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Any recommendations for a Technics newie?


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#1 Grimmy

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 07:29 AM

I used to take apart my remote control cars as a kid and make some crazy creations. I even melted some plastic and formed new parts from old toys. I just bought a Power Functions Box Kit and the #  8183 Track Turbo RC  The car is kool but isn't very fast and doesn't turn as well as normal RC cars and I wish it wasn't IR RC, I wish it was RF. Anyway, I haven't even opened the PF kit because it doesn't even come with anythting to build with. It only comes with 2 gears. No technics axle. I bought it with the intention of using it with the Legos we got and teaching my niece about how simple electronics work to make toys go.

I'm not sure what to do. I've watched a lot of videos on youtube about making gears and cars. At first I thought I'd but I guess I should buy some pieces from bricklink but I'm not sure what to buy and don't even know which tire goes with what rim. So then I thought maybe I should buy a technics set but I don't really like technics pieces how they are so weird and non-Lego brick. Though I've never owned a technics set, I've used the pieces in regular sets since Lego has incorporated them into all sets. I'm not into the farm vehicles. I figure it'd prob be best to buy a Technics set where I can start to learn. I've seen the Off Roader on youtube and it looks great but wow it costs $120!! I really like some of the RC Trucks people MOCed. The crane truck is nice but too much money for me it's $150 and sold out. I could do without the crane and the other things. This Snow Groomer would be awesome if it could actually work and go over snow but it can't. I read the reviews it doesn't even have motor options.

How many volts are those motors rated? Are the 9v max? They must be since the huge battery box is 1.5v AA x6. That thing must be heavy when full! My RC car uses 3 AA rechargeables which are rated at 1.2v each so obviously that's slowing it down. The rechargeable brick is $50 and then you have to buy the $25 transformer/adapter which is Euro and not US 110. I could probably rig up my own 9v rechargeable brick for a lot less.

I'd appreciate any advice and thoughts  :classic:

#2 Milan

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 10:23 AM

If you want to use motors with your current non-Technic Lego parts, then obviously you need axles, few gears and few Technic bricks with holes.
As you said, you can choose between large battery box (with 6 AA batteries, 9V or 7.2 with rechargeable batteries), or 50usd small battery box (great, compact and quickly charged, 7,4V).
PF sensor is needed if you want for car to be remotely controlled, and you need remote controller-older one (like in your Turbo RC) or newer one (has variable speed dials, models can gradually accelerate, it has 7 speed positions)

I wouldn't buy Technic sets just for parts...buying separate parts from Bricklink is much cheaper, if you know what you need...

The best idea is to write exactly want you want to create, and then we can work it out in details!
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#3 DLuders

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 02:42 PM

I too struggled with understanding how Lego Power Functions elements interfaced with each other when they were first introduced.  Perhaps the best explanation is contained in the "Power Functions Presentation" PowerPoint file that can be downloaded from Philo's website http://philohome.com/tech.htm .  It's outstanding, and contains much motor information and comparisons.  As mentioned before, you can buy needed Lego pieces from Bricklink.com .  On that website, there's a "Relationships" page (look in the top-center for the link to it) that shows "Tire on Wheel" combinations.  It shows you pictorially what wheel rim fits on various tires.  Bricklink is an extremely powerful tool.  You can use the "Catalog" page to look up Lego part numbers.  Click on Catalog-->Parts-->Technic Gears to see all of the various Lego Technic Gears part numbers (with pictures); click on those part numbers to connect to Bricklink.com sellers from which you can buy the parts.  

Check out Peeron.com for PARTS INVENTORIES of various Lego sets.  Do you like a past Lego Technic set that's no longer being sold by LegoShopAtHome.com ?  You can probably find all about it via Peeron.com  and Bricklink.com .  Peeron and Bricklink often go hand-in-hand.

Also check out the downloadable "Tora no Maki" file on the website http://www.isogawast...html#howtobuild .  Scroll 1/2 down the page to find the downloadable link to the PDF file.  It shows how various Lego Technic elements can be connected to form gear trains, rigid structures, etc.  It's OUTSTANDING.

