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  1. Hi guys, I currently have a small city/train layout. It is currently getting to small for my trains and modulars. (if you are interested you can find it here: http://www.brickshel...ry.cgi?f=554588). This made me think over a redesign of the layout where I have more space for the trains and the modulars, and where I have more "track-space" to move the trains on the layout (with the current design I can move 4 trains independently on the layout). I have now to describe what you can see in the image above: First you see the whole visible track of the layout. You can also see that it consist of three levels: gray baseplates = level 0 green baseplates = level 1 (20cm above level 0) tan baseplates = level 2 (only streets and houses, 20cm above level 1) All blue baseplates are placeholders for modular houses. You can also see, that this layout only works with modified points. The tracks on the red baseplates are the ramp where the train can go from level 0 to level 1. In the picture above you can also find the dimensions of the layout. In the pictures below, you can find the track layout of each single level (for reference the track ramp is shown in all thee pictures): Level 0: Level 1: Level 2: Now my Questions are: What do you think in general of my layout? What would you change/ what didn't you like? Do you think the given ramp is doable with PF-Trains (height difference = 20cm) BR, Guenther
  2. Hello everyone, for those who do not know me, I'm a big fan of trains and especially Lego Train. I finally have a space to create a Layout finally worthy of the name. My approach comes a little more of the model in the sense that I like to see a train pass over another, to automate the network, make realistic through light signals, station stops, etc. ... I started this project in February 2016 in my basement where I made by myself, furniture and shelf for storing SET Lego but also to design the layout. I was already well advanced when an incident occurred: the flooding of the basement end in May 2016 .... Then in August, the discovery of a leak in the water supply of the house forced me to completely dismantle this first try of a Layout to access the water inlet pipe ..... I come back now in force therefore with a first experience, many tests on the possibility for our pretty trains to climb slopes (straight or curved) to optimize the best of my available space and create a nice layout ! ;-) Due to financial limits, this layout will be not made with 100% of Lego, I will use wood and homemade stickers, custom electronic to make it. Here are the first shots (or I should say the nth plan because with Bluebrick, we never stop to change those plans) to my future Layout (so different from the first that I had designed and unfinished) WMLTL - v5 - Level 0 by LegoLow, sur Flickr Corresponds to trainyard + walkway + a brief passage of the 12V track WMLTL - v5 - Level 1 by LegoLow, sur Flickr Ground level with his future main station WMLTL - v5 - Level 2 by LegoLow, sur Flickr First level of the "mountain" : secondary station and then, possibility to climb in the mountain or to go back to the main level WMLTL - v5 - Level 3 by LegoLow, sur Flickr WMLTL - v5 - Level 4 by LegoLow, sur Flickr WMLTL - v5 - Level 5 by LegoLow, sur Flickr Top of the mountain.... Finally a view (done quickly, I will improving later), global superimposed, giving the idea of what will be hidden, visible .... WMLTL Project - v5 by LegoLow, sur Flickr Following probably next week with the start of the implementation of Level 0. It's a big challenge for me because this project is made of mixing differents things : LEGO, electronics, electricity problematics, Priority management on a network, etc.... Hope you will find that interesting to !
