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About Toastie

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    Good Spirited
  • Birthday 02/17/1962

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    LEGO, electronics, micro controllers, lasers, making things work


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  1. Toastie

    Random people keep following me?

    Hee hee ... well ... I thought so too ... Well, we need more conspiracy theories here. So here we go: When the forum software was upgraded the last time, a new feature became available: The "Do make Users Happier" (DUH) Forum app. This app randomly selects users with notoriously low follower count. As there are strict forum policies regarding user management, that app can create new users, but then has to keep the active fake user number count low to not get in trouble with - uhhm - lets say ... Bill Gates! After creating a new user, it waits for a random time (about days half life), then declares these as "banned outlaws". So all is good with regard to policies - and with dumb users as me - believing they are kicking butt. BUT DON'T TELL ANYONE! Win - win! Cheers Thorsten
  2. Toastie

    What To Do With R40 Curves

    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 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: 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
  3. Toastie

    Should people buy Fake Chinese PF motors?

    This is what I am trying to understand for a long time now: The rest of the world really seem to work like this. One example is the electronics market; usually folks brag about how cheap you can buy electronic parts and assemblies in China. LED's, light panels, IC's everything. Original Arduino's start at about 20$. Chinese clones of the same type at 3$. And no one really complains (as far as I can tell). But when it comes to LEGO - wow. There is a lot of belief in this company. Seems for a good reason as they are making very nice stuff and continue to do so. But: When patents run out, either the technology is so old, that it hardly matters anymore - or it is happily and legally used by others. And then changed and adapted, improved and so on. There is also an aspect of further development in this approach. Usually things begin to get cheaper and more widespread, develop into other products, driven by competition. And I clearly see competition as one big problem for TLG. Model wise. Yes, cloning existing models is not acceptable. Period. But coming up with own designs and adding new parts really is. I believe this will not only continue but get more and more into the market and eventually accepted. But who knows. The other thing is manufacturing of "mass products" in China is almost a must to remain competitive. I have no clue, but it would surprise me, if LEGO motors are produced and the assembly is done in China, maybe not. And yes, then comes the approval nightmare (CE, tests etc.) - but this is done under contracts in China as well - and it certainly does not drive the price up to crazy levels. It is weird though: So many other items in the house/in real life come from China. Cloned or not, we don't care. Well, in most cases I wouldn't even know how to tell. Best Thorsten
  4. Toastie

    What To Do With R40 Curves

    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 . So, I believe I am not entirely new to trains. Here is to feeling good! All the best Thorsten
  5. Toastie

    What To Do With R40 Curves

    But we don't want to derail 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
  6. Post is really old - but crap where crap needs even more crap: This is indeed a very nice project. That bridge by the way is not even close to crap - but may you know better. Been there? I live there. No crap bridge. To tne crap - we have a LEGO bridge in Wuppertal Best Thorsten
  7. So I should recalculate my numbers by using 3x 3.6V, correct? When LiPos are connected in series, the capacity remains the same as each for each individual cell (provided they are all the sam), but as you said, due to the elevated voltage, the externally drawn current goes up correspondingly, right? Best Thorsten
  8. OK, I found a good reference (for me that is), which makes a couple of things clearer: This is copied from the BuWizz website for the 3.0 Pro brick: Battery Battery type: Lithium Polymer (Li-Ion) Battery capacity: 2300 mAh 8.5 Wh I believe LiPo is meant and not Li-ion, but that is not the point. The capacity is 2,3 Ah; lets assume we operate at 2x 3.6 = 7.2 V nominal LiPo voltage. 8.5 Wh does then mean Watt hours per cell, or I am calculating wrong: 3.6 V x 2,3 Ah = 8.3 Wh, which is close enough to 8.5 Wh 8.5 Wh translates to (@100% conversion, which is not the case, but) 8.5 W can be delivered in one hour. With two cells, this should be 17 W in 1 hour (sustained). Looking further into the BuWizz3.0 pro specs 2x Power Functions outputs Max continuous current per PF channel: 4 A Max instantaneous current per PF channel: 6 A compatible with older 9V system motors (RC/Buggy motor) Max continuous power per PF channel: 48 W Max total power: over 100 W I believe it is fair so say that all these numbers are truly ultimate Max numbers, as also indicated, and furthermore, that when you dissipate 100W total, that the battery is "empty" in 17/100 h = 10 min. Or am I doing something wrong here? Best Thorsten
  9. Toastie

    Random people keep following me?

