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Custom Steam Locomotive Rods


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#51 rebelego

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:12 PM

View Postzephyr1934, on 29 November 2012 - 06:02 AM, said:

I MIGHT be able to figure out some way to clip on to BBB small wheels, but that would be a lot of work to get a satisfactory connection so it is way down the road. I doubt there would be much demand though, since you lose the traction of the bands on the lego small wheels.
I would like to see a part like the old Train Steam Drive Rod Holder, Posted Image
but with an axle hole. :wink:
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#52 Locomotive Annie

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:09 AM

You beat me to it, but I was going to mention that part too.
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#53 zephyr1934

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:19 AM

View Postrebelego, on 29 November 2012 - 06:12 PM, said:

I would like to see a part like the old Train Steam Drive Rod Holder, Posted Image
but with an axle hole. :wink:

Oh that is a great part. Pins and axles require tolerances beyond what I can reliably fabricate at the moment. However, as long as you do not need a tight fit (e.g., because it is held on with a bushing), I might be able to come up with a loose fitting axle hole that would stay aligned with the axle. I might even be able to incorporate the bushing into the design. So what are you thinking, a pin hole and an axle hole? Is the "counterweight" appearance important or just the holes? I think that part has a half stud spacing, I might need to go a little larger to make it around a bushing, what sort of constraints would you have on the hole spacing?

#54 roamingstudio

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:52 AM

One more question for Zephyr: Can you make clear pieces? Im thinking that a 'prism' piece which acts to convert the new PF lights to the old 1x4 and 1x6 light bricks would be really nice. Essentially it is a just a piece of plastic - it is not working as a full prism with internal refracted angles.
The advantage of such an adapter piece is that you could connect 1 of the PF lights to the prism block (provides 2 point lights) and the 2nd can be connected to make the 3rd higher light (above).

Actually it would be much nicer if Lego used two colour LEDs so that when current is in one direction you get white light and in the other you get red. But perhaps a custom circuit for that would be better.

#55 zephyr1934

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 06:07 AM

View Postroamingstudio, on 30 November 2012 - 08:52 AM, said:

One more question for Zephyr: Can you make clear pieces? ...

At the moment, no, I don't think I could fab clear parts. But you might be able to cut the prisms out of Plexiglas or similar stock. Or you could cut up some of the fiber optic cables from ExoForce

I would love it if Lego made red/green LEDs for signals (though 3mm LEDs do fit well in the small radar dishes)
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#56 Commander Red Hat

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:23 PM

View PostCommander Red Hat, on 28 November 2012 - 09:53 PM, said:

Oh, I totally hear you. I would agree that the prices are high, but that is where they need to be. I am able to distribute the fixed fab costs over many rods by fabricating a lot of rods at one time, but even totally eliminating the fixed costs, the unit cost of fabrication per rod is still high. Not to mention the time put into design and finishing. I am not getting rich. So these rods are for the individual who is looking for that detail on their locomotive.

This is the finished product, so yes, the surface is matte and a little grainy when viewed close up. I wanted to show the detail shots so there would be no surprises. Given the price, I want to do all that I can to ensure the customer is getting what they expect. I personally think it looks tons better than pinning together a bunch of shorter technic half beams (which is why I made these for myself in the first place) and they are particularly handy for the long spans past 7 studs where you previously had few alternatives this thin.

No problem if these rods are not for you. If you are on the fence, I'd suggest starting with a single locomotive, e.g., as Duq did, and see how you like them. Then, if you find you do like them and have big ideas, certainly we can talk off-line.

I understand and I absolutely love the way they look! Perhaps with some soft sanding and a gloss finish the surface might even look better.
Certainly I will try some at some point, the design is again brilliant.
I'll keep an eye out for 3D printing services and I'll let you know if I come up with any ideas.

View Postroamingstudio, on 29 November 2012 - 05:47 PM, said:

Those living in Belgium and Luxemburg may be interested to know that Staples are going to be introducing a 3D printing service... which could be cool.
http://www.engadget....inting-service/

The service seems good and will be offered in Holland as well, but unfortunately the models will be made out of paper. The only advantage of this is that you can apparently print in multiple colours.
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#57 zephyr1934

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:00 AM

I finally had time to finish updating v3 using the 2mm bars. This unit will ultimately evolve into a PF locomotive and I was contemplating powering the rear axle. I came up with a working solution, but I decided that I would be able to get more power by putting the motor in the tender. (click on the image to see the individual frames and a short movie showing v3 being pushed by a PF tender once the folder is moderated)

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When using the lego wheels and the eccentric on a blind driver, the 3x3 half beams cut down to 2x2 appear to be the superior solution- you can use a 3 long axle and it winds up being pretty thin. If you put the eccentric on a flanged driver, you would not even have to cut the half beams down. Another advantage of using a 3 long axle is the fact that they are common in gray.

