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MOC: Brookville BL06

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#1 cpw


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Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:35 AM

Starting almost as soon as I put together my first train set and saw some MOCs of 9V switchers, I wanted to build my own.  I started designing it in LDD and playing with bricks around a few pieces earlier this year.  I ordered my first train on January 16th, and the first Bricklink order for this was placed on March 4th.  I’ve finally decided that I’m happy enough with the result to post it.

I wanted to MOC up a Metro-North yard switcher that is used in the Croton Harmon yard near where I live (it is one station south of mine):

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The pair of these engines was originally ordered for use in Grand Central Terminal, but because they wheelbase was so small; they would not correctly trigger the signals so are used in Croton and Brewster instead.

This is my version:
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Pulling a blue gondola (a bit of Metro-North rolling stock I will typically pass on my daily commute):
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The back of the engine:
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(compare to: http://www.rrpicture...aspx?id=2197673)

I’ve gone through 2-3 iterations of the design to balance playability and brick availability with looking like the original; and I have something that I think is recognizable when you put it next to the original, but is more inspired by the original than an actual copy.  My kids (4 and 6) enjoy playing with it just like the other trains; so on playability I’m declaring success.

It is powered by a 9V battery, which I’ve connected by cutting a PF extension cable in half and soldering to a 9V battery connector:
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I made two connectors, one out of each half of the extension cable.  One of the cables has a fairly long Lego PF section.  The other cable, which is inside the locomotive, has just a small section of Lego PF cable-the rest is the two wires of the battery connector.  This turned out to work quite a bit better in the cramped interior of the locomotive, as it was a bit difficult fitting the cables from the IR receiver, motor, and also battery all together.

My first test runs were with regular alkaline 9V batteries, which is doubly problematic.  First, they are about 1 USD a piece, and last for an hour.  Secondly, it is a real pain to take the train apart and fit it back together to change the battery.  My solution here was to use a rechargeable 9V battery from Amazon.  I was concerned that the performance wouldn’t be as good, but the train goes just as fast on a fresh charge (enough that it can easily derail itself).   It turns out that the rechargeable batteries last longer when run on speed five for 30 minutes, then  flat out until they die (75 vs. 53 minutes).  It also means that I can connect the train to the charger easily:
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One of the changes in the second iteration was to use tiles so that the top piece would come off easily.

My Brickshelf gallery, including the LDD file is, is here:

And a video of it in action:

More pictures of the original available here:

Edited by TheBrickster, 06 July 2012 - 06:11 AM.
Oversized image removed by moderator.

#2 pinioncorp


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Posted 06 July 2012 - 12:45 PM

Very cute! It's difficult to put all the power functions components onto a single motor, nicely done with the battery. You can also fit the decorative sides to the motor to hide the wheels accurately.

I do think it looks a little tall for its length, can you shorten its height at all? The other thing you could do to offset this look is to only connect one axle to the motor, the other wheel could just float behind the motor. That would allow you to lower the battery between the wheels and therefore the whole base by making it a little bit longer.

Good to see power functions used effectively in such a small space.

[edit: spelling]

Edited by pinioncorp, 06 July 2012 - 03:32 PM.

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#3 lightningtiger


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Posted 06 July 2012 - 12:53 PM

Aw, it's so cute :grin: ....great little switcher there 'cpw'....Brick On ! :classic:

#4 kyphur


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Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:49 PM

I agree with Pinioncorp on all points except I think maybe the issue is that it's too short not too tall...

Maybe if you lengthen it by 3 or 4 studs then you can address the minor issues:

Build a geared truck that puts the wheels further apart (like the prototype).

Allow better access to the 9v battery.

I do love these little switchers/shunters/yard engines and will probably build my own version of this great little prototype.

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#5 roamingstop


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Posted 06 July 2012 - 04:29 PM

View Postkyphur, on 06 July 2012 - 03:49 PM, said:

Build a geared truck that puts the wheels further apart (like the prototype).
I agree on all points and switches with Kyphur: put the wheels further apart, insert an upside down M motor and power one axle... it should be enough for most switching activities.

#6 Hrw-Amen


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Posted 06 July 2012 - 04:42 PM

This is a nice little engine. I am also battling to fit PF components into tiny diesels right now.

#7 kyphur


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Posted 07 July 2012 - 05:07 AM

Here is the size I think I'd do this prototype in:

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#8 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 06:19 AM

Maybe it's a little bit high, but the final result is pretty!  :blush:
For the 9 volt battery I often use the same solution to save space!  :thumbup:
Posted Image   Posted Image

#9 cpw


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Posted 12 July 2012 - 04:17 AM

Thanks to all for the constructive comments.

I would like to have reduced the height just a bit, the extra layer of tiles added some that I didn't really want.

The big problem with the height reduction is the combination of the battery and the receiver.  They are so close right now that I can't lower the receiver and leave room for the cables to come up from the motor.

kyphur, I very much like the proportions of your LDD version of the shell.

I'll need to get myself an M-motor to play with.

Thanks for looking!

#10 Legotom


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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:28 PM

Love this wee train, it's fantastic.  :thumbup: I'm amazed at how you've got the PF parts into such a small space. Rather fancy making one myself now. But in green  :laugh:

NB. For my overseas cousins, wee is Scottish for small, it's not a rude word in this context.  :laugh: :tongue:

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