Blog entries tagged with "lego"

I have control of Lego Technic

Friday, April 2nd, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Twenty years ago one of the Lego Technic sets I dreamed over was the Control Centre. Thanks to eBay I now have that set and over the last couple of days I have assembled two of the models.

The robot arm:
Lego 8094 Control Centre (2)

Crane truck:
Lego 8094 Control Centre (4)

The actual control centre allows you to control three 9V lego motors (although only two come with the set) and it even allows you to program in two sequences that it can play back. Of course, this is nothing compared to the cababilities of the modern Mindstorms NXT. But for something from 1990, this is great.

For now this set is back in its box as I really need to return to downsizing the collection as I need the space.

Now this isn’t the only Lego that I have been playing with in the last week. On impulse last Saturday I picked up the “limited edition” Racing Truck:

Lego 8041 Racing Truck

I wasn’t quite happy with it and once I assembled the B model it was clear which model I preferred.

Lego 8041 Race Car (1)Lego 8041 Race Car (2)Lego 8041 Race Car (3)

This set also marked another first for my lego sets, I applied the stickers. The stickers in this set really make the model as they transform what would otherwise be big chunks of black.

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Want some Lego or old Apples?

Sunday, October 18th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

It’s been an afternoon of sorting and then listing items on eBay.

First was a couple of the Lego sets from the bulk lot I picked up a few weeks ago. I am keeping the car chassis and the pneumatic excavator, but I am selling the others as I have no real interest in them.

I also continued with the downsizing:

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Lego fun, and a disappointment

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Last weekend I picked up a bulk lot of Lego that I had bought on eBay. This lot contained a couple of assembled models as well as a fair amount of loose bricks.

However, the key piece was a set released in the early years of Lego Technic, 1980 to precise. Set 8860, the first Car Chassis:

Lego Car Chassis (8860) with box

It is obvious that this set is missing two wheels, but is is also missing a number of smaller pieces. But when I bought the lot it wasn’t known how many pieces were actually missing.

So this is where the fun starts. Each night last week I took one of the assembled models, stripped it down, cleaned the pieces (mostly just dusting with a brush) and then reassembled the model as best as I could.

Lego Circuit Shock Racer (8422)Lego Hovercraft (8824)
Lego Fire Engine (8280)Lego Pneumatic Excavator (8837)

Of these four the Pneumatic Excavator was the most interesting as I never had any pneumatic lego when I was a kid. Although the set I remember wishing I had was the Air Tech Claw Rig (8868), the only set lego produced with a motorised pneumatic compressor.

It was now time for the car chassis, which was quite interesting to build because it achieves so much with the simpler pieces. For example the engine doesn’t use the special block and piston pieces that I remembered. The only special piece is the piston head and the remainder is composed of common gears, axles and plates. The steering is similarily constructed using 2×2 swivel plates instead of the later steering linkages.

Lego Car Chassis (8860)

This is where the disappointment comes in.

On the box and manual for the car chassis the suspension on the rear wheels is pictured as if it were constructed from axles and connectors, with a spring thrown in. This can be seen on the cover and even this page.

However, the actual construction of the suspension is with 6.5L shock absorbers. It looks like the change of design was at the last minute and they only had time to make the minimum required changes to the manual.

So what now? Fortunately most of the missing pieces (that I have listed) are common plates or bricks, most of which should be in the boxes of loose bricks up in the roof. For some of the specific pieces, such as the large wheels, I should be able to turn to eBay.

Of course I will also have to break down all of these sets and reassemble them as the B model in order to get a complete picture of what pieces are missing.

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Assembling the Lego bulldozer

Saturday, May 9th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Yesterday I picked up a big cardboard box from Rowville. After I got home and had something to eat I began to assemble the contents, to end up with this:

Lego Motorised Bulldozer (8275)

Yes, this is the Lego bulldozer that I mentioned last week.

As usual the design is quite ingenious. At each of of the tracks is a large yellow cog, with one XL motor driving the left rear cog with another XL motor driving the right front cog. There are also two normal motors that each drive a worm gear, one for lifting the front blade and the other for the ripper on the back.

The remote control is quite funky. The remote itself has two controls and a switch to select one of four channels. One receiver on the bulldozer controls the two XL motors for the tracks while the other reciever, on a different channel, controls the two motors for the blade and ripper. The battery box is held in by two pins which make it easy to remove in order to change the batteries.

For long term display I will probably remove the ripper, but that is easy because it is held on by four pins and a drive connection. A parallel could be drawn with power take-off on real bulldozers/tractors.

I do have one regret, that I didn’t build the B model (in this case referred to as a ‘quick build’ as it is nowhere near as complex) first. It looks like it would also be fund, but I would have to pull apart the bulldozer and then afterwards pull it apart and rebuild the bulldozer. I don’t know if I could find the time for that.

However, I might be able to find the time to rebuild this as its B model:

Lego Excavator (8294) with Power Functions (8293)

That shouldn’t take too long as it looks like the base with the tracks is only slightly different. So only the top would need to be pulled apart.

Update: The excavator now looks like this:

Lego Excavator (8294) B model

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I have power… Lego power functions

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 at 5:40 pm

Six months ago when I bought my first Lego set in years, the 8294 Excavator, I temporarily motorised it using the motor from my old Lego sets.

