FERRIS WHEEL
PROJECT SHEET
creation started February 9, 2022

Now that the Carousel is complete it is time for one of the sideshows to be created.  I’ve decided to build a Ferris Wheel and to place it to the left of the Carousel.

  • Five Seats, three persons per seat.
  • The Ferris Wheel is to accelerate to top speed and decelerate to a stop.
  • The riders will be magnetically attached so that they can be changed out as appropriate.

February 28, 2022, Completed
Ferris Wheel


The Ferris Wheel is complete.  I took my street organ and its little Carnival into public yesterday (Kobey’s Swap Meet) and was extremely pleased with the interest shown in both the Carousel and the Ferris Wheel.  I would guess that interest in my performances has increased by about 30%.  All ages show fascination.  People are respectful and rarely show an inclination to touch the Carnival.

My next project is an addition to the Carnival called a High Striker.  This is the arcade game where a person, using a large mallet, hits a lever that drives a puck up into a bell…causing the bell to ring.

The Carousel and Ferris Wheel are mounted to the front of my street organ. 27 February 2022.

February 26, 2022, the Electrics
Ferris Wheel


The Carousel already exists at the front of my street organ.  It accelerates to top speed, runs, decelerates to a stop, and pauses (all for random periods of time).  I want the Ferris Wheel to do the same thing, however not synchronous with the Carousel…I want them on different schedules.  This is accomplished very easily using the Nano and making slight modifications to the Carousel software.

The Ferris Wheel and the Carousel operate independently of each other.  Each is fully capable of operating by itself.  Both use the 6vdc battery pack.  Coincidentally each uses the same type of gear motor.  I really like these gear motors.  They seem to be very properly constructed. I expect them to last forever.  And their current draw is in the range of .05 – .09 amps…very little.

The electrics package is 3D printed.  It contains a Nano, a 5vdc buck regulator, and a Mosfet motor driver.  It also has an on-off switch (which is normally left on).  

I’ve run the Carousel and the Ferris Wheel together and they do well alongside each other.  When the power switch is turned on they both start operating…they accelerate up to their top speeds.  And then the ‘random’ coding kicks in and they stop and start independently of each other, rarely in sync.

I’m very pleased with the current draw.  It seems that I’ll be able to get about 8 performances out of each battery charge.  I’m glad that I installed a voltage display on the battery pack.  Knowing the voltage permits me to ensure that I have enough charge.  I’m planning on routinely recharging once a month.  I suspect that will be enough.

Two 6vdc gear motors. For the Ferris Wheel, I elected to use the larger one.
February 20, 2022
The Ferris Wheel electrics package is pretty small and simple. A cover closes at all.
February 26, 2022.

February 18, 2022, the Seats
Ferris Wheel


My initial intent was to 3D print the side frames and then use real wood for the footrest, seat, and backrest.  However, because they all needed to be exactly the same size I choose to 3D print all components.

Seat assembly was done inside a gluing jig.  I used CA glue and was careful.

In the top image, you see the seat components on the 3D printer bed.  The second item up on the left side is the seat.  You are looking at the bottom.  You can see three circular depressions.  These depressions are to hold disc magnets.  Each figure has a steel component melted into its butt.  They sit on the seat and are held in place with magnets.  I’ve done this so that I can change the figures as appropriate.  For example, during the Easter season, there will be a bunny riding the Ferris Wheel.

The Ferris Wheel seats need to all be exactly the same size so they were 3D printed using PET-G on a Prusa Mini.
February 11, 2022.
The Ferris Wheel seats need to be the same size so they were glued up inside a gluing jig. February 11, 2022.

February 9, 2022, the Frame
Ferris Wheel


As I begin the Ferris Wheel I’m realizing that a large percentage of it will be 3D printed.  Why?  I need the precision.  For software I use FreeCAD, and I design using the parametric workflow.  What this means is that as I am constructing the Ferris Wheel, if I 3D print something that is just not quite right, I can change the dimension in the spreadsheet and reprint.

My size objective with the Ferris Wheel is twofold:  I don’t want to overpower the Carousel, and I want the 1:25 scale people to fit properly.

The Ferris Wheel seats are being tested for size and balance within the frame. February 9, 2022.