Monday, December 31, 2007

New TECHNIC sets for Fall 2008

One blogger (dunx125) commented here at TBs, about a new TECHNIC set for late 2008.
It would be an excavator (8294). A dream came true, as I confessed to be my favorite type of TECHNIC set here and was making a wish here. ;)

Since 1st half 2008 TECHNIC sets, are all of small size and there is still a small excavator on sale (8419), I guess this new one would be a larger one.
Hopefully a very large set with some PF elements, and maybe new ones... Will I get my desired PF pneumatic integrated elements???

Meanwhile, I found some other new TECHNIC sets listed at Brickset (do you know a best way to finish the year?). They are:
- 8293: Power Functions Motor Set (another wish came true)
- 8294: Excavator
- 8295: Telescopic Handler
- 8297: Off-Roader

Although, images still not available. :(

If numbering order would suggest something, the Excavator won't be be the 2008 TECHNIC flagship and largest set for this year. :(

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Interview with Markus Kossman - Part 2

Second part of Markus Kossman interview was published today, at Klocki Lego blog.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Interview with Markus Kossman - Part 1

Paul (S.Ariel) and Hippotam, editors of Klocki Lego blog, published the first part of an interview with Markus Kossman, the man who designed this year LEGO TECHNIC flagship. The 8275 Motorized Bulldozer!
Scroll down for the interview English version.

Go, read it and get some more insights about this model.
If haven't done it yet, also take a look on the "Behind the Design" video, mentioned here at TBs before.

TBs TechTips 004 - Automatic gearboxes

Misha Van Beek (miezel for his folder at Brickshelf), is a LEGO TECHNIC talented builder, who among other constructions developed a few Automatic Gearboxes. The subject of TBs TechTips today!

Below it is Misha's 1st automatic gearbox attempt whose building instructions, could be found here (read also the mechanism explanation by clicking, to magnify the image). At its right side it is a video from Paul (formerly referred as S.Ariel here at TBs) who built and tested this model.

Misha made a 2nd attempt for this 3 speed automatic gearbox and optimized it together with Alex Zorko (yes, the owner of the TECHNIC website
Below you can find again the author's model photo and one video for the correspondent implementation, made again by Paul.
The building instructions can be found at Misha's Brickshelf folder or at his website (MINDSTORMS Manifest), where you can read also a detailed explanation for its working internals.

Below, two other videos that implement the same gearbox in a studless version by 'timoonn'.

Finally and still about automatic gearboxes, look at another implementation video, from what I believe to be a totally different approach, however not documented.
From what I understood, this car shifts itself according to motor cycles. It uses a light sensor tachometer to count cycles, as it can be easily seen here.
Shifting is according to turning speed of the wheels. You can see that while they get slowed by using manual force, the gear is changed.
This is also a 3 gears implementation, or in other words a 3 speed gearbox.
Two motors are applied to transmission and one motor is used to change gears. Personally would like to see more in detail the mechanism attached to the motor, that changes the gears.

Search for 'bencizdim' at YouTube, and a few other videos for the same project can be found.

Learn more how real stuff works:
- Automatic Transmission
- Sequential Transmission
- Manual Transmission
and many other related stuff, here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

All PF elements, now available as individual parts from S@H

As already expected for a few days, after 'Battery Box' release, every PF element became available at S@H(US) as separate and individual parts.
Also the new and long waited "Power Functions Extensions Wire" is now released for just $2.99.
Most still with pre-order status and shipping forecast, for early next January.

8881: PF Battery Box - $6.49
8882: PF XL-Motor - $9.49
8883: PF M-Motor - $6.99
8884: PF IR Receiver - $13.99
8885: PF IR Remote Control - $8.99
8886: PF Extension Wire - $2.99

Soon they should be available also from S@H(Europe). It rests to know at which price?
Most likely at the same nominal value (as usual), despite the actual currency exchange rate :(.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

TBs Week TechVideo, 2007 #52 - Killer Dozers by Philo

This week highlight...

Philo built a pair of Killer Dozers from a TECHNIC Bulldozer set (8275) plus one additional Battery Box and one RC Handset.
Plenty of imagination and fun!

A very interesting way to control movement with just one motor and one remote channel, so the 2nd ones could be available to control the lifting mechanism.
See all the details at Philo's website!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

PF/9V conversion cable on the way

At Brickset I found a reference to set 8886 yet to be released, which is a Power Functions Cable.
In fact from the image we can conclude it to be the long waited PF/9V conversion cable ;-), however today not yet available at S@H.

From the image on the right (source from Philo website), it can be easily seen that bottom of PF connector is different from connector bottom, at left image. So it is a 9V connector and the cable is a conversion one.

Maybe, it looks like this (again Philo's images source)

Since S@H US released set 8881 for the PF Battery box, it seems now that we are at least going to have also sets 8882, 8883, 8884 and 8885 (four to the same number of PF elements still not on individual sale, not counting with the Creator PF elements). If not 8887 too and furhter... Maybe the motors and several other PF already released PF elements.

