Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.comAmazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Power Functions versus Powered Up (for Fairground sets)

Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM IrelandMember Posts: 990
My Fairground sets (Mixer, Ferris Wheel, Roller Coaster) will be coming out of storage soon and I'm looking to power them up. Right now I have just a single Power Functions M-Motor and Battery Pack. I'm wondering whether to buy more PF motors/battery packs on Bricklink, or to invest in the new Powered Up system.

I have NO idea where to start with Powered Up, or what the equivalent components I'd need to power these three sets. 

Interested in hearing the experiences of anyone who has made the move to Powered Up, and how it compares to PF. Would also love some clarity on what Powered Up components I'd need if I go that route. 

Thanks!
Fizyx

Comments

  • FizyxFizyx ColoradoMember Posts: 1,267
    edited January 6
    My Fairground sets (Mixer, Ferris Wheel, Roller Coaster) will be coming out of storage soon and I'm looking to power them up. Right now I have just a single Power Functions M-Motor and Battery Pack. I'm wondering whether to buy more PF motors/battery packs on Bricklink, or to invest in the new Powered Up system.

    I have NO idea where to start with Powered Up, or what the equivalent components I'd need to power these three sets. 

    Interested in hearing the experiences of anyone who has made the move to Powered Up, and how it compares to PF. Would also love some clarity on what Powered Up components I'd need if I go that route. 

    Thanks!

    One of the potential negatives for Powered Up is that I believe you MUST have a hub to drive the components. So no just direct connection to a battery box with a simple on/off switch.  On the plus side, you will have much more control over how the motors/lights/functions operate.  On the minus side again, you will have to learn how to utilize that functionality.

    I will say, having gotten a couple of Power Function pieces (M-motors and battery packs) over the last few months, if you're going to get more PF items, get them NOW.  The cost has already been skyrocketing, and I think it's likely to get quite a bit worse before it levels off.

    EDIT: To clarify:  There is no out of the box, approved method for hooking the new Powered Up motors and lights to a battery without a hub that I know of.  But... if you're adventurous and willing to potentially burn some components out and knowledgeable about electronics, it's not like you can't get to the wiring through the jack without damaging it...
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM IrelandMember Posts: 990
    Thank you! I wouldn't mind investing if the hub if it was worthwhile, but I'm not convinced from the bits I've seen online that it's worth it. 

    What I'd really love is a way to activate all three sets at the same time from a single hub. Any chance that's possible with Powered Up?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,420
    Thank you! I wouldn't mind investing if the hub if it was worthwhile, but I'm not convinced from the bits I've seen online that it's worth it. 

    What I'd really love is a way to activate all three sets at the same time from a single hub. Any chance that's possible with Powered Up?

    Yes, so long as they are not too far apart. One of the nice things if you use a programmable hub like in the Mindstorms 51515 is that you can program it so that one ride runs for 2 minutes with a 20 second pause before starting again, another one runs for 1 minute with a 15 second gap and the third for 2.5 minutes with a 30 second gap, so that they are all staggered and run in and out of sync with each other like a real fairground. But it is expensive for that.

    If you just want to run them all continuously and don't mind going non-LEGO, you can buy really quite cheap motors, glue a LEGO gear/cog on the shaft and  you have a perfectly good DC motor to power LEGO creations you can connect to a power source. If you pick 5V motors, they can all be run from a USB power bank. You can then enclose them with hot glue in a brick shell and hide the DIY look away. Not as pretty as the LEGO version but you can do three for well under a tenner.
    Addicted2OxygenFizyxcanon03
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 548
    There are third party accessories for both systems out there. I'm not sure what's available, but it would not surprise me if there was a simple analog battery box for PU available so you don't have to use that app control nonsense if you don't need it.
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM IrelandMember Posts: 990
    edited January 7
    Thanks all. I think I'll grab a few extra PF components while they're getable, and I can always explore Powered Up in time, and some of the advanced options like those @CCC describes.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,420
    You have probably missed the boat uf you are after PF M, L or XL motor, the prices have gone crazy. The only reasonably priced ones are the train motors, I wonder if they have high enough torque to run fairground models rather than trains.
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM IrelandMember Posts: 990
    CCC said:
    You have probably missed the boat uf you are after PF M, L or XL motor, the prices have gone crazy. The only reasonably priced ones are the train motors, I wonder if they have high enough torque to run fairground models rather than trains.
    @CCC if memory serves I think I was using this M-Motor when the sets were previously assembled - seems reasonable enough on Bricklink: 

