How the marble flipflop works
The marble flipflop is the most simple marble logic element. Its the only element that exists
in every one of my marble machines.
The flipflop consists of one moving part, the rocker, shown in light brown in the images below.
This rocker has a hole (shown black) through which a nail is passed as a pivot.
The marble is directed to fall directly over the rocker's pivot by the guides
shown in darker brown.
The flipflop in this state will deflect an incoming marble to the left.
Once deflected to the left, the marble, on account of its weight, causes the
rocker to rock to the left. This allows the marble to roll off the rocker, and
sets the rocker to deflect the next marble to the right and flips it back.
The flipflop is most reliable when marbles are dropped onto it vertically from above. However,
in some cases, to preserve precious vertical drop, the marbles come in more from the side.
Vertical drop is a precious thing in a marble machine - there is a finite amount of vertical
drop that can be used to make the marble do things, so its best not to waste it.
Better to use the drop to make the paths longer and the machine noisier.
Back to the Marble Machines page