What are the types of Marble Rally League track components?

Please note: The performance of the marble track in this article is discussed based on 16mm diameter marbles, and other diameters of marbles need to be tested separately.

Whether it is the track of the Marble Rally League or Marble Formula, there are many small marbles who want to buy the same model and assemble it by themselves. But before that, it is necessary for us to have a preliminary understanding of the track components used in Pinball League and Pinball Formula, and then purchase suitable components according to our own needs.

1. Some basic  Marble Rally track types and installation tips
In order to ensure that the rolling performance of the marbles is stable enough, we generally use a track slope setting with a 5° inclination angle (that is, the height difference per 100cm of track length is controlled at about 5cm).

This is because a slope that is too steep or too gentle will cause the marbles to lose their rolling balance. If the track is too steep, the marbles may stall or even fall off the track due to rolling too fast.
If the slope is too gentle, the marble may lose momentum and stop on the track and cannot continue rolling.

1.1 Marble rally track
The so-called marble track (track) is a track usually made of metal materials such as copper, aluminum, stainless steel and the like. The rolling performance of marbles in conventional tracks: the speed is stable, but it is necessary to prevent the marbles from flying out of the track, and it must be arranged at an angle when encountering a curve, or guardrails must be installed on the edge of the curve (to prevent the marbles from falling).
This track is widely used in various events of the Marble League, and you can see it in many events.

1.2 V-groove
A V-groove is a track made of wood or metal. This track is similar to the track mentioned above, but is more suitable for different sizes of marbles. But the V-shaped groove has its own limitations. It is difficult to design a suitable curve and turn, and it is relatively easier to make a right-angle turn.
V-shaped grooves are used less in pinball tournaments and more in pinball machines.

1.3 Box track
Box tracks are often wooden or metal tracks. From the perspective of rolling performance, the rolling speed of the marbles on the box-shaped track is acceptable, but due to the possibility of hitting the walls on both sides, the forward speed of the marbles will be hindered. We used this type of track in the push-box race.

1.4 ramp (or U-shaped groove)
Chute (or U-shaped trough) A raceway made of wood or straight-through pipe. The chute track is similar to the pipeline, but the chute is open, and the chute has relatively high requirements for track construction. If the track construction is not up to standard, or if the marbles run too fast, the marbles will fly off the track. Projects such as maze races use this type of track.

1.5 pipeline
The pipe is a fully enclosed track, and the marbles roll down the pipe.
In terms of rolling performance, marbles can roll very fast without flying off the track. In order to be able to see the marble rolling process, generally speaking, we need to use a transparent pipe. The downside of using pipes is that if a marble gets stuck in a pipe, it’s very difficult to get it out.

2. Fixed track components
Here we will introduce some track firmwares, which usually need to be installed as a whole and cannot be freely combined like the components in the previous part.

2.1 Half pipe
A halfpipe is a half-enclosed open track structure. The marble will swing continuously in the halfpipe until it stalls and rolls down the track from the lowest part of the halfpipe. The half pipe track must be placed at a certain angle of inclination so that the marbles can roll out of the bottom of the track after losing forward speed.

2.2 Platform
The marble rolls down the steep slope, then rushes up a small arc ramp that goes vertically upward at the top, and then the marble flies into the air, and finally lands on a track or other material track. You can also place bells and other small objects where the marbles land to make a pleasant sound; or place a trampoline (or drum head) where the marbles land to make the marbles bounce again.
Obviously, we’re going to use these kinds of marble track components for the long jump and the high jump.

2.3 Trampoline (can be replaced by drum skin)
Marbles tumble down steep slopes, crash onto drum heads or trampolines, and bounce into the air again, making comical noises.

2.4 Rebound device
The marble bounces between two drum skins, hard steel blocks, or bricks until it falls into the gap between the two. You can also use bouncy balls for this setup.

2.5 Air Loopback
The marbles will stick to the track and make a circular motion in the vertical direction without falling. In order to ensure the success rate, the height of the acceleration track must be at least twice the diameter of the loop. You can also add more loops as the speed of the marble allows.

2.6 Plinko board (peg board)
A Plinko board is a wooden board studded with nails as a barrier structure. The marbles fall down a wooden board studded with nails, screws or thumbtacks. Many marbles are bouncing back and forth in it at the same time, making very interesting sounds. You can also add bells or springs to increase the variety of sounds.
Early pinball rallies used the Plinko board exclusively as an obstacle.

2.7 Convoluted structures
This is one of the most commonly used structures for marble tracks. After the marble has slid to the bottom of the chute or track, it continues down the opposite direction.

