Please refrain from posting animated GIFs, memes, joke videos and so on in discussions other than those in the off topic area.

Dismiss this message to confirm your acceptance of this additional forum term of use.
You must be 16 or over to participate in the Brickset Forum. Please read the announcements and rules before you join.

Train set up suggestion

NeroonNeroon NetherlandsMember Posts: 2
Hey everyone,

I've been working on a nice winter village for Christmas, I got 3 big sets so far and got some smaller ones coming. 1 of them is the train. Now what I would like to do is make it move, I know it can but I'm looking at what the best option is, if it even exists.

What I would like is it to drive for a long time with very little noise. Obviously it going really slow is absolutely fine.

I saw that there is a battery with which you can decide the speed, but also options with a controller. I'm just wondering what would work best, how much noise it would make, what they would cost and how long it can ride.

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 2,765
    There are instructions for using Power Functions in the train contained in the instructions for it. The online copy of the instructions is on the page for it here: #10254 but I've also linked it directly here. The instructions also tell you what you need.

    Basically, you need #8879, #8884, #88002 and #88000. You can use #8878 instead of #88000, but you'd then also need #8887 as well. Both #8878 and #8887 are quite expensive, so for home use you're probably best just using #88000.

    As for longevity, if you use good batteries, you'll probably get about 2.5 - 3 hours out of it, but this depends on a lot of things. You'll need 6x AAA batteries for the train, and 3x AAA batteries for the controller.
    datsunrobbie
  • eMJeeNLeMJeeNL The NetherlandsMember Posts: 94
    edited October 23
    I gather Neroon is looking for alternatives to the usual Lego-setup, as the requests the train to go slow and smooth...

    I know there are alternatives in which you can indeed control the speed (by controlling the voltage), but unsure which are best, I'll leave that to those more in the know.
    sid3windr
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 64
    If you want it to last longer and have more control, you could try replacing the motor with one of the track powered motors instead of the battery ones.
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 917
    #60051 has all the parts you need in one box. It's a bit more expensive than just buying the parts that @Paperballpark pointed out, but if you want more track (and a pretty cool train) it is worth considering.

  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 2,765
    If you want it to last longer and have more control, you could try replacing the motor with one of the track powered motors instead of the battery ones.
    But then you'd need to replace all the track as well, with much more expensive track.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 2,765
    And in terms of speed, you can use the PF controller to change that and run it slow. No need for any fancy solutions.
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 Washington, USAMember Posts: 551
    #60051 has all the parts you need in one box. It's a bit more expensive than just buying the parts that @Paperballpark pointed out, but if you want more track (and a pretty cool train) it is worth considering.

    I'll echo this as it was information passed along to me. Last year around Black Friday, Amazon regularly had the set on sale for $100. Buying all the extra track, along with the motorized features, is basically $75. So for $25 more bucks, you could add a sweet train.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,101
    If you want it to last longer and have more control, you could try replacing the motor with one of the track powered motors instead of the battery ones.
    But then you'd need to replace all the track as well, with much more expensive track.
    Bit of an odd question here ... Has anyone had a go at painting their PF-style track with conductive paint? I've also recently bought some copper foil tape, I've heard about people using it to repair old scalextric and hornby style track, so might be able to give that a go to see if it can be used to electrify lego PF track.

    kbenjes
  • kbenjeskbenjes Member Posts: 59
    CCC said:
    If you want it to last longer and have more control, you could try replacing the motor with one of the track powered motors instead of the battery ones.
    But then you'd need to replace all the track as well, with much more expensive track.
    Bit of an odd question here ... Has anyone had a go at painting their PF-style track with conductive paint? I've also recently bought some copper foil tape, I've heard about people using it to repair old scalextric and hornby style track, so might be able to give that a go to see if it can be used to electrify lego PF track.