Since then I have been keeping an eye out for the current power functions motor set. None of the physical stores bother to stock it, so I had to turn to online stores. Even though a lot of them list the set, they don’t have it in stock.

However, there are a couple of sellers on eBay that were listing (and selling) the set on a regular basis. So, after just thinking about it for a while, this morning I bought the set from a seller that is located nearby and offers pickup. A few emails and a short drive later and I had it, and I have just finished adding it into the Excavator.

It is fun.

But it is also quite nice how the new style of motor, battery box and switch fit completely inside the model. I am a bit disappointed that the Excavator doesn’t use the lights, even though there are places on the boom there it looks like they would go.

After all this I have a decision to make. After seeing some videos of the Motorized Bulldozer – it’s remote controlled! – I want one.

Should I?

(After seeing this video I want the other bulldozer, but that’s a custom build)

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I did need a Lego earthmover

Sunday, October 5th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Yesterday Dan said that I needed to get a Lego earthmover which are currently on special. As I was already planning to stop via Kmart, and needed to get my mind off a specific project at work, I decided to get one.

Which then led to a relaxing couple of hours where I first assembled it, and then (temporarily) motorised it. Since I don’t have the current motor set (which integrates extremely nicely inside the model) I turned to my 18 year old universal motor set. As there was an intermittent fault with the battery box I got my first ever technic set, the Technic II Set, down from the roof. After playing with it for a while I reverted the earthmover back to its non-motorised form.

It’s a very cool model and contains heaps of pieces that I have never seen before, not surprising since my next most recent set is the Supply Ship from 16 years ago. Unlike Dan I do miss the studded-beams, but I think that is mainly because the style of construction is now quite different and I am reacting emotionally to the change.

At some stage during the week (after I have printed the downloaded instructions in colour) I will break it down and reassemble it into the B model. And then probably back into the A model.

And that project at work? Just one of those projects that if not done properly will have a negative impact on most of the users and could even have major negative impact to the production environment. All because when the two developers on the project were asked to start designing (thinking, planning, etc) they started writing code without even looking at what specs existed. So at the time when the project should be ready for end to end testing; the specs are incomplete, there is no technical design and the code that has been written is only partially functional, not to mention it being overly complex for what is needed. And don’t get me started on our style and standards that have not been followed…

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Photos of Lego and Dinky

Monday, January 28th, 2008 at 7:25 pm

Yesterday, two weeks after assembling them, I got around to taking photographs of the Lego sets that had been stored in the roof. They are available for all to see in a Flickr set.

Legoland Tanker Truck (6695)

The technique I used for the photos was near a window with sheer curtains drawn and on top of some off-white paper. I ended up using the flash as there wasn’t quite enough light. I’m thinking about getting (probably make one) a lightbox to make it a lot easier to take photos like this. And a tripod. I tried to take all of the photos from the same angle and a tripod would really have been appreciated.

What I have photographed so far is only the discrete sets that we had. There is a lot of older mixed bricks that could be used for anything, and don’t forget my Technic sets that have been (most of them) on display (of sorts) since I last played with them.

While I was taking photos continued on and photographed all of my father’s die-case Dinky Toys that had been brought down from the roof. They are also available in a Flickr set with (usually) three shots per toy.

Dinky Supertoys 972 - 20-ton Lorry-mounted Crane (1)

The challenge with these ones was identifying what each one was. dinkytoys.ch was a huge help with most of the toys. For others a google image search with various keywords eventually turned up a reasonably confident answer.

As these will all be packed back up and returned to the roof (for the time being at least), the photos will help us know what is actually up there. And by making them available it should help others identify their own toys, in addition to existing resources of course.

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Playing with LEGO

Sunday, January 13th, 2008 at 10:57 pm

As part of a larger cleanup, many of my old toys have been brought down from the roof where they have sat untouched for many years. (Except for the Transformers that is…)

In order to sort out the LEGO (excluding the Technic sets that were never packed away) it was decided that the best way would be to assemble as many sets as possible. So that was what I spent some of last night, this afternoon and much of this evening doing.

One big problem that I found early on was that the instructions for the castle was not with the other instructions. Fortunately the internet comes to the rescue and the first site I found was Brickset, a guide to all of the LEGO sets.

By browsing through the Castle themed sets I found the Knight’s Castle set. From that page I was able to get the instructions which enabled me to assemble the set. With only two pieces missing! While browsing through Brickset I came across the King’s Castle, a bigger more elaborate castle, that I remember wishing I had.

I was also able to assemble the Blacksmith Shop, Black Knight’s Treasure, and Prisoner Convoy sets. However, I couldn’t find enough pieces for the Supply Wagon. Specifically the horse hitch piece.

I also had a number of small Town sets and managed to assemble Highway Patrol, Tactical Patrol Truck, Road Repair, Road Rebel, RV with Speedboat, Tanker Truck, Fire Copter, and Snack Bar sets.

I still have more to sort through. Not to mention all of my Technic. Which I think I will reassemble some of them into their alternate designs.

Something else of mine that was brought down is all my old computer magazines. Nine boxes worth. Paper boxes, the ones that hold 5×500 sheets. All of which are worthless and will be going out in the recycling.

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