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Powering Emerald Night


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#1 jamzee

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 08:15 PM

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Hi friends

I've never had a lego train but am pretty keen on the Emerald Night, it looks superb!

I'm trying to find out how to add simple power-functions (key word simple!) - can anyone just list the basic p/f part numbers req'd as there seems to be alot of different bits in the p/f area?  Many thanks for any help...

Edited by TheBrickster, 14 April 2010 - 02:05 PM.

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#2 Matt Dawson

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 07:59 AM

The parts list is taken from Brickset's K10194 "Emerald Night Collection"

#8870 -- Power Functions Light (if you want lights)
#8878 -- Power Functions Rechargeable Battery Box
#8879 -- Power Functions IR Speed Remote Control (Requires 3 AAA (1.5v) batteries)
#8882 -- Power Functions XL Motor
#8884 -- Power Functions IR Reciever
#8887 -- Power Functions Transformer 10VDC

Edited by Matt Dawson, 12 April 2010 - 08:00 AM.

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#3 fred67

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 03:59 PM

Yeah... so much simpler than just adding a 9V motor.  I'm so glad TLG switched  :hmpf:

Seriously, though... they at least need a better battery box, something you can put AA batteries in that works with PF and fits on the train.  That way, if I want rechargeable, I just use generic rechargables and don't get stuck with some $50 LEGO battery (BTW, the list is missing the charger - #9833; the battery is not much good without a charger... another $25).

I'm glad LEGO made it so much cheaper and simpler for the kids.

Edited by fred67, 12 April 2010 - 04:01 PM.


#4 Mark Bellis

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 04:52 PM

View Postfred67, on Apr 12 2010, 04:59 PM, said:

Yeah... so much simpler than just adding a 9V motor.  I'm so glad TLG switched  :hmpf:

Seriously, though... they at least need a better battery box, something you can put AA batteries in that works with PF and fits on the train.  That way, if I want rechargeable, I just use generic rechargables and don't get stuck with some $50 LEGO battery (BTW, the list is missing the charger - #9833; the battery is not much good without a charger... another $25).

I'm glad LEGO made it so much cheaper and simpler for the kids.

How about AAAs?  If the battery box with the new train sets were a 6-AAA box instead of the rechargeable one?

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#5 fred67

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 05:26 PM

View PostMark Bellis, on Apr 12 2010, 12:52 PM, said:

How about AAAs?  If the battery box with the new train sets were a 6-AAA box instead of the rechargeable one?

Mark

6 AAA batteries have the same voltage but less capacity... you could take one of those square 9V batteries and potentially run your train, but only for a few minutes!

So I think that could work, the trains just wouldn't run as long.  Some sort of adapter would be great, so that you can come up with your own solution to supplying 9V and then have it work with PF.

This is actually already possible, but requires modification to a PF cable - it's something we've discussed here, using the electrified rail with a dead 9V motor as a pick up and converting it to PF so that you could have the best of both worlds... an "infinitely" running train that can be controlled by remote and without the need to build a big, bulky battery box into your train.  It's also possible to take an "old" LEGO battery box and use this conversion cable to operate PF (when I say that, really, we're specifically talking about the IR receiver, as simply connecting an old battery box with a PF motor was possible, using the conversion cable sold by TLG, just that "function" like IR wouldn't work).

But... going back to the OP, he asks for a simple solution... TLG actively took away the simplest solution and made it a lot more expensive and complicated.

I would argue the new system has several advantages... but simple is not one of them.

Edited by fred67, 12 April 2010 - 05:28 PM.


#6 AllanSmith

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 08:26 PM

View Postfred67, on Apr 13 2010, 02:59 AM, said:

BTW, the list is missing the charger - #9833; the battery is not much good without a charger... another $25).

Wrong  :thumbdown:  ... 8887 is the charger  :classic:

Quote from brickset:

8887-1: Transformer 10V DC
10V DC transformer for your Power Functions battery!

Recharge your battery! This standard 10V DC transformer plugs into an AC outlet to recharge your #8878 Power Functions Rechargeable Battery Box (sold separately).

#7 pdxbricks

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 08:42 PM

View PostMark Bellis, on Apr 12 2010, 09:52 AM, said:

How about AAAs?  If the battery box with the new train sets were a 6-AAA box instead of the rechargeable one?