  3. One of the first buildings (from our part of the layout) complete for a Medieval layout to be displayed at a LEGO event in Denmark in May (Klodsfest 2017 Aarhus) More buildings can be seen in the video below
  4. I finally decided that I had enough track to try and set something nice up for myself, so after a bit of LDD work and the assistance of this webpage, I came up with this: I knew what I wanted was something that felt big, that had long straights, and track that wasn't just going at perpendicular angles to itself. The best part is, this track all lines well enough that LDD only has a small fraction of a stud of offset from the two 'ends' where the track connects back to itself - which is close enough that LDD let me place the track pieces intersecting each other with no issues. As an added bonus, there's lots of land space included in the right-hand loop, so it can house fields, houses, churches, more houses, warehouses, housing supply stores, etc.. This layout only really works because of some special numbers - seriously, read this page if you haven't already, because it's super useful: http://www.brickpile...ayout-geometry/ It's worth noting that the baseplates he shows in his examples are 48x48, but that won't really matter much if you're using 32x32 unless you insist on your track always being exactly four studs away from the baseplate edge. Starting from the left and working around in a vaguely clockwise fashion: The light blue segment is six straight pieces, the purple segment is the standard four curves for a 90-degree turn, the top green segment is 14 straight pieces, the orange segment is another 90-degree turn, the pink segment is one straight piece, the dark green segment is FIVE curve pieces, the red segment is 12 straight pieces, the minty-green segment is eight curve pieces, the pinkish-purple segment is one straight piece, the blue segment is another eight curve pieces, and the orange-yellow segment is three more curve pieces. In total, to build this, you'll need: - 34 straight tracks - 32 curved tracks For organizational purposes: keep two straight pieces separate, and connect the rest into a six-long segment, a 14-long segment, and a 12-long segment. Then you'll want to build three 90-degree curves, and two 180-degree curves. With the four remaining curves, attach one curve to one of the 90-degree curves, and connect the rest into a three-long segment and connect that to one of the 180-degree curves. Connect as shown to build this layout. I believe it's possible to extend the loop by adding pieces in certain strategic locations, but I haven't got the space to do so - however, good places to do so would be adding track into the middle of the light blue segment and into the 'middle' of the minty green curve (where it comes closest to the light blue segment), at both ends of the dark blue curve (extending how far out the curve reaches), or at the end of the orange segment and the corresponding parallel section of the dark green curve. Adding pieces into the middle of the orange segment and the red segment will throw off the alignment, according to the webpage I've linked twice so far (if you do this, add track segments in multiples of 12 only!). Anyway, this is my perfect loop.
  5. In a previous thread, I proposed a collaborative Nostalgia Train Layout for this Summer's Brickworld Chicago: This is a new thread is to determine participation so this is your chance to sign up :-) We hope that this collaboration will attract many participants by recreating the nostalgic look and feel of the older train layouts featured in Lego catalogs and the train idea book. Unfortunately Brickworld won't permit us enough floorspace to do the large "L E G O" layout I first proposed. Therefor we are moving forward with the alternative shown here: a moderately sized "50" nostalgia layout to celebrate 50 Years of Lego Trains! Here is a description: - The overall size is 16'x13' - Only official Lego sets will be featured: track, trains, stations and other sets. We have limited space so priority will be given to train specific sets first, then to general town sets as needed. Upgrades and part substitutions are fine as long as the trains still look original (for example replacing 12v traction tires, re-gearing an Emerald Night, etc). - This is a floor layout. The green and tan areas are created with colored roll paper taped to the floor. Tracks will be laid down over the colored paper. - Scenery will consist of loose trees, vehicles and figures placed on the paper between the sets (just like in the catalog pictures :-) Open areas will remain so people can step around for access. - Security will be addressed by having special stanchions up all show days (not just the weekend public days). These stanchions will feature a additional lower horizontal pipe to prevent young ones from entering the layout area. There should be about 30" between the stanchions and the outermost tracks. - Once we know what everyone is bringing, we will develop an operating schedule with hours when who's trains will run. The signup sheet is here: Please list what you can bring and then Please signup by May 15.
