JopieK

BrickTracks: different curves, PF/9V compatible

165 posts in this topic

Jim, I stole your picture of the crossover and added it to the prototypes gallery.  Thanks.

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8 hours ago, coaster said:

Jim, I stole your picture of the crossover and added it to the prototypes gallery.  Thanks.

Cool :)  Glad I could help!

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Well it doesn't look like this is going to get funded... not even close. So what does that mean in terms of other plans?

-Jeffinslaw

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I think everybody's still waiting on ME Models to start shipping out the rails ordered from their own Kickstarter - I suspect this is why we aren't seeing much in the way of support for this project.

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34 minutes ago, Jeffinslaw said:

Well it doesn't look like this is going to get funded... not even close. So what does that mean in terms of other plans?

I asked the same question twice but never got an answer and thus didn't pledge the $450 that I managed to set aside. Instead of trying to build up hype he didn't post ANYTHING over the past 11 days. Not sure what to think of this. He seemed like a smart guy who knew what he was doing and what he came up with is exactly what I would like to buy. I really hope that he is secretly prepairing a better campaign for next year.

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Hi all, I've been watching this (sorry 3797, I missed where you had asked about Plan B), but didn't want to just keep spamming the boards without having any updates to share, though I have been quite busy on it.  I've been trying to push this as best I can through a couple Facebook groups and contacting LUGs directly, but it's been a pretty tepid response to say the least.  I don't think ME has done us any favors here.  If you were considering pledging, please do!  If we fail to meet the goal, you aren't charged anything, so there's no harm in pledging. Pledging though will show there's more interest to others that may be on the fence.

If this falls short though, the plan is to reassess our costs and the pricing structure, and then relaunch sometime next year.  I think what I'll do is time the launch to coincide with Brickworld (maybe even see if they'll let me present there), where it will certainly be fresh on everyone's mind.  Between now and then though, I've done some more work on the switches, and I plan to make two sets of crossovers, one PF and one 9V.  I'll clean them up, paint them, wire the 9Vs, and just basically get them as close to production looking as possible.  I'll do the same thing with a handful of curves and half-straights.  NILTC, you guys interested in demoing some prototypes?

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As a NILTC member, I'll help out in any way I can Coaster.  I'll just add it to my layout in the yard...or wherever!

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I have pledged for 9v, did the same on the ME rails still don't have them but thought I would give this a go anyway. Hoping it gets funded

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Thanks kieran!  I can't help you with the ME rails, but I'll make sure you get 9V ones.

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I think putting the same product on the market as ME models is hard. Why would a LEGO builder pledge an amount of money rather than ordering from ME models at their website? OOf course you could, but you'd have to bring something to the table that ME doesnt.

With the switches, however, you could be first to market and your switches look very good. If you can get the pricing right, could this be a more interesting project for the customers?

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If I could have backed a loop of a single radius of track, I might have backed it.  Far too expensive for 99% of LEGO hobbyists.

9v is dead.

Abandon the 9v part.  Without replacement motors, track power supply, and regulators, the 9v market is getting smaller and smaller.

Focus on plastic track only.  Save the cost.  Lower the barrier to entry.  

Add in the 104 switches if you're worried about needing backers.

--Tony

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2 hours ago, Dutchiedoughnut said:

I think putting the same product on the market as ME models is hard. Why would a LEGO builder pledge an amount of money rather than ordering from ME models at their website? OOf course you could, but you'd have to bring something to the table that ME doesnt.

With the switches, however, you could be first to market and your switches look very good. If you can get the pricing right, could this be a more interesting project for the customers?

It's sad to say, but if ME actually delivered reliably, there wouldn't have been any need for me to offer this.  Also, many people don't care for their track design as 1) it doesn't match the LEGO track; 2) doesn't connect with the flex track and doesn't come shorter than the 1/2 length straight; and 3) isn't sturdy enough to withstand some of the heavier trains taking curves at speed, at least not without gluing it together. 

If we need to relaunch, we may include the switches next time around.  That decision will shake out in the financials though. 

 

1 hour ago, SavaTheAggie said:

If I could have backed a loop of a single radius of track, I might have backed it.  Far too expensive for 99% of LEGO hobbyists.

9v is dead.

Abandon the 9v part.  Without replacement motors, track power supply, and regulators, the 9v market is getting smaller and smaller.

Focus on plastic track only.  Save the cost.  Lower the barrier to entry.  

Add in the 104 switches if you're worried about needing backers.

--Tony

Hi Tony, you can back just a loop of a single radius.  I added those reward tiers about half-way through after getting a lot of that request. 

