Eurobricks Vassals
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    LEGO Technic Fiber Optic Multi Set (8456)

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    Jacksonville Fl.
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    Lego Mindstorms, Computers, Making Music


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  1. I've wanted to do this for quite some time. I've always been enamored by the control panels used in model train layouts, I wanted to try to make one out of Lego. Years ago I realized the Lego 4.5v touch sensors from the 80's had no internal resistance and functioned as momentary buttons (the internals are shown in the video). I used these in conjunction with the 9v pole reverser switches to control the switch tracks (or points for those of you across the pond). The motorized switch design is a modified version of Tom Cook's that he used for the BAP software article on the Lgauge website. Here is the mock up I made in Studio, which helped immensely with all the plates on the back for structure. Here is the front of the control panel Here is the back And it wouldn't be complete without a few trains to control! And here is the full video showing it in action. The whole project took up a lot more space than I thought, but I had just enough room to build the layout as it is shown on the control panel. If you have any questions or ideas for expanding this idea be sure to post them! Play well!
  2. Awesome stuff! I love the idea of using a bridge rectifier on the interface A output to control an opto-coupler. I was wondering where this mysterious 4th output was coming from . The hardware I can follow pretty well, where you guys go way over my head, is in the software department. Still, a fascinating read! Maybe one day I'll get back around to playing with my Interface A's, for now it's all trains all the time... for the time being Most Lego channels I interact with have not been setting their channels / videos as made for kids. I think there was a lot of over-reacting by all parties a few years ago. Including YouTube themselves. I guess it could still be an issue for some larger creators depending on their style of content but I wouldn't worry about it in your case. If for some reason it does become a major issue again, rest assured your subscription box will be full of videos like "It's all over (again)! I'm going into hiding before they find me!"
  3. A new video from Thorsten in my YT subscription box? What a treat! Sadly I'm on my way out for work so I haven't had time to read through the details. I'm sure you know I am a huge fan of combining new and old Lego electronics, although I tend to draw the line at the DACTA 9v serial interface. Looking forward to diving into the details! Note: I wouldn't worry about setting the video "for kids", in case anyone who does come across the video wants to comment
  4. BatteryPoweredBricks

    *updated* Guide to Controlling Lego Switch Tracks Remotely (PU, PF, Mindstorms, 9v)

    And here is the full video showing my remote controlled layout in action. Eventually I want to find a good de-coupling solution, but I have a few more projects in the works first. Enjoy!
  5. BatteryPoweredBricks

    [APP] BrickController2

    I've been meaning to look into controlling trains with the BC2 app for a while now. I know I have a joystick with a throttle control that would work. Maybe I could hack up a joystick and build a box with independent throttle knobs or levers to control the trains. I did do some testing with all the controllers I could find around the house and found several that "most" of the buttons worked. I guess one question would be how many devices can the app / phone connect to at once
  6. BatteryPoweredBricks

    Set 10020 Santa Fe originally also in light bluish gray?

    I've definitely gone the way of asking for partial refunds, it seems fitting since you received a "partial" set. It can be very difficult to find information about sets that were sold in LBG and light gray, I've heard it discussed on the Afool podcast here and there. I would think a highly collectable set like this would be easy to find that information if it was.
  7. BatteryPoweredBricks

    Brickrail - LEGO PoweredUp Train automation

    Thanks for the quick reply! This design seems to work very well. I quickly built it on my lunch break. I completely skipped the clutch gear, I've had far too many issues with them when motorizing official Lego switch tracks. No two clutch gears act the same and any added variables only compound the issue. I also added a piece that helps it to not over-rotate as much. I'll play with it some more when I get home. I for one would very much appreciate the option to control the motor strength and duration. I'm not a software guru so I don't know how much work this would be to implement but I would imagine some users would find it useful. Whether they are using different switch tracks or a different motorized switch design. (apologies for using a competing software solution , I only had a few minutes to test it)
  8. BatteryPoweredBricks

    Brickrail - LEGO PoweredUp Train automation

    Hoping to test this soon, I just tore down my last layout so I can make something specific for automation. What design are you using for the motorized TrixBrix switch tracks? I just got a load of them in, but haven't nailed down a solution for them yet. The double crossover is a royal pain, there is zero room to work with, I may just abandon that one. Thanks for all the hard work on this project!
  9. BatteryPoweredBricks

