LEGO compatible thrust ball bearing

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Featured, LEGO, Technology | 0 comments

LEGO compatible thrust ball bearing

To rotate an axial load LEGO developed the turn table. For light loads this works great but the friction increases dramatically with heavy loads. This thrust ball bearing uses standard LEGO balls to transform the friction into rotations. This allows the two disks to easily rotate. The balls and an additional rim keep the two disks in place.

A motor can be attached on the inside to power the rotation. Even the smallest LEGO motor is sufficient to easily rotate this 2 kg load. This thrust ball bearing is fully LEGO compatible and even allows studs to be attached to top half. Standard 14.2 mm LEGO balls can be used. The bearing measures 20 studs across and is three bricks high. This should be big enough for even the biggest crane or MOC display.

The 3D data is available from the Autodesk Gallery.


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Review Dexter DLight for LEGO Mindstorms

Posted by on Apr 12, 2015 in Documentation, LEGO, Technology | 0 comments

Dexter Industries offers the DLight for LEGO Mindstorms. It allows you to control four full color LEDs through a sensor port of your EV3 or NXT. The first thing to do is to set the toggle switches on each LED to a unique address, so that you can control each LED individually. In the NXT-G environment you can still decide to control all of them at the same time if desired. The biggest nuisance is that only the first LED can use its red component. The other three cannot show any red light. Dexter acknowledges this bug in its forum and offers refunds. It is ridiculous that Dexter does not warn its customers on its product page, in particular since they do not intend to fix this problem.

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Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Documentation, Technology | 0 comments

Askimet is a very excellent tool and it protected me from a whopping 80.000 spam comments  on  my WordPress based web site. That is for October alone. Those spam comments completely filled up my SQL database beyond the point where I could repair it following these instructions.

It was a classical Catch 22. To empty the database I had to “optimize” it, which does take some additional space. Which I did not have because the database was full. Askimet has just released their 3.0.3 update which might have solved the issue. Or it could have been my webhoster’s support worker I called that finally had mercy with me and hit the optimize button on his side.

In any case, getting from a “Warning: Creating default object from empty value in wp-admin/includes/post.php on line 567” error to the conclusion that my SQL database is full due to comment spam that Askimet caught was a rather interesting journey. And it only took me two days to figure it out.



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Aldebaran and Softbank reveal the Pepper robot

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in Research, Technology | 0 comments

Finally the cat is out of the bag. It was clear that once a Japanese IT company buys Aldebaran, that they would develop a new robot, potentially for the Japanese market. After Aibo’s death, there was a big hole in the Japanese market. So here you have it: Pepper

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Firmware update for Drobo FS repairs Time Machine support

Posted by on Jan 20, 2012 in Technology | 0 comments

The release of  Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) made it difficult, if not impossible, to use a Drobo FS as a backup destination for Time Machine. The forums were full of frustrated users that had bought the Drobo FS in the believe that the marketing was actually true. Drobo released a firmware update (2.1) but this did not work for me and many others users. I already suspected that Drobo had given up supporting the Drobo FS, but today I noticed that a new firmware (2.1.1) appeared. I updated both the firmware and the desktop client and this fixed the problem. After six months of having to use an external hard drive for my backups, I was finally able to use the Drobo FS again for what I intended it to be.

But I am still disappointment by the lack of updates for Firefly and Fuppes. Both apps do sound very nice, but they are so outdated that they do not play nice with the latest release of iTunes or other media streaming clients. Again, the Drobo marketing does not live up to reality.

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Contacting Google

Posted by on Dec 19, 2011 in Technology | 0 comments

I noticed that it is impossible to contact Google. Occasionally something goes wrong with the many services we use and there is no phone number or email address from which you can expect a response. The best help are other users. This is pretty sad.

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