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  1. whosscruffylookin

    Hello from Poland!

    Hello Piotr, I was compelled to post just because I saw your subject line. I live in London and have several good friends from Poland and other e. European countries. Anyway do not be ashamed, and always keep the Lego as you will share it with your kids when you do start a family! My son has all my Lego plus his own!
  2. whosscruffylookin

    altBricks: large radius track survey

    sorry, had to type by hand because c&p wasn't working for me. Fixed now.
  3. whosscruffylookin

    altBricks: large radius track survey

    If it's only one radius, and one material, I'm voting for R56, plastic. Reasons are the same as others have given - it means can do parallel tacks with the existing R40 radius, and I think it has a better chance of succeeding with a wider market. If you are going to kickstart this, and assuming that you are going to prototype with 3D printing, here's what I suggest: 1) Pick one radius and material as intended 2) for a $ contribution, give a production sample of 1) 3) for a $$ contribution, also provide a lifetime subscription to 3D printable prototype files 4) create files for all radii and use your funders as beta testers 5) as stretch goal put other radii into production 6) as a further stretch goal consider points/switches Personally I would be willing to throw $100 on this for a subscription for curves, maybe $200 for one that would include points. Might be worth collaborating with Big Ben Bricks and http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/338281 (rejected by Cuusoo)
  4. whosscruffylookin

    Wall-Mounted Layouts?

    I built one in my son's bedroom. He loves it. His firends love it. It's true, you can't see much from the ground, but it was a good way to get extra play space out of a small room. He has a platform bed, which gives him the perfect height, and one corner of the layout has an extended shelf for a small town, which he can reach easily from his bed. It was quite a difficult build, I had to have height changes to cope with the window and a wall cupboard, but it works well in that you can have a decent amount of track in a small space.
  5. whosscruffylookin

    LDraw MOC: My Idea for the 7777 Redux Contest (Flickr)

    Very nice! Actually, this highlights something important about 7777 - in order to truly capture its spirit, the online version needs to tell a story, like the original. So this cart and its minifig driver need to be on nearly every page, and in other people's MOCs. If everyone does their own version, it won't tie together so well as a book...
  6. whosscruffylookin

    7777 Redux Contest

    What an amazing coincidence! I just spent the day building a bridge inspired by one in 7777, but it's a bit too rough and ready to enter. 7777 is the only 77xx item I was lucky enough to own as a kid. Of all Lego, and therefore of all toys, and more or less all physical objects, I have never yearned for anything more than I wanted the 12V train stuff. Unfortunately my wish was never granted because I'd already been given the 182 and some extra blue era sets a few years earlier. So I used to flick through 7777, and the seminal 1982 catalogue, and dream. Now things are different - I have independent spending power, for starters. I just spent the summer decorating my six year old son's room, which after his long trip away he came back to. The main feature is a set of shelves around the perimeter with space for a double loop of track, roughly 3 x 2.5 m, with an area for a small town next to the top of his platform bed. There's no 12V stuff, as I thought it made more sense to expand his PF collection, although I am using grey 4.5V track in places, with modified flex track used for the transition to PF. One loop is installed so far, and there's a gap in the shelves where the bridge goes. I just gave him my entire collection of Lego, which was in storage, and he spent the day his own take on stuff in 7777... including a train making use of a few bits from that 182 set... and the trans-red "station" brick featured on the cover. Our creations are probably going to be a bit too KFOLish to enter into the contest, but I look forward to being inspired by the entries.
  7. whosscruffylookin

    IR Speed Remote Control 8879

    certainly beats modding in terms of hassle, but apart from cost, there's the issue of finding the extra space. I'll think again if I ever get to >4 trains... Looking at the internals here: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=442112 I think that by removing the channel switch and the IR sensor, the bulk of the circuit looks like it could fit inside a 4x4 brick without too much effort. It might also be possible to integrate it into a battery box, saving the cable between box and sensor.
  8. whosscruffylookin

    IR Speed Remote Control 8879

    I wonder if it's possible to mod the controller and the receiver so that the channel selection switch only affects one of the two outputs. That way you could control 7 trains but have a single knob control the lights on all your trains - so they all come on / go off at the same time. So you don't have to give up independent control of lights if you want more than 4 trains. Hopefully Lego will one day do an RF/Bluetooth controller & receiver with more channels. Not only would this solve line of sight issues, but the receiver could be smaller (some bluetooth USB dongles are tiny). Hard to see how this could be done to be as kid friendly as the current system as it would be more complex than a four position switch and two colour coded outputs.
  9. whosscruffylookin

    Question for best-of-both-worlds users / electronics experts

    hoeij - I thought that 9V PP3s were actually made of 6x 1.5V cells in series. There's some pictures here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-volt_battery As such I don't think there'd be a huge issue of charging 6x AAA in series, providing the set of batteries were always kept together. Most of my AA/AAA chargers require two batteries at once for charging and can't charge single batteries, although I'm not sure if this done in series or not. peterab - if the batteries were trickle charged rather than continously charged, then this would improve battery life and reduce the risk of overcharging. There are also "intelligent" chargers that can monitor the charge level of the batteries rather than just relying on a timer. I think the trickle charge method would be ideal. It would keep the batteries topped up without over-charging them, and if you needed to do a full charge then you could always take the batteries out and put them in a fast charger.
  10. whosscruffylookin

