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Haunted elevator

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  • #16
    Dude that is sooo awesome. Now it makes me want to learn how to make one so I can do it myself. But I'm not educated in the pneumatics field.


    • #17
      Originally posted by Brckee1 View Post
      Thanks for the kind words everyone!

      The controller is a Gilderfluke Minibrick. I used the real time programming feature to program the movement to match the sound effect. It took several hours to get the program where I wanted it.

      The chain is welded to the steel beam and the sprocket rolls along it pulling/pushing the elevator. It really works well. Another advantage to this method is that there are no mechanics under the elevator. The motor and drive chain are all external making it easier to work on if something goes wrong.
      What are the specs on the gearmotor you're using to roll the elevator side to side? Is it a grainger item?

      I am also curious what your soundtrack is like and lighting inside/etc. Did you have an actor work inside and hit a button to start the sequence?
      Brett Hays, Director
      Fear Fair


      • #18
        Brckee1 check your PMs :-)
        Bill Rod.
        Dark Tech Effects
        Automated DMX Lighting
        Show Control - Audio / Visual Effects


        • #19
          We also built an elevator a few years ago, however ours rotates.
          I really like the idea of the lineal travel you've done, plus it looks like probably less maintenance issues

          Last edited by Karl Fields; 12-02-2011, 06:22 PM. Reason: fix link


          • #20
            Hey Karl!

            Actually, your elevator was the inspiration for me to build one. You were kind enough to share some tips with me when I asked you about it last Spring. I appreciate your help, thanks!

            The linear travel worked very well. It was very reliable. I picked up another motor incase I want to build another one.
            Jim H
            Dark Raven Designs


            • #21
              The Ravens Grin Elevator: I would herd them into a thing that seemed as if it might be an actual elevator, slide the steel bar door shut, as I talked I made eye-contact, they were all almost looking at me when I would bend my knees, lowering myself . Many would scream and even fall down thinking they were actually rising.
              Maybe part of the set up was they knew they were already very high in the house and the only way to go was
              d o
              n !

              Lots of laughs!!


              • #22
                Originally posted by bhays View Post
                What are the specs on the gearmotor you're using to roll the elevator side to side? Is it a grainger item?

                I am also curious what your soundtrack is like and lighting inside/etc. Did you have an actor work inside and hit a button to start the sequence?
                The motor worked great. It has a gearbox already attached and has adjustable speed. I got it used from a local machine shop for around $200. It is a 3 phase motor. They also put together a relay box for me to reverse the direction of the motor. I went with 3 phase because it is the easiest AC motor to reverse. It can also be done with a 220V or even a 120V motor but is more complicated.

                I can get you the specs on the motor I used if you have 3 phase power available.

                The sound is something I put together myself using actual elevator sounds and other sound effects. For lighting inside I used a single industrial style light mounted to the back wall. The light would flicker and go out at times.

                I didn't use an actor inside the elevator for a couple reasons. One, I thought it would be scarier for people to be inside themselves with no staff. I put a sign on the inside of the doors that said "Weight Limit 400LBs"
                Another reason I didn't use an actor inside was that it would be real hard to ride it all night. Once is fine, but you feel a little loopy after. If you ride it twice in a row, you feel dizzy. I think riding all night would be less than fun. I used an actor at each end, entrance and exit. At the entrance side there is a switch to operate the doors, a button to actuate the elevator and an emergency kill switch. The exit side had a switch for the doors, a button to return the elevator to the starting position and an emergency kill switch.
                Jim H
                Dark Raven Designs


                • #23
                  Three phase lets most applications out in left field.
                  What does three phase have in common with me?
                  We both have a "Wild" third leg!.


                  • #24

                    Any suggestions for what motor i would need if i only have 110v power. how many RPM does your motor turn? and how many teeth are on the gear? Any info would be great.



                    • #25
                      Where would you recommend buying the air bags? Also, would a wood floor and frame work or would it be to heavy ?


                      • #26
                        Look online. Easy to find, they are truck and RV suspension air lift bags.

                        We did a steel frame with a plywood deck floor. It was designed to handle a dozen people. 4 air bags, no problem with weight. The key is the air flow. You need large fast dump valves to get the effect right. I would not go with wood, too much movement and flex. I'm guessing it would rip itself apart in short order.

                        Good Luck
                        Last edited by rwrussom; 12-03-2011, 12:17 PM.
                        Randy Russom

                        Mid State Scare - San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria's favorite Haunted House
                        2013 - Hmmm, we shall see what gets conjured up


                        • #27
                          Many many years ago in the OLD DARKNESS we have two elevators side by side as a preshow. We did this with sliding doors that open both at the same time, and we suspended the elevator off the floor with chains so the elevator basically floated over the floor so if you touched them ever so slightly they would move. In the middle of the two there was a control room at one point the actor would just move a bar side to side and he could move the elevators more violently than you could with pistons. We did it both ways with and without pistons actually the without was better.

                          Last year we built a motion based elevator and put video fx in the floor to give you the illusion you where falling. Here is a picture from The Darkness like 15 years ago...

                          We are doing YET ANOTHER elevator FX in the Darkness 2012 for the Haunt Show but you won't ride this one it will be a CGI FX that you see in front of you. It will be awesome.

                          Larry Kirchner


                          • #28
                            I'm going to try a design with wood... I'm thinking if the frame is built properly, it'll last a lifetime. Found some nice air bags and ordering all the parts soon. Larry, your elevator for last years show was absolutely amazing. Loved the video in the floor, added a whole new aspect.


                            • #29
                              Just my two cents...but we've built several motion platforms over the years and I would never use wood for the platform. The problem is that air bags can't stop themselves from expanding and will explode if you just fill them with air. They need to be restricted by chains, cables, physical stops, etc. We always use chains, which are attached to the floor and to the platform itself, to restrict the expansion of the bags, but I would be very concerned about attaching those chains to a wood platform. Air bags can produce massive amounts of force and can be very dangerous if misused. The air bags we used on our swamp house at The Darkness can each produce 13000 pounds of force and there are 4 of them. The elevator we did last year at The Darkness has 4 airbags as well. Each of them can produce about 2800 pounds. These are serious forces. Again, I would just always use steel and be very careful when using air bags. They are great and very versatile, but they are also dangerous.
                              Kip Polley

                              Pale Night Productions
                              We Engineer Fear


                              • #30
                                Ah, okay. This makes sense now! Re-designing and ordering parts. Thanks for the info guys!