Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Tora no Maki" to be published as printed books

You may remember the LEGO Technic and NXT books from Isogawa Yoshihito, here referenced in former posts [1] [2] at TBs .
Probably the most known of them is the "LEGO Technic Tora no Maki", available online as a PDF document for download.

After being adapted into a series of 3 printed books two years ago (2008), although in a Japanese edition only ("burotsuku de tsukuru kikai no hon" which translates into "How to build machines with bricks"), there will be now also a correspondent English printed version as well.

The English version (The LEGO TECHNIC Idea Book) will be published as a printed books series in October 2010, by "no starch press".

"Tora no Maki" PDF will however continue to be sold from now on.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Week TechVideo, 2010 #34 - Heavy loads

It is not the first time [1], that 2LegoOrNot2Lego (Ingmar Spijkhoven) shows us a creation of a truck or even a companion trailer. And these days he published great stuff once more.
Every new Ingmar model is a step forward when it comes to implement and motorize new functions from real Trucks.

This time he made a nice detailed heavy duty truck with a lowboy trailer both in scale 1:17,5, and again prepared a few videos to show all the functional details of his impressive creations.

Heavy Duty Truck
First we will se the US style heavy duty truck with almost 54cm lenght and with a cabin mostly made of orange bricks. It is always a noticeble exercise to try to make a model in a color with a less diversified range of bricks.

The truck features include:
  • Solid axle suspension on all 4 axles.
  • Steering system with LEGO Flex Cables System linkages.
  • 2 XL motors two power both rear axles independentely.
  • Ackerman geometry on the two front steering axles.
  • Liftable and steerable pusher axle.
  • Slidable and pivoting fith wheel to attach different trailers.
  • Motorized winch function, to load trailer.
  • Auxiliary PF output to power trailer functions.
The model is remotely controlled for most of its functions, using 3x M and 2x XL PF motors.

For a more complete description about this model, take a look at this page on Ingmar MOCpages site, or this BrickShelf folder for more detailed images.

Gooseneck Lowboy Trailer
Second we will also see an US style gooseneck lowboy trailer, made to fit into the heavy truck above.
This model also includes a so called jeep or dolly, that often goes with lowboy trailers, to spread load over more axles.
Again, at a dedicated page on Ingmar MOCpages, you may read more about this model and all the research required to build and make it work like the real stuff.

The images with an huge excavator on board, are well demonstrative of this trailer stiffness.

Below two more videos, showing indetail how to operate with the liftboy and the jeep, how heavy machinery loads/unloads and other functions like the 3rd axle lift.

The lowboy trailer features:
  • Full solid axle suspension on all axles.
  • Detachable gooseneck mechanism.
  • Truck chassis support on gooseneck.
  • Raisable deck.
  • Adaptable jeep or dolly to spread lover over additional axles.
  • Remotely liftable 3rd axle on lowboy.
  • Parking brake.

The functions from this model are remotely controlled using 4x PF M-motors.
The truck with gooseneck lowboy trailer plus jeep, reach an impressive lenght of 164,8cm (5'5'').

For more trailer pictures you should also look at this other Brickshelf folder.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

TBs TechPoll 20 (Results) - 2010, 1st Half - Favorite week TechVideos

TBs poll for '2010, 1st Half Favorite week TechVideos' is closed already for some time, having received more than 200 votes, after the usual two weeks election period.
Poll objective was to let you choose your favorite videos, from those weekly highlighted here during the 1st half of 2010, at 'Week TechVideo' section.

This time we got two videos exequo in the third place.

Below, the usual 1st, 2nd and 3rd most voted videos for your review.

#1- "Week TechVideo, 2010 #19 - Bridging the gap", by Mahjqa

#2 - "Week TechVideo, 2010 #04 - Telehandler", by fistachpl

#3 - "Week TechVideo, 2010 #02 - Fully remote controlled pneumatic Excavator", by Sariel and "Week TechVideo, 2010 #03 - Lightning CubeStormer", by Mike Dobson

Once more congratulations to the producers of the most voted videos, during the 1st half this year!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Faulty Motorized Excavators (8043) - New communication

There is a new official communication [1] distributed through the LEGO Ambassadors, addressing those experiencing problems with a faulty LEGO Motorized Excavator (8043).

"The LEGO group and the LEGO Technic product team are aware that a number of consumers have been experiencing problems with the recently launched 8043 motorized excavator, which was not identified during the intensive testing of the product before launch. Consequently, we have been testing this model over again and learned that a specific element is causing the error. The LEGO Technic team has corrected the error and is now in the stage of producing a replacement part which will be distributed to those consumers, who experienced the fault with the model they have purchased.

There is no safety concern regarding the faulty element!

It's really important to us that our products are of the highest quality and we sincerely apologize to consumers who have had an experience with this product that does not live up to their or our expectations.

We are currently doing everything we can to solve this issue as quickly as possible. As soon as new replacement parts are available, our Consumer Service will distribute a Service Bag with instructions and new elements to those consumers who experienced the problems."

Now lets wait for the service pack to become available soon, so that we can enjoy endless hours of fun, with this beauty.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week TechVideo, 2010 #33 - Nico's bulldozer with modified Sariel's auto-valve

Today we will see a 2 years old MOC from Nico, which features a studless version of Sariel's pneumatic auto-valve.
In fact with his studeless design, Nico was able to build a dual auto-valve in a very compact solution.

