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29 minutes ago, Rob Pickering said:

The other software, seemed to exclude Windows 8.1.

Make a small partition on your HD, 500MB is enough
Install MSDos 9,1 and a game called Windows 3.11 for workgroups.
Install your software, it wil work now.

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8 hours ago, Rob Pickering said:

Hello, My name is Rob Pickering, and I am new to this forum. I am hoping that someone may be able to give me some guidance. I have read through all the threads, but can’t quite sort out a solution to my problem.

I have found a Lego Dacta control interface 70909 (year 1992) in my loft, together with plenty of sensors. Unfortunately, I have no software to operate it. I have an hp computer with Windows 8.1 with a RS232 serial interface. I would be grateful if you could tell me:

1. What software I require,

2. Where I can obtain this software,

3. Approximately how much it will cost.

The Lego “Engineer” software looked very good, but unfortunately, it seems to be no longer available. The other software, seemed to exclude Windows 8.1.

Now that I have retired, I would love to get back into technical Lego and to get my grand children involved in it too. Thank you for allowing me to post this on your forum.

You may find some information on the net about alternative to the original software.

For exemple:

https://www.shamlian.net/projects/dacta/  (Provides Links and what seems to be a Dacta.zip that contains what seems to be some Python language stuff) 

The later URL has some interesting links about the reverse engineering of this interface.

One of the links is from Anders Isaksson who also offers a little windows executable to test you interface which I recall having used successfully in the past:  http://www.blockcad.net/dacta/

Another cool software to test your Interface B: https://www.lgauge.com/technic/LEGOInterfaceB/9751.htm

 

I do have the RoboLab software that works on Windows 95 (And MAC) but it seems to be in french only.

 

Other links of interest:

https://www.dajlab.org/jcontrollab.html

 

I also did play around on my own years ago with this interface and used the information provided by others to program some VB.Net stuff that you can still find here: https://app.box.com/shared/xc44rksi2h

 

Yves

Edited by Bliss

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On 11/2/2021 at 7:27 AM, Rob Pickering said:

The Lego “Engineer” software looked very good, but unfortunately, it seems to be no longer available. The other software, seemed to exclude Windows 8.1.

A while ago I managed to find a copy of LEGO Engineer using the way back machine.

If you try this link, https://web.archive.org/web/20020724174652/http://amper.ped.muni.cz/~fyzika/, it will take you to a directory. Then navigate to the sub-directory "projekt" and (Google) translate it from Czech into English and click on the link "an archive of freely distributable software". In the first directory there is an executable named "PCinstallLE2.exe". In the sub-directory named "ctrl" there is a zip file called "0CtrlLab.zip". I think (though I could be wrong) that one or both of these files are related to the long since disappeared LEGO Engineer.

David

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May I say a big thank you to all those of you who answered my call for help. So many replies from around the World (and Milky Way west!) make this a truly global group. I now have plenty of leads to follow up and now I hope to make some progress over the winter with my Dacta control unit. More help is, of course, would be most welcome. Please remember that I am a pensioner, and had my formative years in a pre-computer world. I remember buying a slide rule when I entered the school sixth form.

Edited by Rob Pickering

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7 hours ago, Rob Pickering said:

May I say a big thank you to all those of you who answered my call for help. So many replies from around the World (and Milky Way west!) make this a truly global group. I now have plenty of leads to follow up and now I hope to make some progress over the winter with my Dacta control unit. More help is, of course, would be most welcome. Please remember that I am a pensioner, and had my formative years in a pre-computer world. I remember buying a slide rule when I entered the school sixth form.

Hello Rob,

There has been much information in this thread above - which I revived recently to add the Macintosh software. However, I think the overall easiest solution to use the Control Lab is the original Windows 95/98 software which you can download from https://archive.org/details/vintagelegorobotics along with the manuals (reference guide etc.) as example files are included.

