Eurobricks Citizen
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About Toastie

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    Good Spirited
  • Birthday 02/17/62

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


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  1. Beyond believe, simply beyond believe. Generally speaking, it appears as it if is much tougher to capture any kind of detail, look and feel, when reducing to 6-, or even 4-wide scales. The larger the scale, the more LEGO pieces blend in. Generally speaking ... BUT: The degree of detailing in your models is going way behind "generally speaking". First of all: Larger scale models become heavy and certainly stability becomes rapidly an issue. You not only solved that problem - you kept the "lightness" (if there could be any when talking about a steam engine - but I always have the impression that real world steam engines have some appearance of lightness ...) - and all your LEGO models are actually reliably running on track. But even further: Detailing on your models is breathtaking. You are building large scale models - but you push the limits of LEGO beyond believe in this regard. This is the most beautiful LEGO steam engine I have seen. I also believe that this should be cross-posted in the "LEGO Scale Modeling" Forum. For sure. Congratulations, Tenderlok. Or as I have learned in this forum: Tipping hat, slight nod ... All the best, Thorsten
  2. Attempt at a 0-4-4-0T mallet locomotive

    It will come! Your steam locomotive is beautiful - so far an attempt, as you said. Just let it roll. Try more bricks, replace here and there, it will work! I love all the different colors, curved bricks ... it will be a wonderful steam engine once you feel "this is it"! Best Thorsten
  3. Bubble Train

    Wow - this looks like real fun!!! This is what makes LEGO so incredibly fascinating: Imagine something - and you can build it. A bubble train - one the coolest and technically very challenging creation! I can see this lovely train on shows - just from time to time rolling by. Some people will first witness the bubbles - and then the "source". Kids must love this - as much as I do. Thank you for sharing your imagination and fun! Best regards, Thorsten
  4. Min-Max distance between train axles

    @ColletArrow said it all - maybe one more thing to consider: With 2-axle bogie design (your 2nd picture) you can have indeed almost any length. When going through tight curves, even more so through S-type curve segments there is a lot of "overhang" to consider (depending where the bogies are located on the frame also the couplers may swing out considerably). This is particularly true for switch points. Depending on the design of your switch point throwing mechanism (replacement of the original yellow lever of the switch stand and addition of extended pull rods) this limitation can be overcome of course. It just depends on the lateral distance to the next track. Best Thorsten
  5. [REVIEW OFFER] The LEGO Trains Book

    @PeteM You know what I like so much on EB? Feeling being within in a true "community". It means a lot to me.
  6. Oh, I have not followed anything to that depth! I am pretty sure that you are right. There was a thread on EB on this issue raised by 4D - and I must say, I am having the impression that there was at least something going on. However, I also said that regardless what you "invent", post, show, demonstrate, help others, do it for your own, which is very closely related to what TLC is manufacturing - publicly, without IP secured (and nobody capable of adding 1 and 1 together would do so - there is not the faintest chance to get that pulled-off when TLC is watching), there will be clones, copies, varieties, off-springs ... and then it gets delicate. The 4D/Trix thing was just extensively discussed here on EB. That is why I commented maybe a little too harsh. Quality and being ahead will win. Provided there is a timelag between having the idea, making stuff and showing it. Because then the situation is much clearer. When somebody is discussing progress on manufacturing publicly ... well: I believe in mankind. But it is not the other way around. And: When competition is open and fair: Best way to go. See all the open source software out there. Otherwise I do share your analysis results entirely. And: "Ignorance" together with "zephyr1934" don't make sense at all! Best Thorsten
  7. Dear All, Sariels video is cool, no doubt. And nothing else should be expected from him! He is a genius in so many regards. However, the issue raised by @Tcm0 (and many others elsewhere) is serious, from my perspective. A couple of google clicks and links will tell you that this is most probably the case: Good idea, copied, advertised, lets see what happens. I do not want to start any discussion on who, when, what, not about IP, not about licenses. None what so ever. Eurobricks is simply not a place for this kind of crap. This is a place of honesty, sharing, dedication, learning, teaching. And believe me, I do know, when it comes to making money on whatever scale, all of these go down the toilet even faster than the speed of light. I simply do not like to see this happen. And I know: The "it's unfair" phrase is so lame. However, this is Eurobricks and not any kind of "survival of the fittest regardless what it takes" kind of community. IMHO that is. Oh: I am not affiliated with 4DBrix. I don't know these people, I haven't the faintest idea what the do for a living. Not the point. The point is: Don't copy ideas and sell them as they were you own. It stinks. Best regards, Thorsten
  8. [REVIEW OFFER] The LEGO Trains Book

    I believe that there are already enough highly qualified applicants. And I believe that Holger is one of the most recognized LEGO train enthusiasts, supporter, inventor, and builder - and even more importantly - knowledgeable person. The book says all. When the timeframe is weeks, I am happy to provide some comments. It would be so motivating different form the reviews I am writing way too many times for journals dealing with ion-molecule chemistry But again: @PeteM, Glenn, and @raised may be much more qualified! Regards Thorsten
  9. @ElectroDiva, I completely agree on the "generic off the shelf" bit. Also, as said before, I think @theluke91's solution is brilliant! However, there are also a couple of very strong points regarding the 4DBrix approach: The switch drive modules are ready to go, i.e. snap on the switches, same is true for the train detectors and other devices so you don't need to build brick stuff around bare electronics or motors. Most importantly (and this may be the case here too!), the 4DBrix approach scales with the layout. Having one or 20 controllers on the layout doesn't make a big difference (administration wise, I am not talking about money): Give them an address within the program and off you go: 4 more switch drives seamlessly hooked-up ... The 4DBrix nControl software is not web based (hmm - I am having a hard time to figure out the striking advantages of web based solutions as I play with my layout "in front of me") but dedicated; did you check out the functionality of the nControl software? "Flipping" a generic tile lets you type in your personal code (Python scripts). That gives you so much freedom! And I simply like to see the entire layout on my screen (made up as "tiles"), change switch positions "graphically" and see that happen on the real layout as well, regardless of size. That may all be possible with this solution as well, I just wanted to point out that there are now so many nice an essentially "tailored" solutions for automation that fit individual needs and that each has advantages and disadvantages. I'd prefer the 4DBrix approach, others the ArduTrain approach and so many more! Which really is cool. Best regards, Thorsten
  10. Kel Corona (SHIP)

