Eurobricks Knights
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Everything posted by hoeij

  1. hoeij

    What to do when an Era ends?

    There is really no need to do that. If PF were to be replaced, you'd hear about it long in advance, so you'd still have the option to stock up. Moreover, PF is not going to be replaced anyway. And even if it were, it'd still be easy to stock up. Even if LEGO sells out train PF, which really is not about to happen anyway, then prices still won't suddenly go up, they change slowly because there are plenty of used sets on eBay, and 90% of the time, the motors in there are as good as new. Most families are happy if they bought a trainset for $150 and can get $100 from eBay five years later. That train has been used a few times during Christmas and has been sitting in a box ever since, the motor is essentially brand new. The other thing to consider is: Say you did stock up, and bought all the motors you'll ever need. Next thing you know, a great new train set comes out, and it of course includes PF parts that you don't need. In the long run you'll likely have more than what you need.
  2. Mine runs fine, but I think the difference is not the train, it's the track. On a short oval it does not run well (and it doesn't look good either). On a longer track, consisting of much more straight pieces than curves, the train runs fine. Shared bogies doesn't make the train easier to pull. What counts is the total weight of the train, and how many curves versus straights you have in the track (Horizon Express cars are heavier than the cars from most train sets).
  3. hoeij

    10205 Retail Price?

    A bid in the last seconds happens very often. When the bidding is almost over, if you're in the lead, and you don't want this to happen, increase your max-bid to the maximum that you'd be happy to pay for it. That way, win or lose, you'll be happy either way.
  4. hoeij

    PF -> 12v motor, safe limit for IR receiver

    I read on the technic forum that the IR receiver does work with 11v. Just make sure to get the polarity right!
  5. What about the gyro sensor? It can detect if the loc is turning.
  6. The show coordinators are being unreasonable. Note that you only need one used 9V motor per train. If you have a train with two PF motors, you can replace one of them by a 9V motor, and run an electrical cable from there to the other PF motor. If you leave the PF components in the train, you can run the same train on 9V or on PF, without any changes. One more thing: even a broken 9V motor would be OK, there was a post some time ago on how to repair them (replacing the DC motor inside with one from a PF motor).
  7. I think that for the top teams (where kids really know how to program), EV3 will be an advantage because you can connect 4 motors instead of 3. But I think that for most teams, NXT will be just fine, and they'll keep on using it for years to come. My son is in a team, and at the moment all the kids in there are learning (for the first time, as far as I can tell...) to program at a very basic level; at this level it won't make much of a difference if they have 3 or 4 motors. The kids seem to be very happy to learn how to program, they experiment with the program and see what happens. An hour passes and they think they've only been there for 10 minutes, so they really like it there. I think that from an educational point of view, FLL is as good as it gets, the kids are excited about something that could be of much value to them later on in life.
  8. hoeij

    Mindstorms General Discussion

    Thanks Jim, much appreciated. After you make all this data available, it seems then that the only difference between the $99 educational software and the free retail EV3 software is data logging? (note: the free software doesn't come with gyro support, but the gyro support can be added for free with drivers that can be freely downloaded from lego's website).
  9. hoeij

    MOD: Combined Station: 7937+2150+7937+++

    I think that 7937 also combines really nicely with the previous lego train station (the yellow one). You can see this combination at: http://youtu.be/4SLLfndetqM (fast-forward to 0:50)
  10. hoeij

    Cut 12v rail for 7860

    I made some blue interrupt rails this way, take off the metal, cut it, and put it back. After that I put a bit of tape on it so that the electrical contacts of the motor slide more smoothly over the gap.
  11. I don't think that reselling is wrong in general, because without it, there would be a lot of countries where it is impossible to buy one. However, buying more than 2 is clearly immoral, the website clearly stated 2 per costumer, if you bought more then that just means you're not honest. If you're not using your 41999 anymore, selling it used is good for you but also good for buyers because selling lowers prices. I bought lots of things on bricklink and I always felt that the sellers were doing me a favor by making available things that I want but that are no longer for sale in stores. If you sell something you're no longer using, then you're simply returning the favor. About the question "refuse to open" I left mine in the box until my birthday. By the time I opened mine, I knew I was opening something worth a lot of $, but hey, it was my birthday. Maybe I'll sell it one day if I run out of space but for now I think it is a really neat item.
  12. hoeij