    Cheers! Best wishes Thorsten
  10. OK folks, I don't want to pester ... I am really just curious. I studied the BuWizz3.0 website a bit. And then the suppliers of LiPo batteries of the size that possibly fit into the BuWizz Brick. There are (a few) Chinese LiPo manufacturers who claim that sustained discharge currents of 4(+) Amps are possible with "BuWizz sized LiPos". However, this also reduces the lifetime to less than 100+ charging cycles. This is what I got from a quick search. I would like to see more on that issue. There is no question that electronics can handle 4+ amps. But to supply that usually way larger LiPo pouches/batteries are required (and available of course). The BuWizz brick though is, as copied from the website 9 x 4 x 3 bricks (72 x 32 x 30 mm) in size. All these 50(+)Watts sustained output claims must come from either: Within 10 minutes (max!!!) of operation or simply as peak wattage. If not, I am totally puzzled. We are working closely with companies making LiPos (not the electronics - the chemical power source) and with companies making equipment to find failures during LiPo manufacturing (leakage etc). Please educate me! All the best Thorsten
  11. Toastie

    [Opinion] How LEGO made it impossible to build a City

    No - I mean buying other than orginal LEGO stets - but this is really not for discussion here. There is another forum. for such things. I am just saying that for me everything has a "price tag" (including time for getting pieces) limit or threshold - and then it may happen. BTW it happened two times in 56 years - I must admit though both during the past 3 years: The Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman. For the latter, I am still trying to find out, whether this is original work from MK, they are giving credit to a hidden builder, or they simply stole the whole thing. Best Thorsten
  12. That is exactly how I look at things. (I did this with the Flying Dutchman from MK. It was a blast to build this model. Nothing even close from TLG - even the Silent Mary looks ... well, I don't know. I do know that there is apparently playability in the Mary) But other than that: Not for going the cheap way. Best Thorsten
  13. Sure! But the battery needs to supply that wattage - it simply does not change. What changes is the power dissipation in the wires and electrical contacts. Maybe even in the motor itself. However: The battery has a certain capacity. How many amps can you draw from a LiPo "sustained"? The operational time must come down considerably at this rating (50 W). Also: I have learned both theoretically as well as the hard way that when you stress a LiPo - and drawing 4 amps at 12V is "close" to shortening it, you want to be careful. All that will be built into the BuWizz box, essentially, you "just" have to monitor the temperature increase in the LiPo pack - and then limit current. But this brings me back to: What does sustained mean? Just assume some train heads will dive into BuWizz3.0. These folks run several PF XL motors to haul really heavy trains, with a lot of friction. Now, is this a scenario for BuWizz3.0? Or is it more the "reserve" in it? In terms of: When you need power, you get it, but only for so long? Or does this brick simply crank out long term 50 W until battery capacity (Ah) is drowned? As said: I am learning here! Best Thorsten
  14. I have been thinking about this quite a while, so it is time to ask. BuWizz is not considered a clone type thing, but an addition to the range of LEGO hubs, right? I mean, this is electronics within a plastic case that may be considered, well, copied. There is a lot of flak that Chinese copy cats are getting, but this is different, correct? They do this one electronic thing and this is good, because it adds to the line of devices? They don't copy, they develop, correct? The case of the BuWizz 3.0 brick is of the same size as before (1.X, 2.X) . Presumably there is a LiPo battery inside, maybe not. In another thread the output of that brick was: "Buwizz 3.0 is a monster (from their website) each power functions channel has a continuous electrical power output of 48 watts (peak 60) while the total output for 1 brick is rated at over 100watts"How on earth is this possible? Is it me or is there a different interpretation of "sustained"? I am really interested in this! Best Thorsten
  15. Toastie

    [Opinion] How LEGO made it impossible to build a City

    Thank you, I really appreciate that You'll never go the "forbidden route", right? (I have to be very careful here) Best Thorsten