    Question for best-of-both-worlds users / electronics experts

    I'd love to see a write up of anything you create for custom pickups! I've also been buying 4.5V points - they are relatively cheap and very useful for when the 9V/PF points just aren't compact enough. I've found that hacking the ends of flex track makes it a good interface between 9V/PF track and 4.5V track... What I wanted to do was create a best of both worlds train, as explored in Railbricks and by Toastie, where 9V track (or perhaps 12V middle rails) is used to power a PF controlled train, with these changes: use a 6x AAA box instead of the LiPo (or, preferably, a 9V PP3 battery as they should be good for small shunters), and instead of a modified 9v motor, use a pickup and an unmodified PF motor. I don't know how expensive electroplating is, but there do seem to be a few services aimed at modelmakers, so if BBB or someone else don't actually come out with some metal/metal-plated wheels, it might be possible to get it done as a bespoke service. Then I guess some kind of brush or low friction sprung metal to pick up the power from the wheels, feed it into the magic circuit which I have no idea how to build but needs to at least have a bridge rectifier in it, which needs to split the power between the battery and the PF IR reciever (which then feeds the motor) when over powered track and otherwise let the battery feed the PF IR reciever when not on powered track. Not the place to mention it, but I'd also like to see the IR receiver replaced by a 2x4 stud brick that uses some kind of RF, perhaps bluetooth, to allow many more than 8 controlled motors/light sets.
  11. whosscruffylookin

    Question for best-of-both-worlds users / electronics experts

    Thanks for the replys! After starting the thread I got quite ill for a few days hence my lack of posts... The bridge rectifier trick I knew about as it's been used in plenty of examples here - BOBWTs and I think also in trains with automatic headlights - it's defnitely the charging circuit that's trickier! It would be wonderful if some enterprising person could figure out a way of getting it all into a 2x2 PF brick... A charging station would be very interesting, especially if it works with the 6xAAA battery box as well as the lipo. I don't know how lego can do it without the same "safety issues" that casued them to abandon electrified track though. Perhaps induction is possible, or maybe a brick with a 3.5mm socket or similar that you can plug into (and pretend that it's a hose with diesel...) I though the issue was that the pickup would foul 9v/PF style points? If you can build a loco with a BB53 pickup and it works fine on 9V/PF points then that would be a great option - you could always hook those 12v centre rails to 9v power to avoid over volting... Edit: see http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=57025
  12. whosscruffylookin

    Question for best-of-both-worlds users / electronics experts

    Thanks for the reply! I have searchedabout this and got lots of info on best of both worlds - having first read about it railbricks - but only for using the LiPo pack, which has a charging socket.... I guess what a simpleton like me needs is a picture / circuit diagram / parts list... Another idea I had - which might be impossible... electroplate some PF train wheels - the O-ring would be a problem - and then use some brushes to pick up power. Then a PF train motor could be used as a pickup, without modification (only the wheels would be modified).
  13. Quick question for anyone running best of both worlds trains, or anyone with the electronics knowledge... Would it be possible to charge batteries in the 9V (6xAAA) box, or even a PP3 via a PF clip ( http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=bat_chavez&itemID=22828531 ), from a modified 9V motor in a best-of-both-worlds train? I was wondering if running over powered track could trickle-charge the batteries, keeping them topped up for longer, and then the train could be parked on powered track if it neeeded a full charge. I'm particularly keen on the PP3 idea as it would make smaller locomotives possible, although being able to save money on a LiPo would also be nice. If special circuitry is required (e.g. to prevent over charging) could this be culled from a wall-wart charger, or easily assembled from readily available parts? Pretend the max draw at 9V is 1A. If the motor was running at half power, then 0.5A would be available to charge the batteries. I guess some circuitry would have detect that power was coming from the track, store the "excess" charge in a capacitor, and then release that in a controlled pulse to the battery. When over non-electrified track, the motor would get power from the battery.
  14. whosscruffylookin

    PF trains on 4.5V points

    Thanks hoeij! I was thinking of just hacking the the clips off the end of a piece of flex track (so no half-stud offset) and using a normal 2x8 plate instead of the clipped plates at the end of the 4.5V piece. That way the only bricks to suffer are the flex-tracks, and I don't have to use up any other bricks to complete the transition.
  15. whosscruffylookin

    PF trains on 4.5V points

    Hi, I just bought some old 4.5V (grey-era) points on eBay as I want to build a small shunting yard and want the tracks close together than the 9v/PF standard of 8 studs between sleepers. I will probably end up with one or two studs between sleepers by using some hacked up flex-track. Anyway, I just wondered if any of the modern trains will have trouble with the older 4.5V points - when I searched most results were about 12V, where the conducting rail can cause issues; shouldn't be a problem with 4.5V, but I was worried about s-curve type problems with Emerald Night (which I have yet to acquire)... Thanks!