LEGO

Lepin Baja Trophy Truck (23013) Build / Lepin vs LEGO Comparison

Let’s start by clearing the air.  I’m fully aware of what Lepin is up to.  I’m an AFOL and have been a dedicated LEGO fan (mostly Technic and Minstorms) for over 40 years.  I have spent more $ on LEGO than I want to know.  Am I a purist?  Somewhat.  I didn’t really pay much attention to knock-off LEGO brands as I just assumed they were crap, so I ignored all the media about...
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3D Printing

3D Printed RC Hex to LEGO Hub Adapter

After building BluCrawler, I wanted to see what other possibilities there were with builds using RC crawler tires.  LEGO is not there yet with similar tires (closest are the Claas Xerion tires – but they are not crawler tires).  Anyway, it’s challenging to mate a LEGO hub to an RC tire.  There are aftermarket adapters out there, but they are expensive, so I decided to design and print my own. You can download the STL file here. ...
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Electronics

HiTech HS-225BB LEGO Servo Mate

I’m looking at alternate steering options for BluCrawler as the LEGO PF servo motor doesn’t cut it, and I’m not satisfied with other LEGO-based approaches I’ve tried.  So, I’m headed into unconventional territory that may cause my AFOL brethren to shiver.   I’m looking at integrating a HiTech HS-225BB Servo to manage steering.  If it works, I’ll add one to the front and rear to give me the throw I need for a tight turning radius as...
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Arduino

BTBox – LEGO Power Functions Bluetooth Controller

I’ve been on a bit of a LEGO Technic/Mindstorms hiatus for a while – ok, it’s been 7 years!   I have an excuse… I’ve been spending much of my hobby time making my own DIY projects / IoT stuff all while mastering Arduino.   That changed a few weeks back when I came across THIS.  I’ve been thinking of getting an RC crawler for some time, but it struck me that I have 95%...
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Arduino

BluCrawler – LEGO Rock Crawler with BTBox Bluetooth Controller

First I want to give a shout-out (and credit) to PunkTacoNYC as BluCrawler is based off his Chilli Crawler – this is his creation. I’m  just taking it down another path.     You can also find published instructions if you want to build it yourself.  For some time, I wanted to get an RC crawler, but they can be $$$.  When I came across PunkTacoNYC’s Chilli Crawler, that was I figured I had...
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Electronics

WiFi Bot Control – Using NodeMCU (ESP8266)

WiFi Bot Control was built back before the ESP8266 came out, so WiFi options were limited and the ability to directly stream data over WiFi to the same MCU that controls a robot was next to impossible.  That changed with the intro of the ESP8266.  I’m going to show you how to streamline WiFi Bot Control and remove the need for a separate webserver.  We’ll also look at options to streamline the IP camera...
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Arduino

Nextion TFT LCD – Why you need one!

I’ll start this by stating that I don’t work for iTead, and nor am I getting any sort of kickbacks…   I just really like this TFT LCD.  I stumbled upon the Nextion (which is a slick easy-to-use TFT LCD with a HMI editor) when they had their first crowdfunding campaign a year or so ago.   I ignored it as there was not a lot of documentation, and frankly, I really didn’t understand the...
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Electronics

LEGO Technic Wire Storage

What better way to store my wire supply, then to use spare LEGO Technic beams & friction pins.   After fumbling through bags of wire, pulling what I need out, and stuffing it back into the bag, I decide to take a stance and make a change!!!!  Digging into my Mindstorms / Technic supply, I pulled out some beams and friction pins.  15 minutes later, I have a nice storage solution for my silcone...
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Electronics

Review: JJRC H36 2.4G 4CH 6-Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter

I always like opportunities to try out new gadgets…  RCMoment sent me this cool little mini quad to try out –  JJRC H36 4CH 6-Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter.  First thing’s first – full disclosure.  I don’t have any vested interest in RC Moment. They sent me this quad for free.  I am not the type of person that is influenced by free stuff.  I get asked to do a review, and I will...
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3D Printing

WIoT-2 Weather Station – Nextion TFT with ESP8266

This is a continuation from my prior WIoT weather station.  I struggled with the name as it does much more than just weather…  I suppose I should have called it IoT “thing”….  Anyway, what is WIoT-2?  Well, it’s lots of things…  I use it as a cloud-connected (IoT) info center of sorts mounted near our front door.  It is a culmination of information my wife or I often look for either on our way...
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