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navyav8tr
01-03-2015, 08:18 AM
Looking for some advice and recommendations. My wife was kind enough to get me a Santa and 9 reindeer (1 for Rudolph) blow mold for Christmas because she had heard me saying I wanted to add a flying Santa to my display next year.

I had formulated a rough idea as to how I would get him to fly in basically a square pattern throughout the yard utilizing an Axworthy/ski lift type system. Now comes the how to get power to the lights. I will probably convert them to utilize LEDs or a 12V/5V pixel system.

I had thought about using a battery but without doing the math yet I am sure it would add a tremendous amount of weight.

I had considered running a power cord, which would be the best, but because the pattern I want him to fly around is rectangular and I have a 22' Mega Tree in the middle the cord would just get wrapped around.

I had considered doing something like this on top of my roof. http://www.bazillionlights.com/Tech/LightsTechFlyingSanta.html
The problem I had with this is I have a very steep pitch roof and to service it or even set it up would be almost impossible.

I am just starting this so I am open to any recommendations or advice out there on this one is much appreciated.

ukewarrior
01-03-2015, 11:57 AM
You an go with a battery, only make it a Lithium ION battery.
They have tons of power with low weight in comparison to other technologies.

Looking for some advice and recommendations. My wife was kind enough to get me a Santa and 9 reindeer (1 for Rudolph) blow mold for Christmas because she had heard me saying I wanted to add a flying Santa to my display next year.

I had formulated a rough idea as to how I would get him to fly in basically a square pattern throughout the yard utilizing an Axworthy/ski lift type system. Now comes the how to get power to the lights. I will probably convert them to utilize LEDs or a 12V/5V pixel system.

I had thought about using a battery but without doing the math yet I am sure it would add a tremendous amount of weight.

I had considered running a power cord, which would be the best, but because the pattern I want him to fly around is rectangular and I have a 22' Mega Tree in the middle the cord would just get wrapped around.

I had considered doing something like this on top of my roof. http://www.bazillionlights.com/Tech/LightsTechFlyingSanta.html
The problem I had with this is I have a very steep pitch roof and to service it or even set it up would be almost impossible.

I am just starting this so I am open to any recommendations or advice out there on this one is much appreciated.

dmcole
01-03-2015, 01:12 PM
As Ukewarrior says, an extremely light-weight battery might work. Dirknerkle suggested something like one of these

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Power-Bank-5600mAh-External-Battery-Pack-Extra-Portable-for-All-mobile-devices-/111522272025

in a slightly different context. I bought one in September for a project that never materialized.


I had considered doing something like this on top of my roof. http://www.bazillionlights.com/Tech/LightsTechFlyingSanta.html


Yeah, slip ring was my first thought. You wouldn't need to do it on the roof, though.

On the TV show Christmas Light Fight, I saw a guy who'd suspended a Santa and sleigh with a rig between the house and his megatree mast (I think ... boy, that brain sure doesn't pull out memories the way it used to). I don't think his moved, but you might be able to build a slip-ring system on a ski-lift.

Best o' luck.

\dmc

Roterhead
01-03-2015, 04:23 PM
Can you place a mast of some sort in the middle of your square or rectangle? Perhaps extend the mast of a MTree (or even a tall cut tree)?

Aside from a battery I think a slip ring with a flexible power cord to the sleigh is what I would look at. Think of it as a loose tether.

Perhaps a 1/16 bungee like this (http://www.amazon.com/16-1000FT-Shock-cord-Bungee/dp/B001RHPP6O/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1420315311&sr=8-6&keywords=shock+cord+1%2F16) with power wire wrapped as a loose spiral around the bungee. Over that you might be able to place flexible braided tube like this (http://www.cablemarkers.com/braided.htm) for a nicer effect.

Maybe embrace this tether with lights where Santa presents are being tossed "onto the tree".

Just my ramblings...

kartingted
01-03-2015, 04:30 PM
Could you not make a rectangle track the exact same as the ski lift track run a steel cable with a power cable wrapped round it from the Santa to the lower track onto some sort of connection then ground the system through the ski lift wire

Like a tram in the UK does get a power from a cable above the tram then grounds through the wheels. Same idea just a slightly different way of doing it

Could you use a rotating top on your mega tree with a cord running out to the Santa.

