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This version was saved 8 years, 9 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Zonker Harris
on August 18, 2014 at 9:21:01 pm

Welcome to Micropolis2 (or call it Micropolis Lite)

How The Idea Was Born - Micropolis Links )


This is a collaborative workspace!  We're working on an update to the TwinLUG Micropolis building plate standard, which will allow easy routing of a power drop cable under the roads and modules, so we can easily power lights in the buildings on the modules.


Here's the proposed building standard modification:



               Download the LDD file or the PNG image                             Download the LDD file or the PNG image 


By adding eight 1x4 arch bricks (blue in the left-side image above), this provides the power cable routing path for any plan.  (I considered a 1x3 arch, but that would make it tougher to get a model to settle above the power cable. 1x4 gives more latitude!) 

The open-bottom arches makes it easy to move modules around, and drop them anywhere, and allow power to pass easily.

Each corner uses a 1x3 plate (light blue), a 2x2 "L" (pink), and a 2x2 brick (red) to secure them (one 2x2 is shifted, to see the plates). Under each 1x4 technic beam(red), there is a 1x6 plate (yellow). The arches have anchors on each side, for a sturdy base. The colors used here are only to help the parts stand out for identification in this discussion. Feel free to pick your own colors.  :-)


You will probably need some "cribbing" brick+plate combinations under the plates where they join, to give them stability while you are building your model. But, after your smaller models are built, I think you will be able to remove the extra bricks underneath. Some larger models may want to keep some bracing piers. (What do you think?)


Using larger plates on top of the base above will reduce the amount of extra bricks needed for support under the top plates. (Again, colors are picked just to make it easy to spot the plates and tiles for this discussion.) Leave a hole in the baseplates to drop your power cable. I'm suggesting a 2x2 opening. 


(I'm still looking for a stable, polarized, easy-to-plug connector pair to use for power distribution, but I am leaning towards Molex parts 03-06-1022 and -2024.)


Of course, extra border roads will also need to have arch bricks. And any medians, waterways, etc. will need arches as well. 


Power for the models will come from a distribution cable, laid out on the table, and then the modules would be connected, and sit on top of the cable. The distribution cable will have connectors for between 4 to 16 modules. 


Power will come from a USB-based battery pack for small displays.


The image to the right shows a battery pack and power cable in red, with eight modules shown in blue. 


A power module will be built into a double module, capable of driving 4 power cables.


Why bother?

  • TwinLUG led the way with a Micropolis standard, making it easy to throw cities together at a gathering without significant prior coordination between the participants. Having a standard is a Good Thing.
  • Chicago has made big strides in getting people to light their larger MOCs, and now LifeLights and BrickStuff make it easy to add lighting in some of the smallest places! 
  • Lights are tiny... battery packs are not. My answer: Run power "underground"! But, instead of building a powered table and mandating where your modules should have connectors,  my thought was to modify the sub-structure of the modules, to allow a flexible power cable to snake from building to building. The power supply for a layout could come from one or two "power station" modules that could have any kind of model built onto it. 


What can you do?

  • Think about the idea, and tell us what you think about it! If something isn't clear, ask questions!
  • If comments here become a problem, maybe we can set up a mailing list for the topic.
  • Would you make new modules using the design? Would you modify your old modules, so the power cable can pass?
  • The more question we have, and the more input we get, the better the final solution will be.


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