Mark

I would advise caution when using rechargeable batteries: I've used Duracell rechargeable AA batteries and fried the receiver unit in my 8376.

#8 Mark Bellis

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:23 PM

View Postfred67, on Apr 12 2010, 06:26 PM, said:

6 AAA batteries have the same voltage but less capacity... you could take one of those square 9V batteries and potentially run your train, but only for a few minutes!

So I think that could work, the trains just wouldn't run as long.

Not quite.  A PP3 battery (the square one) has a higher internal resistance than a set of 6 round ones.  It is meant to drive a load of 100-150mA (even a Duracell one), which is not more than a light engine with a 9V motor.  It was OK in the Technic set with the fibre optic unit because the load was small enough.

Using the PP3 battery box for on-train lights is a good idea, especially now that PF LEDs use less current than the 9V bulbs, as the batteries will last a reasonable length of time.  6 AAAs would last longer still.

A motor for a decent train, even in 6-wide, needs at least 6 AAAs.  If this is what's in the new train sets, it would be a good compromise between the heavy weight and awkward fit of 6 AAs, the length of time before the power runs out (parents can have too much of a child's powered toy), and the expense of the rechargeable battery and charger.

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#9 fred67

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 03:35 AM

View PostAllanSmith, on Apr 12 2010, 04:26 PM, said:

Wrong  :thumbdown:  ... 8887 is the charger  :classic:

Quote from brickset:

8887-1: Transformer 10V DC
10V DC transformer for your Power Functions battery!

Recharge your battery! This standard 10V DC transformer plugs into an AC outlet to recharge your #8878 Power Functions Rechargeable Battery Box (sold separately).

I stand corrected... that was for a different rechargeable battery.

#10 broomhandle

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 05:27 AM

has anybody used the battery box 8881 vs 8878?

looks like 8878 is a LiPo battery with 7.4vts. how many AAA batts does the 8881 use? or anybody know the vlts of 8881?

75.00 USD vs 7.00!!!!!!!!!!

#11 greenmtvince

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 08:23 AM

EDIT: Got my item numbers confused 8881 vs new train battery box.

8881 uses 6 AA batteries, the new train box uses 6 AAA batteries.

Both AA and AAA batteries should have a voltage rating between 1.2 and 1.5 volts each depending on the chemistry yielding a total of 7.2 - 9 Volts total.  This affects what equipment you can use and the max rpms of the equipment.  

AAA have a capacity of 500-1200mAh, again depending on the chemistry.  The total capacity is the same if you have 1 or 6 in a battery box.  This is how long the battery will last.  The rechargeable ones will tend to be on the lower end while the disposable ones will be on the higher end.  AA batteries are usually 1500-3000mAh

A single 9V rechargeable LiPo battery like I use is about 500mAh.  I think I read that the Lego Rechargeable battery box is 1050mAh but I can't find the source.

Edited by greenmtvince, 21 June 2010 - 10:32 AM.


#12 broomhandle

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 12:51 AM

View Postgreenmtvince, on 21 June 2010 - 08:23 AM, said:

EDIT: Got my item numbers confused 8881 vs new train battery box.

8881 uses 6 AA batteries, the new train box uses 6 AAA batteries.

Both AA and AAA batteries should have a voltage rating between 1.2 and 1.5 volts each depending on the chemistry yielding a total of 7.2 - 9 Volts total.  This affects what equipment you can use and the max rpms of the equipment.  

AAA have a capacity of 500-1200mAh, again depending on the chemistry.  The total capacity is the same if you have 1 or 6 in a battery box.  This is how long the battery will last.  The rechargeable ones will tend to be on the lower end while the disposable ones will be on the higher end.  AA batteries are usually 1500-3000mAh

A single 9V rechargeable LiPo battery like I use is about 500mAh.  I think I read that the Lego Rechargeable battery box is 1050mAh but I can't find the source.


so is the only power option for the EN the lipo rechargeable? 75 USD!!!!!

and the new train AAA box is not for resale thru lego?

#13 peterab

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 04:18 AM

View Postbroomhandle, on 22 June 2010 - 12:51 AM, said:

so is the only power option for the EN the lipo rechargeable? 75 USD!!!!!

and the new train AAA box is not for resale thru lego?

No it's not the only option, but it was designed to use it. There have been many other suggestions, such as the old PF battery box with 6 AA's, the new 6x AAA's, conversion to 9V rail driuve, 12V etc, but they will all require a bit more experimentation.

