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A Calendar of Meccano Races and Contests being held around the world. To include such events as 'Walking'; 'Tug o' War'; 'Climbing' and 'Robot Wars'. For Contact; Time; Venue; Rules and other matters follow the link to the club web site.

The winning model for WLMS Model Challenge 2002 (Falling Weight Vehicle)

by Tim Gant

Photos above courtesy Tim Gant

Tim Gant says:

The chassis is very simple, with closely space bush wheels (I used brass ones as they have a smooth rim) forming the bearings wich rest on the axles holding the disc wheels. This and the hard plastic of the Prima discs provides for exceptionally low rolling resistance.

The main axles carry Prima discs which are mounted on the 3/8" bosses of small bush wheels (which are locked on the axles with short grub screws), offset by a plastic-Meccano rubber washer (you can just see them between the flat of the bush wheel and the inner face of the Prima discs). They are held in place using pulleys with tyres pressing against the discs outer surface by way of springs from the Space 2501 rocket launchers. They appear rather ellaborate and I'm sure there is a simpler way of doing this, but these were the pieces that fell to hand the night before the WLMS meeting.

The winding drum utilises small plastic Meccano spacers (from the recent French outfits), but you can get it to run with the string wound directly on the axle, assuming you wind it thick at the starting point, to allow a little extra torque to overcome the initial friction.

The frame is made up of 11-1/2" axles rods held in rod sockets on the chassis and then butted end to end in rod connectors tapering in gently at about 6' up to rod and strip connectors that are screwed to the strips that make up the simple pulley frame at the top. I used a few narrow strips, and clock-kit rods about mid way up to provide some bracing (otherwise it really is too flimsy).

The weight is shown also - and that too had to be made from Meccano.

The chassis should really have a few plastic plates across it to catch the weight once the string has fully unwound from the driven axle.

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