Lego Carousel

Saturday, February 6, 2010 7:54 PM

If you listened to the podcast, you may recall that I was in the middle of building the Lego Carousel. I finally got around to posting a video of it:

http://vimeo.com/9260854

Overall, I think it's pretty cool, and definitely worth the "collector's price" of $250. It took me about 12 hours to build, and a lot of that time is spent trying to find the right pieces (over 3,200). It actually makes a pretty interesting display piece, and we'll probably leave it out for awhile.

Last edited by Jeff, Saturday, February 6, 2010 7:54 PM
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Saturday, February 6, 2010 9:00 PM

Looks great.

I always thought that lego should come out amusement rides or even some kind of rollercoaster.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010 9:14 PM

That's really friggin' cool. I love building these, but you're right, the most time consuming part is finding the pieces. The most complex one I have is the Tie Interceptor, which I don't think they make anymore. I've put it together twice since I moved when I got married in '04. Building the wings became a little monotonous...I imagine certain parts of the carousel may have been as well?

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Saturday, February 6, 2010 9:29 PM

There are parts around it that come in sets of eight, and some in sets of 12, so yeah, those are a bit repetitive. The trick is to look ahead in the instructions a bit so you can see where to set up an assembly line approach. The first really satisfying point is when you can actually engage the motor to turn the platform. The second is when you drop the upper crown, the skeleton of it, anyway, on top so you can see how the cranks work.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010 10:52 PM

And it even plays music?! Can this thing get any cooler?

I am curious...Is the carousel suspended from its centerpole (like a real carousel) or is there some weird stuff going on beneath the platform?

--Dave Althoff, Jr. <--Really wants one of these things...

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Saturday, February 6, 2010 11:35 PM

The platform has wheels under it. The center piece has a flat top around the edge where the crank shafts roll (you can see it at the end of the video), and that frame connects to the platform. If you look under it while it rotates, it doesn't entirely rest uniformly on the surface, so while not truly hanging from the center pole, it's kind of a hybrid. It's remarkably more solid than it seems like it will be as you're building it.

And yes, there's a sound brick. :)

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Sunday, February 7, 2010 12:13 AM

Cool toy! The thing that I noticed is the quality of the video though. Thanks for sharing.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010 2:14 AM

It might have been better if I did some color grading or put a gel on my VidLed. :)

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Sunday, February 7, 2010 2:00 PM

Here is a link that might be interesting to some:

Stop Motion Build
http://www.wired.com/video/lego-carousel/31280940001

Last edited by cpubradley, Sunday, February 7, 2010 2:00 PM
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Sunday, February 7, 2010 2:15 PM

That pretty much covers it, step for step by way of the instructions.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010 4:21 PM

That is pretty cool! :)

Couldn't help but notice the speed though, makes it look more like a Derby Racer....all the airtime of a Hexentanz or TechnoJump, LOL...

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Sunday, February 7, 2010 4:34 PM

The machines from the classic era were no slouches in the speed department when new. They weren't built as kiddie rides. Speeds of five RPM or higher were the norm back then. It wasn't untill the late 1950's that a lot of them were downgraded (slowed down)by their owners to a kid ride. Fortunately there are a few machines out there that are still running at factory speed (and with a working band organ) that can give a taste of what it the experience was supposed to be.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010 5:03 PM

Jeff said:
definitely worth the "collector's price" of $250

Regarding the price, I've noticed that sets are priced at roughly $.10 per piece; ie the Police Headquarters is roughly $90 for 953 pieces. Even the Millennium Falcon is $500 for a little over 5000 pieces. So from that standpoint the carousel is a bargain with over 3000 pieces!

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Sunday, February 7, 2010 9:53 PM

Post deleted again... this is spam. Don't do it.

Last edited by Jeff, Monday, February 8, 2010 1:34 AM
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Sunday, February 7, 2010 10:07 PM

Dutchman: Fun fact--

Cedar Point Racing Derby: 4.25 RPM

Cedar Point Midway Carousel: 4.25 RPM

Of course, the Racing Derby is also 90 feet in diameter, vs. 57 feet for the Midway Carousel. That does make a little bit of a difference:

Racing Derby: 4.25 RPM @ 90 ft = 20 ft/sec = 13.65 mph
Midway Carousel: 4.25 RPM @ 57 ft = 12.7 ft/sec = 8.64 mph

Now how does the LEGO carousel compare? And what if it scales up to 6' minifigs?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010 10:55 PM

The machne I took care of had a speed of 5.25RPM , and it was 46' in diameter. I used to hop on off the outside of it all the time, swore I could do it in my sleep.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010 11:57 PM

Yes, well, at that size and speed, it would be slightly slower than the Cedar Point Midway Carousel. (12.64 ft/sec, 8.62 mph)

Playing along at home?
(platform diameter) * 3.14 = platform circumference
platform circumference * RPM = feet per minute at edge
feet per minute / 60 = feet per second
(feet per second * 3600) / 5280 = miles per hour

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Monday, February 8, 2010 8:30 AM

Ooh, an "angular velocity" vs "linear velocity" discussion. I haven't seen one of these since the days of Laserdisc :)

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Monday, February 8, 2010 1:30 PM

Thanks Dave, it's been so long since I've had to use that formula that I'd just about forgot how to do it.

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Monday, February 8, 2010 1:45 PM

I was wondering how long it would be before you had pics! After the podcast I wanted to see the detail trim pieces. How long would you say finally went into the trim all the way around?

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