Faller Salto Mortale 140428

Faller Salto Mortale #140428 - Construction Log

The first task was to construct the backboard.

The backboard was then attached to the base.
Next, the gears and motors were added.

I'm fairly certain that I've found a mistake in the Instruction Manual that could confuse many people.
On page 7, diagram X, the gear that meshes with the left-hand motor is identified as part number 5/4 - I believe it should say part number 5/6.
As far as I can tell, only one 5/4 gear is supplied and that gear is used elsewhere (in diagram V).
If there was another 5/4 gear, I can't see how it would work or fit correctly next to the left-hand motor.
Furthermore, the 5/4 gear in diagram X doesn't look like the 5/4 gear pictured in diagram V and actually looks like another 5/6 gear.

I may come back and correct this Note later, but for the moment, part 5/6 makes sense, seems to work in this position and is the only gear available to use.

Out of focus, sorry.

The silver square on the black universal joint is a magnet that will trigger a reed switch and is used to determine the start/end point of the ride.

The "engine room" houses the reed switch that will be activated by the magnet located on the universal joint.

First Test

It was now time for the first test.
I connected all the wires to the Control Box and used a 16v AC supply (the Instruction Manual states that 12 - 16v / AC or DC can be used).
The sequence of events is:
1) The left-hand motor raises the arm.
2) The right-hand motor turns the mechanism inside the arm clockwise for about 60 seconds, stops, then counter-clockwise for another 60 seconds, and then stops.
3) The left-hand motor then lowers the arm.

The bearing on the right-hand-side of the shaft was a bugger to get on.
I would shortly have problems with this shaft and gears (see later).

The 'riders' (not included) come from Faller set #153050, #153051 & #153052 and Preiser set #14414

Second Test

It was now time for the second test.
For a short while, the model operated exactly as expected:
The lift mechanism raised the seats away from the loading platform (not fitted yet)
The Main Arm started to turn and at the same time the hub holding all the seats rotated and each row of seats started to rotate sending the 'riders' head-over-heels.

After a while I noticed that the seats and seating hub would occasionally stop rotating, even though the main arm was still turning. At first I thought that the small gear in the centre of the arm was losing contact with the crown gear at the top of the lift arm. But eventually I noticed that the gear was still turning but the shaft it was connected to wasn't turning - the glue that was holding the gear to the shaft had failed.
The only way to fix this would be to disassemble the main arm - this meant I would have to prise off the counterweights, the crown gear that connects with the seat hub and also the self-adhesive decoration that hides the join between the two halves of the arm.
I cleaned up the shaft and re-glued the gear back on (using a lot more glue) and then partially re-assembled the arm. Once the glue was completely dry, I re-tested the model - this time the glue held.

Next, I decided to address another problem that I'd noticed. Even with the counterweights, I found that the main arm was still very unbalanced and this appeared to affect the smoothness of rotation. So I dug into my bag of Faller spare parts (which I've accumulated over the years) and found a thick metal disc that balanced the arm almost perfectly and helped smooth out the rotation - it's not perfect, but it's a lot, lot better than it was.

Instead of using Faller lights (some supplied) I decided to use some fast-flash Rainbow LEDs

I wasn't happy with the way the supplied Control Box worked - in particular, the way the main arm simply stopped turning rather than slowing down to a stop.
So, I decided to build my own Control Box.
It essentially operates in the same way as Faller's - I've just reduced the speed of the model slightly and fine tuned the "stop" position to my specific model.



During the testing phase I observed that the arm would occasionally hesitate whilst rotating - as though something was sticking. Eventually I traced the fault to one of the gondolas and I was able to make a modification to circumvent the problem. However, the more the model was used the 'looser' the drive mechanism became. The cause of the problem was part 11/10 (see diagram below), which sits at the top of the lift mechanism. When I was originally building this part of the model, I could see instinctively that this was the weakest link. Only about 2mm of the shaft on 11/10 actually fits inside the slot in part 5/13. Over time, this 2mm piece of plastic was starting to distort.

I took the plunge and decided to try and refurbish part 11/10.
To do this, I cut off the original shaft and carved a new, longer one out of a spare piece of plastic. By drilling a rectangular shaped hole into the remainder of 11/10 I was able to superglue the new shaft securely into part 11/10. In order to give a more secure fitting, I also removed part 5/13 and designed 11/10 so that it would fit inside the univeral joint. When reassembled, the rotation of the arm was now much smoother.

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