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Thread: almost working ball lifter

  1. #1
    Tokie Owens marblemaker's Avatar
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    Default almost working ball lifter

    i have been puttering around with making a ball lifter. I have tried 3 different styles and have one almost working, the only major drawback right now is random jamming.

    so far I have used

    gearmotor rated at 5.5lb per inch torque 12v
    small chain sprocket
    black pipe that can hold balls and sprocket
    various scrap metal
    1/2 inch i.d. pvc pipe.
    momentary switch from an old paper shredder


    I need to find a spot to try to take pictures

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  3. #2
    Gibisans - Japan West compirate's Avatar
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    Default Re: almost working ball lifter

    so is the sprocket pushing the balls up the tube? Is it a single sprocket or double? I would think if you used 2 sprockets with a spacer in between less chance of lateral movement of the ball as it's being pushed around.

    人生は恐れなければ、とても素晴らしいものなんだよ。
    人生に必要なもの。それは勇気と想像力、そして少しのお金だ。

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    I was thrown out of Top Gear Drunkenclam's Avatar
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    Default Re: almost working ball lifter

    Yes. The orange (silver brand) use a duplex sprocket with a pawn between the teeth to guide the ball off the sprocket and up the tube.
    Ian #UKPachinko

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    Tokie Owens marblemaker's Avatar
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    Default Re: almost working ball lifter

    it seems my jamming is a timing problem I might be able to solve when I get my cutoff switch working. when a row of balls isnt directly in front of the sprocket, that's when it jams. I just need to place the switch so the motor stops soon enough.

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    Gibisans - Japan West compirate's Avatar
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    Default Re: almost working ball lifter

    isn't directly in front of the sprocket? Do you have a single row path feeding the sprocket? Post pics!

    人生は恐れなければ、とても素晴らしいものなんだよ。
    人生に必要なもの。それは勇気と想像力、そして少しのお金だ。

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    Master Inventor daverob's Avatar
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    Default Re: almost working ball lifter

    I had similar jamming problems with my initial experiments. If a ball meets the gear at the wrong moment it jams between a gear tooth and the end of the ball guide feeding balls towards the gear. Getting the ball feed geometry correct in this area is one of the hardest parts of designing a good ball lifter.

    One solution is to make sure that you have a continuous single row of balls with no gaps, so the previous ball ensures that the next ball is presented to the gear at the right moment, which appears to be what you're working towards.

    I couldn't get a reliable enough ball feed within the space constraints I was working with, and kept getting balls double stacked which could also cause jams. In the orange (Silver brand) ball lifters, there is a small spring loaded section of the ball guide right where it meets the gear. Any potential ball jams push the sprung section aside, and the ball pops into the next gear tooth. My next design will try and replicate this.

    One thing I did learn while experimenting is to protect your motor. Measure the normal power demands of your motor by checking the current drawn from the power suppy, and get a self resetting fuse (polyfuse) of the appropriate rating. If the motor jams, then this should cut the power before the motor burns out.

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  10. #7
    Eye Shooter Chumsize's Avatar
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    Default Re: almost working ball lifter

    Anyone ever try to make a lifter using a vacuum? Curious... cuz my old* vacuum had no problem sucking them up... and I remember the built in vacuum in my parent's house being able to bring a ball all the way from my bedroom to the garage through all manner of pipes about 150 feet away.
    * got a new vacuum... thinking of hauling the motor out of the old one and trying some type of ultra-pachi-suck machine that could feed a bank of 6. Would only need to go on for 10-20 seconds every once in a while to transfer 2-3000 balls from one bucket to a top bucket... and got a spare raspberry pi with a couple relay units to do my bidding...
    Woof!

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  12. #8
    Gibisans - Japan West compirate's Avatar
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    Default Re: almost working ball lifter

    Interesting thought. So they would vacuum up to a container with a gate held shut by the suction, then when turned off they would dump into your ball rail?

    人生は恐れなければ、とても素晴らしいものなんだよ。
    人生に必要なもの。それは勇気と想像力、そして少しのお金だ。

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  14. #9
    Pachi Puro Card Shark's Avatar
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    Default Re: almost working ball lifter

    The vacuum idea is interesting but sounds like it could be noisy.
    "Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well."
    Pachiholic and Proud!!! サメ

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    Eye Shooter Chumsize's Avatar
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    Default Re: almost working ball lifter

    compirate - yes... that's the idea.
    cardshark - yep... noisy as hell... but then i'd expect it would could suck up a full load of balls and then dump them in 10-15 seconds. If the actual vacuum motor was hid away in a closet or something, then piped into the collection chamber, that could help.

    Other thought would be static... wind + metal balls. A grounded collection bucket would take care of that, but then just imagine the racket of a couple thousand steel balls being dumped into a steel canister. Maybe some grounded copper straps in the bottom of a plastic container?

    meh... not like I'll ever get around to this... too busy playing around with the 40 other projects I have ahead of this...
    Woof!

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