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Found 5 results

  1. legotux

    Bad luck with PF hack...

    Following a successful build powering a seventies 4,5 volt locomotive via a PF receiver and a 4.8 volt 4xAA battery pack, I wanted to make a second one. But I had no spare 4.5V motors left, I have 4x 12 volt spares though. And the 12 volt motors run much faster than the 4,5 volt motors, so it would be great to build a similar thing with a 12 volt engine. I ordered a bunch of DC-DC converters, 3 pcs that convert 5V to 12V, and a few others, adjustable. I did some trials tonight. So a 4.8V battery pack, followed by the DC-DC converter, verified it's output is 12V, feeding that into a PF receiver, and its output to a 12V old seventies motor. The train ran very well in the test setup, both amazingly powerful and very fast. So I set out to build it together in a model. That's where trouble started. Upon connecting the battery with the DC-DC converter with connected PF receiver, smoke came out of the DC-DC converter. Afterwards, I connected the PF receiver to a lab supply, and it still worked. I reckoned I had a bad unit and took one of the other 3 identical units. That at first worked, but then I noticed that the same IC that had smoked on the first unit, got extremely hot here too. And the sad end result a few attempts later was that now, the PF receiver is dead. No light, no sign of life. No smoke either, but... And the lab power supply conforms it: it's dead. I don't think I did anything wrong. The DC-DC converter can handle 8 watts, which ought to be largely sufficient: I never observed a 12V motor drawing over 400mA current, not even when almost stalled. And the DC-DC converters started getting hot/smoking right away, so under no-load conditions. On the other hand, two devices failing in a row in the same manner seems no coincidence. I have other DC-DC converters that can handle more, but that is moot right now, because my PF receiver died so I can't continue doing tests. Did any of you have success with attempting something like this? I'll do a new attempt when I receive a new PF receiver, but any tips are of course welcome... Legotux
  2. ColletArrow

