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Making/Modifying 9V track.


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#1 FreeBee

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 11:45 PM

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I searched the forum but didn't find a topic of it so here it is:

Making/Modifying 9V track.

I am still trying to workout with bluebrick what would be a nice
layout for my legoroom. While I was puzzling I noticed that the
room was not small but that a layout takes up a lot of room.
Especially the switches take up a lot.

So how to reduce the space they occupy? The best sloution I
could find was modifying the points. (I know it's like cursing
in church for some but ....)

These are the links I found so far:

Making a crossover from 2 straight tracks.
Convert RC-tracks to 9V.
9V switch in parts, Best of two worlds.
Create your own 9V Flextrack.

Added from the thread and found after first post:
Brickshelf Ondrew Hartigan 9V Mods
Brickshelf Legotastic 9V Mods
9V 45'Crossing
RC 7996 to 9V discussion (lugnet)


I am still thinking if I should make Posted Image or Posted Image

I think I'll start of this weekend with a test. The test will just
be a curve of 22.5' that i will convert to 11.25'. I'll make foto's
and keep you informed of the progress.

So what are your thoughts about modifying? Which part can
you think of to make? And do you know a good link with info?

Edited by FreeBee, 19 February 2010 - 06:05 PM.

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#2 Captain Zuloo

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 05:29 AM

I'm generally 100% agains modifying LEGO, except with the odd decal or using custom made parts such as BBB wheels and Brickarms weapons. But as for cutting things, that's not my cup of tea. I do however like the RC to 9v conversion instructions. For now I have all the 9v track I need, but I have no doubt I'll require more in the future, and it certainly looks a good method of electrifying RC tracks. To an extent it even offers the possibilities of converting the new LEGO flexi-track to 9v, although that would probably be more trouble than it's worth. Can't say I really liked the look of the flexi-track in that article, but that's possibly just to do with the sleepers being light grey as opposed to the dark grey I'm used to.
Anyway, thanks for sharing. These articles offer some interesting ideas, and some that I'll potentially consider in the future. :thumbup:

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Brick Expo 2011 - Australia's BIGGEST LEGO Expo!
www.brickexpo.com.au


#3 lego9vtrainfan

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 07:18 PM

Thanks for starting this topic and for posting these links.  I had read different things before, but it's nice to have several resources compiled in one thread.  I hope this leads to good discussion.

I admire the work of Ondrew Hartigan, who has an excellent Brickshelf gallery showing different geometry possibilities and his creations.  In his folder he also has a PowerPoint presentation from Brickworld 2008 discussing track modifications.

I will be very interested to see the results of your curve modification from 22.5 degrees to 11.25 degrees.  This is something I have been looking to accomplish for some time.  Apart from making very wide curves (radius ~1.9 m) from unmodified straight track (see Railbricks issue #1 for more information or my videos to see this technique in action), I am not aware of any other satisfactory way of increasing the curve radius without going to modified O-gauge track, etc.  If the LEGO 9V radius is too short and the long curves from straights too large, it would be nice to have an intermediate radius -- do share some photos of your progress soon!  :classic:

Cheers,
LEGO9Vtrainfan
Videos of LEGO high speed trains (ICE 3, TGV, Eurostar) on long curve layouts -- check out my Youtube channel!

#4 zyrex

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 10:15 PM

Thank you so much for these link, I really enjoyed seeing the electrifying of those RC tracks.
I have some 9V tracks, but not enough - and as he also states in the article, the prices on eBay are a bit over my likings.

Off to get some copper tape! :)
Relocating... All Lego in boxes .. :/

#5 roj2323

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 05:12 AM

View Postlego9vtrainfan, on Feb 6 2010, 08:18 PM, said:

Thanks for starting this topic and for posting these links.  I had read different things before, but it's nice to have several resources compiled in one thread.  I hope this leads to good discussion.

I admire the work of Ondrew Hartigan, who has an excellent Brickshelf gallery showing different geometry possibilities and his creations.  In his folder he also has a PowerPoint presentation from Brickworld 2008 discussing track modifications.

