ejayb

What To Do With R40 Curves

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Those who have higher radius curves, what did you do with your R40’s? Retired them? Use them on less important parts of your layout? Mixed curves (R56, R40, R56, R40, etc)?

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I like R40's for yards because they save so much space on the lead tracks. I only have a few pieces of equipment that will not take a full R40 curve. Everything I have still does fine on R40 switches, which is not the case for some builders.

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Gave them to a LUG member with young children and a tight budget.  The tightest radius track I now own is 102R.

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But we don't want to derail :pir-laugh: from official LEGO track, as if it were not existent anymore, right? I mean, there are a lot of ... well ... not so appreciated discussions about the horrible bootlegs here on EB. I am not talking about FX etc, etc pp. But: With this approach: 

16 minutes ago, Karle said:

The tightest radius track I now own is 102R.

we would wander into the world of non-TLG track, right?

To be clear: For me, this is absolutely fine. But in terms of the discussion of non-TLG parts used, this is a very different story.

And finally: Then I simply don't see, why "clone stuff", regardless of finesse, is buried in the Community Forum. 

Best
Thorsten

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18 hours ago, Toastie said:

But in terms of the discussion of non-TLG parts used, this is a very different story.

Not sure if you're new to Trains, but non-Lego parts are happily accepted here. Lots of threads about third party rails, wheels etc around.  

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1 hour ago, Merlict said:

Not sure if you're new to Trains, but non-Lego parts are happily accepted here. Lots of threads about third party rails, wheels etc around.  

Hehee ... depends. Let me see: 323 was my first LEGO train set I got in 1965 - but that does not count I guess: No track at all!

Hmm - there are some trains on tracks here ... about 16 of them. 4.5V/12V blue/12V grey converted to PF. There are also RCX, PF, and PUp powered trains, most of them equipped with 9V power pick-ups. Actually this entire room up here (my home office ) is stuffed with all sorts of LEGOs :pir-love:.

Spoiler

 

Annnd: This ... the water is pure LEGO!!! There is no "LEGO" imprinted on any of the bricks of that ship though (the Flying Dutchman) ...

flyingdutchman.jpg

(Mods: Move this to the community forum if misplaced!)


 

So, I believe I am not entirely new to trains.

Here is to feeling good! :pir-huzzah2:

All the best
Thorsten

 

   

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Toastie said:

Hehee ... depends. Let me see: 323 was my first LEGO train set I got in 1965 - but that does not count I guess: No track at all!

Hmm - there are some trains on tracks here ... about 16 of them. 4.5V/12V blue/12V grey converted to PF. There are also RCX, PF, and PUp powered trains, most of them equipped with 9V power pick-ups. Actually this entire room up here (my home office ) is stuffed with all sorts of LEGOs :pir-love:.   

And now I see why @Toastie wears sunglasses... :pir-huzzah2:

R56 is the largest radius I have room for, so my R40 curves are used for an inner loop. I also, umm, "modified" a few to add some flexibility to my switches.

Edited by CMF-1138

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2 hours ago, Merlict said:

Not sure if you're new to Trains, but non-Lego parts are happily accepted here. Lots of threads about third party rails, wheels etc around.  

Apparently Toastie is so old-school that the school is new again. :iamded_lol:

 

20 hours ago, Toastie said:

But we don't want to derail :pir-laugh: from official LEGO track, as if it were not existent anymore, right? I mean, there are a lot of ... well ... not so appreciated discussions about the horrible bootlegs here on EB. I am not talking about FX etc, etc pp. But: With this approach: 

we would wander into the world of non-TLG track, right?

To be clear: For me, this is absolutely fine. But in terms of the discussion of non-TLG parts used, this is a very different story.

And finally: Then I simply don't see, why "clone stuff", regardless of finesse, is buried in the Community Forum. 

Best
Thorsten

The Train community does seem to be the most accepting, downright nonchalant really, about custom stuff. Even self-proclaimed purists use things like BigBenBricks drivers.