Edited by dluders, 11 December 2009 - 02:43 PM.


#4 allanp

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 07:44 PM

Actually I think buying a set would be a good option IF you pick a good set to learn from. May I recommend the 8292 cherry picker. It comes with a motor, lots of gears (including worm gears, spur gears, bevel gears, synchromesh gears), axles, beams, wheels and so on. In fact see for yourself at http://www.peeron.com/inv/sets/8292-1 quite alot there mechanically for the price. I think this set demonstrates quite well how a motor is used in toys to operate them. It also demonstrates how technic sets are assembled. It's quite different to a regular lego set as you have to think a few steps ahead, building from the inside out, instead of from the bottom up. It makes it a little more challenging and, in turn, a whole lot more rewarding when you get something just right in my opinion.
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#5 CP5670

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 09:35 PM

Quote

I'm not sure what to do. I've watched a lot of videos on youtube about making gears and cars. At first I thought I'd but I guess I should buy some pieces from bricklink but I'm not sure what to buy and don't even know which tire goes with what rim. So then I thought maybe I should buy a technics set but I don't really like technics pieces how they are so weird and non-Lego brick. Though I've never owned a technics set, I've used the pieces in regular sets since Lego has incorporated them into all sets. I'm not into the farm vehicles. I figure it'd prob be best to buy a Technics set where I can start to learn.

Since you have already bought the PF pack, I would recommend 8265 at $80. This is easily the best Technic set currently available, and it also benefits a lot from the PF pack.

If you want a studded Technic set, you'll have to look for things from the 1990s on ebay and BL. The big flagship sets of the past command large premiums these days, but the midrange ones are a lot more affordable, especially if you are willing to buy used.

Quote

Actually I think buying a set would be a good option IF you pick a good set to learn from. May I recommend the 8292 cherry picker.

8292 may be a bit hard to find now. It was taken off the US S@H site quite some time ago. He already has the PF pack in any case, so it would make more sense to get something that can combine with it.

#6 Darth Legolas

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 09:54 PM

I'm probably more newie than you, but seeing as you don't like technic pieces, I think a perfect thing for you to get would be the old Mars fission crystal reaper, which includes directions to fully motorize! You can probably find it on bricklink.

Who'd of thought! We've got a lot in common, Grimmy! I just bought the same PF set as you and I've been looking at all of these same old technic sets. I also bought an extra motor and IR receiver. I didn't buy the RC though, as I'm really eager to make my own Off Roader type thing. In fact, I wrung up enough technic parts and I've got even more PF stuff than included in the Off Roader.

So, just in my experience in buying things, as I haven't even opened them yet, if you want parts like the off roader, you cna get all of the suspension functions if you buy two Quad Bikes, and if you want to pick up a bunch off pieces, really any technic set you find is good.

Edited by Darth Legolas, 10 December 2009 - 09:55 PM.

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#7 DLuders

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 01:41 AM

If you want to see all of the Lego Technic sets ever made, you should see Blakbird's Technicopedia at http://www.ericalbrecht.com/technic/ .  It categorizes the various Technic sets, compares their features, and is an excellent resource.  Once you find a set you like, use Peeron.com to get the Parts Inventory.  You can buy any parts you need from Bricklink.com.  Although Peeron.com often has building instructions, they're individual JPG files that are tedious to download.  A better option is to download PDF building instructions for MOST sets from the Lego Customer Service website http://us.service.le...ns/default.aspx .  Be sure to scroll down each page on the Lego Customer Service website to see the various set instructions load up on the list; it takes several clicks to get the DOWNLOAD button to appear.  Most files are about 8-9 MB in size.

#8 Grimmy

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 05:01 AM

View Postdluders, on Dec 10 2009, 09:42 AM, said:

I too struggled with understanding how Lego Power Functions elements interfaced with each other when they were first introduced.  Perhaps the best explanation is contained in the "Power Functions Presentation" PowerPoint file that can be downloaded from Philo's website http://philohome.com/tech.htm .  It's outstanding, and contains much motor information and comparisons.  As mentioned before, you can buy needed Lego pieces from Bricklink.com .  On that website, there's a "Relationships" page (look in the top-center for the link to it) that shows "Tire on Wheel" combinations.  It shows you pictorially what wheel rim fits on various tires.  Bricklink is an extremely powerful tool.  You can use the "Catalog" page to look up Lego part numbers.  Click on Catalog-->Parts-->Technic Gears to see all of the various Lego Technic Gearspart numbers (with pictures); click on those part numbers to connect to Bricklink.com sellers from which you can buy the parts.  

