Faller Old-Town Wall Set / Top Spin Project

Aim of Project:
Create a diorama with a pared down Top-Spin at its heart and pieces from Faller's Old-Town and Amusement Park ranges around the perimeter.

Phase 1 - Construct Old-Town Wall Set

The two towers also comprise set #130403. The left-hand tower can be constructed to have the archways set at 90 or 180. On the right-hand tower, the archways are set at 135.
The wall pieces on the far left and right can also be bought separately as set #130404.

It should be noted that in the photo above (comprising sets 130401 & 130402) the wall piece at the back (with the steps) should have an archway leading through it. However, the set I received contained pieces to make up 3 solid solid walls, instead of 2 solid walls and 1 arched wall. I was going to write to Faller to get replacement parts until I realised that in my planned layout, it would be better if all the walls were solid.

Phase 2 - Baseboard

I will be discarding the loading platform, backboard, side lighting units and front supports from the Top-Spin.
The whole of the remaining structure will be sunk into the baseboard so that no loading platform will be necessary.
I'll be creating a new circuit board and, after studying Top-Spin videos on YouTube, attempting to reprogram the model for a more realistic looking ride.

Wood filler has been use to fill in around the supports.
Once dried, the wood filler was sanded down and the baseboard was covered with gravel mat, grass mat & earth scatter.

The Circus World and Chairoplane models will be added to this diorama.

I've hot-glued some LEDs to the back of the Circus World model.

I was considering replacing the AC motor in the Chairoplane with a DC motor.
Unfortunately, when I originally built the model, I glued some pieces together that prevented me from doing this.

Phase 3 - Circuit Boards
There will be two circuit boards - one to control the Top-Spin, and the other to power the Chairoplane, Circus World, LEDs and Street Lamps.
Both Circuit Boards will be hot-glued to the underside of the Diorama.

The flow diagram, above, expands upon my General Purpose Timer circuit.
The 16vAC power supply is converted to 6vDC for the Street Lamps and 2.5vDC for the Circus World model.
(Click on image for larger version - you may need to magnify it).

Above, the proposed layout of the circuit components.
Below, the completed circuit board.

A programmable Picaxe 18X chip and an L293D motor driver IC will control the Top-Spin's motors.
(Click on image for larger version - you may need to magnify it).

Above, the proposed layout of the circuit components.
Below, the completed circuit board.

Phase 4 - Finishing Touches

To finish off the model, I've incorporated pieces from the following kits:
Preiser 17201 (Chairs & Tables), Preiser 17220 (Plates, Cups & Saucers), Faller 180568 (Benches)
Faller 180585 (Flower displays, Telephone Box, Advertising Display)
The Street Lamps are from Hong Kong (via eBay)

The cottage, that came with the Old-Town Kit, is now a cafe with a Tea Garden to the side of it.

The "water" infront of the Top-Spin comes from the Busch Garden Pond Set (#1210).

Phase 5 - Special Feature

When I originally started this diorama, it was always my intention to create a "real" water feature with jets of water, powered by a pump, shooting up towards the Top-Spin Gondola - I just didn't know whether I would be able to achieve it. I wanted to be able to control the pump automatically from the same circuit board as the Top-Spin. Impeller pumps used in aquariums would be ideal, but they use 240vAC (in the UK), and I didn't feel confident in trying to remotely control a 240vAC pump. I tried using the low-voltage Faller Water Pump (#180627), but this didn't have enough power to produce jets of water.
So, I needed to find another low-voltage water pump. Although 12vDC pumps exist, the only ones I could find were large, expensive and too powerful for my needs. But, it just so happens that a few years ago I bought a water top-up system (to add fresh water to my aquarium whilst I'm away on holiday) which uses a 12vAC impeller pump. I found that this pump would be ideal and could be easily controlled via a relay switch.

The "lake" is made from an old Project Box. I added two connectors (from my failed Faller Water Pump experiment).
One connector will be used for drainage, whilst the other will be connected to the water supply from the pump.
A short piece of flexible tubing with 7 small holes drilled into it will create the jets.
The orange connectors and most of the flexible tubing have since been painted black.

The pump is triggered automatically via a relay switch on the circuit board. I used a homemade clamp on the tubing to set the height of the water jets.
Before starting, the tubing from the pump to the project box needs to be primed with water, otherwise the water tends to spurt out.
Also, to prevent air syphoning back into the system whilst the pump is switched off, the pump needs to be kept at roughly the same height as the project box.
The project box drains into a separate container.

As you can probably imagine, there's always going to be a certain amount of splashing with something like this,
so it's not possible to run the model in this mode for extended periods of time.

I've based the ride on a YouTube video taken at Gardaland (which I believe is in Italy)
and this particular version of the ride is somewhat gentler than some of the other Top-Spin videos posted on YouTube.
At a later date I might try to write the code to mimic one of those more violent versions of the ride.


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