ICT tutor: A M Higgins
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Preparatory work for the Lego Project:

9th September, 2005

Before the Lego session on 1st October, please ....

1. Install the LEGO software from disc.

  • Make sure there are batteries in the RCX brick.
  • When prompted during the install process (not before, as this can cause problems), insert the IR tower into the USB port.
  • Point the IR port on the RCX brick at the IR tower.
  • Follow the instructions to 'download firmware' to the RCX brick. What this does is transfer software from the computer onto the brick itself that it needs in order to run your programmes. You will know the software is transferring as the display on the brick will appear to be counting upwards. It will bleep when done - takes about five minutes. You will know if it has completed sucessfully as the display will now show some zeros and a little man on the right!!

Note: this process is best done away from bright light, TVs and mobile phones...

  • This process will have to be repeated every time you change the batteries in the brick.....so don't take them out until they run down.....
  • If you do not get a prompt in the install process to download firmware, click on Settings and then on Hardware Setup, and follow the instructions.
  • When you start the software, you will be prompted to enter a user name. The software will then suggest that you go into Missions and then do the Training Missions. Do not do this unless you have a lot of time to spare - the tutorials are excellent, but once you start the tutorial sequence, its difficult to get out without entering a whole new user name, and the tutorials are quite long.
  • All your programming will be in the Programme>Freestyle part of the software.

2. Build the robot in the manual as per the instructions on pages 4-16. Make sure you also have made the extra assembly for the light and touch sensors.

If you have a laptop, please bring it to the session along with your own laptop.

Two points to stress strongly:

  • DO NOT plug in the USB tower until you are prompted to do so, as this can cause system problems later.
  • Please, Please, Please ...do complete the install process, download the firmware to the brick, and have the robot built BEFORE you come to the session. If we have to start installing firmware on the day we will waste hours. This has caused problems in the past.

NB - XP users please note....

Sometimes when installing the software you plug in the tower on Windows XP machines, the computer freezes. If this happens....Shut down Mindstorms. Go to the following web address...(copy and paste into the URL line of your browser or just click here)


1. Click OK to download the software patch which will address the problem.

2. Install the patch then restart Lego and try again - It should work fine then.... If you have problems installing the software, contact your tutor and try and sort them out before the Lego onsite day if at all possible.

Ignore the section below (in grey) if your robot is working. I've left the links here just in case anyone is having difficulties which have not been sorted out already. These worked for the January 2005 onsite but may be out of date by now (September 2005). AMH


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INSTALLER PROBLEMS with WINDOWS XP (Sligo B ICT onsite in January 2005)

Latest available driver (January 2005) for the tower may be found at:


When you get there, scroll down the page for the USB Tower patch.

More details about this fix (January 2005)


Enter Forums > Announcements > USB Driver release


© A M Higgins September 2005

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