This a partial view from the whole dual auto-valve construction

You may see these auto-valves in action, from Nico's video below about the Bulldozer to which he developed this interesting solution.

The video here embedded is set to run from 0' 59'', when the auto-valve function is featured. You may however click to see the full version.

Just in case you want to try it out, Nico has prepared also building instructions into a photo sequence, as already usual for some of his models (Click over the picture below, to get there).

You may found a lot more images from this model at Nico's BS folder, and read about this model in his own words (although in French) at Nico's page on MOCpages.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The 8043 Boomerang ;)

As you may have already noticed, the new LEGO Technic Motorized Excavator (8043) has been unlisted from Shop.LEGO.com in every country where it is present.
It happens in the sequence of some user complains to the LEGO Customer Service, about issues with the performance of this model. Namely performance issues with boom lifting of the digging arm.

Because I've been in contact with the LEGO Technic product team about this topic, I got a communication to share with the LEGO Technic fans community.

"The LEGO group and the LEGO Technic product team is aware that a number of consumers are experiencing problems with their 8043 motorized excavator.
It's really important to us that our products are of the highest quality and we are currently doing everything we can to solve this issue. As soon as we heard about this, we immediately got in contact with some of these consumers to learn from their models.
These models are right now being tested and investigated in any possible way.
We are working very hard to come up with a solution, which we will communicate as soon as possible.

Best regards
The LEGO Technic product team"

Because TLG has an excellent track record dealing with their customers issues, we just can rest confident and expect that a solution will be provided upon the required time.

In the meantime lets enjoy the promotional video produced for the Excavator, and some amazing renders for each new set in the 2H, that the Technic team has published in the Technic.LEGO.com website.

8043 - Motorized Excavator (Promotional Video)

8043 - Motorized Excavator

8051 - Motorbike

8052 - Container Truck

8053 - Mobile Crane


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week TechVideo, 2010 #32 - One 8043 MOD

Now that some started to report issues with their 8043 Motorized Excavator sets, namely poor performance on the boom raise, Jaeho Jung (sunsky) did some modifications to his model and produced a nice video playing in a real sand field.

He added some PF parts to the drive train,
  • 2 XL-motors
  • 2 PF Receivers
  • 1 PF Rechargeable Battery (8878)
And removed a lot of gears not needed anymore in the upper structure, while keeping the almost the same shapes.
This way each of the Excavator six functions got his own motor and there no more need to be switching between sets of functions.

While not strictly needed, because there are just two motors on the drive train, Jaeho Jung used two PF Receivers connected in parallel to eliminate blind spots where the receiver won't "see" the remote. This is however not a standard use for the PFS parts and you should be responsible for eventual damages if deciding to give it a try.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

TBs TechNuggets 11 - Inside the LEGO E-Meter

Have you ever seen inside...?

Xander Soldaat was lucky enough to receive the upcoming Renewable Energy Add-on Set from LEGO Education (still only available for pre-order) and shown at his blog a few days ago, some photos of the new LEGO Energy Meter (E-Meter), and its inside parts.

Read there to know a bit more about its internals, software interfaces and current expectations for support from the major NXT 3rd party programming software suites (NXC and ROBOTC). Meanwhile the respective NXT-G blocks can be downloaded from here.

LEGO E-Meter is an I2C controlled sensor that will allow you to measure the amount of voltage, current and powered feed in (it can be a solar panel, a windmill generator or any other power source) and can also do the same measures at is PF output connector, for any device there connected (lights, motor, etc...). Additionally can also measure the amount of energy stored in the included NiMH detachable battery.
The measures can be displayed in the LCD on-board or passed to an NXT.

Now the pictures...

"The green button switches the unit on.  The orange switch has three positions, 0, left and right.  It has a Technic axle hole in it, so you could connect something to it.  The idea is that you input energy via the bottom input and once you have more than 1 Joule of energy stored in this unit, you can use the orange button to control the output connector on the top. You could run a little light on it, a motor, whatever you’d like."

I find it somehow similar to the "Power Meter for NXT" from mindesensors.com in terms of concept and functions, but of course offering some extra possibilities because of its additional features that measure In and Out ports, included battery, etc...

Lets wait and see also about specs, to better compare the limits where both can operate.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Main model building Instructions for 2H2010 TECHNIC sets, are now available online

The building instructions for the 2H2010 LEGO Technic sets, is now available for download at lego.com.

Below you have the direct links to download the several instruction PDF files from each model.
In addition to the several review sources you will find online, these may become valuable resources to support your decision to buy or not buy, each new set.

  • 8051, Motorbike
    Book 1/1
    Meanwhile also the B-model instructions become available, and thus I've updated the respective post.

Happy building!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Week TechVideo, 2010 #30 - Climbing the stairs

Humanoid robotic forms and capabilities, have always been an appealing and complex challenge.

222Doc (aka Mac) has been working for already sometime in his LEGO Biped X2, implementing increasingly complex movements and taking risks. Sometimes sharing his failures, but also many successful 'steps'.

Last week X2 managed to become the first LEGO biped robot to climb stairs up and down. Take a look!

Still quite far from Honda Asimo performance, but we never know...

You may look at other previous X2 achievements from 222Doc's blog or YouTube video channel.

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