Eurobricks Knights
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About Phoxtane

  • Birthday 05/06/1996

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  1. I've been dealing with 15+ years of hideous sorting now that I have a house of my own and a dedicated space to build and organize my collection. I uncovered my old "weird pieces" box where I dumped stuff that I didn't know what to do with. Among many other oddities, this box had a couple handfuls of old 4.5V light bricks, optosensors, and touch sensors (08010dc01, x1161cx1, and x1167cx1, respectively. I received these from a family who had kept ahold of old Lego DACTA stuff from their job as an elementary school principal. Naturally, they were a little filthy and my young self dunked them into a soapy water bath without thinking. Now it's 15 years later and I'd like to test these pieces to make sure they work, repair them if they don't, and hopefully sell them on to somebody who'll appreciate them more than I will (if anyone is interested, DM me!). (No longer available, they've been passed on to a true 4.5V connoisseur.) I think I have a decent idea of what to expect if the parts are working, but what I don't know is how I can open any of them to perform repairs if necessary. (On the other hand, it may not even be economically viable to repair them given how little they go for online vs. the risk of shattering something). Does anybody know of safe methods to pop these open for the purposes of repair and inspection?
  2. Phoxtane

    Automating the BrickTracks & FX switches

    The last time I looked into this, I used a hobby servo but set it up such that there was a lot of mechanical slop (see below). Nowadays I'd look into a belt drive; that way you only need a DC motor as opposed to a servo, letting you use plentiful GPIOs over limited analog pins. (You still need two pins to set the direction and turn the motor on/off with most driver boards, but you can do some work with shift registers etc. to expand what a given microcontroller can do for you.)
  3. Thanks for the input all! I didn't end up washing any of the axles or magnets - I popped the magnets out of their holders (2920, not the actual plastic cylinders they're bonded into) and set them aside. I also removed the axles from from the wheel holders and set them aside as well. Everything else went into the wash for a good soak and rinse. This lot happened to be a mix of parts from 10183 and 7897 (both incomplete, but I was mainly after the baseplates, wheels, and magnets), so I now have one of the weird proto-PF motors that came with the short-lived "RC" system for trains, along with some 9V wires and one of the old white 1x2 lamp bricks. At some point in the future I'd love to try an LED conversion on the lamp brick, it'd bring some use back to those old light pipe "prism" pieces from the 9V era.
  4. I went on an ebay binge recently and now have a nice haul of metal axle train wheelsets and some old-school open magnets. Is it safe to wash these in warm soapy water? I'm concerned about the axles rusting or the magnets degrading in some way.
  5. I finally stretched my creative muscles (and pulled something) and came up with a Rock Raiders MOC. I call it the Screw Transport: Before further discussion, I should give credit where it's due - the physical build and wonderful photos were done by R.R. Slugger (aka "Rama") from the Manic Miners Discord server (we'll talk about Manic Miners in a moment). Rama's channel can be found at: Without their help this MOC wouldn't be nearly as good looking - they take very good pictures and are probably more handsome than me to boot. The idea for this MOC came from real-life screw-propelled vehicles, mostly the Soviet-era ZiL 29061 (below). I wanted to keep the model's feel in line with the original sets, so I designed with parts and colors available in 1999. That predates just about every wedge plate I could think of which really slowed my roll on getting fun shapes in there. My original model was done in and rendered out into the images below (spoilered for length's sake). Apparently the model was so interesting Rama decided to try it in real life! Some very minor tweaks were applied to allow the bucket to rotate fully, as well as reinforcement in critical areas and including the signature chrome grille tiles from the Rock Raiders line. The rendered images don't reflect these changes.
  6. Phoxtane

    12V track soldering

    AFAIK the metal tracks on 9V was nickel silver (nickel, zinc, and copper alloy), not stainless steel. I would assume the same about the 12V tracks. I don't know that you wouldn't be able to solder them with normal leaded solder. I'm a fan of Kester solder myself. You could borrow a trick from plumbers and HVAC techs where a wet rag is placed on the pipes/refrigerant lines around the joint to prevent the heat from creeping into places it shouldn't be, but you'd need a higher-power soldering iron with a hefty chisel tip to dump the heat in fast enough. Clean the flux afterwards with ispropyl alcohol! (Test the alcohol somewhere hidden on one of the plastic pieces, I'm not sure if it'll react with the ABS or not.)
  7. Phoxtane

    Straight tracks closer together than eight stud gap?

