6

This part is made up of three pieces - two identical ball socket ends that fit the standard tow ball size, and a thin rod connecting the two that is freely rotating. This allows the two ends to rotate independently of each other. The visible section of the rod is three studs long, and each end is two studs long, making the whole assembly seven studs long. The pieces do not appear to be designed to be disassembled by the user, hence my assumption that it is a single part.

whole assembly close up on ball socket

13

That is 4 separate parts. They can be disassembled, but they are somewhat fragile. The ends are part 6644 Technic Flex Cable End - Ball Connection with Cage:

6644

The middle section is made up of a length rigid hose with a flex cable inside.

Rigid hose:

rigid hose

Flex cable:

flex cable

The cable end includes a hinged door that allows flex system hose to be freely inserted or removed while the door is open. Once the door is in the closed position, the hose is locked in place. Here's what the part looks like with the door open:

6644 open

If you're curious why you might want such a piece, it can be used to transfer translational motion down an irregular path. Here's and example from set 8412:

8412

The part is first used to connect the flex system to the control stick inside the helicopter cockpit:

steps 10 and 11

step 12

It's then used to connect one of the cables to the main rotor to provide pitch and roll control:

step 21

example of control

4
  • 1
    So it's basically the brake/shifter cables on a bicycle then? Neat. Nov 22 at 17:03
  • @DarrelHoffman Exactly! It's very similar to those cables.
    – jncraton
    Nov 22 at 18:25
  • Can you really (non-destructively) disassemble these pieces? I always thought they were rather permanent once that door locks closed...
    – KRyan
    Nov 22 at 20:52
  • 1
    @KRyan You can. I store mine fully disassembled, and I don't recall ever breaking one. They do feel very fragile, though.
    – jncraton
    Nov 22 at 21:24

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