[WIP] Space-themed automated train layout

This is the documentation topic for my attempt to build a space-themed Lego train layout, light it with Brickstuff, and automate it with 4dbrix products and a Raspberry Pi. I have a.so set myself the challenge of doing it with the parts and electronics I curently have, as much as possible, so we'll see how it goes.

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  • Update: table still in progress. I think I'll just post a picture of my hangar as it stands since building the table is taking so long.

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  • Pictures! here goes nothing:

    The roller coaster track in the background is for the JK brickworks motorized train

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  • Jeremiah Shue Looks fantastic!  Keep up the great work and please keep us updated.

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  • Got the table in yesterday. Planning to put paper along the back today or soon. Disclaimer I will not be lighting the whole thing, but I will attempt to spread the lights I have around the layout so that the hangar is not the only thing with lights. The video shows my transit system: Roller coaster tracks with jk brickworks motorized train from https://jkbrickworks.com/roller-coaster-train/

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  • Hey everybody, Sorry I haven't updated this recently, I'm currently stuck on making infrared control work on my Pi. The table's a bit of a mess (pro tip: don't put wall plaques above your Lego display) . I did build an enclosure for the Pi and rebuilt the roller coaster tram (thanks JK Brickworks for inspiration, but I sacrificed width for reliability.) Once infrared control works, I can start emulating the Brickstuff controller and begin putting lights around the area.

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  • Jeremiah Shue Nice job-- thanks for keeping us updated.  That Pi fits pretty well inside the bricks.  Eager to keep updated on your progress!

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  • I haven’t had much time to work on the electronics portion of this build, but here’s a video showing the current transportation systems. Due to the 4dbrix control software not being updated to the latest version of Raspbian, I’m actually stalled on this project until further notice.

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  • Jeremiah Shue Thanks for keeping us updated-- you're making really great progress with the automation and setup.  Have the 4dbrix folks said when they plan to update their software?  Hopefully soon....

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  • Well... here’s what they said:

    I'm not sure whether we'll support Buster.  I was very enthusiastic about the RPi when I started with the model 3B.   Unfortunately, the RPi 3B+ was a disappointment.  There seem to be persisting issues with the stability of the WiFi and Bluetooth drivers.  The fact that every version Raspian needs it's own nControl build makes it very time consuming to maintain.  The main idea was to create an automation server that didn't have a screen, keyboard and mouse.  Due to the above mentioned issues with the RPi and the availability of cheap mini PCs that are more powerful I'm considering giving up the RPi and creating the automation server with a mini PC.  The only real advantage of the RPi would the programmable pins but this could be replaced by small arduino board connected to the mini PC.

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  • Jeremiah Shue Wow, surprising to hear they are thinking of abandoning the RPi.  Moving everything to a mini PC seems like it would be a lot of change, but then I'm not a Linux guy.

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  • The good news is that I have an old laptop I may be able to use. However that may require a second arduino. One with a long cable as a controller and one with the IR blaster to do the Brickstuff lights 

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  • Update! Next step is lighting the rebuilt hangar. After Christmas I will order more  automation parts. I’ve decided to go with a custom control solution. Any recommendations for a 4 ft ardiuno compatible rgb light strip to light I the hangar entrance?

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  • Jeremiah Shue Looks great!  Thanks for continuing to share your progress.

    We can sell you 4mm wide RGB Neopixel strip that works with Arduino.  Let me know if you're interested in more details.  We have straight strip and also strip that can be bent at 90 degree angles to create a color-changing frame.

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  • Are these a regular product that I just haven’t seen? I’ve been researching on Adafruit. I guess what I’m looking for is something that can be powered off the Brickstuff plugs but controlled with an Arduino, preferably with individually addressable LEDs. It would also have to be about 1.3 meters and fit within a 2stud gap. This is not a custom product request (yet), I’m just thinking online.

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  • This might work but the Brickstuff plugs probably can’t deliver 10a. I might end up transistorizing to switch power on/off based on the IR controller.
     

    https://www.amazon.com/Aclorol-Individually-Addressable-Programmable-Waterproof

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  • Getting some lights in

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  • Jeremiah Shue 10a is a lot to work with.  Very dangerous, actually.  Are you sure you need that much?  The main difference between the strips you listed and ours is that ours are much thinner-- 4mm width is a good size to run along the side of bricks/plates.

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  • The Amazon page said 10 amps but that’s 2 amps per meter for 5 meters. Way too long for what I am looking for. I can’t find the product page for your rgb light strips. How much would it cost for what’s approximately 4 ft?

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  • I’ve been putting up paper as backdrops for better photography, here’s a shot of my moc fleet and the backdrops.

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  • I’ll be moving most pictures to my bricksafe https://bricksafe.com/pages/Amicus1/space-train-layout#

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  • I don’t know how to embed pictures on here without directly uploading them. So, presenting the over hidden battery box!

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  • Jeremiah Shue Good solution!

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  • Now part of a bot fighting pit.

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  • Took me long enough, and the light strips aren’t sticking very well but it works!

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  • Jeremiah Shue Bot fighting-- love it!

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