Ultimately I can't help but think these loose ethics (tongue certainly in cheek there) just come with the territory. Traditional model railroading is possibly the most inter-disciplinary hobby there is, just because of the enormous breadth of what it takes to represent a railroad and how hard it is to isolate any one element and get a satisfying result - a train doesn't look right without track, and looks lonely without cars, and track looks odd without stations or hills, etc.. Not like an airplane that looks perfectly fine without an airport.

And then you get to LEGO trains - they don't look right with blatantly mis-sized wheels, so BBB saves the day. We've lost some purity, but the models are better for it, and then you are of course well aware that we ended up on a slippery slope with a heavy freight behind us!

I don't see that same sort of thing in other segments of the LEGO community. Some of them will dabble a little bit in this and that. Technic guys will play around with custom controllers or motors. Scale modellers will sometimes dabble in custom parts where nothing else will do. Even there, though, it's not really standardized into their whole community.

Us train guys though? Well, it's a veritable buffet, and as a whole we're pretty accepting of people using what they want. Certainly odd to see coming from the general LEGO community - but in a lot of ways we're closer to the model railroaders, and they're not sure why we don't go further. 

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10 minutes ago, Daedalus304 said:

Us train guys though? Well, it's a veritable buffet, and as a whole we're pretty accepting of people using what they want. Certainly odd to see coming from the general LEGO community - but in a lot of ways we're closer to the model railroaders, and they're not sure why we don't go further.

Well said (you entire post!).

And that is what I like so much. Here in Train Tech all that "dancing around" is simply not necessary, when presented reasonably. I love to see these finds of tiny LEGO compatible motors (I never heard of this, and it is opening up so many new and exciting possibilities! BBB wheels changed everything for me (back then, when I saw Ben Beneke's BR23 for the first time. I can't remember, but I believe I was hospitalized because I simply forgot to breathe:wink: and so on.

I also believe that I'll get flak any minute now from another thread here on EB where they talk about patents and what not. But there is another thing I'd like to point out here as well: When accepting a certain level of quality inflow of custom pieces - "even" when they come from China - promotes the hobby. Allows expanding further. Pushes new developments. In the alien, i.e. the non-LEGO, other world called reality, such things keep things going. At least in the free market - well and in biology:pir-laugh:: Always good to have a broad mix of genes inside rather than getting told from nature, that she is sorry, but life has moved on.

All the best
Thorsten   

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I use R40 curves for non-fast parts of the circuit and for peripheral sorting tracks.

I always try to put a maximum of two curves joined together and always alternate a straight track. 

 

1 hour ago, Toastie said:

Hehee ... depends. Let me see: 323 was my first LEGO train set I got in 1965

So, I believe I am not entirely new to trains.  

This quote is a little bit off topic but has been too funny for me! :laugh:

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@Daedalus304 Your whole post is very well said. 

To answer to OP: I use my r40's for display track in my glass cabinets. I also do not have a permanent layout nor do I currently do shows so when I want to run a train I throw some track down on the floor. If I want to run one of my 1:48 scale models that has 3rd party parts, then I use my r104+. But if I'm running a couple official set trains with my little boys, then r40's will do just fine. I am building a proper yard ladder by modifying r40 switches so there will be r40's there as well. But the A/D track with be accessed from the main via r104. In short my road power will not have to worry about r104 and my switching power will handle r40 with ease.

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I tend to give my surplus of pure-plastic R40 curves to my kids and nephews.

@Toastie As a tolerant person I make no distinction if those R40 are manufactured by TLG, Mould King, BlueBrixx or whomever as long as my kids have fun with them. They call them all Legos anyway.

 

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A couple of comments mentioned using them for slower parts of the layout, but R40’s are a problem for slow, shunting moving, causing the train motor to stall 

1 hour ago, Black Knight said:

 

@Toastie As a tolerant person I make no distinction if those R40 are manufactured by TLG, Mould King, BlueBrixx or whomever as long as my kids have fun with them. They call them all Legos anyway.

 

I don’t have a problem with off-brand parts that Lego don’t sell, but I’m undecided about things they do. 
I assume Lego’s employment and environmental policies are much better than a no-name company trying to produce them as cheap as possible. 

