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Mark Bellis

Joystick Controls with new Power Function RC handsets

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With the new Power Function IR RC handsets http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2337967

it is possible to create joystick controls by adding a few extra pieces. The controls are tank drive

by default so a few levers are required to turn the sideways joystick movement into forward

and back movement of the second lever.

This configuration (2 joysticks and 2 auxiliary levers) would be used to control a remote controlled helicopter: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2358115

It's just waiting for a flying LEGO helicopter! It's also useful for an excavator though, tank drive controls in the middle for the track drive and 2 joysticks for the digger functions.

Joysticks folder (when moderated): http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=237938

A description text file explains the design a bit further.

Handsets will be available in dinosaur 4958 and bulldozer 8275, one in each set.

Having built joysticks using axles to move the handset levers, it occurs to me

that using motors to move handset levers that control other motors has

interesting automated machine possibilities, which I'll investigate.

Mark

My Power Functions Brickshelf folder: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=226241

My Brickshelf folder: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?m=mbellis

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Please deeplink ;-)

I assume that by this you mean that the motors are powerful enough to control a lego helicopter?

-l2k-

D'oh! *wacko* http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/mbellis/...stick_1_off.jpg

I think the motors are what many fans have been waiting for for years, at least in the power stakes. I'll try putting 2 large motors in my Apache helicopter to see whether the blades stay on :-)

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=147936 (adding the full length blades that almost touch the tail fin). Getting close enough to move the helicopter's joysticks might be difficult, so putting the smaller motors on those might help.

The motors are great for making unstoppable tracked vehicles though.

Mark

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D'oh! *wacko* http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/mbellis/...stick_1_off.jpg

I think the motors are what many fans have been waiting for for years, at least in the power stakes. I'll try putting 2 large motors in my Apache helicopter to see whether the blades stay on :-)

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=147936 (adding the full length blades that almost touch the tail fin). Getting close enough to move the helicopter's joysticks might be difficult, so putting the smaller motors on those might help.

The motors are great for making unstoppable tracked vehicles though.

Mark

Sir, you are my hero X-D

-l2k-

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Having built joysticks using axles to move the handset levers, it occurs to me

that using motors to move handset levers that control other motors has

interesting automated machine possibilities, which I'll investigate.

Mark

Fascinating! I

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This configuration (2 joysticks and 2 auxiliary levers) would be used to control a remote controlled helicopter: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2358115

It's just waiting for a flying LEGO helicopter! It's also useful for an excavator though, tank drive controls in the middle for the track drive and 2 joysticks for the digger functions.

This seems very ingenious but maybe you should put a little movie of the controls in action so we can better appreciate the functionality. I must admit it's a little 'vitual' like that since nobody of us have touched the new IR control box.

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Wait a sec...

Looking at the pic of the controller, I see two levers on top, and what looks like a channel selector switch.

So, it controls only 2 motors?

How does the Bulldozer model work then? with 2 motors for the tracks, 1 for the blade, and (maybe) 1 for the tooth in back??

Do you get 2 controllers?

(im afraid they might 'cheat' and use the channel selector so that you only do one function at a time)

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Wait a sec...

Looking at the pic of the controller, I see two levers on top, and what looks like a channel selector switch.

So, it controls only 2 motors?

How does the Bulldozer model work then? with 2 motors for the tracks, 1 for the blade, and (maybe) 1 for the tooth in back??

Do you get 2 controllers?

(im afraid they might 'cheat' and use the channel selector so that you only do one function at a time)

That's why I suggested a little movie of the control in action. Everything should be clearer

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That's why I suggested a little movie of the control in action. Everything should be clearer

In the absence of a decent movie camera, I'll have to use words ;-)

A single controller drives two motors at once. The channel selector switch allows 4 channels of 2 motors to be selected. A bulldozer kit will have 1 controller, which will drive the two tracks on one channel and the two other functions on the other channel.

There's nothing to stop you using an extra controller from another kit (a dinosaur perhaps) to allow you to control all the bulldozer's functions at once, but bear in mind that it would be easier if you could rebuild it to use one joystick control to drive the tracks and another for the other functions. The rebuild for joystick control would require one motor to drive forward and back and another to add forward motion to one track and reverse motion to the other, to do differential drive. This requires 2 differential gears.

Mark

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Wait a sec...

Looking at the pic of the controller, I see two levers on top, and what looks like a channel selector switch.

So, it controls only 2 motors?

How does the Bulldozer model work then? with 2 motors for the tracks, 1 for the blade, and (maybe) 1 for the tooth in back??

Do you get 2 controllers?

(im afraid they might 'cheat' and use the channel selector so that you only do one function at a time)

Yeah, there's only one remote in the model, and I'm afraid they do require you to change the channel selector.

Sigh.

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Dissapointed that theres only 1 controller in that bulldozer...

having to stop moving and flick a switch before changing the blade position sounds like it makes playability a little clunky.

Just think of the possibilities that could have been if it came with 2 controllers

- alternate model: RC car race! (build two cars, each with their own controllers for 2player fun)

Having to buy the dino set for a second controller...bleh, its far too big and expensive to do that casually...

140$ for the Bulldozer, plus another ?50-60? for the Dino 8-|

How many motors are in the Dino set btw?

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How many motors are in the Dino set btw?

2 medium motors and 1 sound brick, with 1 IR receiver and battery box.

I think the sound brick switch is pressed as one of the motors moves the dinosaur.

Mark

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2 medium motors

Darn... if it had 2 medium motors AND a small motor then I'd forgo getting the bulldozer in favor of just MOCing my own using Dino motors.

As it is, with only two motors you have enough for steering, but not controlling the bulldozer blade; not unless I want to work out some mechanical control coupling...

how about, motors in opposite directions is for turning left/right, motors both in reverse raises/lowers the blade, and both motors forward either moves the dozer forward or reverse depeding on the blade position?

This *sorta* makes playability sense, and there *should* be a way to design a gearbox that will allow that kind of control...

Hmmh, needs at least one Ratchet, is there such a thing as a Ratchet gear in lego??

What do you think? maybe using Supercar Transmission pieces, or sliding Worm gears...

EDIT: ugh the more I think about it the worse the concept sounds... definetly needs multiple clutch gears, and differentials... and likely prone to jams if you work the controls wrong...

How much is the Dino set vs the Bulldozer btw? Maybe its worthwhile just buying two Dinos; solves the number of motors issue, as well as the number of controllers issue.

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Sounds great, I may just get a few sets with those Handsets. But thinking of a flying chopper is really out of the question. Legos weigh too much for anything short of a large, Gasoline-powered rotor to make it lift off. Not very likely for legos...

Quickedit: Anyone have any idea how much those sets cost? I'm guessing over $150 USD, but I could be wrong...

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I have built an automatic looping machine, where motors controlled by one PF receiver move the levers for a PF handset. This in turn controls another PF receiver, whose motors move the levers of another handset, which controls the first receiver.

So you're essentially using the Big Expensive Motors, to accomplish the work of simple Relay Switches.

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So you're essentially using the Big Expensive Motors, to accomplish the work of simple Relay Switches.

...whilst doing it remotely and allowing most of the motor power to be tapped off for any useful application at the same time... perhaps! :-) It is useful to prove that a system can work before applying it to a MOC that might take months to build! Besides, it depends what price you put on the enjoyment of doing things simply because they can be done!

This scheme really saves on relay switches, for those MOCs where you were going to use that many motors anyway. A LEGO pole reverser switch used to cost

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