Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'balaton'.
Found 1 result
I´m happy to present you my newest model, a not exact copy of the ferries on lake Balaton in Hungary. Hope you like it! As I was a small kid we often spent our summer near Balaton. If someone is younger than 6 and lives normally in a small village, it is really impressive to see cars which drive onto a ship and after that they come down on the other side. That´s why it was always a highlight for me to visit and sometimes travel by this ferry. Still nowadays if I´m there I wait the ferry once coming and going away. It´s still the same ferry as 25 years ago, I still find it really cool and it brings back the old memories. It took 9 months from the idea to the final MOC. The building process included some really cool challenges and was one of the most exciting developing projects in my entire MOC-life. The idea was to build a remote controlled ferry which can swim and drive on real water, can catch the coast reliably and my older tiny RC models (Milka truck and Flixbus) have to be able to drive up and down. The last requirement was to make it possible to show the whole setup on exhibitions. At first I searched on the internet for the biggest one-piece plastic box and ordered one of them. It was difficult because most of the big boxes has small bottom wholes to let water out. I needed exactly the opposite of it. Keeping water in the box. The measures of the box decided the measures of the model. On the beginning I tried to experiment with some LEGO boat hulls. The facts that these hulls are not completely closed and the ship is without vehicles already very heavy brought me to the solution to use empty bottles. They are the most reliable things to keep air in and protect the electric parts, like Sbrick from the water. Of course you can say I could put everything to a higher position, not integrated into the deck. But no, if everything would be in the building, everything would be on one side and the ferry would be completely unbalanced. On this side everything would be under water. What I could do was to integrate the motors on the other side into the deck. It was also not enough. I needed counterweights. At first some LEGO keels, but they were not heavy enough (they contain air, too :/). So at the end I used simply some pieces of steel. The real ferry has Voith Schneider propellers. We know that it´s possible to recreate it with LEGO bricks, but not at this small size. And he depth of the box is only 15 cm. That level of reality was also not the goal of the project. The draught of the loaded ferry had to be less than 15 cm, so I decided to use 4 propellers. Of course the available propellers of LEGO are like disasters, if we examine their functionality. If they are not, they are too big. So I built my own version out of Technic pieces. The propulsion uses two channels of the Sbrick, one for each side. You can turn with the ferry that way. I thought you don’t need this feature in this thin box, which is only 10 cm wider, than the ferry. But I was not right. You really need to do turning maneuvers to keep the ferry parallel with the walls. And yes, I hope I will have the chance to drive the ferry in a bigger pool in the future! Next challenge was to catch the coast stable enough for the buses and trucks. Maybe I said earlier that the ferry is everything else than horizontal. The counterweights are good, but not good enough. The proportion of the weights of the vehicles and the real ferry are also different than at the LEGO word. So the LEGO ferry has extremely strong reactions, if the vehicles come. The real ferry has also water tanks to balance itself. The LEGO ferry doesn´t have such a help. So I decided to build the ramp so that it can take part in bringing the ferry into a better position at least near the coast. There is a hook on the ramp (see in the video). It catches the panels of the coast and don´t let the ferry go away. After that it goes down a bit more and forces the whole ferry to raise itself a bit. The coast is horizontal, so this force brings the ferry also closer to the right horizontal position. That is nice, but as the vehicles arrive, it changes. That´s why I had to develop a correct order, position and driving path for the vehicles, too. These small vehicles are not off-roaders. If you can´t follow the instructions, the vehicles stuck on the ramp. But if you do everything well, it works smooth! The most difficult one of the nonfunctional problems was to create the meeting of the deck and the curved walls without gaps. I used for it 1x2x2 panels. The deck goes actually into the wall (under the top of the panels). But the upper end of these panels is not equal high with a whole number of plates, so I had to sink the wall on the sides with a half plate. I did it by using different wholes on the Technic frame, as for the deck. 1 Technic whole is 2,5 plates, so using neighboring wholes gives us the 0,5 plate difference. The ferry had its first appearance on Bricks4Family 2021. It worked surprisingly well during the weekend. After the box was completely horizontal and the exact level of the water was also found. By catching the coast the visitors often thought, it´s enough to turn off the propellers and open the ramp. What they (and I on the beginning) didn´t realise was the fact that if the ferry drives, the water goes in the other direction under it. If the propellers stop, the water brings the ferry slowly back. One method is the perfect timing with opening the ramp. Other method is to keep the propellers on and opening the ramp at the same time. After Bricks4Family I made a few very small changes on the ferry, so on the second exhibition (Ilmbricks 2021) worked everything even better. I put for example a door on the side, so it was possible to switch on and off the battery box, without removing the captain´s deck, the life boat and the whole roof. The deck has also 4 invisible, but removable panels. If they are removed, I can hold the ferry by holding the really strong Technic frame. Now there are small Technic bricks in them. It became much easier to remove the panels with the help of a small bar or an axle. If you really read all of these, a huge thank you for it! Hope you liked the ferry! You can find the pictures in high res in my Photostream! PS.: The next exhibition where I plan to show the ferry is Bricks am Meer 2022 in Bad Zwischenahn, Germany. Hope we can meet there!