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BrickTracks: different curves, PF/9V compatible

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9 hours ago, Ludo said:

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

 

FETs are transistors, too.

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11 hours ago, 3797 said:

PF? Not worth your time:

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

39622094231_7d3da5c11a_o.jpg

 

Is the quality of those any decent though? Last time I bought Chinese knockoff tracks they were warped like hot dogs to hell and back again. The only use I could think of for them was for inclines, but I ended up just giving them away to my nephew since he's still a toddler and wouldn't give a shit either way.

Edited by Aaron

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9 hours ago, 3797 said:

PF? Not worth your time:

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

39622094231_7d3da5c11a_o.jpg

 

I just found a local* shop selling genuine straight track x 20 for Au$59 + shipping. Add ebay discount code = win.  One pack already arrived and I've another on order.

*In my country but 2000+ km away.

 

Edited by K-Style

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22 hours ago, legoman666 said:

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

Yeah but they are all more expensive than the V2 receiver too, and include a whole bunch of functions many people don't need for their home layouts. I just think a cheap one transistor power amp would be a popular choice for people who just want to add an additional motor easily.

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@peterab this discussion is about track that is compatible with 9v and PF systems. In the interest of not confusing topics and having two different conversations going on at the same time, it might be a good idea to start a new topic or PM @coaster off-line.

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2 hours ago, K-Style said:

I just found a local* shop selling genuine straight track x 20 for Au$59 + shipping. Add ebay discount code = win.  One pack already arrived and I've another on order.

*In my country but 2000+ km away.

 

The best deal I'm seeing on ebay for actual LEGO power functions track (not the cheap knockoffs) is $32.76 for 16 + shipping. As for myself, I prefer to get all of my straight track on BrickLink whenever I spot a really good deal. The next best thing is to just buy the straight and flex track packs, keep the straights, and sell the flex track. I've found that prices (for LEGO in general) on ebay are almost always way too high, which is why CrackLink BrickLink is my go-to place for all things LEGO. 

Anyway @coaster, seeing all these knockoff straight tracks lately also has me thinking that BrickTracks producing PF straight track might be a bad idea. There's just too much (cheap) competition, and it could take a lifetime before you see a ROI on the mold. Although I'm not seeing any third party 9V, so if you were to make any straights at all, your best bet would be to go with those since you'd have the monopoly

 

Edited by Aaron

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12 minutes ago, Aaron said:

Anyway @coaster, seeing all these knockoff straight tracks lately also has me thinking that BrickTracks producing PF straight track might be a bad idea. There's just too much (cheap) competition, and it could take a lifetime before you see a ROI on the mold. Although I'm not seeing any third party 9V, so if you were to make any straights at all, your best bet would be to go with those since you'd have the monopoly

 

Agree. I'm good for straights for a while but I will order more Bricktracks corners soon. Switches etc would be more useful.

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Thanks everyone.  Kinda where I was as well.  9V could very well change the dynamics of this though (a 4x 9V straight would be amazing!!!!).  We'll hold the course.

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On 9.1.2018 at 7:15 AM, coaster said:

 I'm all for wide curves though, and the R200 is definitely on my "really want to do" list. 

First of all, thank you for all the time and money you spent on producing high quality Lego-compatible tracks. I will certainly buy some of your products because I want to use more than the five types of tracks offered by Lego and your tracks are superior to competing 3D printed tracks.

Regarding product strategy, I would ask you to stay down to earth. How many people need R200 curves? Imho virtually zero, nobody has the space to use them. Don't make the mistake to assume people in this forum represent the needs of the average customer. The average customer wants to replace the flexible tracks of a double track oval's outer track with solid curved tracks. The R56 PF curve is the one and only product that will sell in high quantities and should be top priority.

Like all the other people contributing to this thread I’m looking forward to molded tracks and switches. But injection molds are too expensive to compete with 3D printed stuff in such a niche market. It would be a real pity if your business fails because of wrong product decisions induced by fan discussions. When you develop the next product, check if it is useful for the average 10 year old Lego fan. If not, drop the idea and work on something else. Once you have made lots of money with the R56 tracks, it’s fine to do R200 curves and exotic switches. But until then, focus on products that appeal to a large number of people, not only those who run very large Lego layouts at exhibitions.

To me building a Lego world means to recreate the spirit of a scene, not rebuilding it to scale. The latter works much better with H0 or N model trains. Lego worlds are rarely realistic and they don’t have to be to look great. Neither the curved tracks.

