Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New PF handset (LEGO 9V Train Communication III)

This is mainly a LEGO Trains topic, but which also relates with Power Functions (PF) and so with TECHNIC.
A new and last LEGO Communication, came up at Eurobricks, regarding the coming new LEGO Train system for 2009.

"LEGO 9V Train Communication III

Dear all,

As promised in the second communication from the 6th of December last year, we will give you the latest information and decisions regarding the development of the new train system based on LEGO Power Functions.

We are still working on the final details and doing a lot of testing of the new Power Functions elements; however, we are again able to give you some more details.

First - we will not change the gauge of the rails so there is no need to be afraid that the L gauge will disappear.

On the rechargeable battery box we have been working to get the best compromise between size and power. It has been decided that we will use a powerful Lithium Polymer battery and the size of the box will be 4 studs wide, 8 studs long and 4 studs high - this should fit in most of the trains.The already existing standard LEGO transformer will be used to recharge and as the power supply.

The existing Power Functions RC Receiver already has integrated speed control. To enable the use of this we will make a newly designed RC handset with speed control capability.

All the above new Train related Power Functions items as well as the current battery train motor (with cross axles and wheels) will be available separately through LEGO Shop@Home before the Summer of 2009.

As you know we arranged a train workshop in November 2007 where ten AFOLs from around the world: Denmark, USA, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and United Kingdom participated, built with the prototype elements and also looked into ideas and possibilities for new train designs using the Power Function elements. Based on the outcome of this workshop and all the other fantastic input we got from the AFOL community over the last 6 months, our designers worked on the first train set using the new Power Functions system. This set will be truly aimed at the AFOL community to acknowledge the importance of the adult LEGO hobbyists in the LEGO train world.

This communication will be the last one regarding the transition from the 9V train system into the new Power Functions train system. Due to all the very valuable AFOL feedback we are far down the road with the development of the new elements and also the new train set. We appreciate all your efforts through this transition which we expect to be fully executed in 2009.

Stay tuned for the new LEGO train system coming in 2009.

Tormod Askildsen, Head of LEGO Community Development"

As main relevant information, we got to know that:

  • New PF elements will be released,
    - Rechargeable battery box fitted with a powerful Lithium Polymer battery. Box size will be: 4x8x4 studs (WxLxH).
    - Newly designed RC Handset with speed control capability.
  • Current PF RC Receiver already has integrated speed control which was already known [1].
    Hope LEGO will then release these elements fixed, regarding the already admitted 'single pin mode' problem [2].
  • Already available standard LEGO transformer will be used to recharge the batteries.
  • L gauge will not disappear, so rails gauge will not change.

I'm glad to see, that the new PF Handset with speed control is close, which certainly will be of great application into TECHNIC designs too. ;)

All the above new Train related Power Functions items will be available separately through LEGO Shop@Home before the Summer of 2009, which also is very positive.
The same will happen with the current battery train motor (with cross axles and wheels), which I believe will replace the set 10153. This makes me to presume, the current 'RC Trains' motor will be also the motor to be used with the new LEGO Train system.

A new LEGO train set, should come in 2009.


krimpie said...

Great news! If they are going to produce a PF remote with speed control for trains, they might well put it into a Technic model! :)

Roger said...

"4 studs wide, 8 studs long and 4 studs high"

This should fit in any train? Well one thing is certain, goodbye steam trains...

I bellive these new parts will be very good to power up SOME trains, however 9v is still unbeaten.

Alex Campos said...

If you can't put the battery box in the steam locomotive, do like the 4.5V train sets did and put it in the tender... ;-)

As for me (I always look at PF as an opportunity of expansion for robotics), the battery box is better news than the remote: no longer the need to verify and recharge a truckload of batteries!

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