Check out Peeron.com for PARTS INVENTORIES of various Lego sets.  Do you like a past Lego Technic set that's no longer being sold by LegoShopAtHome.com ?  You can probably find all about it via Peeron.com  and Bricklink.com .  Peeron and Bricklink often go hand-in-hand.

Also check out the downloadable "Tora no Maki" file on the website http://www.isogawast...html#howtobuild .  Scroll 1/2 down the page to find the downloadable link to the PDF file.  It shows how various Lego Technic elements can be connected to form gear trains, rigid structures, etc.  It's OUTSTANDING.

Thank you for all the replies. Those websites really helped me a lot and they were really interesting. I like how the guy opened up the motors and showed the details of each unit.

@dluders I studied those websites for a while they were exactly what I needed! Darthlegos you might want to check those out too.

@DarthLego The Lego 7645 Mars Mission MT-61 Crystal Reaper Looks really nice like something I would like. It actually has a driver! The minifig spaceman! Those tank tracks look kool and might be better to use in my house then the RC IR car I mentioned buying which only drives on flat smooth surfaces. Plus in the future I could probably build a bigger version to drive in the snow. Bricklink has no full sets and I'm guessing it would be a mission and a half to order part by part? On ebay they are going for $80 except one person has a big stock for $60 plus shipping. I'll think about getting it if I can but might have to wait till after I finish Christmas shopping. Or maybe I will sell my new RC car to get it.

@allanp The 8292 cherry picker is really nice, I especially like the design shown on that page which I think is on the back of the box and not the default design. It looks like a ramp truck. (A search on ebay revealed that this other design is actually a dump truck. $100-150 ebay) Search on youtube brought up nice videos but only of the design with a crane on the back. I'd love to have it I'd make a flatbed to transport our new nice Lego cars we have like the classy Indiana Jones ones. You make a great point about what it includes and having lots of things I could use. 1 on ebay for $100 which is the best deal.

All of you really had some very helpful information. While doing these searches on the mentioned sets, I found that people get lucky and find these sets at stores cheap sometimes for hald price. Well I think my problem is that I buy 90% of everything online! I rarely buy anything from stores because everything is way cheaper online...well except Legos apparently. Their value goes up higher then gold prices during Christmas holidays! I've gone to Target, Walmart, Toy's R' us recently and they don't have anything old. No dusty desperate old Lego sets on the shelves for half price around here but at least the new ones on the shelf are selling for retail price or slightly less.

I have a question about buying parts on Bricklink. I've only done one order. Is their a way to look up the entire parts list on a discontinued set and get a price estimate? Or do I have to search for a parts seller with huge inventory and check my list part by part? The guy I bought from before doesn't have the wheels and matching tires on the website dluders mentioned.

Thanks again everyone, I have more options now to think about. :)

#9 Burf2000

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 09:56 AM

Hi There

Sounds like you want to buy some random bulk of used technic off ebay and then experiment from there.  Thats what I did at first.

#10 DLuders

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 02:40 PM

View PostGrimmy, on Dec 10 2009, 09:01 PM, said:

I have a question about buying parts on Bricklink. I've only done one order. Is their a way to look up the entire parts list on a discontinued set and get a price estimate? Or do I have to search for a parts seller with huge inventory and check my list part by part? The guy I bought from before doesn't have the wheels and matching tires on the website dluders mentioned.

In order to assemble parts for discontinued sets or "MOCs" (My Own Creations), one typically has to shop among several Bricklink sellers to accumulate the parts you want.  The larger sellers (i.e., those with more than 100,000 in parentheses behind their names) tend to have more selection than smaller sellers (with only a few thousand parts on hand).  The larger sellers are not necessarily the cheapest, however.  Some are super-fast in sending your order, and others take ~2 weeks.  Some are nearby in your own state or country, and others are farther away.  Generally, the European Bricklink sellers have the lowest prices (but you pay more for shipping and travel time).  Most sellers prefer payment via PayPal (quick and easy), although I've sent good-ol' CASH probably 200 times with NO problems.  