  6. What do you think.. are the Speed Champions just a tiny bit too big for a Modular Building Layout, or do they fit in?
  7. When my wife and I built our new home I decided that I needed my own room for my Lego collection and to build a Lego layout with a complete Lego town. So here are some pictures so far, I hope everyone enjoys what I have done. I used the 9V system exclusively and don't have any plans to change that. It took me forever to ballast the track using the L-Gauge system and a ton of Lego pieces so I really don't plan to change the track layout anytime soon either. The switches are the worst! I am happy with how everything turned out for the most part with the exception ot the yard, I wish it were larger for train staging but such is life. I also wanted a double main but without a 9V crossover solution that isn't possible yet, hopefully sometime soon. Feedback is always appreciated! Lego Layout WIP by freezingvettes99, on Flickr Lego Layout WIP by freezingvettes99, on Flickr Lego Layout WIP by freezingvettes99, on Flickr Lego Layout WIP by freezingvettes99, on Flickr Lego Layout WIP by freezingvettes99, on Flickr Lego Layout WIP by freezingvettes99, on Flickr Lego Layout WIP by freezingvettes99, on Flickr
  8. Hey Guys, I have been working on a very small set-up that would both allow a number of modulars and some city prices as well as my TRAINS! While I have all the trains powered at this point many will not see any action but I am very happy with how it has turned out and already planning my next modular buy! Lego Train/Town Set Up by Ernie Darby, on Flickr Lego Train/Town Set Up (Left) by Ernie Darby, on Flickr Lego Train/Town Set Up (Right) by Ernie Darby, on Flickr
  9. Hey guys, I've recently been trying hard to come up with a useful layout to use both my old 9V trains and my PF trains on the same layout. I just can't come up with anything that works and is interesting. Most of the time I end up with one loop and a dozen sidings and that would only allow me to run one train at once which is a bit boring. I have a decent amount of track (150+ pieces), both 9V and PF, but I just can't figure out something that I like. Here are a couple examples of some layouts I came up with: I don't really like either of them too much but I can't come up with anything better than these two. I'd like to know how you designed your layouts and how you go about designing new ones. I'd like to utilize as much of the track I have as possible. I've already looked at dozens of pictures online but most layouts are either too big or not interesting enough. Looking forward to seeing yours :)
  10. Recently i made some expansions on my Modular Square. Within a few months, i have to fit in the Lego 10255 Assembly Square as well, but i'll find a way! I used 20 modular sets to create this square. For the square itself, i used over 16.000 parts for tiling, trees and benches! Enjoy my HD YouTube video, that i made last week and get inspired!:
  11. The first pictures of BoBS promoted on Lego Fan Events start hitting BOBS, time to co-ordinate our efforts and make a list so you can enjoy past expositions! Events in gold are events with a lot of BoBs participants, some of them even coming from abroad! Do you want to put an event on the list? Comment in this topic and I'll put the event and the participants on the list. Interested in participating in an event? Comment here and I'll put you on the list. Upcomming Events Brickmania Limburg 2016 (Belgium) Also called: BML When: 27 & 28 august 2016 Where: Houthalen-Helchteren, Belgium (not far from Maastricht and the German Border) Organiser BoBs lay-out: Maxim I Participants: Maxim I, Belgium (Esl) Sebeus I, Belgium (Ole) Kabel, Germany (Esl) TitusV, Belgium (ESL) Captain Greenhair (ESL) [*]Status: registration closed [*]Website: Skaerbaek Fan Weekend 2016 (Denmark) Also called: LFW, Skaerbaek When: 24 & 25 september 2016 Where: Skaerbaek, Denmark Organiser BoBs lay-out: Maxim I Participants: Maxim I, Belgium (Esl) ??? Come on people! [*]Status: open, registration will start 1st of April Brickmania Antwerpen 2016 (Belgium) Also called: BMA When: 12 & 13 november 2016 Where: Antwerp, Belgium (2h drive from Amsterdam, 2h30 drive from Cologne, 3h drive from Paris ) Organiser BoBs lay-out: Maxim I Goal: A 84 square meter Pirate lay-out Participants: Captain Braunsfeld, Germany (Esl) Captain Green Hair, Netherlands (Esl) Imperial Shipyards, Germany Kabel, Germany (Esl) Legostone, Germany (Esl) Maxim I, Belgium (Esl) Pimbo, Netherlands (Cor) Sebeus I., Belgium (Ole) Tomsche, Belgium (Cor) TitusV, Belgium (Esl) Bonaparte, Belgium => ? Ecclesiastes, Netherlands => ? Lord Vladivus, England (Cor) => ? Faladrin, France => ? And a few Belug-members adding to the lay-out [*]Status: open, registration started [*]Website: more events to be announced! Past Events (the deeplink takes you to the topic of the event that has been posted in EB or outside EB, full with pictures) Brick Tricks 2016 (6 & 7 february, Tielt, Belgium) with Maxim I & Captain Greenhair [*]Rails in the Rockies 2016 (around 15 february, Estes Park, Colorado, USA) with Vedauwoo [*]Oakwood Retirement Home Lego Family event (9 april, Madison, Wisconsin, USA) with Phred & Andrew [*]Brickmania Wetteren 2016 (9 & 10 april, Wetteren, Belgium) with Maxim I, TitusV, Tomsche, Sebeus, Peter G. & LJ Hornblower
