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Fx Bricks (Michael Gale) announces Fx Track system

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Wow...you have a lot in the pipeline....*oh2*

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 @michaelgale thanks for your update! Good luck for you and your teams in Canada and Hong Kong. The additional items like window frames and glasses look great.

What about a ball bearing train wheel? The majority of us will not use the clip in plastic wheels which showed up in LEGO "train" sets recently.

All the best for 2020!

Holger

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I am looking forward to what comes out in 2020 and beyond.  I might be replacing some curves at BRickworld Chicago 2020.

Sal

WFB, WI

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On 12/31/2019 at 5:48 PM, michaelgale said:

4. We hope to officially release at Brickworld Chicago 2020.  We hope to have at least 3x straight track and 5x curve track elements available at launch.  We will have a full demo layout showcasing our track products at Brickworld.

 

On 12/31/2019 at 5:48 PM, michaelgale said:

We don't like to "hype" our development too much, but since it is the new year and a new decade, here is a teaser of what is coming...  

WOW!!! Excellent stuff you are working on, can't wait to see more

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Great to receive an update.

A little sad R120 Are not on the list yet - that section of my layout will need to remain PF only.

Any timing on the P40 switch (it’s shown in your image).

David

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As previous comment, I'm also very interested in the switch you posted on the image and any - even if subject to postpone - release date of it.

Also I'd like to know that the 22,5 degrees X40 crossing in your documentation will be a simple crossing, our a point like TrixBrix released?

https://www.trixbrix.eu/en_US/p/Left-Double-Slip-Switch-R104/127

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Posted (edited)

Love all these additions and ideas, will definitely get some when they're out!

The rails themselves would've already been enough, but the windows really cought my eyes as well!!! :wub:

@michaelgale

Will the switch rails also have current or will they be fully plastic like the Lego 9V version? If it's all plastic there might be a problem as your switch rails seem to be longer than Lego's switch rails.

One thing I'm not too keen about is the "dummy" pickup bogie - most time one would need a power pickup is when there's no way to use the motor bogie as it's unprototypical.
In my case, and I'm sure there are many others like me, I'd really like to have a power pickup for a steam engine (or really any engine for which the motor bogie's wheel distance is unprototypical). But for that I'd need a spoked wheel as power pickup and more flexibility on the wheel distance - not a fixed distance like with a pickup bogie (that probably would have the same design as the motor bogie but without motor).

Something like a power pickup wheelset which can be placed seperately anywhere. Something like this (that's just a bad sketch by me)

ebupdate.jpg.5fc11c7a433b9abdd0ca295c8c4

Is there anything in planning to make this possible?

 

 

Edited by ScotNick

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Sorry if I've missed it... but is there plans for R40 and R56? Some of us only have space for a 64 stud x 64 stud area for corners, and I'd love to get in and buy loads of metal track and have my trains all DCC controlled... ;)

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On 1/4/2020 at 4:39 AM, ScotNick said:

One thing I'm not too keen about is the "dummy" pickup bogie - most time one would need a power pickup is when there's no way to use the motor bogie as it's unprototypical.

I agree - last I saw the plan was to make the pick up look like a full 9v wheelset, and even that was too bulky and impractical for more detailed work, especially US steam. I don't understand why instead of slimming that down by just taking off the decorative sides, it's instead quadrupled in size. I'd have been hard pressed to find a good way to use the old design - I will never be able to justify using this large of a part, especially since it's purely a power pickup.

The great strength of the PF system, and other aftermarket systems/parts, is the versatility. A hybrid pf/9v system that shackles PF to the bulky and hard to use prefab 9v aesthetics is a hard sell. 

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24 minutes ago, Daedalus304 said:

I agree - last I saw the plan was to make the pick up look like a full 9v wheelset, and even that was too bulky and impractical for more detailed work, especially US steam. I don't understand why instead of slimming that down by just taking off the decorative sides, it's instead quadrupled in size. I'd have been hard pressed to find a good way to use the old design - I will never be able to justify using this large of a part, especially since it's purely a power pickup.

The great strength of the PF system, and other aftermarket systems/parts, is the versatility. A hybrid pf/9v system that shackles PF to the bulky and hard to use prefab 9v aesthetics is a hard sell. 

For the most part, a self contained power pickup/motor unit was what made 9v so great, it allowed a motor to be added to smaller builds.  A "dummy" power pickup bogie (without a motor in it) would be easily placed as one or both trucks in a tender.  Alternatively if the motor and power pickup bogies axles were Technic axles, then that would allow for metal steam drivers to be produced and used with the "dummy" power pickup bogie in a steam locomotive.

Sal

WFB, WI

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, kiwinewt said:

...plans for R40 and R56?

