A Man’s Got to Know His Limitations: Control+ and Powered Up Apps [August 2019]

The New Technic Smart hub became available this week, as part of 42099 X-treme 4×4 Off Roader. This article discusses what we can expect the long awaited Control+ App to do and what it won’t. I also take a look at the ever expanding range of connected apps produced by LEGO A/S today.

The first of August has past and there have been a number of new, released. If you are a Technic Fan, you are possibly curious about the new 4×4 X-treme Off Roader 42099. Certainly, it’s one I have been looking forward to seeing.

I had an opportunity to see this new model, as well as the new Control+ App demonstrated by members of the design team while in Billund, at the Recognised Fan Media days in May this year. Amongst other things, the set features the new Technic Smart Hub, 2 new Technic XL linear motors, and one Technic L linear motor. I am excited to get my hands on this set as soon as possible, to build the set and experience the new Control+ App. I might have to wait until the Australian online store gets more stock.

I also hope to incorporate the new Control+ Hub in a MOC later in the year.

But Not today.

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First Images Technic Powered Up Hub

I’m in Billund today, taking part in the Fan Media Days. We have just had a presentation from the Powered Up team.

We have now seen the new technic hub unveiled, as well as two new motors designed to run with the platform.

The new Technic hub has 4 ports, as well as connectors around the border. Unlike the current Smart Hub used in LEGO City trains, it will be powered by AA Rather than AAA Batteries.

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The Powered Up App Receives a Boost

I have not been so excited about seeing a software upgrade delivered as I have been this weekend. The LEGO Powered Up app has just been given a substantial bump up in its functionality.

Long time readers of the blog will know how I feel about LEGO Boost: a great set, and a simple way to automate any models that you might make. Since it was released 18 months ago, we have seen all sorts of creations, as well as ideas through the primary models in the set. But there are a few challenges: you need to work through the models to gain all functionality; and the hub itself is a little bulky for some applications, but certainly adds a lot of fun to some sets. In some ways, I see it as the natural successor to the early motor kits, used in the 60’s and 70’s to automate wheels models, and see them propelled under there own power. Unfortunately, despite sharing a plug system, it has not been compatible with other similarly plugged devices…until now.

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News from Nuremberg: Technic Control + (Rampant Speculation follows, again)

About a year ago we heard our first information about the new Powered Up wireless control system, incorporated in the latest generation of LEGO City Trains, as well as the App Controlled Batmobile. The Bluetooth controller/phone app interacting with the wireless hub has met with a mixed response, especially in the LEGO railroad modeller community, with concerns about the number of outputs, range and interference from other Bluetooth devices. One thing that was conspicuous in its absence last year was a hub solution that was compatible with LEGO Technic.

Today, we have received news from Spielwarenmesse – the German Toy Fair – of a new control hub to be incorporated in two new Technic sets this year LEGO Technic Control +. One, 42100 – the second half year Flagship model based on the Liebherr R9100 Excavator, the other: 42099, based on a 4×4.

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Time to get moving: first steps into the Powered Up system [Review: Passenger Train 60197]

img_2285In which I finally get my hands onto some of the new Powered Up components and find myself dealing with a system full of immense potential. I compare the Powered Up system with the old Power Functions system for driving the train, draining the batteries in the process. And I start to wish for a little bit of magic…

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