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About TheQ

  • Birthday 02/25/1987

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    Oulu, Finland
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    IT, LEGO, frisbee golf, software developing


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  1. Finally after 2.5 years of planning, modeling, source image finding, photographing, purchasing and building, I can finally present to you Downtown of Oulu, Finland in microscale. This 1.5 m x 1.2 m large creation contains 6 city block x 7 city block chunk of the finnish city Oulu containing following "well known spots" of the downtown and water front area: Theatre Main library Market square with tents Old market hall Toripolliisi ("market square policeman") status Rotuaari shopping area City hall Scandic City hotel Radissons SAS hotel ... and bunch of other sights familiar with local people. As for the technical details, creation is build from roughly 30.000 bricks and it was designed using city's online map resources, Google Maps, Bing maps (helicopter images helped a lot) and tons of legwork. Design can be found from gallery. Feel free to download the model but do note that 3d model is not yet final, it is missing the "waterfront" area and final supports. I have also older versions of the city in if you are interested in the progress of the city. More pictures of the creation can be found from Flickr gallery.
  2. TheQ

    Switching Puzzle

    @Roadmonkeytj Here is a simple breakdown of the wagon separator / decoupler mechanism: The 1 x 5 beam is lifted and set between the wagon wheel sets and when it is up, the wagon stays there. The trick is to fine-tune the magnets: If you have too strong power (two modern magnets), the train engine will only pull itself away. If you have two little power between wagons (two old magnets), train engine will pull few wagons with it but others way stay with the separated wagon. Best combination for me was using old and modern magnet together, that let me separate any wagon in a four wagons long train.
  3. TheQ

    Switching Puzzle

    I have built remotely controlled Inglenook-layout: The layout worked nicely and I did some shunting puzzles during events but as running a demo puzzle took some time to do + not many visitors were big fans of trains, I didn't do many demonstrations during displays. The basic shunting did work well tho, and it was nice to be able to remotely control train engine, switches and wagon separators. I used SBrick to handle the manipulation of the "ground mechanism". In the topic you can find link to Youtube video where I display them better.
  4. Took me a long time to finally update this thread but yes, the Inglenook-layout was finished and it was successfully displayed in three LEGO events. In each event the layout worked fine, only issues I had was with SBrick: it requires quite sturdy power connections and if power connection does not provide power all the time (for example, voltage moves between 9v and 7.5v as the case was in really, really large event places where thousands of machines were using power), the SBrick tends to restart itself which causes the whole software to halt for some time. It seems that under 7.9 the machine tends to restart which usually required me to unplug the 9v train controller that I used. It is possible that the issue has to do with 9v train controller but even if I changed that, same problem occurred. Anyway, the main functionalities, remote handling of switch and remote wagon separation, worked generally really good. The wagon separation did require some tweaking since I had to find magnets of right strength for the train engine to be able pull three wagons but still for the separation mechanism work for wagons. This created some challenges as separation sometimes caused extra wagons to be stuck with separated, stopped wagon. Here is short demonstration of the remote switch and remote wagon separation taken with bit better camera: Youtube
  5. TheQ

    Layout: plan fo new layout

    Very, very nice work. I love these layout building topics where people take time and care to build their scenery. This thread has been one of my favorites for a long time now since it combines planning and actual implementation pictures!
  6. Here is the folder which has images of basic road structure: (descriptions in Finnish, sorry). It is quite similar to Michael Gale's MILS MultiRoad and Mike Gallagher's roads. Most notable difference is that our LUG's roads do not use baseplace.
  7. Very elegant solution! I am very keen on experimenting with this one. Is one brick's width deep enough to anchor the guiding arm well? In my LUG, we use two bricks wide roads on their side and if one brick's width is enough, the guiding arm could be hidden even better. I have some experience on getting cars to move on their own but my solution was based on train track hidden underneath the road. That caused the minimal ring of the self-moving car to be quite large and high. This solution seems very nice, alhough it requires also some space in the corners.
  8. TheQ