They are "about to commit to full production for the S8, S32 and R72, R88." "The R56, R64, R104, S16 will be next in the pipeline." "We hope to officially release at Brickworld Chicago 2020. We hope to have at least 3x straight track and 5x curve track elements available at launch." -Michael Gale

As far as R40 nothing has been said and I'd doubt they would produce them as they lead to "...comical proportions around a corner (original post about the system)" and a design principal to create "Gentle system geometry closer to model trains and less toy-like (from original release)"

 

 

With the larger amount of track available I'm wondering how well the power distribution will work. How far between connection points is recommended as well as how the different power systems (traditional vs DCC) will be handled.

Edited by Andalo_an

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Thanks @Andalo_an - "comical" they may be but not everyone can have space for giant layouts. Might just have to go for R56 and try get some second hand R40 ;) 

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3 hours ago, kiwinewt said:

Thanks @Andalo_an - "comical" they may be but not everyone can have space for giant layouts. Might just have to go for R56 and try get some second hand R40 ;) 

R40 is really easy to get in 9V since many serious builders have hundreds of them in stock somewhere in the house with no use. FXbricks seems to target those who have not even big spaces for layouts but at least bigger space that TLC imagined for a simple loop (75×75 cm including 3×3 32×32 baeplates). For a R88-R72 parelel loop you need only 150×150 cm, 6×6 32×32 baseplates), and you can still build inside the loop.

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9 hours ago, kiwinewt said:

Thanks @Andalo_an - "comical" they may be but not everyone can have space for giant layouts. Might just have to go for R56 and try get some second hand R40 ;) 

There are no plans for R40 because they are incredibly cheap to procure. Anyone still on the 9V system will have a ton of R40 curves and they are plentiful on bricklink. 

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17 hours ago, legoboy3998 said:

For the most part, a self contained power pickup/motor unit was what made 9v so great, it allowed a motor to be added to smaller builds.  A "dummy" power pickup bogie (without a motor in it) would be easily placed as one or both trucks in a tender.  Alternatively if the motor and power pickup bogies axles were Technic axles, then that would allow for metal steam drivers to be produced and used with the "dummy" power pickup bogie in a steam locomotive.

Sal

WFB, WI

Hey! I agree that having everything in one unit like you've said was 9v's strong point - though IMO being limited to one single motor type, with set gearing and speed/strength characteristics was a weak point.

Of course, it is true what you've said: You could place a dummy pickup in a tender. But I feel that comes with a huge asterisks - for most tenders, using a pickup the size of a full train motor requires a lot of sacrifices in detailing and the wheel spacing doesn't work well for a lot of tenders, if going for a high level of detail and accuracy. An enormous pickup block like this limits it's usefulness (In a proper scale-model build) to engines where you have two wheels 7 studs apart, as well as an enormous amount of room between and above them. 

When I think of having a power pickup option, that is not tied to a motor in the same block ala 9v, the most exciting thing is the ability to use it to power motors in models that wouldn't have room for a PF Battery Box, and would be losing detail or sacrificing motion if using a 9v Train motor. If the Pickups were like the ones shown previously (Minus the pre-fab decorative sides), where they were much smaller, you could do a small 2-4-0, or a 0-8-2, or what have you. You could also have done those style of pickups easily inside a trailing truck, or as discrete pickups for a passenger car, and you could have done all that without sacrificing detailing or making concessions in your shaping (Such as needing to make the floor above the motor block too high). 

I've build many, many 1/48th-1/45th models over the last several years, diesels, steam, passenger cars - and not a single one of them could use a full-size 9v Motor block without sacrificing the proportions and detailing (Except my EMD FP7, but even for that the axles are not far enough apart). Yes, concessions could be made to make it work, but if the goal is to enrich our options and make better possibilities for more variety and more realistic running then putting the pickup in an enormous motor block like this makes no sense to me. I would be delighted to buy good power pickups for nearly everything I run and would very much consider the slow conversion to metal track if doing so afforded me more options worth the cost. This proposed system simply does not do that for me - I could buy a dead 9v motor and gut it into a dummy pickup fairly easily already. As I see it right now, that option merely moves the bulk of the battery box into the trucks, where it is much more difficult to work with on a serious scale modeling level.

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Hoping the pickups will not be the size of the motors, the flyer @michaelgale posted just said it was an add-on item to the motor, doesn't mean they are the same size, the outline pdf here has some looking virtually the same as what @coaster proposed here. Agreed a more generic wheelset could be designed to hold bigger wheels, but then we would need a supply of metal wheels beyond 3D printing, so not sure on the practicalities.  Looking forward to news regarding anything that uses 9V contacts, wires, etc, surely the PFx brick itself will need 9V stud contacts too...?

3 hours ago, supertruper1988 said:

There are no plans for R40 because they are incredibly cheap to procure. Anyone still on the 9V system will have a ton of R40 curves and they are plentiful on bricklink. 

Also think people are avoiding anything that could be deemed a clone of a Lego piece, even if retired, why risk it...

