"The Technic Hub is the middle sized hub between the 2-port Train hub 88009 and the 6-port Spike Prime hub (in an educational set and soon in a consumer set). Like its Power Functions predecessor it takes 6x AA batteries. This hub includes the controls for 4 motors or lights, but it needs a phone or tablet to control it. As such it replaces £28.50 of value (2x IR Receivers and battery) in the one device, but the price of £75 is a lot more. As the 2-port hub and Boost hub 88006 (2 ports and 2 integral motors) were released earlier I was expecting this one for £60, so its price is too high relative to the others. I can only speculate that they don't want to sell many of them, and would rather sell the sets that contain them.
The sets including this hub are: The Top Gear Car 42109, with 1 medium motor and 1 large motor; The 4x4 X-treme Off-Roader 42099 with 1 medium motor and 2 large motors; The 6x6 Volvo Articulated Hauler 42114 with 1 medium motor, 1 large motor and 1 right-angle motor; and The Liebherr R 9800 Excavator with 2 hubs, 4 medium motors and 3 large motors. As a purchasing strategy I would consider what sort of models I wanted to make and select the set accordingly, to provide the right number of hubs and motors, rather than buying the 4-port hub on its own.
One major criticism I have of this hub, in function and usefulness, is that it cannot be used with the Remote Handset 88010 unless a phone program or 3rd-party computer-based software is also in use. I had hoped that this hub could be synchronised with 2x 88010 handsets to make an ordinary remote-controlled vehicle. For the Top Gear car 42109 it makes perfect sense, since the handset can rotate a dial 90 degrees for the steering function. Why was this missed? Could it be rectified with a firmware update to the hub? This really drops this hub down the list for me, so I prefer the 2-port hub that uses the handset without extra effort or complexity, even for Technic models. The 4-port hub is missing an essential attribute here, one that ruins its play experience. I would settle for a handset controlling ports A and B if nothing else could be done. I find phone-screen controls imprecise by comparison to the handset 88010.
A further problem for the 4-port hub is that there is not yet a LiPo battery for it. The 6-port hub comes with a LiPo battery that can be recharged many times. AA batteries are not sustainable, especially for high use, motor applications and exhibition of models. I prefer the Power Functions LiPo battery 8878 and the lack of one for Powered-Up 4-port and 2-port hubs makes me reluctant to switch over and reluctant to buy the Powered-Up hubs and the sets that contain them. Please hurry up and give us those LiPo inserts for the the hubs.
The 4-port hub has integral brackets for strong mounting. This works well in the sets that use the hub. However, it makes the size 9x9x5, which rules it out of use in small models, including trains. 7x11x5 could have been hidden more easily if the brackets had been on the ends, as they are for the Power Functions AA battery unit. Some models use a build-around-the-hub style, which is not as versatile as one can do with Power Functions. This may lose some of the key attribute of the LEGO System.
For general model building with this hub, I would check the sets that use the hub, pick the one closest to my model, and follow the same pattern of port usage. That way you can use the app for the set for your own model and gain more functionality, especially in instant-use mode. Any turret vehicle would follow the pattern of 42100, using ports A and B of hub 1 for tracks, port D of hub 1 to turn the turret, and the 4 ports of hub 2 for turret functions.
For railway points and crossing control I might use a 2-port hub to control 2 devices; it would manage being remote without long wires, compared to a 12V, 9V or Power functions solution with a panel of switches. I would hesitate to use a 4-port hub though that would be possible if 4 devices were within reach. The Powered-Up system has longer motor cables but no extension cables; I really want an extension cable before I would invest heavily in this system. I did buy a lot of extension cables for Power Functions because they can be cut and a custom electronic module connected in the middle. This type of experimentation is essential to build engineers. Users miss some education if they stick to just plug-and-play products.
So overall I prefer the 2-port hub over the 4-port hub, though both hubs need the promised LiPo inserts for sustainability. I prefer the simplicity and versatility of Power Functions, and also its backward compatibility with 9V. Some improvements are needed for me to invest more in Powered-Up. If you like programming then go for the 6-port hub when the set is released."
"The Mobile Crane 42108 has plenty of functions for the price, especially on discount! The functions are simple but effective; whilst larger sets would have winding handles for things, this one has pop-down stabilisers.
The steering is above average for Technic sets but might still be improved for how far it turns; the turning circle of the crane is still longer in proportion to its length than a real crane. The principle of it is good, with 4 sets of steerable wheels. For its scale and functions, this set would make a good basis for a larger mobile crane, using 2 or more sets, perhaps as large as one would fit in most homes! Real cranes can have at least 9 sets of wheels and it would be possible to make at least 5 sets steer like the real one.
One of the main attractions of this set is the extra-long linear actuator, also featured in 42100 at a much higher price. The yellow panels are those well-suited to crane building. To get a general mix in yellow, for more versatile building of construction machinery, add set 42114 for more shapes.
