Eurobricks Citizen
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About Lowa

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    automation, train, monorail, robots, software, Arduino


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  1. A 4DBrix user testing out his automation system on a train and monorail layout...
  2. Hi! I know... we have been very busy (kickstarter campaign for the switch tracks...) and indeed didn't spend enough time to keep everybody up-to-date... But we have continued moving in the direction of full layout automation! What is ready and available: We have controllers that can handle 4 sensors (Quad Sensor Controller), controllers that can handle 4 train traffic lights (Quad Traffic Light Controller) and 'starter controllers' than can handle 2 switch motors, one train traffic light and one train detection sensor. The sensors, traffic lights and controllers are fully operational and available in our webstore: https://www.4dbrix.com/shop/ The sensors and traffic lights are supported by nControl 2017.3 which is available for both Windows and MacOS on our download page: https://www.4dbrix.com/downloads What is currently in development: We're working on a Wifi based train controller that can communicate with nControl, e.g. receive instructions based on sensor feedback. We have fully functional prototypes of the controller but we still need to turn it into a 'final product'. Besides the motor, the train controller will also be able to control the head lights and will be ready for the 'train position system' that we're working on... We also started working on button controls that will allow you to create a control panel out of LEGO bricks, it's inspired by the 12V train system. We have been working on solutions to export an nControl project to a webpage that allows you to control your layout from a phone or table. The initial tests look very promising... Another successful approach to control layouts with mobile devices was to connect the automation system to a LattePanda (Windows based single board computer) and then control it by remote login. We managed to setup the LattePande so it automatically becomes accessible with a table/phone after it booted, so you don't need to connect any peripherals to it. It just acts like a wireless nControl hub to control your layout with a mobile device. We hope to find the time to make a couple of movies the coming week to show the automation system, motors, lights and sensors in action! If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to let me know...
  3. @davidzq, @supertruper1988, and everybody else that is interested in building rail yards: We just added the new track segments needed to build rail yards to our kickstarter campaign. You can find the info on this Eurobricks post:
  4. We just added the new track segments needed to build rail yards to our Modular Track Switch system kickstarter campaign. There are 3 new 3D printed segments: rail yard diverging track (left or right turn): designed to put the tracks of the ladder at a distance of exactly 8 studs apart. rail yard adapter: designed to make sure all the track align nicely at the end or connecting the track of a bidirectional rail yard. bumper track: to have an elegant way to end the tracks of a one way rail yard. The system work for both one way and bidirectional rail yards: You can find all the info on our kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/4dbrix/modular-switch-track-system-for-lego-trains
  5. Well, if you have a specific application in mind it's always possible to make an additional 'diverging track' for that. That's the advantage of having a modular system.
  6. Yes, of course! You can add as many tracks / switches as you want. Both the connectors and geometry of all the switches are fully compatible with the LEGO RC/PF track system. The question was about connecting a right-turn 'diverging track' to a left turn 'split track', as illustrated below. The tracks of those two parts don't line up and to make sure you don't do it by mistake we designed the connectors in such a way that you cannot connect the parts. It's actually a safety feature... We also put numbers at the back of the tracks so it's easy to tell them apart.
  7. Indeed, excellent point! This works out great because on average you need the same number of '8+2.67 adapters' as 'rail yard diverging track'. Thanks for pointing that out! I guess now we can / should add them to the Kickstarter as additional option: 1 rail yard diverging track + 10.67 adapter.
  8. There are indeed no studs there. Thank you for pointing out this potential problem, we'll look into it. The main reason there are no studs there is because the curved track is blocking you from adding anything, but maybe there is a work around... If possible we'll add studs to the final version. Thank you! I need to study the HO code 100 track before I can answer this. How easy/difficult do you think it would be to bend this tracks to the right curvature ? Thank you for supporting our project! Yes, we'll do other radii in the (near) future...
  9. Thanks, this is indeed helpful! I just don't think a 2.667 stud adapter is on optimal solution, there is no space between the ballast and will give 5 studs of 'solid' ballast. I think it makes more sense to make a 'diverging track' with the exact length we need for a rail yard. I merged the shortest 2.667 stud adapter with an 8 stud long track to be able to have better spacing between the ballast. I made the 3D models and it would look like this: (The dark gray models are the new tracks not included in the Kickstarter) Thanks for the complements! We don't have any flexibility with Kickstarter, we cannot chose which payment methods are support so we cannot do anything about the Credit Only situation. Once we supplied all our backers (Thank you!) the tracks will be available in our European store where you can pay with a European bank transfer. As the request for a 9V version comes up regularly so we decided to start looking into that... we're trying to find an approach that only relies on 'digital production machines' (no molds, stamps, etc.) so we don't have any constraint in term of expanding the range of tracks / switches we could make. As I said, we're looking into it. In terms of automation, the switches are fully compatible with our track switch motors. You just have to click them on and you're done! Thank you! Thanks for letting us know. We're going the make other radii in the (near) future and are looking at the feasibility of making 9V variants. Thank you!
  10. This campaign is indeed a starting point! We're planning to extend the selection to all the types you mentioned. The pace at which we can do that will depend on the success of the kickstarter... Thanks! This certainly helps. I will study it the coming days...
  11. Thank you! Yes, drawing are always helpful! A system with maximal flexibility is what we should aim for. Indeed, the curved parts of the switches are R40.
  12. @supertruper1988, @CrispyBassist We chose not to include that in the Kickstarter because the pledge system is quite rigid and this was going to make it way too complex. But we'll definitely make the specialty tracks to do all those things; that's the whole point of making the switches modular! We'll make a diverging track that is 4 studs shorter (straight section). We'll make diverging tracks and connectors with the exact length required to make layouts like on your drawing. The first approach has the advantage that the switch itself remains compatible with the LEGO geometry and you can use if for other things as well, but the tracks of the rail yard will not be exactly 8 studs apart. The second approach gives you a perfect rail yard but that's the only thing you can do with those tracks. We'll provide both options! All our tracks have numbers at the back, so it's fairly easy to tell the specialty connector tracks apart. Great, thank you!
  13. We went for something slightly more ambitious... for details go to the tread below: