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My Christmas Train!

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My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Sat 04 Jun 2011, 6:41 am

Ok so this is a follow on from here. I apologise for the new thread already but I thought it was a pretty big change legohappy And not really in with the title of the old thread. Any mods with issues just let me know.

For those who didn't read - this started as a bits box version of the #4534 train. Fully built from spare parts so there's a few discrepancies but on the whole not a bad job IMO. While I was very happy with what it was... my MOC loving wife egged me on to do something a bit more special with it. Normally I like sets, but being that this was a bitsa anyway I went for it. Spent last night and this morning finishing it off, had to rebuild some parts a few times to get it *just* right - but at last we have the LEGO Christmas Train!






Because I can't stop playing with the train (despite being in the middle of posting about it) I've also changed the front chimney to expand on the xmas theme and also help disguise the otherwise very obvious light brick legowink



And because being Chrismassy just wasn't quite enough in itself - I've animated/motorised the last carriage too! It's based on an oldschool 9v motor that has the same connections as the 9V train stuff so easy to make it run off the trains power rather than trying to cram in a battery box too. It is noisy though legounsure



The last second or so is at full controller speed (i had it plugged direct into 9V speed controller for the video) - it's been geared down so it doesn't all just fly apart at normal train speeds. I'd ideally like it a little slower and not so noisy but I'd have to fully re-work the insides and replace the motor to make it happen and I'm not sure I care *that* much legoeyeshutlaughing

Let me know what you think.

Matt

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by peterab on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 6:16 am

I love the moving figures in the video.

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 9:00 am

Thanks for the comments (and on the #4534 train)! I'm aiming to tidy up my track area over the next few days or something and I'll get some video of it on-track too.

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 9:48 am

Two new videos to add!

Running on a loop



On the loop again... but a bit closer up legohappy



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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Wed 17 Aug 2011, 11:30 am

/sneaky update.

Since the arrival of our latest bricklink order I've updated the train to the newer PF "M" motor using the PF-9V extension cables. Result is a much quieter motor and much smoother action, the motor is much torquier so it runs alot better without jamming up. I've also slowed down the movement a little more and reinforced the insides a bit better to help prevent the gears/axles pulling loose under load.

Externally.... pretty much the same. Although.... I do have another motor kit to use somewhere legohatsunnies

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by Captain Zuloo on Fri 19 Aug 2011, 1:36 pm

Good stuff mattman, how much did your latest modifications set you back? I'd love to see some photos if you had any...

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by brickie on Fri 19 Aug 2011, 2:40 pm

Saw the train running today as we were setting up at Strathpine and it looks great.

It will be a great hit with the kids.

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Fri 19 Aug 2011, 3:10 pm

Captain Zuloo wrote:Good stuff mattman, how much did your latest modifications set you back? I'd love to see some photos if you had any...

Latest mod wasn't too bad, basically just an M motor (bought a few PF starter kits cheap online) plus the extension that was <$10 off bricklink. Externally it still looks exactly the same, but I'll grab some shots with the top off after the pine rivers show. Can't really price the train since the most of it was just built from stuff we had legohappy The motor + extension were the only parts we've actually bought specifically for it.

The only trouble was the PF motor being a little longer than the old one and pin comes out of the motor a little higher... so had to do a little bit of rearranging.



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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Mon 10 Oct 2011, 2:06 pm

Oh dear... it seems I'm still not done with this :p

I have another animated carriage in the works, bit more complicated than the last but should be more impressive too. I'm also going to incorporate a battery box (or boxes) to drive the motors directly, as I kept having issues with it on the long track on BLTG displays - I think it was just too much load for the 9V tracks.

I'm working on a proof of concept right now, still needs some tweaking and smoothing out but it seems like it should all work :D

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by dogfin on Wed 12 Oct 2011, 12:12 pm

Your Christmas train looks great. I really like the moving components in the third carriage.

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Wed 12 Oct 2011, 1:56 pm

Hehe well.... here is a sneak peak. My awesome wife found an oldschool technic box with some BIG gears in there - I was able to totally redesign the insides and I'm much happier with how it's running, far less complex and alot smoother.... and I might have some ideas to make it visible when the train is running too legowink

It's just running off a regular battery box now, but that is something else that will be fixed in time - planning to either make a small carriage between the current 3rd carriage and this new one which will either carry a full size battery box or a pair of the 9v battery boxes used in the monorail, one powering each animated carriage. I'm not going to run either carriage off the train motor as it's not reliable enough.



