Author Topic: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC  (Read 504 times)

Offline epnicass

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I wanted to share with you the Ferris Wheel i made last Christmas (2016) I am in the process of finishing up the drawing to make it all out of aluminum and building it in section for the easy and convenience of storage.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLb-K9o0q0E&t=316s
Don't forget to subscribe to get notified when i finish the upgraded Version.  I will be using the Falcon v3 controller to control the Ferris
Wheel, Mega Tree, and 3 3'x8' long matrix screen plus a lot more.



Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2017, 09:36:58 AM »
Nice.

How are you getting pixel data from the controller onto the wheel, or is it locked to only spin less than 360 degrees?
-
Chris

Offline mararunr

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2017, 12:17:25 PM »
Nice.

How are you getting pixel data from the controller onto the wheel, or is it locked to only spin less than 360 degrees?

My guess is a slip ring
Bentonville Heart Lites (www.facebook.com/bheartlites)

This is just my opinion/suggestion/viewpoint.  Others with other viewpoints/experiences may have different advice.  I am a hobbyist with a couple years real world experience, not an expert.

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2017, 12:25:25 PM »
How are you getting pixel data from the controller onto the wheel, or is it locked to only spin less than 360 degrees?

My guess is a slip ring

I've seen slip ring discussed in some of the ferris wheel threads, but trying to run a 800khz pixel data signal over a slip ring could be problematic, so I was curious what his eventual solution was.  I have seen some discussion around putting something like a ESPixelStick wireless controller on the wheel so that only power had to go over the slip ring, but he mentioned using the F16v3 to drive it in the future.

Offline Bill Ellick

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2017, 02:43:45 PM »
My guess would be one of these or a home made one:

http://www.mercotac.com/

They work great for power (within reason) or data lines.

Great job on that wheel by the way!  Let us know how you made it please.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 06:50:16 AM by Bill Ellick »

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2017, 03:41:20 PM »
My guess would be one of these:

http://www.mercotac.com/

Ouch.....   :)

430 4-wire version on eBay -
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mercotac-Inc-430-ROTARY-CONNECTOR-/182407729528?hash=item2a78591178:g:t4kAAOSwo4pYajrQ

331 3-wire elsewhere
http://www.plccenter.com/en-US/Buy/MERCOTAC/331

Either way, that would buy a lot of controller to put in the wheel.  I would go the route of a WiFi connected Pi running FPP in Remote mode before I'd spend that much on one component of the wheel.

Offline Bill Ellick

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2017, 04:41:15 PM »
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« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 06:47:52 AM by Bill Ellick »

Offline lrhorer

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2017, 09:33:45 PM »
I would say the controller with a wireless pi on the wheel is the obvious choice.  A slip ring is a possibility, but I think I would simply split the ferris wheel axle into three parts.  One part would be a plastic core, and two parts would be metal pipes that fit securely over the central core, but don't reach all the way to touch each other.  Use ball roller bearings or needle roller bearings for the hub with metal bearing mounts, and energize the outer frame with 5V or 12V.  If the spokes are plastic, then run a wire pair attached to both halves of the axle near the middle.  If the spokes are metal, then just use them to transport the power to the box, making certain the spokes on one side are electrically isolated from the spokes on the other.  It's simple and inexpensive.

Offline Bill Ellick

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2017, 05:24:20 AM »
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« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 06:48:21 AM by Bill Ellick »

Offline lrhorer

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2017, 03:22:09 PM »
There may be some interference with energizing the frame with a method like this, especially with 5 volt pixels?
'Shouldn't.  It's not much different than your car, you know.  A low capacitor across the axle halves or the hubs, as the case may be, should get rid of any HF across the power leads.

You might create problems for your wireless signals
If the spokes are metal, then the wheel could act as a Faraday cage, but at 2.4GHz, I don't expect too many problems.  One might have to be judicious about positioning the Pi.  IF the whole thing except for the fasteners, the hub, and the axle are plastic, then the question is moot.


Even so you still will need some form of slip ring arrangement to get power to the frame and controller on the wheel.
No, one does not.  That is the whole point.  The metal bearings will carry the power between the hub and the axle on each side.  If the bearing is fitted into the hubs themselves, then the internal leads are attached to the hubs and the external power is attached to the axle directly.   If the axle is attached directly to the hubs, then the bearing mounts will be attached to the axle support, and the external power is attached to the bearing mounts, with the internal leads attached directly to the axle.  Either way, power will be transferred to or from the bearing mounts to or from the axle.  No slip rings required, and while ball or needle roller bearings are not absolutely required, they are the best engineering solution to mounting the wheel, and given they are already planned, add nothingto the cost for transferring power.

Online JonB256

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2017, 07:56:48 PM »
Coming from the commercial power generation business, we NEVER wanted electric current to go through the bearings. Granted, the voltage and current are much less, but we insulated the bearings and did periodic checks for voltage potential across them. It would cause damage from micro-arcing between the very small contact point between a ball bearing and the bearing race.  Roller bearings would be better.

Offline lrhorer

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2017, 09:00:11 PM »
Absolutely correct, but also as you yourself mention, the voltage and current will be far, far less than with a power generator, even a small one.  You are also correct a roller bearing is probably the better choice, but in this case, I think it won't make that much difference.  Note also, commercial power generators must be nearly 100% reliable, and must be able to work under heavy continuous loads - both electrical and shaft stress -  for years on end.  A diesel generator that has seen 100,000 hours of operation is still a pretty young generator, at about 11 years old, as long as it has been maintained properly.  A Christmas Ferris Wheel that has seen 100,000 hours of operation is probably about 180 years old.  I think every one of us could afford to replace the bearings that often.   ;D

Offline Bill Ellick

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2017, 04:53:19 AM »
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« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 06:48:47 AM by Bill Ellick »

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2017, 09:14:32 AM »
Guys, this thread started out as a "look what I did", and you guys have turned it into yet another thread debating the twenty ways to do what he already did.

I asked how he did it since he has a working solution, I didn't ask to rehash the other threads on the numerous other ways how it could be done.

Offline lrhorer

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Re: Ferris Wheel 7' Diameter 500 12mm bullet RGB Pixels Made out of PVC
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2017, 12:23:18 PM »
But he hasn't finished, yet.  From the very first post:  " I am in the process of finishing up the drawing to make it all out of aluminum and building it in section for the easy and convenience of storage."

To me that sounds like a work in progress, and I don't know about anyone else, but I am always happy to hear about ways I can make my displays more usable.  I don't have any that have not gone through at least three design revisions, many with ideas from here.
 

 

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