The Actuator (AT the series Book 1)

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Many died. Only a handful of people on the planet, called Machine Monks, even knew why it happened or how. Now they have to put it all back before humanity is destroyed. Continuing their quest for the Actuator keys, the Machine Monks realize their cause is becoming hopeless. With superior numbers and technology, their leader will not stop until every living human is subdued and loyal to him.

Keeping the first key with him, preventing anybody from using the Actuator to change the world, the sociopath rampages. In theory, these often terrifying realities are reversible. The scientists in charge of this machine employ operatives called Machine Monks, who attune their minds to manifest single ideas from the realms of fantasy and science fiction.

These ideas are then superimposed upon sparsely inhabited areas for testing. For a while, the enigmatic Actuator cooperates with the experiments, using dampeners to limit the affected area. But those in charge of the project eagerly anticipate exploring the full potential of this amazing device. Meanwhile, an unknown saboteur dismantles the dampeners. The effect is catastrophic.

The entire world is plunged into chaos, and familiar landscapes become a deadly patchwork of genre horrors. Overnight, the Actuator becomes the worst menace the earth has ever seen, claiming lives in staggering numbers. Can a few surviving Machine Monks band together to set things right again?

Silver Silence: Psy/Changeling Trinity Series, Book 1 part 1 (1 of 2) Unabridged

It all depends on whether Red McLaren and the Monks can survive their journey through the various realms that separate them from the Actuator, where ever-present orcs, aliens, pirates, and vampires seek to destroy them. When the Actuator breaks the earth into a patchwork of altered realities, the remaining Machine Monks begin looking for the Keys to put it back.

The Machine Monks fight to keep control of the Actuator while enemies attack the base. As besiegers wear them down, the rest of the world struggles to adapt to the chaos left in the wake of the great change. Their only choice is to push forward and find the next key and shutdown the fantasy realm surrounding the base. When they do, Xenwyn will die. Haunted by the incalculable death toll all over the earth, Jon accepts the mission to recover the next key.

Despite his injuries and as much as he hates to leave his newfound love, he refuses to let all of humanity suffer if he can fix it.

The Actuator Series

Desperate to keep Xenwyn alive, Red determines to find a magical cure before Jon gets back with the key. Each time he takes her across a border, might be the end. Seeing all his friends in turmoil, Dragon Star sets out to find the saboteur. New parts: There are several new parts. First up is the new large bucket These can be placed in an axle, and will slip when too much torque is applied, saving the motors and gears. Previous this was only possible using a - Technic Gear 24 Tooth Clutch , but that would always mean you need to go sideways to another gear.

This new version can go straight, like shown in the photo below. Folded in he's 15 studs long, 4 more than the little brother. He extends 8 studs, 3 more than the little brother. It uses the same bracket. The Technic Frame 7 x 11 is not really new. It is new in White.

The new hub has one great benefit over the old battery box: There is an insert that you can take out, to easily place and remove the batteries. Parts in new colors: Parts in rare colors:. Stage 1 builds the lower part of the excavator. First up is 1 side of the tracks. For those who worry, that all functions will be directly linked to the motors: There is some gearing going on, both in the tracks and the turning of the upper structure. And then the only really repetitive part: the other side of the tracks.

Luckily this didn't feel really boring, as there is a lot going on in this build. After each building stage, there is the option to test the added functions with the app. This way you can track possible mistakes early on. Stage 2 builds the main body of the upper structure.

Before we can build, the turntable needs to be aligned. Why that is, will be explained in the part about the app. The ports on the hub get color coded, corresponding with the color of the clips that are used for the wires, to ensure correct connections. Challenge: Who can come up with a less boring pattern? There is a high level of detail.

These engines I guess? They would also fit a microscale space colony are hidden out of sight behind the outer panels. ADD: So, I'm feeling real dumb. Only 2 weeks after building this set, I found out that the panels are doors that open up We end up with a big upper body, and the first impressing for the size of this monster.

It's HUGE! Stage 3 builds the arm of the excavator. The arm consists of 2 sections. The first section contains the 3 L-motors. After rebuilding the second section for the third time, I realized the caffeine content of my blood was low, so I went for a pit stop. After I managed to build the second section correctly, the 2 get merged. To give you an idea of the size of this build: I could hold it in my arm like a baby Those wire clips come in handy in here to keep things tidy.

As you can see, most of the space inside stays empty. Stage 4 adds a lot of details to the model. From this stage on I found the build less interesting, but that's just because I prefer to build expanding a model and get more Technic. But the end result looks very good. Teasing my wife who has OCD tendencies.

She gave me the option to fix it before kicking me out of the house ;-. Another example of details that get hidden. The fans are hard to see through the stickers, but still they added them to the build. I love this type of dedication. The hub is accessible through a hatch on top.

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End result of stage 4. Stage 5 finishes the detailing by adding railings, a cabin and a lot of pneumatic hoses. It also adds the bucket, finishing all Technic functions. Much to the joy of my youngest 3 , the cabin fits a minifig. Stage 6 is just a bag of stones for the excavator to dig up. There are of them. What can I say? This obviously done to boost the part count. Without this bag, the part total would be , and that's under the of the Rough Terrain Crane. This feels cheap.

