Building with RCX/NXT lamps and EV3 pieces

Traffic light assembly using RCX/NXT lamps, coloured diffusers and wires, made with only EV3 Ed brick pieces
Traffic light assembly using RCX/NXT lamps, coloured diffusers and wires, and built with EV3 Education pieces only

On 27 February 2015, a small group of EDGErs went to LEGOLAND for an EV3 Hackathon. This post documents one of the projects that came out of the event.

At the EV3 Hackathon, I was given the task of building a set of traffic lights to use on our Urban Network. It should have been relatively straight forward, right? However, limited LEGO bricks and options with the EV3 Education set made the task of fitting older generation lamps and their wires quite challenging.

The problem came down to the simple fact that EV3 Education set (45544) does not come with any flat or regular “studded” LEGO bricks. Older generation sets came with such pieces, making it possible to easily attach to the square-shaped RCX/NXT lamp wire module (Converter Cable for Mindstorms NXT) .

One solution came down to simple bracing, front and back. Care was taken not to piggy back the wire-modules since the base and the top of each lamp had conductive points. Instead, lamp modules were fitted side-by-side. The following pictures show how the modules were packed together and braced on each side.

Bracing from the rear
Bracing from the rear
Rear bracing from another angle
Rear bracing from another angle

The tops of each light assembly fitted into the round recesses of the side beam, and the brace behind the assembly kept the vertical beams together.

The video below shows the traffic light working with a motion sensor.


Also in EDGE Hackathon 2015

  1. Boom-gate intersection (EV3 Hackathon 2015)
  2. Building with RCX/NXT lamps and EV3 pieces
  3. Programming Bluetooth on EV3

View the entire series

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John Burfoot
John is a Program Coordinator and lead robotics facilitator at Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre, Sydney. He also teaches coding and robotics at a local Catholic school and is a part time STEM teacher at a new Kindergarten school in North Sydney. John holds a Bachelor of Education (Primary), a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment and is a qualified electronics technician, with experience in avionics and special effects for film and television.
John Burfoot

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