The controls are easy to use, steering from the lights on the cab and crane functions from the knobs on each side. The string is long enough for the hook to reach the floor if the crane is on the sofa.
This crane compares with the one that was prescribed from multiple sets in the original 3-digit Technic set instructions from 1977-1982. The price is about the same as what one might have expected to pay for the 4 sets back then. This crane exceeds the functions of the previous one by 2 sets of steering and achieves it functions more simply.
I would have been overjoyed to receive this for Christmas as a child of 8-11. It compares well with older sets 856 or 8851 that I had when I was in that age range; I played with nothing else! For a child younger than the recommended 10+ age group, either the child should be ahead in building ability or it might be a parental build in advance of Christmas Day. Some sets are definitely not a "Christmas Eve build" for a parent but this one I would recommend starting a week before Christmas, rather than a month ahead for other sets!
After the crane, there are plenty of wheels to rebuild the set as 2 vehicles, though I might keep this one built for longer than average, compared to other Technic sets. It can be agonising to take apart some of the better sets but building My Own Creations allows builders of all ages to consolidate their learning by applying the techniques they learn from the instructions. That can build engineers.
The only improvement I would make would be to have a box that could be opened as a tray. Those that do, I keep for building and sorting till the glue fails. The split into 3 sets of bags means that the box from a £40 set could be reused for building each stage. Doing that means that reuse can precede recycling.
This is a set I would put on watch early, to see when it is discounted by the retailers. Don't leave it till the last minute to buy one."
"The Land Rover Defender 42110 is an excellent representation of the real vehicle. It really looks the part. This would fulfil the role of a flagship Technic set even before the supercars and Powered-Up sets were added to the range.
I found the way different gear modules were connected, with universal joint shafts, was an encouragement in my own models, where it is not easy to fit the necessary gear systems in the space envelope and it ends up needing offset shafts. Make sure you line up the universal joints correctly; this will avoid clicking that some people experienced.
The gear ratios seem quite slow for the engine speed against the wheel speed, compared to previous sets. Make sure you check the free running of the axles as you build. One or two on the gearbox could affect the drive if they were not free to run.
The latch on the rear door uses a small white belt. I thought it was loose enough that it might come off but it hasn't yet. Making sure the latch is fully home, to hold the door shut, could be more precise but it seems to work OK. It would be nice to know how to get more of the belts (white, red, yellow, etc.) as they always show as "out of stock" on the Buy Bricks service.
Now I have to think of my own models to use the olive green and dark tan panels! For any colour of panels it is useful to have a range of sizes to make them more useful; these colours lend themselves better to scenery and nature than some other colours. I hope there will soon be a smaller set with smaller panels in this colour to partner with the larger ones in this set. Most of the smaller details in the olive green colour are done with "double cheese" pieces along the body side.
Very pleased with it. It is well priced between the £100 cars and the supercars but just as good as the supercars for looks compared to the real thing. Value was even better with a discount!
I would also like to build more aircraft kits in this price range."
I would recommend this to a friend!
From: United Kingdom
Customer Type: LEGO Fan
Building Experience: Expert LEGO builder
Purchased For: Self
Play Experience (Optional):
Value for Money (Optional):
I would recommend this to a friend!
4of4found this review helpful.
Posted:November 27, 2009
Too Fast - Redesign :-(
"I tested the 8866 motor with the Emerald Night train carriage and against the previous 9V train motor 10153 but the result was not good.
The 8866 motor was too fast to help the Emerald Night train when installed under the carriage, with a Medium Motor 8883 in the cab (a bit faster but with less torque than the 8882 XL Motor, hence the help from another motor). The 8866 motor tried to make the carriage go faster than the engine and pushed the train off the track. Would need to re-gear the engine to make this work, but see below.
Two 8866 motors in the carriage on its own with the rechargeable battery and IR receiver would not move at speed settings 1-2, was brisk at speed 3 and derailed on the corners at speed 4 or more on a flexi-track test track. That means only 1 speed setting works for a typical children's train.
Two 8866 motors with a heavier train, more typical of AFOL exhibition trains, had poor speed regulation compared to two 9V train motors driven from the same rechargeable battery and IR receiver. That means adding more carriages or going up a gentle hill slowed it down more and going down a gentle hill it went too fast. Whereas the 9V train motors could stay on speed 4 both up and down hill, the 8866 motors needed full speed going up hill, slowed down and caused the battery cut-out to trip 3 times with the same load. This means the 8866 motor is not a suitable replacement for the 9V train motor 10153.
Sorry I cannot recommend the 8866 motor, for either children's trains or AFOL trains. Please redesign the 8866 motor by gearing it down by 50%, which will reduce speed and increase the torque so that it behaves more like the 9V train motor 10153.
I will keep experimenting to see if there is an electronic way to make the 8866 motor work more like the 10153 motor. Meanwhile, if you want a really good LEGO train, I can recommend the Emerald Night 10194, battery 8878 and XL motor 8882. Even better with IR control."
From: Derby, UK
How long has this product been owned? 1 week or less