View Full Version : Ski Lift - New Idea

02-15-2009, 09:21 PM
I was thinking. Almost Dangerous. Have you seen the picture of the ski lift, where the guy has his teddy bears ride up the rope stretched bewteen two bicycle wheels? If not see attachment: He's my idea; have several skiers (about the size of a Barbie Doll, with skies to help staplize) with a magnet on the head, the rope take the doll to the top, the magnet and some kind of a bar or plate seperate the doll from the rope. The doll then skies down a zig zag sheet of plywood to the bottom. The rope then come around and attachs to the magnet again and takes the doll to the top again. The ski slope could be lined with lights, the skiers could carry battery powered torches.

Anybody want to try and make this work? Anyone know how to make the magnets turn a loose of the dolls? Just an Idea, GO FORWARD!

02-15-2009, 09:52 PM
The easiest way I know of to do this would be to use electro magnets that have power on them.The wire would actually be the rope you speak of that has a + charge and the head would be the steel plate you speak of...Now once the line passes over the head the magnet turns on to pick it up..Then once it gets to a point it turns off to drop the doll to go down the hill...It's not that hard to accomplish really...
Hope this helps.

02-15-2009, 10:07 PM
That would work if you only had 1 skier on the rope or wire at a time, how would you do it if you had three or four going up the lift at a time?

02-15-2009, 10:35 PM
You can use triggers on the poles to support the line plus divide the line into sectios,or use telephone lines which are really thin and would also work.So you would have a seperate line for each one (meaning if you had 4 dolls and 8 lifts for example you could use the telephone line to hit the trigger and it would activate at a certain point like a train switch does)...

02-15-2009, 11:39 PM
That would work if you only had 1 skier on the rope or wire at a time, how would you do it if you had three or four going up the lift at a time?

An alternate, lower-tech approach might be to permanently fasten them, but use 2 parallel loops instead of one. The pairs of pulleys could be mounted vertically instead of horizontally. On the uphill loop, viewers would see the skiers sitting on the chairs as they are pulled up the lift, then temporarily disappear from view when they reached the top - what would really happen is that the skiers begin a return loop to the bottom of the hill underneath the ski slope, and then emerge again at the bottom, to travel back up the hill in full view.

On the downhill loop, viewers would see skiers start at the top of the hill and then zig-zag, roll, jump, be carried on a stretcher, or whatever down the slope (feet would be directly attached to the loop or simply anchored with a thin wire). When they got to the bottom of the hill, they would disappear from view and then return to the top underneath the ground, and emerge again at the top, ready to ski down the hill again.

You could have some trees or shanty or little building like a restroom or even ticket booth between the 2 loops at top and bottom to hide the fact that the skiers disappear down under rather than traversing across to the other loop, so it would look like any one skier rides the lift to the top and then skis or falls down to the bottom.


02-16-2009, 01:25 PM
I was working on a project just like this for '08, but my bum knee kept me from bringing it to life. I was planning on doing it just as Don described, with the exception that I was just going to leave the skiers on the lift visible on both the up and down trips and just have a few empty seats on the lift. I'm working on the assumption that most people won't notice that the skiers don't get off the lift.

I think I see a way to make what you describe work - have to give a little more thought first to work out some of the logistics.

02-16-2009, 06:42 PM
I like this idea, if someone get a change to build one, please let me know!

I love this site!

02-16-2009, 11:38 PM
Getting the skiers up would be the easy part. I think it would be harder to make sure they didn't fall down while skiing. Of course, where I'm at, there is wind, rain, snow, and combinations thereof to deal with too.

02-17-2009, 01:36 AM
OK, so there's my thoughts... (Sorry about the image quality - hashed this in paint in the laptop rather than firing up the system w/ the graphics programs.)

For the lift mechanism, you run the line with a drop that has a magnet on the end of it that is attracted to either a plate or magnet in the head of the skier. This type of drop attachment is used in Axworthy flying ghosts (w/o the magnets!) Disengaging the magnet @ the top is easy - you just need a funnel shaped "trap" that separates the two - see pic1. (The skier is smaller than the size you'd use for this.) The trap is at a steeper angle than the lift line, so it pulls the two apart.

For the actual ski run, you have two choices - free sking or controlled. If you free ski, just let them roll down on small wheels to a ski house at the bottom that slots them into place for the lift to grab and repeat. The problems here are keeping the speeds slow, keeping them from tipping over and coping with stuff on the slope (leaves, snow, etc.) that prevents them from getting to the bottom. The other alternative is a controlled run down the "mountain". If you put a magnet on the bottom of the figure and matching magnets on an endless belt, you can controll the run down. You sync up the belt and the figure by dropping them onto a thin, flat landing plate that doesn't block the magnets. The figure sits there until a magnet comes along on the belt and "grabs" it (pic2). Separating skier and belt at the bottom is easy - just run the belt tightly under another plate at the bottom - the skier just rides up on the plate due to the up curve on its skis and then just sits there for the next pickup to come along...

It'll take a bit of doing, but it should work!