    *updated* Guide to Controlling Lego Switch Tracks Remotely (PU, PF, Mindstorms, 9v)

    Rather than create a new topic, I have updated the original post above. After having issues over the past year with the two main designs I used in the original video, I started using a modified version of Tom Cook's design and have created instructions for it.
  10. This is a video talking about my experience with Akiyuki's pneumatic module. It took me a bit to get it working well but I eventually got there. I did make a few changes, some were suggestions from others. I adjusted the A frame geometry slightly, used only 3L beams on the sides of the basket to reduce friction and used Technic panels on the side to help stabilize the model. I wanted to use my external air compressor from my GBC Control Center but had issues with the arm rotating way too fast. The solution was using a simple adjustable air pressure regulator, just on that cylinder. This works well and allows for more air pressure to raise and lower the arm, without overdoing it on the rotation. Also after running it for a few hours total, the turntable was not turning so well. I did end up taking it apart, cleaning it and adding a small amount of lubrication. It's one of my favorite modules to run, a huge thanks to @Blakbird and @jesuskyr for their efforts in reverse engineering and providing instructions!
  11. BatteryPoweredBricks

    Control your trains without smart device - with Pybricks

    Are these planned changes? Is it an issue with non-train motors? I just tried the latest and beta version of Pybricks and everything worked fine. Even if future versions broke compatibility I have an older version of the firmware I can still use, downloaded via linux. This is the best solution I've found to control trains with the remote, I won't let it go away
  12. BatteryPoweredBricks

    What are you reading?

    I may eventually dip my toes into the Star Wars expanded universe again at some point. I remember liking the Jedi Academy Trilogy and the X-Wing series (don't think I finished them, I think there is like 14). For now I've been re-reading all my favorite "hacker" books. I do mean the old school definition of hacker. Steve Wozniak's iWoz is something I go back to every few years. He's much more of an idol to me than Steve Jobs would ever be. Just someone who enjoys life and has done so much with the time given to him. Co-founding Apple, leaving to start other companies, putting on two huge concerts, playing countless pranks and helping with computer education. Kevin Mitnick's "ghost in the wires" keeps me on the edge of my seat even though I've read it a few times before, it's just such a unique story. I would have ran from the FBI too if I had been put in solitary confinement for 8 months without ever hurting anyone or depriving any person of property. People just didn't understand technology back then. I would recommend either of these to anyone, even to non-technical people.
  13. I started a series of videos a little while back doing GBC Module reviews. I'm fairly new to GBC but I think this is a good thing. I don't take my knowledge for granted, I learn a little more with each module I build and make sure to include the lessons learned in each video. I also point out any discrepancies I find in the instructions or modifications I made. I hope these videos will be helpful and encouraging to other GBC newcomers. I don't edit out mistakes, I feel it is important to include them. Some modules were more troublesome than others to get working reliably but troubleshooting is a valuable skill when getting started in GBC. If you click the "watch on YouTube" link it should bring up the playlist which will be updated over time. I currently have four episodes with two modules each but have a few more videos planned as more parts come in.
  14. BatteryPoweredBricks

    Control your trains without smart device - with Pybricks

    Hello good sir, a viewer let me know the download links are not working again. In the mean time I've shared a google drive link to the motor control program but I know I'm not the only person linking there. Also I've mentioned in this thread that PyBricks had a bug that wouldn't allow a city hub to turn off when a train motor was connected on port B but it has been fixed in later versions
  15. Well I'm at it again... In addition to my normal modification (upgrade bridge diodes and voltage regulator), this mod replaced a few of the resistors to allow the train regulator to provide more voltage . Providing ~9.6v and ~12v at the two highest settings. As pointed out to me by Tom Atkinson (not to be confused with Bill Atkinson like I did in the video) this is a 77% increase in power (remember power = wattage not voltage). So far I've been using the 9.6v setting for more power hungry pneumatic pumps and it works a lot better than the stock 9v. I'm also happy to have the 12v option if I ever need it. I've often heard that TLG used 12v cores for its PF motors but I've never seen this actually confirmed. I do know the BuWizz motors will be fine at 12v so that is an option as well. I am always open to constructive criticism or pointing out inaccuracies (I can't even get people's names right so I'm sure there are a few). Another topic in the video is the two different internal revisions of the train speed regulator, I'd be curious if anyone has identified more than that.