Like some others who’ve posted here, I’ve had some problems with dropped balls.
In addition to the various suggestions others have made, I have a couple of other thoughts:
- I would love to be able to cover the top ball-reservoir area with a clear plastic front, and to have two holes in the top of that area (one hole on the red side, one hole on the blue side) that I could feed the balls in through. I feel like that would make it a lot easier to load the reservoir, and would make me less likely to drop balls as I do it.
I think it would work best if the plastic shield were removable; I would want to be able to get to that area directly if I ran into any problems. But most of the time, I would leave it in place, and load balls through the top-of-board holes.
Once in a while, I forget to include enough parts on a given potential ball path, and a ball goes into free-fall, which can result in it bouncing out of the board and rolling under a chair or something. So I feel like it would be useful to have a removable transparent-plastic shield to put over the front of the main body of the board while things are running. But this is less of a big deal than the top-of-board ball-reservoir area.
Similarly, the ball-collection area at the bottom is another place where it’s easy for me to drop balls, usually when I pull them out to move them back up to the top. Various people have suggested good options for this—straws, magnetic wands, etc.—but I feel like another potentially useful approach would be a hole in the lower right border of the board, to let the balls roll out. It would need a cover, of course, maybe just a little flip-up gate; when you’re ready to reset the device, you can put your hand under the lower right corner of the board and flip up the gate, and the balls that had collected in the base would roll out through the hole and into your palm.
Or, for that matter, if you had a tube or straw that was wide enough to hold them, you could hold it up to the hole at the lower right and let the balls roll into it, then lift the tube up to the top and tilt the balls out of it into the hole in the top of the board.
Anyway, dunno if any of these would be useful to anyone else, but thought they were worth mentioning. In general, avoiding dropping balls is probably the biggest problem I have in using the Turing Tumble; I haven’t lost any balls yet, but it’s probably only a matter of time, ’cause I keep dropping them and then having to search for them.
(I feel like I’m being critical in my posts tonight, so I should reiterate that I love Turing Tumble and am really enjoying using it and learning about it. None of the problems I’ve had are really bad or serious ones.)