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Bob Reynolds 07-15-2017 08:46 AM

Jim, the DQ certainly had/has balance buckets. When stopped, the wheel has a tendency to roll to where the cranks (even set at 90 degrees) will cause the wheel to rotate to the point where the cranks are at their lowest position. There is also the sheer weight factor of the cranks even when the wheel is rolling, causing the wheel speed to be uneven as the cranks are in different positions of the revolution (i.e., power being used to lift the cranks vs rolling the wheel). Balance buckets offset SOME of that weight differential and make the revolutions smoother, and I would assume make less work for the engines.

R. Dale Flick 07-15-2017 08:58 AM

*Wheel buckets/Counterweight*
Morning, Steaboating colleagues,
Jim Reising asks Jim Blum good questions with technical factors I know nothing about. Yet, I always thought that both 'side' and 'stern' wheels had double planks added serving as a kind of 'counterbalance' when the wheels rolled around. Some of us old enough to remember the big steam locomotives with their huge wheels showing the side counterweights. When those big locomotives came down the line you could hear the pounding sound of the counterweights when the wheel hit the rails at that spot.

Anybody watching the DELTA QUEEN's wheel backing or coming ahead remember seeing how the wheel itself just for an instant seemed to slow or pause and the roll over--almost with a subtle surge. Question: Didn't this counterweight compensate the engines just at the right moment? Heck, I don't know.

Summer: R. Dale Flick on the northern shores of mighty Lake Michigan.

Jim Blum 07-15-2017 09:22 AM

At this point I will unabashedly admit I am in way over my head. An apology to Jim R for my misspelling of his name in an earlier post.

We know there are real live steam engineers both steamboat, railroad & stationary, out there who have access to this forum: so please stand up and put us on a path of knowledge.

Both the Str Admiral & Str President had large wooden "pry bars" hanging up in the engine room to use should a wheel get hung up on "dead center"

I remember seeing one such pry bar on the big Sidewheel Ferry Eureka in the Maritime Museum in San Francisco some years back.

Our engineers out there need to tell us where about the balance buckets would have been placed within the 90 degree or 270 degree area between crank position.

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