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19 hours ago, Daedalus304 said:

I don't see that same sort of thing in other segments of the LEGO community. Some of them will dabble a little bit in this and that. Technic guys will play around with custom controllers or motors. Scale modellers will sometimes dabble in custom parts where nothing else will do. Even there, though, it's not really standardized into their whole community.

Some of the war modelers go as far if not further (e.g., brick arms) and then there are the minifig customizers who seemingly can reproduce anyone in minifig form. But yes, train heads can be on the long tail. There are still purists though, as has been said many times before, it's your hobby do with it what you like.

 

3 hours ago, ejayb said:

A couple of comments mentioned using them for slower parts of the layout, but R40’s are a problem for slow, shunting moving, causing the train motor to stall 

I don’t have a problem with off-brand parts that Lego don’t sell, but I’m undecided about things they do.

It all depends on how many cars, how heavy the locomotive, etc.. As I noted earlier in this thread, I run everything through the R40 switches in yards, including my longest/heaviest trains.

 

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1 hour ago, zephyr1934 said:

It all depends on how many cars, how heavy the locomotive, etc.. As I noted earlier in this thread, I run everything through the R40 switches in yards, including my longest/heaviest trains.

Maybe a PU L-motor loco would be a better option for me, probably cheaper than several large radius switches  

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2 hours ago, ejayb said:

Maybe a PU L-motor loco would be a better option for me, probably cheaper than several large radius switches

That IS a nice option. Very nice actually, when you use the "Speed" settings and not the "Power" settings on the hub. Setting speed to lets call it "1" will very slowly but steadily move you engine/train with constant speed (well "1") regardless of friction/counter forces changing considerably (tight curves, s-shaped track, points, inclines ...) as long as the power does not max out (i.e., when a slope is too steep and even "full power = motor on = PWM 100%) is not sufficient AND you can prevent wheel slip (applying o-rings, adding weight).

Best
Thorsten

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Speed vs power settings? What is this new devilry?

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11 minutes ago, ALCO said:

Speed vs power settings? What is this new devilry?

The PUp hubs (all of them, even the small one) have PID control routines in their firmware. Some PUp motors (including the L version) have inbuilt rotation sensors/electronics ("tacho") which report the actual RPMs on the axles/the motor shaft back to the hub. This way the hub can change the PWM setting (power) on its outputs according to incoming RPM data. It increases power when "desired" RPMs are not actual RPMs and so on. The algorithm implemented is quite good; I tested the response with my Croc. Usually PID algorithms need to be adapted to the parameters of the object you want to control (could be temperature inside an enclosure, speed, whatever) but the generic settings in the hubs are quite good. They don't have a learning routine (this is what intelligent PID controller do: They first learn about the response time of the system and the power source making the "change") - but I may be wrong on that. 

Here's my own try on that from 10+ years ago (beware it is OLD); still works pretty well though, as I can change the PID parameters individually (adjust for load) - but you need a lot of stuff on the engine:

 

With PUp it is all in the box. And even better as in my approach, as a 9V train motor is a nightmare to control via PID. Way better with a high torque (L) motor.

Best
Thorsten     

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Oh! Thank you! I will have to play with this!

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On 4/15/2021 at 12:35 PM, ejayb said:

A couple of comments mentioned using them for slower parts of the layout, but R40’s are a problem for slow, shunting moving, causing the train motor to stall 

I don’t have a problem with off-brand parts that Lego don’t sell, but I’m undecided about things they do. 
I assume Lego’s employment and environmental policies are much better than a no-name company trying to produce them as cheap as possible. 

The environmentally interesting stuff is happening in the ABS supply route and I am pretty sure this is identical for all brick companies. What make a huge price difference is the brand name -- it's the same for LEGO, Coca Cola or Porsche. In 2020 TLG had a profit margin over 28%, which means that about 1/4 of what you actually pay for a set at the LEGO store goes right into the pockets of billionaire Kjeld Kristiansen (and his family). If TLG would just cut their current actual prices by 20%, they would (still) be a very healthy company by industry standards.

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11 hours ago, Black Knight said:

The environmentally interesting stuff is happening in the ABS supply route and I am pretty sure this is identical for all brick companies

Absolutely! That is the key issue, regardless of environmental proposals from whatever company. So far.

Best
Thorsten

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