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Cheers,
LEGO9Vtrainfan


hey this is ondrew.
  i've been modifying track since 2005 i think.  i've done well over 300 peices so i've pretty much seen everything.  i'd be happy to answer a few questions if you'd like.  
ondrew

#6 FreeBee

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 12:00 AM

Didn't had any time yet to start on my first mod (convert curve to 1/2Curve).
And also still collecting the neccesary tools. (why do I always lend them out  :sceptic: )

@Captain Zuloo
Respect, I also don't really like cutting lego but i'll make an exception for traintracks.

@lego9vtrainfan
It was a pleasure to start this thread

@ zyrex
Show us your progres when have your copper tape

@roj2323
Great to see you joining this discussion. I can sure need all the advice you can give.
Seeing your modifications on brickshelf years ago caught my interest at once.
It gave so much more possibilities for trainlayouts.

My first question is: I will try to make the stubby-switch. I think it will give me the most
possibilties combined with other pieces. One possibility is the remake of an original point
with a half-curve and a parrawellogram. And the possibility of a compact crossover with
2 switches an a parrawellogram.

But do i really need a parawellogram or can i also use a 1/4Straigth. I know it won't
line up exactly but will it be very noticeble?

If I really do need a parrawellogram , what would be the best way to make one?


And also a new link: 45' Crossing

I will add all the links in the thread in the first one to keep it as a reference.
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#7 no_skill

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 02:00 PM

Great thread.  I cannot believe there wasn't one previously!

I too would be very interested in hearing anyone else's experience with the copper tape.  I will be trying this in a few months, once I am reunitied with my 9V goodness.

If anyone else has other good ideas for converting RC to 9V track, I would love to hear them.

Once upon a time (on a different forum) I read about shortening straight 9V track to facilitate different geometries.  I would love to see that topic linked/posted here too.  If I can find the site, I'll drop a link.

Thanks!

#8 roj2323

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 07:18 AM

View PostFreeBee, on Feb 9 2010, 12:00 AM, said:

@roj2323
Great to see you joining this discussion. I can sure need all the advice you can give.
Seeing your modifications on brickshelf years ago caught my interest at once.
It gave so much more possibilities for trainlayouts.

My first question is: I will try to make the stubby-switch. I think it will give me the most
possibilties combined with other pieces. One possibility is the remake of an original point
with a half-curve and a parrawellogram. And the possibility of a compact crossover with
2 switches an a parrawellogram.

But do i really need a parawellogram or can i also use a 1/4Straigth. I know it won't
line up exactly but will it be very noticeble?


If I really do need a parrawellogram , what would be the best way to make one?


And also a new link: 45' Crossing

I will add all the links in the thread in the first one to keep it as a reference.

Yes parrawellograms are essential to ensuring the track geometry matches up properly.  The easiest way to make one is to take 1 piece of curve track and use a 2x8 plate to measure and cut off both ends to a length of 2 studs. Then do the same to another piece of curve track using a 1x8 door rail instead as a spacer cutting the track ends off to a length of 1.5 studs. Next take the same ends lefts or rights and marry a 2 stud and a 1.5 stud pieces together. this creates the parrawellograms you will need to join two stubby switches together to make a smooth crossover or an original switch as you mentioned when combined with a half curve.  Tip: if you are doing this mod to 9v track cut the track with the metal attached then use plumbing pipe flux on the side of the rail (use an extremely small quantity). Next put the solder on the soldering gun tip then tap the rail until the flux does its job and pulls the solder to it. IMPORTANT!!! Do not hold the soldering iron to the rail!! Doing so will melt the plastic and you will have to start over.

Btw I still haven't found a use for the 45' crossover which is why I never made one. Lego track geometry is strange as it is and making a 45' crossover in one length of track would be unrealistic due to issues of structural strength. I looked into the possibility of making one at 24 studs (1 and a half straights) but like I said I haven't found a use for one.

