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About richthelegodude

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  • Interests
    LEGO, Meccano, Electronics, Robotics, making 2D computer games


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    Great Britain
  1. richthelegodude

    Lego needs more monorail

    Thanks for the information cgarison - it is much appreciated. That said, all of my monorail sets (6990,6399,6991) still work fine and none of them was spring chickens even when I got them. For a professional/show type layout I could see the monorail system being problematic, but as a toy, part of a hobbyist layout or something built up on occasions, I think they will long outlive me! @Andy: If the moulds really are under the car park, there should be an Atari 2600 ET styled excavation for them .
  2. richthelegodude

    Lego needs more monorail

    After finally getting the monorail sets in my adult life, I wish there was more sets to be had. Lego really needs to do more system sets than the usual airports without runways and fire/police stations. Even the non-licensed advent calender is themed around cops and robbers. Being an old carmudgeon, I do not class ninjago or chima as existing. Never been a fan of Star Wars, but loved the Space theme back in the day. Does anyone think LEGO City 60098 Metro MDP will be a monorail? (referring to this: http://www.groovebri...e-sea-monorail/ )
  3. richthelegodude

    Lego Technic 2h 2013

    Pneumatics rely on the same principles as Hydraulics - it's just a different medium used. Using oils would be problematic! Imagine if little Jimmy leaked a plastic safe oil all over his parents prized rug. They even use a reservoir, its called the air around us :). @D3K: A lot of old sets follow real life machinery and mechanisms closer: 8880 Super Car is a superb simplified representation of a car (best one to date in my opinion), Air Tech Claw Rig ( in terms of pneumatics ), the plotter from the first Control centre, most the of the old pneumatic sets, etc. I do admit the UniMog is extremely awesome, but I am not too fond on the excavator 8043 or bulldozer 8275... To give an example of this change (focussing on other sets), I always got a lot of the Universal Sets as a kid and most of them had a particular topic : pneumatics and leverage, Bowden cables (flex system) basic pulley systems and gearboxes. TLG do nothing like this now, which I think is a shame. As a kid I learnt so much from the Universal Sets. For the record I do own a substantial number of new sets along with all my old stuff. I like it all, but the more authentic it is, the better for me.
  4. richthelegodude

    Lego Technic 2h 2013

    My point was that TLG used to make great technic toys, whilst a lot of the sets modelled real life machinery pretty well... They still make great toys, but they typically no longer look to real life machinery for inspiration. They just use whatever mechanisms fit the job, which is commonly LA's and multiple motors rather than pneumatics and distribution gearboxes. It sold then (with better boxes I might add), so why not now? Has the user base changed that much? All of my childhood friends had no problems putting technic sets together, so why change the style of the instructions? We also all had Megadrive and SNES consoles, so the computer competition was present back then too. Plus my statement on being a Dr. was more of a nod to lego inspiring me as a kid, rather than trying to win one over.
  5. richthelegodude

    Lego Technic 2h 2013

    Unfortunately I have to agree with this. I think it would great if the people that disagree with this, at least give their reasons for doing so. It looks like another toy model to me I am afraid. I grew up with some truly great technic sets, the Daytona Supercar, Test Car, control centre, Air Tech Claw rig and other sets of that era. All of these sets tried to replicate real life mechanisms in a simple way to educate kids about real life machinery and engineering. On my return from my dark ages, not only did I notice a dramatic shift in the instructions (i.e. 1 or 2 parts per step) but I also noticed a fundamental shift in what some sets are trying to accomplish. My first set out of my dark ages, was the Power Functions Bulldozer (8275). Although a sizable set, the drive train did not even attempt to mimic real life (one motor per track), and was considerably simplified due to inbuilt reduction present in the motors. The drive train from memory consisted primarily of 16 tooth idler gears to the driving sprockets. Nice set, but to be honest it is nothing more than a DIY toy, I could purchase such things from Toys R us far cheaper. When I have kids, I would also hope to encourage them into an engineering profession, as my father did all those years ago purchasing me Lego technic and other similarly related engineering based toys. For example, I do not agree with LAs being used in models replicating construction machinery. Where as the air tech claw rig replicated real life in a crude form with pneumatics, in terms of replicating real life machinery (hydraulics) LA's simply just do not work. How often have you seen prop shafts, UJ's, and LA's externally on a bulldozer/excavator/crane/etc ? I still love LEGO, but that is my honest opinion as Doctorate level engineer.
  6. richthelegodude

    Recommend better forums than Eurobricks...?

    I notice some people are even putting their spin on certain arguments in a thread that is whinging about whinging . Egads, everyone is entitled to their opinion although I think such things such be vented in the correct place. Also arguments should never be carried out in an ad hominem manner.
  7. richthelegodude

    8110 - Unimog U400 General Discussion

    I am really liking this model, and I will definately be buying - it may knock the 8868 off its throne Only quibble I do have is the tyres and no functional steering wheel (I can not see any axle coming from it). The tyres look way too road like, it should have all terrain type looking tyres (designed for road and off road).
  8. richthelegodude

    Instructions, old and new

    I entirely agree, when I figured things out as a kid I found it really fun. Students these days just do not seem to get the fun factor. Off topic but I really do not agree with this. If you think about it the 8480 still offers perhaps the best functions per motor ratio, and the 8868 IMO is still the best crane truck, again offering a great function per motor ratio. The 8880 is still in my opinion the best super car they have done, with the super street sensation not really cutting the mustard for me I think both studded and studless can create great creations and the best solution I think is a mix of both studded and studless, but TLC seems hell bent on studless sets only (in the majority). Plus don't all those pegs hurt your hands
  9. richthelegodude

    Instructions, old and new

    I much prefer the older style of instructions. As a technic enthusiast I find one part steps a joke. I think anyone in their target audience can cope with more than that . I still really enjoy building my older sets, but when I build modern ones my brain just switches off. Much like this (I love that clip). I kind of guessed this simplification would be happeneing in other themes too. I really do think computers have a lot to do with this, when I help students I do see that they just prefer to google things and get an answer instantly rather than having a go at trying to figure something out themselves, which is good but also bad at the same time. I do not think its intelligence related, just a change of attitude and patience. I had no problem building the old sets (8880 etc), when I was the target audience age or a little bit younger so why have things changed? None of my friends did either... On a side note if studless building is generally considered more complex, why have lego gone to it ? I love studded technic, and the sets exhibited similar (if not more in some cases) complexity so why did they change? I have no problem with studless, but I just wish Lego would choose a method that suits the build and not force studless only construction all the time.
  10. richthelegodude

    Lego Hydraulics

    If anything pneumatic seals should be upto a liquid (air is a lot less dense) but the problem maybe pipes popping off. I really do not suggest putting water in your pneumatic system. I tried that as a kid in the bath (I just submerged the whole system) but it ruined my cylinder as it went a bit rotten inside. If I remember right there is a little spring clip that keeps a rubber washer in place (which is actually the piston). If I remember the spring clip fell off, and I could never get it back on correctly after dismantling the cylinder. It was a long time ago and my memory is hazy, but it never worked well again anyway! So there is a top tip, do not put your pneumatic system in the bath
  11. richthelegodude

    Yet another excavator

    I still think pneumatics are the closest we can get to modelling real life. As much as I would love see hyrdraulics I can never see it happening, even if it is water based (imagine the health and safety issues with a silicone oil!). Imagine all the kids trying to bleed such a system of air? It would be a nightmare for most kids. "Whats all this water over the carpet Jimmy!?" I still don't see the problem with pneumatics accuracy Not hard to find 97.2 Euros. Quite fancy one of those actually
  12. richthelegodude

    Lighting Damage to lego?

    Flourescent lamps are effectively a UV source and a phosphor wavelength converter. Typically some UV (which is bad for bricks and plastics) leaks through the phosphor. Warm White LED's use the same principle - put one under a microscope and the phosphor coating is visible. The spectra of most white leds has a huge spike at UV so here is a Top tip, dont look directly at white LED's That is why I still use incadescent lamps for my desk area, it is a lot closer to natural light (minus UV). Another piece of random engineering information I have stored in my brain Still exposure time would have to be very long to notice any damage I believe.
  13. richthelegodude

    Yet another excavator

    I think that is quite a problem to be honest, perhaps its better with a PF speed controller rather than the on off types supplied. There are a lot of potential systems to make pneumatics more controllable, many of which have been stated by AllanP elsewhere on this forum You can have a lot more control than just fully extended or retracted, with careful design and control you can stop a pneumatic with more precision than opened/closed (limiting the valves travel for instance is just one solution). The cylinder will stay in place until the pressure drops due to leakage - it does not instantly loose air. The 8043 is not an aircraft though (I would love to see a decent aircraft model mind ), and real life excavators use hyrdraulics and have hoses running up the booms instead of UJ's and prop shafts. Here is a real life small excavator, not an LA in sight and it has hoses I do not see the problem with hoses detracting from the overall appearance. It is closer to real life and a lot more pretty (in aesthetics and engineering prowess) than UJ's and prop shafts in my opinion! . At the end of the day I love technic models that model real life machinery (even if it is a crude rendition), and for that reason alone LA's in the 8043 just do nothing for me . I do think LA's are a good addition to the technic family mind , but I think their place is in robotics and aeroplanes
  14. richthelegodude

    Yet another excavator

    I agree with AllanP too, there is quite a few people that prefer pneumatics. That excavator AllanP posted is nice (I would rather have that over the 8043), and I honestly believe LA's have their place but I can not help thinking the 8043 is hindered by LA's a bit for the following reasons: 1) It is not even making an attempt at modelling real life machinery. This is a real big point for me, movement comes second IMO. I will always try to model as close to real life machinery as possible. At the end of the day, I could buy toy RC excavators that moved far better if I wanted 2) The dual LA's come out of sync quite easily. Would never happen with pneumatics. 3) Is the accuracy provided by LA's ever needed for an excavator? (the answer is no) Some people seem biased against pneumatics, I read on a blog someone was putting the Unimog down because it has them, which I find hypocritical as the model is not even released yet! I have an 8043 built sitting by the side of me, I kind of like it IMO its not the best Technic set I have. @Milan: By the looks of the video, pneumatics could lift a properly designed arm of that size. For a start it would not have motors on it hence a lot less weight, and it looks as if he is only using LA's on the end of the arm. I can not see what lifts the first part of the boom (I presume its like the second part), but the second part is done with rack pieces. So I guess LA's could not lift the weight of the motors and boom either
  15. richthelegodude

    Building rituals

    My process is : 1. Lie down on the living room carpet 2. Open all the bags and pour them in the box. 3. Build.