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About zephyr1934

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  1. L Motor Freezes

    I've never really used the AAA battery box, but I have used the LiPo battery a lot. I've had troubles with the IR receiver tripping its thermal resistor but never the battery box. This problem only occurs on my heaviest trains. I just always assumed the IR receiver was the weakest link and have not had troubles with the LiPo batteries after replacing the receiver with an SBrick on the heavy trains. Since you've already tried an SBrick, I too would suspect the battery box. If you have a second AAA box around definitely try that. Oh... wait... you tried that too. Stupid question, but just in case, did you try fresh batteries? It is possible that an entire pack of batteries are bad or your lot of rechargeables are nearing the end of their lives. So try borrowing 6 new AAA batteries from a friend or neighbor. The battery box should be able to pull a light locomotive with two L motors (I have a couple of trains with two XL motors and an IR receiver and no problems there). The fact that the single motor runs slow and then dies indicates that some current is flowing. There was a problem with the AAA battery box not fitting all batteries well, you might be encountering that problem too. Search the train forum for AAA battery box and you should find a few threads on it. Failing all of that, try calling Lego customer support. At the very least they should be able to tell you whether or not the AAA box is rated for two L motors, and if it is maybe they will deem yours defective and send out a free replacement.
  2. 12v UP SW10 set prototype recreation

    Oh wow, that is a great little piece of history. I would agree about the windows (best being 1x1x2 + 1x2x1), but in a pinch replace the 1x2x1 with 1x2x2. If you dig up the original post of the prototypes that would a very interesting read as well.
  3. 5V USB PF train

    Brilliant solution to the size and cost of battery packs. I like the prospect of a wayside switch to reverse the train too... but just like the 4.5v reverser, I wouldn't depend on it for an unmanned display at the end of a track.
  4. A lot of the sets came with logos for many European railways in addition to DB, but yes, I would agree that Germany was the most likely target audience. I had no idea that Playmobil trains were that old and there certainly are a lot of similarities between the offerings from the two companies, with a collection of complete sets and individual cars/locos. That makes perfect sense that Lego would be working hard to keep Playmobil from getting an exclusive on trains. On the other end of the gray era I recall seeing a lego ad from the introduction of 9v that talked about the smooth transition. It was might have been this one, (the same thing in French can be found here) Thanks for sharing the brick model railroader article, I guess there is a lot of nostalgia going around these days, and yes, that would be fantastic if you can find out more about the origins of the gray era
  5. This thread about the 7777 book got me thinking more about the gray era train system. The advances in the gray system were huge compared to anything before and in many ways have not been surpassed (by Lego) since. Holes in the ties to screw them down to a board, remote control switches/signals/decouplers, designs in the 7777 book that would inspire future advances (you can see prototypes for the BNSF and engine shed from the early 2000's in the book). So now a days we get a hint at the designers of a set from the initials on the license plates or what have you. And for big changes Lego gathers some number of users in focus groups to give feedback. But in the 1980's Lego was still run like a family business and I would be surprised if they used any sort of focus groups. The gray era looks more like someone sat down and spent a long time thinking about how all of the pieces should go together. Does anyone know who was the driving force behind all of the advances that became the gray era? Are there any other insights as to how/why it came off?
  6. Building 7777

    The 11 yr old me is SOOOOO envious (and so is the old old me). Now another challenge (for your wallet), build up the full layout with all of the remote controls (grin) that made the 12v system the best true model railroading system Lego produced. Excellent work!
  7. New LEGO Train Book "LEGO Eisenbahn"

    A bright day is coming for us English (non-German) speaking lego train fans. Holger's book is now available for pre-order in English.
  8. GFLUG/GFLTC NMRA National Train Show

    Very nice, looks like it was a great show.
  9. 9v track power problems - advice needed

    The connector wire is getting more expensive, but used can still be found for under $10.
  10. [MOC] 4-Stud Wide G.W.R. 47xx

    That is really sharp, only one suggestion is to make the studs on the cab roof go away. Perhaps using a pair of 2x2 curved slopes? I would agree, 6 wide is difficult, 4 wide is REALLY difficult.
  11. Moc: BB 169

    An excellent build of a prototype that has some challenging angles. Great work
  12. My Bad Experience with ME Models Curves

    Oh no, lego trains are incredibly resilient, even many (but not all) MOCs. I've lost count as to how many MOCs of mine that have gone screaming off the table at shows only to crash on a concrete floor, including some of my best MOCs. I've found that the greatest risk is losing a part at a show. Usually I've been able to rebuild within 30 min. While I do my best to avoid table dives, so far the only broken part I suffered was the pin snapping off of a bogie plate. The traditional model railroaders can't say that. If you REALLY want to flinsh, check out what AlmightyArjen has done, e.g., here. That said, wandering back on topic, the ME R88 and R108 curves allow me to run some of my heaviest trains at top speed. But if you run for a long time the tracks will slowly slide across the floor or table. So it helps to use spacers (either baseplates or 2xn plates) to keep the tracks apart and if on a table, just watch to make sure the tracks do not wander near the edge. This problem has nothing to do with the ME design per say, as it would be true of most curves.
  13. Engine Shed V3

    Indeed, that is an incredible build loaded with detail. The interior of the shed is just as nice and the surrounding scene. Very complete, excellent work!
  14. Shunting Layout at SBS (now with pics!)

    That is a great little layout with a lot going on. The buildings are well done (I particularly like the warehouse with the masonry bricks) and the idea of having the train disappear into buildings instead of a tunnel is a neat trick.