Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Lego Star Wars Boost Commander now available!

Beep Boop, the new Lego Star Wars Boost Commander set (75253) is now available from Lego shop @ home.  It contains 1177 pieces and similar to the original Boost Creative Box (17101) it appears to contain 1 Boost HUB, 1 External motor, and 1 Color/Distance sensor.

Including the 2 motors in the HUB, that gives you a total of 3 motors to use in your projects.

The Lego Boost system requires the use of a mobile smart device (phone/tablet) to both code, and run your applications.  This is the biggest downside of the Boost system.  When I was running my Boost Pachinko module at BrickCon 2018 I had to leave my mobile phone running the boost app within range of the module at all times otherwise the module would stop functioning.

Only a few builders have created Lego Boost modules, here are a few recent videos I've found.

Brian is using both a Boost HUB and a Powered Up HUB to prototype a train system.

HRU Bricks has a hybrid Boost Lego Ball Machine which also features pneumatics.

A German builder has also built an interesting Boost powered Lego Ball Machine.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

GBC Observer πŸ‘ Week 27, 2019

🌞Summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere, and with it comes week 27 of the GBC Observer 2019.  Only two videos this week, let's go!

dunes has updated his "Tom Atkinson Perpetual Prototype Shooter" module.  This module is clean in appearance, and appears to work really well.

Here is the Beyond the Brick loop video from BrickWorld Chicago 2019.  It's a real whopper with over 390 modules in the loop at one point.  Lots of new modules appeared this year so grab some popcorn for the 90+ minute runtime.

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

GBC Observer πŸ‘ Week 26, 2019

Welcome to week 26 of the GBC Observer!  BrickWorld Chicago 2019 took place over the last weekend, and I was told that over 390 modules were on the table at one point.  While video coverage has been spotty and not too many photo's have come out yet, I did spy several new modules on the table and look forward to sharing them with you next week when more media is released.

Until then, lets' take a look at what appeared over the last week on YouTube that caught my eye.

Sawyer has created a new module with an interesting platform that rotates in an unusual motion.  There are several complex mechanisms at work here.

Pinwheel has created an interesting factory looking module, with the balls being suspended from above as they travel towards the output.

Rohan has created a new module using the Powered Up system.  This is a great little module that allows for both manual and automatic modes.  It's nicely themed as well!

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Powered Up Liebherr @ Rock Crawler Interview by Assembled.

The Assembled YouTube channel has recently posted a video interviewing several Lego Technic designers while they showed off the new Control+ models the 4x4 Rock Crawler, and Liebherr  R9800

Of interest to Lego GBC builders will be all the new parts shown and discussed including the new linear actuators, gears, sprockets and clutch elements.  As well they show off how the new Control+ application works and show that you can do some simple programming as well.

I would say that with 4000+ elements, 7 motors, and 2 hubs, the R9800 would definitely make a great GBC starter set!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

BrickWorld Chicago 2019 GBC SAWTOOTH Lego Great Ball Contraption Module

Today I present my version of SAWTOOTH.  A Lego GBC Module designed by John Brost.  This module was created for use as the BrickWorld 2019 Chicago GBC Workshop Module.  It uses a Jigsaw style lift and is powered by a Lego Power Functions M Motor.

I've skinned my version to be mostly light and dark grey, I also added a rainbow colour to the lift mechanism.  I call this variation "Grainbow".

I built mine only using the parts list, a video clip, and a cover image.  No instructions were available at the time of the build, which made this quite challenging yet satisfying.

Please enjoy the video.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Lego GBC Observer πŸ‘ Week 25, 2019

I'm looking forward to seeing what new modules appear at BrickWorld Chicago 2019 later this week!  While we wait, let's look at these interesting Lego GBC videos I've found over the last week.

Dunes seems obsessed with Upslide, doing mods to the original, slimming it down, and now he's doubled up!

Lasse has finished testing his tipping ramp module and shares the results.

Maico shares a recent layout from the Netherlands, the Fabuland module is amazing!

