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About Haddock51

  • Birthday 08/27/51

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  1. 2018 Lego Trains

    I have just seen the first pictures of the two new train sets (presented at the Lego News Toy Fair 2018) that will be released in June 2018: set 60197 Passenger Train and set 60198 Cargo Train, both with Power Function 2.0 My comment: Basically the same themes as in previous years. Nothing really new (maybe with the exception of PF 2.0 - I couldn't care less) And the electric cargo locomotive in green looks just uggly .... Very disappointing "news" indeed. Surprised? Hardly ... Lego Train - Quo Vadis .....?
  2. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    Phase 1 of project "Lego Train 9V Extreme" is now finalized. Next on my agenda are more films and extensive documentation work. Not so much fun but absolutely necessary. Planning for Phase 2 has started. However, actual work will not start until after summer. Meanwhile, I might catch building my first Swiss train. Ever since this project started, several people in Sweden and abroad have expressed interest in seeing this layout IRL. If you are planning to visit Sweden and would like to drop by, please let me know. Even though we spend most of the summer at our summer place, it should be possible to find suitable dates - and admission is free ...
  3. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    A new year - and more news. 51 train shelves with a total length of 81 meters (636 straight) are now mounted! Almost all my trains and train sections are packed up and set on shelves or the layout. This is actually the first time I can watch most of my trains at the same time. Quite a feeling ... More details and pictures in the first entry of this thread (see Technical details and Addendum #2A)
  4. What's the current state of third party 9V?

    I wish you all good luck.
  5. What's the current state of third party 9V?

    Let me share with you some comments and personal thoughts: Whatever reasons TLG had to discontinue the 9V product line, I still believe there could have been ways to avoid that disastrous decision and continue further developing and exploiting the potentials of this outstanding train product line. So I am not surprised that 3rd party nitiatives have been taken ever since to continue developing 9V where TLG left walk over, particularly w.r.t. tracks and track geometries. Having said that - and without taking on a position of spokesman for all the disappointed and desillusionized 9V fans - I also take a firm stand on how such product development, marketing and sales should be performed - or rather should not be performed. The numbers you are referring to above are no surprise to me. They just confirm some very basic facts, i.e. the need for significant upfront investments in tooling machines, followed by significant investments in production capacity and testing, pre marketing, sales etc. That reads: a need for tons of money, negative cashflows upfront in combination with substantial business/financial risks. Of course you know that. What I am strongly reacting against is the fact that the development and marketing of alternative 9V tracks so far has been performed on some kind of trial and error basis - at the expense of "hungry" 9V fans. And this to me is untenable, whatever your own ambitions, incentives etc. are. If TLG was unable to keep this product line profitable - in particular w.r.t. to tracks - I find it hard to believe that this can be achieved on a small scale basis, with high expectations on product quality, production capacity and delivery security. Yes, I admire your firm will and conviction. However, I also hope that your 2018 resolution will be characterized by a much more professional attitude and business mindset, backed up with a solid financial basis. And make sure you don't experiment on the back of your potential customers.
  6. What's the current state of third party 9V?

    Right now, there are some 30 brand new units available at BrickLink, with prices starting at 73 Euros. Back in July, I bought 6 units from budgetbricks and 4 units from Bricks "R" Us. In October, I found 4 units at sterihobby and in december 3 units at Bad Bricks. Usually, I search for sellers with high quantities (and reasonable prices) and "clean" their inventory (to keep shipping costs low). Over the past years I learned that new engines pop up periodically. So keep checking once a while. My stock of 9V engines is now up at 140 units and I don't plan to buy more in the new future. However, I have plans to build new trains ... So never say never ... To be honest, I couldn't care less about 3rd party 9V ... Having been a member of the 9V family for more than 20 years - and witnessed all the ups and downs - I am still convinced that there is a bright future for 9V, irrespective of TLGs decision to discontinue this remarkable product line some ten years ago. Recently, I had an interesting conversation with @Electrodiva on this subject in my thread "Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready". I find it always interesting to observe when people still decide to go for 9V instead of PF.
  7. What's the current state of third party 9V?

