Friday, October 11, 2019

BrickCon 2019 - Just Build It!

I recently attended BrickCon for the second time, and the GBC layout was the biggest it’s ever been!   15 builders provided 60+ modules, and the total runtime was 15 hours over 3 days.  Plenty of familiar faces re-appeared in the GBC pit along with some new ones, was a pleasure to run GBC with everyone there.  🥳

I brought down 20 modules and displayed 14 due to table space constraints.  I provided a 15th as a filler when needed on the other side of the loop.  We ran out of room this year and filled up all of the tables, perhaps next year we will have some more space. 🤔

Several of my modules were “first time public” displays including Money Bin, Multi-Path, my updated Shared Power Circus, and Old Town Road.

Multi-Path showed that it needs a small amount of tweaks but ran wonderfully the entire event which is great news because a path splitter is something I want to keep in my collection permanently.

Money Bin on the other hand had a serious issue the entire event.  Balls would jam up inside the output chute and required unjamming fairly often.  I will have to increase the width of this chute if I decide to keep the module (unsure at this time).

Old Town Road was fine after we shimmed one side of the ring to ensure balls would exit more reliably.

I almost forgot to mention how terrible RISE + RUN performed due to poor piston design on my part.  The module was on the table for maybe 5 minutes before it jammed up, was repaired and continued to jam up.  I removed it from the layout for the remainder of the show.

Splatiyuki and Lawrie’s Compact Cardan which had some run time previously at a local maker faire ran without any issues as well.

Other Interesting Modules

Diego’s GBC Tower.  This 6 foot monster dominated the GBC layout drawing in big crowds to view how the 6 stacked Akiyuki mechanisms all worked together.  Diego’s custom controller was also very cool, it used an older Technic Dacta serial interface to connect to a tiny windows PC where he could control the motor speed through a touch screen.  Diego was on point making adjustments and rebuilding portions of the module throughout the event.  He fixed several issues that were happening in the input area, as well as up at the top near the Cyclodial Drive.

Kevin and his wife Susan built two new Achemedes screws that used 3 coils instead of the usual 1 or 2, and they looked great.

John’s new steppers and overpass.  John built a BVB stepper and another switchback stepper which looked great when running.  The switchback had some issues but was never pulled from the layout, as there was a quick fix for it each time.  Big thanks to John for providing one of the two walk-under overpasses for the event, it ran well for a first-timer and any issues it had were quickly fixed.

Amanda’s Hungry Caterpillar.  Amanda had been working on BVB’s rainbow wave last year, and this year it pupated into the Hungry Caterpillar.   This module looked great when running, however it  was plagued with issues for the first two days.  By day 3 it appeared to be dialled in and ran well, it was a crowd pleaser for sure!

Newcomer Caebin brought a real monstrosity of a module called Patchwork.  It did not meet the standard and had various different mechanisms inside to move the balls around.  

In order to integrate it into the layout, Dave De Gobbi provided a small chain lift which was able to get balls into the machine.  Caebin was working full time on this module during the public hours since it had a tendency to get clogged up.

GBC Theme Winners
New Balls on the Block - Patchwork (Caebin Robinson )
Can’t Stop Staring - Hungry Caterpillar (Amanda Payton)
Physics Buster - The Throne (Matt Norman)
OMG GBC! - GBC Tower (Diego Baca)

Overall it was a wonderful event, and I’m looking forward to the BrickCon GBC 2020!

You can read my previous report from BrickCon 2018 here:

1 comment:

  1. I brought 5.5 modules, 4 of them ran in the loop as replacements, 2 of those for most of the weekend.