re-spec lead wire size and length...think I can use slightly thicker gauge and also now no reason to cross the lead wires....still need better method to secure leads to motor without solder, but pros will solder and also solder the can to the chassis (rear edge from underneath) to prevent can slipping---this is what Rider does!...
the 2-56 screw in there now obviously too long, so will use shorter, will need to rethread mushroom caps for weight if needed...
Build up a car using intended 4000 series specs, silicon press on wheel set with green wire arm and go again...then try the braid wipers you sent me
One thing I had a problem with (nothing to do with flag assembly) was that I lost the flop in the shaker---something at the front edge of the can is pinning down the shaker...more investigation needed.
(latest on top)
Revision 1...bumper section removed to make replacing the wipers a little easier...
(click for bigger)
Here's the history of this project!
(and, check out the work by AJ Hoyt)
1.The wipers need to be more durable and replaceable without having to replace
the entire guide with simple, or no tools.
2.The wipers need to be easy to set up - getting a proper contact patch with current ones, and the AJ's is difficult - perhaps not for someone like Terry, but my personal input is that Ron would sell more cars if they were more robust and ran great with minimal tinkering. Now this is somewhat subjective, because all slot heads love to tinker right? But many of them tinker with "shoes" and springs. For many - especially the younger group that I fall into - never were exposed to wipers or brass pan cars - only tyco and afx cars. These do require set up to get optimal performance, but they also run pretty well right out of the box - so any skill in setting up these is best if within the comfort zone of "magnet" or Tjet racers. Most input I have heard from people that bought a repro riggen is that they love them, but they are hard to set up and run - so they become shelf queens. Now Ron has already stated that he cannot deal with more demand that he has now, but I feel this goal regarding "tunability" is one worth exploring in detail.
3. Ron expressed a desire for a better mushroom cap. The current one, although historically accurate, impedes certain body mounting. (Even with my repositioning the cap behind the axle, it still interferes with my vintage 612 body. Since bodies are my main biz - this always irritated me. Bodies should be able to be slammed and still have a "factory" weight product - not lead added by the customer - available and fit underneath. The use of wires and the retainer clip also can impede proper body fitment. I also noticed that the wires and the retainer clip can impede the shaker plate motion at times - especially with the Miller flag system or adjustable brush tubes - which becomes more of an issue with special modifications such as an iso design. Its not that wires and the clip are not being considered, I just want to look at all options. Another area I am concerned with is the need to add more weight via lead. Yes it works well, but the brass cap should be more than enough....the reason its not is because the wipers - especially on the AJ guide are thicker and stiffer - which is why they wear well....but they require more weight to properly compress the wipers to get the best contact. This is why I tried the braid. I never intended to make the guide for braid, but realized it maximixes contact - with less required weight - and it did surprise me, but I still intend to be able to have this work with a wiper....So perhaps this new cap can weigh more - not sure yet....
Right now I used a Tjet guide as a starting point - especially since the guide needs to be screwed to the chassis in the first place - but I may move to a regular guide pin. Flipping the guide was something I did for testing, and don't intend to require another hole to be drilled - I just did it for my testing purposes... but the prospect of having a guide pin that can be run in multiple locations may be attractive to some. Right now I think I may just concentrate on duplicating the AJ postition, as I agree with Terry - it does have the best "tokyo drift" to it.
The guide was machined with small wings on the top side to help isolate the
conductor strips from the chassis. Well these did not work well, so I lopped
them off. (As a result the under side will be longer) Instead of the strips
riding on the top of the brush tubes, they work reall well on the bottom. To
keep the strips from shorting out against the chassis I used clear tape. The
axle can also short out and instead of more tape which would work just as well,
I used shink tubing - which works for my car since its an independent front,
but is too thick for regular use.
I used several materials for the wipers. First was phosphor bronze .006" thick strip. These work fairly good, but still required a good amount of tweaking to get a good contact patch that was consistent. So I next tried some cut down G3 shoes - these also worked pretty good, as they were already formed nicely and both were uniform. I still had a little bit of hop and shorting as it skittered down the track. Then I tried a thinner material - thinking I would get less "spring" from it. So i tried some Tyco pro shoes. These worked the best as a wiper, but they are just horribly fragile and wrinkle and as you already know don't last too long.
My final idea was to try a braid. I used some desoldering wick I had which was just a tad narrow but worked for my purposes. To my surprise these worked brilliantly. I have never had a braid car run so well. It gave great and constant power to the car. I think the braid was softer than what you had on optional braided guides. These allowed the car to sit on the rails as I intended, and gave greater rail contact due to the pliancy of the braid.
When I ran the car it was almost silent- it was so smooth. Even after some rather aggressive driving the braids held up well - which I think is a result of the tapered pocket I made.
So right now I am adapting my CAD design to include the changes I needed to make, as well as a better means of capturing simple braids - which should work with wipers as well.
So far so good. Oh - another cool thing. Originally I used the chassis guide
flag hole as the screw hole for the T-jet guide pin. The pin was behind the
axle and did not handle very well, as it was way to prone to spinning out in
the corners. I drilled another hole in the chassis and flipped the guide around.
Now the pin was slightly ahead of the front axle. Handling was much better,
plus the brass cap can be shifted closer to the motor which should allow more
bodies to fit. Of course this could only be possible with the conductive strips,
as the wire lead and clip set up of the original Riggen design would not allow
Its a two piece design that sandwiches the wiper and the lead wire together
under pressure - no soldering required... and similar in concept to the Dynabrute.
I tried the side loading design of the brute and found it difficult to work
with for the Riggen, plus the two piece design will be easier to use and make
in my opinion.
The lead wires fit into holes on the top section which is held in place under pressure by the mushroom cap - or #2-56 nut There is a groove in the top piece for each wire to lay in. The bottom section fits around the chassis - and also incorporates the Tjet guide pin. I am currently tweaking the design to help locate the wiper during assembly and hope to get a machined prototype done by the weekend so I can send one to you and Terry.
I played with the guide some more tonight.... and have come to some conclusions
that I'll need to address. For the most part the tjet guide pin works great
and is positioned in the right point on the chassis to give nice balanced drift
in the corners. The wipers also sit pretty good, but I think I need to make
some small tweaks to make it better from a set up perspective.
My biggest gripe is actually putting new wipers in/changing wipers - it does not work well as I had hoped - the sandwich idea works well, but the laying in of the wipers really sucks - so I am going to remove the front "bumper" section. This way I plan to assemble the entire unit first then back off tightening the mushroom "clamp" - this hopefully will allow the user to push/slide the new wiper in and keep it from falling out - then tightening it down to keep it fixed and to complete the electrical connection.