Eurobricks Vassals
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About McWaffel

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    Lego Trains and Layouts


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  1. I don't have tags on them yet but I think I should definitely do that relatively soon. At least, once I'm going for the bigger layout that's definitely a must! Thanks for the tip. I'm going to have one train running fairly soon. I'm planning on getting multiple trains moving through the layout by the end of march. We'll see how it goes :D Yes, I think I'm going to write down a concept for cable management and make a data sheet where I create some sort of code and/or convention what cables do what and how they have to be labeled, so that I can identify them much easier later on. Also I know about the Arduino limitations. Ultimately I'm going to use transistors to control power supply to the signals through the Arduino from an external power supply. So I'll use the Arduino just for controls. I'm planning on about 10 blocks, which would require 25-30 main signals (depending on the amount of switches I'm going to put in) and anything from 10 to 15 secondary signals. Also I'm going to use switch motors and all sorts of sensors. I'm easily going to exceed the limitations of the board. But for this small-scale table-top-test layout I'll just stick with this for now, as that's just easier to change and debug.
  2. Well, I've been busy connecting all the sensors and soldering a power distribution board for the sensors and connecting them all up. The cable issue is really getting out of hand! Here you can see a Minifig worker installing one of the main signals onto the track :D As you can see, there's a lot of cables going everywhere. I'm running all cables along side the track for now, but they will end up beneath the table on my full layout once I got all the technical stuff sorted out. Here you can see the heart of the system, where everything comes together. The distributer board will end up inside the box at some point. It's much easier for maintenance this way. The yellow cables connect the sensors with the distribution board, red cables deliver power to the distribution board and the main signals, black cables ground the signals and green cables are for measuring the drop-out voltage of the sensors.
  3. @dr_spock Oh dear! That steam engine in between the passenger cars sure looks strange. I was thinking more towards a modified version of say the Metro Liner, where the first and last cars are fully equipped with seats and windows for passengers and only a small cabin is left for the driver, as where the engine and other electronics would be stored in a car that's somewhere in the middle of the whole train. Very similar to the Stadler GTW you posted. But more like this: So no dedicated engine compartment that would somehow obstruct passengers from going to another car. Single engine as a shared-bogie by the two center cars, shared bogie by the front and second cars. I think if all but the front bogies were shared bogies and the middle one was the powered one, push-pull trains would work like a charm. 4 Cars is also a good length for a Lego train imo.
  4. I guess that makes sense. Never thought of it this way. I'm using a variety of engines, both 9V and Power Functions motors. I used them in a consist before and as long as there's something pulling as well its all fine. Once there's only push action going on there's a significant loss in traction. The whole point of using one engine/powered bogie is to reduce cost I could just put an engine at either end if I was to go that direction. I guess ultimately I'd have to reduce the length of the trains or use a commuter train with the engine somewhere in the middle of the train instead. That'd be an interesting design too
  5. Nice :D Looking forward to trying them out
  6. Hey guys! I've been playing with the idea of implementing a terminus station into my layout. This would mean that trains need to reverse out of the station and in the best case drive around normally in reverse with a cab at the non-powered control car at the end. See this picture for explanation: I've noticed that by pushing, the Lego train engines seem to struggle a bit more with higher loads than while pulling. I don't understand why this is the case though. Physically, the forces should be the same, no? Maybe I'm missing something. Obviously I could just put an engine at either end of the train but I'm trying not to in order to have more independent trains running around. A push-pull train is very common in Germany for example (where I live). That's where I got the idea from.
  7. MAN! That CN one looks so friggin cool! I want one now :O
  8. I've been busy today, rethinking my signal design a bit. Here's where I ended up: This is the most obvious change I made: I added an additional red LED to the signal. This shows if the system has encountered a failure and the whole thing is going into a security shutdown. All trains will have to perform an emergency-stop if they encounter a signal like this. This is the new signal for a regular halt. I'm using the outer LED for a simple reason: It's further away from the "inside" and so it's less likely blocked from view. And of course the green signal, nothing has changed here. And finally this is where my Arduino is now, I'm using technic bricks to sort cables a bit. The last picture isn't up to date because I now only have one ground cable where all the LEDs ground themselves on. So the total amount of cables is still only 4, although I added another LED to the signal. Also I added a small resistor to the circuit to reduce the heat that the LEDs produced due to the high current that was flowing (my bad). The housing has a removable lid.
  9. I think it would only be successful if the expansion wagons would be wagons that are built to fit the starter pack trains
  10. An expansion type of pack would be great! Something like a loco with a bit of straight track (maybe just enough so it fits on the track?). We always need straight track!
  11. First of, welcome! I'm not too familiar with the holiday train, but I assume the drivers aren't equipped with O-Rings so there's a lack of traction. Try adding some rubber to the driven wheels.
  12. Whilst I did think about doing that, I just don't have the funds available to do that. Do this probably won't happen. Although this would probably be my most preferred solution. While this is also a nice idea, there would be a lot of cables running towards the end. About 30 cables in a bunch. That's probably too much for telegraph lines. Here in Germany the cables are in a sort of cable shaft that runs alongside the rails. Either way, for now I'll have them running at the side, held in place with bricks and at the end I'll probably build a little Lego housing for the Arduino where all the cables go into. That would be fun I think.
  13. My full layout, as planned, is about 3x2 meters in size. It's pretty big. There will be about 8 blocks (train signaling blocks) which means about 16 main signals, 4 station signals and 8 switch signals. That's 28 signals in total. They're all computer controlled though an Arduino for which I'm writing a rather large and complicated program in C++. Main signals are bi-directional and blocks need to be reserved by trains to get them to signal green. A reservation can be revoked for a train if another train with higher priority is approaching the block. It's extremely complicated gives me nightmares. I have to admit, that I actually like the cables to be visible next to the track. As long as I can keep them tidy running along the track I'm definitely keeping those there.
  14. For 2017/2018 I really want to see a high speed passenger train that is not made out of giant useless nose-parts. I hate those so much! Or I would like to see a retro passenger thing, like the Santa Fe or something similar. Steam train would also be nice, maybe a Cargo Steam Engine?
  15. Hey Guys! I've been very busy in the last weeks. I went shopping for hardware on Wednesday and I just had to put it together today. I got really inspired. I think I should buy hardware more often :D keeps the motivation up. Anyhow. I've built a first prototypical signal box. And before you say anything, yes I know, I could have run just one ground wire. That's the plan for the whole layout, where I will run a single, long ground wire through the whole layout and will solder any other connections to that ground cable that's running along. Here's some pictures - as always feedback is helpful! Soldering is much easier when the Lego bricks hold the LEDs in place. Using technic bricks to run the wires through the base. I'm really pleased with the result. Because there's three holes, I can use that to separate the wires for easier access at every signal. Red signal on And the green signal of course. I'm not too happy with the color of the green LED... it's too yellowish for my taste. I'm going to replace that one. But I'm extremely pleased with the rest! @Lowa you might wanna give this a look. Although I liked your signals, you may want to sell a small signal box with free-hanging LEDs that people can put into technic bricks like I did. Just and idea for you to think about :)