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How to utilize LOR for a Ferris Wheel


Ramrug2014
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Hello,

 

My name is Brian and I am a newbie of newbies. I have come to the conclusion that I want to jump into the exciting world of LOR this year for my 2014 Christmas season. I want to start out slow with a 16 channel system that I would like to utilize for a Ferris Wheel that I am currently constructing.

 

The FW is eight feet in diameter, will be made of metal and will not rotate.

 

Knowing nothing about LOR my main question is: Will 16 channels be enough for this project? and

 

How do I get started? I have not purchased anything yet so before I dive in I need some advise from

those who have been there.

 

Please help!

 

Your replies will be most useful!

 

Thank you.

 

Brian

 

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Gee you sure dont want to know how deep the water is and just going to dive in.

 

Ok so how much have you given thought to this? The best way is to put the controller on one of the seats. You will then need to get power to the controller. Which means you have either buy or build some slip rings and keep them out of the weather. Also away from little fingers or critters. How you install the lights might limit how you can animate the lights.

 

I would think about using smart pixels and a pixel controller hooked up to a WiFi bridge for communication. Then a show computer that is connected into the same WiFi network. Now you can do a lot more things and with all of those difference colors I would put strips around the outside of the wheels and again along the spokes. And yes you will need to hide controller behind one of the passengers.

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I would imagine you can do this easily. A simple quick thought would be 15 spokes/channels and 1 channel for the outside rim. In the sequencer, you could move the spokes as a group or run each spoke individually creating other effects rather than just rotation. Sort of depends on what effect(s) you wish to see. If you decrease the spoke count, then you have more channels or change colors.

 

As Max-Paul just talked about, you could get into RBG dumb strips or go to Smart Pixels too...get all sorts of wild and crazy, if you aren't going to rotate it physically.

Edited by dgrant
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The FW is eight feet in diameter, will be made of metal and will not rotate.
Which means you have either buy or build some slip rings and keep them out of the weather. Also away from little fingers or critters.

 

I think we have a miscommunication here.

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Hello,

 

My name is Brian and I am a newbie of newbies. I have come to the conclusion that I want to jump into the exciting world of LOR this year for my 2014 Christmas season. I want to start out slow with a 16 channel system that I would like to utilize for a Ferris Wheel that I am currently constructing.

 

The FW is eight feet in diameter, will be made of metal and will not rotate.

 

Knowing nothing about LOR my main question is: Will 16 channels be enough for this project? and

 

How do I get started? I have not purchased anything yet so before I dive in I need some advise from

those who have been there.

 

Please help!

 

Your replies will be most useful!

 

Thank you.

 

Brian

Just curious why you do not want a motorized Ferris Wheel? The Ferris wheel in it's self is a instant hit. I simple added {Solar Power Lights to mine} when we made it in 2008. The one string needs a new Solar battery now but the other string still works. That way you can use the 16 channel controller for your house/yard.  This is just a thought. You can get the plans from here .....   http://www.thewinfieldcollection.com/product/Holiday_Ferris_Wheel_Woodworking_Plans/All_Motorized_Designsor     or make the wheel out of PVC pipe & motorize it. I made mine to come apart & I added wheels to it so I can pull it around. I never did take it apart.

 

Just a thought.

Edited by lightzilla
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Aaagh, missed that little detail. I mean Ferris wheels are meant to rotate. And was thinking about the one I was thinking of building myself. Just dont have anywhere to store an 8' wheel. And at this time cant quiet think of a way to break it down and not compromise the integrity of the wheel.

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This year, Lowes had a smaller Ferris Wheel for sale that didn't move. I wasn't real impressed by the lights although I think they could have done better. They even had two left at the post-Christmas sales for half off but I didn't or don't "feel" how a Ferris Wheel is Christmas related. Am I missing something with Ferris Wheels and Christmas? Circus, yes, but Christmas?

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We've got a Ferris wheel in our Christmas display. the basic wheel is 8 foot in diameter and does rotate although not with power to the wheel itself. We made the baskets out of planters, then added Styrofoam and inserted Christmas related items, then covered each basket with heavy clear plastic sheet to protect everything. At some point, I'm going to construct the slip ring idea and add power to the wheel itself Might use a DC controller, power supply and dumb strips running a stand-alone program. Using a DC controller and power supply will provide stable DC power even if the slip ring occasionally lose contact with the brushes due to snow or whatever on them.

 

-Gary-

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Talking to the question or statement about Ferris Wheels and Christmas. If the passengers are Santa, some elves and a reindeer. Then it could be worked in as a Christmas display item. What you dont think Santa and the elves deserve some down time? Its an over sized toy. I am going to do a teeter totter with Santa on one side and Rudolph on the other side. Hey if the kids like it, then its got to be a good thing, right? A few years ago, some sequenced to the Arctic Express Hot Chocolate.

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Talking to the question or statement about Ferris Wheels and Christmas. If the passengers are Santa, some elves and a reindeer. Then it could be worked in as a Christmas display item. What you dont think Santa and the elves deserve some down time? Its an over sized toy. I am going to do a teeter totter with Santa on one side and Rudolph on the other side. Hey if the kids like it, then its got to be a good thing, right? A few years ago, some sequenced to the Arctic Express Hot Chocolate.

hmmm,,, ok, I can see how that would work. I never thought of it like that, so its possible. If I was to construct one, it would almost certainly need to rotate plus illumination therefore slip rings. For those doing slip rings, rain, snow, ice would be the concerns but there's a lot of ingenious people here!

