Here are some of the piece parts of the dual rotary plow as it's coming together.  The current plan is to run both drill motors off track power.  (Both motors draws around 9 amps.)  The car will either be pushed by a Dash 9 or an MTH DCS controlled engine. 



It's getting closer.  All that is needed is track power pickups and decide on the voltage regulation if needed. 


The decision to go with a dual rotary was based on a few requirements and all with the basic premise that it doesn't need to be a prototypical anything, it just needs to work. 

With my new layout expansion project about to add 1000ft of double tracked mainlines, I wanted a blower that could extract the snow from between the two main lines as well as allow for some additional space off to the sides.  This all with the hope it can clear enough snow off to eliminate the need for any work by hand.


The impellers were bought new from http://www.marbeck.com/    Direct link: http://www.marbeck.com/vacuum_fans_eureka.html  (Marbeck #430 impeller / Eureka part number 12988)

The housing is a lid from a blank DVD-R case.


Each blower has two impellers, one fitted backwards into the housing and acts solely to help guide the impeller shaft.  The second impeller which is visible in the opening is installed blades out.  The main impeller is secured to the shaft/bolt between two nuts one in front of the impeller and one behind it.  The threads where the impeller fits on has been wrapped with electrical tape to tighten the fit.  The shaft is made from a several inch long bolt (mostly smooth with threads on the end) with the head cut off. 

To maintain proper spacing between the two impellers, I used a series of metal washers.  To maintain proper distance between the guide impeller and the rear of the housing another series of metal washers was used.  To tighten the tolerance between the shaft and the guide impeller, I used the brass sheets to make a spacer bushing. 

Next, a hole was drilled (the same size as the shaft) in the center of the top of the DVD-R lid.

The assembly goes right together with the pieces assembled.

Next the housing was mounted to a wood board and a hole drilled through the wood on each side.  This allows the shaft to reach the drill motors.

Once powered, the drill will turn the shaft which will rotate the exposed impeller.  The snow should shoot out the exit shoot.




Here are some videos of it powered up for the first time.  I did one test with the motors drawing power from the wheels and it ran fine. 


Initial power up tests:  

Note: if the video skips, right click on the link and select "save target as" and save it to your local drive, then play it.

                                              Select the version / quality you want to download:

   -  Test #1 - 3:46 mins  -  First test

                   - 57MB/2100kbs - 28MB/1000kbs - 4MB/150kbs


   -  Test #2 - 3:05 mins  -  First test

                  - 46MB/2100kbs - 23MB/1000kbs - 4MB/150kbs




The unit is pretty close to being ready to run.  The Dash-9 has been selected and modified push and transmit power for the rotary.  The original Dash-9 batter MU wires have been direct wired inside the engine and a compatible plug installed on the back of the rotary to plug into the front MU cable.  The rear Dash-9 MU cable will connect to another connector that will be wired to a set of 4 - 3 axle heavyweight trucks that will be weighted and fitted with Kadee couplers.  The trucks will be used to spread the power pickup for the rotary motors across the 12 axles.  We will see how the single Dash-9 does with pushing the rotary when the time comes.  Additional motive power may be needed.

To keep the drill motors from scrambling the DCS signal, I've added a 10 amp inductor (220uh) on the positive feed wire to the motors. 

I hope to have the train ready to go within a week for the coming snow season. 



The day for the big test came today, but because of the prior ice storm to the snow fall, I couldn't run it on the layout as I planned.  So I setup a test track in the driveway and buried it.  The videos below were done before the power pickup trucks had their weights or Kadee couplers.   The videos were also taken the night before the pictures below.


First actual test in snow:  


Note: if the video skips, right click on the link and select "save target as" and save it to your local drive, then play it.

                                              Select the version / quality you want to download:

   -  Video #1 - 2:58mins  -  First test in snow - You see it as I first saw it

                   - 45MB/2100kbs - 22MB/1000kbs - 3MB/150kbs


   -  Video #2 - 1:01 mins  -  Second attempt with less snow

                  - 17MB/2100kbs - 8MB/1000kbs - 1MB/150kbs








12/28/07 -  The dual rotary sees its first real life test on the layout.



First use on layout:  

                                              Select the version / quality you want to download:

   -  Video #1 - 2:58mins  -  Fighting snow on the layout

                   - 45MB/2100kbs - 22MB/1000kbs - 3MB/150kbs


   -  Video #2 - 1:01 mins  -  Fighting snow on the layout

                  - 21MB/2100kbs - 10MB/1000kbs - 2MB/150kbs


                                     -  Video #3 - 2:58mins  -  Fighting snow on the layout

                                                           - 61MB/2100kbs - 29MB/1000kbs - 5MB/150kbs


                                            -  Video #4 - 1:01 mins  -  Fighting snow on the layout

                                                           - 27MB/2100kbs - 13MB/1000kbs - 2MB/150kbs


                                            -  Video #5 - 1:01 mins  -  Fighting snow on the layout

                                                           - 36MB/2100kbs - 18MB/1000kbs - 3MB/150kbs





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