  12. Here is my 2016 layout, with most of the items already built, but some still remain to be purchased. Here is a complete list of what's on my tables, not including trains or automobiles because they can be rotated on or off the layout very easily. All of this sits on three very carefully arranged 30 inch by 72 inch tables. Now for the reality check: This is the current state of my trains and town layout. I don't have any other space for things on the table, as below the tables and in the closet is full of Lego bins, either color sorted in slide-out drawers, former model chunks in bins, or put together in customized paper boxes. Here we see the entire layout and compared to the nice chart I posted earlier, it's bit of a mess. The water models area has a police station and Cloud Cuckoo Land in it, and the left hand town area next to the station has my clock radio and assorted stuff for models not yet built. The rail yard is mostly put together, with my streamlined 4-8-2 steamer and diesel PA / PB units getting ready for their day of work. The steam loco is arriving at the coaling / water towers to refuel while the ALCO units are going to be switched onto the mainline to pull it's assigned express train. (The train is not on the table to save space and keep it from getting too dusty.) The town is mostly there, with the streetcars rounding the curves onto and off the main street. The sections only needs two 90 degree (X) crossings to be finished. Now you may be thinking it's really bad, but it is a lot better than it was, and still has a ways to go. It's all about baby steps toward the larger goal of having my dream layout, something I have always wanted since seeing my Dad's layout when I was 5 or 6. For those wondering, here's my ideal layout's items.... most of them I have already, but a half-dozen or so I don't own yet. This layout contains the following track sections: 3 - Right switches 3 - Left switches 62 - Straight segments 46 - Curved segments 2 - 90 degree rail crossing (still needed) 1 - Double rail crossover This layout contains the following train facilities: - Truss bridge - Ironwood Train station -Trolley Stop (still needed) - Water and coal refueling stations - Double stall train shed This layout contains the town buildings: - Sinister Victorian Mansion - Stone Bank - Western Saloon - Thunder's office - Town Hall (still needed) - Military Surplus store - Tudor style House - Model Rocket store - Tavern - Train club meeting house - Railway Headquarters (still needed) This layout contains the following miscellaneous other items: - Tramp steam ship - Lighthouse - Car ferry - Leisure vessel (still needed) - Rural Cabin Comments and feedback would be really appreciated!
  13. ============================================= Hello, all, This is a new Wasabi District Thread, since my layout concepts have changed quite a bit since I last posted anything about Wasabi District. I decided to post up a new one since I have decided at the last second to actually bring a layout to Brickworld 2016! So, I have already put a couple of pics on Flickr the past few days, but from here on out I will also update this thread. To start: Here are the Cars of Wasabi District, most of which I will be bringing to the show, And the Trucks of Wasabi District, some of which I will also bring. And here are the WIP stuff: The trees. I want to put a more temperate, vibe. The roads. Instead of having parallel parking space in the main road, I have instead substituted a dedicated bike lane in green, and the pedestrian crosswalk in brick/dark red. And my big skyscraper building progress. This will be the hotel's top floor, a sky lounge that includes a bar and an observatory. So there's what I got for now! I am building a few floors concurrently, as well as completing the road system. I will update this thread with Brickworld progress, and then also add more updates on my layout in general. I have about 4 weeks left, so I am rushing! Hope I get it ready in time for Brickworld. Post your comments and suggestions! Thanks for looking.
