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Lego Guy

Technic Noob question

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I've been searching around the Net trying to get some answers regarding technic sets (since I've never purchased one), but I'm a bit confused. Can someone answer the following questions for me.

1) I understand how the power functions and engines work, but the sets without power functions... are they just models? For instance, I've read reviews where people complain about stiff suspension on a car, but if you're just rolling it around by hand, does it even need suspension?

2) The gear box. This one I just don't understand. What do you do with a 5 speed gear box, when there's no power functions in the set?

3) Some sets have power functions, but no remote. Does that mean you turn it on and it moves until it hits a wall? At which time you pick it up and face it in another direction?

I think I'm missing something and sadly, from what I can tell, the lego site doesn't really explain a lot. Some of the technic sets look quite impressive and I'd be interested in purchasing them, but I'd just like to know more. Also, I've read reviews that have talked about chasis, 4 wheel steering and 4 wheel drive, which are cool, but the set didn't come with power functions... so again, how do you use the steering and the 4 wheel drive?

*wacko*

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It goes like this, you grab the 'Hand of God' steering knob on the top of the car, and push it around your table. *vroom vroom* :-P

People build gearboxes and suspensions and whatnot despite having no gas engine purely for the love of machinery. Just use your imagination.

Usually if there's no remote, the power function is not for driving around, but is something simple, like reeling in the winch on a crane model.

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1) I understand how the power functions and engines work, but the sets without power functions... are they just models? For instance, I've read reviews where people complain about stiff suspension on a car, but if you're just rolling it around by hand, does it even need suspension?

Yes it needs suspension! The point of Technic sets is to allow people to make mechanically realistic Lego models. Suspension plus driven/steered wheels is mechanically hard to do so it is a big deal when Lego does sets like this.

2) The gear box. This one I just don't understand. What do you do with a 5 speed gear box, when there's no power functions in the set?

Aside from the replicating reality, the result is you will see the engine turn faster or slower, or even backwards.

3) Some sets have power functions, but no remote. Does that mean you turn it on and it moves until it hits a wall? At which time you pick it up and face it in another direction?

Well, there hasn't been many motorised cars for this reason. One model in 4895 Motion Power had a bump-and-reverse function. But most of the time the motor is for a function, not to move the car. (On that subject, I have got my Technic Ferrari working as a RC car now! *wub* I'll post pics soon... )

I think I'm missing something and Also, I've read reviews that have talked about chasis, 4 wheel steering and 4 wheel drive, which are cool, but the set didn't come with power functions... so again, how do you use the steering and the 4 wheel drive?
Well the steering is exactly that; you turn a steering wheel and/or a separate wheel and the wheels turn. As for four wheel drive, that refers to the fact that all wheels are connected via diferentials (sometimes three) to the engine made of Lego....
I think I'm missing something and sadly, from what I can tell, the lego site doesn't really explain a lot.

Perhaps. Technic just doesn't do it for some people. Because you don't see the use in all of these functions I suspect that you may be one of them. ;-)

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I think I'm missing something and sadly, from what I can tell, the lego site doesn't really explain a lot. Some of the technic sets look quite impressive and I'd be interested in purchasing them, but I'd just like to know more. Also, I've read reviews that have talked about chasis, 4 wheel steering and 4 wheel drive, which are cool, but the set didn't come with power functions... so again, how do you use the steering and the 4 wheel drive?

If you want to see how LEGO Technic sets work, then go to Technicopedia. Only the sets up until 1985 are contained there so far, but you will at least get to see how Technic functions work. Technic functions exist for the sole purpose of existing! They demonstrate how real mechanical systems work, which you can build with your own hands and then observe in operation. Whether the reciprocating engine and gearbox turn via a motor or via your own hands doesn't really matter, you still get to see it work. Also note that a large majority of Technic models which do not come with motors can be motorized by adding a supplemental motor. This is generally in the instructions.

Eric

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The suspension and gearboxes and whatnot you might find in a technic set, those are all fully-functional features. They're there just for show and for the fun of it, even if it doesn't get used one might expect it to. Some models have alternative featues for each model, such as 8448 where the builder could chose between either a convertible hardtop model or a gullwing-door'ed coup

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