    I disagree with your conclusion - 9V is not dead! Personally, I never believed in 3rd party electric tracks (with high quality). I really feel sorry for all those 9V guys who spent a lot of money for crap and illusions. Over the past years when building my Lego Train 9V Extreme layout, I have purchased hundreds - in fact close to a thousand - of original Lego 9V tracks and points through BrickLink and Ebay, most of them used. However, if you spend some time with careful cleaning, they almost become new again. And I had no problems to increase my stock of (brand new) 9V engines. So at least to me, 9V is more alive than ever!
  8. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    You and me seem to share creative - and solution oriented - mindsets. Lego? Yes, what do you want it to be .....? I am still proud of the protection nets on top of the iron ore wagons (to prevent "iron ore pieces" from spreading around all over the room) - made of fishnet stockings! Probably as far away from Lego as it gets - but it works! So it's got to be Lego as well ...
  9. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    This is a link to the local news on Swedish Television on 5th of December, unfortunately without English subtitles ... Below, you find a translation of the conversation between the reporter and myself: Translation: News presenter: A railtrack is hidden in Knivsta - and it's one of the world's longest! Reporter: - During vinter time, travelling by train can be a difficult experience for many travelers, with delays and canceled trains. However, there is a train station in Knivsta where trains always go on time, and that's Knivsta South (doesn't exist in reality, my comment) Myself: - This is about realizing dreams and ideas, to work hands on and not electronically. Reporter: - Daniels train layout has a track lenghth of more than 100 meters with more than 30 different trains taking travelers up to the Swiss mountains. Myself: - I was born and grew up in Switzerland. I loved trains already as a child and often visited the railway station in Basel. This love for trains has followed me all my life. Model trains came much later. When our doughters grew up, there was more and more of Lego - and Lego layouts. And then Lego launched the 9V train system in the beginning of the 90s. - This layout goes back to february 2011 when the idea came up for the first time. Initially, this was mostly about planning and testing. Construction started in early 2014. So to build this layout has taken more than 3 years. - To me, this is a big hobby. To work with this kind of challenges is something I find incredibly stimulating.
  10. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    There is obviously a risk that you pretty soon start forgetting about construction- and installation details, not to mention all the wiring .... So yes, documentation in this case is a must. I have also mad it clear that anybody interested in operating trains on this layout (including my adult doughters and brother in law) will have to take a "driving license" - with the mentionned documentation as study material - before even touching the speed regulators ...
  11. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    That's a creative idea indeed. If some of my fundamentalistic Lego train colleagues were to learn about this non-Lego approach, they might get upset again (most of them still have not forgotten the drilled round windows on the two RC locomotives on the blue Uppsala - Stockholm commuter train...)
  12. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    I assume that other 9V train fans like me have experienced similar problems like those described above when building layouts with multiple points in row, e.g. on rail yards. The rather primitive description provided by LEGO of how powering with standard points works is indeed of very little help in such cases. I still find your schemes very informative and suggest that you make them available (including power feed(s) mounted on yard(s)) - maybe with a more generic approach, i.e. without the complexity of my layout - in a separate thread.
  13. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    Thank you so much for your tremendous effort to provide clarification re. these mysterious findings! The ppt drawings are very informative, certainly to me, so you definitely should not appologize... However, it's me that needs to start appologizing for two findings that came up since I posted my latest reply: The scheme on level 85 turned out not to be the final one. There has been a minor change on the layout (which doesn't make any difference w.r.t. the case results). HC 2 in fact is a standard point left. However, I discovered to my surprise that one of the rails on HC 1 leading to the yards was disconnected! After fixing this issue, the result for case 2b turned out to be different and was in line with your own expected result: both trains were moving! Then I tested case 2c - operate train on yard B: Point configuration: HC 1: straight, P 2: straight Power feed configuration: yard A: off, yard B: on Result: only train B is moving! (Studying your drawings, this makes actually sense) So where do I go from here? Since I know the required configurations to operate trains from yard A and B to and from the mainline, I will certainly not get into additional wiring.... (Another important section in the future documentation ...) W.r.t. the issues on siding 175 and the yards on level 50, I guess I would have to do additional wiring to get these problems solved. However, this is simply too much work and not worth the effort. Power supply for siding 175 and the yards/main line on level 50 is good enough even without these additional power feeds. The siding on level 175 is not a reversing loop but a shortcut. Trains running uphill on the vertical climb can take the siding and return downhill. This is part of the layout segmentation concept that I have mentionned before. So outside power lines remain outside and inside power lines remain inside. No risk for short circuits. Referring to your final comment, I must admit that I didn't get your point. I believed - and still do - that I have a rather good knowledge and understanding on how the 9V speed regulator works. So I was rather surprised to read about your own thoughts w.r.t. changed polarities (something I have not experienced on my layout): "Finally, things may even become more confusing when changing directions on the regulator. As far as I remember, the dial hardware (the "coded" copper conductors of the dial and the copper conductors on the printed circuit board) of the regulator actually reverses the entire power ("+" becomes "-" and vice versa). In the "stop" position power is completely removed from the outputs (both, "+" and "-"). In this case the common power block changes polarity as well in your setup and depending on the permanently powered lines of the points, this may create further issues." To conclude: once again, thank you so much @Toastie for your efforts and clarifications! You certainly succeeded in shedding some light into the mysterious things that happened!
  14. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    Actually, I have the same problem with the two yards on level 85. These power feeds can not be removed! Let me explain in detail with the help of this picture and the schemes below: The picture shows speed regulator D, a switch connected to speed regulator D and the switch box. The switch connected to regulator D is in position "Yard" which means that all power feeds operated by speed regulator D on the main line (level 50, parts of level 85 and ramps between level 50 and 85) are inactive. The only active power feed with this configuration is power feed T1 on the left ramp between level 50 and 85. The basic idea behind this configuration is to move trains from yard A resp. yard B smoothly to alt. off the main line without other trains moving at the same time. And now the cases: Case 1: Operate train on yard A: Point configuration: Halfcurve (HC) 1: left, HC 2: right Power feed configuration: yard A: on, yard B: off Result: only train on yard A is moving Case 2A: Operate train on yard B: Point configuration: HC 1: left, HC 2: straight Power feed configuration: yard A: off, yard B: on Result: both trains are moving! Case 2B: Operate train on yard B: Point configuration: HC 1: left, HC 2: right Power feed configuration: yard A: off, yard B: on Result: only train on yard B be is moving with HC 2 in "wrong" position! The "minus" wires for power feeds on yard A and yard B are directly wired to block DD "minus" in the cable terminal." Plus" wires are connected to switches "Yd A" resp. "Yd B" on the switch box and then to block DD "plus" (operated by speed regulator D with switch in position "Yard") in the cable terminal. (see picture of cable terminal on the first page of this thread). The only common denominator for all three problems (yards on level 50, level 85 and the siding on level 175) are additional power feeds that are/were properly mounted and wired. It seems like these additional power feeds "disturbe(d)" neighbouring points. In the cases described above, some kind of interference seems to have affected HC 2. Finally, this is the scheme with siding on level 175 and power feed S 175 (which has been removed) and standard points on each end of the siding. This section is operated with speed regulator C. Wiring of S 175 the same way as described above. This siding and the neighbouring main line (vertical climb) had the same mysterious problems as described above and before.