    I don't really know how Technicopedia is built but would a Varnish or similar external caching software or even CDN (content delivery network) help to alleviate the bandwidth issues? The site itself is a treasure trove for TECHNIC fans old and young and it is sad that we cannot have access to it all the time. Oh and I have been following Technicopedia since second or third "update" and it has been always one of those sites that I recommend to new TECHNIC builders. Your work is marvellous, Blakbird!
  9. Bigger image available at Flickr After around one month, the layout has seen some progress. Major changes are: Added missing module on left corner and changed the modules a bit so that the complete layout is now 8 x 2 modules. Added third wagon separator in the middle track to allow wagons to separate at right places according to Inglenook puzzle. Finished with the initial plating of most of modules. Added "maintenance/service area" Most importantly, decided on the theme and layout of the creation! I decided to go with sub-urban passanger station as another guys is building larger train station elsewhere on the layout. Next up is setting up the PF motors to handle all five functions (2x remote switch, 3x wagon separators) and then building the railway station above them.
  10. Yeah, Electricsteam is right. The ground level is around 2 bricks so only place close to track where I could move the motors is underneath the track. That would mean buying quite many extension cords which I don't really need so I opted for using axles to transport the power to switches and decouplers (heh, I thought there was better term than "wagon separator ). As for clutches, I am using two designs: this one made using two "Technic, Pin Long with Friction Ridges Lengthwise and Stop Bush" and this one made using two axle's with pins on the end. Both of them work quite fine, althought the switches use a bit of power so finding the right "clutch level" is a bit difficult at times.
  11. Hi all! Inspired by all the fantastic train layouts here in Eurobricks, I wanted to build my own train layout. Since the finnish LUG, Palikkatakomo, is going to have big exhibition next April, I wanted that the layout could be integrated to large city layout we are doing there collaboratively and thus, the layout should follow the modular standard we use. And as bonus challenged, I wanted to try my hands at remote controlled switches and remote controlled wagon separators. Bigger picture avaiable @ Flickr You can see the layout's current state in picture above. It is currently 2x7,5 modules large (single module being standard 32x32 bricks) and consists of outer 9v track as "mainline" and inner PF track as yard which is designed after Inglenook shunting puzzle. Layout is quite simple but interesting things here are switches and wagon separators which are controlled by PF motor in the left corner. PF motors are controlled by phone via SBrick bluetooth-connector. Both switches and separators work in the same principle: PF motor turns axle that is connected to bunch of other axles, i.e. drivetrain underneath the "ground level" (1 brick + 2 plates) which is then connected to small linear actuators. These actuators then either move lever that is connected to switches "track selector" in or move lever that pops a "stick" above tracks; this stick can be used to anchor wagons and thus allow train to leave wagon(s) behind. Oh and note that aforementioned drivetrains are built in such a way that each module can be separated from each other in order to ease their transportation. If you are bit puzzled on how this all works, please check this demonstration on Youtube: Next steps for this layout project is to make the layout bit larger (aiming at 2x8), strenghten the modules, possibly add another wagon separator bit on third PF track and figure out what else to build on this layout. Currently I am leaning towards "custom car shop" that gets the steel it uses via trains..
  12. TheQ

    Long Term Modular Layout, Phase 1

    I do not have experience on MILS but our LUG uses very similar module (no baseplate, framing done with TECHNIC bricks, bit higher than MILS) and we have noted that in larger creations there is no need to use pins everywhere. If pins are used everywhere, assembling and disassemling anything larger than 3x3 becomes a chore. We usually "pin in" only the sides and corners of larger creations, plus some sections crisscrossing the whole assembly (like roads in city made out of 100+ modules).
  13. TheQ

    Modular standard for elevated city?

    Based on my own experience, I would even go so far that I would add inverted 2x2 roof bricks on the bottom of the black 1x2 plates shown in Sin's picture. This would make it easier to find right spot to place the plate since the inverted slope bricks would provide a guide to correct spots. Small addition but it really helps when you are moving things around.
  14. Hi all, I have been recently working on some track layouts and I have grown to like the flex track, even if it is flimsy. My major problem with the flex track is that it is hard to lock it to certain angles. The 0 degree angle is easy to make, just but 2x4 or longer plate in the middle but other degrees are harder to achiece. I recently come up with solution for one locking technique that locks the flex to around 6,5 degree curves, i.e. the max curve. The technique of course requires bit more bricks to make the connection stable but you get the idea. I would like now to ask for other techniques that you have either come up on your own or found online. I did some google-fu but didn't really find any solutions but I think others have come up with brilliant solutions already. So, why don't we make a small info and idea thread about locking the flex track?
  15. TheQ

    Medieval harbor

    "It's a common day at the busy port of the village. A new shipment of gold from local mines is now being stored to the village's fortified storage hall and the King's guards are more watchful than ever. This doesn't cause any problems to the boat crafter who lives and works close by; he more than enjoys peace when he is working on a boat. With his son's and brother's help, he is soon finished, right in time for the meal!" Finally had a moment of time to "publish" my most recent MOC. This medieval harbor scene was built as a small part of larger display that was shown in LEGO event around a month ago here in Finland. The whole event was very successful and we had a lot of people looking at our LUG's display. This harbor that I built consists of two main buildings, the boatyard on the left and the fortified storage hall with the harbor on the right. The idea behind fortified storage hall is that it is a temporary storage area for cargo and that it has both wagon station and horse wagon station so that the cargo can be easily moved from ship to horse carriages. Hopefully you like it! More pictures at MOCPages, Flickr and Brickshelf.