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I posted some pictures and a link to a Youtube video of an O-Gauge, wire-following REA 14-wheeler big rig I built a week or so ago.  It is a superb truck, but geared for highway speeds to run on my (yet to be built) wire-guided country highway, and too big to really run well through my downtown area.  Last week i decided to build a shorter, smaller "city tractor trailer truck" geared for city driving speeds to run on my Main Street loop.  It proved to be difficult to build and took five days, during which I experimented and learned a good deal more about building tractor trailer trucks.  As completed it looks a a bit ugly, but has to be this short in order to run well through the downtown streets' tight curves, etc.   It runs well and at the right scale 22 mph I want for my downtown loop. Here it is:


This is a link to a video of it running one lap around downtown.  There are a couple of bad moments for it, but those are issues I am fixing with the road and tunnel height, that affect other vehicles, too.  Overall I like having this little ugly fella on the layout!!






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Original Post

Looks very nice, Lee. I don't think the rig is ugly at all.

Although most truck deliveries through town for the time period of your layout would probably have been handled by day cab box vans, short bed tractor/trailer rigs were also used. Given your turning radii, the rounded nose and tractor/trailer setup create a good solution. I agree your other tractor /trailer belongs on the highway.


@AlanRail posted:


Do you have a thread or you-tube video showing how you make these vehicles? I'm looking at adding this to my city. I purchased one of the Automotionfx cars, but you seem to have taken this to a whole new level well beyond the cars being sold.

No, not yet, and I doubt I would ever do a video, or at least not only a video, but I will probably eventually do a book/.pdf I would post here to download for free.  I think a book with step by step photos and highlights that a person can put on the workbench next to them might be best if they are trying to build these, too.

I have, and I have not "taken this to a whole new level."  I have in the sense I am building bigger vehicles - buses and big-rigs in O-Gauge scale - than anyone has built before.  But my vehicles at their best are still a bit crude compared to AutomotionFXs - they use 3-D printers and factory manufactured precision parts in places, along with smaller electronics boards for the speed control, etc., than I can get or build, and their cars are superior to anything I build.  


as it turns out I have a 3D printer and laser cutter so I COULD build "3-D printed and real  precision parts." Just need  .stl and ,svg files of those parts. just need a scale drawing and I can make those files in Rhino6 and CorelDraw.  Also, I am building circuits in Eagle and I know a cute Chinese girl at a circuit building place in China so I can get them built in a few weeks. So I have the bases covered,

I'd be happy to make them for you for the same price as your book!



Last edited by AlanRail

I bought a Automotionfx car and two pieces of track. The Automotionfx track is laser cut and engraved on Glowforge medium proofgrade draftboard. I assume on a Glowforge laser cutter. So making custom track should not be a problem on my Glowforge.

Making a switch point for a bus stop could  he done by using a DZ-2500C to alter the underside wire direction. An electromagnet disguised as a sewer cover triggers the reed switch on the  bus to temporarily stop the bus.

I can elevate or lower the roadway by cutting a living hinge across the track that is unaffected by the underside grooves.


@AlanRail posted:

above is quick drawing (excuse misspellings) of a chassis for a car that could be cut from a flat pieces of 1/8" cast acrylic. the front axle pivots with the magnetic link.  There is a lot need to be worked out.

I'm still thinking that some of the steering issues might be addressed by using a magnetic sensor and a servo to actually steer the wheels.  Lots to work out there, but in theory you could do all of this under the front of the car and also not have to depend on a dragging magnet to steer the car.  Without the tricky tension adjustments and magnet strength issues, it should be easier to build a working steering mechanism.

I now have two of their cars. The front wheel arrangement has an independent wheel rotation and suspension. I have not seen this in any of the 1/43  cars except in certain 1/53  scale trucks.

Their independent rotation of the front wheels prevents fishtailing of the car. It looks like a purchased piece and not a 3D print like the car frame.

Has anyone know of a car model with this piece? I'd like to modify my own cars.

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