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About Captainowie

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    Western Australia
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    Technic, Technic and more Technic


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  1. Nah, cheap audio sockets are where it's at! :-) Actually, I guess if you connect your power to both the outer wires and the inner wires together, you could use it to either power a motor directly or via an IR receiver. I hadn't considered doing that before.
  2. Lego GBC Molding Factory Module #2

    Nice. What happens if a ball comes in just as the mould closes, as nearly happens at 0.23? Does the whole machine bind up?
  3. I'd also recommend powering a battery box, rather than powering a PF cable directly. This is so that you can still use other features of the PF system (e.g. IR remote control). It is possible to modify a AA battery box in such a way that you can still use it with batteries. If the AA battery box is too large, I expect it's possible (if a little fiddlier) to also modify the AAA battery box in the same way. Let us know how you get on. Owen.
  4. 24: 10 3: 6 8: 4 2: 3 10: 2 19: 1 Well done everyone.
  5. Glad you got your thing working. Owen.
  6. You can certainly control the same motor from different widgets. It's been a while since I've played around with it, but I think it's called "channel" or something - you put all the controls (joystick, button, slider) that you want to affect the same motor on the same "channel". You can achieve 1) by having a button that runs your motor at full speed in one direction, and a slider that runs from 0 to full in the other direction.
  7. Spring loaded Lego PF switch?

    The 8480 Space Shuttle used the old pole reverser switch with this functionality, using a rubber belt as a return-to-centre. I know the newer switches are stiffer to operate than the old ones, so you might have to experiment with lever length and band tension, but I expect you could get something reasonably compact. Owen.
  8. Howdy folks. Like many of you I'm sure, I'm taking the time to do a bit of building in the time off between Christmas and New Year. I've come across this little design that I haven't seen before, and thought I'd share in case someone finds it useful. If you would normally be using one of those white 24-tooth clutch gears (that slip after a certain torque is reached) but the torque limit for that gear is too high, or you can't fit the spur gear easily in your drivetrain, you may find this construction useful: Now, I accept that in practice it could be trick to work this into a MOC - the gear can only be supported one one side (unless you put a pin-joiner on the end and extend the axle from that) and a stud away from the support at that. But these aren't insurmountable, and if it's all you have, then you'll make do! On the other hand, it's also useful if you want to _add_ friction to a drivetrain for whatever reason. An alternative to sticking a normal gear on a friction pin. Owen.
  9. Conveyor belt

    From the rollers, it looks like you're imagining a belt that holds a V-shape while it's carrying a load, then flattens out as it goes over the drive wheels and returns. Do I have that right? In that case, the only option you have is to go non-LEGO with something you make yourself - perhaps using strips from a bicycle inner tube. If you want to stick with LEGO, then I'd echo the suggestions of the others, to use plastic parts so that you can control the minimum size of the things the belts are carrying. Every purist solution will have rigid lengths that must necessarily expose gaps for tiny crumbs to fall through, even if it's only at the sprockets. If you do go with the track links, you can get little rubber plugs to cover the holes (or half-pins, to get the same effect at a fraction of the cost). Then all you have to worry about is the gaps between the links - but as I said, you're always going to have that problem. Unless you can construct something with smooth surfaces that slide over each other. But any such solution is going to be extremely bulky. Incidentally, I see that you have a couple of belts that start off horizontal and then angle up. If you use a flat belt, how are you going to keep tension on the belt while also keeping it on the rollers? You'd want some rollers on the top of the belt to hold it down. I suspect it only works in real life because the rock/gravel is much heavier than the belt. Good luck, though, and keep us informed of your progress. Owen.
  10. ...except now it doesn't work as a perpetual motion machine any more. If it's supposed to be that the balls turn the wheel with their weight, then it makes no sense at all for the wheel to pause for a bit each cycle. Instead of speeding up the two-arm stepper, you would have been better off making the wheel go twice as fast, and removing every second bucket. Still, it's a neat bit of kit you've got there! Owen.
  11. Technic vs System definition

    I want to see Saberwing make a Technic creation that includes this Technic piece - :-) More seriously, I think it actually doesn't matter. We can argue until we're blue in the face about what makes a piece Technic or not, but whatever definition we come up with will have edge-case parts that are (or are not) definitely Technic but the definition says otherwise, or which the definition can't determine. Pretty much ever categorisation system humans have ever devised has the same problem, even if it's obvious for most things which bucket they go into, there will be some things that defy the buckets. i.e. A tree is definitely a plant, and a fish is definitely an animal, but there are things that are both kind-of plant and kind-of animal.
  12. Retracting cables

    Do you particularly need to use a drum? I imagine you could construct a flexible cable-tray around track links that folds back on itself a greater or lesser extent as the machinery it's connected to extends or retracts. Owen.
  13. Another contest that has been hard to judge. I never woulda guessed! 10: 10 15: 6 7: 4 17: 3 12: 2 9: 1
  14. [TIP] Slackless gear meshing

    Hmm, you have me doubting myself now. Perhaps the setup I saw had some other element to it - maybe a second axle connecting both gears to the same non-torsioned shaft via two other smaller gears - I honestly can't remember.
  15. [TIP] Slackless gear meshing

    You can also do this with a single drive-train, by using two large (36- or 40-tooth gears) on a long (10+L) axle. You offset the big gears by one tooth, and the torsion in the axle keeps the tension on the drive-train.