 

I've wanted to build a slow moving train type thing to go with Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade. Use a DC motor, but also stepper motors, servos and etc.. to make elements on the train cars actuate or animate. This would all run on battery, remote controlled  via ELL's. Battery recharge would happen when it came back to its stop point via a slip connection at the track. But, all the expense, fabrication and storage for one song plus I would have to modify my driveway for tracks, opening and closing side property gates is easy via remote. It can be done. I'm just having a hard time justifying the expense so I've not started it and might not. So someone wishing to do a Ferris Wheel, please do! I'd love to see it working and all the ideas that are come up with. Feed the wires up through the center hub into the axle shaft and holes through that axle to slip contacts on the shaft. The mating contacts would be on the wheel itself. Bearings on the ends to support and allow the wires to pass through. Just quick thoughts on making it work...lol, reality and thoughts are often two different things!

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I can safely say i've built over 100 PVC ferris wheels over the last 10 years ranging from 5'-12'.  The Hyatts Extreme Christmas display that was on the extreme light show contest this past season have my biggest wheel i ever built.  In the beginning i used a homemade slip ring.  I worked and worked well, but there was always the danger element with someone touching it or it shorting out in bad weather.  Then i discovered the mercotac that Steven mentioned above....it's the perfect solution and is only something like $70.  The most expensive part of the whole wheel was the motor.  If you build it out of PVC, it's lightweight and can easily be moved around.  Instead of gluing it together i use self-tapping screws at all the joints so pieces can be replaced easily.  Also you can break the wheel down easily for storage.  I simply unscrew 2 joints on the octagon opposite each other, unbolt the spokes from the center hub, and the top half simply folds down and then i zip-tie it to the bottom half as it is a mirror image.  You are essentially storing a half-circle that i keep behind my shop with a tarp thrown over it so the PVC doesn't get brittle in the summer sun. 

 

I agree with lightzilla....a ferris wheel is an instant hit.  People are fascinated with moving parts that "somehow" have power going to it. 

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Still thinking about this and suddenly it dawned on me that getting lighting to work is easier than I thought. Instead of using lots and lots of slip ring assemblies to do lots of lights, someone could use just one slip ring assembly, if enough rings. Pass through the slip rings, E1.31 data to a ECG-P12S card or smaller similar card mounted in the wheel and pass through power for it and the lights. Then you could effectively control up to 8 universes on a FerrisWheel using pixels for example. You could get wild and crazy in lights while it was turning. 

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Still thinking about this and suddenly it dawned on me that getting lighting to work is easier than I thought. Instead of using lots and lots of slip ring assemblies to do lots of lights, someone could use just one slip ring assembly, if enough rings. Pass through the slip rings, E1.31 data to a ECG-P12S card or smaller similar card mounted in the wheel and pass through power for it and the lights. Then you could effectively control up to 8 universes on a FerrisWheel using pixels for example. You could get wild and crazy in lights while it was turning. 

See my post #2 in this thread. I didn't quite spell out that you would need only one slip ring with 2 contacts (yes you can get one unit with more than 2 contacts). Then using a WiFi bridge you can get your E1.31 data to the Pixel control card. I'm particle to the 6804 version.  As for data through the slip rings. Ok this Murcotac is supposed to be very low noise. But have to wonder about mixing power 120VAC in close to low signal voltage?

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To echo Max-Paul, you only need 1 slip ring to get power from your power source into the Ferris wheel. Yes it is low noise. It's not motorized, it turns b/c the wires on your turning Ferris wheel pull it and turns it. There is zero noise. That being said, I'm not a universe dongle E.1.2.3.4 PX90 6804 1994 kinda guy! I have no idea what that stuff is so I can't say how many galaxies you can use on one slip ring. I can only tell you that getting power into you wheel as it turns, is a piece of cake.

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See my post #2 in this thread. I didn't quite spell out that you would need only one slip ring with 2 contacts (yes you can get one unit with more than 2 contacts). Then using a WiFi bridge you can get your E1.31 data to the Pixel control card. I'm particle to the 6804 version.  As for data through the slip rings. Ok this Murcotac is supposed to be very low noise. But have to wonder about mixing power 120VAC in close to low signal voltage?

You are absolutely correct. Doing the wireless would be better by far. We used sliprings in the spacecraft testing environment for our older spinning spacecraft. Now we were using huge assemblies of sliprings to pass through multiple 55pin connectors, the noise level was minimal. I was using them for passing multiplexed data streams for our in-house telemetry but also had power going through to the telemetry encoders but it was a lower voltage and DC. There was lots of other data, power and signals going through the many sliprings. Getting fancy, we had to build these on top of a DC motor that had cooling blowers for the sliprings and motor because it was all operated inside of a thermal vacuum chamber. The bearing assemblies had to support the entire weight of whatever vehicle was placed on it. I remember one series that weighed 12,000 Lbs and 3-stories tall, all spinning at a decent rate. In all that, nothing could get into the vacuum environment. No bearing lubrication, no air, no nothing. It had to be absoutely sealed yet still rotate. Back on sliprings, the usual cause of noise, I think it would be either of two, contamination or wear.

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Are we still talking Christmas displays? Spacecraft testing for NASA and the AF and Navy are what i do for a living, involving telemetry and vacuum chambers (14 years), but this is the first i've heard of someone doing something similar as a Christmas decoration.  Since your vehicle weighed 12,000, i'm believing that this is all for work, not play.  But i do recall seeing a display that used a UFO in their display, so you got me intrigued!

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LOL, sorry, didn't mean to imply I have a vehicle here at home. I certainly do not. I retired from the industry after doing 25 years in spacecraft testing as a Test Engineer. This was out in S. Calif. so you can put two and two together. We built %65 of everything on-orbit as a general reference. That particular serious of S/C were Intelsat I-6's. Wow, I've almost never heard of anyone else in this field...there are so few of us. Please PM me and we can talk.

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