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About Phoxtane

  • Birthday 05/06/1996

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  1. Phoxtane

    Rail Cleaning Train - Latest Version

    Somewhat related thought: What about building some sort of automated compressed-air dusting tunnel? Something similar to the giant blowers that clear the water off your car after going through an automated car wash. While not Lego trains specifically, it would give you an excuse to add another siding to your layout and play with compressed air. I think you're one of the very few people for who this would make sense, since you have multiple long trains. For most people, the effort wouldn't be worth it since their layouts and trains are much smaller. (As an even more tangential thought, what about some sort of custom track dusting car? High-speed fan with 3D printed nozzle that fits over the track, drawing its power from a broken and gutted 9V motor?)
  2. Phoxtane

    Misadventures in Tilt

    Hence why you would need two of them, and two sensors (maybe RCX sensors with the proper adapters), offsetting one from the other such that in direction of travel one is always triggered before the other, and vice versa.
  3. Phoxtane

    Misadventures in Tilt

    I'd suggest looking at picking up a handful of part number 2958pb002 off Bricklink. I have a couple of these and I think they were explicitly designed for use in old Technic stuff for sensing rotary motion. This seems like the easier answer - why not use a Mindstorms motor to drive the train itself? It's got enough power that you could gear it up a bit to better match the speed of a standard train motor.
  4. Phoxtane

    Question about PF Remote Control 64227

    Looks suspiciously like a logic analyzer probe. Or maybe a weird oscilloscope probe?
  5. Phoxtane

    train efficiency in PF

    Mechanically speaking, if you go with a PF motor that isn't the train motor, the fewer gears you have in your drivetrain the better, as each meshing gear will sap some efficiency from the system. It would probably also be a good idea to lubricate any moving parts in the drivetrain with silicone spray, or some other plastic-safe lubricant.
  6. Phoxtane

    Suspension bridge

    Ages ago I came up with this idea for a bridge: The problem is that it doesn't have a even brick (or plate? been a while) spacing top-to-bottom, making it very difficult to integrate into a layout. In terms of color, making it out of red beams allows you to use red 3-long Technic pins with axle hole and get a better overall look.
  7. Is there a difference in results between a train motor with new O-rings on all four wheels and one that has new O-rings on only one side (two wheels)? If there isn't any difference, I would run new O-rings on only one side since the wheels do need to slip inside a curve - they're connected through a solid axle but will be traveling different distances due to the curve. Hmm - if there's traction issues with replacement O-rings on one side only, maybe it would work better with O-rings being on opposite corners of the motor? I don't have any locomotives or track set up, so I can't test this myself unfortunately.
  8. Phoxtane

    [MOC] Simple Tank Car

    The door rails are necessary to fill out the "corners" of the round shape, unfortunately. See below: However, as you'll notice, 1x2 jumper plates could also be used, but then the "skin" of the car has to change as well: I don't have a scale to prove this but to me it seems that doing this technique across the entire car would add a lot of weight, and since I'm planning on doing 9+ of these, I probably should worry about that sort of thing. The tradeoff here is parts selection versus weight. Unfortunately, this doesn't change the fact that 6x6 dishes are what limit me the most in terms of color choice. I am planning on using the above technique for vertical striping - it should work nicely on the green-gray model I posted above.
  9. Phoxtane

    [MOC] Simple Tank Car

    I was having trouble finding alternate color schemes for tank cars; image searches were returning mostly all-black, all-brown, or all dark-red cars. So, why not turn to traditional model railroad storefronts for ideas? As it turns out, this was a great idea. While every manufacturer has tank cars of some type available for purchase, I found that the biggest and easiest-to-browse selection came from Walthers (no affiliation, content for reference only, etc.): Unfortunately, many of the color schemes I've been interested in so far are impossible to reproduce due to lack of certain critical parts (listed above) in the colors necessary. For example: an all-blue Montana Rail Link car, which would look spectacular... I did find some that I am considering, however: (Dark blue-gray 6x6 dishes are rare and expensive, unfortunately. I only need six though...) While maybe not in these colors, I'm interested in doing another two-tone car, but in the style above. Another idea for a two-tone car. I could spice this one up by building the end rail sections out of white pieces as well. Finding white tubing would take some searching however. And finally, one I might consider doing if I ever decide I really hate myself. I might do one of these just for fun - thankfully, I know from building the first run of three that 6x6 dishes can be found in white.
  10. Phoxtane

