Jon61

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  1. To recap, I bought two 8869 switches, unaware that the design had been changed last year to remove the direction switch. I complained to Lego, pointing out that what they sent me wasn't what was still being pictured on their website, and they immediately said that they would send me two "that have all the attributes pictured". The two new switches arrived today, and (not to my complete surprise, I have to say) they are exactly the same as the ones I had already been sent - still missing the direction switch. So I emailed them again and got an immediate phone call, confirming as I expected that the design had been changed, they no longer had stocks of the old ones, I had been told in error that they could send me the old style ones, etc. So I pointed out that they were being a bit naughty not updating the two (at least) webpages that still showed the old design and even described in detail the function of the direction switch that is no longer there. She agreed that it should be changed. I think I might have another look in a month or so ... At least I get to keep 4 of the new-style switches, having only paid for two. Interestingly, the reason that she gave for the change was that Lego had found that users didn't really have a use for the direction switch. Unfortunately that seems to disagree with what @Mark Bellis said in the other thread, so that just sounds like bol.. oops I mean 'marketingspeak' PS Although I said above I would update the thread with pictures, it's not really worth it, it would be the most pointless game of 'Spot the Difference' ever ...
  2. With a bit more searching on Eurobricks I finally found the thread from March 2016 about this issue (http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/126624-new-powerfunction-switch-module/), and a separate short item attempting to bring it to the attention of the Ambassadors program (http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/126902-removal-of-reverse-switch-from-polarity-reverser-8869/), apparently without result . So apparently Lego changed the design in early 2016 and started issuing the new item without the direction switch, but as of April 2017 they still have not changed the picture on the Lego Shop (https://shop.lego.com/en-GB/LEGO-Power-Functions-Control-Switch-8869) or even worse, the Specifications page on the main Lego website which specifically describes the function of the direction switch (https://www.lego.com/en-us/powerfunctions/articles/8869-control-b71751d95f0a422da2838a91c9093874). I must admit I'm pretty disgusted by this. (Being new [again] to Lego, is this typical of how TLG behaves?) I started to draft a reply to Customer Services about it, but have decided to wait until they have done something about my order before I take it any further. When I receive the 'replacements' I will update this thread with details and pictures. In my original post above, I knew the date I was referring to was the copyright date - I (obviously mistakenly) thought that Lego might change the (C) date if they changed the design of the piece. Also, I was unsure whether the production date stamp on my two switches (21N6) referred to 2016 or 2006 (before I knew which way the change had been made I thought perhaps I'd accidentally been sent very old stock). I presume mine are in fact 2016 (I haven't been able to find out - does the letter 'N' in the production date stamp indicate anything?)
  3. I too strongly suspect this logo is a custom vector graphic (so that it can be scaled without losing detail) rather than the name rendered in a specific font (although the graphic design could well have been influenced by a particular font). I believe one reason it is often done this way is that it helps to protect a registered trademark, if the logo cannot easily be recreated using a standard font. Another reason in this particular case though is because of the unusual ligature 'ch', and the way the tails of the 'e' and the final 'c' are extended beyond where they would normally terminate in an italic font (even with kerning). The font DrJB refers to on the Rotring pens is based on that employed for the ISO lettering stencils that were used with those pens. The ISO font is similar to the Lego logo above in that it has 'rounded' ends (eg like Arial MT Rounded) as you would expect from the shape of the pen's nib. However the Rotring stencils and the ISO font they used specifically eliminated letter strokes joining at acute angles (to minimise the wet ink strokes bleeding together at such junctions). The Technic logo above has a couple of these in the 'h' and the ''n that would be rendered quite differently in the Rotring font. However, given the subject matter, it seems quite likely that the graphic designer of the Technic logo was specifically aiming for the 'technical drawing' feel of the ISO font. PS aeh5040, is this geeky enough for you yet?
  4. Well much to my surprise, Lego emailed me back within 20 minutes (even though it was > 21:30 here; they must have support people in the US picking up global emails I think), and have said that they will send me two of the switches as shown on the website. That's sort of what I was hoping for (with luck I may end up with 2 of each type), but I will wait to see what really turns up first - whether they still have got some of the old types in stock somewhere. There is nothing on the new order that they have created to show that the next two should be any different to the last two ... They didn't say anything about how it had happened either - whether they had changed the design, and if so why the website did not show the updated version. (I did wonder if my PC was showing an old cached version of the webpages but I've checked it on 3 devices and it seems they're definitely still showing a picture of the version with the direction switch, which is a bit naughty if they've changed the design.)
  5. I recently bought several PF items from the online Lego shop, including 2 of the Control Switches (8869). The advertised item on shop.lego.com looks just like the one on the Specifications page of the main Lego website (https://www.lego.com/en-us/powerfunctions/articles/8869-control-b71751d95f0a422da2838a91c9093874) which has a small black direction switch as well as the main large orange switch, and the webpage specifically refers to the direction switch. However, both of the switches I was sent are missing the black direction switch! Other than that, they look identical to the design of switch on the two webpages. I have emailed Lego to say I am not happy with this, but I also searched online, expecting to find that they had changed the design, but I found nothing about it. Does anyone know what is going on? Have I been sent very old stock (the date moulded on the bottom is 2007) perhaps from before the switch was added? Or have they recently changed the design to remove the switch, but sneakily not updated any of their own marketing pages to reflect this? I can easily envisage a situation where I would need to use the direction switch to get the desired result, so I'm definitely not happy that my switches don't have them.
  6. In addition to the points made above by Limga and Blakbird about the cost of the 8878 rechargeable box (UK£43), there is also the outrageous price that Lego charge for the official transformer required to recharge it (an extra UK£25). It's reasonable enough not to include the transformer with the rechargeable pack itself as some people may want more than one pack but only need one charger, but most people (like me) think the transformer is massively over-priced (even by TLC standards )
  7. I like a challenge! I've not tried this with real pieces, so I hope I've got this correct. I think this method is possible; it took me a while to work it out in my head. Perhaps someone with 6 unused 5x7 frames can test these instructions and let me know whether they work
  8. Well I'll go in a different direction to most other people Based on the above definition I have a grand total of: 1 ... spare part (a speed remote control that I bought on EBay to use with 42030)
  9. Well I know that other have worked out how to build the larger cube, and that the instructions have already been done somewhere, but as I couldn't find them from the links quoted above I thought I'd have a go at them myself. I also didn't have enough 'dogbones' to build it for real without disassembling 2 of my 3 Technic sets, so it was also a useful 3D 'thought experiment' for my brain (assisted by MLCad, which I've only just started using, so this was good practice on that too). In my theoretical build I used 18 blue 3L long pins - I assume the picture above is using the same part (#6558) but in black? For MLCad I took the rather unorthodox approach of using artificial colours, as it helped me see the symmetry in the pieces. So all the pieces in practice are either #6558 (18 of, blue/black) or #14720 (6 of, LBG) regardless of the colours in the graphic below: I think it should be much easier than suggested above to take this cube apart. You could grip the middle portion of each with pliers, but I think in practice the 'inboard' end of each pin is opposite an open pinhole in the adjacent frame, and so could be pushed out through that hole using an axle. E.g. the three pins shown in yellow (another reason to use false colours!) that are pushed up from below in step 7 of my graphic, can be pushed back down through the holes in the top frame (shown in light blue). Without having built it, I initially thought that once assembled 'legally' as shown, it might be possible to collapse the cube further by carefully and simultaneously pushing on all 6 faces, thereby taking up the slack middle 1L in each of the 3L pins. However, thinking about it more and experimenting using MLCad, this is NOT possible, as the 5L length of each dogbone effectively keeps two of the adjacent dogbones a fixed distance apart.
  10. I noticed that and managed to get the Arocs at that price which is lower than the £130+ I've ever seen it before anywhere. Not long afterwards (but not immediately) it was showing as Out of Stock. They also had the BWE showing at an amazing £115 but already Out of Stock. I've noticed before that Asda (and another store, I think it was Tesco but might have been Argos) sometimes show very good prices for items that are Out of Stock, but when they are back in stock the price reverts to a more normal level. So although I have no way of knowing, I suspect when their online stock goes down to the last 2 or 3 items, their system automatically cuts the price significantly - simply so that they can then justify showing a very attractive price all the time it is OOS, without having to sell any more at that price (I don't think you can reserve one at that price while it's OOS). If this is true (and not just me being cynical), it's possible to get a very good deal but you have to be browsing at just the right time.