I don't know a way of looking up the Parts Inventory on Bricklink AT ONE TIME and getting an estimate of their cost.  One can use Peeron.com to get the parts list, then look up each part on Bricklink (using their "Catalog" function on the top-most dropdown list) to get prices for the desired color.  I would recommend starting with the most-unusual parts in your MOC, looking them up in Bricklink, deciding on a seller and back-filling with any common parts that they have.  So, buy the fancy wheels and tires first, plus any other unusual Technic parts, then get the common Technic axles, pins, bushes, etc. last.  You may have to shop among 4-5 different sellers to get all the parts; just keep track of each order by scribbling a note on a printed Parts Inventory list from Peeron.com .

Bricklink.com also sells discontinued sets (although they tend to be a bit pricey); just type in the set number.  eBay sometimes has good deals when a seller doesn't describe the item very well.  I picked up a Lego Technic Off Roader Set 8297 that way (from a seller with a minus-1 Feedback Rating!) for $60 (1/2 price) when it was just listed as "Lego Off Roader" and not "Lego Technic Off Roader 8297."

My son and I got the parts from Bricklink for building a "Trial Truck" chassis (with Power Functions motors and steering) from the website http://www.doublebrick.com/htc ; scroll down to the bottom of the page to download the "Basic 2-Axle Chassis Instruction" for building a quick, simple and FUN "Trial Truck" that can accept LARGER wheels for off-roading outside.  The Poles have regular "Trial Truck" competitions for outdoor, off-road Lego Technic Trial Truck (TrTr) MOCs, and they can crawl over sticks, through mud, etc.!  Check them out at http://www.bricktrucktrial.com/ .

Edited by dluders, 12 December 2009 - 03:52 PM.


#11 Burf2000

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 02:47 PM

There is definantly a art to ebay, I picked up 22 sets of exoforce for £35 including the 2 largest sets because the person selling just put "ExoForce" and title and description

#12 Blakbird

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 06:51 PM

There is an application called "Brickstore" into which you can put your part inventory (want list) and it will find all the prices on Bricklink for you.  Then, if you want, you can export directly to a Bricklink wanted list to go find and but the parts.  It is quite useful.

If you happen to have an LDraw model of what you want, it will also make a parts list from that.
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#13 DLuders

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 01:44 AM

View PostBlakbird, on Dec 11 2009, 10:51 AM, said:

There is an application called "Brickstore" into which you can put your part inventory (want list) and it will find all the prices on Bricklink for you.  Then, if you want, you can export directly to a Bricklink wanted list to go find and but the parts.  It is quite useful.

The Brickstore application can be downloaded from http://www.brickforge.de/ .

Edited by dluders, 12 December 2009 - 01:45 AM.


#14 Grimmy

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 05:57 AM

Heya all. I've been reading a lot and watching a lot of youtube videos on the subject and I have seen some amazing creations! I even went to the Lego Store and was there for almost an hour but was so indecisive that I didn't get anything for myself, just bought some Christmas presents like the like the Agents 2.0 4 wheeling pursuit for my brother and my niece. I love the huge cars for a minifig. The power miners sets are big vehicles too. That's why I really like the Crystal Reaper. I read the review hereon it and was laughing at how weird it is. It is powered by an alien jelly guy! The vehicle has an onboard lab with the UGLY alien strapped, having the life sucked out of it by a pump tube attached! How distrubing!  :tongue:
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It moves around nice but it needs some mods because the weight of the battery box makes it fall back tipy side. I'd probably make it one single vehicle.