Edited by legotownlinz

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28 minutes ago, legotownlinz said:

Regarding product strategy, I would ask you to stay down to earth. How many people need R200 curves? Imho virtually zero, nobody has the space to use them. Don't make the mistake to assume people in this forum represent the needs of the average customer. The average customer wants to replace the flexible tracks of a double track oval's outer track with solid curved tracks. The R56 PF curve is the one and only product that will sell in high quantities and should be top priority.

Like all the other people contributing to this thread I’m looking forward to molded tracks and switches. But injection molds are too expensive to compete with 3D printed stuff in such a niche market. It would be a real pity if your business fails because of wrong product decisions induced by fan discussions. When you develop the next product, check if it is useful for the average 10 year old Lego fan. If not, drop the idea and work on something else. Once you have made lots of money with the R56 tracks, it’s fine to do R200 curves and exotic switches. But until then, focus on products that appeal to a large number of people, not only those who run very large Lego layouts at exhibitions.

I agree with this, as I’ll need R56 and R72 way before I need R120 or higher, if I ever do need those higher radii.

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No disagreement.  The really big curves are a pipe dream right now. 

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I would agree that 9V track (I think we need straights before curves just because of the high price for straights) is a must have for me. Even if they were in a trixbrix style of using less plastic as long as they run my trains. I'm wondering if you could even sell "blank" track pieces with grooves in the for HO or G scale track to slide into upside down to reduce costs.

Can't wait for 9V track as Me-Models seem to have abandoned their company.

-RailCo

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3 hours ago, legotownlinz said:

First of all, thank you for all the time and money you spent on producing high quality Lego-compatible tracks. I will certainly buy some of your products because I want to use more than the five types of tracks offered by Lego and your tracks are superior to competing 3D printed tracks.

Regarding product strategy, I would ask you to stay down to earth. How many people need R200 curves? Imho virtually zero, nobody has the space to use them. Don't make the mistake to assume people in this forum represent the needs of the average customer. The average customer wants to replace the flexible tracks of a double track oval's outer track with solid curved tracks. The R56 PF curve is the one and only product that will sell in high quantities and should be top priority.

Like all the other people contributing to this thread I’m looking forward to molded tracks and switches. But injection molds are too expensive to compete with 3D printed stuff in such a niche market. It would be a real pity if your business fails because of wrong product decisions induced by fan discussions. When you develop the next product, check if it is useful for the average 10 year old Lego fan. If not, drop the idea and work on something else. Once you have made lots of money with the R56 tracks, it’s fine to do R200 curves and exotic switches. But until then, focus on products that appeal to a large number of people, not only those who run very large Lego layouts at exhibitions.

To me building a Lego world means to recreate the spirit of a scene, not rebuilding it to scale. The latter works much better with H0 or N model trains. Lego worlds are rarely realistic and they don’t have to be to look great. Neither the curved tracks.

Some of the bigger LUGs that use grand curves would benefit from them. It would make assembling the curves easier, since the current method of using hinges and plates on straight tracks tend to pop apart if you aren't careful enough.

And you'd be surprised, with a bit of creativity, what you can do with larger curves. Are you familiar with S-curves? Anyone can fit those on their layout, and R200s would work well for this purpose for anyone. Also, if your house is set up so that the basement is just one room, or the kitchen, living room, and dining rooms are connected in a circular fashion, even little kids could have fun with R200 curves. It isn't just people with bigger/longer trains who benefit, but those who want to run their trains at high speeds without derailments.

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11 minutes ago, Rail Co said:

I would agree that 9V track (I think we need straights before curves just because of the high price for straights) is a must have for me. Even if they were in a trixbrix style of using less plastic as long as they run my trains. I'm wondering if you could even sell "blank" track pieces with grooves in the for HO or G scale track to slide into upside down to reduce costs.

Can't wait for 9V track as Me-Models seem to have abandoned their company.

-RailCo

That's an interesting approach.... just make a sleeper capable of holding the inverted track.  Something like the ME models connector pieces can be used to link it back to LEGO track.  It could just start off as a 2x8 part.  It reminds me of the o-gauge conversion (involved snipping off four studs from a 2x8 to tie in o-gauge rail).  Could be used for both flexible and straight rail.

You're still missing switches and so forth, but it's a start - a pretty simple start.

