Monday, June 29, 2020

Lego GBC Observer 👁 Week 25, 2020

Welcome to a late but not absent GBC Observer post for Week 25, 2020.   It was great seeing everyones GBC Loops at the BW Virtual Event on the weekend.  It provided lots of new GBC ideas and inspiration to work with!  But now lets check out some videos.

First up is a new take on a ball passing module.  This one uses a stepper like drive train but instead of steps, it pushes gears up against a gear rack piece to generate an up-and-over motion for the small cup above.

Next up is "Double Tipper".  Aptly named for requiring two tips to pass balls through the module.  I really appreciate the simplicity of this mechanism.  If I was to improve this, it would be to somehow add a viewing port on the side so you could see the balls exiting the module from the hidden chamber.

Lastly lets look at this module from Dunes.  I'm not sure if I featured it before, and it is a recreation of another builders module.  I like the ball loading slabs of brick, and the right angle triangles of treads that control the motion of the arms.

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

New Lego Powered Up GBC Module PUP-01

Today I'm sharing my first official "Lego Powered Up" GBC module, not to be confused with my previous Lego Boost Pachinko module that also falls under the "Powered Up" brand.  I'm calling it PUP-01, and I plan to do a series of modules showing what GBC's you can build using these smaller, cheaper PUP components.

This module uses the City Train/Batmobile HUB with 2 ports.  Connected to the ports are a Simple Medium Motor and a Color/Distance Sensor.  The motor drives the main conveyor both forward and reverse depending on the color sensor being triggered by a Green Brick or a Yellow Tile.  The drivetrain also connects to a copy of my WM01 small conveyor which feeds a tipper bucket.

The drivetrain runs through a special gearbox that only outputs rotation in one direction.  This way the motor can spin either way, and WM01 will only operated in the correct direction.  Thanks to RJ Bricks for the design of this gearbox.

Here is an image of the simple code blocks used to run the logic of this module.

Please enjoy the video.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Brickworld Virtual GBC - June 2020

Virtual GBC - June 27, 2020

For the second time this year, I will be participating in the Brickworld Virtual GBC loop alongside several other talented builders.  There will be 10+ loops displayed, and I will be co-hosting alongside  Bob Luzenski, and GBC Legend Tom Atkinson.

I'm sure we will see a ton of new modules this weekend, I will be debuting several myself.  Hope to see you there.

Information on the event and how you can purchase a pass to join in can be found here:

Monday, June 22, 2020

Lego GBC Observer 👁 Week 24, 2020

Welcome to the Lego GBC Observer for week 24, 2020.  I've been busy building a fair bit, I rebuilt my RISE+RUN module, and also finished a Powered-Up module as well.  Now onto this weeks featured videos.

First let's take a look at this 2 person collaboration out of Japan.  There are a ton of great modules here, my favourites are the brick built funnel, and the mini archimedes screw.

Next up, Doug72 shared a look at one of his Akiyuki inspired train modules with me.  The EV3 swing arm unloader, it has great motion and the use of the battery pack as a counter weight is a great idea.

Finally let's look at the highly stylized Chicken and Crocodile module from RJ.  This module is a chicken themed ball pump that feeds balls into a hungry animated crocodile.  Great theming here!

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Lego Boost Pachinko GBC - Star Wars Trench Run

Today I'm revealing the second of two new game boards for my Lego Boost Pachinko GBC module.  This board is themed after the Star Wars Trench Run on the Death Star.

This board took quite a bit more work then the Minecraft one, due to trying to get the board to look like the death star.  Simple things like the rotating auto-laser turrets needed refinement to get the balance correct on the spinners.

I used inspiration and the same design for the ships from my now disassembled Start Wars Trench Run GBC module.  The jackpot is triggered when a ball enters the thermal exhaust port.

I will be keeping this as my only game board for now.  Please enjoy the short video below.

If you haven't seen it, here is my original Trench Run conveyor.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Lego GBC Observer 👁 Week 23, 2020

Hey everyone, welcome to a new week of Lego GBC building and discussion.  Thanks to everyone who joined me for the Monthly live stream on Youtube this weekend.  I'm looking forward to July's stream already.  Now onto some interesting YouTube videos that have appeared over the last week.