  14. Hello! I would like to introduce my town and show you some photos... I have just decided on the name Brixton for the town and have made a few updates today, altho this is the first time i have posted it on the EB Forum. Previous updates can be found on my youtube channel here: and also on my flickr photostream (photos below are links). Anyway, without further ado, a couple of snaps! So there's a few pics, but there are more on my flikr stream so please check it out. Future updates will arrive, and i have a few MOCs/MODs in the pipeline as well as plan to have a railway all the way around the city, and tiling the road plates. Unfortunately Brixton Town Council is a little short on funds atm, so it may take some time. Comments and suggestions welcome :D Cheers, TimmyC
  15. Hello fellow fans. This is my final update to my ninjago layout. Instead of uploading picture I want to rather share the blog post I wrote on it as I also have my opinions on there. Here is a link Comments mean a lot, positive or negative though please keep them civil :) I know you can see my amateur attempts MOC attempt but I did try my best with my current resources and bricks. I am a creative person yet MOC is something I rarely tried recently. Not because I love it old school after instructions, but because time and motivation are a factor I have no masterpiece here and when I look at what other people, even younger people come up with I get blown away. But lego is lego and the community has always been nice, so I hope that some people find what I did interesting. Finally, thank you to the people who have commented on my previous posts and gave me tips, I took them into consideration and tried my best. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I will see you around :) Vincent.
  16. OSWION Mining Site This layout is based on my Planet OSWION Expedition layout (built in 2013/2014) Link tot he original layout: It shows another mining site on Planet OSWION. The astronuats built an Planetary Observation Centre, a power plant, a research and a observation compound. The portal at the left of the layout can be used to enter the mining site. Some vehicles are modular. You can swap the equipment between them Also I’ve added some modular mining vehicles. More info of this vehicles: Pictures: 01_OSWION_Mining_Site by Mathijs Bongers, on Flickr Overview picture 02_OSWION_Mining_Site by Mathijs Bongers, on Flickr 03_OSWION_Mining_Site by Mathijs Bongers, on Flickr 07_OSWION_Mining_Site by Mathijs Bongers, on Flickr 10_OSWION_Mining_Site by Mathijs Bongers, on Flickr 05_Chrome_Crusher by Mathijs Bongers, on Flickr Chrome Crusher 12_Portal by Mathijs Bongers, on Flickr Portal is made with EL wire. It fits perfectly in a Technic hole without modding LEGO I hope you like this version of my Space layout
  17. Hello fellow fans :) A while ago I posted a topic where I showed my Lego layout I had planned for Ninjago. It sucked but now I have decided to use all of the table for the layout so here is an image of what it looks like right now. Ninjago Layout 1 by Vincent ST, auf Flickr[/img] Thank you for checking this out. I can post more in the future. Thank you for reading :)
  18. Hello peeps, I started to move my office/lego room around in the last few days and wanted to display my ninjago sets more proudly as I have come to love the theme a lot. Specifically the city of Stiix and the airjitzu temple as they both have water. Here are some pictures of my current layout. (note: i am new to Moc creations). Ninjago layout 2 by Vincent ST, auf Flickr[/img]' alt='24326270739_287632d894_k.jpg'>Ninjago layout 3 by Vincent ST, auf Flickr[/img] I am open to suggestions and would love feedback. I am able to buy bricks but I wish to not to as I am trying to reduce spending money on lego for a bit. Thank you guys and I am looking forward to your comments :)
  19. Hello everybody going against any reasonable regolutation for construction, I decided to build a castle near my volcano. The Castle is also near the beach. Here some pics: There is an external wall and an inner garden with an old tree: You can see a video of my layout here: Hope you like and have suggestions for improving it
  20. Hi all, Some of you might know me from this topic, in which I showed the progress made on a module for a group layout. As promised, and a little late, here are some pictures of the layout which was build by Aawsum, Alois, Moos, Thomassio, Wilbert and me. This were the plans for the entire layout: Layout_Final by Aawsum MOCs Lego, on Flickr After 1 day of setting up, the layout was as good as ready, there were some minor details, but they were solved in a couple of days. 20151020_210040 by Aawsum MOCs Lego, on Flickr Now just some pictures Legoworld Utrecht 2015 by Erwin, on Flickr Legoworld Utrecht 2015 by Erwin, on Flickr Legoworld Utrecht 2015 by Erwin, on Flickr Legoworld Utrecht 2015 by Erwin, on Flickr Legoworld Utrecht 2015 by Erwin, on Flickr Legoworld Utrecht 2015 by Erwin, on Flickr And a video made by Aawsum: LTC_Legoworld2015 by Aawsum MOCs Lego, on Flickr If you want to see more photo's from the layout, these albums should help: Aawsum, Alois, Me Questions, comments and critique are as always welcome. PS. If you have a link to some photo's you shot of the layout feel free to post it.
