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My adventure into PennLUG

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My adventure into PennLUG

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:38 pm

Hi All, My name is Bob Carney and I mostly build castles using Lego as my medium. It's been a wonderful hobby since 1986! I have a model of the 1953 Santa Fe Super Chief (built in 2003 on the 50th anniversary) that I'd like to rest or run on the PennLUG railroad at BirckWorld Chicago 2012. Jim has sent my message and picture on to a Forum, but I've not found that link so far (having joined in the last half hour...)

I look forward to renewing acquaintences, and meeting new friends in Pennsylvania!

Guest
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Re: My adventure into PennLUG

Post  Brickadier General on Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:22 pm

Hi Bob, and welcome. You're take on the Super Chief is great, and some others made some positive comments about it, too: http://pennlug.forum-motion.com/t761-brickworld-2012-request#5564


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Re: My adventure into PennLUG

Post  maarek on Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:59 pm

we're not a secretive bunch but their is a members only space where I posted it. Sorry I should've linked you directly to it. (Even still, might not work) until your membership is elevated.

Just trying to kept the spambots, and other riff-raft out.

Jim

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My Santa Fe Super Chief...and lots of IFs

Post  Guest on Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:17 am

Thanks for your replies, Jim and Brickadier! I was very much enamoured of PennLUGs New York Central train last year at BrickWorld Chicago. And the fact that my stationary train could actually potentially run on your layout. My model is not motorized, the nearest Lego train club to me being the NILTC 200 miles away. Not a trip I want to make frequently. So if PennLUG goes to BrickWorld again, and if I'm encouraged to contribute my train, then we need to decide if it would best left stationary - or motorized, in which case I would logically build a 2nd F7B unit (since the 1953 Super Chief most commonly ran F7A-F7B-F7B) and motorize it. It would also need to change the trucks on the engine and boilers from double to triple. And would the magnetic couplers be strong enough to hold a roughly 18' train together, or do your 'train guys' use something else? Thanks for all your guidance! -Bob Carney

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Re: My adventure into PennLUG

Post  Shuppiluliumas on Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:07 pm

Now that you're posting in here, let me give you a fuller response. We haven't yet decided exactly what will be going to Brickworld this year. We probably won't bring a layout of the same size we did last year. That's fairly difficult with only 4 or 5 people to set it up. We will be bringing our trains and some sort of layout to run them on, though, and also plenty of yard space for display (though all these long trains are filling up our yard pretty quickly these days!) I built the 20th century Limited, but I learned most of what I know from Cale and Josh, who have been at this a lot longer than I have. If you have questions about motorizing your locomotives, I'd be happy to help, as would they, I'm sure. Here's my photos of the Limited, with some showing how the motors are set up:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/34338074@N06/sets/72157625841592802/

Those motorized trucks are attached to the locomotives via 4x4 turntables. The motors are fixed inside the locomotives, and are geared up 5:3 before power reaches the trucks. It's not terribly fast, but the 4 Power Functions XL motors have no problem pulling the train. One locomotive and 2 motors is basically enough; the batteries just don't last as long that way. I'm looking at coaxing more speed out of them via a truck design that Cale came up with, so I'll let you know if I have luck with that.

As for magnets, no, LEGO couplers will pull apart with that much weight (I'm sure all those 1x2 grill bricks add up!) We use neodymium "rare earth" magnets and just put them between the regular magnets. That way it's still easy to pull the coaches apart when needed. They come in every size and shape you can imagine, but we try to find thin discs so as not to increase the space between the coaches.

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Powering a train

Post  Guest on Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:03 pm

Hi Shuppiluliumas, Thanks for all the excellent info. The advantage of PF over the older 9V Lego motors is the remote control capability? Do you use the standard 4x4x14 battery pack inside the locomotive? -Bob

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Re: My adventure into PennLUG

Post  Shuppiluliumas on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:43 pm

The major advantages are power, scalability and flexibility. 9v motors are reasonably powerful, but they are no match for PF XL motors. I imagine it would take a few 9v motors to get your whole train moving. Gearing the motors gives you control of the kind of speed/power ratio you want to build into your design. it also lets you choose where the power will go, as in the Emerald Night. You really can't power steam locomotive drivers with the new PF train motor, and obviously not with the 9v. Having to build your powered trucks from scratch can be a pain, but the result is you can have any shape and wheel type you want.

There are two battery types we use now, though any 9v battery will work. LEGO has made 2 specifically for trains:

http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=84599

http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=87513c01

The first is a lithium ion rechargeable, the second takes 6 AAAs. They're smaller and easier to integrate into a locomotive. Still, the battery is definitely the downside of the PF system. Having to change them every 2-3 hours at a show is a bit of a bummer. The remote control is ok, but it's IR and its range is really limited in a large open space.

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Re: My adventure into PennLUG

Post  joshua sanders on Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:16 pm

As for magnets... http://www.kjmagnetics.com/ K&J Magnetics is where I get the strong Neodymium Disc Magnets. I don't remember what size I got, but they are just the diameter of the old magnetic couplers. I got ones that were pretty thin, but they work great, while Cale got thicker ones... it's all preference...

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Reality check!!

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:59 pm

Hi fellas, I been getting more and more excited over the past couple of days about how to motorize my train -- until I started looking a costs - not even the spoked wheels, motors, battery packs - BUT just 42 2x3 light grey bricks with rounded ends for the outer edge of the roof of a second F7B unit was going to be over $100!! I'd happily spend $500 for a train, but not one car...

SO if I bring my train to BrickWorld, I'd do so if you discover you have an extra track in your yard. Please let me know. AND thank you all so much for your great info!! - Bob

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Re: My adventure into PennLUG

Post  ctbyrne on Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:22 pm

I've got a buyer who has those 2x3 bricks reserved in my store whenever I get them in stock. He has bought 40 of them from me to date. I got them all from the Atlantis set 8077.

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I shudder at the thought

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:58 pm

Hi Chris, Thanks for the note. When I built my Super Chief in 2003, the light grey 2x3 with rounded end bricks were selling for 28 cents each. My train needed almost 750 of them. Now they're $2.50 each (new or bulk used). Crazy. But of course Lego doesn't make light grey any more (unlike 2003). - Bob

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