Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.comAmazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Great Ball Contraptions

16791112

Comments

  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,057
    Huw said:
    I've inspected my balls. I can't see anything untoward on them but I'll check again after running it at a show in a couple of weeks .

    I think gunk is unavoidable. Jamie and I have been using unpainted balls but there's still crud after a weekend's running. It's probably dust and filth that they are picking up and distributing.
    Yeah, I've heard about bits from the tyres as well, but as Huw says, I suspect it's just dust picked up over the course of normal running, as well as paint from the painted balls.

    We were mildly surprised to see gunk on the modules after a day or so, but there were very few painted balls and no tyres on our layout, so it must have been dust.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,890
    I remember it well :)
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 106
    Huw said:
    I've inspected my balls. I can't see anything untoward on them but I'll check again after running it at a show in a couple of weeks .

    I think gunk is unavoidable. Jamie and I have been using unpainted balls but there's still crud after a weekend's running. It's probably dust and filth that they are picking up and distributing.
    Yeah, I've heard about bits from the tyres as well, but as Huw says, I suspect it's just dust picked up over the course of normal running, as well as paint from the painted balls.

    We were mildly surprised to see gunk on the modules after a day or so, but there were very few painted balls and no tyres on our layout, so it must have been dust.
    I think it could be fun to make a Lazy River style GBC with real water that the balls could float down on. That'd do a great job of cleaning everyone's balls.
    gmonkey76
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 527
    Huw said:
    I've inspected my balls. I can't see anything untoward on them but I'll check again after running it at a show in a couple of weeks .

    I think gunk is unavoidable. Jamie and I have been using unpainted balls but there's still crud after a weekend's running. It's probably dust and filth that they are picking up and distributing.
    Perhaps someone should invent a ball washing module (with water), as long as no friction based ones are down the line. People would still have to keep their modules clean though.
    Brickfan50
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,697
    @pxchris The Toy Photographers group I'm a part of has ties with the organizers of Bricks Cascade, and while I can't compare it to Brickcon, I've heard it's a blast. If you want more info, I'd be happy to point you in the right direction.
  • pxchrispxchris Oregon, USAMember Posts: 1,375
    Thanks @FowlerBricks! I actually have registered my son and myself for the convention and now we just have to figure out what we're going to display and whatnot. We have quite a bit of time to plan though as it's not until the end of February.
    FowlerBricks
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,697
    @pxchris Oh awesome! I'd love to see whatever you display, so please post pics after the event. :D
    pxchris
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 4,336
    ... That'd do a great job of cleaning everyone's balls.
    My inner 10 year old has gotta stop reading this thread ;-)
    Switchfoot55BumblepantsPeteMgmonkey76sid3windrHugeYellowBrick
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 2,239
    @pxchris, I may have to bring my son down to check things out. Make a weekend of it!
    pxchris
  • pxchrispxchris Oregon, USAMember Posts: 1,375
    @pxchris, I may have to bring my son down to check things out. Make a weekend of it!
    That would be awesome!

    Here's the info on it - https://www.brickscascade.com
    Convention is 2/28-3/3, public expo is 3/2-3/3
    FowlerBricks
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 85
    If anyone is interested, I'm hosting a small GBC building challenge on my website/discord server.  Theres a prize for the winning module.  Check out the details at my webpage http://www.greatballpit.com
    SirBen
  • PeteMPeteM Gallifrey (near Bristol)Member Posts: 430
    ... That'd do a great job of cleaning everyone's balls.
    My inner 10 year old has gotta stop reading this thread ;-)
    The constantly realised potential for puerile double entendres is half the fun of the thread :)
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 2,458
    My thought was, "I'll clean my own balls, thank you very much!" But I didn't post it. I took the high road... just for a change of scenery. ;)
    Astrobrickssid3windr
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,890
    edited November 2018
    My layout from the Fordingbridge event today.

     
    LittleLoriDjblythe05stluxGothamConstructionCoSirBen
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,057
    Nice one! I count three new modules there, including a one utilising zammo spheres.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,890
    Four new ones: the black/yellow one near the start -- a handy one to fill small gaps, the Archimedes screw, the zamor sphere recirculator and the Racers track corner unit. I've always fancied doing one of those so bought a couple of the sets from eBay for a pittance. Those I've seen made by others always seem over engineered so I stripped it right back to my usual skeletal Technic style :-)
    LittleLori
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,057
    Oh yes I didn't notice the black/yellow one!

