Blakbird

[GBC] The Akiyuki Project

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Well, the new gearbox for Cup-to-Cup Type 1 is a big improvement. Far less resistance now.

My main problem now is the way the tubes for the spiral lift are connected.

Lift_Tube_Connector.png

One a 3L pin you always have a ridge on either one side or another. If it is on either side, it can cause enough space for a ball to sink down a little bit or even drop through.

This additional resistance can cause motor strain and a rather visible slowing of the cup-to-cup part.

For now, I have replaced the 3L pin with a 3L axle, which has improved things.

Raising the lower part or upper part of the lift 1 plate and having the pin ridge on that side might solve the issue, but I have already raised the height of the lift by 1 tile and increasing it again may create more problems than it solves.

Anyone got any ideas?

I have a before and after video of smoothness. Will post them at some point.

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Okay, so in the end, I went with a:

44.png

And a normal pin. This sorts out the upper part of the lift.

Having some issues with the to and fro mechanism and noticed that it is very different to the original:

640x633.jpg

Do we know why it was changed?

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Okay, so here are some of the changes I have been working on, which I will called the 2012/09 version, as that is the Akiyuki version that it is based off. The one in the 2012/09 GBC Loop video on his channel.

800x450.jpg

So, I changed the wedge that directs the balls. It doesn't show in this image, but basically, it is identical to what you see in video. No idea why it was changed, but this works far better.

The upper section was also raised one plate. This pulls the purple tube closer to the rotating unit. It also make it easier for the ball to get into the cup. I have no idea if this is closer to the Akiyuki original or further from it. I have not bothered to check. It just makes sense and works way better.

To bring the upper tube even closer, I have used a Technic, Axle and Pin Connector Toggle Joint Smooth. This stops balls causing increased resistance as they get stuck between the rotating unit and the tube.

Oh, I also changed the Technic, Axle and Pin Connector Perpendicular 3L with Center Pin Hole to 2x Technic, Liftarm 1 x 3 Thin for the cup holding arm. This is a no brainer. Smoother, more secure.

You can also see the double universal joint at the bottom. As ever, 2 is better than 1 for smoothness. It wobbles about a bit, which is ugly, but I can live with it for now.

800x450.jpg

Can't see much here, but this is the new gear box. The use of the 12T and 24T gear together caused a lot of resistance. It was to create a 4:1 ratio. So I replaced it with 2x 8T, 2x 24T and 2x 16T gears. It is 2 additional gears, but it runs with a lot less resistance. This really improved things. Bracing is messy, but it is more secure than the old gearbox. Of my changes, this is the most satisfying both in performance and solution.

800x450.jpg

Here you can see the change to the to-and-fro arrangement. Akiyuki has changed this time and again. Which leaves me wondering as to whether this arrangement has issues which I do not yet know about. It is the version you see in the 2012/09 video.

The 16L axle is immaterial. The important bit is the use of 2x Technic, Axle and Pin Connector Perpendicular Double Split which differ from the instructions. The one nearest the gears is no different to how it was in the instructions. Different piece, same end result. Although this only needs 1 piece, rather than 3. It is a change seen in later versions of the Ball Factory as well. I think Akiyuki just liked using them at some point. Where things differ though, is the use of it near the gearbox. This moves the axle further down at this end. As far as I can tell at the moment, it stops the to-and-fro from locking up. It didn't do it all the time before, but often enough. Also, this is easier to set up, as the two pieces sit close to the ends of the axle.

So here is a video of the machine before the changes. Although I had already added the additional universal joint for instant improvement.

As you can see though, it is slowing at times.

This is mainly a gearbox issue.

Now, this is the current version. It isn't perfect as the abundance of balls in the hopper can make the spiral slow slightly, but other than that, especially at the end, without balls, you can see it running smoothly.

I am still looking to change the hopper to stop the balls from hanging around unable to make it up the spiral. I don't have the bits for it though.

I like how the machine and motor sounds a lot more now.

Should have cleaned the phone lens before hand :P

Anyway, I am pleased with the progress so far. Need to order a bunch of pieces to make it look better.

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I finished the Catch & Spin robots. Have been trying to adjust it for quite awhile now. The robots want to keep spinning, even with no balls, and they are constantly jamming. They do not lift high enough for the wheel to raise above the internal "well" or track. Any ideas or suggestions? There does not seem to be any friction or drag. I might do back and rebuild the robots if I have to.

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8 hours ago, rskamen said:

I might do back and rebuild the robots if I have to.

I had to re-build my robots twice before I got them to work correctly.
Still don't understand how the adjustment works to alter how robots function.
My two robots are slightly out of phase with each other but happy with that as balls don't collide in the discharge channels but drop out 1 by 1.

