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Everything posted by howitzer

  1. With PF you could build a mechanical stop that is engaged when the lift reaches the end, which then switches the power off from battery box. With PU you could program the motor to stop at the correct position by setting the amount of rotations it needs to revolve to reach the end.
  2. Interesting. It appears that while the difference is not that great, it might still be significant for larger/more complex drivetrains as the buildup of friction over many gears becomes a problem and the designer must do everything to minimize it.
  3. Wow, nice! I also missed this as I didn't look at the old Mindstorms forum, but I see now that I should have. Biped walkers that can actually walk are so few and far between.
  4. I think manual/pneumatic fire truck of $150 would be different from motorized firetruck of $300, same as 42100 is different from 42121. Both fine sets on their own, but somewhat different target audiences as one is much more expensive and complex than the other, so I don't think it's very easy to compare them. I'd say it's a matter of personal preference if you'd take a one $300 set or two $150 sets, I see pros and cons in each of them. Though I'd take any grader any day (unless it was extremely poorly executed.) Car sets like Defender and Chiron tend to be functions inside, cosmetics outside, so it's natural to have functions build early in the set and only cosmetic stuff later, though it's not limited to cars. I just finished today building of 42139 ATV and most of the functionality was finished with bag 1, bags 2 and 3 had very little and they were also simpler. 42128 Tow truck maybe had more of the functional build spread throughout the build, as it had the towing arm to be finished in a later stage.
  5. Yes, and I won't by the Sian nor Senna, even if neither is particularly bad set. Those are just not interesting to me. Still, I recognize the fact that there's a lot of people who find those appealing and they are a great way for TLG to make money. If you look at what has been historically produced in Technic, it isn't hard to discern what types of sets have the widest appeal: cars, trucks, construction equipment, aircraft. Beyond those, it's hard to think of anything that would make a sales hit.
  6. Designing a single set that has wide appeal isn't that hard, the fire truck idea was obviously meant as a flagship, which are always out of budget for many people, and of course firetrucks aren't interesting to everyone, same as supercars or helicopters. It would be more interesting to see proposals for the entire lineup of a single year, from the little entry sets and pullbacks to the flagship. Which themes get applied, and to which scales? What features to include and what to exclude in each scale? How does it fit into the continuum of sets from previous years? I believe they want to avoid them because it's often kinda hard to fit studded bricks into studless construction (not impossible by any means though), and most of the time there's just no need. On the other hand, they do use those when it's necessary, for example the boom of the 42082 RTC would be much bulkier and in need of a complete redesign without bricks.
  7. You're correct that all of this (except lights) should be doable in a 150 dollar fully manual/pneumatic set, similar in complexity to the 42128 Tow Truck. But if you want to make it somewhat bigger (maybe Arocs scale) and motorize the main functions and also include those lights, you're probably looking for a much more expensive set, perhaps $250-300 or even more, if we include stuff from @allanp's dreams like small servos for pneumatic switches and so on.
  8. But it does come off. The sticker unsticks, then breaks and falls off, no matter how many times it has been wrapped around the tube. Or at least it would start peeling off from the ends. Maybe it could work a while if the sticker material itself was something really stretchy, but I don't see this kind of solution happening. I'd rather take the current black/grey/blue colour coding (like in the Arocs for example).
  9. I don't think the forum software supports that kind of feature. You're right that Mindstorms topics can get pushed down pretty quickly, but I believe many more people are still going to see them, as opposed to old division where only a few people ever visited the section where they're visible.
  10. I think some sets of the past are pretty good examples of what you're thinking here, like 42043 Arocs and 42055 BWE. They're of course not without flaws, but they offered lots of interesting and complex functionality, with interesting subjects. I think 2016 was the peak of the last decade, and current decade is yet to catch up to that. The 10000 part monster of complexity makes me think of Akiyuki Ball Factory v3 by @Berthil, as I have built it (but not tuned it into working order yet). While it doesn't have anywhere near 10k parts, it's still a huge, complex and impressive machine but there's no way TLG could ever release anything like that, as it's just too hard to build and to make work for anyone but skilled enthusiasts, even if the instructions are of superb quality. Too many moving parts with too much non-obvious places for small errors to build up and make it inoperable. I'm not really surprised that the upcoming Liebherr crane is delayed, considering the hugeness of the machine, and all the complexities in the wiring and rigging, so it makes me think we've reached the limits of how big and complex official sets can be. Everything else in your idea sounds great, but this kind of labeling can't work. The stickers will just fall off as the tubes are bent and twisted. So I'm afraid we're stuck with colour coding. (Also, isn't that just another form of colour coding?)
