Model Ferris Wheel

by bbusse on Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:26 pm

I'm hoping to make a model ferriswheel. I was inspired by this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JyDsNW3Ry0

Here's another video of the led control board: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkynquErPpw
(See full youtube video description and title for info on what video author used)

In the video the the description says it is using a "eLabtronics 16m and MDriver". The company who sells this is located in Australia. I'm located in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I'm amateur with IC's but have about 20 years of moderate to high level computer experience. In the past 5 years I have used a lot of the 8m picaxe boards and I love how easy they are to work with. Is there a picaxe or something equally as easy to use or better that would tackle a project like this? I'm not afraid to jump in and learn if there is something much better and a bit more complex than picaxe. Although I love the simplicity of picaxe with it's USB programing connection.

Being new to microprocessor world, I also understand the picaxe can only directly light about 1 LED per output. What component is needed to be able to control many more lights with a low powered output? I've used miniature solid state relays before, but surely there must be something more reliable and compact now days.

Thank you for your time!

-Brian
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Re: Model Ferris Wheel

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:31 pm

You could use discrete leds as in the video, or you could use some digital led strips or pixel strands. These give you a lot of flexibility and are easy to control with just a few microprocessor pins. We have Arduino libraries for all of our led products. Follow the tutorial links on the product description for step-by-step instructions and example code.

https://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main ... led+strips
https://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main ... xel+strand
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Re: Model Ferris Wheel

by bbusse on Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:24 pm

Thanks for this info.

We are going to make our Ferris wheel model about 2 foot in diameter. The spokes on the wheels we hope to be no more than a 1/4" in width. Off hand can you tell me if you have a LED strip or LED pixels that are 1/4" wide or less? Ideally we would love LED strips that would have more than one circuit in it so we could achieve a simple white light marquee or a more fancy color marquee or color wave.

I have considered using discret LEDs but we would love to find an easier to implement soultion with ready made strips or chains of LEDs.

So please give a URL and light description of your most narrow/compact LED light strands that have multiple circuits/channels (color or white).

Thanks!
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Re: Model Ferris Wheel

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:49 am

we hope to be no more than a 1/4" in width

Unfortunately, the narrowest strips we have are 12.5mm (1/2") or 10mm with the waterproof casing removed. https://www.adafruit.com/products/1138
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Re: Model Ferris Wheel

by bbusse on Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:36 pm

Yes these will most likely work for us. I would love to order some in today and start experimenting with them right away. I would like to start with one full 4 meter full roll of these https://www.adafruit.com/products/1138 .

I may expand the project up to us as much as three - 4 meter full rolls later on.

On this product page, I see reference to both the UNO and Mega Arduino's.

I'd like to quickly order what I need to get started. Can you help me determine what is needed to experiment with a full 4 section / 4 meter roll of these lights.

This will be my first time trying Arduinos.

Which Arduino / kit do you sell that will control at least a full roll (4-1meter sections) or more? (Adruino Mega?)
Do you sell a power supply or recommend a power supply will power at least a full roll (4-1meter sections) or more?
Is there anything else I need to get started with experimenting with these lights? (computer cable, software, etc..?)

Please reply soon and I'd like to order ASAP.

Thank you for your time and help!

-Brian
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Re: Model Ferris Wheel

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:28 pm

To drive a full strip you would need a mega and the following parts:

Mega: https://www.adafruit.com/products/191
Power supply for Mega: https://www.adafruit.com/products/63
USB cable: https://www.adafruit.com/products/62
Power Supply for Strip: https://www.adafruit.com/products/658
Power Supply connector: http://adafruit.com/products/368
Strip connector: http://www.adafruit.com/products/319

The Arduino IDE is available for free download here:
http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
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Re: Model Ferris Wheel

by bbusse on Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:18 pm

Thank you for your help. I can see the power supply for the strip and the strips themselves are out of stock. I've signed up for the email notification when they are back in stock. I would love to order all of this ASAP, but I'll wait to get it all together.
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