The 6x AAA battery box is very new, so it may be seperately available in the future, or may not. I'm pretty sure if you wait a while it will be available on Bricklink.

#14 broomhandle

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:29 AM

View Postpeterab, on 22 June 2010 - 04:18 AM, said:

No it's not the only option, but it was designed to use it. There have been many other suggestions, such as the old PF battery box with 6 AA's, the new 6x AAA's, conversion to 9V rail driuve, 12V etc, but they will all require a bit more experimentation.

The 6x AAA battery box is very new, so it may be seperately available in the future, or may not. I'm pretty sure if you wait a while it will be available on Bricklink.


i may just go with the PF battery box. for temp. its cheap. i dont do track power. so looking for options other than that. and AA's are fine. i have a ton of recharge NiMH AA's.

#15 jamzee

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 08:26 AM

Thanks everyone, my Emerald Night and PF arrived last week but I've not had a chance to build them yet(!!)  I think this is going to be the start of another great theme for me (having been Classic Space and Star Wars fan to date), I'd really like to see more carriages available for the EN though say for example as per the absolute legend that is 7740.

Edited by jamzee, 22 June 2010 - 08:26 AM.

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#16 Belchher

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:25 AM

Rather than starting a new thread, I figured I'd hijack this one a little bit as Jamzee seems to have gotten his answer!

I apologize if this has been asked elsewhere, I did look and couldn't find it. But would it be a fairly straightforward task to omit certain parts of the EN during build and use the new train motor that comes with the passenger/cargo trains to power it?

I really don't feel like forking out the cash required to power an EN as I have the passenger train on order ( and will be grabbing the cargo on Thursday ), but have no objection to using the passenger train as parts and stuffing its PF bits into the EN, especially given it should also allow ( unless I'm mistaken, which I very well could be, being a train noob ) the battery box to squeeze into the engine where it can't be seen. From eyeballing the EN instructions on TLGs site, and images of the new PF train motor, it would appear the PF motor has 3 appropriately spaced axle holes, but I'm not sure if the plates for attaching the front and rear bogies can be put on it in the appropriate place.

Any advice on this is greatly appreciated, I'm really hoping my plan is viable  :tongue:

#17 peterab

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:05 AM

View PostBelchher, on 22 June 2010 - 10:25 AM, said:

Rather than starting a new thread, I figured I'd hijack this one a little bit as Jamzee seems to have gotten his answer!

I apologize if this has been asked elsewhere, I did look and couldn't find it. But would it be a fairly straightforward task to omit certain parts of the EN during build and use the new train motor that comes with the passenger/cargo trains to power it?

I really don't feel like forking out the cash required to power an EN as I have the passenger train on order ( and will be grabbing the cargo on Thursday ), but have no objection to using the passenger train as parts and stuffing its PF bits into the EN, especially given it should also allow ( unless I'm mistaken, which I very well could be, being a train noob ) the battery box to squeeze into the engine where it can't be seen. From eyeballing the EN instructions on TLGs site, and images of the new PF train motor, it would appear the PF motor has 3 appropriately spaced axle holes, but I'm not sure if the plates for attaching the front and rear bogies can be put on it in the appropriate place.

Any advice on this is greatly appreciated, I'm really hoping my plan is viable  :tongue:

It is certainly possible to use a train motor to power the EN. Take a look around the forum and Brickself etc, as there are a few 9V conversions, which shoul illustrate your options for where to stick the motor. The battery box from the passanger train is the same size as the rechargable one the EN was designed to use so you shouldn't have any problem with that, and the IR receiver is also provided for in the EN design. BTW although the train motor from the passanger train appears to have 3 axel holes, the middle one is just an indentation and can't accomodate an axle. There are other threads disscussing 9V conversions which suggest which parts to remove to disengage the gearing of the drive wheels, and I think the removal of all but 1 rubber bands from the drivers and some cylinder rod tweaks to reduce friction and up the reliability of the EN both when driven by PF and 9V motors. Most of these might be relevant to your case, and are probably worth looking for and experimenting with to get a smoothly running EN.

