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Train Setup Help


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#1 cagri

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 09:12 AM

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Hi all,

As the members of TurkLUG, we will be displaying our MOCs and official sets in a shopping mall this february. I thought a functioning train setup would be attractive for kids and visitors. Unfortunately we don't have 9V trains so we are having difficulty powering the train. All items will be in a big glass case so it will be hard to open it up and replace batteries. It needs to be running 12 hours a day. So what do you suggest?

-How long would it take to run out of batteries at the slowest speed? We have a 3 car passenger train and/or a 4 car cargo train.
-Should we get high-end expensive batteries or cheaper ones?
-Is it better to use the rechargable Power Functions battery? We only have one, is worth getting another one?
-Should we fear about heating?
-How could we obtain cheap RC tracks/black RC wheels?

Any sugesstion and ideas are welcome :)

#2 Rumpelmuck

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 02:00 PM

Hello!

I think, you don't have to be worried about heating up. The power consumption will not heat up any device. I equipped the Emerald Express with the recommended PF Elements and it runs about 4h at medium speed.

From my point of view another rechargable battery is worth ist.

Cheap R/C Tracks....mmmh... I think the best way is to look for sales or special offers.

HTH
Regards!
Thomas

#3 Cwetqo

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 03:54 PM

-How long would it take to run out of batteries at the slowest speed? We have a 3 car passenger train and/or a 4 car cargo train.

Not long enough! Could be few hours, but not 12. You will have to look for other options. One possibility is to use rechargeble battery and "charging dock" on the track, but since you dont have powered swithes that is probably not a possibility.

-Should we get high-end expensive batteries or cheaper ones?

If you do not plan to change the during the show than of course use expensive ones. It will give you much needed additional running time.

-Is it better to use the rechargable Power Functions battery? We only have one, is worth getting another one?

No! It's too expensive and if you dont have the possibility to charge it during the show then it will serve you no more then set of ordinary batteries. Better get some 9V rails for that money.

-Should we fear about heating?

No!

-How could we obtain cheap RC tracks/black RC wheels?

Bricklink! E bay is cheaper but you have to find seller which sends to Romania.

#4 cagri

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 04:49 PM

View PostCwetqo, on Nov 6 2009, 05:54 PM, said:

Bricklink! E bay is cheaper but you have to find seller which sends to Romania.
That one will be tricky, considering the show is in Turkey :D We acquired some tracks through Shop At Home but we're still missing some wheels and magnets. If anyone can find them cheaper than Bricklink please let me know. It costs 40 USD through the cheapest store on BL but we prefer it lower :) By the way it's not impossible to change batteries during show, it's just hard. If it'll be cheaper, we'll deal with it.

Thanks for the replies! Keep 'em coming. Any other ideas not related to trains are also welcome.

PS. Here's a list of stuff we need:

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#5 SavaTheAggie

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 05:19 PM

I'm not sure either battery set up will get you anywhere close to 12 hours.  The benefit of using the PF battery box as opposed to the rechargeable PF battery is that once the batteries are used up, you just put more in.  The rechargeable PF batter takes a few hours to recharge (though if you had two it wouldn't be as bad of a problem).

However the benefit of using the rechargeable PF battery is that it provides the same output of current to the motors up until the point it fails and the locomotive will just stop.  The batteries in the PF battery box will slowly lose their charge, and so the train will slowly lose speed.  Eventually it'll just be crawling across the layout before the batteries finally die.

--Tony
You only live once, and if you do it right that's all you need.

SRW Locomotive Works
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#6 Cwetqo

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 06:54 PM

Sorry, I misread your post about your location. I suppose that buying things over e-bay in turkey is even harder, because it's not in the EU. E-bay bulk purchases is the only cheaper thing than BL, but I dont think that even BL prices are not that high (for RC tracks, 9V is another story).

Regarding the batteries: If you have the possibility to change them then of course go with "normal" batteries. Rechargeable AA batteries might also be a good idea, but take care to have enough available, togehter with chargers. At our club we solved this problem with getting Duracell for sponsor.  :tongue: (for technic models of course, I still think that for club/show use 9V is far better option).

If you have rechargeble battery then of course use it, but plase have in mind that you have build quite a different train for RC and PF. RC uses special bases with integrated battery boxes and receivers and special RC controller, so you have to boil your locomotives on this bases. For PF you need normal base plates and gear drive with PF motor(like in emerald night) or new train motor which is available just on S@H. You also have to integrate battery box somewhere in the locomotive  or first wagon. You also have to use new PF variable remote control (which is not comapatible with the one from RC trains).

Yeah, LEGO did quite a lot in a few past years to make things incompatible. The situation is getting better with PF, but RC is unfortunately a dead end. It's also one of the reasons why I love 9v so much: you just put motor under the locomotive and run it.

It all depends on what kind of "hardware" you have. If you have RC bases then build some trains on that, but if you have Emerald Night or you plan to MOC hard then I think that PF is the way to go.

You can always combine two of course (we ran 9V, RC and PF simultaniously on our show, even on same track, following one another)

#7 cagri

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 07:08 PM

Those are very important points Tony, thanks!

Cwetqo mate, it's not that hard to buy from eBay :) Only USA sellers hesitate when shipping overseas, everyone else is ok with it. I'm jsut looking for even betetr deals. I have personally spent 180 USD for this exhibition and our LUG budget will be limtied too. We have to save every cent we can, that's why I was asking for deals here. As for RC & PF you're absolutely right. I have both of the systems and we'll find out which to use later. Though, I'm not satisfied with RC either. But we don't have enough 9V tracks so it's out of the question. There is no way we can make it as long as we like.

I don't know if I could arrange Duracell to sponsor us though :D But it's a good idea, I'll try it!

#8 Cwetqo

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 08:26 PM

I live in Slovenia and even if we are in EU could be somewhat difficult to persuade to sellers to send stuff to us. I am of course talking about german E-bay which is "heaven" for LEGO shoppper. Most of the deals (and all the good ones) there are marked as "germany only" and you have to arrange with seller if he is willing to send to other country. If you search "worldwide shipping" or even europe, you gate maybe 100% of the results and very few with good prices.



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