Ultimately if a LEGO compatible o-gauge motor could be made (something like the traditional 9V motor, but fit to o-gauge wide), it would solve everything.  We might have to switch to making trains 7 or 8 wide, but I know a lot of people wouldn't find that a problem.

At the same time, if you made it even more generic.... a 2x4 where the third row of two was replaced with a track holder, then two could be put together one way for L-guage, and the other way for L-narrow-gauge.

 

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Stick to the KISS principle - there’s a lot of suggestions about exotic parts, but things that should sell well are:

 - 9v straight. Original product is rare, there’s still demand. 1x and 2x. Later ½x

 - 9v R72 (R56 is a bit close to R40)

 - 9v R104

 - some kind of R72 switch or crossover.

Come back later and fill in the gaps for R56 and R88

ie, don’t make anything that can be currently obtained/ modified easily or cheaply.

im certainly watching with interest.

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Hmmm... seems pretty clear that 9V stuff is the most savory.

I'm curious as to what might happen to the 9V aftermarket once @coaster floods the market with 9V straights... lol

 

I think that the r104 switch should be released next tho, whether 9V, PF, or both if possible?

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4 hours ago, cptkent said:

Stick to the KISS principle - there’s a lot of suggestions about exotic parts, but things that should sell well are:

 - 9v straight. Original product is rare, there’s still demand. 1x and 2x. Later ½x

 - 9v R72 (R56 is a bit close to R40)

 - 9v R104

 - some kind of R72 switch or crossover.

Come back later and fill in the gaps for R56 and R88

ie, don’t make anything that can be currently obtained/ modified easily or cheaply.

im certainly watching with interest.

I'd say dump the 2x. If you have 1x straights, there is no immediate need for 2x. Half straights nevertheless would be awesome.

I'm already saving money by cutting my beer expenses ............... :laugh:

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9 hours ago, M_slug357 said:

Hmmm... seems pretty clear that 9V stuff is the most savory.

I'm curious as to what might happen to the 9V aftermarket once @coaster floods the market with 9V straights... lol

Hmm, I don't foresee large investments in technology that is dead for many years. If I had 9V trains, I would rather convert them to PF than buying metal tracks. For home layouts, PF has so many advantages over 9V. Charging batteries is annoying when running trains the whole day, for example at exhibitions, in such case the 9V system is perfect. But sales for exhibition layout is insignificant and will never justify molds. 

Edited by legotownlinz

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10 minutes ago, legotownlinz said:

Hmm, I don't foresee large investments in technology that is dead for many years. If I had 9V trains, I would rather convert them to PF than buying metal tracks. For home layouts, PF has so many advantages over 9V. Charging batteries is annoying when running trains the whole day, for example at exhibitions, in such case the 9V system is perfect. But sales for exhibition layout is insignificant and will never justify molds. 

Ah, but that's because you don't have one of these:

Wheelset overview

It's an early version (don't have a picture of the current one), but you could use this to power your PF motors, creating a hybrid PF/9V system.  You can supply constant power to the track, and then use the IR receiver to independently drive the trains.

Not that we're working on such a device...

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12 minutes ago, coaster said:

Ah, but that's because you don't have one of these:

[picture]

It's an early version (don't have a picture of the current one), but you could use this to power your PF motors, creating a hybrid PF/9V system.  You can supply constant power to the track, and then use the IR receiver to independently drive the trains.

Not that we're working on such a device...

This axle would be great, as it can be used in (nearly) every train design, also in existing ones. I guess offering such an axle next to 9V rails is a better solution than to only offer the rails. There would also be PF users who might purchase straight 9V track together with this axle. Cheap original 9V curves however are quite easy to find.

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11 hours ago, cptkent said:

Stick to the KISS principle - there’s a lot of suggestions about exotic parts, but things that should sell well are:

 - 9v straight. Original product is rare, there’s still demand. 1x and 2x. Later ½x

 - 9v R72 (R56 is a bit close to R40)

 - 9v R104

 - some kind of R72 switch or crossover.

Come back later and fill in the gaps for R56 and R88

ie, don’t make anything that can be currently obtained/ modified easily or cheaply.

im certainly watching with interest.

I mostly agree with this but I think that R56 and R72 should be the next 2 curve geometries offered. I have a double loop and I want R56 for the outside loop to keep it tidy. 

Its been debated a few times but anything smaller than R104 for switches doesnt work very well. so its R40 and then R104 then R200 then R328.

