Monday, April 30, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 18, 2018

Here we go again, these GBC videos on YouTube are worthy of a share!

I always thought DustyBricks "GBC 4 All" series were great modules.  Here someone has made 2 of them in a small layout.

A GBC Layout @ Philly Brick Fest 2018 with an Akiyuki train on deck that seems to be operating quite well!

And here we have what is a work in  progress of a nice themed "Great Wall of China" module.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

BrickCan 2018 GBC Layout Videos

Here is a few videos of the GBC layout from BrickCan 2018.  You will notice that there is a few more modules running on Day 1, including the Akiyuki Train.  But after 8 hours of operation, a few modules were removed or replaced for Day 3.

The Day 3 video is full of Great Ball Pit module fails, including: Tilt-Shift overloading itself, Pumping Station Jamming, BB-8 Loader Exploding, and BB-8 needing some manual stimulation.


John Shermans Day 1 Video

My Day 3 Video

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

BrickCan 2018 GBC Layout Report 🇨🇦🏀⚽️🇨🇦

BrickCan 2018 has come and gone.  The GBC layout at the show was the biggest it's ever been at BrickCan, and possibly the largest on the west coast of North America.  The final total of modules still in service for the Sunday public hours was 43.


7 builders collaborated on the layout over the weekend:

  • Dave De Gobbi
  • Jason von Innerebner
  • John Sherman
  • Kevin Mitcham
  • Matt Norman (GreatBallPit)
  • Spencer Dickson
  • Steven Walker
Best GBC Module Award went to Hippos GBC by Spencer Dickson 

The layout was run in 2 hour sessions with a 30 minute break during the public hours.  We had a total of 7 sessions bringing the total runtime to a little over 14 hours including testing and video work.

And now for a report on how my modules I ran at the show:

  • GreyLime - Balls would sometimes jam up the top of the conveyor.
  • Tri-Sep - No issues
  • Inclination Pumping Station - Tipping Ramps were a bit slow, ball pump would jam up frequently.
  • D.R.O.P. - Was running too slow, I modified it after day 2 to run at 3x speed for day 3.
  • BB-8 Loader - Exploded multiple times due to the teeth pieces separating from the axles and getting caught on brick.  This module needed to be stopped every 30 min to reseat the teeth to prevent the explosions.
  • GBB-8C - The gravity fed hopper would back up frequently and needed to be cleared manually.
  • Trench Run - No issues
  • Morgan's Mine - No Issues
  • Solaire - Day 2 and Day 3 a few moments of balls binding when being pushed out of the module, I think this is due to the yellow wheel becoming loosened (didn't appear to be an issue after making sure it was put together properly)
  • Reservoir - No Issues beyond outputting too fast
  • Upslide - Multiple failures: Input bin walls popped off, ball pusher started to bind strange, I had to repair a major issue with the rotational pushers drive  gear slipping.
  • Tilt-Shift - Input bin agitator failed multiple times on day 3, and was also popping balls out of the hopper non-stop.  This would result in extra balls falling into the lift mechanism overloading it so that no balls could rise to the next level.
  • Ball Bridge - No issues after doing repairs to the hopper on day 1.
  • Roadwork Redux - Running in stand-alone mode, multiple jams at the pump.

Modules brought but not run:

  • Mine Loader Remix
  • Container Yard Remix
  • Bucket Boost
  • GBCRamps Backup

I now have a lot of rebuilding and tweaking to do, as well as breaking down a few modules, that I no longer feel are reliable enough for public display.

Monday, April 23, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 17, 2018

Hey everyone!

BrickCan 2018 has come and gone, and I had a great time there working with the other GBC bulders!  Lots of video will be coming soon, but for now here are the YouTube videos that caught my eye over the last week.

A small layout from a builder who has done some very interesting GBC lift mechanisms in the past.  This layout has a smaller take on Akiyuki's ball factory which is cool and the loader is a colour sorter with a bit of recirculation, which is really neat.  I also like the
"G-B-C" color matched stepper in the back of the layout.

Sawyer is back with a new module "Three Forks" which has an interesting balancing act going on.

And lastly here is a look at the Sydney Brick Show 2018 GBC layout.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Upslide - A Lego GBC Module

Today I present my latest Lego GBC module, Upside.

