Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.com
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Old school 9v or the new PF?
I finally had a change to buy the 10194 Emerald Night. It will be a nice addition to my Winter Village. I just to need to power it up.
Everybody is full about the Power Function, I wonder why?
I just prepared the Emerald with an 9v motor, disconnect the radarwork inside the train and made the tender a bit more heavy with lead.
So why use Power Functions (you keep changing batteries) instead of 9volt?
(interested in seeing the Emerald going, look at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEdg8jiQ5Po&hd=1
Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.com • Amazon
Recent discussions •
It looks like you're new here. Sign in or register to get started.
Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
What I like about 9V is you can run many lights and functions while switching on the transformer. Lights for my buildings light up and so does my crossing lights.
The nice thing about the 12V and 9V systems is that you only have to worry about where you're going to stick the motor on your train, rather than having to account for a battery pack and receiver. 12V wins with the control options - points, signals etc; but 9V does seem to have the edge regarding reliability and need to clean the track less than every hour or so!
I'm sure all you have to do is do 2 separate simple programs to operate two trains. Program 1 for Train 1 and Program 2 for Train 2. The unit is not a Speed Regulator, so I don't know how much power it sends to what it is hooked up to. I fear that this can only be used for things that just need power and thats it, like motors and lights.
You can use PF with the 9V system though. All you have to do is tether the PF system to the 9V Speed Regulator.
When I bought my #4512 I had a friend in another state pick it up and hold it for me. It ended up having an almost complete #4561 with it which I already had. So I doubled mine up. I had added a 2nd car to hold the batter box and modified the engine slightly to hold the IR receiver but with how light that small engine car is it would spin its wheels trying to pull the full train so I just recently got around to adding a 2nd motor to the battery car I added and it has 2 now. The front car still spins a bit when changing speeds but only for a half second or so until it gets going at the new speed.
The PF stuff, I have both the passenger train and the cargo train and all the track as well as the station and the level crossing that has 4 straight track pieces each too. So on either front I have plenty track...now if only I had the space.
The beauty of all this is the PF and 9V track can be used together for PF, and PF engines are so cheap from S&H. 9V is easier to work with however and takes up less engine space. It's a trade off. That and you can also use regular PF motors to power trains like the Emerald Night as well and I have a few of those too.
I prefer PF because...
The main advantage I see for 9v (or any direct-power) is the ability to upgrade an engine immediately - just throw on the powered trucks. PF really needs to have an all-in one, single-piece power unit that includes the motor, battery and IR sensor that you can build off of into an engine, tender or carriage. Routing all the wires for the three, separate items (four or five if you have lights) can get ridiculous at times. The second best advantage I see is that 9v is more powerful overall, which others have already written about. A third benefit that is less used is the ability for cars to pull power directly off the track to light up the interiors.
- You don't have to clean the track
- The train doesn't ever encounter dead spots (though to be fair, losing line-of-sight with PF is kinda a dead spot)
- The train always has constant voltage (the further you are from a transformer, the lower the voltage)
- The fact that the train literally powers itself (i.e. even the "fuel" is on-board) adds to the immersion
- You can control 8 things simultaneously (motors and lights)
- Related to above, you can have 8 different engines on the same track
- PF is the current standard (until it is replaced with something, of course)
- The track is much cheaper (i.e. you don't need to encase it with metal, or deal with traversing power through points or crossing tracks - btw Lego, where's my PF crossing track?)
- Track is currently available
- With the rechargeable pack, you barely ever have to fiddle with replacing the batteries (or even recharging all that often - the charge lasts a long time)
- You can walk around and still control the trains with the IR controller
So, what is "better" all comes down to what is important to you, which is why it's a personal choice. Though, honestly, because Lego is going with PF only at this point, it's less of a choice as a result. As for the future, what I'd like to see in the next iteration:
It's tough making neat layouts with the limited track components such that they are. I always feel my minifigs are getting whiplash going around a corner.
- Curved track with different radii
- Straight and curved track with shorter lengths (to accommodate more complex layouts, especially when coupled with the above request)
- Turnouts that actually turnout into a curve (the current ones turn, then begin to straighten out a bit)
- 2ft, one-piece straight tracks
I already had a ton of 9V track. If you saw my layout, one could gather as much. For me to switch right now would cost me a bunch and a lot of time to change all my 9V trains to PF. I don't need to buy any track.
Of course, I don't have mine crawling by Paul Mitchell products either, so you win :)
Yeah, I can't help the Paul Mitchell products being there. Hey, if you don't look good, we don't look good ;)
Are you a Red Wings fan? I live just outside of Detroit.
I also think that, for their age, #7822 and #7824 are pretty nice too IMO
My request is a new double crossover with independent switching.
And yeah, thumbs up to an independent crossover.
Grand Central Station Pic 1
Detroit Train Station Pic 2
The Detroit Train Station was featured in the Transformers movie.
I own both 9V and PF. While I enjoy the ease of the 9V system, I like the complexity of track setups allowed in PF. But TLG need to get their controlling components smaller. There is no reason why the IR port can't be built into the motor, or battery box, or just move to a RF signal.
In the future I will probably do some trains with PF components.
So in review of the OP's question:
If you are just starting out, I would recommend using the current PF components.
I have set 4559 set up right now. I'm building a "town" right now and I want the basic theme of it to be older time periods like western and pirate and old England and that train is just too modern.
I was thinking of transforming 4559 into a "steam engine" type of train. Which train would you say was the best of Lego's older 9V trains? Or could I easily turn the new Lone Ranger train into a 9V?
Oh, and I'm also trying to build a tunnel, but I want to be able to build on top of it. Does anyone have any tips on this as well? :}
Well, old western = Constitution, England = Emerald Night, so set your sites on those (hint, one is more affordable than the other). Btw, you did read the thread right, including the whole 9v being real easy to slap on to any train part?
Emerald Night looks awesome but, once again, are there parts to it that are expensive if you tried to build it buying individual elements?
As far as the EN goes, the roof pieces for the passenger car and the windows I think are expensive, so I wouldn't recommend that set on a budget.
Here is the current state of my mountain with train tunnel for my table setup. The colors are just what is visible of the 2x4 and 1x4 lattice structure that makes up the inside and will be covered in rock formation like the front is.