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This thread is about a halloween dark ride I am making. I will be posting our progress on this site so everyone can know what we did to make it. I know dark rides can be very expensive to build, but this is the most budget friendly dark ride I have ever seen built. Each ride car costs $300-500. This year we will only have one ride car but in the future we will have two or three. This method for building a dark ride is a lot easier than others available and can probably be completed during the halloween season. This was inspired by Don O' Neil, Sedgewick Hotel, The Mystic Motel, and many other home haunt dark rides. Down in the comments I will have the progress map and how we built everything.
 

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Originally we had a drive train setup similar to Don o' Neil, but we realized that a LOT of problems could be solved by getting away from that method of engine placement. Now, the (single) drive wheel is perpendicular to the ground and mounted to the left side of the RV for optimum traction and it makes it a lot easier to start up without burning out on the track because with the Don O' Neil style you don't have nearly as much traction. Here are some photos of the final motor placement with a wooden fender we built.
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Now talking about the motor selection and motor control. First of all we are using a Jazzy Wheelchair Motor that can run at either 12v or 24v. We are powering it with a 12v car battery because it does not need to rotate at 120 rpm with 24v. To control the motor we are using a DC Motor Controller and we are using the potentiometer to vary the speed for different groups of riders. The reason we change the speed live is because with a lighter group of passengers you do not need as much power. here are again some more photos.
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For the track we are using just plain 2x4s and to hold them upright there are small sections of 1/2” ply. For the 2 curved sections we used 1/8” flexible “plywood” also known as bender board. We made a guide and then gradually added layers using construction adhesive to hold everything together. At the end we added some screws to make sure the glue would hold and now we have 2 curved track sections. For our drive train design we do not need constant tension on the track so it doesn’t need need to be perfect. For anyone wanting to build a dark ride I would recommend this method to any other designs such as Don O’ Neils method which involves much more work and a lot more problem solving. The next comment will have photos of the track.
 

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Following! I'm along for the 'ride'. Badum tis.

How's the track guide guiding the cart? Would like to see that mechanism. Sorry if I'm jumping the gun.
 

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Following! I'm along for the 'ride'. Badum tis.

How's the track guide guiding the cart? Would like to see that mechanism. Sorry if I'm jumping the gun.
Oh! I have already built the full car and it uses 2 sets of casters perpendicular to the track. It sounds a little confusing but later today I will post the rest of the photos. I do not have my computer with me.
 

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I'm really amazed how much time, effort and money some people put into their haunts, great work.
 

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Sorry for not posting recently... here are some new photos of the painted car, track, and walls. We used an airless paint sprayer and painted
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everything with only 3 gallons of flat black exterior paint. I would recommend either using a large airless sprayer because it would take a few days by hand with a roller. We have put up a few walls and we will roof the whole build in 2 weeks.
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After the walls were up we brought out a large prop we use. It is called“assistants revenge” which is a large stage illusion which we built to dual function as a “torture device” for our Halloween builds. We will either have a skeleton or monkey in the restraints with fog and a strobe.
 

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For effects this year we are using a multitude of lighting and atmosphere effects. We are using one long ADJ led black light for the graveyard scene which will illuminate our Ghillie suit actor with fluorescent paint accents. We are also using a smaller fluorescent black light in our science lab scene. We are currently using 2 ADJ VF400 foggers with modified controllers to work with arduino. One is used for the torture apparatus and one is used at the entrance for atmosphere. Outside at the graveyard there is a ADJ VF1300 which is chilled to produce a very large amount of ground fog. At the very end of the ride we have an ADJ Galaxian laser which shines through the fog that drifts away from the graveyard resulting in crisp laser beams. I don’t have any nighttime photos right now but there should be some soon.
 
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