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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
Thanks Engineerchic. Totally not intended, but possessed is good! I think I might be possessed by something to undertake this project!

Update: I've spent the last 3 days pretty much setting up the track and making sure the front wheel assembly glides freely along the track. I realized after much finagling, that I had an easier way to adjust the track. I had been using ties to get the exact distance between the track (which is the secret sauce to making it glide freely), then I realized as I moved each section, the next section would get out of wack. The key is to make sure the inside track keeps up with the outside track. I should have done a section at a time and built it as I went instead of putting it all together first. I wanted to make sure it would fit in the area in my front yard and also got a little ahead of myself, but lesson learned.

I tweaked the design so the front of the coaster moves freely. I used a bolt in the center in my mockup. The back wheels for now are static.

This is the first step towards success, now on to the coaster design and lift system. The current tray is pretty heavy, so might have to get some aluminum or something with less weight.
More to come!

Platform test
Coaster pic
Platform detail
 

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Discussion Starter #23
An update to my long running blog of my Ghost0Coaster scenario if anyone is still following!:
A little more work with the lift system, and I think I'll be able to start decorating. I got the victim, a medium sized skeleton with red led eyes, might even have 2 people riding side by side. Did a little mock up (been doing a lot of those lately!) with a storage bin and a few items added for weight, and it had no problem making it around the track. The old lift hill was just a placeholder, and was a little too steep, I added a longer slope, and it is way easier to pull up. I also got some metal strapping and used that with plywood cut to the exact distance of the track, and it works a LOT better, and is also a lot easier to do. Might redo some of the rough spots where the car hits the black tubing. I can now ditch the black tubing if I want, but not sure if I have the energy, been working non stop the past 4 days. I'm beat!

So far, it has been working flawlessly for over about 60 or so runs. I'm working up a lift system with a rope or maybe I'll use some wire that I have left over from my flying ghost. I did a trial run with just a knot run through a V test prototype made out of wood nailed to the back of the car, and it worked great (see video). Just need to see if it will work with a continuous moving rope or wire.
Going to have to add some pulleys or something at the top of the lift to make it work smoothly, and need to figure out what will power it. I have the 12 car seat motor that has a lot of torque, but not sure of the longevity. I was also thinking of using a drill, but those are pretty loud. If anyone has any suggestions, please?

Lift test 1
Coaster run with car mock up


Looking forward to the decorating part. It looks like it might rain tomorrow, so I'm going to work on the car and arduino scenario.
 

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Yep, I am very interested and following. It would be great if you could just tie a knot in the rope every foot or so and if it went over the pulleys okay, it would be very easy to adapt the coaster to grab a knot as it goes over the rope. You might be able to adapt some bicycle rims without too many issues with the knots.

The other option is to put the rope on a spool attached to the motor. The coaster grabs the apparatus at the bottom and the motor lifts the coaster to the top. After it reaches the top and the coaster is on it's way down, the motor reverses and sends the apparatus to grab the cart back down and waits for the cart to arrive, then rinse and repeat. If this sounds interesting, we can discuss the apparatus later.

I don't see why a wiper motor wouldn't work in this scenario. It seems light enough and those little motors are pretty powerful. I would think it would easily move the cart about a foot a second, but the only real way is to try it out. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Hey Fogmaster, thanks for the info, sorry, been working non stop on this monstrosity!

I've messed around with the continuous loop thing, and it keeps snagging. I'm down to using the black rubber tubing as a channel for the wire, and put a few little washers every few feet to snag the cart. The washers are perfect to catch the cart, the snagging is a little problematic. I've got a few rubber bow rollers (the rubber things that go on the front top of boat trailers to hold the bow of the boat on the trailer), and they move freely (see below)

I like your idea of spooling the rope or wire on the motor. I'd love to see the type of apparatus you are thinking about. I was thinking worse case scenario, I can just get an electric winch from Harbor Freight and set that up to go up and down similar to what you are talking about.
The good thing is that there will be a time out after the coaster does it's circle around the track. I can make it delay as long as needed, so this might work out.

