breezett93

Upgrading Emerald Night from PF to PU

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Posted (edited)

Prefacing by saying I've never had a Lego train before; so I know very little about this area of Lego.  I would like a steam engine with coaches; and as far as I know, Emerald Night is the only official Lego set like that.  I have seen tons of amazing steam engine mocs, but haven't found any with free instructions that are similar to the Emerald Night.  So EN it is, then.  Since it's my first train, I should start smaller anyway.

From what I've read, the PU system is definitely a superior system compared to the older PF IR setup.  So, besides the actual PU system, what bricks do I need to buy to help the conversion process be smooth (for example different motor, wheels, plates, etc)?

 

Thanks!

Edited by breezett93

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PU is far from superior, I've got both.  The power stepping is a bit more drastic with the PU. I know PF costs are all over the place now but if you can get it cheaper than the crazy expensive PU you'd be better off. Maybe you've already seen, but the general consensus seems to be it's a lot cheaper to build the EN in a different color.

SD

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Thank you for sharing!  I did see the original EN green pieces are crazy expensive on Bricklink.  I was thinking red or black anyway.  

Would Bricklink be the best place to get the PF parts? 

Are these the four that I need? 

  1. 8879 IR Speed Remote Control.
  2. 8884 IR Receiver.
  3. 88000 AAA Battery Box.
  4. 88002 Train Motor.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, breezett93 said:

Thank you for sharing!  I did see the original EN green pieces are crazy expensive on Bricklink.  I was thinking red or black anyway.  

Would Bricklink be the best place to get the PF parts? 

Are these the four that I need? 

  1. 8879 IR Speed Remote Control.
  2. 8884 IR Receiver.
  3. 88000 AAA Battery Box.
  4. 88002 Train Motor.

Ah, for the EN you need either the XL Motor (8882) or the L-Motor (88003), since it uses gearing to power the drivers directly.

For the Emerald Night, you could also use PUp with the Crocodile's control program in the powered up app. For that you just need a hub (88009) and an L-Motor (88013).

Edited by Daedalus304

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The Emerald Night instructions show you how to add the Power Function motor, IR receiver and battery box.  Powered UP may be the better way to go if you don't already have Power Functions.  Substitute the PU hub and motor in place of the PF parts.

I made a light bluish grey one on the cheap. I did some minor changes to avoid BrickLink orders.

https://brickshelf.com/gallery/drspock/3dprint/bley_knight.jpg

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18 hours ago, dr_spock said:

The Emerald Night instructions show you how to add the Power Function motor, IR receiver and battery box.  Powered UP may be the better way to go if you don't already have Power Functions.  Substitute the PU hub and motor in place of the PF parts.

I made a light bluish grey one on the cheap. I did some minor changes to avoid BrickLink orders.

https://brickshelf.com/gallery/drspock/3dprint/bley_knight.jpg

That is awesome!  Thank you for sharing!

Does your EN have PU or PF? 

19 hours ago, Daedalus304 said:

Ah, for the EN you need either the XL Motor (8882) or the L-Motor (88003), since it uses gearing to power the drivers directly.

For the Emerald Night, you could also use PUp with the Crocodile's control program in the powered up app. For that you just need a hub (88009) and an L-Motor (88013).

Do you have a recommendation between the two systems?

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12 minutes ago, breezett93 said:

Do you have a recommendation between the two systems?

PF is going to be a little harder maybe to track down the components for at this point, so Powered Up does get a plus for availability. Otherwise, in this application, Powered Up has these two issues: 1, you're going to need to be okay with using the Phone App to control the engine, and 2, the tender will need to be modified slightly to accommodate for the fact that the PU wire comes out the side of the battery box and not the top.

I'd say that, sourcing parts aside, PF is probably the easiest route to go in a lot of ways and I'd personally go with PF. But if you have a hard time finding the PF parts and don't mind those two stipulations that come with using Powered Up, you know what components you need. :D 

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So have you considered the current set 75955.  Fairly simple to add an engine module under the tender.  $65 US for the set, plus motor/battery box.  Get two sets for an extra coach and moc engine.  PU or PF, does not matter for adding power.

If you go with the PU, you can control via the power up app.  Can do limited programming for automation (easy programming).  Adding a $15 color sensor open up automation even more!