    Not sure when I'll do another one, I'm seriously running out of space in my Lego room. I have been for a while, but I really really am now!
  • LuLegoLuLego UKMember Posts: 1,008
    It was brilliant to see at Fordingbridge yesterday. So much hard work and so much thought went into this. Thanks for displaying @Huw

    I had never seen a GBC before and didn’t even know what one was until recently. There’s a whole new dimension to Lego I had never known!

    Since I got back into Lego, in my own building, I’ve only really thought about aesthetics. To me, a ‘successful’ model was one that looked like what it was meant to be...

    But these GBC were truly hypnotic. I’ve been certainly prompted to think about how Lego is so versatile. This wasn’t a toy - it was a machine.

    It wouldn’t have been out of place in a factory.

    Can I ask where would a newbie start? What’s the simplest movement to recreate?


    And thanks for the printed Brickset piece, Huw!
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,890
    Good to see you yesterday, @LuLego, and thanks for your comments. I'm glad you like my efforts.

    As for a good machine to start with, I suspect we'll all answer differently, but if you want to go the primarily studless route then start where I did, with this module by Maico Arts: http://greatballcontraption.nl/bi/Skaerbaek2017-v0.11-without-light.pdf, which is 100% reliable and a good one to have in the circuit to act as a ball reservoir and rate limiter. I had three of them yesterday: 2 slightly longer ones, which make good corner units.

    sid3windr
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,057
    LuLego said:
    Can I ask where would a newbie start? What’s the simplest movement to recreate?
    Start with Page 4 of this thread. The top post is someone asking exactly this :)
  • LuLegoLuLego UKMember Posts: 1,008
    Thanks - exactly what I was after (as they’ve got the parts list too).
  • SirBenSirBen In the Hall of the Mountain KingMember Posts: 585
    Huw said:
    ... this module by Maico Arts: http://greatballcontraption.nl/bi/Skaerbaek2017-v0.11-without-light.pdf, which is 100% reliable and a good one to have in the circuit

    Could you show a picture or two how you’ve powered these modules?

    I built one, but my attempted to power it did not have it running smoothly. I ended up being too jerky so we had to pull it from the circuit. I think I was using an M-motor to power a screw gear, which in turn powered a gear on the drive axle.  
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 4,336
    SirBen said:

    ... I ended up being too jerky...  
    Now, now. Don’t be so hard on yourself :)
    560Heliport
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,652
    #31031 next with the pooping parrot?
    sid3windr
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 85
    I was thinking about a pooping porg?  
    CCCBumblepantsFowlerBricks
  • SirBenSirBen In the Hall of the Mountain KingMember Posts: 585
    SirBen said:

    ... I ended up being too jerky...  
    Now, now. Don’t be so hard on yourself :)
    I really wasn't happy when I was told that I couldn't keep it in the circuit by the LUG member who was coordinating the GBC that show.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,890
    It's very cool, I watched it earlier ;)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,652
    edited December 2018
    It is a low throughput (and different ball size/weight), but I'd love to see someone integrate something like this into a GBC.



    Djblythe05Switchfoot55Astrobrickssid3windrFowlerBricks
  • simba42simba42 MILTON KEYNES, UKMember Posts: 46
    Where do you buy balls from on mass?
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,890
    If you can stomach the price, bricks and pieces.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,652
    Their prices are still better than BL aren't they? There is a Belgian seller with huge stocks that does plain white ones for about 50p each now.
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 778
    @Huw As brickset is a recognised LUG, at least for the purposes of a certain event I shall not mention outside the members area;) can items be bought via LUGBULK?  I'm sure this would probably be a logistical nightmare to actually organise, but just wondered if it was allowed.  Might be a method for members to get large quantities of GBC balls
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,652
    ^ I aksed this a while ago (more than five years now!)

    See here:

    In particular Huw's comment that: "I've been reminded that 'Brickset LUG' would not be eligible for lugbulk anyway because we don't put on shows, which is a requirement."

