Hello everyone! This is an Instructable of a new ball machine lift, the Alternator Lift!
This is a lift I made and worked on for a month. Here's how it works: a tower in the middle of the main tower (called the lifter) has ball grabbers on it. There are ball holders built into the front of the tower. When the lifter goes up and down, the balls are alternated from one side to the other, which is why I named it the Alternator Lift!
This lift does not fit balls from Motorized Madness, Big Air Ball Tower, or Loopin' Lizard.
Fun fact: this Instructable has over 211 pictures.
So, if you want to build it, move on to Step 1! :-D
Before you begin on your quest, you need to see this step. The first picture shows the many sections that you'll be building. The second shows what side is front, back, and all that. It's important to know all the stuff in the second picture. The front is the side with the ball holders, and there's also the right, left, back, bottom, and top. Those places are obvious, but I put some image notes in there anyway.
Once you've seen all that, you can finally start building!
To begin with, you'll build one side of the tower's base. The side with the connectors that have green rods on them is the front (this goes for the whole tower). This section of the tower will be on the right side that holds the motor.
These push the balls up. They will attach to the lifter, which will go up and down to grab the balls.
First, build the normal grabber (pictures 1-4). You'll build four of them.
Then, you'll build the bottom grabber, which is different from the others. It's divided into Part A and Part B (Part A is pictures 5 and 6, and Part B is pictures 7-10). Then you'll combine those to complete Step 6.
Now that the lifter and its grabbers are complete, you can attach it to the tower's base. The blue rods sticking out of the bottom of the lifter will connect to trios of red connectors. Make sure that the blue rods are on the middle red connector! (The fifth picture shows this.) The whole lift will fail if you don't do that. Also, the grabbers should be facing the front.
Now you'll combing the tower's middle to the rest of the model. Remember to slide the thing in the back onto the gray rods (refer to picture 4). Also, don't forget to connect the lifter to the blue rod (picture 4).
This will fit underneath the track, and will push balls into the lift. You'll need a rubber band for this step. After you build it, you'll attach it to the rest of the entrance. It won't function properly yet, but put the rubber band on like it is in the pictures. It goes around the green rod and purple connector.
This is a piece of track that the ball will go on before being picked up by the bottom grabber. After you build it, connect it to the rest of the entrance. Notice that the black ball socket goes in between two blue rods on the track. After you're done, the ball entrance will be complete.
These are two small wheels that the string will go through. Build them, and then attach them to the back/top of the tower. The yellow rods should be sticking out all the way towards the back (picture 3 shows this).
Get the string. It can be any kind, as long as it isn't stretchy (I used fishing line). Make sure it's the same length of what it says in the parts list. When you tie it onto the blue rod, put it in between the two blue spacers. The other end shouldn't be tied to anything yet.
First, get a dark gray connector. Attach it to the crank (picture 2). Also, put the crank in its uppermost position (picture 2). Then, tie the string to the dark gray connector. The lifter should be all the way down. The string should be a tight fit.
Congrats, you are now done with the Alternator Lift! Now go add it to a ball machine, or turn it on, add balls, and watch it work! If you use it in a ball machine, be sure to give me credit. ;-)
Important: It is highly recommended to do this when you won't be using the lift for a long time. Unattach the dark gray connector with the string tied on it, and put the crank in its downmost position. This will prevent the string and rubber bands from stretching out over time. Refer to picture 4 for that.
Thanks for building, and don't forget to comment, rate, and Subscribe!