    [MOC] Simple Tank Car

    This model came about after I realized I wanted a simple train car I could build copies of over and over again for cheap and easy long trains. I made three copies of the original version for my old LUG's annual train show in my home town, but the images here are primarily of the second version that I finalized two weeks ago. In my opinion, this second design is much better than the first, as its proportions are much closer to a real-life tank car. Measured from the end rails, it's about 33 studs long. The bogies can spin a full 360 degrees, so it shouldn't have any issues navigating standard Lego curves. The round shape was accomplished by borrowing a technique from (Lego) steam engine boiler designs. In my digital designs, hot pink parts denote which parts don't have to be a specific color (either ones I already have free in my collection or the cheapest I can find on Bricklink). The tank section is attached to the end sections via 2x2 round plates with center holes and 2x2 jumper tiles. The car was designed such that the color scheme depends primarily on five "exotic" pieces: 2x2 round plates, 6x6 dishes, 2x4x2/3 curved slopes, 1x8 door rails, and 1x2 door rails. The color range these parts can be found is is fairly diverse and should allow for many different liveries without requiring stickers. (2x4 plates come in almost any color so I'm not considering them "exotic") (New version on the left, old version on the right) My future plans for this design are to update the two remaining old-type cars to new ones. Afterwards, I want to build two more sets of three in different liveries. This will give me a total of nine cars to work with!
  11. For some improvements on a previous model, I knew I would need a decent amount of 3mm rigid tubing - but I didn't know yet how much I would or how long the pieces would need to be. Since buying genuine rigid tubing can get expensive fast, and I would likely have to cut it up into various lengths that wouldn't end up being used, I decided to find an alternative. I found 1/8" (3.175mm) OD nylon tubing on McMaster-Carr which seems to work well enough for what I need. Unfortunately, McMaster-Carr only ships to addresses within the United States (for us little people, anyway), so this substitution is only available to those in the US. Below is an image of the tubing after I opened the package and cut a medium-length piece for comparison purposes: Below is a comparison between the substitute tubing (middle) and official Lego tubing (bottom), with a black 1x16 brick for comparing color: McMaster charges 29 cents per foot for this stuff, and sells it in lengths of 25, 50, or 100 feet. I ordered a 25ft roll, and it cost me $7.25 (with minimal or no shipping costs - McMaster is a bit weird with their invoices). As for how well it works as a substitute for genuine Lego tubing, it's perfectly adequate for my purposes! My tubing is black, which matches Lego black almost perfectly. It does have a much smoother and glossier surface than genuine tubing, but in my opinion that makes it match the surface of a fresh brick better than the real stuff. It feels a bit softer and certainly more flexible than genuine tubing; however, it's not nearly as soft or flexible as the silicone pneumatic tubing. The internal diameter is much larger than the Lego tubing, resulting in much thinner walls than the Lego tubing. This probably explains why it's so flexible, but it also means it will be more prone to kinking or collapsing on itself. It snaps in and out of clip pieces a bit more easily due to being softer than the real stuff. Another thing to note is that there's information printed onto the tubing itself. It does ruin the look, but thankfully the text can be cleaned off with an alcohol wipe. Overall I'm quite pleased with this stuff. Apart from black, McMaster supplies it in blue, green, red, yellow, and gray (none of which I needed so I can't comment on how the color matches to their corresponding Lego colors). Oddly enough, the gray is only available in metric, at 3mm, so it may be too small. Here's the link to the McMaster page: As a side note, McMaster-Carr is weird to order from - you have to create an account, then go into your account settings and put in card information that orders will charge to. At that point, you're free to order as much as you want. They then send a confirmation email, send an invoice shortly after that, ship your items the day after, and the charge shows up on your card about five days later. I'm baaaaack. I graduated college and moved halfway across the US to the East Coast for a job, and even have cats to knock stuff over for me instead of doing it myself.
  12. Phoxtane

    Custom motor and truck sides

    Would it be maybe be worth the time and investment to start making these yourself with an SLA 3D printer, such as the Anycubic Photon or similar? The advantage to such a setup would be that you'd have total control over production (and cut out the middleman costs). Prototyping new parts would also become much cheaper for the same reasons. A resin printer would also eliminate the grainy texture the current parts have. The downside of course is that resin printing is somewhat labor intensive, as the parts must be washed and cured after coming off the printer to come to full strength. In addition, the resin can result in severe irritation or even chemical burns if it gets on your skin, so gloves are necessary (and it's not recommended to breath the fumes, of course). And then there's the color matching issue - though you might be able to alleviate that with a very light colored resin that you could then dye to its final color. Of course, there might also be production capacity issues too - I don't know what sort of order volume you get, but one or even two or three printers might not be enough. EDIT: What about resin part strength? I'm not so sure it would be much of a concern - they might be comparable to the parts you're currently getting, maybe even stronger. I don't have any experience with resin, just old-fashioned FDM printing.
  13. If the light normally only blinks when the batteries are low, it could be that the box is monitoring the battery voltage to use as a sign of when the batteries start running low. A way to confirm this would be to measure the voltage from the batteries while the motors are under load - I'm not sure how you'd go about creating an artificial load, as it seems pretty impractical to measure this directly off a running a train.
  14. Phoxtane

    Lego Technic to 2 mm steel shaft adapters

    I would try the 3D printed option first, as you are more likely to get the steel shaft running true successfully, but it will take up more space than the second method. However, the second method is trickier to get working, as you'll have to get the hole for the steel shaft drilled straight and on-center - a mini lathe might be your best option here. EDIT: Come to think of it, you'd probably want access to a resin printer, as the part in question is so small it wouldn't really work out well on a traditional hobby-level 3D printer. Now I'm not sure what the best option is.
  15. Phoxtane

    A quick comment on spam

    I just filled out the new question. More than happy to do so if it means less spam! How effective is this new measure in the Spam Wars?