Solar Marble Machine a Buildable Solar Powered Marble Machine Also Known As the Perpetual Motion Marble Kit
Blave – November 30, -0001:
I’ve built two of these. Solarbotics has updated the circuit board since I built the first one, which makes assembly of the electronics part quite a bit easier. But for some reason the wooden portion of the newer kit was harder to assemble — the parts had significantly tighter fits in places than those of the first kit, and I broke a couple pieces as a result; they were fixable via wood glue and in the end, it works fine (and in fact, a little better than the first one). I think that they need to widen the beam on their laser cutter a little bit… So some very light sandpapering might be in order if you run into this. Also, the instructions are a bit dodgy — I missed one part about installing an alignment “pin” that aligns the pieces of the “ferris wheel” and had to disassemble it a bit to fix that, since it wasn’t feeding the ball bearings reliably. Go slowly on your build and things should turn out fine.The end result is (for me anyway) a very cool gizmo that does absolutely nothing useful at all, but it does this very well. I love it! As long as the sun is burning hot and bright (but not too hot, or bright — I think we’re OK for five billion years, give or take), it’s a perpetual motion machine!
Zeke the Freak – November 30, -0001:
The SolarBotics Solar Marble Machine is a neat device that does absolutely nothing useful (but, of course, that’s the charm of the machine). I’d give it 5 stars because it’s neat and works great in direct sunlight but I’d give it 3 stars because it hardly works at all in normal room light but is still neat nevertheless. Hence the overall 4 star rating. Assembly of the kit is fairly straightforward. Soldering of the electronic components to the circuit board can be tricky, however, if the soldering iron tip is too large. Also there seems to be some confusion in the instructions for the assembly of the inner frame and the outer frame to the base but simple common sense will resolve this dilemma. I also had some difficulty in attaching the spiral rail to its frame in that it required quite a bit of force to seat it properly and I was afraid of breaking the rail. But all in all it took me about 2 hours to complete the assembly from start to finish and it worked immediately upon completion. My only complaint is that it doesn’t really work in normal room light.
Amazing and Awesome – November 30, -0001:
Really fun to put together however the wood will break easily….must be very careful. Also the balls kind of jam the rotation of the wheel every once in a while. Also unless you have direct sunlight it will not work so I only get a few mins of it going per day. I also think it was pricy for the size and weakness of the wood.
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