coaster

BrickTracks: R104 Switch Kickstarter is LIVE!

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Jedi Bert said:

I would back a Kickstarter for the power pickup wheels and the move to hybrid. Can the pickup wheels be used to charge a LiPo battery via 9V straights that allows the train motor to work during the PF curves - R56/104/120 and R104 switches.

That was part of the concept longer term.  Supply 12V or so to the tracks instead of 9V.  Have a simple device onboard that routed 9V power to IR receiver for the motors, lights, etc, and 12V back to a rechargeable battery.  Then if power was cut from the 12V track supply, the device would immediately switch over to 9V battery power, and then as soon as 12V was present again, switch the battery back to charge mode.

That device would have to be a PFx Brick or S-Brick type product.  I do not have the electronics skill set to make something like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, coaster said:

That device would have to be a PFx Brick or S-Brick type product.  I do not have the electronics skill set to make something like that.

But there are people on this forum who do....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, pirzyk said:

But there are people on this forum who do....

Absolutely.  I can do tracks and pickups, but that's where my expertise ends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm interested in the idea of a hybrid system - this helps reduce cost, as one could limit the use of more expensive metal track to the charging section, while using lower-cost plastic rails for the rest of the layout. However, the hybrid has the disadvantage of still requiring a battery pack on board the train (although maybe a smaller one, since you would only need tens of minutes of run time as it would be being charged each time the train traveled the charging section).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

100k was ambitious, nothing wrong with that. But I think the main reason it wasn’t reached wasn’t because of the size of the goal, but the size of the audience - I suspect there’s fewer real train fans out there than we realise. Does anybody have an idea as to how many people are really active with Lego Trains?

My own layout is a hybrid. I have one loop in 9v, the remainder in PF. Which limits 9v trains to half the layout, but that’s the best I can do. Coasters PF switch would have worked nicely in the PF section. I'd take anything in 9V as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, cptkent said:

I suspect there’s fewer real train fans out there than we realise. Does anybody have an idea as to how many people are really active with Lego Trains?

I don't think this is the only reason. From the top of my had I could add few more:

1. These tracks are produced by 3rd party, so some enthusiasts, which consider themselves purist will not consider buying.

2. Price is quite high. You can get LEGO switches for 10-15 EUR for a set, while this R104 set is 70$. I understand the benefits, but still it is considerable difference.

3. Since parts are shipped from USA there will be substantial taxes, when imported to EU.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/17/2018 at 5:47 PM, supertruper1988 said:

its IMO a better system than DCC.

I think it's a lost cause !  I can't found a system that meet all the requirements :

I bought Sbricks because it's so well designed and very compact and reliable. And you can either use a PS4 joystick ! control it !

I loved 12V because there was so many functions, but too many wires. 9V allow to get rid of batteries and LiPo (I bought LiPo PF but it's not the solution). You can have a Xmas train running all the day long without problem

DCC is very convenient to control switches and large layouts. There is nothing better to control motors, even brushless motors and maintain very low speeds whatever the load is. And you can find so many tutos or DIY electronic, for instance, you can already find very cheap "keep alive" add-ons  that allow you to run on dirty or plastic track sections.

I'm not found of PowerUp  It's compact but too much expensive and not versatile enough. I need more than 2 plugs.But it may offer better in a near future.

So, IMO, the solution is an OPEN Hybrid modular standard that allow to interoperate 12V 9V, PF PUP as you won't force every Trainfan to adopt a given standard and Lego will go on with new standards

We need power pick-up. I did mine on their own with Bachmann 31 mm garden train wheels (or LGB 67419) like these, with shortened axles (each wheel has an half plastic axle tha tgoes ont the metal axle), but I would prefer a ready to use solution with smaller wheels.

s-l1600.jpg.

We need a device to lower (and rectify) voltage to allow user to interoperate on 18V AC (DCC) 12V and 9V 

We need a keep alive device for non PF to run over PF sections.

We need curves, switches, crossovers, double slip points, dual gauges, spoked wheels, etc...

And of course we need a versatile plug. The PF plug was a good one.

A more reliable and less bulky coupler interoperable with  Lego coupler is still to be invent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, cptkent said:

100k was ambitious, nothing wrong with that. But I think the main reason it wasn’t reached wasn’t because of the size of the goal, but the size of the audience - I suspect there’s fewer real train fans out there than we realise.

Preparing for injection molding is expensive. The injection form needs a lot of extreme precise machining. Still 100k is a risk.

On the other hand: I saw BT rails at the "Absolut Steinchen" exhibition at St. Augustin (Germany) at June and was impressed by the precision and surface quality - can't be reached with 3D printing. But perhaps the precision is not neccesary for train operation. My 3D printed switches doing well even with ong rolling stock and high speed.

