JopieK

BrickTracks: different curves, PF/9V compatible

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Not to quite derail this discussion, but NILTC will be having their Christmas show next weekend (Dec 9th and 10th).  Details can be found on our website.  We will be running our double loop of  R104 and R120s curves and we have the prototype R104 Double Crossover to boot!  Anyone in the Chicago area can come see them in action.

 

Edited by pirzyk

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So I have received my Bricktracks order after being held at Canadian customs while they assessed the amount of taxes owed , But once I got them I will say I was impressed for what they are . Now I really never expected a perfect LEGO imitation, I will say that without close inspection most people would think they are Lego in my opinion . The only give aways that i noticed are a  slight difference in sheen to the flat part of the plate ties and the occasional whiteish sprue marks on the side plates . also every so often a 2x8 plate tie will have a corner that is ever so slightly not perfectly square .  Now I judge these to the most extreme standards and with those things aside I am fully happy with my purchase and congratulate you  on making these , by far the best AFOL track i have seen yet . Clutch power is fantastic and as not being 3d printed I don't worry about a loss in clutch power over use . 

As to my previous question about easements . Its a term used when making a curve to be more realistic and gradual . An easement in L gauge would being a turn that started out with a 1 or 2 120R curves then going to 104R curves then ending with 1 or 2 120R curves again . To create a smoother transition from straight to curve . A google search of " railroad track easements " will further help . I was wondering if you knew off hand if to make a 90 degree turn a mix of 120R and 104R could be used and still end up on a stud . 

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@DeGobbi you may have to use a few bits of flex track to get your "easements" to line up with the stud grid. At the very least, you should be able to attach this mixed curve section at the beginning and the end?

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@DeGobbi, thanks!  The white sprue marks are an unfortunate reality here.  These are molded in the traditional injection method, where the sprues are cut off after each shot.  LEGO utilizes what's known as a hot runner manifold for injection, and their injection points are up on the top of a couple studs (you can see them if you look closely enough).  I'm not exaggerating when I say doing this would have been 20 times more expensive.

As for the easement, you're referring to an e-curve.  I'll have to play with it to see if/what fits nicely.

Edited by coaster

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Toying with the idea of making 2x and 4x long straights.  Thoughts?  Unfortunately, break-even point compared to normal LEGO straights is about 1.6 miles of each.

And by the way, 9V is very much not dead. ;)

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Posted (edited)
Just now, coaster said:

Toying with the idea of making 2x and 4x long straights.  Thoughts?  Unfortunately, break-even point compared to normal LEGO straights is about 1.6 miles of each.

Definitely go for 2x straights! I’d wait on 4x straights until you’ve developed 1/2x and 1/4x straights though, that seems like it could wait until you’ve got more momentum going, along with maybe 1.5x straights?

Edited by BurkusCircus

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Posted (edited)

I think the 2x and 4x have less of a need since LEGO track is useful enough.  A ballasted plate of 4x straights would be 64 studs long.  I could use the 2x straights but I currently have enough LEGO straight track.  You can get a tool now built thar would be 20 inches long?

I would concentrate on stuff we can't get elsewhere or is technically superior.  Like 1/4x Straights, 1/2x Straights, R104 Switches, and R104 Double Crossovers :D

Or what about a 90 degree cross?  I'd think the tool would be smaller.

Edited by pirzyk
added cross and comment about mould length

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Nothing is off the table as far as sizes and geometry goes.  Small straights, other radii curves, and switches are all in the works.  I have quotes on all of the above, so right now just trying to feel out what's a priority.  Obviously switches, but that's a big investment, so looking for small things to build on in the meantime. 

However, I think I can get even more backing on things if I offer a 9V version as well.  Stick around, I'll have some news in the next couple months.

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11 minutes ago, coaster said:

Nothing is off the table as far as sizes and geometry goes... so right now just trying to feel out what's a priority....

I'd say that if you could roll out those r104 switches in conjunction with (or a bit before) the 2018 wave of Lego train sets, that would be ideal.

My wish list consists of:

- triple switches in r104

- wye switches in r104

- crossovers at 45 and 90 degrees

- switch variants in r72 (for those of us that don't have much space)

- curved track in r200 (that's like a 13' diameter circle!)

- switch variants in r200 (for those of us that have too much space)

Personally, I can hold out a bit longer for 9v offerings b/c most of my engines are PF, but I'd say that 9v stuff is what many people may be holding off for. Did you ever settle on how you were going to go about making the 9v tracks??

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Make the biggest switch you possibly can; like the Golden Gate Bridge, Burj Khalifa, Saturn V, or Brock Lesnar of switches. In fact, we may as well just call it The Mother of all Switches. My 4DBrix R148 crossovers are great and everything, but I want something bigger for my layout. Something greater than or equal to a #10 switch in real life. If you can do that I'll end up buying at least 20 of them over time.

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Just now, M_slug357 said:

I'd say that if you could roll out those r104 switches in conjunction with (or a bit before) the 2018 wave of Lego train sets, that would be ideal.

My wish list consists of:

- triple switches in r104

- wye switches in r104

- crossovers at 45 and 90 degrees

- switch variants in r72 (for those of us that don't have much space)

- curved track in r200 (that's like a 13' diameter circle!)

- switch variants in r200 (for those of us that have too much space)

Some of those may be tough, not because of geometry constraints, but demand.  For the R104 switches for instance, I'll need to sell about 1500 of each left and right to recoup the tooling costs.  I'm all for wide curves though, and the R200 is definitely on my "really want to do" list. 

