zephyr1934

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  1. zephyr1934

    "Entrelinhas 2024" A Portuguese train Event

    That's a great layout, looks like a fun day running trains.
  2. zephyr1934

    Some of my track layouts

    Long ago my Lego trains outgrew my home layout. I have a roughly 10 ft x 10 ft (3m x 3m) double loop on the floor of my lego room. While it has some nice qualities like disappearing under tables and shelves for half the loop (it is important for trains to disappear for a moment), there's no storage tracks and I have several trains that are roughly 15 ft long (4.5 m). So my trains spend most of their time in boxes. Every now and then I'm able to get out to a large space and really stretch the trains out. I like to see those 15 footers go straight for a little while before hitting the next curve. Another important part of a layout is displaying your trains while they aren't running, so storage is also a premium. I settled into variants of this roughly 30 ft (9 m) layout for several shows. It's nice because it has R120/104 loops, plenty of storage for parked trains and the inside loop has a little S-curve on the top leg so the trains bend as they pass. It is also designed for public shows so that the trains can run without paying much attention to them. With thoughts of improving that layout I've expanded my track collection to include R104 switches and two of my favorite bits of track geometry: TrixBrix R104 double slip switch and R40 yard lead for compact yards. With those parts, I could probably get the layout down to 25 ft if I had to. But even a nice layout gets boring after a while. So I shook things up with this layout: This one is designed for more attentive operations and the double dog-bone on the inside track proved for great fun when running. Throughout all of this, there's that magic R104 switch where the geometry lines up for crossovers, but my outer loop is R120 so there's no graceful way of escaping the curve. For years I had been longing for a 3D printed crossover piece where a R104 switch could go straight across a R120 curve that matched the diverge on the R104 switch. Well, last month I checked what was new on TrixBricks and to my surprise they just released said part. And not only that, they also released an R120 switch. Whohoo! But before I get to that, another thing happened in my layout designs. Last year we had a day long show and the trains were relegated to a 10 ft x 6 ft layout. Ugh! How are you supposed to store anything on a layout like that if you have R120/104 curves? I caved and put the yard in the curve, R88 and R72. While all of my trains are designed to handle R40 switches because most predate R104 switches (and most can handle full R40 curves too), parking trains in curves just highlights all the ugly overhangs. I don't love the look, but the economy of being able to store the trains in otherwise dead space is very helpful when you are tight on space. Anyway, Matthias Runte http://mattzobricks.com already had all of the new parts in the BlueBrick library, so I got to playing. I thought to improve upon the double dog bone with the return at 45° instead of 90°, but that requires giving up a lot of storage on the top side of the layout. Ah... what about the curves! I went nuts and came up with a 25 ft layout (7.5 m) with tons of storage in the curves. So much so, that for my needs the lower branch on the layout probably does not need sidings. I put a charging station for up to 6 locomotives in this layout. The basic loop is still R120/104. I envision mostly using the dog bone for both loops and only using the lower branch for storage. If I expand the layout another 5 ft, I can have the loop yards terminate on the bottom of the image while keeping the R88 curve going all the way to the current end point, giving me a switching lead on both yards. Anyway, my TrixBrix order arrived (I haven't opened it yet) and I'm looking forward to my next large layout... now I just need to find an event.
  3. zephyr1934

    [MOC] Electric Tram

    An excellent build that is easily recognizable.
  4. zephyr1934

    HA Bricks in Legal Troubles

    There is at least a grain of truth here, someone could say, "this Lego part broke, Lego has a strong satisfaction guarantee and I want my part replaced." But I THINK it is legal to sell broken things (even deliberately broken things) as long as it is clearly stated, be it Lego, Disney, Nintendo, or what not. Custom printed parts and engraved bricks have been around forever, and with all of the conventions Lego sponsored that gave out engraved bricks, they might have a hard time arguing that the distribution of "altered" bricks has never been tolerated. That ad claiming "100% Lego parts" is a little over the top though. Perhaps going forward they could address the matter with a delineation in the description and the parts, something like, "275 genuine Lego parts, 35 non-Lego parts." It could even go one step further, make them separate "sets" each with their own sku but they are only packaged and sold as a bundle. As for the past, perhaps they could offer to repair or replace any failed modified Lego brick in their previous sets, perhaps even offering to replace them with an unmodified Lego solution (technic axle and 3rd party train wheels)
  5. zephyr1934

    Black Five Locomotive

    Nice looking steamer! And yes, one should always test clearances on all types of track you plan to run on (switches and R__ curves) with a simple prototype that captures all the constraints before getting too far in a design.
  6. zephyr1934

    [MOC] Little Red Train

    Very nice, I like the use of 1x4x1 panels for thin rails and the detailing around the tunnel opening
  7. zephyr1934

    1:100 scale modelling - downsizing

    Okay, that's cool!
  8. zephyr1934

    LEGO Trains 2024

    Hum... this might have warranted its own thread, but since it's started here I'll go with it. These are very interesting, and brilliant idea to use the otherwise sub-optimal plastic wheel bogies. I have burned out many 9v motors but I don't think I've ever burned out a PF train motor. As I think about it, the internal power pickups in the 9v motors might be their weak spot.
  9. zephyr1934

    Designing bogies with 3 axes for an E-locomotive

    Oh, that's another thing I did. I made brick built trucks with three rigid axles, no flexing no bending no sliding. For the outer two wheels I replaced the traction bands with thicker O-rings, then on the middle axle I left the normal traction bands. That half plate of extra lift allowed the middle axle to clear switches and R40 curves without problems. But if you were building long trucks, I'd recommend the train motor plus pivoting 3rd axle that others have suggested.
  10. zephyr1934

    Designing bogies with 3 axes for an E-locomotive

    It depends on the scale and level of accuracy you are aiming for. If you don't mind keeping a "Lego" feeling in the model, at 6 wide a quick and easy "3 axle" bogie simply uses three wheel holders with axles in only two of them. At 8 wide you could build motor frames for the same effect. I've got a non-lego soluition where I make motor sides with fake axles, but they are a little pricey and the style might not match your prototype. It all depends on how long your equipment is and what size curves. If you are using normal lego curves (R40) you'll probably need couplers on the bogies, if you are using wide radius curves you might be able to do couplers on the cars. Best way to find out is to MOC up a few flat cars of the desired lengths and see if they work through all of the switches and curves you want the train to work through. The flatcars will let you quickly prototype ideas without the risk of having to massively rebuild a MOC. Then once you get it, you can keep the geometry as you move to the actual cars and locos.
  11. zephyr1934

    [MOC] British Rail Class 76 / LNER EM1

    That looks great
  12. zephyr1934

    1:100 scale modelling - downsizing

    Excellent micro-working!
  13. zephyr1934

    TRAIN TECH Help, General Questions & Talk to the Staff

    Someone long ago came up with a sequence of elements such that you COULD cross the wires in the PF system. I think it used a AA battery box without batteries. The battery box shorted the outer and inner wires on the PF cables. The net result was almost Rube Goldberg but it was pure and it worked.
  14. zephyr1934

    LEGO Trains 2024

    Cool! And indeed, looks like a scaled down and updated version of 7938. Not bad looking and neat that they actually put it on rails. Hard to hide a motor, but might be able to use circuit cubes to be more discrete.
  15. zephyr1934

    DB 232 "Ludmilla"

    Doh! That's what I get for typing faster than I can read. Still looks good