First up, Sawyer shows us how to use some sprockets, not like sprockets.  This module uses the newer XL sprockets as a lift mechanism, which looks great in action.  I really like this one!

Next up, the nonsense wars channel provides us with some commentary on a new take on the tipping ramp style of modules.  Something different here is that each tipping ramp also changes it's height throughout the motion.  Nice!


Any finally we have a "Small Ball Contraption" which I really enjoy.  It's a small 32x32 machine using different lift mechanisms to move the balls around.  Very cool, and extra points for not labeling this a GBC.

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

New Lego GBC Workshop Module - Worm Mill

Today I'm presenting the newest module in my "workshop" series.  The Worm Mill (WM02).  This module uses a compact double vertical sweeper to lift the balls from the input area to the output ramp.  The drive unit is connected to the module with a pivot point at the rear so that it won't "snap or pop" if balls get caught under the lifting arms while it's in operation.

The throughput of this module is what I would call "very high" which is common for most vertical sweepers.  It's powered by a lego Power Functions medium motor because it has the anti-studs on the bottom which allows it to connect to the system built drive unit / worm gearbox.  A Powered Up medium motor should work as well since it also has anti-studs.

The gear train is built using the system gearbox, which contains a 2L worm and 24T gear.  You can rig it up for shared power between duplicate modules, but I have not included instructions for that.  There is a bit of trial and error into getting the output to work with the motor removed.  The motor in the regular build is actually part of the output ramp, guiding the balls out.

Free instructions have been added to the Lego GBC Instructions page.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Lego GBC Observer 👁 Week 22, 2020

Here we are in week 22 of 2020, I hope everyone is doing well!  This week we have some great new modules, from several "new to me" builders over on YouTube.

First up RJ Bricks shows us his Wheely Wonka module which was built using several parts from the S.H.I.E.L.D. Heli-Carrier.  It's a nice clean looking module that spans a good amount of distance.  The built in recirculation feature is also a nice touch. This looks like a nice module you could display all of your avengers mini-figs underneath.

Next up is a literal twist on the ring-in-ring modules that you may have seen before.  In this module the 3rd ring is horizontal in orientation which reminds me of the akiyuki ball factory.  The decorated ball indexer at the start is a fun touch as well.

And finally we have a small module that is interesting to me for a few reasons.  First it uses the linear actuators without the need of a programmable brick or software.  Secondly it has a mechanical switch flipper which can be difficult to make work reliably. 

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

New game boards for my Boost Pachinko GBC module.

While setting up my new Lego room, I took a moment to dust off most of the GBC modules I still had assembled.  My Lego Boost Pachinko GBC module debuted at BrickCon 2018, and has been sitting in its crate ever since.  So I decided to make a few new game boards for it, the first one I revealed today is a Minecraft themed one.

The module itself had a few tweaks, I braced the conveyor gearing, and added some more support to the aiming mechanism, but other than that, it's mostly a cosmetic refresh.  The jackpot on this board is triggered when the ball passes into the Nether Portal.

I've also built a simple stand for my phone while it runs the Lego Boost application.

The second game board is a Star Wars themed one that will be revealed soon.  If you want to know how my Boost Pachinko module works, you can take a look at the original video where I reveal the insides.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Lego GBC Observer 👁 Week 21, 2020

I've been having fun getting back into building, and have several GBC projects on the go.  I'm working on 2 new game boards for my Boost Pachinko machine (as well as updating it) and I have a new module done, along with some other half finished modules I need to complete.  As for this weeks videos, let's take a look at the updated vertical stepper from NW, and a lifting arm module.

First up NW talks us through his updated vertical stepper design.  This is really slick and I plan on building something like this very soon!

This next module features an interesting lift with a twist, that seems to work quite well.  I'm having deja vu when watching it, because I'm pretty sure I've seen this mechanism done before.  I can't quite put my finger on it, perhaps a sawyer module.

Have a great week everyone!