So what do I think? I think they are great, but I would not recommend attempting full valve gear on your first steam MOC. Getting the valve gear to work right definitely takes a bit of trial and error, but once you have them working they are pretty slick. As I said before, they are best viewed at slower speeds, so PF is probably a better propulsion if you want to show off the full glory of the valve gear. Of course you do not have to build the full valve gear, just the eccentric to rocker bar captures most of the motion and eliminates the tricky termination at the cylinder.

I like the light appearance of the 2mm bars but I think the 3mm bars are easier too work with. You have the cuff to protect pin heads from hitting the rods behind them. You can also flip the 3mm bars over so that you have a full 3mm thickness on the pin, again handy in preventing unintended conflicts with the rods behind (6mm will fit on the side of one pin- it will be a little snug but the pin can still rotate).

I just got a fab in with A LOT of valve gear bars, some out to 8 long. These bars are certainly strong enough to be valve gear, but if you put a heavy load on them, they will bend (the 3mm thick are stronger than the 2mm thick).

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I plan to list the valve gear bars within the week (I'll post again when they are up).

In other news, I also got my second fab of black. Oh those holes are killing me. The gray fabs fine, but in black the same holes tend to come up too small. I spent way too much time drilling the holes out. So for the time being, I probably will not offer black rods.

#58 Mark Bellis

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:28 PM

View Postroamingstudio, on 30 November 2012 - 08:52 AM, said:

One more question for Zephyr: Can you make clear pieces? Im thinking that a 'prism' piece which acts to convert the new PF lights to the old 1x4 and 1x6 light bricks would be really nice. Essentially it is a just a piece of plastic - it is not working as a full prism with internal refracted angles.
The advantage of such an adapter piece is that you could connect 1 of the PF lights to the prism block (provides 2 point lights) and the 2nd can be connected to make the 3rd higher light (above).

Actually it would be much nicer if Lego used two colour LEDs so that when current is in one direction you get white light and in the other you get red. But perhaps a custom circuit for that would be better.

I designed a circuit that switches between two light bricks, using the standard PF protocol.  It sets the lights to the direction of the train and, if you have a battery on the train, it keeps them on in the previous direction until the train drives the other way.  It assumes ou are using 1 light brick for white and another for red.

This loco has the circuit installed.  It has one red and one white light at each end.  Fortunately it is short enough that a light brick can reach to do the white light at one end and the red light at the other end.  I expect some locos would use up to 6 light bricks to do all the lights but the circuit has the capacity to handle it.

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#59 Frank STENGEL

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:55 PM

View PostMark Bellis, on 09 December 2012 - 10:28 PM, said:

I designed a circuit that switches between two light bricks, using the standard PF protocol.  It sets the lights to the direction of the train and, if you have a battery on the train, it keeps them on in the previous direction until the train drives the other way.  It assumes ou are using 1 light brick for white and another for red.

Interesting :thumbup: Just out of curiosity, how big is your circuit ?

#60 Daedalus304

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:54 AM

Just got some of Zephyr's side rods in for my Mallet, and boy are they nice!

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The somewhat grainy finish really isn't too noticeable, and ol' #12 runs great with them. The rods feel sturdy and connect well, and though it takes a little extra effort to get them onto the technic pins they manage to spin really freely without being loose enough to come off. If anyone was looking for ANOTHER recommendation, let me throw mine in the pile. :laugh:  I like the look of them much better than that of technic liftarms or the old flex rods I used - Thanks Benn! :thumbup:
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#61 zephyr1934

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:30 AM

View PostDaedalus304, on 14 December 2012 - 09:54 AM, said:

Just got some of Zephyr's side rods in for my Mallet, and boy are they nice! ...  I like the look of them much better than that of technic liftarms or the old flex rods I used - Thanks Benn! :thumbup:

You are most welcome and thank you for the kind words. The rods look great on your Mallet.