  11. In my local go-to store selling Lego, there's plenty of Cat, Zetros and McLaren Sennas on the shelf, the McLaren F1 is orderable but not immediately available. Volvo Hauler is not hidden but not orderable either, so I believe it's going away soon, which isn't surprising considering its age. Most of the other Technic sets are also readily available.
  12. I guess the difference in ambient pressure and maybe changes in humidity can have that kind of effect. The pneumatic parts aren't after all perfectly airtight, and slight environmental changes can change their behavior.
  13. Yes, this problem has been discussed extensively in the earlier pages. Initially when first released, those axleholes tended to be really wonky in these elements, but later it appears that the problem has been fixed. Last year I bought the 42120 Hovercraft, and the misalignment of axleholes was strongly present while the 42121 Excavator which I bought only recently has these parts aligned as perfectly as they should. I guess you were unlucky to get a batch of old ones.
  14. The way I see it, cars are pretty much repeating the same functions over and over again. There would be so much potential in cars for all kinds of features and configurations but I don't think there's ever been for example a transverse engine or FWD car in Technic. And how about convertible roof or adjustable suspension? Even four doors is something that we only saw the first time with the Raptor I think. Now, you could argue that the same problem of repeating the same functions applies to other machinery like excavators, but there are several cars every year, while excavators are only released once in a few years so it's not quite the same. Cars do provide us with tons of new panels though, complementing the parts palettes for various colours, so from MOC-perspective they're not at all bad. Just uninteresting on their own.
  15. I didn't, I bought only two Technic sets last year, the hovercraft and the tow truck, and the hovercraft mostly on a whim and because it has a B-model. (Okay, I bought also the excavator from last year's release, but did so this year.) Anyway, many good thoughts here, and mine are mostly that it is what it is. I'm going to buy the good sets and leave the bad ones (in my opinion anyway) on the shelf. Last couple of years have been pretty easy on my wallet.
  16. Yes, increasing the number of threads visible on the first page would indeed solve a lot of problems.
  17. Yeah, these are my thoughts also on every point. If I had a MOC to present, I wouldn't post it now because there's no hope of many people seeing it with all the contest topic swamping the first page. But yeah, it should be on top, and maybe have something to make it obvious that there's a contest going on right now and every visitor really should look into the subforum. The Hall of fame indeed is pretty useless as long as it's not being updated regularly, so unpinning it (and maybe moving it to the index topic) would free up some space. While a popular contest is going on, there's tons of building topics constantly updated, which push every other topic to the second and third pages, so it's a very bad time to present any other MOCs or get attention to other discussions. Contests are great, but they shouldn't force everything else on hold. I'd also keep the other pinned topics in place, except for the aforementioned Hall of fame topic.
  18. You won't need 2 hubs for a while, unless you intend to keep your MOCs built instead of taking them apart to build something new. The buggy is the cheapest option but if you have the budget, you can also go for a bigger set with PU stuff like 42129 or 42114, either of which should cost around the same as 42124 and 42140 combined.
  19. Yep, I was thinking of single subforum for contests, where all the contest-related stuff is posted and which is reused every time there's a new contest. Also a contest-announcement topic in the main forum with links to entry- and voting topics which would be in the subforum.
  20. I don't think that helps the exposure matter much, the topics would still be hidden in another forum. I think the real problem with having topics seen in the first page is during contests, when the entry topics swamp the forum and there's also more pinned topics than usual, so less space for other stuff. If a subforum is made, I'd vote putting contests there.
  21. The mechanical side of things was always practically identical between the two, so in that sense there's no point in dividing these in two forums. Also, I think the distinction between Mindstorms and Technic has become almost meaningless now that we have tons of Technic sets with PU electronics which are programmable much like the Mindstorms. So yeah, I'm all for combining them in one.
  22. I really hope you're right and both cyclic and collective controls will be included! And yeah, the gearbox sounds great even if it's unrealistic.
  23. Thanks for the link! Niche applications was what I was also thinking, like a small car. People have been asking a replacement for the PF rechargeable battery for years, so I wonder if this could be used. Very expensive though.
  24. Yes, that's the kind of car set I'd consider buying, as the supercars are getting really repetitive. I understand from the rumours that the helicopter would have collective pitch control and tilting rotor (like 8856) but no cyclic pitch control. So while it's probably still a pretty cool set, it's still falling somewhat short of the expectations. But yeah, for me the crane was also something to look forward, as I've skipped both 42100 and 42131.