 

 

 

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On 3/19/2021 at 4:37 PM, breezett93 said:

That is awesome!  Thank you for sharing!

Does your EN have PU or PF?

Thanks.  It has PU and PF.  I have a PU hub connected to a PF XL motor through a homemade adapter cable. I didn't want to buy a  PU motor since I'm already heavily invested in PF motors.  I like using PU bluetooth when running at train shows. At home PF infrared works fine bouncing off the walls in my room.

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3 hours ago, dr_spock said:

Thanks.  It has PU and PF.  I have a PU hub connected to a PF XL motor through a homemade adapter cable. I didn't want to buy a  PU motor since I'm already heavily invested in PF motors.  I like using PU bluetooth when running at train shows. At home PF infrared works fine bouncing off the walls in my room.

I was not aware you could mix PU and PF systems.   So, I could get the PU hub (to use the app) and connect to the original PF motors?

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On 3/21/2021 at 4:12 PM, breezett93 said:

I was not aware you could mix PU and PF systems.   So, I could get the PU hub (to use the app) and connect to the original PF motors?

You would have to use a PU to PF adapter cable that LEGO currently doesn't make or sell. There are 3rd party ones like on AliExpress.  It is not as simple plug and play as using all PU components.

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Posted (edited)

One more thing to consider is the gear ratio. The Emerald Night was originally spec'd for the Power Functions  XL motor (8882), which runs at a lower RPM and puts out more torque than any of the other three LEGO motors you might consider (Power Functions Large, Powered Up Large, Powered Up XL). So it might require some tinkering to see what works best for you (in terms of what you find to be an acceptable speed and amount of pulling power).

For reference, the stock Emerald Night has a 1:1.667 gear ratio. Somewhere along the way, I came across a recommendation to swap out the first two 16-tooth gears in the gear-train for a 20-tooth and 12-tooth, yielding a 1:2.779 gear ratio. This results in faster speed, but reduced torque. With the XL motor, I found this to be a satisfactory compromise when pulling four extended 6-wide carriages. If I can dig up the link, I will add it here, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. EDIT: Here is the link describing that mod.

In this thread from a couple years back, @Roadmonkeytj is running a modified Emerald Night with a Powered Functions Large motor and a gear-train with a 1:1.25 gear ratio.

I am considering making some revisions to my Emerald Night that would require use of the Powered Up Large motor. On my initial testing, I found the Large motor to be underpowered with my gear-train mods that were intended for the XL motor. It ran somewhat better once I went back to the stock gear setup (1:1.667), but I will probably end up at 1:1. I have not had a chance to test it extensively.

For comparison, the 10277 Crocodile uses a straight 1:1 gear ratio with a Powered Up Large motor and the same size driver wheels.

Can anyone who is running a Large motor (PF or PU) with an Emerald Night comment on whether you made any gear changes?

Edited by CMF-1138
Added link for the gear swap.

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On 3/31/2021 at 2:30 AM, CMF-1138 said:

Lots of great stuff ....

I admittedly tested alot of gear setups/combinations the setup I run in mine is the 13th of 27 different tested designs. I actually went back to this design as I preferred it over the others for it's reliability and comprise on speed vs torque. It will not be the fastest train but it's a steamer so that can be forgiven.  It does pull a nice 7 car rake of 1:48 coal hoppers with roller bearings just fine and looks good doing so.  I would much prefer twin L motors but there is just not enough space.  I went with the single L due to the fact I wanted to have a fireman and engineer in the cab.  The outside still looks like the EN but the interior of the boiler and underside of the Cab changed drastically.

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On 4/17/2021 at 10:12 PM, Roadmonkeytj said:

I admittedly tested alot of gear setups/combinations the setup I run in mine is the 13th of 27 different tested designs. I actually went back to this design as I preferred it over the others for it's reliability and comprise on speed vs torque. It will not be the fastest train but it's a steamer so that can be forgiven.  It does pull a nice 7 car rake of 1:48 coal hoppers with roller bearings just fine and looks good doing so.  I would much prefer twin L motors but there is just not enough space.  I went with the single L due to the fact I wanted to have a fireman and engineer in the cab.  The outside still looks like the EN but the interior of the boiler and underside of the Cab changed drastically.

That makes sense -- thanks. I like the idea of moving the motor into the boiler in order to clear up the cab.

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