2006 DISPLAY

For 2006, we finished the Ferris wheel and the double-hammer animated attractions.  Both are controlled by a high-speed computer that drives digital control boxes.  

 

FERRIS WHEEL

The 9' Ferris wheel chairs are animated by a 4-channel digital controller (there are eight chairs in total - each is paired with the chair opposite it and connected to a channel).   The chairs rotate counter-clockwise giving the illusion of movement.

Inside the Ferris wheel (going from the hub to the outer ring) are the spokes.   They are connected to 8 channels of a 16-channel controller.   Various functions are performed (fading, chasing, etc) to give these spokes lots of animation!  

Here is a link to a video clip of the Ferris wheel in operation!

DOUBLE HAMMER

This is a sophisticated attraction designed to imitate the double-hammer ride at amusement parks.   There are two sets of hammers - each set consisting of 8 arms.   A pair of arms is connected to one of eight channels on a 16-channel digital controller.   The computer controls the timing of the circuits to give the illusion of the hammer moving quickly near the bottom of the "ride" and going slower as it climbs to the top.  Making the attraction was a challenge, but the programming was no picnic either!

We also added most lights - including the highly recognized "circus tent" effect that really makes the display stand out, and several LED light attractions.  For instance, you can see the bright blue LED snowflake above on the double-hammer. 

Here are some images from the 2006 display.  We really drew the crowds on Sunday, December 10th - before the rain started and we had to turn off the display!  What a shame.

 

 

OUR NEW DISPLAY FOR 2005

The new display will feature an animated light show.  Here I am working in the shop in August 2005 (at 100 degrees outside!) getting ready to weld a component.

Click to enlarge....

This image was taken by Jim Block, a professional photographer who is shooting a spread on Alumni Passions for the upcoming issue of The Occidental - a magazine produced for my alma mater, Occidental College.   Jim used some special effects to accentuate the light - so do NOT expect the final display to approach this level of extreme! 

Here are links to the article that appeared in the Occidental Magazine.  Click on the image to view that page full-screen.

 

Our main attraction is Santa's Toy Shop. 

 

SANTA'S TOY SHOP

This Toy Shop is larger than the toyshop in our last display, and features an animated conveyor belt carrying lighted gifts from the toy shop to animated elves who are busy loading up Santa's sack! 

You can watch the animation of the gifts traveling down the conveyor belt here

Here are some other images of attractions.  The smoke coming out of the toy shop's chimney is digitally animated as are some of the other attractions. 

 

Santa's toy shop with animated elves

An elf taking a present to Santa's sack

Animated Santa's sleigh & 8 reindeer

The train with animated wheels

The pickup truck with gifts & animated wheels

Christmas Tree with ornaments

Holiday carolers

Snowboarding animated snowman

View of the display from down the street

Animated drummer

 

Animated rocking horse

 

Animated skaters skating around the ice pond

The train with animated wheels

The pickup truck with gifts & animated wheels

Christmas Tree with ornaments

Holiday carolers

Snowboarding animated snowman

View of the display from down the street

All finished for 2005!

 

Check out the crowd of people checking out the new display!

Another view of the crowd viewing the display!

 

 Updated:
12/06/2005