Hope this helps a bit, but I'm pretty sure the plan is viable, it just might take a bit of tweaking to get right. Most of this has been discussed in other topics though so just search out all the EN stuff and read :-)

#18 Belchher

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:08 AM

Ah ok, I'd skimmed over the 9v conversion stuff without realising it was a similar process. A bit sad that those "third holes" are just indentations, I was really hoping TLG had made the holes just so they could make old steamers with lots of wheels using that motor. Thanks for the info though!

Edited for dodgy spelling.

Edited by Belchher, 22 June 2010 - 11:10 AM.


#19 Belchher

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 07:27 AM

Shamelessly bumping this back up to the top, and again my apologies if this has already been covered ( I did search, but I've driven 500k's already today and am a bit out of whack  :tongue: ), but how would the EN fair with an M motor rather than the XL? From browsing EB I get the impression the M is geared for more speed and less torque. Given I'll be running the EN with 3 passenger cars ( the standard ones that come with it, at first anyway ), I have no idea what issues there might be as far as burning out the motor, lack of traction, or what have you. The only reason I ask is, for today and tomorrow only I can get the power functions box set with the M motor in it for 30% off, so its as good a time to check options outside ordering from S@H as any.

Any and all advice appreciated as always!

#20 Mark Bellis

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:04 PM

View PostBelchher, on 24 June 2010 - 07:27 AM, said:

Shamelessly bumping this back up to the top, and again my apologies if this has already been covered ( I did search, but I've driven 500k's already today and am a bit out of whack  :tongue: ), but how would the EN fair with an M motor rather than the XL? From browsing EB I get the impression the M is geared for more speed and less torque. Given I'll be running the EN with 3 passenger cars ( the standard ones that come with it, at first anyway ), I have no idea what issues there might be as far as burning out the motor, lack of traction, or what have you. The only reason I ask is, for today and tomorrow only I can get the power functions box set with the M motor in it for 30% off, so its as good a time to check options outside ordering from S@H as any.

Any and all advice appreciated as always!

A single M-motor is unlikely to give enough power.
You could try two M-motors geared together in the cab (some alterations to make them fit - motors 6-wide so cab 8-wide to match the firebox diagonal tiles).  They should draw the same amount of current as an XL motor and maybe give a bit more speed.  No guarantees, but worth the experiment.

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#21 hoeij

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:35 PM

View PostMark Bellis, on 24 June 2010 - 06:04 PM, said:

A single M-motor is unlikely to give enough power.
You could try two M-motors geared together in the cab (some alterations to make them fit - motors 6-wide so cab 8-wide to match the firebox diagonal tiles).  They should draw the same amount of current as an XL motor and maybe give a bit more speed.  No guarantees, but worth the experiment.

Mark

The M motor is nearly twice as fast as the XL motor, but has only a quarter of its torque.

If you can change the gearing, to gear down a factor two, then your Emerald Night with M motor
will go equally fast as the usual one with the XL motor (which is good).
You'll have half of the pulling power.  For 3 coaches I think that that would be OK, I'm pretty
sure you're not burning out your M motor that way  (the XL motor has no troubles pulling 7 coaches).

#22 Belchher

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 09:43 AM

Thanks for the answers folks! Sadly this all seems to mean that my goal of trying to get it going without spending much money or time doing alterations could be a lost cause. Guess I'll think it over, although its looking like I might be best off just sucking it up and buying the XL direct from S@H.

#23 La Petite Brique

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 06:32 PM

Hello,

Just to be sure that I understand everything, I'm new to Power Function and Trains.
It's possible to power the Emerald night with the Power Function Motor M from the Cargo Train ?
It will be enough ?
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#24 Goldenmasamune

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 06:42 PM

View PostLa Petite Brique, on 01 September 2010 - 06:32 PM, said:

Hello,

Just to be sure that I understand everything, I'm new to Power Function and Trains.
It's possible to power the Emerald night with the Power Function Motor M from the Cargo Train ?
It will be enough ?

The Cargo train does not have an "M" motor.

An "M" motor will power it though. The motor from the cargo train wont, unless you put it on the carriage or something.

#25 hoeij

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 06:58 PM

View PostGoldenmasamune, on 01 September 2010 - 06:42 PM, said:

The Cargo train does not have an "M" motor.

An "M" motor will power it though. The motor from the cargo train wont, unless you put it on the carriage or something.
The M motor will run too fast and have insufficient torque (unless you manage to change the gearing),  for the Emerald Night you should use the XL motor.



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