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Thanks @Doug72. If you had to rebuild the robots, then I certainly need to do the same. I don't feel as bad now :)  I might also dissect the internal gearing and rebuild that. I don't have any friction and when the robots are not connected, everything else in the drive train runs smoothly. Once I get this sorted out, I can move on to my GBC Train modules. I have managed to accumulate almost all of the parts.

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I think I got it! I took the entire center mechanism and the robots completely apart and rebuilt it. I just left the delivery and the exit trays intact. Still a lot of tweaking, but I am very close. I think the arms on the robots are a bit short, so I am not inserting the "hand" piece all the way on to the 1.5 geared axle. It's been running without balls for about 15 minutes. Every so often I see a spot that is too tight or binding. Next test is to load it up and chase balls all over the floor :)

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9 hours ago, rskamen said:

Next test is to load it up and chase balls all over the floor :)

I'm still hunting for lost balls !

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One last problem...the robots hands are too high. They graze the top third of the balls.. They are not low enough to get a grip on the center of the ball. I have to try to raise the RED and YELLOW delivery ramp, or somehow get the robot arms just a little lower. I put a  piece of heavy art paper in the delivery ramp and that worked. Did that to just prove that the robots will function if they grab a ball. The robots are leaning forward as much possible. Also, when the robots spin, they hang up on the edge of the 2 x 2 corner bricks surrounding each robot. That I can trim the corners a bit with my Dremel tool.

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Posted (edited)

Here’s a couple of close up images of my Yellow Bot for you to compare.

re hanging up on corner blocks
Make sure you have the 1L round tiles in place - I only had white with swirl round tiles. 

Grab:
47817762941_fc2ce11909_z.jpg

 

Spin:
47028184584_2a437bc732_z.jpg

Edited by Doug72

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Ankoku said:

The two images are the same image.

Oop's correct image now inserted.

Edited by Doug72

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Thanks for the photos and information. Yes, I have a 1L round on each corner. It is getting better. I just keep tweaking it and taking parts off and putting them back on. The YELLOW bot is doing much better. The RED bot is dropping balls. Will have to adjust his grip as per the instructions. Almost perfect. Good news is that a lot of these parts can be used for @Berthil redesigned and rebuilt Ball Factory. My 4 year old grandson was at the house yesterday and so enthralled with my Ver2 of the ball factory, they he practically destroyed 4 modules in attempts to "help it along".

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By Jove, I've done it! Got the Catch & Spin Robots working rather well. I ended up filing the edges of the plates that the 1L Round sat on. Sometimes the spinning bot would hang up on a corner. I reread everything Akiyuki put in the addendum, retimed some of the gears by as little as 1 tooth, and it is running almost faultlessly. May play with the adjustment that gives the hands a tad more grip, but for now I am happy. It is a beautiful 87F degree (30.58C) Sunday afternoon here in Florida. Time to sit on my patio overlooking a lake and enjoy a well deserved glass of iced Vodka! Tomorrow I start in earnest on the modules for the Train. I have already built @Berthil passing module while I was waiting for parts to complete the robots.

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13 hours ago, rskamen said:

By Jove, I've done it! Got the Catch & Spin Robots working rather well. I ended up filing the edges of the plates that the 1L Round sat on. 

Good progress, the hanging up on the corners is an odd problem and you had to file a bit off.

Are the various layers at those points sitting snugly ?

Can you post a close up image of a corner.

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Here are two photos. One showing the bricks in place, and one showing the brick taken off the model so you can better see the corner that I filed down. This did the trick and no more hang ups .

800x1422.jpg/800x1180.jpg

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ankoku said:

That feels as though it ought not to be needed.

Just checked mine and works OK but clearance is tight and could be improved by replacing the 2x2 “L” plate by a 2x1 plate & a 1x1 round tile with stud for the flat round tile to sit on.
See step 31-3 & 5 so that top 2 layers present a round corner.

Edited by Doug72

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My version of Akiyuki's Catch & Release

 

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I went for a 1/2 stud shorter arms, just to stop them pressing against the ground.

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Im fine with it. its not really pressing against the ground its more of a touch.

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Yours should be touching less than mine with a 1 stud difference.

Either that, or mine is 1 and a half shorter. Honestly can't remember. I think it is just half though.

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On 5/13/2019 at 12:39 PM, tismabrick said:

Is the corner you filled the one below the 1x1 round tile?

Yes, that is the corner. There is a lot of "play" with the robots and some times they would hit a corner and snag. I know that in the world of Lego, cutting, filing, and painting bricks is not really acceptable. But for a few seconds of filing, all my robot problems went away.

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