2.8 Funnel
The marble rolls down the funnel until it falls into the hole in the middle. A funnel can have many exits, each leading to a different path. When groups of marbles rotate at high speed in the hyperbolic funnel, the visual effect is like a tornado.

2.9 Spiral track
The marbles spiral down the gyrating track. With this design, very long tracks can be made. All you need is rubber tubing and curved toy train tracks to create a tower-like spiral track.

3.1 Carousel
The merry-go-round itself is a kind of diversion device, which divides the marbles falling from a high place into multiple routes. The advantage of this device is that it combines multiple organ devices into one.

A merry-go-round device usually includes a rotatable chute placed on a platform surrounded by several forks; the chute is fixed to the center of the platform with thumbtacks or steel nails, and can rotate freely. When the marble falls into the chute, it will touch the triangular obstacle at one end of the chute (as shown in the figure below), the chute will rotate slightly, and the marble will roll down to the platform and then roll to one of the fork roads . The next marble will continue to rotate the chute and fall onto the adjacent track.

3.2 Rotating snail shell
The rotating snail shell itself is a mechanism: when the marbles (preferably large ones) roll down to the vortex center of the snail shell structure, they will be driven to rotate. After turning to a certain degree, the marbles will It will roll out of the exit at the bottom of the snail shell.

3.3 Splitter
This device splits the marbles into two or more paths. When a marble hits the diverter, it flips the diverter so that the next marble can be diverted the other way, knocking the diverter back to its original state. In the presence of obstacles and other devices, this device is very good at keeping marbles from getting stuck on the track.

3.4 Pendulum
When the marble falls on the pendulum, the pendulum will be driven to rotate, causing the marble to fall on the subsequent track or another pendulum.

3.5 Dumping device
The dumping device keeps collecting marbles until it is overloaded and flips over, and all the marbles inside will roll out and roll down the track. You can make a small device that can hold only a handful of marbles, but it is not impossible to make a device that is large enough to hold hundreds of marbles.

3.6 Seesaw
Like the dumping device, the seesaw device will continue to collect marbles; but the difference is that the seesaw device no longer rolls all the marbles out together, but releases them one after another. The two thumbtacks at the top of the seesaw release the leading marble while blocking the next one. When the seesaw falls back, the next marble will become the head position; when the previous first marble hits the seesaw, the second marble will be released again. This goes on and on until all the marbles collected are empty.

3.7 Rotary spiral structure
The device looks similar to a spiral elevator, but it’s not. When the marble hits the spiral device, it will spin down the spiral (the spiral elevator is lifted upwards), and drive the device to rotate. The more massive sphere (steel ball) will spin the helix faster.

4. Lifting device
The main function of the lifting device is to send the marbles at the bottom of the track to the top. There are many ways to make this lifting device, and the equipment used is also different.

4.1 Chain elevator
A chain elevator is a vertical lift where a chain that goes straight down will take the marbles from the bottom of the track to the top. The operating efficiency of this lifting device is relatively moderate.

4.2 Conveyor belt
The conveyor belt is the simplest, and it is also the main lifting device used in the current pinball league and pinball formula. This conveyor belt with small slots carries the marbles to the top. Among all kinds of lifting devices, the conveying efficiency of the conveyor belt is at an upper-middle level.

4.3 Crank (or lever) lifts
Crank (or lever) lifts are usually built with an electric crank, which also pushes marbles to the top. The lever is attached to a roller or crank with a roller that slides along a small slot in the middle of the lever. Leverage rises more slowly and falls faster.

In this set of devices, a barrier is specially placed to prevent the marbles from falling from the queue. When the lever is at its lowest end, it pushes the obstacle down and picks up a marble. The lever continues to move the marble up until the marble rolls down the lever and into the hole in the guide behind the lever. The operating efficiency of such lifting devices is relatively low.

4.4 Screw jacks
Spiral lifts use an electrically rotating spiral runway (or coil) to carry marbles along a rail to the top. The operating efficiency of this lifting device is relatively moderate.

4.5 Step elevator
This is a set of electric ladder devices, and the marbles are moved up by the electric ladder. The operating efficiency of this lifting device is relatively moderate.

4.6 Wheel lifts
The wheel lift uses a motorized roller (or gear) with a hole, and the marbles are transported to the top by the rolling of the roller device. The performance of this device depends on the number of holes in the roller.

 

There are some important things about buying marbles that we must make clear here:

1. Imyjoylotto has no standard fixed track components, and most of the components are customized parts;

2. When making your own (or purchasing finished) track components, please pay attention to the degree of matching with the marbles you own to avoid the situation that the marbles are too large or too small.

3. If it is a self-made component, please pay attention to safety, and please try not to disturb your neighbors when making and using the track.

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