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Topics - Callistemon

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Misc / Rod-Gear Interlocking System without Tan Clips
« on: August 06, 2020, 11:46:29 pm »
Rod-Gear Interlocking System without Tan Clips
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This is a rod to gear interlocking assembly that does not use any tan clips. I was experimenting with using splice clips and an orange connector to try to make an improved gear coupler that does not clamp to the rod and spaced the gears further apart, but I ended up developing this that does clamp the rod. The splice clips protrude into the orange connector, and the orange connector is clipped to white rods that hold purple connectors clipping into the metallic gold yellow rod. The tips of the white rods would not fit until the splice clips were angled to the side.

When twisting the purple connectors directly, it is extremely tough and unbreakable. However, when twisting the gold rod with orange connectors clipped to it, the assembly breaks apart under slightly more force than a tan clip can tolerate before detaching. This can be solved by using blue rods in place of the white rods and clipping more purple clips to the gold rod, but even with the white rods this assembly would require a wide chamber compared to a tan clip, like a blue unit wide instead of a green unit. Also, the crown gear must be facing towards the assembly, and if a crown gear needs to be facing away then another gear must be coupled adding unacceptable complexity and width (unless you 3D print a gear with double crowns). The interlocking assembly has much more slack than a tan clip.

This is part of the structure surrounding a compact camera holder in a travel set. For years, there were 3 vertical blue rods, as shown in the first photo, and that was one of the aspects I admired since I like rods shooting straight through connectors and the build is overdone with shorter rods and 3D connectors. However, I was recently making upgrades, and while most of them were obvious and I will never look back, this was one where both styles were good. Now there is one, long horizontal red rod shooting through 3 connectors, which is refreshing for a structure overdone with short rods. Both styles are nice, and as the king of paralysis, I don't know which configuration to choose.

Since I am looking to sell 9 K'nex Bridge Track Section Connectors and need to know how many stamps to use, I looked up the mass per piece on K'nex User Group like I always do when I want to know weights. However, their page claims each piece is 38 grams, so 9 of them would supposedly be 12 ounces. That was obviously incorrect, so I emailed them but they said it could not be verified since the part was discontinued.

I don't have a scale, and weight scales are not always very accurate at low weights. So, I decided to assemble a small K'nex balance, even though I thought I did not have enough parts. It's not complete, and will eventually be upgraded with more metallic rods and two X supports that will require 4 orange clips, but it still functions. I placed the envelope on one side and placed orange connectors on the other side, hoping their mass rating of the orange connectors was more accurate than of the one-off piece. It took 42 to 43 orange connectors to equal the envelope, which equals a much more reasonable 2.14 ounces. It's important to ensure the center of mass on one side of the balance equals the other, or else it will be as biased as completely different weights.

Balances use gravity, but are not affected by the strength of gravity. Balances measure mass, and weight scales measure weight. Devices that put gravity and centrifugal force to competition at a set speed measure the strength of gravity. If you want, you can assemble a spindle with several diagonal rods where balls can slide up & out or down & in, but I cannot because I think I have an abundance of purple clips compared to other parts when it is just about a pint.

Project Progress / Crank fan neon connector upgrade
« on: August 05, 2020, 03:49:05 am »
I recently unboxed and washed 100 used neon connectors, gears, and random pieces, packaged in paper as requested and sold at an expensive price. 311 pieces isn't enough to get very far, especially since there were 0 white connectors, but one thing I did accomplish was upgrading the red and green connectors in the crank fan to neon connectors. It gives a large boost and makes for a change, and makes it easier to find.

The shaft spinner part was assembled several years ago based on the drill model, and a propeller was added later. There are orange flexible rods for visibility and appearance. The handle axle, which has not crumbled since being upgraded to a stiff tan rod, spins a yellow gear that meshes with a blue gear to change the axis of rotation. If there is only one tan clip, the clip widens, slips, and chafes the axle. Two tan clips cannot line up oriented upright unless they are of the old style, and if they are placed opposite than the second clip pries open the first. If the two clips are offset by 90 degrees then it is usually reliable but a clip is occasionally ejected at high speed.

Any propeller or impeller inserted has it's own set of the red connectors. The red axle of the shaft spinner just pushes through the blade set's white connector and clips to the blue 3D connectors. It detaches quickly when desired. The curved panels are floppy and fall off, which creates sudden imbalances at 600 RPM that cause serious failures. I would like to build more blades with regular panels and add rod locks to this curved panel blade. Instructions will be made for this crank fan eventually, but I do not have enough parts to rebuild it and it has too many issues.