I did however make this:
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As I actually had someone order it. I found this interlock "crossover" so useful I saved my patterns and I plan on making several for myself in the future.

I also made this single slip interlock:
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I made this interlock mostly just to challenge myself but as you will see if you look through my gallery it is quite useful and I will probably make more.  The only important note on this piece however is it's not really realistic to make in a 9v version due to the multiple short lengths of track.

ondrew

#9 j3tang

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:45 PM

oops, n/m :)



the RC rail crossing is on sale from S@H as well as locally at TRU (though slightly marked up compared to S@H) and I'm tempted to buy it and put copper tape on it to use with 9V :)

anyone have any thoughts (other than, "do it!")?

Edited by j3tang, 27 February 2010 - 03:18 PM.

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#10 skaako

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 01:12 PM

Hi, i've had sucess for the past year or so with modified rc track, and i've just recently converted both the crossover points and the standard points to 9v. I use 48mm wide aluminium tape and it works great, i have not had any success in trying to solder it, but for the points i cut all parts of the rail in one piece, thread it through the track and the stick it on. Its worked pretty well so far. I dont have a picture but i'll take one and post it soon.

#11 fred67

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 05:46 PM

Can someone who has done this comment on the longevity of the tape?

I'd read one comment somewhere that it only lasted about 8 hours of run time, but really... that doesn't help.  If you have a short track/long train it would get worn out faster than if you had a short train on a long track.

#12 asleepatheswitch

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 10:01 PM

View Postfred67, on Mar 18 2010, 12:46 PM, said:

Can someone who has done this comment on the longevity of the tape?

I'd read one comment somewhere that it only lasted about 8 hours of run time, but really... that doesn't help.  If you have a short track/long train it would get worn out faster than if you had a short train on a long track.

Hi; I am currently experimenting with metal tape on the RC plastic track.  I run an 8-wide Santa Fe ABB with 4 9v motors making a consist of three(3) engines and six (6) heavy coaches.  Using silvered copper foil, the life on either curved or straight track is about 14 to 16 hours.  Using 1.5 mil Stainless Steel foil tape, I have run for 32 hours and can discern no wear at all on the contact edge of the tape.  I am still experimenting with the best way to adhere the tape to the plastic track.  At present, contact cement seems to work well.  The double crossover #7996 is working, but I still have some kinks to work out.  Perhaps I will have more info at a later date. :classic:

#13 fred67

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 03:02 AM

View Postasleepatheswitch, on Mar 18 2010, 06:01 PM, said:

...
I am still experimenting with the best way to adhere the tape to the plastic track.  At present, contact cement seems to work well.
The tape doesn't just stick?  Or does the stainless tape not have a sticky backing?

#14 j3tang

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 11:35 AM

Any electrical concerns for modding the 7996 switch? will it somehow short the rest of the layout? would you need any mods additional to the copper tape in order to maintain conductivity from one loop to the other?
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#15 asleepatheswitch

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 04:59 PM

View Postfred67, on Mar 18 2010, 10:02 PM, said:

The tape doesn't just stick?  Or does the stainless tape not have a sticky backing?
The tape will stick, but the sides tend to lift a little over time, with the contact cement, it appears that the tape is permanently attached.  I use the contact cement on the sides of the rail not the top.  While the metal track on e-bay seems expensive, it is the best long term solution for straight and curved track. IMO.

The 79967 switch requires wiring.  Polarity is an issue, but it is easy to isolate the crossovers into two zones and use two transformers.  Hot soldering will melt the ABS and it takes a lot of heat to solder Stainless Steel so I use wire glue which seems to work well.  http://www.thinkgeek.com

Edited by asleepatheswitch, 19 March 2010 - 05:01 PM.


#16 skaako

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 11:32 AM

Here's the photo's of my points and crossover conversion of RC track. I use aluminium self adhesive tape for this, there is no need for soldering as i cut the sections in one piece. These were my first attempts, i have had straight and curved rail coated with aluminium tape running successfully for the last year or so.

http://www.brickshel...ry.cgi?f=425176




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