MW ModelPlans 171 - 180

ModelPlan 171


John Darlison's


Computer Control of ArcAngle Robot


Using Meccanisms Motorvator



This ModelPlan has been designed to illustrate how a Meccano robot can be controlled by a computer, and demonstrates a manufacturing process using industrial software.


The ArcAngle robot is of simple design, with motors and mechanisms easily accessible, and is very similar to an industrial prototype.  Each motion has feedback to the operating computer, provided by potentiometers.


The conveyor moves coloured blocks to the robot which picks them up, sorts them by colour and places them in appropriate boxes - yellow blocks are accepted, blue blocks rejected.  The controlling program records the total number of blocks processed using photocells and colour recognition cells. When activated, an interrupter situated on the conveyor stops the machine and the time of inactivity is recorded. A speed control is provided for the whole operation.


The model, which demonstrates part of a production process, has been used  to demonstrate commercial OEE (Operation Efficiency Evaluation) software at a trade exhibition in Sweden, and provides an excellent introduction to robotics and Meccano.


Ref:  MP171       Price:  8.95


Motorvator program code for MP171 can be downloaded from here:


ArcAngle with conveyor.txt



ModelPlan 172


Peter Matthews'


Endless Ball Chute



A modified version of the model from the French Meccano Magazine, April 1954, this model is guaranteed to entertain the public at exhibitions.


It is simple in construction and operation.  There are two towers, one for raising the balls and one for the descending chutes, connected by the top rail.  The balls descend down the chutes and drop out into mid-air to fall onto a solid hardwood base or solid block to bounce up into the basket to be returned to the top rail.


Designed, described and illustrated in IsoMec by Peter Matthews, the model is constructed, with the exception of the drive band, entirely from standard Meccano parts.


Ref:  MP172    15 Pages   Price:  7.60


ModelPlan 173


Michael Whiting's


Two Extrasolar Orreries



An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is a planet beyond our Solar System.  As at May, 2007, the count of known exoplanets stands at 234. They have mainly been detected by a variety of indirect methods rather than direct imaging.  Two extrasolar systems, 55 Cancri A and Mu Arae, have been found to have (at least) 4 planets and these are the subject of this model plan.


As with recent previous Modelplans 156, 160 and 163 the scope of each model has been confined to a set 10; nevertheless the accuracy of the relative periods which has been achieved is better than 0.1%.


Ref:  MP173   16 Pages   Price:  7.60


ModelPlan 174


John Ince's


The XY Meccanograph


◊  A Set 10+ Model  ◊



The basic feature of this Meccanograph is two cams, one which controls the pen arm in the transverse (X) direction and the other in the longitudinal (Y) direction, enabling the pen to draw "figure of eight" patterns. 


A ratchet mechanism under the designing table allows the machine to draw either continuous or intermittent patterns, and the Meccanograph can be motorised or hand-driven.


Ref:  MP174   12 Pages   Price:  6.00


ModelPlan 175


 Rob Mitchell's


 A Six Axis, 300 Tonne Electric Overhead Track Crane



The overhead track crane is a type not often rendered in Meccano.  The model is  based on the immense machines used to perform the major lifting work in steelmaking plants.  The essential elements of a support structure are included in the plan.


The crane has 3 independent hoists (250t Main, 50t Auxiliary and 10t Service).  The other 3 axes, or movement directions, are:


●  Long travel (all hoists along crane track)

●  Main hoist crab (lateral travel)

●  Auxiliary and Service hoist crab


M0 motors and a limited number of easily-obtainable Meccano-compatible and non-Meccano drive bands and electrical components parts are required.


Designed, built, photographed and described by Rob Mitchell.  Modelplan produced by Philip Webb.


Ref: MP175    32 pages   Price:  7.90


ModelPlan 176


 Freddie Nicholl's


 Pensotti-Nicholls Compact Clock


Model Plan and VirtualMec Drawings



This Modelplan is a FIRST!  Not only illustrated in VirtualMec, it includes 31 VirtualMec 3D drawing files, and VirtualMec 1.6 Demo itself on a CD.  These allow the user to examine the various components and mechanisms of the model, from complete assemblies to individual parts, from any side or angle as though they were in his hands.


The Compact Clock was originally built by Roberto Pensotti (USA) as an exercise in building the smallest possible weight-driven pendulum clock in Meccano.  Freddie Nicholls has redesigned it, using mostly standard Meccano parts.


The all-colour Modelplan describes building the sub-assemblies first, followed by the main assemblies, up to the final assembly.


The CD also contains 5 video clips of the mechanisms actually working.


Ref: MP176    20 pages and CD  Price:  16.00


ModelPlan 177


 Michael Whiting's


 Science Faction Orrery



This astronomical model is a mixture of fact and fiction. As well as the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Earth/Moon,  it includes 5 other bodies which as recently as 1990 have been observed by astronomers and sometimes authenticated, but which ultimately have proved to be non-existent.


The complex nature of the gearing results in the calculations of the rotational and revolutionary periods being similarly complicated; a table of calculations is included in the text for modellers seeking verification of the periods.


Ref: MP177    20 pages   Price:  8.90


ModelPlan 178


 Wilbert Swinkels'


 Clock Striking Mechanism


Model Plan and VirtualMec Drawings



Inspired by the complex and ingenious striking mechanism of the Meccano Clock Kit 2 of 1972, which the author has developed and improved, still using standard Meccano parts almost entirely.


The Clock Striking Mechanism can be built as a model in its own right, or incorporated into a Meccano clock, e.g.  the Arnfield Mantle Clock (MP104).


Illustrated in VirtualMec in full colour.  Construction is described in clear, modular sections, and the plan includes photographs, diagrams and reference material.


The CD contains the full set of 3D VirtualMec drawings, additional photographs which can be enlarged to full screen size, an interesting pictorial history of the development of the model, and VirtualMec 1.6 Demo.


Ref: MP178    24 pages and CD   Price:  16.00


ModelPlan 179


 Michael Adlers'


 The Warbey Riefler Gravity
Escapement Remontoire Clock


Model Plan, Video and Photographs



A most interesting clock with a fascinating escapement, which is reliable and accurate. It also has a fully functioning remontoire or rewind mechanism, which ensures an even torque to the escape wheel and hence impulse to the pendulum. The clock also has a Huygens continuous chain weight driven mechanism which powers the remontoire with an automated electrically driven rewind mechanism.


The CD contains high-quality video footage of the operation of all the mechanisms, and full-resolution copies of the still photographs for on-screen viewing.


Ref: MP179    48 pages and CD   Price:  16.00


ModelPlan 180


John Ince's


Container Crane


◊  A Set 10+ Model  ◊



This working model is based on cranes supplied in 2007 to the Otago Harbour Company in New Zealand.  Built at a scale of about 1:80, the model makes extensive use of " Pulleys.  Powered by 3 M0 or cheap non-Meccano motors.  Centrefold in colour.

Ref:  MP180   16 Pages   Price:  9.00