Site Feedback and Questions / Optional Part Index in Profile
« on: August 05, 2020, 02:51:58 am »
There is currently a short Personal Text entry and a Signature in the profile, but there is no entry for text only displayed on the profile page. I would like if there was an optional entry for Part Index, where users can specify some of the types of parts they have (users can choose which part types to even list) and show a status of Insufficient, Sufficient, and Excessive. That way I can easily see if I want to buy or sell parts to another member. I have a medium desire for this, it's not very important but it's not useless.

Other Discussions / K'nex Bridge Track Connectors (9) for sale or trade
« on: August 03, 2020, 03:32:39 am »
I don't ever use these 9 bridge track section connectors, because the 30 centimeter bridge tracks are just a one-off piece that can easily be made with solid orange connectors instead. They cost $1.31 each new and are rightfully discontinued. These parts are washed for visual cleanliness only (not that they were visibly grungy before), and have trace amounts of maroon and blue crayon that cannot be removed easily (haven't tried a brush). All 9 pieces are packed in a paper envelope, free shipping (message for location, lax negligent United States). One piece was discovered after the photos were taken, but it is completely identical to the other 8 in condition.

Payment: $11.79 of used K'nex (using new prices) or $9.43 cash
Angled Orange Clips ($0.15 each)
Curved Panels ($2.75 each)
Light Green Flexible Rods ($0.48 each)
Large Blue Square Panels ($2 each)
Small Green Square Panels ($1.03 each)
Rod Locks ($0.62 each)
White Connectors ($0.46 each)

Most used discontinued parts are more expensive than they were new.

General Knex Discussion / Wanted K'nex Parts
« on: July 14, 2020, 12:16:28 am »
Please note that this post is in the process of being retired and will be deleted shortly. Check 'Other Discussions' for item listings.

I have been short on most parts for a long time now. There aren't really any good options for ordering at the moment (see K'nex Ordering Options). I would like to obtain parts from individuals, including on this site. I also have surpluses of some types of parts, including broken connectors that will be recycled soon if not sold or given away.

Please email me at if you have excess parts from the wanted lists below. I will resend your box back to you with an equal value (values listed per piece) parts from the unwanted section, broken parts, cash, or a mix (at your discretion). Although I wash the parts before sending, please exercise your own cautions and quarantine the box, and then wash the parts.

Please note that my inventory for any specific type of part may be unexpectedly filled, and any inventory for unwanted parts may be depleted. Although I will try to update this to show limitations, single large transactions do not provide enough warning. All prices are New, but it's either just a ratio, or in the case of cash I am paying you new price.

Highly Wanted (discontinued)
Curved Panels - Blue or Yellow, $2.75 each
Large Square Panels (Red Square) - Blue or Orange, $4 each

3D Printed PLA Red-Equivalent 3D Connectors, $1 each
Angled Orange Clips, $0.15 each
Small Blue Gears, $0.81 each
Red Rods, $0.36 each
Light Green Flexible Rods, $0.48 each
White Connectors, $0.46 each
Rod Locks, $0.62 each
Micro K’nex 3 Wide Spacers, $0.07 each
2-Speed Gray Motor 48-240 RPM, $20.63 each

Broken Parts, see index on separate post, no price unless proposed otherwise
Blue Clips, $0.15 each
Large Chain Segments, $0.17 each
Quite-Non-K'nex Bricks (don't even conform to a green unit), unknown price
Black Tracks (make it yourself with orange connectors!), $1.31 each
Skid Plate / Eye Center Black, $0.40 each, Only 5
Brick to Micro Connector Adapter Orange, $0.03 each
Brick to Classic Connector Adapter Yellow, $0.12 each
Micro K'nex Orange Roller Coaster Track, $0.24 each
Micro K'nex Motorized Launcher Red, $13.73 (buys alot!), Only 1

Site Feedback and Questions / New Sections
« on: July 11, 2020, 08:00:39 am »
Would you consider adding a new K'nex Part Discussions section? Don't worry that it will remain empty, I have many part ideas but don't want to flood the general section with them. Also, if you're up to it, you may want to consider setting up a K'nex Marketplace as an alternative to eBay. Thanks!

