Fairground Diorama

The diorama is mounted on a piece of plywood. I first marked out the positions of the two Ferris Wheels and pre-drilled holes for all the various wires (motors, lighting etc). After applying pieces of Gravel Mat & Summer Grass Mat (from Gaugemaster), I then punched thru the pre-drilled holes. The "edging stone" around the Grass Mat is made from 1mm square white plastic strips.

The ferris wheels are each held in place with a single screw (hidden inside the motor housing).

So that the Ferris Wheels can be controlled automatically, I've glued a reed switch to one of the supporting legs of each Ferris Wheel (above).

To trigger the reed switch, magnets have been glued to the Wheels themselves (below).
As there are 20 gondolas per Wheel, and four gondolas are loaded/unloaded at a time, I needed to glue 5 magnets to each Wheel.

Clockwise from the top:
Vollmer Ghost Train, IHC Kentucky Derby, Faller Children's Merry-Go-Round
Faller Bouncy Castle, Faller Mouse Circus, Faller Swingboats, Faller Bratwurst-Haus
IHC Squirt Gun, Faller Test-Your-Strength, Faller Pizzeria

There are six circuit boards (powered from four 16vAC power points) fixed to the underside of the diorama.
The six boards are as follows:

A. Swingboats
Using a programmable Picaxe chip circuit, power is supplied to the 16vAC motor so that the boats perform 25 oscillations. There then follows a 30 second pause before the process repeats. The board also powers the lights for the Mouse Circus & Hot Dog Stand.

B. Children's Merry-Go-Round
A programmable Picaxe Chip circuit is used to produce a 2 minute ride followed by a 20 second pause.

C. Vollmer Ghost Train
Powers a continuously running 16vAC motor & 12vDC light. A 555 Timer Chip circuit is used to control the Vollmer supplied 3vDC light & sound board which is triggered every 40 seconds and runs for 8 seconds causing the Frankenstein Monster to emit a 'ghostly' noise and for its eyes to flash green. This board also supplies power to the LED mounted in the adjacent Game Stand.

D. Ferris Wheel 1
A programmable Picaxe Chip circuit is used to advance the 16vAC motor until a magnet mounted on the Wheel triggers the reed switch. The motor is then paused for 10 seconds before proceeding to the next magnet. This repeats for each set of four gondolas. The Wheel will then run continuously, completing three revolutions (~5 mins) before the whole sequence repeats.

E. Test Your Strength
A 555 Timer Chip circuit is used to illuminate a small light bulb for 1.5 seconds every 25 seconds. The board also powers the adjacent Food Stands.

F. Ferris Wheel 2
Same function as Board D.

For those that are interested, I'll put the circuit details on a separate page, later.

The small grey box at the bottom of the photo is the battery powered sound card module for the Fairground Organ supplied with the B311 Ferris Wheel.

I decided to have a go at making some Vending Machines. They are simply small blocks of wood,
painted black and with scaled photos of various Vending Machines glued on one side.

After I had installed the Children's Carousel on the diorama, I discovered that the Carousel wobbled quite badly as it rotated. I couldn't work out exactly where the wobble was coming from, but I suspected the motor. I decided to replace the original Faller motor with a Mclennan Geared DC Motor #399-9932. The process was a bit tricky (the replacement motor was longer and had a smaller diameter), but eventually I managed it. I couldn't find anything wrong with the original motor, but at least the wobble had now gone.


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