Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Lego GBC Observer 👁 Week 08, 2020

Apologies for the late post, but here we go.  The GBC Observer for week 8 of 2020.

First up a utility item that every GBC builder will need at some point, ramps.  Nonsense Wars talks us through his thought process when designing ramps for use in his GBC layouts and testing.



Next up, this interesting module uses a chain drive to lift up small levers in sequence that propel the ball forward.  On the way back down the chain resets the levers.  Now I don't think this would meet the spec for one ball per second, but if you had 2 or 3 of these going at the same it might be possible.



And here is Huw's take on a ball sorter using the newer Lego Education Spike Prime kit.  It's using one motor to drive the wheel, and then a colour sensor and motor to sort the balls into the correct output area.  Very simple, elegant, and expensive thanks to the pricey Spike Prime components.



Have a great (short) week everyone!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Lego GBC Observer 👁 Week 07, 2020

Welcome to week 07 of the GBC Observer for 2020.  I've just returned from participating in my first collaborative layout for 2020.   We did a 3 day show here in Vancouver at Fan Expo where my LUG had a booth where we displayed both Lego GBC and other Moc's.  Video forthcoming.

Now onto this weeks interesting GBC videos.

Dunes has created a path splitter for his GBC layout, it uses an Akiyuki style rotating lift to raise the balls up to a ramp where the balls are send either to the left or right depending on the timing.  Apparently the timing can be adjusted to split the balls faster or slower via a gearbox.



In this next video, Riku has taken what was an EV3 controlled module by Akiyuki and rebuilt it using only mechanical mechanisms to control the movement.  Quite impressive.  This situation is very similar to when Pinwheel  recreated my Boost Pachinko module without the boost HUB.



Looking to build a simple module that is GBC Standard compliant? Sam F has created this simple conveyor which uses the smaller treads and has some nice features like an anti-jam mechanism if it's run in reverse.  Instructions are available in the link in the videos description.



Have a great week everyone.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Lego GBC Observer 👁 Week 06, 2020

Welcome to week six of the GBC Observer for 2020.  With spring on the horizon and all of these new modules appearing, I'm hoping that this is a good indicator that GBC season has arrived!  There are a bunch of North American Lego Conventions kicking off soon and hopefully some exciting new GBC layouts appear!

Now onto this weeks videos.

If you haven't seen it yet, here is Jason Allemann's first GBC module.  Jason is well known in the Lego community for his builds, and has contributed to 2 published Lego Ideas sets.  This module features a simple stepper that feeds into a line of robots who pass the balls along to the output.  Visually it's very clean and fun to look at with the different robot builds.  Plenty of mechanism remains unhidden offering even more visual interest.  I like that Jason identified and solved the classic issue of balls stalling in the input bin by making the side walls asymmetrical using a curved brick on one side and some angled bricks on the other.  The GBC sign is pretty snazzy as well!



Have you guys seen Rohan's 5 mini-golf holes?  He's taken Lawrie's base design and done some great theming here.  I love the Fabuland and classic space ones.



Delwely's going full GBC now, and I really like the simplicity of this shooter module.  I may have to replicate this sometime soon :)



Have a great week everyone!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Lego GBC Observer 👁 Week 05, 2020

A few new modules appeared over the last week on YouTube, here are 3 that are worth a look.

Prolific GBC re-engineer dunes has completed his version of John Sherman's Ball Thingy 2. Ball Thingy 2 was inspired by a French builder and is fairly reliable from what I've seen in person.



This next module from Rimo Y is an interesting new design using 2 wheels that alternate to pick up balls in an indexed motion.  The weight of the wheels on the arms is quite substantial so the motion is pretty jerky which may impact long term reliability.



Delwely, one of our newest community chat members has created a nice little double shooter module using the engine piston pieces.



Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Lego GBC Observer 👁 Week 04, 2020

Welcome to Week 04 of the Lego GBC Observer for 2020.

First up is a G-Model from Ben who has taken the parts from the Corvette ZR1 set and added a 40 tooth gear and motor to create a unique module.   This module uses a very interesting "hoeken" motion to lift the balls up and out.  Nice job Ben, building new modules from existing sets can be quite challenging!



Next up Lawrie gives us a tour of Brickvention 2020 highlighting his favourite modules in the layout.



In this next video, Caz walks us through the GBC layout at latest "London AFOLs" event.  There is a module in there that makes me want to get some of those large Duplo ball tubes to experiment on.



Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Lego GBC Observer 👁 Week 03, 2020

It's only a few weeks into the year and we have some great GBC collaborations to look at this week.

First up, let's visit Australia and check out the GBC Layout at Brickvention 2020.  Thanks to Rohan for this walkaround.  My favourites are Rohans "The Mine" interactive module, and Ryk's Hulkbuster dozer.



Next let's visit the latest BayLUG meeting where the GBC guys showed off some new modules.  I really like the mechanical switching modules like the waiter and the grab and spin.



Here is a French layout with some interesting modules!  The ball accelerator is neat, and I also like the pusharm powered by a conveyor.



LittlePlasticBrick has recently built a reservoir module, sharing some nice shots of the gearing and all of the features.   A reservoir is something everyone should have in their GBC collection. By putting one at the start of your GBC section in a collaborative layout, you will be able to stop the flow and make any repairs on your modules without worry.



Have a great week everyone!

Monday, January 13, 2020

Lego GBC Observer 👁 Week 02, 2020

Welcome to week 2 of the Lego GBC Observer for 2020.  Let's take a look at a few recent YouTube videos showing some interesting GBC modules and mechanisms.

First up, Sam F's mini elevator module.  This module passes balls up using pairs of half lift arms which is new to me, I wonder if it could be extended to run the balls to a higher output.



The next video is a recent Belgian GBC Layout from Mout.  There is a lot of classic modules in here, as well as a "new to me" monorail module.



Dunes has updated his Cup2Cup (BvB variant) with a nice long output widget.  I find those longer balls runs always entertaining to watch.



Have a great week everyone!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Lego GBC Observer 👁 Week 01, 2020

Welcome to 2020!  A whole new year to discover, build, and collaborate on Lego Great Ball contraptions.  For anyone who is unfamiliar, this weekly GBC Observer post highlights interesting and new Lego GBC Modules that have appeared recently on YouTube.

First up for 2020, a brand new way to build a conveyor.  Dill.I.Am has used the Lego watch bands in his new conveyor build.  It's always fun to see oddball parts like this being used in a module.



Next, Puddy has created an interesting double scissor lift module.  Scissor lifts are usually difficult to get working due to the extreme load required to raise the lifts when collapsed, he seems to have overcome this issue.



And in this last video Lawrie walks us through the BrickFair New Jersey Loop that happened near the end of 2019.  Lots of new stuff in here, looked like a great layout!



Have a great week everyone!