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Great Ball Contraptions

1235712

Comments

  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    77ncaachamps said:

    But I'm in the US. :/
    There's no way for us to know that, given that your 'location' text is very ambiguous. How about trying ebay.com instead? ;)
    77ncaachampssid3windr
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    Nice video @greatballpit. I have to admit to never having been a fan of ballpump modules. I'm not quite sure why - I think it's partly because the balls are hidden, and partly because there's no fancy way of moving them.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,488
    I built one on nico71s pumps.  It works well with a constant stream of balls but without one it tends to make a lot of noise and jolts around a bit.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,439
    77ncaachamps said:

    But I'm in the US. :/
    There's no way for us to know that, given that your 'location' text is very ambiguous. How about trying ebay.com instead? ;)
    Yeah. I'll clarify that.

    Do you have any links from eBay UK so I can see what kind of adapter I should look into?
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    I'm not a huge fan of ball pumps either, they are ball hogs.  That double one I made holds onto 14 balls!
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    edited March 2018
    77ncaachamps said:

    But I'm in the US. :/
    There's no way for us to know that, given that your 'location' text is very ambiguous. How about trying ebay.com instead? ;)
    Yeah. I'll clarify that.

    Do you have any links from eBay UK so I can see what kind of adapter I should look into?
    There's a link earlier in this thread to the one Huw and I bought. I'm on mobile atm so can't readily link to it.

    Basically you need one with a 5.5mm x 2.1mm plug, and you need it to match the voltage stated on the underside of your controller. So if it states 9v-12v, you can use that, but if it states 9v-10v, you shouldn't really use a 12v adaptor.

    Also, try to get as high a mA (milliamps) number as possible, because (I think) the more mA it has, the more things you can run at once. The ones that Huw and I got are 2000mA (2A). So for example, if one motor draws 200mA (it probably won't, but let's say that it does) then an adaptor supplying 500mA would only be able to power two motors. Whereas an adaptor supplying 2000mA would be able to power ten motors.
    77ncaachamps
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    I'm not a huge fan of ball pumps either, they are ball hogs.  That double one I made holds onto 14 balls!
    Yes, that's another reason I don't like them!
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 393
    77ncaachamps said:

    But I'm in the US. :/
    There's no way for us to know that, given that your 'location' text is very ambiguous. How about trying ebay.com instead? ;)
    Yeah. I'll clarify that.

    Do you have any links from eBay UK so I can see what kind of adapter I should look into?
    There's a link earlier in this thread to the one Huw and I bought. I'm on mobile atm so can't readily link to it.

    Basically you need one with a 5.5mm x 2.1mm plug, and you need it to match the voltage stated on the underside of your controller. So if it states 9v-12v, you can use that, but if it states 9v-10v, you shouldn't really use a 12v adaptor.

    Also, try to get as high a mA (milliamps) number as possible, because (I think) the more mA it has, the more things you can run at once. The ones that Huw and I got are 2000mA (2A). So for example, if one motor draws 200mA (it probably won't, but let's say that it does) then an adaptor supplying 500mA would only be able to power two motors. Whereas an adaptor supplying 2000mA would be able to power ten motors.
    You would be limited by the max rating of the controller though (whatever that is).
    sid3windr
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 765
    Picked up a PF motor on Gumtree last night, ordered some balls from BrickLink this afternoon, and thanks to this thread I've got plenty of inspiration for my first module. Will just have to be careful it doesn't take over my life - GBC seems pretty addictive!
    FizyxSirBengreatballpitHuwstlux
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    Welcome to the rabbit hole...
    dmcc0CCCFizyxgreatballpitSirBen
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    77ncaachamps said:

    But I'm in the US. :/
    There's no way for us to know that, given that your 'location' text is very ambiguous. How about trying ebay.com instead? ;)
    Yeah. I'll clarify that.

    Do you have any links from eBay UK so I can see what kind of adapter I should look into?
    There's a link earlier in this thread to the one Huw and I bought. I'm on mobile atm so can't readily link to it.

    Basically you need one with a 5.5mm x 2.1mm plug, and you need it to match the voltage stated on the underside of your controller. So if it states 9v-12v, you can use that, but if it states 9v-10v, you shouldn't really use a 12v adaptor.