    This is one beauty of a space ship - very elegant but not "streamlined". The colors are superb. It feels "light" but at the same time powerful and tough. I simply don't know what it is: Ingenious photography or ingenious rendering? Or both and/or Photoshop? The technical preparation of the images alone is incredible. Whatever: It is as if this ship and wormholes, travel at multiple times the speed of light AND do some work, research, mining, taking samples, are just made for each other! Very impressive, with respect to so many things. I do like the other ship in the video also very much - the vertical structure is really elegant and serious at the same time. And the colors are again very well chosen. Congratulations to both of you! Best regards, Thorsten
  11. Wow! This is another and very comprehensive solution to train layout automation! Congratulations, this is very nice work. Must have taken some time to get all this going, particularly the software! Now you are mentioning that the product is not "commercially" available, but on your webpage listing of all the items one would need to get this going, the links point to the same shop. So with "product" you mean the entire suite of elements along with the software, you developed, right? And what product exactly is licensed? The hardware I guess not, as most of the items are also available elsewhere, right? Is it the software? Or the entire approach? Or do I miss something? Anyway: Beautiful and very impressive work! Best regards, Thorsten
  12. I have never used LDD - I am having serious issues with all LEGO building tools not letting me get a brick where I want it - where it actually IS in my LEGO model. You know what? When it works in real life, I would not care the slightest bit whether or not a program tells you is it not OK. There were days when LEGO was around for decades, but programs apparently looking at illegal/legitimate connections weren't even invented. In those days, models were models you created. And that was perfectly fine. When LEGO models fall apart due to some paper thin gaps: Use pressure. ABS plastic is designed to do exactly that: Connect even better! No program or machine knows about that. Real life is what really counts. And this is why I am using MLCad/LDraw: Just put the pieces where you want. The hinges will never crack over time due to paper thin gaps. What will happen is that they stretch a tiny bit to adjust to your imagination. This is not esoteric wording - it is from a purely "chemistry of ABS" point of view. Just let your ideas roll and see whether or not the bricks like it. They'll for sure let you know. BTW: Your models and ideas are awesome!!! All the best, Thorsten
  13. MOD+ARTICLE: Motorizing Ben Beneke’s BR23

    Hi kr1minal, oh my, hopefully they don't tell you not to bump old topics ... I'll put the instructions into my university cloud, give me a minute, need to find that stuff ... will edit this message with the links. OK, here you go - found them on my old WinXP Laptop - I knew that one is still of value: Navigate to the "5 BR 23 Ben Beneke" folder. A couple of notes: LDraw files: The LDraw MPD files are with and without LSynth generated electrical wiring. Olaf Müller made the latter for me. When you open the files with MLCad, it will ask you whether or not you want to upgrade part to newer versions. Don't do that, just use as is, otherwise the model may get corrupted. You need to have the official, and unofficial files installed, including the BBB wheels. PDFs: There is a higher quality file of some tens MByte size as well as a rather small lower quality file. In these days (man, it is 7 years ago ...) there some (minor I remember) issues with the instructions. The instructions were made by hand in PowerPoint using PovRay renders of the individual steps. It is sure possible that there are some slight glitches. Let me know if this does not work for you. Best, Thorsten
  14. Best power supply?

    Hey, nothing is wrong! And I did not want to be rude (!), I guess this is because I am sometimes teaching electrochemistry classes and alkaline vs NiMH chemistry is usually on the final exam. Both images are perfectly fine - with appropriate information, they entirely make sense and are reliable. Just look at this data sheet this data sheet provided by Duracell. You can find your original image (high constant current) as well as the one you updated (lower constant current). It just depends on how you would plot the data. And this is what people sometimes simply overlook. Or some people accidentally plot ... All is good. And you are right: The chemistry in NiMH does allow to draw higher sustained currents without significant voltage drop, provided current and cell capacity match. And yes, you are right: It appears as if the folks at Eneloop do very carefully design their products. Quality should always win, but then there is marketing. Best regards, Thorsten
  15. Best power supply?

    OK, I guess we need to get this a little more into the clear. The discharge curve of the "eneloop" vs "alkaline" batteries as shown above is simply not true - with regard to the Alkalien curve. You can google "alkaline discharge curve" and you will see a rather flat profile for all alkalines - it is in their (chemistry) nature. Of course it depends on model and make and most importantly on their nominal capacity. There are so many different manufacturers. Some are reliable, some are not. The same holds true for NiMH cells. It does nor get any flatter on the sustained current drawing curve - provided you adapt your power draw to the cell capacity (or the other way around). Drawing current into 8 motors with poorly matched overall cell capacity will just - cause pain. I am using some China 2200 mAh NiMH cells - and believe me, they are doing very well. I guess I was lucky ... All the best Thorsten