Demo Model: SHIELD Helicarrier (76042)
The SHIELD Helicarrier (set 76042) is the largest model we've brought to life using the PFx Brick. The advantage of integrating the PFx Brick into a model like this is that there is plenty of space to house all the components. The challenge is in running all the LED wires throughout the model!
This model is set up to be controlled using the LEGO® Power Functions Speed Remote, and includes the use of startup actions. These actions are run immediately every time the PFx Brick is powered on. In this case, we're using them to start two effects that are dependent on the speed of the motor driving the rotors. In this way, these effects are always active, but don't produce any audio or visual results until the motor is actually moving.
The first effect is the Speed Modulated light effect, where the brightness is tied to the motor speed. This effect controls 4 of the light channels, each with 2 LEDs for each rotor. The second effect is the continuous playback of an engine noise sound, where the volume is modulated by the motor speed. As the motor speed is increased, the brightness of the lights and the volume of the engine noise will increase. Similarly, when the motor speed is decreased, they will also decrease. And when the motor is stopped, they will no longer be visible or audible.
A Power Functions XL Motor is controlled using the right wheel on Channel 1 to power the rotor drive system. The configuration for this motor has been customized to have a high minimum speed, so that it always has enough power to overcome the considerable amount of friction in the system.
Channel 1 is also used to control the lighting of the model. The right button of the remote toggles an Engine Glow effect on 2 of the light channels, each connected to 2 LEDs in each of the rear engines. Simultaneously pressing both buttons toggles the On effect for the remaining 2 light channels, connected to LEDs in the cockpit, landing bay and control centre. The left button is also used to toggle a solid On effect for the rotor lights, in case you want to turn them on even if the rotors aren't rotating.
Channel 2 controls playback for 6 different audio samples, which are triggered using the remote buttons or by rotating the wheels. Two separate effects can be triggered by each wheel by rotating them one notch clockwise or counter-clockwise.
Despite having a relatively simple control system, the configuration for this model uses some of the more advanced features of the PFx Brick to really make the Helicarrier come alive.