This module uses a rotational pusher that is free to move along the central axle which allows it to climb the slide and then reset to the lower position once reaching the top.  It is powered by a Power Functions M motor and the input bin and ball indexer are built using several Akiyuki building techniques.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Hey everyone,

I'm pleased to announce that I have completed the first set of instructions that are free for readers of the Great Ball Pit!

It's the Solaire 🌞 module and it's in PDF format.  Please check out the new instructions page for more information.  HERE

Making instructions is quite a time consuming process, so while I plan on releasing more, I don't have any sort of schedule or timeframe when the next ones will arrive.   Please leave a comment, or message me to let me know which modules you would like to see instructions for next.

Monday, April 16, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 16, 2018

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Here's the latest batch of new GBC videos, to hit YouTube over the last week. 🏀⚽️👍

BVB has created a mechanical Ball counter.  It's a clean looking module and I really like the brick built numbers.

John Sherman has a new module called "Up-N-Over".  It will be nice to see the module up close at BrickCan to see how the mechanically driven switch is set up.

And last we have a GBC Layout from Belgium earlier this year.   A lot of "new to me" modules in this layout which is awesome! 👍

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Update and Gearing up for BrickCan 2018!

Hey everyone,

Module Update ⚙️
I've been busy over the last week finishing and filming the DROP module as well as an upcoming SECRET module that I will will release a video for on April 20th, after it's been revealed at BrickCan.  This module uses a never before seen lift mechanism that I think is quite clever.

Packing for BrickCan 📦
I've underestimated how much storage bins and boxes I would need for BrickCan.  Packing the modules into containers and boxes has been an interesting challenge.  Some modules are being packed without being taken apart, and others are partially disassembled with their pieces in Ziploc freezer bags.  It's going to be a two trips to the car type fiasco to get all of this loaded into the River Rock Casino.  I plan on using a wheeled hand truck and bungee cords to secure everything while unloading.

Community Stuff 😍
DISCORD: Join us on Discord!  Several people have showed up over the last month and we enjoy talking about all things GBC, Lego Technic, and miscellaneous Lego stuff.
Click HERE to join the chat (No signup is required!)

Live Stream 🍿
Sometime in the first half of May 2018 I will be doing the first official Great Ball Pit Stream here on YouTube.  I did a test stream a few weeks ago that went well enough, and I will be improving the viewing experience for this May event.  I plan on building a simple module from instructions over a few hours, and skinning / designing it doesn't look so basic.  I hope you all can join me for this, as I look forward to building GBC with you all.

Depending on the availability of Wi-Fi I might try and LiveStream some of the action at the GBC layout at BrickCan as well!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

D.R.O.P. - A Lego GBC Module

Today I've shared the video for my Push Arm module called D.R.O.P.  This dark red olive pusher is based off the Push Arm GBC module originally designed by Kevin Mitcham (Instructions Here).  I've made a few changes such as how the arm is connected to the 40 tooth drive gear, and also I've streamlined the pusher head by smoothing out both the inside and outside of each end.  The input bin isn't a standard shape, but I've created a squared off section that can be snapped on top (you'll see it in the video).

An interesting find after it was built was that I could fit a battery box inside the module underneath the ramp concealing the power source.

I've also been able to rig it up to my shared power system, which is installed on my updated Inclination Pumping Station and Roadwork Redux modules.  I've had 6 modules running off 1 XL Motor so far, and plan to try running even more in the future.

Below you'll find a few images, and the video.  I've also shortened the GPB intro, let me know what you think.


Monday, April 9, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 15, 2018

Hey everyone here is my catch of interesting GBC modules from the last week.

A nice layout from down under with several classic Akiyuki modules as well as FrostBricks Donkey Kong Machine (which appeared to be in bypass mode ☹️) and Rohan's nice ring module.

Sawyer is back with another Mini-loop.  This one is really well done, great colours and a simple yet interesting widget for the balls to pass through.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

GBC Observer 👁️ Week 14, 2018

Hey everyone, here are my GBC picks from YouTube over the last week.

Builder John Sherman brings us a few clips of the layout from Bricks Cascade 2018.  Keep an eye out for the copy of Solaire that Josh built.

Beyond the Brick brings us the layout from Brickworld Indy 2018, this time hosted by Brian Bonahoom.  Brian is the creator of several of the wonderfully reliable Brickworld Workshop modules.  This video is extra interesting because there is several modules that fail along the tour.

A "new to me" builder named Olli has created a golf module that is amazingly fun to watch!  I've always wanted to do a series of mini golf modules... this really gets me thinking.