Costas

Eurobricks Vassals
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    Technic

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  1. Costas

    Technic 8460 Crane

    Probably better off using a silicone grease rather than oil.
  2. Old soft T-Shirt to apply the polishing compound but any soft cloth will do. Rub it in and polish away. Before the polish dries, I then use a cheap microfibre cloth to perform the final polish and to bring out the shine etc. Repeat process depending on how deep the original marks/scratches are.
  3. Biggest problem in trying to get the exact same picture for both shots was trying to hold my phone in one hand while holding the liftarm at the exact same angle to capture the reflection of the light at the exact same angle. Moving the liftarm or camera just a mm would result in a different looking pic as far as the gloss is concerned. I agree the pic is not perfect but I was just trying to show that the original scuff marks had been removed and not so much showing off the gloss. The 'gloss' factor you just need to try yourself as it was too difficult to capture with my phone.... It could also be the black colour in the photo as black is difficult to photograph - I also did some yellow tiles which in person look better than new once polished up - I definitely cannot see any micro abrasions. Apply polish with a soft cloth and rub in - then use a microfibre cloth to finally buff the piece. I use the same stuff to polish my acrylic tubing which I use in my PC water cooling hardware - The acrylic comes up looking like glass.
  4. Yes - works well with those as well - So good for scratched windscreens etc. I have used this polish on acrylic previously and it can come up like glass if the item is prepped well. Very fine scratches can be removed by the polish but anything deeper would require wet sanding with various grades of wet & dry paper in stages up to 2000 grit. Applying polish would then clean up the remaining fine scratches left by the wet sanding.
  5. I know that some use Brasso to remove printing off Lego pieces however I have not come across anyone that has tried utilising plastic polishing compound on Lego to remove fine scratches and ultimately restoring the gloss on dulled pieces. I purchased an old 8069 off eBay the other day and a few pieces had some wear & tear which resulted in a couple of tiles and liftarms looking dull due to fine scratches on their surface. I decided to try some plastic polish that is designed for plastic automotive headlamp lenses to see if this work in polishing up the pieces. After trying it out on a few pieces I was quite impressed with the results - The dull pieces looked almost new after some work polishing them up...! Here is the polish I used however anything similar would work just as well I think. Trying to photograph a before and after example was tricky due to my lighting constraints - here is an old black liftarm which had some scuff marks that were not removable by simply washing the item. Note the scuff marks circled: After a couple of minutes polishing - good as new...!
  6. Costas

