Elegant Bricks

Elegant Departure Boards

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  • Regular price £69.99
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Stock Update : These are custom products produced in small batches.  If we have stock listed you'll get it ASAP but if it's showing as out of stock you can still order and we'll make and ship one as fast as we can.  International shipping for our components is constantly delayed at present but we will message to confirm a reasonable ETA as soon as we have it.  As ever - get in touch and talk to us and we'll work with you!

Our Biggest Project Ever!

We were inspired by an phenomenally creative builder on Instagram and aided and abetted by an another amazing city builder

We took a simple train station display and made it awesome.

These boards are bright, clear and easy to read OLED displays which can really bring your LEGO train station to life.

And they can show real world train departures.  Or anything you can imagine for your LEGO city.

LIVE MODE

Hook it up to the Internet and you can get live departure information for any UK mainline station.  The board shows the next three trains due to depart with real-time updates.  It also shows the current time.

While the clock ticks constantly the train departure information updates from the Internet every 30 seconds. It's live data just like you'd see standing on the train station platform!

FANTASY MODE

This was such fun to make!  You won't find Waterloo or Bristol Temple Meads in many LEGO cities.  But you will find Brickston and Stud Vegas and many other bad LEGO puns! 

We've come up with a way to produce realistic looking train departure information with fully configurable details.  Add your LEGO city, Add Legoland.  And add the names of your friend's LEGO cities.  

Features

Live Mode

  • National Rail Enquiries Lookup
  • Select any UK station of your choice
  • Live data every 30 seconds
  • Live time display
  • (Optional) Filter for specific destinations or platforms

Fantasy Mode

  • Custom list of destination names - as many as you like
  • Realistic delays - configure how many % of trains run on time, and how late trains might run.  For example, 90% of trains on time but the remaining 10% may be up to 10 minutes late.
  • Custom list of platform numbers.  Match the platforms in your LEGO train station or just imagine there are loads more just out of sight.  The choice is yours.
  • Random Magic.  Occasional trains to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will appear on a certain train platform.  You can turn this off if you really want to!

What's Included 

We offer two versions of this product - just the display, or the full kit. 

The software required to run the displays is all freely available on the internet and our custom code is also open source and free to download.

Option 1 : The Elegant Departure Board

Included is a custom OLED display board.

  • Bright orange OLED Display
  • 7 wire ribbon cable connected - approximately 40cm in length
  • Resolution 256 x 64 pixels @ 16 shades
  • Chipset : ssd1322
  • Interface : SPI
  • Physical Size : 97mm wide x 32.5mm high x 6.4mm deep.
  • Screen Size : 2.8" / 71.1mm
  • Viewing Angle : OLED display allows perfect image at any angle.
  • Full instructions for hooking up to your own Raspberry Pi to run it.

Option 2 : The Full Kit

The full kit includes an Elegant Departure Board as described above PLUS:

  • 1 x Raspberry Pi Zero Micro Computer 
  • 1 x Micro SD card pre-configured with Raspbian Linux and our custom Departure Board code set to start up automatically!
  • 1 x Micro SD reader (USB dongle)
  • 1 x Micro USB Power Cable (2m long)
  • Full instructions for use are available online.

You will need to power the board yourself!  Any normal USB phone charger or similar will do the job here.

You May Need

If you are not familiar with Raspberry Pi computers you may need additional equipment.  Remember you can use these boards out of the box in Fantasy mode if you buy the full kit.

Please review these notes and contact us if you have -any- questions!

  • A Box for the Raspberry Pi!  The Raspberry Pi is just a tiny circuit board.  Touch the connectors with your fingers whilst it's running and you could create a short circuit and cause problems.  Check Amazon or eBay and you'll find loads of cases.  Remember to get one with a cut-out for the 'pin headers' where your display will connect.  Get the board hooked up (carefully) and then work out where to hide it.  The case is optional so we don't provide one as standard but many folk prefer to keep their Pi enclosed.

  • Internet Access!  If you want to use the "LIVE MODE" features, you'll need this.  It could be a CAT5 cable from your router, or a wifi network.  The Raspberry Pi Zero boards we supply can only work with Wifi.  Even without Internet Access you do need network access to configure the display from your laptop, desktop or tablet device.  Otherwise you're stuck with the default settings - which are great but the joy is to configure it for your LEGO town!

  • An API Key from National Rail Enquiries.  If you want live data you need this. It's free and easy to get, but you will need to fill in a form and tell them that you want to query their data.  It's a one-time chore and we'll guide you through it.  Only required if you want that live station data.

  • A computer!  You will need some way to connect to your new Raspberry Pi system to configure the settings.  Firstly to connect your Pi to your Wifi network you'll need a PC or Mac with a USB port.

  • If you encounter issues and need to connect directly to the Raspberry Pi Zero boards we supply then you'll also potentially need:
    • a Mini HDMI Cable to connect to your TV or computer display.  The Pi Zero uses the obscure Mini HDMI standard for no known reason.  Even we had to go and buy one for this project even though we have decades worth of cables in our cupboards!
    • A Micro USB adaptor for a keyboard.  We use a compact keyboard with a build in touchpad for ours - there's just one Micro USB socket on the Pi Zero so if you need to connect a keyboard you'll need a little USB to Micro USB adaptor cable.  Cheap and available from Amazon, eBay or similar.  A mouse / touchpad isn't really needed and when there's only one port it has to be a keyboard that gets it!

Building it into your LEGO City

We provide the display boards but making them fit into a LEGO city requires a bit more than that!

We've come up with a simple but effective LEGO case for the display and it can be wall mounted or put on a stand.

Just bear in mind the cables are roughly 1cm wide by 3mm fat,  You don't have to hide them - you could make a feature of the big bundle of wires!  They're a lovely rainbow colour too.

We have published this as a model on Bricklink and from there you can download the part list and buy the parts needed.

We also offer a basic instruction document which will show how to put it together.  Do please note that this display was not designed just for LEGO fans - we're really happy with how it looks but it's not a perfect fit and there's a tiny bit more pressure on the LEGO than we would like.  If you come up with a better design and want to share it - please do! We'll add it to our gallery so others can benefit too.

Wiring It Up

This display comes with a flat ribbon cable with 7 connectors.  You'll need to hook it up to a Raspberry Pi or Raspberry Pi Zero board.  We offer a pre-configured Raspberry Pi Zero with our full kit!

You'll find wiring guides here:

Board Version v1.1

Making it all work

Of course this is not a plug and play product so we've written two comprehensive guides to get it working for you.

One guide for our full kit, where we have pre-configured a Raspberry Pi for you

And one guide if you are using your own Raspberry Pi.

Do I need to program it?

No!  If you buy the full kit you'll get a working board pre-configured in Fantasy mode.  This means realistic fake departure data automatically.
The default settings may change over time but at launch we had:

  • 14 LEGO themed station names pre-programmed
  • 9 Platform Numbers
  • 20% of trains running randomly late by up to 4 minutes.
  • 2% of trains run via platform 9 3/4 and divert to Hogwarts!

The current default settings can be viewed here as they are subject to change with each batch.

Can you program it for me?

YES!  If you want custom station names or other settings configured for you then get in touch before ordering or leave a note at checkout.  We'll work with you to get it just right before shipping.

Any questions? 

Get in touch. We're here to help.

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