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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by brickie on Thu 13 Oct 2011, 1:08 am

Mattman

It looks great; it will be very impressive moving around a display.

You will have to bring it to the next BLTG meeting.

A PF rechargeable battery would be great for the sleigh as you can control the speed from the battery box. It might be even more impressive if it was moving a bit slower.

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Thu 13 Oct 2011, 1:25 am

Yeah I don't have the big PF rechargeables though sorry - too dear for me to have multiples of them (i'd use a few, like yourself). At the moment it's heavily geared down and that seems to be working well as it's slow but got quite alot of power behind it.

If it's all build and running by then - yes I'll definitely bring the whole train along.

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Sat 15 Oct 2011, 12:27 pm

Sigh... 95% of the way there but the mechanism just isn't totally reliable, it's a hard one to build into a 6-wide train.

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Sat 22 Oct 2011, 12:02 pm

Here we go legohappy

Totally re-did the gearing - ended up using a worm gearbox which was awesome as it both slows things down alot but also makes a secure 90 degree change.

The movement is still not perfect, but I'm happy for now, next mission is to incorporate a battery box into the train somewhere (likely a small carriage) to power both animated carriages, I don't want this *at all* reliant on track power. I bought a couple of the monorail 9v battery boxes off BL which I just tested and seems fine in theory, though I only have a really cheap battery and it showed slowdown after just a couple of minutes vs eneloop aa's in a power functions box were fine.

As I started it became very obvious that the gearing was impossible to hide - so I made a little show out of it and put in some windows in the side which shows the main gear running and pushing the sled legohappy If it's possible, I'll throw in some lights... but i don't know if I'm going to be able to with the available space.













Let me know what you all think!

Matt

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Sat 22 Oct 2011, 1:48 pm

And now it's complete :D

Completed the power carriage and also decided to put a 2nd 9V train engine up front for some extra grunt - the whole thing is pretty heavy with the motors and battery box.





And a terrible blurrycam video, in the hall at night since it's the only place long enough to set it up :D

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by brickie on Tue 25 Oct 2011, 3:31 am

Mattman,

The train looks great.

I love the sleigh and the way in which you have used the gearbox.

A wonderful train.

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Tue 25 Oct 2011, 10:47 am

Cheers legohappy

Forgot I had a couple more vids... whole thing is running now. Had a couple of issues to resolve since last post but all running now. Frustratingly one of the issues was excess friction in the bobbing santa car which I never picked up on previously - now fixed and alot happier. This probably would have made it run alot nicer on the 9V supply at the shows if i had known before now, but oh well legohappy It's also now powered off a 6xAAA box from the RC train sets and the power supply car has been downsized accordingly.





Cheers,
Matt

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by haz on Wed 26 Oct 2011, 11:10 am

Awesome! So much too look at! legohappy

I wonder what the snowman would look like if he was spinning around as the train moved? legowink

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Thu 27 Oct 2011, 12:48 am

Noooooo.... no more ideas :P

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by brickie on Thu 27 Oct 2011, 11:54 am

Inspired by Mattman's wonderful creation and urged on by haz, I have come up with a rotating snowman.



http://www.youtube.com/user/618cmu?feature=mhee

It must be old age, but I can't work out how to place the youtube video into this post.

Help please for a lost old soul.



Last edited by peterab on Sat 29 Oct 2011, 9:08 am; edited 9 times in total (Reason for editing : added link for lost old soul)

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by Brickenzy on Thu 27 Oct 2011, 2:11 pm

Looks great and nicely done fitting that into such a neat and small package, reminds of of how I used to rig the lego train set up around the xmas tree legohappy

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by peterab on Sat 29 Oct 2011, 9:18 am

While I'm a bit of a prototypical train nut rather than a Xmas train type, I like the automation of both these trains.

I edited brickie's post to add the video link, brickie you should be able to work out how to use it in the future, but it was a bit involved for me, I copied mattmans link and then substituted your video's id from YouTube. There is probably an easier way using the insert video button, but I don't make videos so have never done it.

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Re: My Christmas Train!

Post by mattman on Sat 29 Oct 2011, 9:25 am

Yeah if you go to the preview page, rather than the quick reply box at the bottom of the thread then there's a button that does the movie linking for you legohappy

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Re: My Christmas Train!

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