    MOCs vs Official Sets

    I tend to agree with nerdzforprez. LEGO as a company design a set for profit rather than pure design so there are always constraints when it comes time to design and then manufacture and sell a particular set. Take for example the venerable 8043. Awesome set, however not quite fine tuned as far as Jurgen's Ultimate 8043 variant and his other excavators. Primary constraint for LEGO in the above example would simply be due to cost due to the added PF elements. But does a more expensive MOC with possibly more features/functions as compared to a cheaper OEM set make for a better option? - Many times cheap and simple is good too...
  7. A few tips on greasing the internals with Molykote 111: Coat the inside of the cylinder with grease - I use about twice the amount shown to coat the inside of a long V2 cylinder. Next - Apply a liberal coating over the piston shaft and pay particular attention the seals - Ensure that you fill in the small cavities on top and below the top rubber seal with grease as well as applying a heavy coat over the piston itself. Ensure that you fill in the gap formed by the two 'lips' on the outer circumference of the piston itself. The grease provides two major functions here: First is the obvious lubrication ability Secondly (and in some cases the most important function) is that the grease assists in forming an airtight seal between the piston and more importantly between the top seal and the piston shaft. Some people have experienced small air leaks when pneumatic cylinders have a reasonable amount of side loading applied. Usually this is because air will leak out between the top seal and the piston shaft. This is a bit of a weak point in the design of the top sealing elements in these cylinders. Using a high viscosity grease here helps immensely in keeping an airtight seal between the shaft and the top seal. Don't be afraid to go a bit heavy on the application as it will not hurt anything - We will eject the excess grease after re-assembly. Once all done - reinsert the piston assembly back into the cylinder's main body and ensure the top seal is seated correctly before pressing home the top black cover. Once reassembled you need to manually operate the cylinder to both extremities multiple times (a dozen or so). Use some moderate force at both ends of travel to force out excess grease at the relevant port. After a dozen or so goes the majority of excess grease will be ejected and the cylinder should now operate very smoothly. Hook it up to a small pump and valve to test full functionality and you should be good to go. I give my reworked cylinders a quick wipe over with a tissue moistened in some of the electronic component cleaning solvent to remove any left on grease etc.
  8. Check out this persons video which does a reasonable job in showing you how to disassemble them. NOTE: NEVER drill out and modify the holes in your cylinders as shown in the video as this will destroy their overall performance for normal applications in our models. Enlarging the holes is only useful when using them for air powered engines as you need a very fast acting piston. The small cylinders are easy - It is the larger ones which are a little harder to open but still reasonably easy to do. I only use some basic jewellers type screwdrivers for the job - 2x 3mm flat blades and one smaller bladed driver (this one is simply used as a spacer to temporarily hold one side open. **Note that my photos below show the cylinder top already removed, but you get the idea. First step is to pry the black top in one of its lower corners with one of the larger flat blade drivers. Once you catch the corner of the top you can work the driver in and move it around to where the yellow nipple is - sounds easy but you will find that the screwdriver will want to push itself out due to the force of the black top pushing down on it. Next I insert the small screwdriver into the gap and this is used as this screwdriver will stay in place whereas the larger one will not stay in place while we open and work on the other side. Now move over to the opposite side and insert one of the larger drivers and once this driver is positioned where the nipple is, try and hold it in place and then at the same time insert the other large driver back in where the smaller driver is holding the other side open. Once both large drivers are in position - carefully move them outwards so that you flex the black top over the nipples - try and do this on both sides at the same time and you will find that the top will slide off. It is much easier to accomplish if you have 3 hands... Once apart - they do go back together very easily which is a bonus.
  9. Since the oil was such a let down, I decided to switch to a grease. My list of greases were all silicon based derivatives mainly so that they would be reasonably inert with respect to the materials used by LEGO. Some people have tried Lithium based greases in the past with some success but many of these are of a lower viscosity than some of the other options I was looking at. I started with a silicon grease which I use on my pool pump O-rings. This seemed to work OK, but if anything it still seemed that it was too low a viscosity for the application - so while piston operation was smooth, the pistons would operate far too quickly as not much damping effect was noticed. Piston damping performance is important as if it is too low, the pistons operate way too fast and it becomes very difficult to smoothly control a function with the valves ie. arm or bucket under control of the pneumatics will all too easily snap to full deflection. For me this was an important variable to get correct. Next I tried a silicon dielectric grease which had improved viscosity over the pool pump O-ring grease and this worked better. So next I started to look on-line for a better alternative and came across the following product: DOW Corning's - Molykote 111 This grease seemed to have higher viscosity again (designed for certain damping applications) and was a silicon product that is designed to be utilised with most plastics/rubbers etc and is also approved for use in food environments, so not toxic. I purchased a 100gm tube on line and it arrived the other day. I quickly cleaned and re-greased a couple of cylinders with Molykote 111 and put them to the test. All I can say is that this product works extremely well and I was very impressed. Piston performance is extremely smooth and the damping effect is great. It is very noticeable on heavy loads such as the Grubber's main arm as you can easily lower this heavy weight with reasonably good fine control using the pneumatic valve. No longer do you have to play that tricky guessing game in trying to position the valve's lever in just that exact spot where moving it just 0.01mm results in the arm you are controlling to go full tilt in that one direction...! I need to take a few photos of filling the cylinders with grease - Job for tomorrow maybe... :) I have not taken any photos of that process so far as I was reluctant to swap between assembling pistons/cylinders with grease, switching over to camera to take a few shots and then back to assembling and then trying to keep the grease off my camera & lens when in the rushed phases of trying to test all the grease combos.
  10. I have a number of old & new pneumatic cylinders that I wanted to improve in regards to smoothness and overall performance. The standard lubrication seems to work OK but I found that smoothness & performance can be improved by selecting a suitable replacement lube. Note that no physical modification was done to the cylinders apart from substituting the lube used. Tests were to be done with and without a working model to see what effect the various lubes had. Model I had readily available was the Custom Bricks - Grubber kitted out with my 42054. - See vid below (not my video) First step was to disassemble a number of cylinders so that I could I try a couple of different lubricants to see what effect they would have Vs the stock lubricant LEGO use. To de-grease the cylinders thoroughly and without causing any damage to the plastic or rubber and silicon components I chose to use an electronic component cleaning solvent. These are generally safe for use on the majority of plastics, rubber and silicon parts as the solvent needs to be safe for many electronic components which also use these materials. Once de-greased, the cylinders were ready for the replacement lube. A small snapshot of some of the cylinders which I was testing. Closeup of 19475c01 Closeups of 2793c01 Closeups of 47224c01 Closeups of 19467c01 Initial test was with 80 weight silicon oil - I had high hopes for this as the oil is very 'slippery' and I thought it would act as an excellent lube for the cylinders. What I did not count on was that it actually caused 'stiction' issues whenever piston movement stopped and restarted which caused very jerky operation. Not only that - overall pressure/performance was also reduced possibly due to small amounts of blow-by leakage around the seals. So the silicon oil was actually quite a disappointment and I would not recommend it as an internal lube for these cylinders. What I found the silicon oil good for is using at as lubricant for pneumatic pumps as these operate at moderate rpm's where the oil seems to work better than grease.
  11. As Timoonn has stated - Contact LEGO service in your country. Go to the LEGO website specific to your country and look for the 'support' link. In there you will find steps to replace broken and missing bricks etc - I just used that link and then entered my details etc...
  12. Just to follow-up, LEGO Service replaced my spare pumps with the reinforced version bb875. All good...!
  13. Costas