    https://store.bricklink.com/85toys?itemID=272377830#/shop

    But based on your comment I'm wondering if I've got the wrong type...
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,420
    That's the one. I guess "reasonable" is relative. They used to cost £5.99 direct from LEGO before they ended PF.
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM IrelandMember Posts: 990
    CCC said:
    That's the one. I guess "reasonable" is relative. They used to cost £5.99 direct from LEGO before they ended PF.
    That's probably it - I had no recollection of the RRP. And I'm otherwise desensitized to the price of anyting LEGO :) 
  • JRBricksJRBricks HoustonMember Posts: 55
    edited January 10
    With PF, if you can, get the rechargeable battery box. It has a speed control dial, but I think it's a bit pricey now vs the regular battery box with no speed control. I believe you can control the speed with a receiver and remote though correct?
    Switchfoot55
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 2,877
    Correct. The IR Receiver and related controller have speed controls. 
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM IrelandMember Posts: 990
    JRBricks said:
    With PF, if you can, get the rechargeable battery box. It has a speed control dial, but I think it's a bit pricey now vs the regular battery box with no speed control. I believe you can control the speed with a receiver and remote though correct?
    @JRBricks You're not kidding - about €100 is the cheapest I can find in my neck of the woods on BL! 

    I asked above about powering multiple sets at the same time with Powered Up. I just want to check if I'm right here:

    Let's say I bought the Hub 88009 and x2 motors (either the Medium Linear Motor -currently out of stock - or the Technic Large Motor). Could I connect the two motors to the Hub (the A/B ports respectively) and power the Ferris Wheel and Roller Coaster at the same time? Is that how it works?

    Thanks again for helping me navigate all this :) 
    JRBricks
  • panchox1panchox1 The Outer RimMember Posts: 718
    I'm not very knowledgeable about this stuff but would the boost hub, 88006 be a good option?
  • ModeltrainmanModeltrainman Reading my Bible, sorting and buildingMember Posts: 998
    BOOST is the programmable option. It's cool, because you can drag and drop instructions, program sounds. the coaster is made specifically for it, so it'll run the coaster, and make minifigs scream...The BOOST hub also has multiple outputs, so if close enough, you could theoretically put it under a removable hill and have it drive multiple rides.
    panchox1
  • McleayMcleay London, UKMember Posts: 7
    I asked above about powering multiple sets at the same time with Powered Up. I just want to check if I'm right here:

    Let's say I bought the Hub 88009 and x2 motors (either the Medium Linear Motor -currently out of stock - or the Technic Large Motor). Could I connect the two motors to the Hub (the A/B ports respectively) and power the Ferris Wheel and Roller Coaster at the same time? Is that how it works?
    Yes, the instructions to add Power Up to Haunted House 10273 has exactly that setup of one 88009 hub / two M motors. 

    The Boost Move hub 88006 has two in built motors and two ports so I think theoretically it could run 4 at the same time. But that hub restricts the setup quite a bit with the 2 built-in motors (especially when you factor in the access needed to change batteries.)
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM IrelandMember Posts: 990
    @Mcleay Thanks for confirming that 88009 and x2 motors would power two rides.

    Since I started this thread initially, I got my hands on a Carousel, meaning I have four rides to power instead of three (hooray!). 

    So I am thinking about 88009 x2 and M motors x4. Does anyone have experience coding such a set up on the Powered Up app? Would it be easy to set all four rides off at once?
  • mhe4mhe4 Near Seattle, WA (USA)Member Posts: 16
    edited May 14
    I reconfigured my Roller Coaster to use the Move Hub's two internal motors with one running the chain and one running the station kick wheel.  I also have two color/distance sensors on the other two ports.  One sensor is at the lift hill (as in the optional instructions) and the other is under the loading platform to allow the kick wheel to act as a "switch" if moved back and forth quickly.  I manged to get a reliable program in the Powered Up app and a not-so-reliable version loaded on the hub with py.bricks.  Sort of left it there, but plan to get back to it eventually. 
    I have the same issue as @Steve_J_OM with 4 rides to power at some point.  The very short wires on the motors and no cheap extension cords makes using one hub for multiple rides challenging unless you like long and tortuous axles running all over your builds.
    Also agree with @Mcleay that changing the batteries on the Move Hub when connected to things via the motor outputs is a royal pain.
    To answer the last question about staring all 4 rides at once in the Powered Up app, yes, it is quite doable and as "easy" as anything else in there given the lack of official documentation of the control tiles.
    FizyxJudgeChuck
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM IrelandMember Posts: 990
    @mhe4 I'm happy to say I've finally figured it out! I ended up buying two regular 88009 Hubs and four Medium Linear Motors. I then picked up two extension cables from PV-Productions (not cheap, as you say, but very happy with them). 

    And here's the finished setup (almost finished - next up is installing light kits!):


    mhe4CymbelineFizyxCCCJudgeChuckMcleayBrainslugged
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy Brickset.com

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. Sign in or register to get started.

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.