IHC Falling Star #5117 - Construction Log

In a similar manner to when I built the Sky Wheel, I replaced the long plastic rod that is supplied
to connect the drive gear to the motor with a steel rod.

The two brown 'trough' shaped pieces on the left make up the counterweight. Prior to glueing the two halves together, the instructions recommend filling them with a suitable material (e.g. lead fishing weights) so that their combined weight equals that of the Seating Platform - I packed them with ball bearings.

So that I could automate the model, I added a reed switch at the base of the rear support and a corresponding magnet on the back of the rear arm. When the magnet triggers the reed switch, the Seating Platform will be in the loading / unloading position.

I have used a Mclennan Geared DC Motor #399-9919 to turn the drive shaft. The Circuit Board contains a programmable Picaxe 18X chip (the code is written in Basic) and an L293D motor driver IC (which allows the motor to be driven easily in both directions). I found an off-ride YouTube video of the Falling Star ride at Michigan's Adventure and I have attempted to replicate the motion of that ride.
For those that are interested or curious, I've put the code (it's badly written - but it works) in a text file that can be downloaded here.
The circuit is virtually identical to the one I used for the Rainbow.


Back to Amusement Park Home Page