A NEW STEERING SYSTEM FOR THE GOOSE
MAY 12-13, 2011
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3-WAY JOINT - It took me some time to ponder this problem, but the idea
came to me in the aisles of the Tractor Supply store.  The control arm
(aluminum piece on the left) can slide up and down in the screw eye; the screw
eye can eaily rotate; and it can slide left to right inside the hinge.
MOUNTED ON THE PIVOTING AXLE ASSEMBLY - It can just barely
fit, and the screw hole on the right can't be used because that's where the
pivot's front guide wheel is located.  The markings are for center, 20 foot
radius, and 18 foot radius, so as you can see the axle doesn't have to rotate
very far.
BOTTOM VIEW - With the control stick mounted, you can see the bottom of
it inside the eyelet.  At maximum rotation, the control stick is closest to the
bottom, the eyelet is twisted and slid toward the camera.
TOP VIEW - The control stick is mounted and in position for a turn, with the
axle at maximum pivot.  A battery will fit directly in front of the control stick,
and the stick will be up against the back roof of the cab.
Unfortunately, the "Self Steering" idea didn't work out too well.  I was getting derailments at turnouts, caused by the pivoting
mechanism not turning smoothly and interfering with the free swing of the front truck.  I tried metal plates for the wheels to roll
on, but it still wasn't pivoting smoothly.  So back the drawing board.  Let's try a steering mechanism something like an airplane
joystick.
UNLOADING - After a ride to the Red Zone, the Goose eases down the ramp
under its own power.  Eventually I want to have a better "ferry slip" for the
trailer.
FINAL PRODUCT - Here's the Goose complete with seat and joystick.  The
handle of the joystick seems to fit in well.
VIEW FROM THE OPERATOR'S SEAT - It's easy to reach the joystick to
steer the back wheel.  But funny thing...when running down the track, the back
wheels tend to align themselves with the rail and push the joystick where it
needs to go!  (Of course, I would still prefer to keep my hands on the joystick!)