Monday, October 29, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 44, 2018

Its week 44 of 2018, it's been nice to see that for the majority of the year there is always some new GBC videos to look at.  Let's see what caught my eye over the last week.

First up is is a Korean Big Ball Contraption.  I've only seen Maico use those big balls in a GBC prior to this so it's pretty cool to see another.

Ryk shows off a few of his older modules.  I like the decoration on both of them.

Huw is back and shows off his latest module which is a nice looking ball accelerator.

Have a great week everyone.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Discord Module Challenge and 1000 Subscriber Giveaway

Several users on the discord GBC community chat were looking for something to build so I proposed the following challenge.  If you haven't joined the chat yet, click HERE it's free and easy to use.  We are always talking about Lego GBC and other Lego related products.

The BrickWorld series of workshop modules are great examples of smaller modules that would fit into this challenge.  Examples HERE and HERE

Module Guidelines
- Module must sit on a 16x16 baseplate, and be stable.
   - Building outside of the 16x16 footprint is allowed only for moving mechanisms, and output ramps.
- Module must meet the GBC standards for input bin height and capacity (30 balls).  Output speed needs to be "reasonable" which is around 1 ball per second, or 30 batch every 30 seconds.
- Module must use a Power Functions M, L or XL motor and be able to run at full speed using either a battery pack, or 9V controller set to max speed.
- Module does not need to be a "new mechanism".  Existing modules are welcome if they are re-skinned / themed nicely.

Challenge Details*
- Submissions will only be accepted in the Discord "challenge-2018" channel.
- Submission Deadline is December 03, 2018
- Submission must include a video of the module operating.  This can be either on YouTube or posting a video file to the challenge-2018 channel.
- Must live in North America, Australia, New Zealand, or Europe (for prize shipping reasons)
- By entering this challenge, you (the builder) are allowing me to post videos and additional content showing your module with full credit to the builder.

Each entrant will vote on their 1st and 2nd favourite module.  1st module vote counts as 2 points, 2nd module vote counts as 1 point.  The winners will be chosen based on which module receives the most and second most points.  You are not allowed to vote for your own module.  (My Chicken Pump module is not a contender, but I am allowed to vote.)

First Place Prize
- Brand New Sealed 42084 - Hook Loader
- Upslide Digital Instructions
- Module on display @ BrickCan 2019 with full credit to the designer.  (If you provide me a digital version or several pictures so I can build it)

- Upslide Digital Instructions

All entrants will receive the new "Great Ball Pit Builder" role on the discord server.

* I reserve the right to modify or append additional rules to challenge at anytime

1000 Subscriber Giveaway

As the channel grows, I wanted to let everyone know that I will be doing a giveaway when the YouTube channel reaches 1000 subscribers. 

- Brand New Sealed 42071 - Dozer Compactor

When that time comes, I will release a new commemorative module video.  To enter the contest you will just need to leave a comment on that video.

Monday, October 22, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 43, 2018

Week 43 was a big one for GBC, with some great layout videos and new modules appearing over on YouTube.

First up is the official Beyond the Brick tour of BrickCon 2018.  This video features John, Dave, and myself talking about our modules.  Big thanks to John for co-ordinating the theme this year, we had such a great time at this event!

Shadow Elenter a master Technic builder has released a great walkthrough video of the massive GBC layout at Lego World in Denmark.  4 of my designs made it into this layout which is awesome!

Builder yukihira shows us this really interesting "slanting up" module.  I haven't seen this type of mechanism before where the tilting motion keeps the ball moving in a straight path upwards.  Very cool.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

GBC Module - Boost Pachinko

It's been a long time coming, but here is the write-up and video for my Lego Boost module.

This module is a playable Pachinko game that pays out a jackpot if the ball goes in the correct opening.  It uses the Lego Boost Hub and external Boost Motor and Boost Sensor.

The Boost Hub motors power the aiming guide, as well as the jackpot door.  The external motor powers the conveyor, and the sensor is used to detect if the jackpot has been #triggered.

I've modified my Boost hub to work with AC power by using a small 9V DC power adapter.  This allowed me to run the module for many hours at BrickCon 2018 in Seattle without having to waste batteries.

