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My son just received the Liebherr R 9800 excavator 42100 LEGO set.

It would seem the Control+ app that is recommended for it simply won't work. It doesn't even connect to the blocks.

What are the available alternatives? And if this SE allows it, any recommendation/comparison between them would be greatly appreciated.

We're just looking to control each motor individually, no fancy achievement, scenarios, etc... We'll be able to compile from source, if needed, on MacOS or Ubuntu. We'll be able to run Android and IOS apps too (although I'd prefer to stick with official app stores), but the house has no Microsoft OSes available.

Edit: apparently control+ Android Pixel 3 simply doesn't work, but the app works on IOS. In my case, using BrickController 2 on Android solved the issue.

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  • I'm sorry but I think you should get the standard app working before considering alternatives. Most common reason it's not working is because the motors are not connected correctly to the hub (e.g. wrong port, not connected), in which case the app doesn't recognise the model... also check bluetooth is enabled Jan 6 '20 at 8:40
  • Thanks Michael. The thing is, BrickController 2 worked right away, so the set must have been correctly wired.
    – Jeffrey
    Jan 6 '20 at 12:36
  • Not necessarily, BrickController 2 will likely not have the requirement that all motors are in the correct ports, it will be able to control any motors attached. The control+ app requires ALL 7 motors connected and in correct ports, one remaining port free. Jan 6 '20 at 13:07
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    Mike, the app simply won't connect (android pixel 3). I tried my best not to make my post a rant and a simple ask for recommendations. The recommendation did work and I'm thankful for it. Please don't ask again if the cabling was correct and if batteries were present. :-)
    – Jeffrey
    Jan 6 '20 at 13:18
  • I have the hub from the 42099 set, it's up to date, but can't connect with BuWizz or BrickController 2. The apps simply don't see the hub. I suspect some firmware version blocked them.
    – mike
    Dec 22 '20 at 19:46
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There is an alternative app called BrickController 2. This open source software is available for both Android as well as iOS. This application is actively developed and its maintainer can be reached on Eurobricks forums. You can also report and discuss any issues there.

The application is universal compared with solution offered by LEGO since one device allows you to control more than just LEGO Power-UP electronics. The following receivers are supported, by the time of this answer:

  • LEGO Powered-Up HUB
  • LEGO Boost HUB
  • LEGO Technic HUB
  • LEGO Power Function infrared receiver (on devices having infrared emitter)
  • SBrick and SBrick Plus (3rd party devices)
  • BuWizz 1 and 2 (3rd party devices)
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  • BrickController 2 is primarily for lego kit control with an ios/android compatible gamepads. Jul 9 '20 at 19:08
  • Since this is stackexchange, I figure some might like to know it is open source software available here: github.com/imurvai/brickcontroller2
    – KobeJohn
    Aug 31 at 17:21
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There is a free app called buwizz. It is a great alternative that gives more freedom, and works on Android.

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  • Hi André and welcome to Bricks.SE! BuWizz is indeed an alternative, but it has already been mentioned by Alex above.
    – zovits
    Jul 6 '20 at 15:12
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    @zovits If I'm understanding correctly, André is suggesting using the BuWizz app to control the Control+ hub, which is different than what Alex suggested. I'm not sure that the BuWizz app can do that, though.
    – jncraton
    Jul 7 '20 at 2:17
  • @jncraton Right, that could very well be the case. I apologize for not reading more thoroughly.
    – zovits
    Jul 7 '20 at 7:10
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    @jncraton that's indeed what I was suggesting. I have the 42100 and can control all functions with the BuWizz app. There's an unofficial alternative model ("skid steer loader") for the 42100 which also has instructions how to setup the BuWizz app to use it for that model.
    – André
    Jul 14 '20 at 20:49
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I have started working on a C# SDK to control compatible Control+ / Powered Up hubs.

See: https://vouzamo.wordpress.com/2020/04/06/c-sdk-for-lego-bluetooth-le-hubs/ for more information.

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