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.
Here is the somewhat completed station rail. It still needs to be painted then the metal strips can be attached.
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.
I feel like i have a good start, but there is still a long way to go before anyone can ride on it
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.