coaster

Power Pick-up Wheelset

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Re: third rail. I actually love this idea because of what could be done with it. I run both Lego, ME Models (track), and Lionel O gauge. Thought I'd share my thoughts on a third rail.

1: With a third rail, you have half the pickup opportunities as using two, and it's very easy to stutter in regards to the pickup's connection. Right now I'm in my system's "Five Year roadblock" - every five years, everything is worn out and needs a mass cleaning.

2: This opens the door to operating accessories. And I don't mean like grade crossings using finicky color or motion sensors. I mean actually wired to the track, activated by the train. It would work like this. Cut the metal of one of the outer rails (use ME if it affects your Lego-only morals), and wire the now-dead section to the accessory. The train should need only one outer rail and the inner rail to run. When the train runs over the other, powered rail, the current will go up the wheel, across the axel, and down the other wheel, onto the dead rail, and power that rail. Then, if the accessory is wired to that rail, it will turn on, and a gate will go down, lights go on, turns on a station announcement, whatever you can image! And then it stays powered until either the train leaves the section or you turn the other rail off.

3: It ruins any realism you may be going for. While a new type of Hi-Rail (really detailed three-rail O Gauge) could come out of it, the much more realistic and likely result will be having it be seen as a toy.

4: It's less accurate. We have the only system that doesn't rely on track power (unless you still cling to 9V...). Think about it. Real trains have a fuel source, motor, and operating system all on board. While they get their operating signals from on-board currently, self-driving trains aren't that far-off. No other system has this. Real railroads (or, more accurately, GE and EMD) have to figure out how to fit a generator. We have to work around a battery box. Our struggles, while we would like for them to go away, are the most systematically correct struggles of all of model railroading. Embrace them.

Either that or recognize I've gone crazy. ?

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@coaster

As we see once more a 'new' system from LEGO, i would defenately leave the path of using the 9V connectors.

9v used 2 wire

PF used 4 wires

Powered up use 6 wires

following system use perhaps 8 wires, then we can use UTP or telephone cabling.:wacko:

Guess this kind of connector is worldwide available and cheap too:

btwf2.jpg

and the male connector like (90° pins & straight pins - pitch = 1/10 inch = 2.54mm):

btwmhxx.jpgbtwmxx.jpg

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I've had some discussions with others on how to tackle this.  There's no great answer, but the best solution so far seems to be to keep the wheelsets with the classic 9V connections on them, but we're going to need adapters to handoff between the different systems.

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On 8/17/2018 at 2:24 PM, coaster said:

I've had some discussions with others on how to tackle this.  There's no great answer, but the best solution so far seems to be to keep the wheelsets with the classic 9V connections on them, but we're going to need adapters to handoff between the different systems.

Im late to the game here but space is the main concern in this area .  The 9v method is easy enough ... Ive never had a 9v connector wear out ... Unless corroded or the brick snaps due to mishandling.  I honestly love this solution ... For this simple reason alone.  You can leave an empty wire and self wire or you can provide 9v,pf,pu adaptors on request.  On the release of the any lego unit these would be great for coach power.  Long game I think a method using the axle style so you can plug them into custom creations would be good.  The product as is I would buy.  My lug runs 9v but I build my trains pf to run on any layout.  I could include this wheelset and run on batteries when on other layouts.

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On 8/17/2018 at 8:24 PM, coaster said:

I've had some discussions with others on how to tackle this.  There's no great answer, but the best solution so far seems to be to keep the wheelsets with the classic 9V connections on them, but we're going to need adapters to handoff between the different systems.

Love it! I could imagine using those wheelsets not only to pick up power, but also to visually complete the metal wheels of the 9v motor on 6-axle trucks, maybe even upgrade my 9v models to all metal wheels. So - count me in :-) Do you have an idea already when they'd become available and for how much?

EDIT: Needless to say that the 9v connector would be perfectly fine for me ;-)

Edited by bricknerd

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Hi all,

I'am new to the forum and in search for.. guess what? a decent 9V pickup solution. 

Is that the latest & proper thread on that topic?

I was not able so far to source proper metal wheels at reasonable cost. @alainneke bricklink shop seems closed :(    Is there another way to source such or similar wheels? (I am in the EU)

I am like others eager to see how @coaster project for a 9v pickup evolves. 

Alternatives I've studied a bit so far, should anyone else like me is interested in the topic and want to do her/his own research are reported below.

thanks!

Udo's pickup solution (copper desoldering braid on train motor decorative side)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ust60/sets/72157629673770619/with/6872190758/
http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=63596

Alain's Pickup: 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/alainneke/with/8438393941/

RailCo's alternate metal / plastic wheels.

 

Pickup using a  9V motor

 

SteveB hybrid 9V-PF motor 

 

Another 9v pickup solution from way back that may also interest: 
http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=461894

 

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On 11/29/2016 at 5:26 AM, coaster said:

Thanks.  I plan to simply nickel plate the contacts.  That's what LEGO has done, and it's certainly cheap and easy to do, and should have no problem holding up to this mild usage.

I'd love to see pics!

Here's an updated overall shot of the wheelset:

31194520141_d9f0a0fc77_c.jpg

A lot of you are concerned about maintaining good electrical contact.  The LEGO 9V motor used spring loaded contacts on the metal wheel flange such that the flange always made contact with the rails, and I'm doing the same thing here.  Popping the cover, here's what the insides look like:

31194520351_be0b40392f_c.jpg

Isolating just the contact tabs, they look like this:

31194520231_fa77c52049_c.jpg

As I said before, this has taken a backseat to the tracks project, but I haven't forgotten about it.  There's just only so much I can do at once.

Hi  @coaster,

As i see more & more Afol's using ball bearings on their rolling stock, any considarations of implementing ball bearings into the power pick-up wheelset?

Edited by Ludo

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On 8/19/2017 at 3:05 PM, BurkusCircus said:

 

4: It's less accurate. We have the only system that doesn't rely on track power (unless you still cling to 9V...). Think about it. Real trains have a fuel source, motor, and operating system all on board. While they get their operating signals from on-board currently, self-driving trains aren't that far-off. No other system has this. Real railroads (or, more accurately, GE and EMD) have to figure out how to fit a generator. We have to work around a battery box. Our struggles, while we would like for them to go away, are the most systematically correct struggles of all of model railroading.

what about electric locos? they dont have any fuel source onboard. i mean yes they got transformers and stuff on board but that stuff is still wayyy smaller than the HUGE battery boxes that lego gives us. I tried to build my own power pickups a while ago wich would whipe along the track but this idea wasnt succesful since i had constand contact problems and couldn't drive across switches. I am now getting my hands on some O gauge wheels to modify using this method:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nDKTOyN4uzw

XG BC

Edited by XG BC

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