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Old 15th July, 2005, 03:01 PM
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Logic with Legos

Ever played with the Lego Technic sets? Me neither, but apparently a lot of people out there are, and they are doing some very creative things with them. Among other things, some really talented people have figured out how to build mechanical logic circuits. Interested yet? Well, try this on for size: modern computer technology evolved out of the attempts by an inventor named Charles Babbage in 1834 to build a machine called a 'Difference Engine'. It was the first digital computer. Although it didn't work very well, that was due to the limitations of the technology available to make the cogs and gears used by the Difference Engine, not to a limitation of the technology itself. Machines like the Difference Engine were used by American battleships in World War II to calculate shell trajectories for their big guns, and were part of what made those ships such devastating weapons of war.

So, have you experimented with anything like this (not necessarilly legos)? If so, we'd love to hear about it!
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Old 15th July, 2005, 03:27 PM
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Ive never done anything this advanced. But ive got about $2000 AUD of lego laying around. Somewhere anyway, but im not sure where.
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Old 15th July, 2005, 03:59 PM
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Back when I was 16 or 17 (I think, memory gets fuzzy when you start going back over 20 years, LOL) I started to build some stuff using just basic relays. I had the basic AND, OR, NOT circuits, and then I built a flip-flop, then I built an 8-bit binary adder with carry. That was about as complex as I got (and that used something like 65 relays, IIRC). I had originally intended to build a relay-based version of the 6502 CPU but once I realized how expensive, power hungry, and slow it was going to be, I decided to use a real 6502 instead.
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Old 15th July, 2005, 05:13 PM
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As a massive fan of Rubik's cubes, I would love to have one of those lego ones. Would hurt your hands a bit by the looks of it, but with a cube like that, I would be the coolest 'cuber in the engineering common room fridays
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Old 15th July, 2005, 05:41 PM
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sound all abit pointless to me, and please, you dont pluralise lego, its like saying i have 512mb of rams
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Old 15th July, 2005, 05:44 PM
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Picky :P
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Old 15th July, 2005, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calgar
sound all abit pointless to me, and please, you dont pluralise lego, its like saying i have 512mb of rams
It's a European vs American thing. For some strange reason the Americans feel the need to pluralise the brand.
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Old 16th July, 2005, 04:03 PM
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http://www.breakbeaterror.com/main.p...ts/cdbot/cdbot

its a cd/dvd duplicater made by my brother in law to be, still work in progress, but it works
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Old 16th July, 2005, 08:47 PM
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That's rather cool, fearless_joe!
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Old 16th July, 2005, 10:54 PM
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hes a code monkey, thats his idea of fun, i cant blame him
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Old 17th July, 2005, 06:00 PM
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I dont see how all of this works. They are Lego, those switches. How do they work, I would like to see a video.

Very sweet though fearless_joe.
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Old 17th July, 2005, 08:26 PM
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It's all mechanical logic, so it would only be useful if the end result was to push a lever, turn a gear, or something of that nature. But it is very instructive to help understand how digital logic works, in terms of inputs and outputs.
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Old 17th July, 2005, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rondog
I dont see how all of this works. They are Lego, those switches. How do they work, I would like to see a video.

Very sweet though fearless_joe.
There's a link to a video on that page.
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Old 17th July, 2005, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo
It's all mechanical logic, so it would only be useful if the end result was to push a lever, turn a gear, or something of that nature. But it is very instructive to help understand how digital logic works, in terms of inputs and outputs.
or flick a switch?
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Old 18th July, 2005, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo
It's all mechanical logic, so it would only be useful if the end result was to push a lever, turn a gear, or something of that nature. But it is very instructive to help understand how digital logic works, in terms of inputs and outputs.
A 3D interpretation on how a 0/1 switch works?
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Old 18th July, 2005, 03:15 PM
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yeah theres a video, it is quite slow and ludicrusly noisy, but it works none the less
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