Monday, September 1, 2008

Trolley System Build: A Failed Attempt with some Good Ideas

A few weeks ago, I described a bizarre building standard without explaining what it was for. It was for a trolley system. The polarity of the 9V power changes when the train hits the trigger mechanism - on one side that's hooked directly into the switch, on the other end the mechanism is geared in through a long axle lineup. The reason for the standard was to figure out how long a stretch of track this would work for.

I have a fairly limited LEGO workspace these days, so I wasn't able to test a decent-length stretch of track. When we tested it at the big table at the library, we found out that it was able to go about 5 inches further than my previous test had shown - and that the result didn't get any better with a heavier vehicle (I was running my tests with DUPLO Thomas - which I'll blog soon). Additionally, the speeds were higher than optimal for a layout like this, so the stops were a bit abrupt even at the lowest speeds that the mechanism could handle. Thanks to Mike Walsh for letting me use his trolley at the meeting.

Photos and explanations of how to build the various modules of the mechanism are on flickr ( ), if you are interested in trying this out or improving on it yourself.

I sold a few sets there as well - I have records of that elsewhere so I won't post it here.

I'll do a proper wrap-up of the meeting on the NCLUG website soon. Here are picture links in the meantime.

Matthew's photos:
Dan's photos:

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