As for 9V, there's still a sizeable contingent that prefer it (myself included).  While we're only at about 12% of our goal, 76% of that money has been for 9V.  Long term, my plan was to also develop a power pick-up wheelset that could be used to power PF motors, giving us a best-of-both-worlds solution. 

However, I will confess that dropping the 9V would greatly simplify this.  But the addition of 9V accounts for less than 1/3 of the required start-up cost.  Switches would be a more significant investment as it requires quite a bit more tooling, along with specialized curve pieces (the stud grid is not conducive to crossovers, sidings, and turnouts coming out of one piece).

Quick straw poll: Which would you prefer to see in the initial launch?
-curves and straights in both PF and 9V;
-PF only, but include the switches.

 

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I would definitely prefer the PF only with switches option. I (and PennLUG) have been wanting larger turnouts for our locomotives and cars; we don't like having to move long passenger cars from one track to another by hand. I'd be more interested in backing if there was a possibility of getting these switches from the start.

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I can say ME track not staying together under heavy, fast trains without glue is false, when give a proper foundation.  My YouTube videos prove this.

Yes, they tend to fall apart in transit, but in my experience hold together fine when on a flat, level surface over the course of a very busy weekend show.

Flex track is worthless.  Period.

I would have preferred all-in-one track like your project, but at the same time ME track is easier to ballast, since I don't have to work around permanent ties.

--Tony

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The proper foundation bit is key.  Just setting them up on a table or floor has caused a few engines' demise.  I certainly agree flex track is pretty worthless, though it is currently the only option for a 1/4 length straight.  Still, that shouldn't absolve them from it not connecting properly. 

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For the record I have no need of 9v.

If it were me, which it isn't, I think I would have started with only plastic R104s and R88s.  

To be different from ME, offer a stretch goal of the plastic only Grand Curve equivalent track (R248 or whatever).

Leave the R72, R54, and switches for another kick-starter, once the first got off the ground.

But again, it's not me.

--Tony

 

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Coaster, my opinion is that you should go for PF and 9V curves for first, then upgrade it to switches.

I simply cannot agree on the statement 9V is dead. It is not, maybe it will be 15-20 years later without custom metal-wheeled motors (or simply metal wheels), but if new motors or metal wheels for PF motors are added, it can live longer.

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21 hours ago, coaster said:

It's sad to say, but if ME actually delivered reliably, there wouldn't have been any need for me to offer this.  Also, many people don't care for their track design as 1) it doesn't match the LEGO track; 2) doesn't connect with the flex track and doesn't come shorter than the 1/2 length straight; and 3) isn't sturdy enough to withstand some of the heavier trains taking curves at speed, at least not without gluing it together. 

If we need to relaunch, we may include the switches next time around.  That decision will shake out in the financials though. 

 

Hi Tony, you can back just a loop of a single radius.  I added those reward tiers about half-way through after getting a lot of that request. 

As for 9V, there's still a sizeable contingent that prefer it (myself included).  While we're only at about 12% of our goal, 76% of that money has been for 9V.  Long term, my plan was to also develop a power pick-up wheelset that could be used to power PF motors, giving us a best-of-both-worlds solution. 

However, I will confess that dropping the 9V would greatly simplify this.  But the addition of 9V accounts for less than 1/3 of the required start-up cost.  Switches would be a more significant investment as it requires quite a bit more tooling, along with specialized curve pieces (the stud grid is not conducive to crossovers, sidings, and turnouts coming out of one piece).

Quick straw poll: Which would you prefer to see in the initial launch?
-curves and straights in both PF and 9V;
-PF only, but include the switches.

 

Hi, I also prefer the PF only with switches option (perhaps other switch geometry: e.g. curved switches, switched crossovers, ...).

Br, Guenther

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I too would support a full PF setup with 9V as a stretch goal because there are way more PF trains available now than a few years back. Plus the engine types that can be built with the PF motors adds a lot to die hard 9V guys switching to PF.

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9V for me. Building in six wide is what I prefer and most of the engines I build, it is impossible to fit the power function crap into it. I would gladly pay whatever to get a set of R104 rails in 9V. I know I can put foil on the ME stuff but would prefer not to.

Just my 2 cents.

-Jeffinslaw

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I'm in the PF with switches boat too. As Glenn said, it's annoying to have to deal with standard switches with log passenger cars. Like others have mentioned it seems like some people may be put-off by the delay (to put it nicely) with ME Models track to want to invest in another Kickstarter for the same radius curves. I would guess that the appeal of switches would attract many more people since it's something new that the community doesn't have yet and seems to have lots of desire for. 

Since it seems many of the people who are upset with ME Models were in it for the 9v track, a successful initial Kickstarter may ease their minds enough that they would support a second 9v-heavy project.

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