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Basically, there are 2 different major versions of the LEGO IR Receiver, the unmarked V1 and the labeled V2. I've also read somewhere there was also a small hardware upgrade to the V1 Receiver at some point, also unmarked, dubbed V1.1.

V1 and V2

The V2 IR Receiver came in the 2012 set 9398-1: 4x4 Crawler, and is apparently a much better piece of hardware than the V1 series. However it has yet to appear in any other set, or by itself, at least under that label. Some people have speculated the hardware was again silently upgraded, and the hardware on new ones is the newer hardware, without the V2 label. On the other hand, I know someone contacted LEGO customer service about it, but got an unconvincing response that the one they sell by itself is not the same as the V2 (unconvincing, because they didn't seem to know anything about it at first, and were possibly using the same internet resources we have available).

So my question is:

Is the V2 hardware widely available in new products? If not, why is it so rare?

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No, the V2 receiver isn't available in any new products. It's only available in the sets you mentioned.

The most likely reason it's not available in new products is that the production cost would be higher and hence also the set price which would make the sets less attractive for most lego customers.

Also there is an issue with the V2 receivers when having more than one M-motor on one output port while this is not problematic for the V1 receivers. It has to do with the high capacitance of the M-motors (for noise reduction) that tricks the V2 receivers into believing the motors draw too much current.

On the box of the 42030 set, V2 receivers are depicted, while the set itself only contains V1 receivers. I contacted lego support about this, they said that actual V2 receivers would likely cause the motors to possibly damage the set and that late in the design process they switched back to V1 receivers without updating the box art.

Performance wise, a good alternative for the V2 receiver is an sbrick.

  • Interesting. I didn't know there was an issue with the V2 and M motors. That's probably why. Supposedly they planned to update the motors again but I guess they either didn't or didn't start shipping V2 again. – Alexander O'Mara Jul 1 '17 at 23:09
  • According to the Wedo 2.0 faq it is the intention that that system will replace power functions. So I think it unlikely we'll see any new receivers (V2 or other) or M-motors. – Michael Verschaeve Jul 2 '17 at 19:14
  • Thanks a bunch! I also have a problem in that the ir receiver for my crawler stopped working and looking to buy a replacement but no luck. The link to sbrick made my day! – Bryan Apostol Oct 22 '17 at 6:14

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