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and there will be no movement of the valve except that which is received from the motion of the combination lever.
With the Stephenson link motion the amount of lead given to the valve in full gear is steadily increased as the reverse lever is hooked up, and that is considered by many men to be one of its bad features; hooking-up with the Walschaert gear does not increase the lead, because it is obtained from the cross-head, and that is one of the desirable features that recommend this gear. If the motion work has been correctly designed and “set up," and particularly if the eccentric rod is of the correct length, when the engine is standing on either dead centre the reverse lever can be shifted from the farthest go-ahead position clear over to the back corner notch of the quadrant without disturbing the position of the valve, and this is because the eccentric at a point directly above or below the centre of the main axle holds the link in a vertical position, and any point in the link at which the link-block may be stationed will be at a common distance from the point represented by the pin connecting the front end of the radius rod with the combination lever-due to the curve of the link.
If we should set the reverse lever in the centre notch of the quadrant and have the engine moved by “pinching,” or towing, as before stated, the eccentric would
not give any motion to the link-block, radius rod, nor valve, but the cross-head would, by means of the combination lever, give the valve a short travel that would be equal to twice the distance of lap plus lead.
The connections from cross-head and valve are made to opposite ends of the combination lever, and it is plain to see that when the piston is at either end of its stroke, the valve will be as far in the opposite direction as the angle of the short end (distance between vertical lines through the upper two pin holes) of the combination lever will carry it; this, as has been explained, is the distance necessary to overcome the amount of lap and then give the opening for lead, at each end of the stroke.
This method of reversing the valve motion of a locomotive is referred to by the English Professor, Mr. W. E. Dalby, in his most interesting book on Valves and Valve Gear Mechanism as “The Heusinger Von Waldegg, or Walschaert, valve gear.” Where, and how, Herr Von Waldegg gained a claim to the distinction of having his name used in connection with a gear for which a patent was indirectly granted to Egide Walschaert is not explained by Professor Dalby.
Our engine is not perfect yet, as it stands in Fig. 6; there is an error to be corrected. Let us refer again to Fig. 2, the simple form of engine that we built up from, and we will note that the total “throw”
of the eccentric—the diameter of the circular path in which it travels—must be of the same length as the full travel of the valve, as there is nothing intervening to shorten or lengthen the motion; and this equality of motion is carried on, through Fig. 4 where both rocker-arms are of the same length to the nearly finished construction in Fig. 6—providing the engine shown in the latter plate is in full gear either way; and the correct full travel of the valve should be of the same distance as the throw of the eccentric, butnote the error:
If this engine should be moved one-quarter turn ahead, placing the main-pin on the upper quarter, the lower end of the combination lever would then be at about the middle of its path of motion, but the eccentric being at its farthest stroke ahead, the upper end of the combination lever would also have its farthest inclination ahead and the resultant angle would lengthen the line of motion between the eccentric and valve; this increases the travel of the valve at its forward stroke, and is the result of the method of obtaining that advance of the valve necessary in overcoming the lap, even if the lead, as pre-admission of steam, is not desired.
Move the engine so that the main-pin is on the lower quarter and the eccentric at the end of its backward stroke and the opposite effect will be produced; the combination lever, centred at the lower end, will incline backward at its top end and the angle assumed in this case will shorten the distance from eccentric to valve, and this, on the backward siroke, increases the travel of the valve in that direction.
So, if the full travel of the valve and the full throw of the eccentric are to be maintained as equal distances—and they are—then the valve in Fig. 6 overtravels in each direction; we have not allowed for that and the question is, How can the travel of the valve be correctly shortened up and not create any other interference with the motion? Shortening the throw of the eccentric by changing it to a point nearer the hub centre would take away the increase of travel that was developed in securing the advance of the valve,—would it not ?
Certainly; that would be a good way out of the difficulty—if we hadn't a better one: we can secure a double result in overcoming the error—“kill two birds with one stone."
With this gear the link generally sets rather highhigher than appears in the sketch—and when the eccentric is on the lower quarter there is a great and undesirable angle between the eccentric rod and the line of the valve-stem; horizontal lines through the centres of the main axle and the pin connecting the eccentric rod to the link are too widely apart, and the result is an angle great enough to disturb the correct transmission of motion. So, let's leave the throw of the eccentric and the required full travel of the valve remain equal, as they should be, and now extend an arm down from the lower end of the link and connect the eccentric rod to its lowest point instead of to the link itself. We have completed the Engine Practical now, as it appears in Fig. 7, in which it is seen that with the reverse lever in full forward gear, the radius rod as far down in the link as it will go is not in line with the eccentric rod; this change has shortened the swing of the link and the carry of the link-block, and on some engines this foot of the link is so long that the reduction in link-block travel amounts to a great deal, but it only affects the long motion of the valve and does not interfere with the amount of lead supplied by the combination lever.
We have completed our task of erecting a design of Walschaert's valve gear that is applicable to an ordinary locomotive, and it is presented in Fig. 7 for technical study; it is of the same general type as the one we built up, in Fig. 6, corrected, with the position of the piston changed to the forward end of the cylinder. A vertical line is drawn through the exact centre of the valve seat and another similar line through the centre of the valve. The valve is shown displaced the distance required to open the admission port the