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34 minutes ago, bricks n bolts said:

Hoping the pickups will not be the size of the motors, the flyer @michaelgale posted just said it was an add-on item to the motor, doesn't mean they are the same size, the outline pdf here has some looking virtually the same as what @coaster proposed here. Agreed a more generic wheelset could be designed to hold bigger wheels, but then we would need a supply of metal wheels beyond 3D printing, so not sure on the practicalities.  Looking forward to news regarding anything that uses 9V contacts, wires, etc, surely the PFx brick itself will need 9V stud contacts too...?

Ah, it is very possible that ScotNick and I have misinterpreted the image posted on the previous page - and I very much hope so. Showing a full motor bogie and listing the pickup specifically as a "Derivative" part, to me at least, very strongly suggested that as a "Derivative" it was going to be basically a variation of the motor bogie; and the rest of the image showing each unique type part that wasn't simply a variant seemed to reinforce that suggestion. Hopefully it is just a misunderstanding, then. 

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@Daedalus304, I don't disagree, I think something along these lines would be more ideal for a most versatile power pickup bogie.  

LEGO Pickup Bogie

I think the only real reason the more blocky "dummy" motor version comes to mind is it would be the most cost effective way to make a power pickup bogie, by reusing all the motor bogie parts, minus the motor, for the power pickup.  

LEGO requires all kinds of concessions when it comes to size and detail.  Heck, when the walls of your locomotive are over 1 foot thick in scale, you have to realize some parts will just never scale right.

Sal
WFB, WI

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Honestly the most exciting thing for me is the 9V track. I don't have a lot of track right now and for one straight track getting upwards of 3-4 dollars it is getting a little crazy. This makes me happy that I can expand my 9V layout because I prefer it over having to change batteries. As for the motor, I would be perfectly happy to have the standard train motor size. While others who do a lot of custom engines probably need a versatile power pickup for me who mainly has standard sets I need nothing more.

Excited to see when these will be released!

-RailCo

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Posted (edited)

This is all great news but I can't help but feel its still the wrong release order.  To be clear I love the 9v system and use it as my primary power source for trains.  However, it will be hard to invest in more track before the motors are released.  The fact is, track doesn't really go bad and motors do.  If the motors were released sooner, the track would be worth that much more.

Edited by Unfinished_Projects

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@Unfinished_Projects good point.  To be fair, though, having experienced years of promises from people/companies trying to make LEGO compatible 9V products, I'm a little jaded until I actually see something.  I actually don't think you're going to get the track for much less than it's going for now, either, it's just good to know it's there and available (when it actually is), to know that the hobby is still alive.

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Posted (edited)

Late to the party, but this stuff is first rate. I may have to leave room for it in my trains moving forward.

With regards to the track, the funny thing is that this is really the opposite direction that the traditional hobby is going for model railroading. I think, almost certainly, that battery power is the future for N, HO, O, etc - it just solves so many issues with track. I understand that we don't paint our rails or weather, or put down real-rock ballast, or any of that - but dust is still a thing, and cleaning is a requirement when you are drawing from the rails.

Not mocking people who go that route, as there are still big advantages - just saying, it is strange to see some Lego train people pining for a power source that is going to fade away in the mainstream.

Edited by SteamSewnEmpire

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This is even more true for garden railways. I think the reason for L gauge is that the equipment is so bulky. It's relatively easy to fit a 9V train motor into a 2 axle shunter, but add receiver and battery box... I'm about to find out myself, as I intend to build a Koef II (German micro shunter) with PF. I bought some rechargeable 9V batteries for this.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, SteamSewnEmpire said:

 

With regards to the track, the funny thing is that this is really the opposite direction that the traditional hobby is going for model railroading. I think, almost certainly, that battery power is the future for N, HO, O, etc - it just solves so many issues with track. I understand that we don't paint our rails or weather, or put down real-rock ballast, or any of that - but dust is still a thing, and cleaning is a requirement when you are drawing from the rails.

Thats why I think the holy grail here is to recharge your PowerUp trains via the 9V track, like has been suggested in this thread I think. That way you combine the adventages of both worlds. You can still operate several trains individually on the track but doesn't have to swap batteries and there is power at all the places you want for lights, switches, etc.

Edited by TuxTown

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5 hours ago, TuxTown said:

Thats why I think the holy grail here is to recharge your PowerUp trains via the 9V track, like has been suggested in this thread I think. That way you combine the adventages of both worlds. You can still operate several trains individually on the track but doesn't have to swap batteries and there is power at all the places you want for lights, switches, etc.

Then the system needs to be easy to incorporate.  I'm all PF since I came out of the Dark Age long after 9v passed. The equipment to power the track, pick up power from the track, charge on-board batteries including circuitry to protect from over charging and over dis-charging and controlling the train should be plug-and-play. I know all this can be done, there are people who have done it but if the "Holy Grail" of 9v track is charging up on-board batteries then it needs to be easy for someone who is not an electrician.

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