Bell Ringing Ball Roller

This model draws on some of my previous ideas where a ball will slowly descend through non-parallel rods eventually falling through with a significant spin applied. I have deliberately used standard length shafts and hole spacing should anyone else wish to adopt the scheme in their own creations. In this model the spin imparted on the table-tennis ball is utilised to project the ball against a bell at the end of each level, eventually falling onto the return track.

The return track draws upon one of my earlier ideas of self-forming channel sections built up from the modern flexible strips and double angle strips eliminating the need for using a strip bender.

The ball lift is very simple but does require slight mutilation of a few caterpillar track segments which are drilled to accommodate M3 screws. I borrowed this idea from Joe Etheridge’s ball roller displayed at Skegness in July 2015.

The table-tennis balls being very light ring each of the bells quite subtly in descending pitch making for a pleasing effect in a quite setting. It might be difficult to hear this in a busy Meccano meeting!

2016

The model has now been improved. The bells are now audible in a busy meeting hall, which has been achieved by the incorporation of short rod hammers which act between the table tennis ball and the bells. These are free floating and their movement is so slight it may not be possible to observe. An improved levelling system has been added and the length of each ‘run’ has been reduced by ?" to slightly increase the angle between the rods and improve reliability.

2017

Further improvements to reliability have been achieved by raising the broader end of each ‘run’ by approx ¼" using narrow curved strips. The model was displayed for the first time at the Skegness show for the full three days and only needed intervention a couple of times each day. Polishing the rods at the beginning of each day seems to help. The bells could be heard from the other side of the hall during all but the most noisy periods of the exhibition!

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