Issues with reliability in certain configurations


With a ramp in the bottom row on the second peg in from either side, facing the center, balls have a tendency to bounce over the middle and release the wrong coloured ball maybe 1 time in 3. Fix: turn the ramp around so the ball rolls uphill and back down, so it’s stopped bouncing before it gets near the center. Alternate fix: have a component on the bottom/center peg so the ball bounces off.

Gear bits are unreliable on the top row. Anywhere else, the balls are moving on a suitable path to cope with the gear bit not quite being fully to one side or the other, but the source ramp has a tendency to find the crack when the gear bit is meant to be pointing out, but is a bit off. Maybe a 1 in 5 chance. Fix: make sure the balls go through another component before hitting a gear bit.

Things also occasionally go haywire in non-reproducible ways but those two are the ones that are reliably unreliable.


Yeah, I noticed those issue as well. I always turn my ramps on the bottom row to face uphill for that very reason. As for the gear bit right next to the top ramp, thanks for the tip.


Yeah I tuen my ramps to face uphill as well, it costs some time (if you are of the speed-run persuation :wink: ) but it solves the reliability issue completely


Re: “Gear bits are unreliable on the top row”

For me, puzzle 31’s solution worked only after I added a high-friction washer under the top gear bit only.

I’m not sure it was same problem as @rmsgrey’s , but it’s in same place for sure.

This does not contradict entirely, but adds a special case to the official advice that high-friction washers are not needed “whenever 3 or more gear bits are connected”.

@paul: Maybe puzzle 31’s thought bubble needs to be revised?


As another data point, I couldn’t get this solution to puzzle 48 working on the actual board without abusing the empty slot to the lower right of the gear bit construction to add a third gear bit onto it (I had washers under the top two gear bits and no washer under that third unused one). With only two gear bits, even with the washers, the gears would bounce back in maybe 1/3 or 1/4 of the cases, which isn’t nearly rare enough to run the machine to completion.


I had a similar low-friction problem using that same vertical configuration of 2 gear bits
in my solution to puzzle 28. The gears would bounce back despite the two washers.

Adding a 3rd washer (to the red gear), or adding a 3rd gear bit as you suggest, or adding weight to the gear bits, all seemed to work