This module had to be programmed on my phone using the Boost programming software.  It's not super complicated but it controls the following major functions:

Control the aiming guide automatically moving it back and forth.  As well you can manually take control of the guide and "play" the game trying to aim a ball into the jackpot opening.

Detect if a jackpot is hit, stop the conveyor and aiming guide, open the jackpot door, play a sound and then restart everything.

This version has 2 game area's available to play, it's really easy to swap them.  I plan on building an additional one for BrickCan 2019.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Double VIP points on Lego Shop @ Home

For any of you waiting to stock up on the soon to be discontinued Power Functions motors.  This week is a good time to stock up.  Lego has their double VIP point promotion on.  I've picked up a few more M-motors, extensions wires, and switches.

I actually burned out an M-motor for the first time at BrickCon.  It was on my Tri-sep module which was clutched and not under heavy load... some people have speculated that it was the motor that I used in my "World's tallest ball pump" video which it might be since I never marked that motor (which I should have).

I've also noticed that orange GBC balls are back in stock.  They are expensive, but if you want to test against what you'll use at a convention you'll need a few.  Search for part 72824 in the replacement bricks section.

Monday, October 15, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 42, 2018

Lots of new modules this week along with some nice layouts.

Jamie Douglas and Huw (from Brickset) set up a really good looking layout at a recent event.  Their modules are very well styled for being mostly technic.

A very interesting "sun" module.  The way the main wheel is moved is very different.

Ryk Field is back with a new module, it is a triple stepper and a bucket toss.  In this video all 4 copies are running off of shared power.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 41, 2018

Week 41, the Observer after BrickCon.

J Douglas is back with his interpretation of a Lego Marble Run

An interesting layout with a really great interlocked Rings module.

And here is some footage from the GBC @ BrickCon 2018

Monday, October 8, 2018

BrickCon 2018 - Hidden Worlds

BrickCon 2018 was the largest Lego convention I've attended, and it was awesome!  It was a 4-day event, and I met a lot of great people, and saw some amazing builds.  It was quite a bit of effort to bring down all my GBC, luckily the loading zone was very convenient to get stuff in and out of the Convention Hall.

The Convention Hall
The show was so big, and I was so busy with the GBC I'm sure I didn't see 50% of the mocs that were being displayed.  I also didn't even see half of the vendors that were set-up.  Even though it was a big open space with 20+ foot ceilings it still got very warm inside during public hours.  The GBC theme had several 8x5 tables to display on.

The GBC Layout
For day 1 we ran several smaller individual layouts.  My layout consisted of the following modules:  Matt's Mine, Solaire, Tri-Sep, WM-01, Lego Boost Pachinko, Reservoir, Greylime XL, and my "Bacon" Bridge.

The highlight of the event was on Sunday afternoon when we decided to hookup all the GBC modules into a massive single loop.  Everyone had to work together to figure out how to get it done because some of the GBC layouts were setup clockwise and not counter-clockwise as per the standard.  The Beyond the Brick team shot a video of the continuous layout so be on the lookout for that in the near future.

GBC Theme Winners
Belle of the Balls - Greylime XL (M Norman)
Iron Baller - Up-and-Over (J Sherman)
Contraptionist - Great Bat Contraption (K Mitcham)
Rookie of the Gears - Waterwheel (D De Gobbi)

My personal favourite GBC Mocs
Kevin's Arduino Train, John's new Technic built bridge, Dave's Cheesy Spiral widget and the rotating turntable on Justins module.

I had a great time, and am looking forward to the next convention, hopefully BrickCan 2019 in May!

The weekly observer post will be up tomorrow!

Monday, October 1, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 40, 2018

Week 40 of the GBC observer brings a few layouts and a new module.

First up is a look at the BrisBricks 2018 GBC Layout.  This was quite a large layout, with several really tall builds and some interesting modules I haven't seen before.  One of my favourite modules the "Great Ball of China" can be seen in the layout as well.

Sawyer has created a smooth looking spiral lift using the large gear rings.  I really like this one.

Serendibite has shared his 8 module layout.  Lots of interesting lift mechanisms here, like the ball shooter that leaves the track.