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Thread: What's with all the DIY ball lifters

  1. #41
    Blind Shooter atlanticom's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with all the DIY ball lifters

    In my next design iteration of the thingiverse ball lifter I intend to try integrating the 'copper wire' trigger contacts into the base (as shared in a prior thread) thus removing the prox. sensor (and potentially relay) altogether. I still need to redraw the parts in FreeCAD (and get around to it...) Will share the results when done.

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    Fever Hunter rockston's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with all the DIY ball lifters

    I used brass hobby rods in my homemade lifter, they are straight, conductive and easy to solder to and work like a charm.

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  4. #43
    Fever Hunter rockston's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with all the DIY ball lifters

    Has anyone tried to build one of these? Has anyone seen one that actually works?[/QUOTE]

    Here you go, No Cad, No Drawings, No 3D printer, No CNC router.

    Just a Delrin 1/8" sprocket (that didn't even turn out that symmetrical) cut by hand on a drill press and a gearmotor. It hasn't jammed once in it's first 3 weeks or so. I smile every time I look up while playing and see the balls making the final turn into the hopper.
    BTW Kudo's to the person who came up with the conductive track idea, brilliant!

    Tools used were a chop saw, a drill press and a small router for construction. The materials for this are well under $100 and obviously you need some decent tools and skill.

    Of course after you install a ball lifter, then the new problem becomes "all your balls soon end up on top". So now I am waiting on a part to complete the foolproof cheapo mod that will use the front button on the machine to dispense them back into the tray.

    Here is a new video showing the entire working view http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9-dhWAw7oQ

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  6. #44
    I was thrown out of Top Gear Drunkenclam's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with all the DIY ball lifters

    Sure it's possible to use the front buttons. On my modified sandwich prototype. It was set up that the left button still paid out balls (via Daverob dongle) and the right button ejects the smart card from the reader.
    Ian #UKPachinko

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    Master Inventor daverob's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with all the DIY ball lifters

    Quote Originally Posted by rockston View Post
    BTW Kudo's to the person who came up with the conductive track idea, brilliant!
    Just be aware that with a conductive track and using the balls as the 'relay' contacts that any contact arcing is likely to damage the plating on the balls and over time may cause pitting and rust to form, which may in turn cause wear to your pachinko machines.

    You will probably be OK using a conductive track to trigger a small relay, as the current passing through the balls will be minimal (so none of the industrial 'world domination' relays favoured by Drunkenclam!). But I've seen some excessively large motors used on DIY ball lifters, with stall currents of many amps and these could cause arcing along a conductive track.

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  9. #46
    Fever Hunter rockston's Avatar
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    Cool Re: What's with all the DIY ball lifters

    Good point, don't use anything approaching a car battery and starter motor with a conductive track lifter. However if your lifter doesn't stall and is running on a 12 volt 1 amp power supply like mine is, and only drawing a fraction of that amperage.... I would estimate you are plenty safe from damaging the balls. Who knows, without a proper scientific study? A small track spark might even keep the balls marginally cleaner by knocking off microscopic dirt particles, thus extending the machines life.

    Maybe someone can do an experimental study and publish the results?

    Here's a starting title for the much anticipated paper: "Examination of conductive track ball lifters current on pachinko balls using a scanning electron microscope"

  10. #47
    I was thrown out of Top Gear Drunkenclam's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with all the DIY ball lifters

    If you buy the equipment. I'll do it ��
    Ian #UKPachinko

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    Fever Hunter rockston's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with all the DIY ball lifters


  12. #49
    Master Inventor daverob's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with all the DIY ball lifters

    Quote Originally Posted by rockston View Post
    Good point, don't use anything approaching a car battery and starter motor with a conductive track lifter. However if your lifter doesn't stall and is running on a 12 volt 1 amp power supply like mine is, and only drawing a fraction of that amperage.... I would estimate you are plenty safe from damaging the balls.
    With your setup, you're probably right, it would take a long time to cause any noticeable damage to balls and probably has less impact than the balls hitting the playfield nails. But there are other people reading these forums, and they might not be using the same motor and power supply as you are, and maybe not be as gifted an engineer as someone who can build a ball lifter that never stalls or jams up (try dropping a few loose screws into it!)

    For example, I bought a 31zy motor with a 5840 gearbox to play around with, this was based on a recent post to these forums showing a design that used this motor. It's a really nice motor, very well built with ball bearings supporting the output shaft and steel and brass gears, and will not be stressed in a ball lifter design, so should be very reliable.

    Unbeknown to me at the time of ordering, there are a couple of variations of this motor/gearbox combination and they're both sold on eBay and amazon simply as a "12v 40rpm motor". One of them is based on a 4000rpm motor with 100:1 gearbox, and the more powerful one I received has an 8000rpm motor and 200:1 gearbox. This motor has a starting current of well over an amp, and a stall current of 6.5A. It appears that there might be people out there who are using this motor already, there might even be others that are using more powerful motors.

    A sphere touching a planar surface has an extremely small contact area, I've seen switches and relays with much larger contact areas that have burned out with less than a 6.5A DC inductive load, so I wouldn't be too certain that you would be 'plenty safe from damaging the balls' if you happened to be using a larger motor such as this one.

    I tend to be a 'better safe than sorry' kind of guy, and have spent many years gainfully employed as the person who has to consider edge cases such as this and then design and build the test rigs to ensure the product that goes out of the door doesn't fail during it's service life. Trust me, you won't need a scanning electron microscope, mk1 eyeballs and running a fingernail over the area will be perfectly adequate.

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  14. #50
    Blind Shooter atlanticom's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with all the DIY ball lifters

    I'm thinking I can use the ball detection 'rails' to bias a n-channel mosfet (http://www.learningaboutelectronics....hannel-MOSFETs / https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10213 ) and possibly even add a capacitor to extend the gate activation time to mitigate intermittent ball contact 'chatter' that will most probably occur. That should maintain a simple and inexpensive parts list while addressing the concern for electrocuting your balls. NOBODY WANTS THAT TO HAPPEN!

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    Fever Hunter rockston's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with all the DIY ball lifters

    Funny you should mention that, during testing I tried dropping small pachi screws into it and they worked their way around on the ample slope until they all fell through the conductive rails into the debris basin at the bottom of the yellow container.

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