New 2008 TECHNIC sets, already available from S@H US

The new 2008 TECHNIC sets, are now available from S@H US for pre-order (shipping by 2.Jan). Soon they should appear on the European counterpart.

The surprise was for the 'Power Functions Battery Box' sold as set number 8881, to feed more power to your creations (each Power Box can drive 2 XL-Motors, or 4 M-Motors simultaneously).
So, guess the motor and/or IR receivers will follow shortly as well as the promised PF/9V conversion cable.
Rest eagerly waiting to see, if LEGO will bring us a kit with PF elements and a few additional parts, like it was made available for years with all former TECHNIC motors (Hopefully for the next September season...).

Meanwhile, also some pictures for the LEGO proposed B-models.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

TBs TechPoll 01 - Ubiquitous yellow

The first TBs poll is launched! (voting at top of the right column, till 2008.Jan.31).

After 30 years of first LEGO Expert Builder and then TECHNIC sets, aren't you tired of seeing YELLOW construction machines all the time?

Almost every TECHNIC set for Cranes, Dozers, Excavators, Backhoes, Loaders, etc... are made with what seems to be the ubiquitous yellow TECHNIC brick/beam...

Personally would prefer that LEGO starts to design some of these machines in a more realistic (IMHO) color like orange.
No, don't think I don't like yellow, or the LEGO parts/sets in yellow, because I really like them too!
But it could now turn to be something like: Orange, Medium Orange or Bright Light Orange (BrickLink color name conventions). It would become also a start to get more bricks of a new color instead of more and more Yellow ones.

Vote (yellow vs orange), and share with us your opinion about this.

You already know, what's next on the poll, if Orange wins... ;-)
"Which shade of orange would you prefer?"

Just an example on what I mean, made with precious Photoshop help...

See this pool results, here.

Last update: 2008.Feb.10 01:03 GMT

Friday, December 21, 2007

Season Greetings from LEGO's Santa

TBs wishes all readers, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2008!

Also a very good year to the LEGO Group, which makes possible all our joy.

TBs TechTips 003 - GearBox 10

Today at TBs TechTips section, I decided to bring another Paul (formerly referred as S.Ariel here at TBs) construction.
It is a '10 speed LEGO manual gearbox', whose MLCad file and functional explanation details can be seen at his Brickshelf folder.
It ranges an impressive 81:1 to 1:7,72 input/output transmission ratio.

At the Brickshelf folder there can be seen images, with the gears (marked blue) that are driving the mechanism for each transmission ratio. Like in the example below for gear 6 selection.

Also below, the video for this gearbox implementation, in action with real bricks.
Look how the 'thin 1x2 white THECNIC liftarm' rotation speed varies, as the gear ratio selection changes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

TBs Week TechVideo, 2007 #51 - LEGO car builds itself

Today I decided to start a new class of blog posts at TBs, which aims to highlight LEGO TECHNIC videos found in the net.

Decided to make it weekly, despite I may have no content to present every week. So it will be named in the format 'YYYY #WW' and every post labeled as 'TechVideo'.

Intention is to show videos with some interest in any aspect, related with LEGO TECHNIC, but it will be possible also to highlight some MINDSTORMS videos as the exception.

To start I've selected a video from vodkaboy06, that shows a 8880 building itself, made with Stop Motion technique (or Invisible Man, building it...).

In fact it must have been made by taking pictures, while car the gets disassembled, and then put in reverse sequence to build the video.
Soundtrack combines very well the video style!

This is however the author's second attempt. The first is quite longer and can be seen also here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Arvo brothers mini TECHNIC supercars

If you like the supercars raytraces posted a few days ago, look now at these Arvo Bros. creations.
A set of small creations that mimic some of the most emblematic LEGO TECHNIC supercars from the past.
Very creative and cute, inded!

If you want to see them side by side with their bigger brothers, take a look to this photo, taken from HispaBrick 2007 event, this December at L'Ànec Blau (Barcelona).

Arvo brothers, have many other creations not TECHNIC related, but full of aesthetic sense. Look at them in their Brickshelf folder.

Monday, December 17, 2007

TBs TechTips 002 - Front pendular suspension

At TBs TechTips section this time, I'd like to highlight a front pendular suspension design that I found at S.Ariel's Brickshelf folder.

S.Ariel is a moderator for TECHNIC section at LugPol Forum, where he signs as Sariel, but also signs as searme, for his videos on YouTube. All this to say, that I wasn't able to figure out his real name ;).
Well, later the guy found his creations here at TBs, and left a comment with his real life name. Paul!

According to the author, this design main advantages are compact dimensions, durability, simple and light frame.
Suspension solution is also capable to support heavy loads. However may be not as good, for a Truck Trial (TrTr) project as the author suggested within a comment on this post! Among others, low ground clearance may turn to be a problem.

At his folder, you can found fully detailed stepwise instructions to build it, and try by yourself.

Moving into upper folder, you will find many other author's ideas like different gearbox designs, suspensions and others.
Take a look, despite I may later highlight some of these examples into TBs TechTips ;-)

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