Some other ideas I had:
1. Spinning wheels similar to actual roller coasters powered from below, and a thin piece of wood on the bottom of the coaster to bring it up.
2. A channel that has a spinning threaded rod with a large nut and metal l bracket or something to travel up and back.

I took a few days off because of the hot weather, and worked on some of the other items on my punch list. I've got my Arduino board up and running and my mp3 background audio and scare mp3 mostly ready to go.
I figured how I'm going to get the skeleton to raise his arms and a few other little things that I needed to do.

Thanks again for the feedback.
bow roller
Wide bow roller
 

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MODERATOR NOTE:

Just an FYI to the OP and anyone else that happens to have this happen: you are a newish member here, or maybe you joined a while back, but haven't posted much on the forum. You go to make a new post, or maybe edit a post to add a photo or link to something.

For some reason, your post tells you it is holding for approval. No one can see it until it gets approved, and it sits there, awaiting approval for hours.

I wanted to explain to the OP here since this did happen to one of their posts in this thread (and if anyone else has this occur).

We have an automatic spam filter/system on this site that works pretty well 90% of the time.

Unfortunately it has a thing about new-ish members or members with very low post counts when they post sometimes, or make posts with links/images in them. It is a protection thing, to prevent spammers from registering and then flooding the site with spam links, but sometimes that also means folks that are doing completely okay things (like in this case) get their posts waitlisted for approval until a real live human (moderator) can double check it and approve.

And that includes if someone posts something, then comes back a little later and adds or changes their post that was previously approved - starts the whole automatic thing over again sometimes.

I know this is frustrating. I don't know why it does this only on some posts and not others. I feel terrible when I log in and see someone's perfectly normal post sitting for hours waiting and wondering what they did and getting angry/upset/worried about it.

Please be patient, know you didn't do anything wrong, and hopefully after a few more posts, you won't get caught up in the spam filter any more. :)

Thanks so much for your understanding!
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Thanks FG for the info!
Been working away at the coaster the last week. It's coming along nicely. It took me awhile to get my arduino up and running and program it. Had some issues figuring out which pins do what in the octobanger scenario. I didn't realize that it told you which pins do what when it connects. Also spent way to much time to figure out the Pir sensor was wired BACKWARDS. I wish I could have that day of my life back. Anyway, I had to order a 12v 20amp power supply for my seat motor, it kept stopping, and I realized I was only using a 5amp rinky dink supply. I'm pretty sure it's going to do the job. I also ordered some shaft collars so I can connect it to either a bike wheel, or a bow roller. I was checking some diy rope ski lifts, and that mechanism looks promising.

In the meantime, I've put some cardboard on the lift section of the coaster, and I'm going to try to simulate a dilapidated wooden coaster matrix. I ran the 3 strings of xmas lights one after the other, and it looks great at night. I even got the lights to blink in time with the voice: Welcome to the Ghost0coaster, please keep your bones inside the death trap...I mean vehicle at all times...Enjoy your ride Ha Ha Ha!

Been working on the skeleton and trying to get him to raise both his arms. I'm working with one of those circular turntable motors that reverses when it hits something. Trying to figure out how to do that has me stumped. If anyone has any ideas?
I first tried using 2 separate motors inside his chest, but they didn't sync up. I'm thinking of putting a rod through both shoulder holes, and try to maybe do a pulley system? Not sure. My brain is fried at this point. Feels good to be getting to the decorating part though. Should have the car done by this weekend. I didn't get a chance to do any videos of merit, but I'll post some when I get the car done.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Working on the "rider" now, got the mechanism that will lift his arms. Arm lifting mechanism . Going to get the car up and running and get a static display going for now with the rotating coaster lights. The rotating creepy effect I was able to achieve with the Octobanger program is looking great.
 
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