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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Halloween Forum! :)

Im new to this forum but not new to haunting, I've been running an annual haunted house in my neighborhood for 7 years now and I'm finally taking the plunge to include a dark ride section into my haunt. Ive been fascinated with dark rides since my childhood and they're what pretty much got me into haunting. I have to give credit to Don O'neil, Coasterbp, Sedgewick Hotel, Mystic Motel, Scream in the Dark, and the many other home dark ride creators that have not only inspired me to take on such a project, but have documented their projects so others like myself could learn. I have taken points from many of their designs as well as incorporated many of my own to create the rides basic design and function. I have chose to build the dark ride in 3x3 foot sections that allows it to be easily assembled, disassembled, and stored. The track is consisting of a 2x4 with metal strips that the drive wheels run on. The metal strips not only reinforce the 2x4, they allow the cars onboard sensors to find its position throughout the ride. They also make it much easier to create corners and turns. So far the station is the only section of track i have completed. Im still in the process of designing the cart and other track pieces. The heart of the control system will either be an Arduino Uno or Mega. Motors are from an electric wheelchair, they have been modified to be able to handle a bit more torque. They are 24volts and will be powered by an onboard battery bank. Most of the electronics that control the ride will be on the car itself, while only wiring necessary to interface the safety and dispatch switches will be on a separate console. Wireless communication will be achieved through a pair of xbee's to link the cars computer with the main ride computer. Eventually i plan on adding more features to the car such as air bags to allow tilt, water and air sprays for effects.

Here is the old straight track design that used plastic tubing as the main rail.
IMG_1452.jpg IMG_1452.jpg

Here is the somewhat completed station rail. It still needs to be painted then the metal strips can be attached.
IMG_1463.jpg

Here are the casters that the car will be riding on. The 6 on the left are swivel casters that will support the cars weight, the 2 on the right are rigid casters that will be attached sideways, under the car to help guide it on the track.
IMG_1453.jpg

I feel like i have a good start, but there is still a long way to go before anyone can ride on it :p The car itself will be large enough for 2 adults or 3 children to ride, originally i wanted to create a much larger car capable of transporting 4 adults, but that is a project for another halloween, i want to get a basic ride system working before this year's haunt but if it doesn't work out, i will have a large headstart on next years haunt haha. :D
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Wow - that is really ambitious, but then I'm not that mechanically talented so stuff like this looks super complicated to me. :D

Good luck with your build, and do post updates!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update!

Okay so I've finalized the car's base design and have figured out how my motors will mount. Ive also finished my track piece designs and have started to sketch out the control system. Tomorrow ill upload the cad images and once I start buying parts more of an update will be posted. The car's base consists of 1" steel tubing to be welded into a square frame with a bunch of supports for the wheels, motor mounts, battery holders, and the passenger compartment which will mainly be constructed of plywood. Future plans for the car design include air bags to allow even more of a "ride experience". Thanks for all the kind words everyone! The support really goes a long way for a project as confusing and frustrating as this one has become. Haha :)
 

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Update!

Unfortunately it doesn't look like my dark ride system will be completed in time for this years haunt so i will just have to stick to a traditional walk-through haunt. But this has given me a giant head-start for next years haunt. I've re-designed the car once again and i believe i finally have a design that will preform as it should. Because i'm waiting till next year to unveil my creation in the haunt, i can install many of the features that i initially would've waited on, such as an airbag motion sim base. I have got the air bags on order and i'm waiting for them to arrive, I will post pictures of the new car and track design and hopefully some pics of the actual steel frame. There are a lot of cool features planned for my car besides the motion sim base such as, on board audio with sub-woofer, on board lighting, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
There are some pics of the base I've been working on that will turn into the cart, I still need to buy steel to weld the frame for the top of the air bags and I also need to attach chains to limit the travel so they don't blow out. This year the base is just going to move a floor for a room, but next year wheels and other mechanical goodies will be attached and actually make it into a dark ride car. I plan on picking up the steel tommorow and getting the top frame finished by Wednesday. I still need to order the fittings and other bits to get it moving, but the basic components are there. More to come! :)
 

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Okay, BIG Update everyone. I have successfully completed construction on the motion base portion of the car. It doesn't look like the full ride will be completed in time for this years haunt but i have made major advances in the ride control system as well as car design. I will be posting pics of the progress soon, so stay posted! :)
 

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Okay, BIG Update everyone. I have successfully completed construction on the motion base portion of the car. It doesn't look like the full ride will be completed in time for this years haunt but i have made major advances in the ride control system as well as car design. I will be posting pics of the progress soon, so stay posted! :)
Any updates on your project?
 
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