Faller Music Express 140437 - Construction Log

First mistake - I didn't realise that there was a (pink) marker pen included in the set to colour the base,
so I used my own (black) marker.

If you're wondering why I've got the base on a couple of boxes, here's why ...

...the motor extends below the base.

Adding the lights and internal wall.

I later decided to move the supplied lights into the base area.


Motor Replacement, LED & Automation Project

Aim of Project:
1) To replace the standard Faller 16vAC motor with a low-voltage geared DC motor.
2) Add LEDs to the model.
3) Create a Circuit Board to automate the model.
4) Place the MusicExpress model within a suitable theme park/funfair setting.

Phase 1 - Motor Replacement

I've replaced the original AC motor with a 20mA Mclennan 90:1 Gear Ratio DC Instrument Motor #1271-12-90 (this is the same motor that I used on my Rainbow model). This particular DC motor is bi-directional and rotates at roughly 30rpm @ 12v and 15rpm @ 6v (with no load) - the original Faller 16vAC motor rotated at a fixed 15rpm. Using pulse width modulation I will be able to vary the speed of the motor.
To mount the new motor, I needed to enlarge the hole in the base to accommodate the collar that surrounds the shaft of the motor. The motor is simply superglued into place inside the original motor housing. Then the hole in the disc that slots onto the shaft of the motor was carefully enlarged.

In the photos above and below, you will see that I've lined the base area with mirror card
- this was done to increase and diffuse the light generated by the LEDs to be mounted in this area.

Phase 2 - Baseboard

I've glued pieces of grass mat and gravel mat to a 47cm x 33cm piece of 6mm MDF, with Earth Brown Scatter added to the rear section.
I've positioned the grass & gravel mat so that they will line up with my Rainbow model when the two are placed side-by-side.
The large hole is to accomodate the motor and wiring for the LEDs - more holes will be drilled through the board later for additional power supplies.

I'm also going to add the Witch's Seesaw and one of the Food Stalls that came with the Chairoplane/Swingboat kit.
And here's how they'll be arranged...

This photo shows how far the new motor extends through the board.

Phase 3 - Lighting

Three white LEDs have been used to light the sign and the interior of the Food Stall,
and another three light the interior of the Witch's Seesaw.
The wires for all the LEDs and the wires for the Witch's Seesaw's motor are fed through holes drilled into the MDF.

I've hot-glued nine fast-flash Rainbow LEDs around the edges of the MusicExpress.
An additional LED will light the central hub and is suspended from the overhead gantry.

Eight floodlights (white LEDs) have been wired into the roof piece.
Unfortunately, after soldering I had to bend the wires somewhat so that the roof would lie flat on the top of the model.

Phase 4 - Control Board

What I wanted to do was only have one power supply for the whole baseboard.
Because I wasn't replacing the motor for the Witch's Seesaw, this dictated that I would have to start with a 16v AC source.
I eventually came up with the following flow diagram that would take the 16v AC & convert it to about 16v DC.
This would then be further reduced to 7v for the DC motor, and 5v for the Picaxe-18X chip. The chip would control all the LEDs and the speed of the DC motor.

Flow diagram (Click on image for larger version).

Phase 5 - Finishing Touches

The street lights were an afterthought.
They require a 6v source - if I had thought about it earlier, then I could have incorporated their power supply into the circuit board.


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