    And also that: "It's bad enough organising it for Brickish, it would be a nightmare for a purely virtual LUG."
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 2,064
    ^ Time for a Brickset Ball Show!
    simba42sid3windr
  • simba42simba42 MILTON KEYNES, UKMember Posts: 46
    SMC said:
    ^ Time for a Brickset Ball Show!
    Sounds like fun :)
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,890
    Actually I believe that under the new rules Brickset is eligible to participate in lugbulk but as I've been quoted as saying above it would be logistically impractical. 

    I suggest you join a physical LUG should you wish to take advantage of it.

    I'm alright Jack, I ordered a few hundred in last year's lugbulk. Still came to almost £100 for them...
    sid3windrdrdavewatforddmcc0
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,635
    Huw said:
    I'm alright Jack, I ordered a few hundred in last year's lugbulk. Still came to almost £100 for them...
    Right - my recollection is that the balls weren't much cheaper on LUGBULK than they are on Bricklink....
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,057
    Huw said:
    I'm alright Jack, I ordered a few hundred in last year's lugbulk. Still came to almost £100 for them...
    Right - my recollection is that the balls weren't much cheaper on LUGBULK than they are on Bricklink....
    If you want quantity, they definitely are.
    dmcc0
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,004
    Sorry if this has been asked already, but I have a machine I use an XL PF motor to run.  I have rigged the battery box to run from a power outlet.  I have had a couple of motors go bad and it seems like it is from running them too long (probably up to 8 hrs of running at a time straight, shut down for a few minutes and then restart for about 2 days).  I know that GBCs can run for a long time and was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience, or suggestion on how to prevent these motors from failing.  Thanks in advance.
  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman UKMember Posts: 1,525
    Huw said:

    I'm alright Jack, I ordered a few hundred in last year's lugbulk. Still came to almost £100 for them...
    I only ordered 100, should have got more really.

    Not got the room to build anything yet, so not tried anything with them, probably only enough for 2 to 4 machines at a time though really.

    Out of interest, has anyone used a boost/EV3 to control a GBC, eg only running the machine when the balls inbox has a certain amount of balls in?
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 85

    Out of interest, has anyone used a boost/EV3 to control a GBC, eg only running the machine when the balls inbox has a certain amount of balls in?
    I considered trying something with my boost kit.  I was planning on using the BOOST hubs tilt sensor to see when an input bin was full (tipped) at which point I would run a mechanism to empty the inbox.  I never got around to it, I built my Boost Pachinko instead.
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 527
    Sorry if this has been asked already, but I have a machine I use an XL PF motor to run.  I have rigged the battery box to run from a power outlet.  I have had a couple of motors go bad and it seems like it is from running them too long (probably up to 8 hrs of running at a time straight, shut down for a few minutes and then restart for about 2 days).  I know that GBCs can run for a long time and was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience, or suggestion on how to prevent these motors from failing.  Thanks in advance.
    Are they overheating? Letting them cool off every once in a while might help (make your modules bypassable). Beyond that you could run them at a slightly lower voltage to reduce their speed (if possible for your modules). Also, before the show, open them up and add some drops of silicone oil to the gearing. They won't last forever though, they are just toy motors and are not rated for continuous operation.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,890
    I've not had any regular motors go bad yet, but I have had a servo motor fail on me.

    The amount of load it's under is probably more likely to be the contributing factor rather than time operating.

    Is your 'rigging' providing a clean 9v DC?
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,004
    @Huw We were running it under pretty high load, but have since backed off.  Why is the clean DC an issue?  I have no idea if it is clean as I do not own an oscilloscope.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,890
    It was just a thought -- batteries obviously provide a clean DC and the 9v train controller has an output that's acceptable given nobody has issues with using it, but a homebrew solution might not.

  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 527
    No, motors actually dirty up DC due to the inductance and commutator switching. Circuits with other (solid state) components besides the motors on them often require filter capacitors across the motor supply (there should be some inside motor assemblies like with Lego though).
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,890
    @greatballpit, you mentioned somewhere that you wired up a Boost hub so it could be mains powered. Do you have any pics of how you did so?

    I thinking of cutting a 9v cable, soldering it either on the contacts that the battery box touch or to the battery box itself, then taking the wire out through a hole that I'll drill, but I'm not sure the best place for that to go.

    The 9v connector can then, of course, be connected to a train controller.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy Brickset.com

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.