Eurobricks Knights
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About Phoxtane

  • Birthday 05/06/1996

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  1. Phoxtane

    A quick comment on spam

    I just filled out the new question. More than happy to do so if it means less spam! How effective is this new measure in the Spam Wars?
  2. Phoxtane

    BrickTracks: R104 Switch Kickstarter is LIVE!

    I'm interested in the idea of a hybrid system - this helps reduce cost, as one could limit the use of more expensive metal track to the charging section, while using lower-cost plastic rails for the rest of the layout. However, the hybrid has the disadvantage of still requiring a battery pack on board the train (although maybe a smaller one, since you would only need tens of minutes of run time as it would be being charged each time the train traveled the charging section).
  3. Phoxtane

    Powered Up FAQ and Community Wishes

    Was there any community discussion/consultation prior to developing PU, as there was with Power Functions?
  4. Phoxtane

    Powered Up - A tear down...

    A thought about your app (even though I don't have an Apple phone) - I would like to see a numerical value associated with the speed (say, "Speed: 1"). That way, you don't have to count button presses. A "cruise control" feature may be useful as well; engage this function and the speed value is saved. You could have a train running at a certain speed, then slow it down and bring it to a stop at a station. Upon re-engaging the cruise control, the train smoothly ramps back up to the saved speed!
  5. Phoxtane

    Forum upgrade done

    What got upgraded? As far as I can tell, it seems and feels about the same, which is probably a good thing considering how these things can go.
  6. Phoxtane

    Powered Up - A tear down...

    The datasheet for the CC2640 chip on the controller has, according to its datasheet: "2-pin cJTAG and JTAG Debugging", as well as the following peripherals: UART, 2x SSI (SPI, MICROWIRE, TI), I2C, I2S. Google seems to think that the 6 pin connections at the top are related to JTAG in some way. This is what I found online (from this site: about the JTAG connection: "Interface Signals The JTAG interface, collectively known as a Test Access Port, or TAP, uses the following signals to support the operation of boundary scan. TCK (Test Clock) – this signal synchronizes the internal state machine operations. TMS (Test Mode Select) – this signal is sampled at the rising edge of TCK to determine the next state. TDI (Test Data In) – this signal represents the data shifted into the device’s test or programming logic. It is sampled at the rising edge of TCK when the internal state machine is in the correct state. TDO (Test Data Out) – this signal represents the data shifted out of the device’s test or programming logic and is valid on the falling edge of TCK when the internal state machine is in the correct state. TRST (Test Reset) – this is an optional pin which, when available, can reset the TAP controller’s state machine." If this is indeed a JTAG connector, I'm not sure why Lego decided to use TDC instead of TDO and Reset instead of TRST. Also, the datasheet says that the chip does support OTA updates.
  7. Phoxtane

    Powered Up - A tear down...

    If two of the wires in the new cables are dedicated to this ID system, that means there could be up to four 'types' of motor - IIRC from the Sariel video, a Boost motor needs a constant signal to keep running, but presumably the train motors are the same up-down in terms of speed that we've gotten used to. I'd like to see if the two ID pins on a Boost motor are wired differently (all high, all low, or the opposite of what the train motor has). Also, I appear to have guessed correctly at the method of allowing the controller's buttons to be twisted but still work. I believe this is how the older PF train remote works as well (slip rings). Initially I thought that the large white component that says BOURNS on it was the antenna itself, as it's labeled "ANT1" on the board for the controller. There's an identical component with the same designator on the board for the battery box, also in a similar position to the Bluetooth chip. However, I'm thinking now that it's part of the network for the antenna - I would hazard a guess that it's an inductor of some sort, given the size. It certainly has something to do with the antenna. So far I haven't had any luck looking up the two small unknown chips associated with the PU ports - however, they were made in August of last year according to the date code (17 08). I think they're H-bridge chips, given the number of pins - as comparison, see the pinout for this TI DRV8837 chip:
  8. Phoxtane

    Control board for block signals

    I assembled the first board today, and I'm quite pleased with the results. The socket is a perfect modification for a prototype, as I had to make multiple changes to the software (firmware?) in order to get the desired behavior. I also put together a quick test board with three warm white LEDs to get visual confirmation of things working correctly. I have had one large setback; as it turns out, crimping connectors onto cables gets really irritating and difficult, really fast. I'm attributing this to my cheap crimping tool and supplies - however, a proper crimping tool from the 'real' supplier costs in the range of hundreds of dollars. I also noticed that of the time I spent working on this project today, crimping took up the vast majority of it. As such, I'm going to instead start using pre-crimped wires rather that roll my own. Not only will this save me time, but it should boost the quality and repeatability of my results - once I move beyond two wires in a given cable, they never seem to line up perfectly to form an even-length bunch. This now means I get to choose the exact lengths of wire that I'll be getting. Therefore, I'd like to ask the community what the most useful lengths of wire would be. I'm thinking of two shorter cables for going to the LEDs and the block sensor, and a much longer cable for going between boards. I don't know if I had made it clear earlier, but these boards are designed to be daisy-chained - they pass power and the appropriate signals to their neighbors - so this cable must be much longer if it will be of any use. How long is long enough? I'm thinking of 24 inches (~61cm) as a good compromise for an appropriate distance between each signal and being long to actually be useful.
  9. Phoxtane