  11. I hadn't seen the Modoro mod before - I've just had a quick look at it. Wow - 4 motors just for the drive, plus another for gearshift and a servo for steering! Add in two rechargeable battery packs (although I think he does say that one is optional) and the SBricks and I can see that it's not a cheap mod! It's good of the author to make the instructions available free though as he's clearly put a lot of work into it. The mod looks interesting in that from a quick look, it seems he's rearranged the drivetrain so that even though the L motors are in front of the gearbox, they still drive the wheels through the gearbox. But I'm not clear if the F-N-R function has gone - the gearstick is still there but I can't see that it does anything? And although it was a bit 'clunky' in the official model, the paddle-shift gearchange was for me one of the interesting features that I think has also gone in this mod (to allow remote control of the gears). As I said above, I think compromises like this are necessary - you lose other things in order to gain the motorisation. I wonder if Modoro got the servo steering to work any better than I did - he may have different gearing to my attempt, but unless I've missed something, if you gear it down to make it more powerful, you'd lose some of the steering lock (given that the servo motor only ever moves +/- 90 degrees). Another thing I found surprising when I tried putting motors in the Porsche was that, even though it's such a large model, there's still not a lot of room to tuck everything away neatly once you start adding motors (especially 6!), remote receiver and battery(/ies). I removed the fake engine to hide the PF battery pack I was using, but I still ended up with the PF IR remotes very awkwardly placed behind the seats - it looks as if this mod also ends up with the battery packs clearly on display (and the SBricks in the footwell?). That's why in the end I reluctantly decided that - for me - it was better to leave the model closer to the original with its interesting features, rather than with the motors etc. But I know that's not everyone's aim which is why I phrased my post above the way I did. I found the body removal mod in a Youtube video - the first of 2 from Hispabrick magazine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSuGya3HByU&t=843s The second one which talks about the error in the gear sequence is also worth a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu6f6lBkMXY . They are also mentioned in the 4th post on page 1 of this thread from June last year. Have fun!
  12. Hi Michael I am also new to this forum, but I thought I would comment on your post. I haven't tried the mod you refer to, but I did play around with a set of motors (from the 42030 set) to try to motorize the Porsche after I'd built it. You might want to bear in mind before you spend a lot of money that it's not straightforward to motorize this set while retaining the other interesting features of the standard model i.e. the gearbox and the 'fake' engine. The model is heavy and with a lot of friction in both the 4-speed gearbox and the F-N-R gears even when they're working well. So if you connect a motor (even XL) before the gearbox (so that you can see the effect of the gears on the speed of the wheels), it can be difficult for the motor to overcome the weight and friction, and actually drive the car along the ground. It's also hard to do this while retaining the fake engine in the model. Similarly, the weight is quite a lot for e.g. a servo motor to overcome to operate the steering, especially while stationary (not helped by the wide tyres). And another point - the white clutch gear in the standard model is placed to protect the gears when pushing the model along the ground - if you motorise the model instead (so the workings are being driven from a different end of the transmission, you might want to consider whether you need a clutch in a different place to provide a similar protection. There are compromises, like connecting a motor (or more than one) somewhere else in the drivetrain (but therefore losing the effect of gears on roadspeed), or simplifying/removing the gearbox etc. Alternatively, you can make a motorised 'display' model - i.e. with the wheels raised off the ground so the motors don't have to overcome the weight while driving the wheels and the steering. (That was the best result I could easily achieve with the motors and parts at my disposal.) But it's worth considering what you want to achieve, and whether you are going to get it for the money you spend. PS The mod to be able to easily remove the bodywork is definitely worth doing in any event, and only needs very few extra parts. Even without adding any motors it instantly makes the model much more interesting.
  13. I was given my first ever Technic kit (42056 Porsche) for Christmas - I've not played with Lego since I was a kid which was way before Technic was invented. I really enjoyed building and tinkering with 42056, so as a second set I got 42030, particularly for the PF components. For my first post here, therefore, I thought I'd offer this very simple mod for the 42030 B model. It addresses what Sariel in his review called the 'Gear That Does Nothing™': I know it was meant to represent something on the real vehicle (an air filer perhaps?), but it did seem a bit odd. So it now does something - it opens the hood. The simple changes only use parts leftover from building the B model: 1-3: Under the hood, the yellow angled connector #5 is exchanged for a black angled connector #6, then extended below with a 2L pin, connector #1, DBG 3L pin/axle and a black 2L round pin connector. 4-5: the blue 2L axle pin holding the gear is exchanged for a 3L axle and (after inserting the axle through the existing black 2L lftarm, not shown in this picture) one of the leftover black 9L bent (7-3) liftarms is added as shown. This is the end result, shown after turning the gear to open the hood - fortuitously the notch in the #3 panel is just at the right place to latch the hood open : And, if I can successfully link to a video here, this is the mod in action (I hope this works):