    LMS Ivatt 2MT

    I think it's about time I built another steam engine! (Prototype picture sourced from: This is the second time I've attempted a model of the LMS Ivatt 2MT in LEGO bricks; the previous version was my first attempt at building a steam loco, from 5 years ago. But I'd like to think I've improved since then, so it was time to give it another go! This model has a long history of evolution - the first version was based on the 79111 Constitution Train Chase. Since that original MOC the engine has been refined over a number of digital models, up until last week when I came hoe from Uni, sat down and built it in real bricks. There then followed several days of fine tuning to the wheelbase, motion, drive and general aesthetics. The final product is a fairly simple 6-wide 2-6-0 tender engine, with PF motor, IR receiver and rechargeable 9V PP3 cell all held in the 3-axle tender. Overall it's a bit rough, but I think I've done the best I can with my ever-limited parts collection. The loco's boiler still retains it's 79111 heritage, but the rest of the model is pretty different to my older MOC - with the exception of the cabside numbers, which are the same home-printed labels from 5 years ago! The rear of the tender is only held on by 2 studs, in order to allow easy access to unclip and swap the 9V PP3 cell. I'm now using dad's old rechargeables, which don't give fantastic performance but are far better than eating stacks of AAAs. Inside the tender things get pretty tight with all the cables, but it seems to work well. As you've probably already spotted, the loco features some working lighting. 1x1 headlight bricks can positioned in any of the 4 spaces required to display the correct lamp code, although PF LEDs can only be used in the three spots along the bufferbeam. However, given the loco is destined to haul short freights, only one headlamp is required - so I put the other LED behind the firebox in the cab. The boiler backhead isn't particularly accurate (there's no regulator for a start), but it gives a good ambience - especially in the dark. Finally, 46447 seen with her 'train'. It's pretty short for 2 reasons - 1, I only have 8 wheelsets, and one had to be used under the tender thus limiting the number of wagons I can build. Two, with the motor in the light tender pushing a heavy loco, and especially when powered by old rechargeables, she's pretty weak. The less strain I put on her, the longer she'll run for on one charge. As usual, there's a bricksafe folder with a handful more photos and a LDD file: I can't promise any accuracy of the LDD file this time, especially in the region where the cylinders connect to the chassis, but it will certainly give anyone interested a better idea what's going on. There's also an older version in the background coloured in Dark Green, just for comparison! But why did I rebuild this model now? For the last 4 years or so now, I've come home from Univeristy for Christmas, and set up a LEGO train around the tree. This year I finally decided it was time for something different to the pannier tank I've had for the last 3 - and so this whole scene was developed. Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a good Christmas!
  3. Hello to all, It's been a long time since I was in the forum, therefore I do not know ( I did a research but couldn't find one) if a similar topic was opened before. Since the powerbanks have started to be able to give 9V outputs 2 amperes, Even 12V 1,5 amperes with a rated capacity of 12.000 mAh and a total capacity of 20.000 mAh or more, I started to think about using powerbanks instead of 1,5V*6 AA or AAA type batteries in powered and/or lit-up sets. These batteries clearly create a battery pollution after losing their full power or all of their power, thus needed to be replaced. This means money, toxic waste, corrosion of the hubs, unplayable/unusable sets. Corroded batteries create health problems, performance problems, usage problems. (i.e. Haunted House Set with "Powered Up". If the AAA batteries lose power, then the lift in the set immediately start to have problems. First of all, I believe the set's lift system using "Powered Up", has clear faults. Because the motor used to operate the lift is timed and its speed is also cleverly calculated. The lift's wheel system has problems. Many times, it is stuck, doesn't reset properly or because of the wheels slowing down the lift when falling do not act properly when the lift is going up, I tried taking off the side walls of lift, touching the wheels. This made the lift work properly but alas, when it did the panic fall, the wheels did not slow the lift down, so it had a "free-fall". Furthermore, if the batteries lose power, then the lift can not operate properly.) From what I see, at least in Turkey, LEGO is working with VARTA. VARTA has very durable and powerful powerbanks reaching up to 18.200 - 20.000 mAh. Yes, it is large but the technology is improving more and more. The price of the powerbanks? Well, even the VARTA ones are less expensive than the battery hubs sold by LEGO. The outputs can be various (USB-C, USB, micro-USB etc.) and they can simply be adapted to LEGO motors with some modifications. And after a 5-6 hour recharge after full depletion, voila! No waste, no power loss, no unnecessary battery buying/storage and thousands of reacharges only with a smart USB adapter. So? Why not? The powerbanks do not lose their full power at all until they are totally depleted. Because I am not an expert in battery hubs vs. powerbanks in means of generating power to the motors, kindly please warn me if I am talking nonsense. Best of health and Regards, Idris
  4. Ok, I'm not going in-depth, just a brief description for those who are interested. The two custom rechargeable battery packs I use consist of three batteries connected (soldered) in series, wrapped in electrical tape. The batteries used look like this: and my battery packs look like this: To charge them you also need a 'power supply'-a device that regulates current and voltage to give power or in this case, charge the batteries. If you have a background in electronics, and if you are good at soldering and have access to all the components/wires/power supply box, then you can try to make your own. All details about the batteries themselves such as voltage, maximum current, charging voltage&current can all be found at this ebay link, where you can buy them for about 8-9 dollars each
  5. Hi, hope it's ok to start a new topic about this but I searched a didn't find a suitable, current thread related solely to trains. The best PF battery threads are several years old now and are mostly geared toward Technic. I'm mulling over whether to get the 8878 Rechargeable Battery Box (US$ 50) or use the 88000 Battery Box (US$ 13 and included in many sets) and then use rechargeable batteries in that. I have a young child so I don't want to use LiPo rechargeables in 88000 (because of possible safety issues) but from what I've read, Lego has protection circuitry built into their 8878 LiPo Rechargeable Battery Box. If I go with the 88000 then those 3rd generation Eneloop NiMH rechargeables seem to be the way to go. I don't really mind swapping out batteries but they only deliver 7.2v. Apparently Lego claims that their 8878 Rechargeable Battery Box delivers 7.4v so that seems to be a selling point but is it noticeable in any way? What are your thoughts on this? What do you use for your PF trains? Do you use both 8878 and 88000 with NiMH rechargeables and do you notice any performance differences between the two? Personally I'm not planning on having any monster-long trains or hills but who knows what the future has in store? Ok, thanks in advance, Joe