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Distributor Gearing 8 Channel
One annoying shortcoming of Technic that there are no small sized servo motors. We show an alternative solution:
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In high-end helicopter model designs (and any other complex machines) we need lot of power functions: actuate controls, rotate gun turrets, actuate flaps, drive rescue winches, retract/open landing gear, etc. In RC models usually these are performed by small sized servo motors, including electric motor, reduction gearing, safety switches, and ocassionally positions sensor in one self-contained unit.

One annoying shortcoming of Technic that there are no small sized servo motors. Lego Mindstorms motors can perform these functions, but they are pretty sizeable, and only 3 motors can attached to 1 Mindstorms computer, which is ridiculus limitation. In 2012, Lego introduced a PF servo motor in a crawler model, but its size is even bigger than an M-sized motor (3󫢮 studs).

Therefore, Lego usually solves multiple power functions with one motor + gear shift mechanism (inherited from Lego sports car sets) allowing using only one gear/one power function in the same time. This solution is more or less acceptable in case of the Unimog set or other heavy machinery, where speed is not a factor. But it is pretty ridiculus at helicopters: eg. in the 9396 big rescue helicopter set, you cannot drive the rotor until the rescue winch is driven because gear shift allows to use only 1 gear simultaneosly. So as soon as you start lifting up poor rescued guy from the sinking ship, the helicopter starts to dive...

One can see that we need different type of a gearing here than gear shift: a distributor gearing allows to use multiple power functions to use simultaneously driven from 1 electric motor. We achieve this using a central shaft driven by 1 electric motor, where opposite facing falf conical gears are placed in 1.5 stud-intervals.

Peripedicular axises have also a half-conical gear and universal joint, and they are mounted on 3 stud swingarm. Swinging the arm it connects its conical gear to the conical gear fixed on cetral shaft to the left or right. This way, it performs both clutch and direction reverser functions. Swingarm rotates on 4 stud long rod called "lightsword" with considerable friction. It means that it helds conical gears connected if the torque load is not too high. At overload, swingarm jumps out to neutral, disengaged position, preventing the mechanism to break up.

Peripendicular axises can drive different sized worm gear mechanisms with swingarms (we show 3 examples from small to big in terms of size and maximum torque load). Size of 1 swingarm unit is 2.5 studs wide 3 studs tall 2.25 studs long. Size of a double unit is 2.5󫢫 studs) We did not include in size computation the universal joint, as it is not necessary if peripendicular axis can swing itself 0.25 studs left and right.

Further advantage is that distributor can be multiplied in 2.5 stud wide double units, only the lenght and torque tolerance of the central shaft limits multiplying. We show here an exaple for 8 channel distributor.

We recommend to build in distributor gear unit in cockpit floor/ or roof, just before and under/ top of pilots seats, this way handles of swingarms can be easily reached directly by pilots hand, and peripendicular shafts can run in cabin floor/roof towards worm gear servos placed everywhere in the wehicle.


Building instructions
Download building instructions (LEGO Digital Designer)

Comments

 I made it 
  September 30, 2012
Quoting Jos Westend Beautiful solution, love it!! The nice thing about these component-ish models is that it is quite easy to incorporate in your own model.
Thanks. Plase check out my other helicopter components also. I plan to make a working helicopter rotor building guide from 2 to 8 blades: 2, 3, 4 alrady there, 6 and 8 are ready but needs some polishing, 5 can be quite tricky, 7 is even more trickier
  September 30, 2012
Beautiful solution, love it!! The nice thing about these component-ish models is that it is quite easy to incorporate in your own model.
 
By Gabor Pauler
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Distributor Gearing 8 ChannelTechnic


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