Friday, November 30, 2018

Locking 30 Ball Bin

Now that I've joined a Lego club, I need a way to transport my GBC balls to meetings when I'm displaying a new module.  Previously I would just put them in a ziplock bag or a small plastic container.  That was not purist enough so I've now created a nice small locking 30 ball bin which conveniently holds 30 balls, the same size as the batch rule of the GBC standard.

This box is built using brick and beam techniques so it is very strong and shouldn't open on it's own.  It is locked using a 3L Friction Pin with Bush (In red).  The hinged lid has one extended beam to allow for easier opening.

I've also decorated a second copy of this box for Christmas.  If I saw one of these under the Christmas tree I'd be very happy!

I've created instructions for this box and they can be found HERE as well as on the INSTRUCTIONS page.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

New Lego GBC Module - The Throne (Flushing Toilet GBC)

I present to you "The Throne".  The throne is a flushing toilet GBC which has some great motion and sound as the balls circle the toilet bowl.

The lift mechanism is a modified BrickWorld 2018 Ball Pump that has had the gearing replaced and relocated.  As well it is now using a PF XL motor to lift the taller stack of balls.

The flushing mechanism is a simple see-saw balance mechanism, that tips (flushes) when it receives 4-5 balls.  The balls then travel down a ramp to a chute that has some inverted curved slope pieces at the bottom which help redirect the balls horizontally out into the bowl.

This module also has a "Great Ball Pit" style recirculation function that is spring loaded to ensure a solid switch.  This allows the module to run in either stand alone or collaborative modes.

I've added a couple of easter eggs to the module like the plumber in the control room, as well as a spider crawling up the tank.

If you were curious, the toilet bowl is made from the older sports arena corners in white.  They are around 15 years old and they only came in one set, a Snowboarding set to be exact.  Part #: 43086

Monday, November 26, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 48, 2018

Welcome to week 48,

A lot of great modules showed up this week so let's get into it.

BVB dropped this monster of a module on us, a very large Roulette machine.  The scale is great, and the double shooter is well done.

Mindstork brings us this literallty twisted module which is really well themed and has a "new to me" lift mechanism.  I've never seen a screw with the slides moving to pick up the balls.

serendibite has finished his entry for the Great Ball Pit 2018 Challenge.  It's a very well decorated jungle module using a very unconventional lift mechanism.  It's a pair of two odd shaped, and odd timed tracks.  Very cool!

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

GBC Regional Culture

Today I thought it would be fun to talk about how I've noticed GBC differs based on the region it's built and shown in.

North America (West Coast)

Lots of shared power.  In fact so much so that workshop talks have been given to convention goers on this topic alone!

In the following video Kevin's shared power starts at 4:36.  Josh had 6 modules using 2 motors earlier in the event as well.  Both John Sherman, and myself do have shared power modules, they just weren't on the table at the time of this video.

North America (Mid West and North East)

Lots of brick built modules, and these layouts have some of the oldest GBC modules in existence since this is where Lego GBC started.  Home to the BrickWorld Workshop modules.  The world record for largest GBC layout frequently bounces back and forth between here and Northern Europe.

Northern Europe

Home to the Lego Group, and a lot of Technic built modules come out of this part of the world.  Maico has been doing GBC for a while and he has a lot of vintage technic built modules.

United Kingdom

Lots of very clean looking modules.  I've seen a lot of new lift mechanisms appear from this part of the world.


Lots of robotic and factory machine style modules.  Akiyuki is a master at making complex mechanisms look easy to build and run.

Australia / New Zealand

Lots of well decorated, brick built themed modules inhabit this part of the world.  Some of my favourite themed modules have been from this part of the world.

Monday, November 19, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 47, 2018

Welcome to week 47 of the GBC Observer.  Here are some of the Lego Great Ball Contraption videos that I enjoyed over the last week.

Beyond the Brick has a BIG BALL MACHINE video here.  What do you think of this bigger scale GBC?

Now I'm not sure where this is, or why they don't have a return loop.  But this was interesting to me because I saw someone has cloned my BB-8 ball pump, Upslide, Whirligig, and Jade Dragon module. They've also built a bunch of akiyuki's and Brickworld modules.  There is some other neat modules in here that I haven't seen before as well.

And lastly, here is a very nice moving wave module from a builder named Mind Stork.

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, November 12, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 46, 2018

A little bit of a slow week for GBC on YouTube.  I know a few builders are working on modules for the 2018 GBP Challenge, but they won't be done for a while.

First up is a collaborative layout from the UK.

Next we have a Korean builder with a Technic built inverted tread lift.

And finally here is Ryk's final version of his 16x16 for the GBP challenge.  It's a very slick looking module, and he has been kind enough to provide instructions as well!

Have a great week everyone.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Lego GBC Module - Chicken Pump

My entry into the 2018 GBP Challenge is this ball pump module themed up in Minecraft.  It uses the lift mechanism from the BrickWorld 2018 ball pump.  The chicken is built similar to the one in 21140 The Chicken Coop.


I've extended the input bin to be 15x8, this will allow for a little more ball collection, as well stretching it out to the left will allow for this to work a bit better as a left turn module.  There is a small ramp that can be used for recirculating if you rotate the chicken counter clockwise 90 degrees.


Overall this was a small fun build, and I'm happy to add it to my collection of Minecraft themed modules.  Here is a video of it in action.

GBC Observer 👁 Week 45, 2018

Good morning everyone,

Let's take a look at some GBC modules that have turned up over the last week, starting with 2 works in progress of modules that will be entered into the 2018 GBP Challenge.

Serendibite has come up with a dual tracked lift for his module.

And Ryk has also been able to create a really neat looking stepper into the small 16x16 space for the challenge.

And we will finish off this observer with an amazing one person layout from Huw.  He has 4 new modules in here, and my favourites are the Zamor sphere module and the twin Archimedes screw modules.