    If you're running battery powered trains, you could also build the custom length track sections you need out of panel pieces or other clever sideways part usage. An example that comes to mind can be found here: There's also this youtube thumbnail, no idea if the video was any good but it gets the idea I had across pretty well:
  8. Nowadays the fluid that makes the smoke is pretty much vape juice isn't it? Obviously without flavorings or nicotine (there's a way to get kicked out of a convention, getting kids hooked on donut-flavored vapes from the fun toy train...) My granddad's O-gauge trains had a small bottle of anonymous white tablets which produced a similar effect. Though this bottle was old enough that vapes weren't invented yet, so it was probably some unholy blend of asbestos and lead with used engine oil as a binder.
  9. Phoxtane

    Help with identifying parts/sets!

    I can't tell if these 1x1 cheese slopes are real Lego or not. They don't have Lego molded into the underside, but I think all cheese slopes are like that - too small for it I guess. I can't really check because I'm packing the apartment up for a move. The tell-tale here that made me suspicious is the texture - I'm not aware of any cheese slopes that have the slightly rough texture you'd see (for example) on a 2x2x1 45 degree slope! It's tough to get a shot of this texture and my best result is below:
  10. Phoxtane

    Help with identifying parts/sets!

    Neither part has LEGO written on it anywhere, but I do know that smaller parts don’t have a part number. Though, these parts are much bigger than the typical unmarked LEGO piece. I agree that they’re almost certainly not LEGO!
  11. Phoxtane

    Help with identifying parts/sets!

    Found this in my cousin's collection that he didn't want anymore after going off to college. Is it actually a Lego part? Plastic feels a bit "softer" than Lego, but is still quite hard. Color is close to a pale yellow with a hint of green, not lime green like the pictures suggest. EDIT: Here's another weird one - found this in the "yellow" bag: It's a pretty solid match for the Lego yellow, but I haven't been able to find anything that looks like that in a quick search on Rebrickable and Bricklink.
  12. One of my Lego traditions is that I save the instructions from every set I get (if I get multiples, I keep one copy). I've been keeping them in a large red plastic tub from the old set #5482 Ultimate House Building Set. Unfortunately, that tub is very full and very heavy. I spend little to no time what amounts to the opposite end of the Lego product spectrum from modular buildings and such, so if I want to get my hands on another similarly-sized plastic tub, what set should I buy? Thanks for the help.
  13. Phoxtane

    Lego 10277 - Crocodile Locomotive

    My reasoning for not doing this - at least not immediately - is that I don’t have a PU L-motor. I did take delivery of the green PU cargo train last week though, so I do have the hub. Also, it seems you’ve already built some of the functionality I had planned for a project of my own that keeps getting pushed back - a sensor package built into a LEGO train to do, among other interesting things, exactly that (except using accelerometer data).
  14. Phoxtane

    Lego 10277 - Crocodile Locomotive

    Mine finally arrived today! I love the look and the size, it feels just right. I’m thinking that it would be awesome to build one in dark green, or even dark blue or dark red if the parts availability exists. I’m probably going to end up doing the gap-closing mods as well as converting it to Power Functions.
  15. Phoxtane

    Lego 10277 - Crocodile Locomotive

    My Crocodile locomotive showed up today, I'm so excited to have it built and on display! I took advantage of a seller briefly dropping the price on a copy of 60198 to dip my toes into the water of Powered Up. I'm planning on stocking up on Power Functions equipment because I'm not convinced that PU is a full replacement for PF yet (and the prices just get more ridiculous...), but I've got some interesting ideas about what I can do with custom circuit boards and Bluetooth. I figure I stand a better chance at making something usable than the last time I looked at custom electronics and Lego three years ago. The Crocodile locomotive was designed with PU in mind, so it'll be a good testbed for playing with PU.