    Also, try to get as high a mA (milliamps) number as possible, because (I think) the more mA it has, the more things you can run at once. The ones that Huw and I got are 2000mA (2A). So for example, if one motor draws 200mA (it probably won't, but let's say that it does) then an adaptor supplying 500mA would only be able to power two motors. Whereas an adaptor supplying 2000mA would be able to power ten motors.
    You would be limited by the max rating of the controller though (whatever that is).
    Unfortunately it doesn't say anywhere on the controllers what the max rating is.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,026
    So for example, if one motor draws 200mA (it probably won't, but let's say that it does) then an adaptor supplying 500mA would only be able to power two motors. Whereas an adaptor supplying 2000mA would be able to power ten motors.
    The regular PF motors can frequently draw multiple hundreds mA, depending on what you are making them do. If you stall it, it can draw 800 mA or more.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    Yeah I've just looked at this comparison page again, which is very useful for seeing what current different motors draw.
    stlux
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    I haven't seen that page before, it was an interesting read thanks.
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 393
    I can't seem to find any info on the current output ratings for PF components, old or new. If someone were to take one apart, we could try to get specs on the internal components.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,026
    What specs are you after?
    Yeah I've just looked at this comparison page again, which is very useful for seeing what current different motors draw.
    That is a good starting point although I find they can vary quite a bit. For example at stall, I found one was drawing only about 720 mA and another drew about 980 mA. The latter had always been a bit more noisy than most and failed a few days later.

    Also the current can vary quite a bit even though the motor seems to be doing constant work when operating normally.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    Ah well, best to get the largest mA transformer possible, and hope the controller is suitably fine! I think 2000mA should be fine.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    Very nice! It's interesting that the gears fit almost perfectly inside the skate ramp.

    I've used those gears for a module (the first one I built), using them as a loop-the-loop, with balls fired up and around it. I might film it at some point, although I don't think I have a free weekend now until mid-April, and the input needs redesigning a bit. It's also not the most reliable module ever...
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 393
    I found stuff on the controllers. They all can take 9V to 12V (or higher, but they may get hot) AC or DC. The circuit is just one chip.

    https://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/107178-voltage-input-and-output-on-9v-train-regulator/

    WARNING: According to them, the max current is only 300mA! Not sure if this is totally true or not. The LM317 chip it runs on is rated up to 1.5A (but I'm not sure if this requires a heatsink), so it might be some other reason for the tiny limit. Overload will not destroy it, it will just turn off.

    There are ideas for mods on that thread if anyone wants to turbocharge their setup.
    77ncaachamps
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    Ah well, I'll just plug a load of motors onto it, and if they cut out then I'll know I've added too many ;)
    77ncaachamps
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 5,947
    @greatballpit I really like that one. It is mesmerizing. Great color choices too
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,026



    Thinking of that design and the talk on motors, who really needs motors? I reckon you could get a hamster to drive that wheel and provide power to another GBC module. No more chargers needed, just a bag of peanuts.
    drdavewatfordsid3windr
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 393
    Then you'd get crumbs in the gears. And what if it poops? :P
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    Been a while, here's my latest video.  And also a picture of a bridge module I've been working on.





    What have you guys been working on?
    FowlerBricksLyichirFizyxSirBensid3windrstluxLittleLoriAddicted2Oxygen
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    Very nice! I'd be slightly concerned about the agitator joints shaking themselves apart after a day at a show, but it looks a very nice little module! Influenced by Huw's similar tilting module, perhaps?

    As for me, I've actually been working, as opposed to sat at home looking for jobs and building Lego, so there's now much less time for the 'building Lego' bit.

    I'm actually building #42069 at the moment. Once done I'm going to take it apart and use the bits for another module, although I've not had any ideas yet what that module will be!
    Fizyx
  • FizyxFizyx ColoradoMember Posts: 805
    Very nice! I'd be slightly concerned about the agitator joints shaking themselves apart after a day at a show, but it looks a very nice little module! Influenced by Huw's similar tilting module, perhaps?

