Faller Break Dancer 140440 - Construction Log + Automation & LED Project

Motor added to base. Turntable hub decorated.

Magnets (used to deflect cars) added to turntable.
The blue discs will connect with the base and cause the four spindles housing the cars to turn.

Four cars will be added to each spindle, later.

Turntable connected to base

Rear wall & barriers added.

Lights added.

More decoration added.

Frame added to back wall.



Faller BreakDancer - Automation & LED Project

Aim of Project:
1) Add a timer circuit to the model and include a loading/unloading phase.
2) Add fast changing RGB LEDs to the 12 large Lighting Rigs round the model.
3) Replace the BreakDancer sign at the back of the model with an LED display.

I will use programmable Picaxe chips to control the ride and drive the LEDs.

Base Modifications

The BreakDancer has 12 Lighting Rigs that will each need an LED.
Firstly I decided to tackle the 6 Lighting Rigs at the back of the model. However, deciding how to mount the LEDs posed a bit of a dilemma.

The easiest method (see photo 'A' below) was to simply thread one lead of the LED down the hole in the centre of the red pole with the other lead fed down the side of the pole and though an extra hole drilled through the base. The disadvantage of this method is that virtually all of the light from the LED would shine upwards and not towards the turntable.

An alternative solution was to angle the LED (see photo 'B'). This would direct the light towards the turntable, but unfortunately most of the light would be blocked by the Lighting Rig.

The solution I've decided to use is to mount the LED to the front of the Lighting Rig (see photos C1, C2 & C3). The LED's original leads are shortened and new leads are soldered to them (one new lead is fed up through the centre of the pole and the other through a hole adjacent to the pole). Now all the light is directed towards the turntable.

For the 6 Lighting Rigs at the front of the model I had to come up with a far less elegant solution. The Lighting Rigs are constructed in such a way that it wasn't possible to use the hole down the centre of the red supporting poles. Instead, I had to trail both leads of the LEDs down the front of the poles and through separate holes in the base. In the photo below, the solution looks crude - but on the upside, when viewed from the front of the model, the modification isn't visible.

Here the LEDs leads have been soldered together - I'll add insulating tape to isolate the +ve & -ve circuits.

A row of LEDs has been added along the top edge of the surrounding board. The LEDs have been soldered into 4 separate circuits - this will allow me to program different lighting sequences. White LEDs have also been installed underneath each of the blue canopies.
In the photo below you can see that the LEDs are mounted through strips of circuit board - this was done to add some rigidity to the board but also to aid in spacing the LEDs.


Here's the circuit board that will control the ride itself and also the LEDs mounted on the base of the model.

BreakDancer LED Sign

I will use Picaxe chips to individually control the lighting of each character on the replacement LED sign. The chips only have 8 output pins (and 5 input pins), but as there are 11 letters & a 'star' symbol I will need to use 2 chips. Each chip will control 6 characters each. The chips will be kept synchronized by linking them to together via one of the spare output pins and an input pin.

Flow diagram (Click on image for larger version).

Planned layout of components from flow diagram.

The replacement LED sign (136 x 3mm RGB Rainbow Fast Flash LEDs):

Connecting Everything Together

There was plenty of room underneath the model to mount both circuit boards.


Back to Amusement Park Home Page