Everything is getting sold out on the official online Lego store. The $150 Crane Truck 8258 is selling online for crazy prices now but they still had it in store. If I got that I'd try to turn it into a regular truck. I don't understand what the point of it having stabilizers before it is even motorized. I would think it would be more fun for a kid to have it RC instead of these outriggers that seem kinda boring to me. You know what I really like, is the trucks people have in their sigs. Like those "trial trucks" and this Lego Scania Dump Truck. See how it doesn't look like it got shoot with a machine gun and doesn't have hundreds of holes everywhere? That's what I like. lol I'm guessing that truck prob costs hundreds to make though.

I got the Brickstore program so I'm playing with that to learn it. I also am playing with the LeoCAD and MLCAD programs. Meanwhile I've been watching out for good deals. With Christmas time around everything is selling like crazy. Only good thing left on the official Lego Shop is the Off Roader 8297 $120.

With all the power functions out now, why don't they have promos about turning vehicles into RC like the big power miners vehicles? When I read about the The Mars Crystal Reaper, most people didn't even know it had info in the instructions on how to add power functions. It doesn't even say it on the box!

Thanks again all, just wanted to leave an update.

P/S (You guys call this shop @ home right? Or is that the European site only. i.e. S@H ? Sounds like the TV shopping network channel)

Edited by Grimmy, 17 December 2009 - 06:04 AM.


#15 Clement

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:20 PM

View Postdluders, on Dec 11 2009, 03:40 PM, said:

The Poles have regular "Trial Truck" competitions for outdoor, off-road Lego Technic Trial Truck (TrTr) MOCs, and they can crawl over sticks, through mud, etc.!  Check them out at http://www.bricktrucktrial.com/ .

Hello, I am Clement and I am the administrator of www.bricktrucktrial.com. I'm a new registered member on eurobricks.com and I still have to get to know the forum, its main lego themes and the people participating in it. I guess there is a "Present yourself" section and i'll soon post a topic there.

What I would like to say here is that bricktrucktrial.com is not dedicated only to Polish TrTr races. in 2 words, bricktrucktrial is a website that aims to regroup trTr builders on a common, english platform. Members present their trucks and can discuss about techniques, questions, challenge rules ... I'll present bricktrucktrial.com in another topic. In polish, i know trucktrial.pl wich seems to be their main website (google translates it well).

About your original question, I also think the cherry picker is a good set, with gears and motor, and wheels, and mechanism, and it is not so expensive. However, it is "studless" i.e. it contains mostly non studed parts, wich may disturb you if (like me), you prefer the "old style" studed parts. It is a relatively new set so you will not have any difficulty to find in MINT (new). On the contrary, older, studed sets may be more expensive and/or hard to find. It depends on what you can find on ebay for example.

I'd recommend to first, buy a decent technic set (or many) to get used to the technique and the mood. Then, use the parts of your set(s) to build your own MOCs. The more sets you have, the more parts you can use to build MOC. and of course you can still unconstruct your MOCs to rebuild the original sets. Finally, you can buy separate parts on bricklink to enrich your collection or if you need a certain part for a certain mechanism and don't want to buy another full set.

#16 Burf2000

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:34 PM

Welcome mate, love the stuff you do, I want to start a UK based on soon

#17 Milan

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:38 PM

Off topic for Clement!
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#18 Grimmy

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 01:02 AM

Hey there Clement welcome! I love the trucks on that site. I've been watching a bunch of the youtube videos linked from the trucks there. A lot of youtube vids have their truck vids with links pointing to the site.

About the Technic pieces with studs, yeah that's what I rather have so I can connect plates and other regular lego parts.

I was just checking out my big box of Lego sets (I got over $500 in Lego unopened. Some I'm selling) and I was checking out my Power Functions kit and realized that it only comes with 1 motor! I thought it came with 2!  :oh3:  I guess it only comes with a set of lights, battery box, 1 motor. The Mars Mission Reaper needs 2 motors and most of the other sets will need a total of at least 2 motors to do fun things. I need to order more rechargeable and I need a IR receiver.

P/S I included a pic of what I got so far. I bought the car thinking I could use it's motor receiver block to make other nice vehicles but you can't really use big wheels on it and also with holding only 3 batteries it's kind of slow. The wheels on it by default, on the back, just barely clear from hitting the back fender.

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Edited by Grimmy, 18 December 2009 - 01:44 AM.




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