Only ME rails failed, their rail foot are too thick forming a step between original LEGO and ME rails. Derailment is programmed. This occures neither with BT rails nor 3D printed rails from other manufacturers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the concept of a hybrid 9V/PF system, since I've been playing with both systems since my dark ages ended. If it is possible to add in PUP once more has become available (components available separately, more information & innovation from TLG & others willing to experiment), then all the better.  With the exception of Duplo track, Lego has used the same gauge track for over 50 years, regardless of which system runs on it - 4.5V, 12V, 9V, PF, PUP.  I know I'm beyond optimistic, but in theory isn't it possible for all those systems to work together, track-wise at least?  Then let interested parties develop things that tie into the tracks, like 12V center rails (if desire is strong enough), 9V power pickup wheels/wheelsets (coaster), etc. Just my thoughts ... but I am definitely interested in larger radius curves & switches as well as power pickup wheels/wheelsets.  Keep it up, coaster!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, zux said:

I don't think this is the only reason. From the top of my had I could add few more:

1. These tracks are produced by 3rd party, so some enthusiasts, which consider themselves purist will not consider buying.

2. Price is quite high. You can get LEGO switches for 10-15 EUR for a set, while this R104 set is 70$. I understand the benefits, but still it is considerable difference.

3. Since parts are shipped from USA there will be substantial taxes, when imported to EU.

 

All good points.

I backed it because I wanted it (more than needed it!). I thought the price was reasonable, given the parts involved. A single turnout consisted of 5 parts (turnout, switch stand, 2 curves and a straight).

I hope that something can be done, going forward. I think these would really contribute to my layout, and I'm hoping that every product coaster adds to his inventory, provides reward and encouragement to go forward and do more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 Months ago I wanted to buy the 79111 LoneR Constitution Train Chase for 100 bucks from a US seller to Germany. He had to add 50 bucks for shipping/taxes.

@coaster How much will it cost to ship an order from these R104 switch tracks from the US to EU? And I would not only buy one box and I don't know if the size affects the price of shipping/tax.

 

I also think the idea of these custom tracks with 9v is very interesting mainly because I am an 9V fan. 

I would rather buy from BT than from TrixBrix. 3D printing is okay but molding is much more endurable and you hold some higher quality ABS in your hands than the 3D ABS imao.

Edited by Robin_IV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Robin_IV said:

2 Months ago I wanted to buy the 79111 LoneR Constitution Train Chase for 100 bugs from a US seller to Germany. He had to add 50 bugs for shipping/taxes.

@coaster How much will it cost to ship an order from these R104 switch tracks from the US to EU? And I would not only buy one box and I don't know if the size affects the price of shipping/tax.

 

I also think the idea of these custom tracks with 9v is very interesting mainly because I am an 9V fan. 

I would rather buy from BT than from TrixBrix. 3D printing is okay but molding is much more endurable and you hold some higher quality ABS in your hands than the 3D ABS imao.

Thanks Robin.  It's a function of weight for the shipping, but then you may have taxes on your end that you'll have to pay.  The shipping to Germany usually varies between $15-35.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Robin_IV said:

100 bugs from a US seller to Germany. He had to add 50 bugs for shipping/taxes.

Bugs?

haha

You must mean Bucks. Auto-incorrect error? Or is this some slang term of which I'm not aware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, splatman said:

Bugs?

haha

You must mean Bucks. Auto-incorrect error? Or is this some slang term of which I'm not aware.

Bucks of course. It was late yesterday so... :wall::ugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/17/2018 at 6:08 PM, coaster said:

Absolutely.  I can do tracks and pickups, but that's where my expertise ends.

Honestly a 9v track "pickup" with a simple rectifier so the PF functions can run without a battery pack regardless of direction of travel would be a life saver at shows. 

Edited by Roadmonkeytj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/13/2018 at 11:39 PM, Roadmonkeytj said:

Honestly a 9v track "pickup" with a simple rectifier so the PF functions can run without a battery pack regardless of direction of travel would be a life saver at shows. 

You got me triggered.... this would be soooo useful!

I don't even need a connector at the end, just give me 2 wires as output and I'll do the rest on my own. Maybe throw a small capacitor in, just in case there's a bumpy ride and voltage drops unexpectedly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is was/is probably the most expensive, but rock-solid solution I came up with. I am using it of 3 trains on my mixed 9V track/PF track layout. Essentially it runs forever. Track is permanently powered with a 15V/5 A DC laptop power supply. 12V will do as well as many other voltages, see text/pics.

The power pickup is a modified 9V train motor. Works with such a motor without motor (as pickup only) as well. The thing is that inside the 9V motor, the wheels are "spring loaded" ensure a secure contact to the metal rails.

Regards,
Thorsten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you guys want this thread:

One of too many projects I'm tackling at once. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. >Exactly< that thread. I like the spring loaded part best, along with the power pick-up from the side.

Best,
Thorsten  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, coaster said:

Sounds like you guys want this thread:

One of too many projects I'm tackling at once. 


I'm already following this thread. I can wait, I have time :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.