Perpetual Duplo Motion

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One of the wonderful things about Lego as a building medium is that there are always ways around its limitations. Right?

Problem: Duplo locomotives have an internal timer that causes the train to shut off after 4 minutes of play. While this is a wonderful feature for my 4-year-olds, this isn't so hot for putting the train in a show– every few minutes, you have to walk over to the Duplo layout and poke a button on the top of the engine to restart it.

Challenge: Build a device that will stop the train and restart it, thus resetting the internal timer. Set it up to repeatedly reset the train so that it will run indefinitely (or at least until the batteries run out).

Solution: The Perpetual Duplo Motion Machine!

Click on an image for a closeup and technical details
Duplo start/stop rail The machine The gearing is quite simple.
Drive interface for the track Power switch and control lever Switch in action, engaging
Switch in action, midway Switch in action, about to release Horrible animation, ~300k

Resources: [Instructions] [MPD file] [DAT files (zipped)]

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