    As for me, I've actually been working, as opposed to sat at home looking for jobs and building Lego, so there's now much less time for the 'building Lego' bit.

    I'm actually building #42069 at the moment. Once done I'm going to take it apart and use the bits for another module, although I've not had any ideas yet what that module will be!
    Something involving the winch and the jerrycans somehow.  I have no idea how, so don't ask me :P
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    Here's my latest.  It's a simple push arm using instructions from a fellow GBC builder.

    I've managed to hook it up to my shared power system as well which is nice to save money on motors.


    FizyxLittleLoristluxAddicted2Oxygenstevecook132
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    Nice! I might have to do my own version of that.

    I'm currently doing a spiral lift mechanism, although it's slow going as I really haven't had much spare time recently.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,488
    Yes that is cool and I've been meaning to make one like that, too.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,026
    What happens if you have too many balls in your input bucket? Does the arm still return correctly?
    Fizyx
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    CCC said:
    What happens if you have too many balls in your input bucket? Does the arm still return correctly?
    No, if there is more then around 25  balls the arm will just slide on top of them.  This is something I need to figure out how to fix in the future.

    This might just be an issue with my version of the module which changed the input bin. The original module may not have this issue, I'm not sure.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    I took my GBC modules to the Brickish AGM last weekend to show them. Strangely, I had a problem with the two original Lego 10v power adaptors not working with the 9v - 10v train controllers.

    Having now tested them at home, it seems that the original 10v adaptors don't like being plugged into the 9v - 10v controllers (the power fades to nothing after a few seconds), and yet they're fine powering the 9v - 12v controllers.

    Also, the replacement 12v adaptors I have work perfectly with all the controllers, including the 9v - 10v ones.

    All very odd.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    I've almost completely rebuilt my spiral lift mechanism from the initial design, and this is it:



    As far as I can tell, it now works flawlessly, although I've not turned it with a motor yet.

    I'm not sure what to do with the balls once they get up to the top though - how to bring them back down to input level in an interesting way. Any suggestions?

    Oh and I bought a servo motor yesterday...
    stluxAddicted2Oxygen
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    Hmm, my servo motor doesn't seem to be working properly. It doesn't work at all with the 9v train controller, and with a PF battery box it's slow and only moves one way before stopping. Anyone got any ideas?
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,488
    Mine doesn't work with a 9v controller either. You need to reverse the polarity to get it to move the other way. It only moves 90 degrees in both directions.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,488
    Nice spiral lift, btw. They are tricky to get working well. I had a go a while ago but failed.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    ^^ well that's disappointing. I'm guessing you somehow used yours to flip a polarity switch?

    It's also a bit rubbish that it can't be used with a train controller. I might not bother trying to use it - seems a lot of hassle.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    Huw said:
    Nice spiral lift, btw. They are tricky to get working well. I had a go a while ago but failed.
    Thanks. It was tricky working out what length hoses to get, and then working out what incline they needed to be put at to enable the inner spiral to turn freely. Thankfully I managed it, although it did require a full rebuild of everything except the inner spiral itself.
  • TheOriginalSimonBTheOriginalSimonB Felixstowe Member Posts: 1,349
    Huw said:
    You need to reverse the polarity to get it to move the other way. 
    Of the neutron flow?
    PeteM
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,488
    They are a lot of hassle but allow for some interesting modules to be built.

    Power consumption is minimal and it's feasible to run it off a battery box when displaying, in fact I did so at Fordingbridge the other week.
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    Any videos of your latest layouts guys?  It's been so slow of a week for GBC on YouTube, I have nothing really to report on my blog for the last week.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,488
    I've been inspired by your pusher and have built something similar. I'll post a video tomorrow.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    I've really not had much time recently to do anything other than what is in the above picture. I'll not post a video until it's finished though.

    I'm off to BrickLive in Basel in a couple of days, so I won't have chance to do any more until May.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,488
    Cool--you there for the whole 10 days?
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    Yep! I'm hoping to get some sight-seeing done while I'm there though.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,488
    I think that would drive me mad!

    Imagine minding a GBC layout for 10 days!!
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    I wouldn't have done it if I had a moving display. Simple as that!
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