Not really TECHNIC, but close enough... really close!...
After some of usual leaks, TLG has announced among great AFOL Community excitement some weeks ago, the new Direct To Consumer Exclusive train set, the Emerald Night (10194).
Despite the magnificent design, it wouldn't be justification for the furor it caused, if it wasn't also anticipated for long time, that LEGO was to replace their 9V and RC train systems by a new PF substitute train system.
Through several official communications in the past [1, page 2], ,  we got to know the PF train system would include several new PF elements, like an IR Speed Remote Control and a Rechargeable Battery Box.
Apart some preliminary rumored information, the previous announcement revealed just the train and the fact that it would not include of the box, any PF elements. Anyone who would intend to motorize the train with the new PF train system, would need to buy them separately.
The whole elements were planned to be first be unveiled to the public, simultaneously at Brickfest PDX in Portland (Oregon) and Wunderwelt Modellbau in St. Pölten (Austria), this weekend. At the same time the several packs were published also at the S@H website.
On top of this, we also got an official video announcement from Jamie Berard (LEGO Designer) with some explanations about the train and its new elements. However nothing significant mentioned about the new PF elements. See it below:
See on the side of the GG in the background near 3' 15'', when Pierre comes into the scene. A new LEGO modular on the way!?...
The train and the new PF elements, are made available to the public in different packs from LEGO S@H, as listed below:
- 10194 - The Emerald Night Train
- K10194 - The Emerald Night Collection
- K8882 - LEGO® Power Functions Train Accessories Pack
As for the prices, while we know that the train set (10194) will cost: 99,99USD; 89,99EUR (not the same in all European Countries) or 68,50GBP.
For the today's announced packs and individual elements, the only price source up to the moment is the UK S@H catalog, here and here which points to:
- K10194 - 159,99 GBP
- K8882 - 79,99 GBP
- 8867 - 22,50 GBP (Flexible Train Track elements, 64x)
- 8878 - 42,09 GBP (PF Rechargeable Battery Box)
- 8879 - 10,75 GBP (PF IR Speed Remote Control, Handset)
- 8887 - 16,65 GBP (PF Transformer 10V DC, Battery charger)
If we take a look into the price for the complete PF train set, it will be quite a lot of money.
Wonder how will LEGO manage to release SYSTEM City PF trains, in the future, at reasonable prices.
The new Track elements:
Apart to the new PF elements, we're also getting the new Flexible Train Track (8867), which will bring a new freedom for the train enthusiasts, to build their layouts. This was one of the main train fans demand for long time, finally made true.
Certainly after many wondering for long time, which solution would be in use by TLG, an unexpected one for most.
Each 8867 box, will include 64x FlexTrack elements, which will allow smooth curves and elevations. If you carefully look into the picture above, will see the these track elements include a check rail to prevent derailments, which is something very new into LEGO train tracks.
After this, train layouts will get:
- parallel or single curves of any radius.
- eliptic, parabolic or any variable radius curves
- close any geometry where just small deviations are needed
- easier or shorter line elevations
The Train PF elements:
To enlighten and motorize the Emerald Night (10194), LEGO designers have used some of the previously available LPF elements like: the IR Receiver (8884), the XL-Motor (8882) and PF Lights (8870).
At the same time, while the TECHNIC motors are traditionally used in steam locos, the previous LEGO RC train motor is also about to be sold as a separate element (8866), to be used within other type of PF Trains.
Together with a PF Extension Wire (8886), it could be connected to a PF IR Receiver (8884) and thus get speed control via the new PF IR Speed Remote Control (8879) as well. Or of course directly connected to the new PF Rechargeable Battery Box (8878) which also has built-in speed control.
And finally, lets look into the new PF elements and their details:
|The PF IR Speed Remote Control (8879) is another 4 channel PF remote, but this with speed and other control capabilities, making wider use of the C1/C2 signals, as defined within PF RC protocol.|
With this IR Speed RC handset you control the power on both outputs of the IR Receiver (8884) – you can control the speed of a motor in both directions or even dim the light. The Power Functions RC system has 4 channels so you can run up to 8 trains at the same time (2 trains on the same channel but on different outputs).
The remote has two dials where you can set speed and direction on each channel (7 speed forward and 7 speed backward). It relies on 'Single output Mode' as defined in the PF RC Protocol above mentioned and has no timeout for lost IR commands.
Below each channel you have also one 'Stop' button and one pole reverser switch, as in the standard IR Remote Control (8885).
The form factor of this PF remote is also similar to the one used for 8885, having the same beam connectivity on the left and right sides. This will contribute to easier integration of both remote types, as well as development of imaginative solutions around this remote as we have seen earlier with 8885.
The PF Rechargeable Battery Box (8878) is a Lithium Polymer (Li-Po) Rechargeable battery, with 1150mAh capacity and 7,4V output.
The battery will have on topside a normal PF connector for connectivity to the rest of the PF elements and one connector for recharging via the new DC transformer. As consequence and with actual solution, the train must be stopped for battery replacement or charging.
In cases where you just want your train to drive without remote control, the Rechargeable battery has integrated speed control of its own (orange dial): Connect the motor directly to the Rechargeable battery, set the dial at the desired speed and press the green button.
This might be also very useful for standalone applications of this battery, into TECHNIC models.
An undesired feature, from AFOLs perspective I would say, is a built-in power-off timer which actuates after 2h without any interaction with the battery (speed change command or charging). Any of these actions will immediately reset the timer and are the ways to make it run longer without interruption, which is of particular importance at exhibition displays.
The PF Transformer 10V DC (8887) is a more conventional and new type of LEGO transformer, introduced due to future legal requirements. It replaces the old 10VAC transformer used with the old 9V trains and the NXT rechargeable battery, which will be progressively phased out.
With this transformer, each PF rechargeable battery is expected to fully charge in less than 2 hours (confirmation measurements to be done at first opportunity).
Now lets use and abuse from these new elements into our TECHNIC constructions!
Unfortunately none of these new PF elements, seem to be included with the new 2H2009 TECHNIC sets.
Meanwhile some packs and elements prices, for US and European markets, have been listed at S@H.
I'll add them to the table below, as the still missing ones get known.
Please note that listed European prices, may vary across Euro countries.
|K10194||The Emerald Night Collection||219,99||215,95||159,99|
|K8882||LEGO® Power Functions Train Accessories Pack||99,99||115,95||79,99|
|8867||Flexible Train Track||24,99||29,95||22,50|
|8878||Power Functions Rechargeable Battery Box||49,99||59,95||42,09|
|8879||Power Functions IR Speed Remote Control||12,99||14,95||10,75|
|8887||Power Functions Transformer 10V DC||24,99||24,95||16,65|
Last Update: 2009.Mar.31 02:18 GMT