    Never thought of doing that, interesting idea.
  • norm103norm103 Member Posts: 229
    I did the copper foil tape and added it to PF track. I will say I had mix results at best. Some spots would not hold the power and the trian would die. Looking back at it I would set my trian track up and then put it down as one long strip instead of doing it for each track part. 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,101
    norm103 said:
    I did the copper foil tape and added it to PF track. I will say I had mix results at best. Some spots would not hold the power and the trian would die. Looking back at it I would set my trian track up and then put it down as one long strip instead of doing it for each track part. 
    I was thinking of doing it by converting an old 9V motor to run off an onboard battery. That way the motor picks up the charge, but doesn't actually run the motor but charges the onboard battery. The battery could then connect via an IR receiver to the motor so that it could be controllable like a PF motor but one that charges as it goes round the track. That way you could let people control the speed and direction but also have it charging as it goes around so no need to change batteries. It also means that if part of the track is dead then the train still goes and only charges on the live part.

    I'd probably use an arduino instead of the IR receiver, just so I can add some other sensors, it could still accept IR commands from the remote, but also use distance sensors (stop if someone puts their hand in front) or sound sensors (eg. lights on / off if you clap). I've also go the charging boards so that shouldn't be an issue.

    The only downside is that although I am sure I have an old 9V motor somewhere, I cannot find it! I'm not sure if I can modify a PF one to pick up charge via the wheels. I guess it might be possible using some old scalextric brushes that drag on the track instead of through the wheels.
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 64
    Just keep in mind that the current will always be flowing from the track to the motor and the battery if it needs charging. Just make sure your setup can handle the current of both without overheating or causing arcing between the foil and the wheels/brushes. (don't know how big of a battery you are using, so just a general warning as lithium cells can draw allot of current) I would also recommend some sort of UPS circuit to switch the motor power between battery and track so the charger doesn't have to deal with the motor current and charging the battery. You could just use a relay activated by the track  to switch the motor/controller current and a large capacitor across the relay output to take up the load during the switching time.
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 864
    The  Lego PF battery allows charging and using at the same time and has charge circuitry. If you do it "UPS-style" you can just have a part of the track (or some parts) on 9V straights and charge there, and run the rest of the track on battery. Maybe even have the charge track near a station where you park your train so it can charge overnight.

    There have been quite a few topics on Eurobricks and such discussing modding 9V motors etc, I still want to do it... 12V is also an option. There's a part that's basically a brick with the 12V track contacts on there and 2 contacts at the top.

    Actually modding a PF one to do it is hard and requires custom wheels and such.. There used to be a bricklink store selling those but it's long gone and I've sent a message a year ago, with no reply...
  • NeroonNeroon NetherlandsMember Posts: 2
    edited October 26
    Thanks for all the comments.

    Looking at what batteries are capable off and how much it costs, I do not think it offers me what I want, 3 hours is great if you look at it from a design and more playful perspective, but for me it will be a decoration piece, and if I have to keep switching/charging batteries I will end up not using it except for show, and with all the cool other winter sets out there, I would get more out of that.

    The train track powered stuff does sound good. I saw that the straight pieces are 5 euro but the 'round' pieces are like 30 cents or something. So is it that the round pieces are just standard track and the straight pieces can do more? As planned now I would be looking at 4 straight pieces and 12 round to make a bigger circle, what are the options to make it go constantly? What would be needed and again how expensive would that be?


    I used this link for info btw. I hope it's ok to post here: http://brickmodelrailroader.com/index.php/2017/02/07/battery-powered-vs-track-powered/
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 864
    edited October 26
    Straights should be available for 3€ not 5, I believe... At least last time I looked. They don't do more, they're simply more rare. Every train set includes 16 (or is it 12?) turns, and 0 to 8 straights... while for my fairly simple layout I have many times as many straights as I have turns...
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 864
    edited October 26
    By the way, if you want to go the 12V route, as far as I know you can add the contacts to your existing PF track. Only issue would be switches and crossings.

    Maybe those parts are cheaper than 9V track -- but 12V motors, transformer etc may turn out to be more expensive...
Sign In or Register to comment.
Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy