Mar 7, 2007

Power functions elements


Hi all,

Some lucky ones of the LEGO community have received from LEGO early samples of the new Power Function™ elements that are to be available late 2007.
Mark Bellis has set up a Brickshelf gallery with images of some of them, and Philo has built a tower crane with them.

Have a look!

Thanks, Philo, for the hint,
Matthias (looking forward to late 2007)

13 comments:

peter hoh said...

I would really like to see a review of these new power functions elements. Perhaps the new motors offer variable speed. I assume that the new power system is incompatible with all current LEGO motors, wires, and battery packs. I wish one of the testers would mention these things, but I suppose that TLG has asked them not to. But they're allowed to post photos. Okay, then. Thanks a lot.

I have to make a decision about purchasing motors for LEGO classes at a museum. I'll look like an idiot if we purchase a large number of a current motor on my recommendation, and then the new one comes out and it would have been better for us. And our motors, wires, etc. will be incompatible with the new ones, making my decision even worse.

Equally bad: I recommend that we wait for the new stuff to be released. Then we find that it won't really suit our needs, and then it turns out that the old stuff is no longer available.

Arrgh.

Philo said...

It will remain a tough decision, but you will be able to use old motors with the new system through extension cords, compatible with both. Availability date of these cables is unknown.

222Doc said...

yes is does appear that these new power parts are not compatible with older technic and the NEW NXT kits. Odd that they would not even work with a product that is new also (NXT). well it looks like the mods will have to fix again this issue(looks for my wire cutters and shrink rap. I do like the motors with no axle this far better than the axle ones for building in tight areas. But I noticed that the motors are HARD wired. I wonder if they will sell extension cords? Well to mod these and keep duel function will need to use a adapter plug to make cords. Back to radio shack. Im guessing that non of this stuff will avalible until Christmas 07?

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim. Love the blog and read it every day. I was diggin' around on amazon.com and found this:

http://www.amazon.com/LEGO-Mindstorms-NXT-G-Programming-Guide/dp/1590598717

I ohope this isn't a secret but it's right there on amazon. I didn't see any information on this book on yoru blog so I'm curious to know a ltitle more.
Tell your team at The NXT STEP to keep up the great work.

Jacob

Rick Rhodes said...

And look, the book is....BROWN! :-)

Good work, Jim!

Rick

Maniac... said...

tsk tsk, why was there no post about that? Nice job Jim!

Alex said...

Yeah, its unpleasant that Lego would build so many incompatible electric parts. They were scrounging for a few plastic bits on the NXT kit, and now a whole line up with no obvious connection to it! Unless of course they plan to charge us through the nose for the converters, which is equally unpleasant.

Bummer
Alex

Jim Kelly said...

Wow... I'm as surprised as ya'll. I didn't know Amazon had the book listed yet. It's still not showing up on Apress' own website as an upcoming title.

I'm trying to get the book's release date bumped up, but no guarantees. The book is completed, but it's in the publisher's hands now. I started this book as a "self publish" project for a group of teachers here in Georgia that had requested I write something to teach them how to "teach" programming. Now, I'm no programming teacher, but I've had enough classes in my day to understand that it can be a hard subject to grasp as well as transfer to others...

The book took on a life of its own and Apress chose to publish it (they have that right - my contract does give them sort-of first dibs on my next NXT book and this was it). So, rather than self-publish, they're putting it with the other "Technology in Action" books and it'll be out soon enough.

Thanks for pointing out the Amazon listing... had no idea.

Jim

peter hoh said...

Philippe, thanks for the reply. And sorry if my first comment in this thread seemed to be a bit peevish.

I've got one other concern regarding these elements. The number of IR channels will determine how many of these students can operate in a classroom at one time, without interfering with other students' projects. This leads me to conclude that I ought to recommend that we purchase the current electric elements.

Kirk B said...

Philo,

Will you post the new motors specs on your 9V motors comparison page?

I'm really looking forward to knowing how well the new motors match up to the old.

Everyone,

Can anybody explain why the cable to the new motor has a 4-conductor wire? Is there an encoder within the motor (that is not yet mentioned)?

peter hoh said...

Kirk, over in a LUGNET thread, Philippe said that he has yet to complete the spec tests on the new motors, but that he will publish them on his website when he gets the green light from LEGO. He mentioned that the motors have a speed of 200 and 400 rpm, respectively.

Philo said...

Kirk,

No encoders.

2 wires carry permanent supply (eg to power IR receivers), the two others control the motors

Kirk B said...

Thank you Peter and Philo for the information. Much appreciated.

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