    42043 Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245

    I would not worry - It is rare that sets are missing any pieces. Obviously errors can and do occur but they would be in the minority as compared to how many sets are sold.
  14. There are a couple of different versions - Carrier with or without suspension and a few different boom variations. You will need to read through the thread to get an idea of which one you would like to build. The carrier version without suspension seems to perform better when driving. Below are a couple of links for the version without suspension and utilising Firgelli actuators for the boom. https://bricksafe.com/files/afol1969/Instructions/Grove6400-MKIII_1.1.7z https://bricksafe.com/files/afol1969/Instructions/GMK6400-Mk3_Firgelli.mpd
  15. We are all fairly familiar with the 88000 Battery Box - Suits 6x AAA cells for use with various PF components. It is the same form factor as LEGO's 8878 rechargeable battery box which contains a 2S LiPo battery providing a nominal voltage of 7.4VDC. The 8878 is actually difficult to source here in Australia possibly due to LiPo air freight restrictions these days and I also note that it is listed as 'Retired' on the German LEGO shop: https://shop.lego.com/en-DE/product/LEGO-Power-Functions-Rechargeable-Battery-Box-8878 The standard 6-cell AAA battery box allows users to run with 6 cells providing a nominal voltage of 9v (Alkaline) or 7.2V (NiMh). While Alkaline cells can be utilised - many of us typically opt for NiMh cells due to their recharge ability and overall lower cost. When using NiMh cells most of us are aware of the slightly lower voltage which can result in reduced performance in certain applications. To combat this, some users have utilised their own 3rd party LiPos etc which have their own drawbacks such as: Size - hard to find a LiPo which fits in the AAA battery box which has decent capacity. More convoluted charging requirements (cell balancing etc). Taking a closer look at the 88000 it looked like there was enough room to squeeze in an additional AAA cell bringing the cell count up to 7. This would have the advantage of raising the nominal voltage up to 8.4VDC while still retaining a decent mAh capacity figure. This should provide even better performance than a 2S LiPo battery such as the 8878 if using premium AAA NiMh cells. So I decided to modify one of my spare 88000 boxes as a prototype to see if it was feasible to achieve a workable 7-cell solution.. Main criteria for the prototype was to: Maintain external dimensions and appearance as per original Maintain internal circuitry as is so that original power switch and reversing switch would function as normal Maintain compatibility to all other LEGO components as well as 3rd party devices such as S-Brick etc The AAA battery box is a tad different from the LEGO 6-cell AA box in that the 88000 AAA unit has an internal 'electronic' switch to control the power rather than just relying on a mechanical switch (Uses a small IC and FET as on/off switch). It is a little more complex than the AA 6-Cell unit and it also has a timed 'Auto Power Off' feature which can be disabled by holding down the power switch until the LED starts to flash rapidly then release. Ok - So below are a few pics of my finished prototype. Keep in mind that it is a prototype so it could be neater.. :) I will build a second unit and I will carefully photograph/document the important mod build steps if anyone is interested - This was just knocked up late last night in a rush to see how well it would turn out and not much attention was paid to detail. I chose to utilise Panasonic's Eneloop PRO AAA cells which feature their well known low self discharge technology, a nominal capacity of 950mAh (which is excellent for AAA cells) and high current delivery capability (relatively low internal resistance). *** A couple of important points: This modification will of course void your warranty.. :) It requires a reasonable level of soldering skill - You need the ability to solder the batteries WITHOUT over heating them otherwise they can be damaged. Using the appropriate soldering tip size (and temp) as well as pre-cleaning cell terminals and utilising additional flux etc is a given. De-soldering (and replacing) of one electronic component (22uF Electrolytic Capacitor) on the existing PCB is required. Internal 6-cell 'carrier' is removed as is not required - This frees up a fair amount of space. Overall space inside the AAA box is very limited so you need to be reasonably precise with assembly otherwise the cells may not quite fit...! The main case (DBG base) must be removed to recharge the pack (same goes for original) - The two original screws on the bottom are still utilised to hold the unit together as per the original. One side of the 88000 - Looks fairly 'stock' in this view. The 'Other' side - Features a short length of silicone wire, equipped with common JST connector - used to recharge the pack. This lead is soldered directly to the pack and tucks in neatly in the available space when you screw the base back on. You can sort of make out 4 cells on this side if you look carefully - 2 of the cells sit roughly offset and in-between the other cells. Here we can see that there is absolutely no clearance between the cells and the PCB. I even had to move the standard electrolytic capacitor off to the side so that everything would squeeze in. This was done by de-soldering the original capacitor and replacing it with a new one as it requires longer leads to now reach the PCB. So all went well and it works a treat - The extra voltage really boosts performance on my pneumatic pump equipped Xerion as compared to using a standard 6 Cell AA pack for reference. Will try it out on my 'Ultimate 8043' and compare the 8878 which is already fitted in that model to the 7 Cell AAA pack. So overall I think (for me) this will suffice as a high performance alternative to the 8878.