BOOK 2, CHAPTER 19: Rotary actuators

They wanted a 'biggest ever' set for advertisement, and this is how LEGO got it. Nope, I don't like it at all. This is the only really negative part of the whole set. Okay, you could argue that the Bucket Wheel Excavator does the same thing with the rock pieces.

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Without the Light Bluish Gray prefab wall sections that can be lifted, the part count would stay under taht of the But at least, here the parts are used to build something. Sorry, rant over. Back to the review. The end result is a colossal beast. It feels much larger than the Rough Terrain Crane. I've put it beside the Liebherr for a size comparison. The size and level of detail is impressive. I really feel I have accomplished something after finishing the build.

It's gonna be hard to find room to display him. There are 6 functions driven by the 7 motors. The 2 XL-motors in the lower section drive the tracks independently, and the L-motor turns the top section. In the top section we have 1 L-motor raising and lowering the total arm:. The third L-motor tips over the bucket. Right before the bucket is tipped at maximum, the top half of the arm starts to come down, preventing it from tipping further. And the last L-motor opens and closes the bucket. This motor has the longest drivetrain, and in my case it's a bit jerky.

The drivetrain is mostly hidden within the arm, so troubleshooting is tricky. All these functions are only controllable by the app. For this review, I received a beta-version, so there might be some minor changes after the release. As mentioned earlier, after every build stage, there is the possibility to test the newly build functions.

The Actuator | James Wymore

For this, the app only has to connect to 1 of the 2 hubs. At the first connection, I had to download a new firmware version. This takes about 5 minutes through a budget phone. After connecting, the functions are tested one by one. The app lets the Liebherr perform a short task, and asks if it's done correctly. When the build is all done and all test have been performed, you can start to play.

But first, there is a calibration. One of the great things about the new motors, is that they register how many rotations they make, and how high the resistance is. That way, it knows in which position the actuators are. During the calibration, the model tries out all linear actuators into their maximum positions. When that is done, the app knows how far the motors can turn both ways. This info seems to be stored on the app, not the hubs. When you extend an actuator to the maximum with device A, and then switch to device B and retract it completely, and then switch back to device A, the app thinks the actuator is extended to the max.

So it won't extend any further, and when you try to retract the actuator, the app will keep doing this, even though all gears are crackling. I'm not sure how this could be prevented, but I hope LEGO will add a section to the manual about this. Also, the calibration is sometimes a bit off, letting the motors run too long and cause gear crackling. Maybe that will be updated in the app. There are somehow no clutches in the functions with actuators to prevent crackling. Maybe because that would interfere with the calibration?

And then it's really time to play. The first time, you get an explanation of all controls. Basically, there are 2 sticks driving the rotation and the arm lifts and tipping. There are 2 slides for driving. There are 2 buttons for opening and closing the bucket. Also, there is an indicator showing the power level of the batteries, and the angle of the model in 2 directions.

If you swipe down, a very nice feature appears. Here you see a model of the arm. You can click and drag any joint into a position you like, and the model will go into that position. And lastly on the controls, there are 4 numbered buttons. Under these buttons, you can add self-made programs. The editor for this looks a bit like the boost and the PoweredUp app for the - App-Controlled Batmobile.

Analysis and Design

Simply drag and drop the movements you want and save. If you use the same series of commands multiple times, you can make a sub-program with it's own tile. Also, you can record movements using the controls, and save that as a sub-program. To teach you how to control the model, there is a series of challenges you can complete, like rotating the model degrees etc. Here is a crappy video I made of the calibration and the different functions. I have a budget phone and only a freeware editor. This is not my field of expertise ;-. Third Party apps One major disadvantage of the app and the new components, is that it only works for the models that are programmed in.

For now, that is the and the Luckily, there are other options. One of these is the BuWizz app. BuWizz is known for its smart brick that let you control PowerFunctions through Bluetooth on your mobile device. There are multiple MOCs here on Rebrickable that uses this brick. Their app also connects to the new components.

It lets you customize a control panel with different kind of control buttons. It can connect to 16 hubs at a time, so that should suffice ;-. Simply drag and drop a control, select the output it controls, and play. Another app that works is BrickController 2. This lets you program a controller like from PlayStation or X-Box to operate the motors.

Unfortunately, I don't have such a controller, so I can't test it. But from what I hear it works very well. A while ago I talked about the potential of the PoweredUp system. With this system, you can control your trains and program standard actions for trains, switches, lights etc using almost all Bluetooth operated LEGO parts. They've also added the new components from this set to the project. So, what is final verdict?

Build The build is excellent. The instructions are clear, but still a challenge. You really need to stay focused, or there will be rebuilds to be done. The tests after each stage are very useful in that respect. For me, Stage 4 and 5 were a bit more boring, but that is only because I prefer to build structure and functions.

The Actuator (AT the series Book 1) The Actuator (AT the series Book 1)
The Actuator (AT the series Book 1) The Actuator (AT the series Book 1)
The Actuator (AT the series Book 1) The Actuator (AT the series Book 1)
The Actuator (AT the series Book 1) The Actuator (AT the series Book 1)
The Actuator (AT the series Book 1) The Actuator (AT the series Book 1)
The Actuator (AT the series Book 1) The Actuator (AT the series Book 1)
The Actuator (AT the series Book 1) The Actuator (AT the series Book 1)
The Actuator (AT the series Book 1) The Actuator (AT the series Book 1)

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