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Just now, Stefaneris said:

This axle would be great, as it can be used in (nearly) every train design, also in existing ones. I guess offering such an axle next to 9V rails is a better solution than to only offer the rails. There would also be PF users who might purchase straight 9V track together with this axle. Cheap original 9V curves however are quite easy to find.

No, I wouldn't make the R40 9V curves.  At about $0.50, no way I could make them for that.

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On 11.1.2018 at 8:15 PM, legotownlinz said:

[...]Regarding product strategy, I would ask you to stay down to earth. How many people need R200 curves? Imho virtually zero, nobody has the space to use them. Don't make the mistake to assume people in this forum represent the needs of the average customer. The average customer wants to replace the flexible tracks of a double track oval's outer track with solid curved tracks. The R56 PF curve is the one and only product that will sell in high quantities and should be top priority.

Like all the other people contributing to this thread I’m looking forward to molded tracks and switches. But injection molds are too expensive to compete with 3D printed stuff in such a niche market. It would be a real pity if your business fails because of wrong product decisions induced by fan discussions. When you develop the next product, check if it is useful for the average 10 year old Lego fan. If not, drop the idea and work on something else. Once you have made lots of money with the R56 tracks, it’s fine to do R200 curves and exotic switches. But until then, focus on products that appeal to a large number of people, not only those who run very large Lego layouts at exhibitions.[...]

I certainly and definitively agree with @legotownlinz: Most 'regular' LEGO people I can think of (aka the every day LEGO fan who has a small hobby and thus tight budget) own the standard PF R40 curves yet. If you want to expand your train layout and build an outer circle, the first thing you'd buy is the next bigger radius: R56.

No question, you could and will have fun with larger radii as well, especially at 'professional' exhibitions or at your LUG, but the logical next step is –imho– the R56. You can realise parallel tracks with R40 easily and run your trains along them, which is going to look very appealing :-) And not to forget the 'better halves' who are more likely to accept the smaller footprint as well :thumbup:

I am very happy and thankful for your hard work @coaster and I hope we will see many many more great (molded) train products from you! They seem to appear fantastic and I'm looking forward to buy at least four PF R56 circles this year. Btw, do you already have a rough time schedule or some kind of product roadmap for 2018? Am visiting your website at least on a weekly basis :wink:

P.S.: And many thanks again for your generous promotion over at FB :wub:

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R56 in PF (and 9V) is definitely my priority ! 9v straight would rank 2nd. 


But 9v Straights are not that expensive : 8 x 9V straights is about 30 EUR on aftermarket. So 9v straight should be very competitive as European customers will also have to pay for more shipping fees and add 20% to 25% of custom taxes. PF straight with copper/inox tape is still a very easy and affordable workaround especially on straights.

As for points, we do not need so many. I do not like 4Dbrix (and TrixBrix) switch geometry. Their solutions are not enough flexible and I won't buy and store a single-purpose switches. A swich must be very versatile to meet the market. I do have more tha 20 9V and PF switches. But even if R104 switches were very cheap, I would not buy more than a couple of each, for exhibition or outdoor use. for instance, For instance, for a ladder, tracks on a drawer would be more room efficient especially for longer trains.

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2 hours ago, daoudbazaar said:

R56 in PF (and 9V) is definitely my priority ! 9v straight would rank 2nd. 


But 9v Straights are not that expensive : 8 x 9V straights is about 30 EUR on aftermarket. So 9v straight should be very competitive as European customers will also have to pay for more shipping fees and add 20% to 25% of custom taxes. PF straight with copper/inox tape is still a very easy and affordable workaround especially on straights.

As for points, we do not need so many. I do not like 4Dbrix (and TrixBrix) switch geometry. Their solutions are not enough flexible and I won't buy and store a single-purpose switches. A swich must be very versatile to meet the market. I do have more tha 20 9V and PF switches. But even if R104 switches were very cheap, I would not buy more than a couple of each, for exhibition or outdoor use. for instance, For instance, for a ladder, tracks on a drawer would be more room efficient especially for longer trains.

@coaster and @daoudbazaar
And don't forget import taxes and administration cost for Europe which are added to the VAT.

This is a real killer for us.

My experience 4 years ago was to pay 186 Euro on administration cost + import tax & VAT for a parcel comming from the USA with a value of 750 Euro. :sick:
That's aprox. 25% as @daoudbazaar mention in his message.

So, if you want to sell them too in large amount to European customers, there's definitely a need for a solution for this 'financial problem'.

If not, sales will be low and perhaps mostly concentrated in the US.

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