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Train-driven orrery
Space stuff and trains -- it doesn't get any better than that!
About this creation
In the video Flying Train: LEGO Technic, famous Japanese builder Yoshihito Isogawa used a motor swivelling on a central pylon to propel a tethered train car around a circular track with a jump in it. (Very cool. Think Evel Knievel on rails.)

Well, why not the opposite: Put some interesting gizmo on a central pylon and drive it with a tethered train running around a circular track? (Think ox mill.)

So, down to the basement to raid the kids' 1991 Load and Haul Railroad set (4563). Then to the Bin of Parts I Never Use to make a silly little train -- my first in 25+ years.

But what gizmo at the center? After maybe 10 minutes of watching the train go round and round and round, it came to me...



The simple 3-body orrery driven by the train represents a generic star)planet)moon system.



With a quick change of celestial bodies, you could also model a planet)moon)orbiter system -- like the Earth, the Moon, and that pesky alien mother ship circling the latter. (They keep sending me texts meant for some guy named Zoltar, who apparently thinks we taste like chicken.)

Shot these orreries in the Science Museum in Valencia, Spain just last month. If I recall correctly, both are from the 17th century. The one in the wooden carrying case was designed to be portable.





Please see video description and captions for more info.






Comments

 I made it 
  July 22, 2018
Quoting Nick Barrett A build for Decisive Traction ? I'll see myself out....
No, no, you can stay. And pay no attention to the Derisive Faction around here. They've groaned at puns a lot better than these.
 I like it 
  July 22, 2018
A build for Decisive Traction ? I'll see myself out....
 I made it 
  July 21, 2018
Quoting Oliver Becker Love your choo-choo- orrery, Jeremy! Now we have "Star Train"! Never wrong to move with the times, my good friend! Trekkies have to recognize that, I believe... ;) You should secure the rights for TV and movie! :)
Thanks, Oliver! Now you tell me! Already sold the rights to Spielberg.
 I like it 
  July 21, 2018
Love your choo-choo- orrery, Jeremy! Now we have "Star Train"! Never wrong to move with the times, my good friend! Trekkies have to recognize that, I believe... ;) You should secure the rights for TV and movie! :)
 I like it 
  July 20, 2018
That's true my friend...
 I made it 
  July 20, 2018
Quoting Sven ;o) Yes I think so. But I'll send you a email with the reason why I was aksing you.
It's a sad state of affairs when a country has not just one world-famous school shooting, but many.
 I like it 
  July 20, 2018
Yes I think so. But I'll send you a email with the reason why I was aksing you.
 I made it 
  July 20, 2018
Quoting Sven ;o) Just a quick question which has nothing to do with Lego. Hope that's okay. Do you know the book "The strangeness of Columbine"?
No. Is it about the school shooting, or some other Columbine?
 I like it 
  July 20, 2018
Just a quick question which has nothing to do with Lego. Hope that's okay. Do you know the book "The strangeness of Columbine"?
 I made it 
  July 18, 2018
Quoting Oran Cruzen Oops sorry Jeremy!
No, I'm sorry now. Should have made it clearer that I was just kidding. I've been called a lot worse than spacey!
  July 18, 2018
Oops sorry Jeremy!
 I made it 
  July 17, 2018
Quoting Caleb R. I wish I was good at the mechanically driven side of LEGO. But I'm not, so I'll settle by watching people like you make cool stuff like this :)
That makes me smile. Mechanical fun is always a high priority for me. This kind of building involves a lot of guess-and-check, and sometimes guessing wrong -- no matter how skilled you are at it. Which means that getting started in it boils down to (1) accepting failure as the only viable path to success, and (2) having enough of the right parts around for the guessing and checking to go quickly. You don't need to be an engineer. You can learn most of it as you go -- mainly by paying attention to how your guesses pan out. Your guesses will get better over time. If you'd like to try the mechanical stuff: (a) Buy a few of the more mechanical Technic sets. Start small. (b) First, build each set strictly by the book to see how the set designer chose to use the parts. But keep an open mind. Every part will have other uses. (c) Then try to make the finished product more to your liking: Change some colors, add some features, add some decoration, add some strength, trim some weight, etc. (d) Then scrap the whole thing to build up your stock. (e) Then build something out of your own head using accumulated experience and the parts you already have. Again, start small. I know, sounds like a lot of work. But when you take instruction from the inevitable screw-ups with a smile, this kind of building can be a lot of fun.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2018
I wish I was good at the mechanically driven side of LEGO. But I'm not, so I'll settle by watching people like you make cool stuff like this :)
 I made it 
  July 16, 2018
Quoting Oran Cruzen Jeremy you are so spacey? Wonderful work my friend!
Gee, thanks, Oran! Spacey, eh? I know you meant it in a much nicer way, but please don't give my wife any more ammunition than she already has. ;^} Are you back in the MOC business?
 I like it 
  July 16, 2018
Jeremy you are so spacey? Wonderful work my friend!
 I made it 
  July 16, 2018
Quoting Henrik Jensen As always pure entertainment watching your Technic LEGO creations in action! I would love to see you taking it a step further, making it a Polar Express driving a complete solar system!