I think having old hardware is easier than trying to work with alternative software and partitioned/emulated operating systems.

For the correct look and ‘feel’, I bought a 1998 Toshiba laptop last year (came with Windows 2000) and I put Windows 98 on it. This cost me $50. I suggest if you search for ‘Windows 98 laptop’, on your local marketplace website, you’ll find something suitable. You need a 9-pin serial cable of the ‘null modem’ type (perhaps you have the original cable with the interface, but if not, they can still be purchased new from good electronics stores).

The Macintosh software option may cost you a bit more due to the rarity of the hardware, but if you go down this path, Mac OS 9 or earlier will work. The machine needs to have round serial ports, so the iMac is ruled out - the last machine to have serial ports is an early 1998 Powerbook G3. The software does not expand to fill the screen, so something older with a smaller screen will look best. PowerBook 5300, 520c are quite expensive and fragile. There are many other monochrome-only PowerBooks which are cheaper (e.g. 140, 150, 520). Any desktop Mac before the iMac will work. I use an accelerated Amiga (which I happen to have) to emulate a colour Mac. I also have a PowerBook 100 which runs Control Lab fine as well (monochrome).

Brickfactory.info has the instructions for set 9701 if you’re missing them. Click ‘By Number’, then use the drop-down list to find 9700-9799.

Yes, a global effort, I take my setup to LEGO shows here in New Zealand…

Have fun!

-Alex

4 hours ago, legoROBOLAB said:

In this page of this blog you can see all information about the 9751...

https://legoeducacional-umcontributo.blogspot.com/search?q=9751

may have more, but this what i know...

 

This is a great summary, many thanks. My iPhone translated into English for me with no problems. In particular I see the Control Center-based 9702 set instructions there, which I have not seen anywhere else.

-Alex

Edited by alexGS

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I just wanted to say thanks to everyone in this thread for contributing software / information.  This is absolutely a childhood dream come true to be able to use the official Lego Control Lab software to make my own projects.  I was home schooled growing up and educational catalogs were always around the house.  I spent a LOT of time drooling over sets like this.  It's been a blast so far and I'm just getting started :pir-grin:
 

 

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I thought I'd drop this here for anyone curious as to how the original Dacta Control Lab software operated (I'm using the Windows 95 version).  Again, it wouldn't be possible without many of you in this thread for sharing information.  I'd be glad to hear any constructive criticism, I'm sure I made my fair share of mistakes in the video.  It was quite a challenge for me to sync up voice-over, screen-capture, the video of the test pad and it's associated audio together into something cohesive.  But I can say with some confidence it's quite possibly the best video on YouTube on the subject (if not the only)! 

I am intensely curious about any and all information on the Control Lab and it's use in schools.  Don't hesitate to reach out if you have anything you'd like to share. 

 


Here's a picture of the full test pad, some of the light reflections on the tiles make it look like a render :pir_laugh2:

Control Lab Test Pad

 

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Posted (edited)

Congratulations... a very good video summarizing the basic Control Lab possibilities.
Would it be too much to ask for you to share the programs you created for this activity?
Once again, very useful indeed.

 

https://legoeducacional-umcontributo.blogspot.com/search?q=9751

Friend, I had to share your great video on my blog.

Edited by legoROBOLAB

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Thanks @legoROBOLAB

Here is the test file I used in the video.  It's pretty basic, programming was never a first language for me but I get by :pir_laugh2: (Sometimes with the help of my friends).  I've taken a peek at your blog before but I need to make time to look it over more thoroughly.  It looks like there is some really cool stuff on there!  Cheers!


https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1t1Pp5VxW0fyfWHYIRMyg-eVRoZ84hzOR?usp=sharing

 

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Thank you very much for your answer and making your control lab programming available.
I think that, as on the internet, information disappears easily, blogs like mine and videos like yours are a valid contribution to anyone looking for information about LEGO products that had their time in the 90s, long before this century, and the internet globally available..

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