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Build & Chat w/ Matt (Live Stream) Recap

This last Saturday I was feeling inspired to try Live Streaming some GBC building again, and it seemed to go pretty well.  I think the 2 hour duration works well for me and allows for enough time to complete one project, and chat with everyone.

On the stream, I built Ethan M's Bananagig module, and did some fixes to my broken Upslide module.  Thanks to everyone who jumped into chat to talk about GBC!

Moving forward I will be doing a monthly live stream every 2nd Saturday of the month starting at 5PM PST (00:00GMT) This time allows for most of my viewers to be able to tune in.

The format is subject to change but I will most likely be:

  • First Hour: Building a module I have not built before (from instructions)
  • Second Hour: Tweaking some of my own projects.
Below is the replay from the last stream.

If you have any feedback on the live streams please email me or drop a comment below or on YouTube!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Lego Old Town Road GBC Module

I'm gonna take my lego to the old town road 🎢 I'm gonna build 🎢 until I can't no more.

Today I'm sharing my Old Town Road module based on the #1 song from Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.

The module starts with a custom conveyor designed to look like an old wooden grain elevator.  It was based on my WM01 small conveyor, but I increased the height so that it could reach the "Old Town Road" part of the module.  I had to add a tensioner to the conveyor due to the increased height which  left some slack in the conveyor.

The balls exit the conveyor onto a ring of old racer track, where Lil Nas and Billy Ray are circling the Old Town Road indefinitely.  The balls are pushed around the track until they reach the split which allows them to go down a track segment and out of the module.


Since the Grain Elevator isn't physically attached to the Old Town Road, it can be placed anywhere around ring.  This allows this module to be used as a corner module or a U-Turn module depending on what's needed in the layout.


Lil Nas and Billy Ray have custom mounts with Lil Nas riding on a horse with his loot, and Billy Ray riding in a Red Sports car with his guitar.


They are driven around the track by an XL motor which powers a simple gear train to spin the 32L axles from the middle of the ring.  I put all of this into a mountain / mine type structure which is physically connected to the ring ensuring that is remains positioned correctly. 

The utility of this module being able to be a corner or U-Turn is something that I really needed in my collection of GBC modules.  I'm planning on keeping this one in my permanent collection.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Lego GBC Observer πŸ‘ Week 24, 2019

Welcome to week 24 of 2019.  I've been busy building, how about you?  Here are the GBC modules that appeared on YouTube over the last week that I enjoyed.

First up, dunes shows up his modifications to Upslide.  The module is a bit slimmer now and seems to be running great!

FakeSpaceSquid brings us the layout from "Scouting for Bricks Virginia 2019".

Lawrie takes us through some new changes he's made to his putter module.  Be sure to check out the other videos on his channel and website for more Lego GBC instructions and information.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Spring into GBC Challenge Results

Over the last month, 3 of the community chat members came together to organize a small build challenge.  FakeSpaceSquid, Ethan M, and Brian Bell put up some great prizes for their "Themed GBC" challenge.

The challenge was to build a themed module, one that you may recognize, or one that told some kind of story.

There were 11 builders and each builder was allowed to vote for 3 other modules that they liked the most.

The results:

First place: Pinwheel and his "Super Mario Brothers" module.

Second place: The Scrooge McDuck "Money Bin" that I created for my 1000 subscriber milestone.

Third place: Tunnel Cat's "Another Day in the Mine" module.

Honourable mentions to all of the other entries which I've linked below

Bengineer's Crane and Truck

Ethan's BananaGIG

Joel's Christmas Module

Lawrie's Rover

Ryk's Power Miners Wheel

Brian's Stepper Module

Lawrie's Lapras Pokemon Pump

Dill.I.Am's Mountain Pump

Not shown is LittlePlasticBricks "White Castle Conveyor"  which was one of my favourites.  I'll edit this post and add the video if it every shows up on YouTube.

I enjoyed all of these modules, and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone builds next!