First Thing To Leave/Break on Gatekeeper?

Lord Gonchar said:

Sorry but I really hate syrup. It's way too sticky.

Also, I really think we're turning coasterbuzz to Instagrambuzz. I really don't feel that I should join in on the fun.

bjames's avatar

Replying to the original question...Roller coasters are complex things, they require a lot of engineering and stuff. With Cedar Point at the forefront of this industry, it's understandable there would be a lot of problems with their new rides.

LostKause's avatar

I was just testing to see if I could figure out how to make it work. I will only use it when necessary, Jeff. I think it can be a great tool for conversation here.

I don't foresee many problems at all with Gatekeeper. There have already been a few coasters of this type, and with B&M, problems are are so rare that I don't recall hearing about any.

Last edited by LostKause,

And actually, the ride has now gone through multiple successful test runs, so it is looking to be very well established as a running coaster by the time it opens.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Raven-Phile's avatar

Tyler Boes said:

I really don't feel that I should join in on the fun.

This is the best idea you've had yet. While you're at it, slow down on your text "fun" contributions, too.

If I was I would have a picture of a sprinting guy.

Carrie J.'s avatar

You could make that your avatar, though. :-)

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

ApolloAndy's avatar

bunky666 said:

And actually, the ride has now gone through multiple successful test runs, so it is looking to be very well established as a running coaster by the time it opens.

That's probably what they said about Dragster too, though.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Dragster is an Intamin coaster. I'm sure they never said that with confidence. ;)

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Ride hasn't even opened up to the public yet and people are already talking about what will break or leave the ride? Must be a lot of fun at parties.

Tomtortoise's avatar

Yeah, its a B&M, the roller coaster part should be fine but the lights, that is what worries me. It was said that the batteries for them are going to charge when the ride is in the station. If the ride averages 1700 riders per hour with 3 trains, each train is probably going through the station at least 100 times a day (150 with no down time), if the lights/battery chargers are only on a few hours a day, total charge cycles/day is around 50 per train. The problem is going to be the charging connectors and the batteries. Current lithium batteries have about 500 charge cycles, LiFePO4 have about 2,000 cycles, NiMh at around 500. You don't have to know anything about batteries to know 50 adds up to 2000 in 40 days. The other problem is the charge time and charge rate; The trains only have LED's in the eyes which don't draw much power meaning the batteries don't meed much of a charge and can be small, small batteries however is bad, each charging cycle is only as long as the time it is in the station meaning they have to be charged with a lot of current; lots of current + small batteries = fire.

Let me just go back and talk about another coaster before you start yelling at me, Bizarro at SFNE and SFGadv. They both have on ride audio (Who thought it was a good idea to put the speakers facing forward into rain and other weather). This ride has been *somewhat* successful in having on board electronics, reason, speakers and amps need lots of power meaning a large battery with a high C rating, higher the C rating, the faster it can be charged reducing risk of fire. Charging fast also causes some problems, ALL battery types last longest when allowed to charge fully and no matter what you have heard, all batteries can have a "memory", charging less every time you charge it wrong. There is one solution to all these problems with batteries and that is using super high farad capacitors such as the Boostcap, problem being they would need a super super high current charger, voltage/current regulator, and DC to DC converters, all expensive stuff.

In conclusion (TL;DR), The charging connectors and batteries will "break" first and very often, definitely the first thing but it will be as quick as opening a box and swapping cells to fix that no one will ever know that it was a problem. Yes replacing parts is routine maintenance but when it is entire train battery banks, it really should be considered a flaw in the design.

If its not broken, don't touch it.

Tekwardo's avatar

Hollywood Dream has lights by B&M and seems to be fine.

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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

Tomtortoise's avatar

Dying batteries is probably a flaw on that roller coaster as well but the difference is Hollywood Dream most likely has much larger batteries due to the volume of lights compared to two red eyes per train on Gatekeeper, helping negate the effects. I don't know the system they use on their coasters for electronics but I can say with almost absolute certainty, that it was not fun for the engineers, and not fun for the parks wallet.

If its not broken, don't touch it.

Jeff's avatar

Having seen the trains up close, I suspect the batteries are more than adequate to light LED's most of the day, even if they're not getting intermittent juice in the station. They appear fairly substantial.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

blasterboy6500's avatar

I'm one of those people who doesn't like lights on lifts a lot, especially the ones on Skyrush. Yuck! It looks way better at day IMO. I think having it pitch black makes for a more intense ride.

You don't need a parachute to jump out of an airplane. You need one to do it again.
Tomtortoise's avatar

@Jeff, Thats what I thought it was going to be (Battery lasts all night, recharge after), also how I thought the Bizarro's did it (they may do it like this). The thing is that I saw in an article (no idea where it was) that Gatekeeper charges in the station. The problem with charge once a day is that they would need to run all the trains to get them to loading bay one at a time, wait around an hour or however long the batteries take for a full charge (the technology for batteries to have quick charges is out there but not for large high amp cells, time is most likely less than an hour each), and then cycle that train so they can move on to the next one. This would take until hours the next morning, could happen in the morning but that is more time then they have for testing, it also only gets one test per train. The other solution is charging them in the repair bays but then they have high voltages/currents flowing in a place with tools flying around, way too east for a short circuit to happen, leaving batteries "plugged in" all night is a hazard in itself.

Last edited by Tomtortoise,

If its not broken, don't touch it.

How do you know that they will use batteries?

Schwarzkopf has been doing train lighting for decades, using on-board generators.

For LEDs, which have a relatively small current draw, combined with a relatively short cycle time, a set of capacitors would be sufficient.

Using batteries, cycle count is not a huge problem with short cycles and light loads. Oversize batteries for the load, and even if the station dwell time is too short to completely replenish on every cycle, over the course of the day it's possible to keep the batteries from going dead, then they can charge up overnight. I think that's what they did for the CD-Ride stuff on Raptor...and that didn't have charge replenishment in the station.

As for battery types...I'd use lead gel-cells. Basically sealed car batteries. That way you have an extremely reliable power system, and charge management is a much less serious problem than with lithium batteries.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

Tomtortoise's avatar

I have no idea if they use batteries, it was just a guess. Capacitors just sounds dangerous to use as a power supply being able to dump hundreds of amps in a second (but there are tons of ways to make the system safe).

The problem isn't the rated cycle count, its the "memory" the cells have from being charged in short bursts.

As for using SLA batteries, not really sure how well that would work, they have a weird charge cycle going from a constant 12v to 14v when it gets near the end and finishes with a trickle charge (don't quote me on those voltages) While its not hard to charge them, they take a long time and can be destroyed easily by improper charging.

If anyone works for B&M, feel free to tell me how all the electronics work on your trains (I have a good feeling on this one)

If its not broken, don't touch it.

Jeff's avatar

They use batteries. They'll be plugged in overnight, and hit the juice in the station. This is what they shared with us on the tour.

Look at the photos on our GK page. You can see the control box in one photo for the restraints, and another that is presumably the battery pack.

Last edited by Jeff,

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Tomtortoise's avatar

Thanks, helped a lot, same with the pictures. I couldn't stop thinking that they were going to use the contacts they use for their solenoids on the floorless coasters.
The boxes are going to be annoying me for the next day or two trying to figure out what each wire is going to and what the black box on the side of the battery box is for.

If its not broken, don't touch it.

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