Just my thoughts

kartingted
01-03-2015, 04:40 PM
What about ones of these

http://www.showmecables.com/product/Right-Angle-Rotating-CPU-Power-Cord--2-Foot.aspx

You could even use it for pixels as it is 3 pin :) just a quick search for a rotating power cord ad this popped up

juicedss
01-03-2015, 08:06 PM
Lightweight motorcycle batteries are less than 1lb.

http://www.hardracing.com/AntiGravityLightweightMotorcycleBatteries.htm

navyav8tr
01-03-2015, 09:13 PM
Thanks for the good ideas. I am going to keep brainstorming on different ideas but all of these are awesome ideas. Keep 'em coming!

CJDeeds
01-04-2015, 04:24 AM
how about building something like a slot car track? It would provide constant power while not requiring the wiring to move.

Skunberg
01-04-2015, 02:11 PM
Slot car is a great idea for this post , but how to weather proof it?

spomalley
01-04-2015, 03:06 PM
Take a look at this (and the linked post): http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/25097-flying-santa/#entry236765

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

CJDeeds
01-05-2015, 04:17 AM
This guy actually built an outdoor track with marine grade plywood and copper tape.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-WpheOF750

Shockwave
01-05-2015, 07:03 PM
Santa on an axworthy rig

Have electronics on drive wheel so that when Santa is detected, motor turns off for 5 min

Put said sensor in long doghouse to hide Santa from view when he isn't flying

Have Santa lot via LEDs powered by internal battery

Internal batery has brushes hanging down under sleigh. These brushes touch copper foil on both sides of doghouse to charge the liIon battery during the 5 minute hold times.

Then every 5 minutes Santa flies through the air rather than all the time. Kids will be more excited because he may be visible or he may not

You can buy timer relays from omron through digikey to delay 5min when a wire switch gets hit by the sleigh

navyav8tr
01-06-2015, 07:05 PM
That sir is an awesome idea. When you say brushes are there any in particular that you are thinking of. This is my first go with a contraption like this so I am cutting my teeth here.

Thanks for the great idea though.



Santa on an axworthy rig

Have electronics on drive wheel so that when Santa is detected, motor turns off for 5 min

Put said sensor in long doghouse to hide Santa from view when he isn't flying

Have Santa lot via LEDs powered by internal battery

Internal batery has brushes hanging down under sleigh. These brushes touch copper foil on both sides of doghouse to charge the liIon battery during the 5 minute hold times.

Then every 5 minutes Santa flies through the air rather than all the time. Kids will be more excited because he may be visible or he may not

You can buy timer relays from omron through digikey to delay 5min when a wire switch gets hit by the sleigh

navyav8tr
01-06-2015, 07:14 PM
sorry double post

kartingted
01-06-2015, 07:22 PM
I would Google home made electric brushes and see what comes up but it will be a metal plate each side +,- and then matching arms with a kind of springy material that sticks out past the metal plate but once inside it will make a good contact. That idea in my mind has been the best so far as you won't have to worry about charging the battery during the day.

efreeman1980
01-06-2015, 09:03 PM
A solar panel w/ battery would probably be the easiest way and allow you to maintain a clean look without having to plug in the battery every day.

navyav8tr
01-06-2015, 09:05 PM
Yeah I thought about the solar power panel as well. I wonder how well the battery would hold up over a 5 hour show. Guess it would depend on the battery size and how well it charged during the day.

efreeman1980
01-06-2015, 09:19 PM
This seemed cool
From the CES show- http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/196868-wireless-power-system-charges-devices-up-to-20-feet-away
However, using WiFi & RF.... it could really mess up your show

Sulrich
08-21-2015, 08:32 PM
12v rechargeable drill battery... Buy a ryobi kit with a 12v battery. Use 12v led's... Boom!
http://m.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-12-Volt-Cordless-Lithium-Ion-Drill-Driver-Kit-HJP004/205152814/

JCook
08-21-2015, 09:23 PM
Here is an idea. Its called Power Rail, its used on overhead cranes, amusement rides etc.

http://www.conductix.us/en/products/conductor-rails?gclid=Cj0KEQjwmNuuBRDTu5rDjr2kxJsBEiQAWlm6Ur kFsdzfmcxHfqF_nqm_CVl4Qpf_ACjjfovQvn3cslMaAhjN8P8H AQ

You could also use your own metal bars to carry the power, may not work so well with the low voltage due to impedance. However we used this for a special elevator once and used these bars for the telephone line and it worked over 100' of this bar.

May be expensive but maybe you can create your own with this idea.

Jay

To make the corners work, you can have two power pickups one at the from of the sleigh and one at the rear so when it turns the corners it transfers from one to the next.