Snapshot

[GBC] Need some help please

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So I built this dropping-bucket module. It's not original but I think I've improved considerably on the one that inspired me. The buckets drop once they receive two balls and it works well as long as the ball delivery is slow enough. At the requisite one-ball-per-second the first bucket doesn't always have time to get back into position before the third ball arrives. That ball then might drop through into the second bucket or hit the edge of the first one and bounce out completely. It's not a friction or interference problem as I padded the structure out with liftarms so the swinging arms only touch at the pivot points. There's a certain amount that can be done by changing the balance of the arm but the total travel time seems to stay effectively the same. There are hard stops at each end of the travel.

So what I think I need is something that will release two balls at a time, possibly in the ramp between conveyor belt and the buckets, and I'd greatly appreciate any suggestions.

Front

Buckets-1.jpg

Back

Buckets-2a.jpg

 

Buckets-3.jpg

Showing maximum travel

Buckets-4.jpg

 

 

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1 Ball per second is just a suggestion, and only important if you are participating in collaborative events.  Aside from that, my suggestion would be to create a splitter on the ramp that just bypasses every second ball down a chute or different path.  That will take 50% of your load off the buckets.  You can see a compact style splitter I have put on the top of my Pachinko conveyor here.

 

 

 

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Why not just space the pins on the lift conveyor further apart, which should allow time for top bucket to swing upwards in time OK.

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If you space all the pins on the conveyor further apart, you lose some throughput. But if you move every second pair of pins as close as you can to their neighbours, I think that will give you the effect you desire.

E.g. instead of this ....|........|........|........|...., do this ....|..|.............|..|.......

One way I can see this failing, though, is if one of your pairs of pins only picks up one ball instead of two from the bottom of the belt, and the next pair of pins picks up two balls. Then your top bucket will get its second and third balls in quick succession. However, that might not be an issue if the bucket accelerates slowly from its resting position.

Or, you could incorporate some mechanism into the top bucket such that the ball path is blocked off while the bucket is not in position - some barrier that is linked mechanically to the bucket lever.

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11 hours ago, Doug72 said:

Why not just space the pins on the lift conveyor further apart, which should allow time for top bucket to swing upwards in time OK.

I could get the same effect by just slowing the belt down but it would drop below one ball per second which I need as I do collaborative displays. I think Great Ball Pit's suggestion of a splitter fails for the same reason but I'll look at it as it might be adaptable to drop one out of three.

32 minutes ago, Captainowie said:

If you space all the pins on the conveyor further apart, you lose some throughput. But if you move every second pair of pins as close as you can to their neighbours, I think that will give you the effect you desire.

E.g. instead of this ....|........|........|........|...., do this ....|..|.............|..|.......

One way I can see this failing, though, is if one of your pairs of pins only picks up one ball instead of two from the bottom of the belt, and the next pair of pins picks up two balls. Then your top bucket will get its second and third balls in quick succession. However, that might not be an issue if the bucket accelerates slowly from its resting position.

Or, you could incorporate some mechanism into the top bucket such that the ball path is blocked off while the bucket is not in position - some barrier that is linked mechanically to the bucket lever.

I thought about asymmetrically spacing the pins but decided it was a non-starter as there's not enough control over the starting position or, as you note, a ball not being picked up. I like the idea of a moving block, however, and will see what I can come up with.

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Just a thought, change the balance so that it only takes one ball to trip the mechanism. KISS= Keep It Simple Sweetie.

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16 hours ago, Snapshot said:

I could get the same effect by just slowing the belt down but it would drop below one ball per second which I need as I do collaborative displays. I think Great Ball Pit's suggestion of a splitter fails for the same reason but I'll look at it as it might be adaptable to drop one out of three.

I thought about asymmetrically spacing the pins but decided it was a non-starter as there's not enough control over the starting position or, as you note, a ball not being picked up. I like the idea of a moving block, however, and will see what I can come up with.

The alternate path from the splitter doesn't have to redirect the balls back into the module - you can still keep up the flow rate if you take the alternate stream straight to the output.

I don't know what you mean about "starting position", but I think it's worth trying to see if two balls in quick succession break anything when there's already one ball in a bucket. It's such a small modification that you might as well give it a go!

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You need to get the balls up in batches of 2 (2 belts) or have collector at the top that lets through 2 balls in batches needed to tip the buckets with in intervals long enough for the buckets to return in their position. Last option is most reliable. There are enough solutions thinkable and out there that can release two balls at a time like steppers in two ball width.

Edited by Berthil

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Couple of points.

A shorter arm for the buckets should have them returning fast. That said, that would take a complete redesign.

If you are trying to make it GBC compliant, but the module can't do 1 ball per sec, even with them grouped in 2s, then, as part of the grouping mechanism, have an overflow, which bypasses the buckets.

With a module like that, slower may be way more pleasing to watch, so don't let the 1 ball per sec spoil the overall joy of watching it.

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