#62 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:43 AM

Very nice improvement Daedalus! :thumbup:
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#63 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:13 AM

Finally after a long wait the new locomotive rods have arrived! :wub: :wub: :wub:
Here the enhanced BR94-1292

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Thanks Zephyr! :wink:
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#64 zephyr1934

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:22 AM

View PostLEGO Train 12 Volts, on 15 December 2012 - 10:13 AM, said:

Finally after a long wait the new locomotive rods have arrived! :wub: :wub: :wub:
Here the enhanced BR94-1292
Thanks Zephyr! :wink:

You are quite welcome. You've made great use of the rods, that locomotive is just slick. Is the black technic beam on the eccentric prototypical or will that be replaced with a gray one? After seeing the center of the rods colored in on your locomotive and Duq's, I am definitely going to have to start doing that on some of my locomotives, it adds so much (first I need to finish the new locomotive I'm working on though).

#65 roamingstudio

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:34 AM

In this thread of new technic parts  there appears to be an interesting lift arm (link to the image) which could be useful for some connecting rod designs me-thinks.
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#66 Electricsteam

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 02:35 AM

How strong are they, because I want to use some on my Pneumatic Locomotive but Im not sure the links will be able to withstand the preasure of the pistons...
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#67 zephyr1934

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:23 AM

The valve gear bars are now listed in my store. See my earlier post for my thoughts on working with the bars.

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View PostElectricsteam, on 22 December 2012 - 02:35 AM, said:

How strong are they, because I want to use some on my Pneumatic Locomotive but Im not sure the links will be able to withstand the preasure of the pistons...

The rods are fairly strong, but I suspect they are not as strong as technic elements. I do not know the breaking point. As far as I know none of the rods have failed (aside from an incident with a bubble mailer and the postal service, but now I ship in boxes).

#68 Gioppa

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:53 AM

Finally I can read the tread,and,my God,you made really a good work,
the perfect size of every rods,i'm not skilled to made steam loco,but the day i start...i think we get in touch!

but...inside me...a smal voice tell...is not Lego...is not lego...

i can close one or two eyes,because is really something of excellent what you have made!!!
All the best for your future works,i wait for some surprise!!

And if you want to hit the top,you know what you have to do....long,straight.....monorail!!!!
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#69 Electricsteam

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

View PostLEGO Train 12 Volts, on 15 December 2012 - 10:13 AM, said:

Finally after a long wait the new locomotive rods have arrived! :wub: :wub: :wub:
Here the enhanced BR94-1292

Posted Image

Thanks Zephyr! :wink:
What is that brick connected to the black tube near the end.? :wacko:
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#70 Duq

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:47 AM

You mean the top of the smoke stack? That would be 2536, Plant, Tree Palm Trunk.
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#71 Electricsteam

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:53 AM

View PostDuq, on 02 January 2013 - 12:47 AM, said:

You mean the top of the smoke stack? That would be 2536, Plant, Tree Palm Trunk.
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No... :snicker:  The red brick to the right.
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#72 Gioppa

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:32 AM

you mean this???

http://www.bricklink...D=685&colorID=5
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#73 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

They are these two pieces:

http://www.bricklink...ID=5&itemID=888

and

http://www.bricklink...ID=5&itemID=171

:wink:

View PostGioppa, on 01 January 2013 - 10:53 AM, said:


but...inside me...a smal voice tell...is not Lego...is not lego...


lol! :laugh:
But remember Gioppa also BBB Wheels are not lego pieces...however they are perfect for steam engines!
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#74 Electricsteam

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:23 PM

View PostLEGO Train 12 Volts, on 02 January 2013 - 01:36 PM, said:

They are these two pieces:

http://www.bricklink...ID=5&itemID=888

and

http://www.bricklink...ID=5&itemID=171

:wink:



lol! :laugh:
But remember Gioppa also BBB Wheels are not lego pieces...however they are perfect for steam engines!
Thank you I was wonder what the brick was! I beleive I have that Brick in whote some where is my color sorted boxes of legos.
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#75 rebelego

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:56 PM

Sorry for crossposting, but I thought this image belonged here as well...

Posted Image

The rods are really nice. I hope it will be possible to order black again. I don't mind doing some drilling and deburring myself.
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