    Unauthorized selling of instructions for MOCs

    Oh dear, I see we've reached the nuclear option in any debate: banning the dissenters. See, this tactic is used when either there's legitimate trolling causing derailment and distraction - or when a certain somebody gets tired of having to deal with a "messy" situation of their own doing... If anyone's interests here overlap with video games, look up the time when Jim Stirling was sued by the developer Digital Homicide!
  10. Phoxtane

    Unauthorized selling of instructions for MOCs

    This right here is an example of how this affects the community: MAB doesn't share his stuff on Eurobricks because of events such as these. This affects me as well; even though I post relatively infrequently, I'm considering whether or not to even bother mentioning any LXF work I've done for myself, and whether or not I should begin watermarking my images as well.
  11. Phoxtane

    Unauthorized selling of instructions for MOCs

    My thoughts: - Unless stated otherwise, assume that any resources posted online regarding a MOC are not eligible for sale EXCEPT by explicit, individual permission given by the creator (the creator, of course, may sell these resources themselves if they so choose). - Any store that sells MOC instructions, etc., should have a public posting of the permissions granted to them for sale of these resources by the creators. That is, I should be able to quickly and easily find on the store's website/pages a statement from the original creator that grants that particular storefront permission to sell these items. - Bad actors don't play by the rules, so if you see something, report it to the content creator. However, a supposed 'bad actor' may actually have permission (but neglected to state so), so double-check before throwing the aprocryphal books around.
  12. Phoxtane

    Control board for block signals

    The printed circuit boards have arrived, and they're looking quite decent: The board house appears to have added a designator of their own in the upper-right of the top side of the board. I assume this is because they're taking multiple orders and putting them on to one large panel, and this allows them to track whose order is whose. I've satisfied myself that the electrical connections are correct, so I've ordered the resistors, capacitors, and diodes I'll need to put this together. Those should arrive later this week. I already have the other components on hand. I did end up going ahead with the microcontroller version of this board, as with the space I had available both component placement and routing would have been very difficult using NAND logic chips. I'm already using up about half of the available area on the connectors alone. While on my prototypes the microcontrollers will be socketed, on the final product they'll be soldered in permanently, though I've left myself an ISP connection if it becomes necessary to update the software. My plan is to assemble as many boards as I have sockets, which should be five. This will allow me to demonstrate that the system works as intended, and if everything works out I can move on from a prototype to a final version.
  13. Phoxtane

    Control board for block signals

    After taking a break on the boards, I've begun work on the physical design of the signals themselves. There are multiple problems with designing such a model, however - the standard 5mm LEDs that many people are familiar with are too large to fit into a Technic hole (4.8mm diameter) without considerable force, and then we have light leaking out the back due to the exposed underside of the LED. The 3mm LEDs which I am working with currently are small enough around that they don't lock into holes that a standard Lego bar piece would (e.g., the front of a headlight brick), but the ring at the bottom prevents them from passing through entirely. For either case, once the LED is located, I still need a way to get the wires out of the model and under the 'floor' to their power source. For many models I've come across online, the trick here is to drill or cut Lego pieces to provide passthroughs, but the last guy I saw try that still isn't out of the hospital. The model below provides a decent method to mount 3mm LEDs, but has the issue of being quite bulky due to how the LEDs are fixed in place. The LED leads are passed through the center of a Technic pin mounted on the Technic beam, with the base of the LED butted against the top of the pin. A 1x1 cylinder piece slips over the Technic pin and allows the LED to poke through the hole at the top. An appropriately colored transparent piece is used as a lense. I'm not a huge fan of this design as it's quite large, ugly, and has no good way to hide the wires that will come off the back to form a cable. I was able to slim it down somewhat by using a Technic half-pin and one of the new 1x1 round plates with a hole to lock the LED in place, but the body of the device is still quite large. I think the best way to hide the wires is to use a ground-mounted signal, avoiding showing any large lengths of wire to begin with, but I still have the problem of fixing the LEDs in place without the model looking huge. I think this is where the various 3rd party lighting companies have it figured out - use tiny surface-mount LEDs with a very small gauge of wire attached that can slip between assembled bricks. In order to test this theory, I've ordered a 10-pack of pre-wired 0805 SMD LEDs from AliExpress. In theory, the package should arrive within 12-20 days, and I paid with Paypal because I didn't feel comfortable with giving them my card info (despite reading many assurances to the contrary on Reddit and such). They added a $0.80 charge for using Paypal, but overall my out-of-pocket expense was $7.06. Tonight I also settled on a design for the PCBs, so those have been sent off to a board house I've never tried before. Given how cheap it was, I'm very curious to see how they'll turn out. They should be here in about a week or so.
  14. Phoxtane

    Making Eurobricks More Active

    I wasn't incredibly clear on this point, but ideally this would be something that would be done in conjunction with some of the merges I had suggested - overall, it would be a decrease in the number of forums. Also, while I'm thinking about it, I would like to see more MOCs from these games highlighted on the front page, which could work partly as advertising for the games as well.
  15. Phoxtane

    TRAIN TECH Help, General Questions & Talk to the Staff

    Since we are missing a banner, I took it upon myself to make a new one! I hereby allow Eurobricks to use this banner as they deem fit, as my gift to the community. I worked really hard on this you guys