    Squeaky 12v Motor

    Another option is to put lubricant into one of the openings, then shake the motor so the lubricant goes everywhere, then apply some electricity (e.g. a 9V battery) to make it spin. That will likely make the squakyness go away. The motor will also likely run faster and be stronger. Before you put it on the track though, put some paper towels underneath and let the lubricant drip out for the next couple of days so the lubricant doesn't end up on the track.
  13. There is one part that annoys me about some 41999 resellers though: the ones that have multiple sets for sale, they knowingly broke the rules (there was a 2-set limit per costumer).
  14. But without resellers, people that are just getting into lego technic wouldn't be able to buy past glories like 8043. Sure, someone wanting to buy one now pays more than when lego was still selling it, but that's still preferable over not getting an 8043 at all. I can see though how the very fast profit is annoying, someone selling past glories might make money but had to spend much more time waiting for their profit. But for most of the other sets, the resellers are doing us a service, and also, keep in mind that the more resellers there are, the lower the price will be. (PS. About the honesty of returning something when you received something that isn't yours, that's more common than you might expect. My wife lost her wallet 3-4 times since I met her, and she's always gotten it back with everything still in it. But I think this mostly depends on where you live, there are places where that wouldn't happen. If a store clerk accidentally gives me too much money back, then I tell them so they can correct it. I think more than half of people would do that).
  15. You can list it right now on bricklink for $300 and it'll probably sell because there may be some countries where 41999 could be hard to find. PS. Of course you list it as "box has scratches" but I think this makes very little difference for the selling price, lots of people don't care about the box.
  16. This happened to me one time. The item was listed with free shipping, and guess what, it was delivered with overnight shipping, the most expensive way to ship. To me that was a clear sign that that must have been done with a stolen credit card. I tried reporting this to eBay but there is no easy way to report fraud. It's almost as if they don't want to solve this problem. I received my item, in brand new condition, and as far as they are concerned, that means there is no problem. But I don't want stolen items to arrive at my home. Then I contacted our local law enforcement, but surprisingly, the response was pretty much the same. Anyhow, since then I always look at a sellers other items before I buy. If all the items that the seller has sold are brandnew items, and fairly expensive ones, then I don't trust it (even with 100% positive feedback). Sometimes this means paying more than the lowest price I can find. If the seller has sold at least one thing that isn't brand-new then it's probably OK. Anyhow, this does not apply to 41999 because you can still buy it right now from shop.lego.com (at least, in the US it is still available, if you're willing to wait a few weeks for the delivery).
  17. I do not think that they are completely sold out. The site shop.lego.com shows in the US: Out of stock, expected ship date 17 Aug 2013. They may be sold out in some places, but I think in the US you can still buy them on shop.lego.com.
  18. hoeij

    7864 12V Transformer

    I have some 12V controllers. If you are planning to run more than 1 train on the track, then I would not recommend them. If you're running 1 train, and then start a second one, the first one will slow way down. And when you stop the 2nd one in a siding, then the first one will speed way up again. I think that a typical controller from a model railway behaves better. I modified one of my 9V controllers to change the output voltage. The 9V controller has a sequence of resistors *---R0---*---R1---*---R2---*---R3---*---R4---*---R5---* with a voltage applied to them. This divides the 9 volts as follows: 3V over the first resistor R0, and 1.2 volts over each of R1,..,R5. The chip that controls the output uses those voltages as base-lines. I placed a variable resistor in parallel with R1. Turning that variable resistor changes all the base-line voltages (except the first one, that stays 3V). This way I can adjust the output voltage to almost any value between 3 and 9 volts.
  19. This means that: (a) the PF motors are better than the 9V motors, and (b) the load on your 9V motor is now lower than it was before; so it should last much longer. I think that in this setup, your motors will last a very long time.
  20. Having just 1 9V motor per train (assisted by additional PF motors) is a great idea. It is risky to have multiple 9V-motors in one train, because if one motor fails, the load on the other one increases, and you're likely to break that one too (the first time I broke a 9V motor, I broke two motors because of this. Never again). In your new setup, one 9V per train, your 9V motor should be much safer now (the PF motors are stronger, reducing the load on your 9V motor, so (check that to make sure) it should not get too warm anymore). Making cuts to the wheel sets to reduce friction (see railbricks #2) is also a very good way to avoid breaking motors. Note: At a lower speed setting, your motor is NOT safer than at a higher speed setting. Amps matter far more than Volts. Amps are directly proportional to the amount of force that is needed to move the train (which is proportional to its weight).
  21. hoeij

    Switching from 12V system to 9V system

    There are certainly advantages to a compact solution. What exactly is the motor that you use for this? Is it something they have at a regular hobby store?
  22. Lazarus, When you have trains with more than one 9V motor, you have to watch them carefully. If one motor is failing, then the other one has to do way more work. So if one motor fails, there is a big chance that the other one will break too. To avoid this, you have to watch the multi-motor trains carefully, if one of them starts to go slower, at the same speed setting, you may be damaging motors.
  23. hoeij

    MOC: Erie L-1 #2602

    Tony, congrats on your build, it looks great. As for lubrication, after a couple of hours, the Emerald Night requires lubrication on the pistons to run properly, so if it's OK for an official lego set, it's definitely OK for an MOC.
  24. hoeij

    Switching from 12V system to 9V system

    The technic pins have a lot of drag too. The Maersk train in the video in post #26, the first engine has two 9V motors, while the second one is a dummy, where all the wheels sit on technic axles. Drag for the dummy engine is reduced a lot (I think more than a factor 2) by applying a tiny amount of lubricant (I used WD40 out of laziness but it is better to use something else) in the technic holes where the axle goes through.
  25. There are several tables with pretty much only track/trains. I recognize that as a weakness. In my previous layout at the show, my (then 8 years old) son built a really neat running race for minifigs, put various things there for the runners, there were spectators and other neat little details, and the winning minifig had his hands joyfully in the air. That added fun to the layout, and he also added some other neat things as well. This year, we kind of ran out of time during setup, so there aren't as much details as I had hoped for. It just took a lot more time than I counted on to set up everything (basically, the blue track is just an endless amount of work. But operating the RC switches during the show is kind of fun). Thanks for giving me some good ideas. I'll ask my son for ideas on how to make the layout more lively, he's pretty good at that.