Very kind, Henrik! Man, that sounds like 10 steps farther to me! But if you donate the Polar Express, I'll try to add as many planets and moons as I can without resorting to structural metal. The solar system is crawling with alien orbiters. Want some of them, too? ;^} Just remember, scale is limited by max track circle diameter, and that's baked in by TLG. So, it's gonna get crowded in a hurry. But out to Jupiter might be doable if I can leave out most of the non-planets.
 I like it 
  July 16, 2018
As always pure entertainment watching your Technic LEGO creations in action! I would love to see you taking it a step further, making it a Polar Express driving a complete solar system!
 I made it 
  July 16, 2018
Quoting Prime governor Edison Lutz of the M.I.U Neat Creation
Ah, you're too kind, Prime Governor! I'd be honored by a mere favorable mention from the M.I.U. But such a glowing endorsement! Well, that's an honor I'll cherish forever. :^}
 I like it 
  July 16, 2018
Neat Creation
 I made it 
  July 16, 2018
Quoting Daniel H. Haha, this is so cool! Excellent work!
Many thanks, Daniel!
 I made it 
  July 16, 2018
Quoting Seaman SPb Excellent work, Jeremy! Thanks to this building, in the game DA3 Your firepower would have doubled! :)
Thanks, Seaman! But that would have meant an orrery on demand. My building just doesn't work that way, but orreries have no doubt been simmering in the back of my head since they came up in DA3.
 I made it 
  July 16, 2018
Quoting Digital Dreams Well that was fun. Almost as much fun as using your dog on a manual treadmill to generate electricity. I had to laugh at the "bin of parts I never use" though :)
Thanks, DD! If the electricity were used to run a squirrel robot, that treadmill thing would totally work with my dog. I was determined to give some of the parts languishing in the bin a new purpose in life, and the others a ray of hope.
 I made it 
  July 16, 2018
Quoting Jimmie Martinez Absolutely brilliant work not just for the fantastic MOC itself. I love all of the time and effort you put in presenting your MOCs with all of the links, descriptions, and total completeness of understanding all phases of your amazing creations. BOAJDTAP. 100/100 And keep up the amazing work that you always do.
Much too kind, Jimmie! Making those detailed pages has always been a labor of love for me, however small the audience. But until this site gets a lot more stable, and some of the long-neglected problems get fixed, I'll be putting less time and effort into my MOCpages and more into my MOC videos. YouTube never crashes, actually improves with age, and treats its content providers like the stakeholders they are. What won't change: Coming around to hang with my friends here.
 I made it 
  July 16, 2018
Quoting Gabor Pauler But where is the railroad crossing? Who will leave a car in that to stop the train (and motion of Earth)? You give really hard time for Hollywood diaster movie producers, Jeremy!
Don't worry, Gabor. Sooner or later, some off-road knucklehead will cross the track anyway. And stop to send some text messages. Happened to the Zargon system just last week. Big mess!
 I made it 
  July 16, 2018
Quoting Clayton Marchetti I couldn’t agree more. Space and trains are awesome! Fantastic job! Cool video too.
Thanks, Clayton! Got that space and trains line from a 50 year old woman at this MOC's first LEGO show last weekend. And she wasn't just channeling her husband or sons. She was speaking for herself. And here I thought it was just a guy thing.
 I made it 
  July 16, 2018
Quoting Sven ;o) You're welcome my friend. Yes and then we share the money and buy more legos XD
Deal!
 I like it 
  July 16, 2018
Haha, this is so cool! Excellent work!
 I like it 
  July 16, 2018
Excellent work, Jeremy! Thanks to this building, in the game DA3 Your firepower would have doubled! :)
 I like it 
  July 16, 2018
Well that was fun. Almost as much fun as using your dog on a manual treadmill to generate electricity. I had to laugh at the "bin of parts I never use" though :)
 I like it 
  July 16, 2018
Absolutely brilliant work not just for the fantastic MOC itself. I love all of the time and effort you put in presenting your MOCs with all of the links, descriptions, and total completeness of understanding all phases of your amazing creations. BOAJDTAP. 100/100 And keep up the amazing work that you always do.
 I like it 
  July 16, 2018
But where is the railroad crossing? Who will leave a car in that to stop the train (and motion of Earth)? You give really hard time for Hollywood diaster movie producers, Jeremy!
 I like it 
  July 16, 2018
I couldn’t agree more. Space and trains are awesome! Fantastic job! Cool video too.
 I like it 
  July 16, 2018
You're welcome my friend. Yes and then we share the money and buy more legos XD
 I made it 
  July 16, 2018
Quoting Sven ;o) Poor people on earth wil get giddy because of the high speed rotation XD Jeremy my friend, this is a pretty nice creation with cool functions. Really like it. And that it's train driven adds a lot of fun and playability ;)
Thank you very much, Sven! I think you could make a lot of money selling motion sickness pills.
 I like it 
  July 16, 2018
Poor people on earth wil get giddy because of the high speed rotation XD Jeremy my friend, this is a pretty nice creation with cool functions. Really like it. And that it's train driven adds a lot of fun and playability ;)
 
By Jeremy McCreary
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Train-driven orrery


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