  21. Did anyone use all curve tracks included ME Models track? I just designed a loop layout that used all curve tracks! But I am very sad because I can't play it at my home:( My tables are shorter than 3m. Do you have any idea?
  22. Simple video update with my current city layout. And here are some pictures and the overall display is easy to take be taken apart and transported to public displays THANKS FOR WATCHING !
  23. Dear all Train Tech guys, Thanks to the kindness of SBrick team I got two SBrick units for some testing - one of them was built into my LEGO MÁV Stadler FLIRT electric motor unit, another one into my LEGO MÁV Siemens Taurus electric locomotive. We tried as well to install SBrick between 9V Train Speed regulator and a loop of 9V track, where usual 9V-based trams were running. Fig.1. TFOL driving SBrick-controlled Stadler FLIRT on our layout. 1. SBrick installation For first, a quick overview for those, who don’t know, how SBrick works. If you are familiar with the smart brick, you surely can skip this chapter. To imagine SBrick it is the easiest to think about a normal LEGO Power Functions IR Receiver with four outputs, more channels and without the restriction of the infrared technology - with other words your smartphone or device doesn’t need “visual” contact to the receiver unit, thanks to the bluetooth connection. Also it works surely fine within the range of 50 metres, but by good circumstances it works from 100 metres as well. Other great advantage, that SBrick’s current limitation is 3 Ampers per output, while PF IR receiver has 800 mA - better choice if you want to run something heavier then avarage 6W trains. Fig.2. The SmartBrick unit. (Photo taken from SBrick could be powered with normal LEGO battery boxes or LiPo rechargeable battery with a Power Function extension cable. It is also possible to power SBrick from old 9V battery boxes or even a 9V Train Speed Regulator, using the 9V/PF end of the extension cable. In this case you should check, if the little green light on SBrick is on - depending on polarity the SBrick is enpowered, or nothing happens. You can plug on your train motors, lights, other PF motors on the SBrick’s four outputs. Next step is to design your remote control interface for your device. To do this, you need to be registered on, then go to to create your profiles. The profile designer works in most of the web browsers properly, you can add sliders, joysticks and buttons to it. It is really advised to fill the “name” field in setting - later you need to know, which slider do what when configuring SBrick. Sliders work like old RC Train Remote control, joystick is an advanced slider, buttons works like turn on and off. For all controllers you can configure maximum output - if you want to limit your train’s maximum speed, quite easy to do, setting a value lower then 1 to maximum output. Also you can set up, if the controller will reset to zero or not, when you stop touching the screen of your device. You can set background for your controller, you can change the design of the sliders, joysticks and buttons - we have dozen of previously created ones, but you can use also own-designed images as well. Fig.3. My profiles designed for event TEMOFESZT 2015. Upper one manages three SBricks at the same time, a tram line with a slider, the ferris-wheel with a button (0.3 maximum output) and two other sliders my FLIRT train. Theoretically, if your screen is big enough, you can manage 16 SBricks and 64 funtions at the same time from the same device - perfect tool to operate a whole layout. After the profile is done, you should connect your MOC to your device. To do this, you need the SBrick application (or for quick play SBrick Tester application). Create a new Creation in SBrick application, turn on SBrick in your MOC, add SBrick to your creation and download your profile to your device. Then click connected SBrick (or SBricks) in your Creations menu, and pair sliders and buttons (if you named them before, it is easier :) ) to the outputs (A,B,C,D) of the SBrick in your MOC. After doing this, click the profile in the app you made for your MOC, and start playing :) 2. SBrick & Stadler FLIRT Surely most of you know this creation. It is my 8 stud wide electric motor unit, the original train manufactured by the swiss Stadler company. The LEGO train’s weight is around 3,5 kg-s, previously it was driven by two 9V train motors and two PF train motors, connected to 9V ones. The train also has front-tail lights (using modded PF leds, described in RailBricks #9) and interior lights - three functions to operate. Fig.4. Cables and cables - all of my train’s funtions connected to the SBrick unit. The bigger battery box (which never turns off) grants continiouos availability until the batteries die. As before, I sacrificed the toilette part of the interior to install electric