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Automated Trafficators System

September 22nd, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Explanation of the functionality of automated trafficators mechanism. Step-by-step instruction and a video tutorial provided.

Probably the most acclaimed feature of my Kenworth Mammoet model was the automated trafficators system, which made the model’s turn signals blink automatically whenever it made a turn. I’ve spent some time making the mechanism more compact and simplier than it originally was, which was eventually achieved with a sliding worm gear solution, the same that was used in my pneumatic autovalve.

The advantages of this mechanism Β are: compact size, easy implementation and efficiency thanks to which it uses only a very limited amount of the motor’s torque to function. The mechanism can be used in a number of different setups – the example shown below was installed on the axle connecting motor to the steering mechanism, but it can be installed after the steering mechanism as well.

The disadvantages are: a small delay in blinking while changing direction, which can be helped by gearing up the axle that drives the mechanism, and a large chance that one of the switches stops in ‘on’ position. In this case one sets of lights will blink while the other one stays on instead off. It should be possible to use rubber bands to reset a switch to ‘off’ position once the direction is changed, but I found it difficult to select a rubber band of the exact desired strength. The rubber bands are not quite reliable in such applications, so I suppose it’s simply not worth the effort.


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Categories: Ideas Tags: ,
  1. Phillip
    January 16th, 2011 at 18:18 | #1

    Wow, that just blew my mind.

  2. Sariel
    October 21st, 2010 at 15:33 | #2

    It may come as a surprise but I actually bought these.

  3. Birch
    October 21st, 2010 at 15:24 | #3

    how do you get all that power functions?
    i got alot but ive got it from original packages.

  4. Sariel
    April 14th, 2010 at 16:06 | #4


  5. Tom
    April 14th, 2010 at 15:51 | #5

    could you use this system with a return to center steering.

  6. Sariel
    December 21st, 2009 at 20:45 | #6

    Rubber bands, perhaps?

  7. December 21st, 2009 at 20:10 | #7

    the trafficators will still be blinking when the steering is re-centered (if a nxt motor is used). how can this problem be solved?

  8. legokid
    October 9th, 2009 at 21:12 | #8

    Thnx becos i have lots of power function’s and i wanted to know how you stored your power function’s so thnx again πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  9. Sariel
    October 7th, 2009 at 22:59 | #9

    Small plastic drawers.

  10. legokid
    October 7th, 2009 at 22:57 | #10

    Like in some small droas or just a big box

  11. Sariel
    October 7th, 2009 at 09:46 | #11

    Just in some boxes.

  12. legokid
    October 6th, 2009 at 23:59 | #12

    Sariel I now you have alot of power function, But where do you keep them all.

  13. Sariel
    September 23rd, 2009 at 21:52 | #13

    You can do it without the controller, of course.

  14. September 23rd, 2009 at 21:32 | #14

    Hey, do I NEED the RC controller? Or can I connect the switch and motor wires directly to the Battery box? Nice project!

  15. Sariel
    September 23rd, 2009 at 09:36 | #15

    Actually, this song is performed by Cult Of Luna, a hardcore metal band, so this was sort of a gimmmick πŸ˜‰

  16. Alex
    September 22nd, 2009 at 19:05 | #16

    nice music as well .. no more hard rock this time ? πŸ˜‰

  17. September 22nd, 2009 at 19:03 | #17

    Thanks for unveiling the secret Paul!
    It is absolutely genial, as you have used us to. πŸ˜‰


  18. Alex
    September 22nd, 2009 at 18:57 | #18

    You are the man ! Thank you for explaining this πŸ˜‰

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