 

Just now, M_slug357 said:

 Did you ever settle on how you were going to go about making the 9v tracks??

Yep. :grin:  Stay tuned!

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38 minutes ago, coaster said:

I'll need to sell about 1500 of each left and right to recoup the tooling costs.

Ok, so roughly 1000 people need to buy/preorder 4 switches each!! Shouldn't be too hard I think...

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I'd sell both of my kidneys to buy you the tooling needed for R200 curves. The only downside is that I'll have to tear apart my freshly ballasted R120s. :wacko:

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2 hours ago, Aaron said:

I'd sell both of my kidneys to buy you the tooling needed for R200 curves. The only downside is that I'll have to tear apart my freshly ballasted R120s. :wacko:

lol, sell both the kidneys and the ballasted track on ebay! That should cover the tooling costs I think :pir-murder:

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9 hours ago, M_slug357 said:

- crossovers at 45 and 90 degrees

Hm. Is there really any demand for these? I've got 3 crossovers from the 9V era, never used one of these until now...

Otherwise, R104 wye and curves -> count me in :thumbup:

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I've always found the most lacking thing in the switch track inventory to be turnouts.  Some of the 3d-printers have addressed this, especially in modular versions, but a molded R40 turnout would have the robustness I'm looking for and be suitable for those without acres of space.   Thx.

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@Capparezza, I can confirm this too.

Have 3 or 4 90 degrees 9 Volt crossovers (4519), used them only twice and never again.

The wheel flange bumped against the wires and when driving too fast, it could be that the locomotive jumped and derailed. This was a bad buy.

And on the other hand, how many of those crossovers do you find in real life track?

It would be better to invest in more usefull track (half and quarter) and switches.

I think that there's no money growing on Coasters back :sweet:, so making the right choice is something to think carefully about it.

@coaster

You made me really curious, so i'll stay tuned (9V track).:sweet:

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On 1/9/2018 at 4:19 PM, coaster said:

Nothing is off the table as far as sizes and geometry goes.  Small straights, other radii curves, and switches are all in the works.  I have quotes on all of the above, so right now just trying to feel out what's a priority.  Obviously switches, but that's a big investment, so looking for small things to build on in the meantime.

One thing that I have considered and am surprised no-one has offered yet is a current amplifier to use with the PF receiver. The V2 receiver is relatively rare and expensive but plenty of people want to use 2 PF train motors or multiple XL motors on trains and they become constrained by the current limitations of the PF receiver. A simple circuit with a single power transistor would be fine, with power from the rechargeable battery box, an input from the output of the PF receiver and two outputs for the train motors (of opposite polarity to avoid the need to use a reversing switch). It should be relatively cheap compared to the V2 receiver and popular enough to sell well.

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3 hours ago, peterab said:

One thing that I have considered and am surprised no-one has offered yet is a current amplifier to use with the PF receiver. The V2 receiver is relatively rare and expensive but plenty of people want to use 2 PF train motors or multiple XL motors on trains and they become constrained by the current limitations of the PF receiver. A simple circuit with a single power transistor would be fine, with power from the rechargeable battery box, an input from the output of the PF receiver and two outputs for the train motors (of opposite polarity to avoid the need to use a reversing switch). It should be relatively cheap compared to the V2 receiver and popular enough to sell well.

Huh? There are 3 3rd party motor controllers out there already.

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11 hours ago, peterab said:

One thing that I have considered and am surprised no-one has offered yet is a current amplifier to use with the PF receiver. The V2 receiver is relatively rare and expensive but plenty of people want to use 2 PF train motors or multiple XL motors on trains and they become constrained by the current limitations of the PF receiver. A simple circuit with a single power transistor would be fine, with power from the rechargeable battery box, an input from the output of the PF receiver and two outputs for the train motors (of opposite polarity to avoid the need to use a reversing switch). It should be relatively cheap compared to the V2 receiver and popular enough to sell well.

Hi,

I would recomment you to take a look here:

main page: https://www.fxbricks.com/

Specifications: https://www.fxbricks.com/pfxbrick/specifications/

2 motor outputs up to 3Amp / channel.

 

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On 1/8/2018 at 5:05 PM, coaster said:

Toying with the idea of making 2x and 4x long straights.  Thoughts?  Unfortunately, break-even point compared to normal LEGO straights is about 1.6 miles of each.

Do only 2x long straights for now. As for switches, start with a large size, then produce smaller sizes as you recover the costs.

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14 minutes ago, Tcm0 said:

But it's much more expensive.

It's a choise you have to make between the different 3rd party providers. I think all depends on your use of the PF receiver.

the one i mentioned is specially developped for train users with a lot of extra's what others don't have.

And all 3rd party PF receivers will cost more than the original LEGO receiver. Low production volume, higher production cost

Also the idea from Peterab will only work in one direction if single transistor used.

If you want to drive forward or backwards, you need at least 4 transistors.

And this is one of the major problems, you lose too many voltage across the transistors (aprox. 1.5V).

Better is the use of FET's (which is the case in the PF-V2 receiver).

 

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On 9.1.2018 at 2:05 AM, coaster said:

Toying with the idea of making 2x and 4x long straights.  Thoughts?

PF? Not worth your time:

Spoiler

8 straight track pieces for $4.99/4.25€/£3.75 shipped:

39622094231_7d3da5c11a_o.jpg

 

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