parts - the big AA battery box powers the SBrick unit, and functions are mounted on the outputs. I had a small issue here with the design of the SBrick - if you plug more than one PF cables on the lower (C,D) outputs, it will be inpossible to plug any to A and B. So if you have to plug more than one on some output, you should put them on A and B, or if three output needs more than one plugs, you should insert an additional extension cable first to lower one C and D, and then plug your needed cable ends to the extension cable. In the train now boogie 2 and 4 are driven - 9V train motors are removed, and normal train wheels replaced them at boogie 1 and 5. The third (middle) boogie is unpowered as well. Operating the train is quite easy, if you learn, how to use your touchscreen properly. Since I have direction dependent front-tail lights, I named on my profile (refer to Fig.3) the two ends of my train “A” and “B”, just like the real thing. When starting, I always turn on lights for first, and later if I press the same direction of driving slider, the train will start into the direction of three white lights on it’s front. This could be especially important, when you have a layout where trains are running not only around on one loop, but they direction can be changed at wye-s, and you can’t exactly remember, which end is which on your fully symmetric train or loco. Fig.5. Wye-s designed by Bill Ward. Perfect way to get lost, where your train will depart when you touch the screen, or even turn the PF remote control around. Operation time was fine - the SBrick unit doesn’t take more power than the PF receiver unit, with the pack of AA rechargeable batteries I operated my train for a full day (exhibiton was opened between 10 am and 6 pm), the train was running for 2,5-3 hours before powered down, and it wasn’t turned off for all the day. Also I tested the train at home for continouos running - after 15-20 mins the PF-train motors got too hot and and train stopped, while SBricks temperature raised from 36-38 °C to 44-46 °C. (You can get voltage and temperature data using the SBrick tester application.) The SBrick unit works fine - I doubted it will manage my quite heavy train (compared to avarage trains built by AFOLs), but it served really good - the more problems I had with the software part. The SBrick application written for Android have several problems - not serious ones, but quite annoying. Connection problems Sometimes the application can’t reconnect to the SBrick. It happens when you exit from the driving screen from your smartphone or tablet (in this case the connection will be dropped automatically), and then you turn on again your controller - it starts to reconnect, then askes if SBrick is powered. This connection issue may happen if you connect your MOC from an another device while the first device is disconnected - until you are connected to the MOC with the second device, you can’t reconnect with the first one. The reconnection problem happened when the second device got disconnected as well. Also using the SBrick and SBrick tester applications from the same device can lead to this reconnection problem. Fortunately, all outputs of the SBrick are resetted to zero when you device loses connection with your train, so no accidents may happen. Fixing connection problems As I experienced, restarting SBrick application helps in most of the cases. If this doesn’t help, in your creation’s menu you should remove the SBrick, then add it again, reconfigure it, and it will work. Application crashes Smartbirck application crashed for dozen times during the three days - mostly when attempting to reconnect. Slider problem Basically I used “slider”-s to drive my trains. I don’t exactly know, how the software part of the sliders are written, but the first 80% of the length of the slider from zero (middle) point is quite useless in train operations. After reaching 80%, the train starts slowly moving, but it is really hard to set up the train speed properly on the remaining 20% length of the slider bar. As far as I know a totally new application for SBrick is under contruction, so the output function for the sliders and joysticks will be redesigned in the near future to avoid this problem, and hopefully previously mentioned connection problems and crashes will disappear as well. 3. SBrick & Siemens Taurus locomotive During the summer event of Kockajáték Club I installed one the SBricks to my Siemens Taurus locomotive. The loco works with two Power Function train motors, connected to the old RC train base - SBrick was placed on the output of the train base, so to turn it on for first I needed to give maximum power from the train base. Check this video of the locomotive pulling cars, and controlled from a distance. With this locomotive we made also some fun tests with the train guys hanging around - we put ten of our 8W, 58-64 stud long coaches on the locomotive to pull them. When the magnet coupling didn’t fail (with careful driving) the SBrick unit (and the two PF train motors) could pull all the cars, but the SmartBrick got really hot in less than 5 minutes - we reached the 90 °C temperature easily, and the SBrick got shut down by temperature protection. After couple of seconds it cooled down, and the smartphone reconnected to it. The whole weight of the pulled train was around 11 kilograms. 