General Knex Discussion / K’nex Motor Quality and Torque
« on: June 30, 2020, 03:47:08 am »
I asked K’nex many months ago if their motors are brushed or brushless, and if they have a sleeve or ball bearing. They said the information was unavailable. More recently, K’nex User Group said they did not know either. Brushless motors with ball bearings are superior, being quieter, more efficient, and longer-lasting.

DC brushless motors with ball bearings usually last about 70,000 hours before reaching 10% chance of failure. That’s 8 years of continuous operation.

For my motorized fan I want the silver or red 190 RPM motor, but I don’t know if the torque will be sufficient as the line if battery motors is just different ratios at the same power. There is also the stronger 2-speed motor. The batteries will need to be recharged (alkaline batteries are horribly wasteful), but the worm gear motor is so slow and overly forceful.

Update: I have been told that the K'nex motors are likely brushed, amd that the red 190 RPM battery motors have very minimal torque. The 66 RPM plug-in motor is far too slow for my use, and the second fastest battery motor is 48 RPM. So, what about the 2-speed motor, how much torque does it provide at 240 RPM? Can it spin four curved panels at a reasonable speed? If anyone has an extra 2-speed motor I would like to buy it.

General Knex Discussion / K’nex Ordering Options
« on: June 27, 2020, 07:41:59 am »
I don’t know where to order K’nex parts (in the USA). I never purchase anything from big box stores like Amazon, Walmart, Target, or eBay. Anything purchased through K’nex User Group is shipped across the Atlantic Ocean and back in an unnecessary 8,000 mile round-trip. In addition, they said that only airplane shipping was an option on the way back, which has an extremely high carbon footprint. I recently discovered how horrible Heavy Fuel Oil is and how some ships use it, so it’s awful high or low. They also said that it would be better if K’nex could directly supply the parts.

K’nex User Group also said that Drop Shipping was not an option, as in that they could not intercept the order before it left the United States. They said their USA market share is too small to establish a smaller USA office next year (of course not this year).

This is why K’nex Replacement Parts was started, but their Terms page says anyone under the age of 18 is strictly prohibited from using their site, because they must have figured it was rated R. I contacted them, and they responded in under two weeks saying that they will consider changing their terms. But they don’t have the 2-speed motor or some other parts I need.

Update: I have received the boxes and will recycle the broken parts anytime now. The list of broken pieces can be found below as it has been for weeks. Take it or leave it, I am charging nothing.

I have a K’nex hand crank fan that uses a modified version of the model drill attached to a propeller with four yellow curved panels. Every 8 to 11 days, the yellow axle (before axis conversion) spontaneously falls apart and the area crumbles up. The yellow rod always breaks as it passes through the hole in the yellow connector. There was also a time where the red rod (after axis conversion, yellow in the original model drill) suddenly broke right where it passes through another connector, allowing the propeller to fall off.

Failure Dates
April 25 - Yellow
June 2 - Red
June 3 - Yellow (8 days)
June 12 - Yellow (9 days)
June 23 - Yellow (11 days)

Part suggestions: An extra-rigid yellow rod would help. Carbon fiber may also be a good resource for strengthening the rods, although it is currently not used.

A few of the curved panels have deformed tips and the connection is so floppy that they easily fall off. At the time of the most recent axle failure, there were only two blades on the fan since the other two were previously ejected and were not reinstalled. In addition, during the time of having two blades, there were two incidents where one blade fell off while spinning, which instantly made the propeller so imbalanced with just one blade that the entire red axle and the blue gear exploded off at 43 MPH.

I have an entire cup full of more than 60 broken parts, weighing more than 6.5 ounces according to quantity and K’nex User Group’s weight for each part. These parts are 2 to 8 years old. I need to know how to recycle these parts, unless someone wants some of the broken connectors. I don’t know what to do with the curved panels, as it seems wasteful to have the entire panel recycled just because of the tips, especially since they are discontinued.

K’nex responded after 13 days and said that the plastic is recyclable but they do not offer recycling services. All recycling centers near me are closed until further notice. Even when they were open, they were remarkably shoddy, lousy, and incompetent. The local recycling centers didn’t accept most things. One in particular charged fees for scrap metal, and there are rumors that even some of the well marked plastics were being sent to the landfill. They probably burned their e-waste.

If K’nex can’t even recycle their own plastic, they must not be using any recycled material. And they don’t accept broken parts for recycling. It’s not landfill-free to not use recycled material or accept broken pieces for recycling. I don’t know what to do. If anyone is interested in broken connectors, I will post an incomplete (as more are always being found) inventory of the quantity and weight of each type of part.

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