4. Controlling traditional 9V lines with SmartBrick Using an SBrick doesn’t mean you have to give up your 9V trains, tracks and motors. Get a 9V speed regulator, put SBrick on its output with a PF extension cable, and use the same cable to enpower the 9V loop, putting the dark bluish gray end on the Smartbrick and the light bluish gray end to the part you connect to the 9V tracks. Turn on speed regulator to maximum, put a 9V train on the loop - and now your 9V creation could be controlled from everywhere in a 50 metres radius circle, not just from the speed regulator. Putting more sliders connected to more loops will give you the oppourtunity to controll all your layout from the same place, while you don’t need tons of 9V extension cables to put every speed regulator at the same place. SBrick is even a powerful tool when you don’t have loops, just sections isolated from each other, like analogous model railway - every section could be controlled as described by loops. If you motorise switches with PF motors and connect them to SBrick, you can manage almost everything only using your touchscreen. 5. Conclusions SBrick is a powerful device to make your LEGO trains work with minor issues. The greatest advantage of SBrick that you need no vision to the receiver unit and you can controll your trains from a great distance - no more runaway trains thanks to the limitations of PF IR receiver. SBricks is also compatible with older 9V-based stuff - those who doesn’t want to switch to the newest LEGO train system can use it as well. The current limitation allows you to make really big and heavy trains to run - which is almost impossible when using original PF IR receiver. On the other hand - one SBrick unit is quite expensive, one brick costs £40 and taxes. However this price is not that high if you compare the possibilities to the possibilities what three PF IR receivers can give you for the same amount of money. Current SBrick application has minor issues as well, crashes and disconnects are quite annoying, and the application won’t work propely on all Android-based smart devices. For final words, I really advise to everyone who is into trains, especially at big shows to make a try with SmartBrick. Running only one train with your phone or controlling a whole layout with one screen - the decision is up to you. Video of the functions described above:
  24. It has been a while… Some of you know me from my previous layout. This layout has been taken apart and the new version is now under construction. I made my plans for this new layout early March. Planning by UrbanErwin(EPJL), on Flickr A big thank you to scruffulous for the BlueBrick files he sent me once. I had a small list of things I really wanted to have in my layout: - long or large curves as described by Railbricks and Cale Leiphart. - a turntable, better looking and functioning than my previous design - it has to be modular for easy transport - it has to connect properly to the other layout builders at LowLUG. I first laid the basplate and added track to see if my idea actually fitted, it did! Next where some tiles to mark the edge of the areas which should be tiled to support the track: Then the fun really began, building actual modules: Layout V5.0 work in progress 8-4-15 by UrbanErwin(EPJL), on Flickr Layout V5.0 work in progress 9-4-15 by UrbanErwin(EPJL), on Flickr Work in Progress update 13-04-2015 by UrbanErwin(EPJL), on Flickr After a couple of days building I made a start with the turntable: Some more foundations and landscaping Update 20-04-2015 by UrbanErwin(EPJL), on Flickr And this is the current state of progress: Work in Progress update 21-04-2015 by UrbanErwin(EPJL), on Flickr Work in Progress update 21-04-2015 by UrbanErwin(EPJL), on Flickr I will try to add updates every time I added something.
  25. Hello, Huw Millington is not only the Mastermind behind He also is a MOCer, who has created a fantastic city layout with many surprises – first shown at the Bricktastic Event a few weeks ago. As an AFOL and town planner I had a lot of questions in mind. And thankfully, I was able to ask Huw everything I’d like to know about his very British city – also he send us some very fine images of his little town. So, if you like, please check out our article with the interview (in English) and many fine images with a lot of details. Have a nice weekend Andres