Millennium Force

Sunday, August 10, 2008 2:39 PM
I was just at Cedar Point last week, and we spent 3.5 days in the park. It seemed like every day there would be a long Millennium break-down, a lot of times at the same time it happened the day before (midway through the early ride time running) and again later in the day. When we have gone in years past, MF was always the most reliable ride in the park, now it was more temperamental than Dragster (and Maverick was the best of all). Is there a reason for this? Did something happen to the ride this past year?

Austin-GO JEFF GORDON AND THE TITANS!!!!!!!

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Sunday, August 10, 2008 3:19 PM
Pagoda Gift Shop's avatar Ummm...nope. Sorry you had such bad luck.
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Sunday, August 10, 2008 4:59 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar I think you were just more lucky on your previous visits. It's an Intamin. Catching it on a day without any hickups isn't the norm IMO. ;)

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Sunday, August 10, 2008 9:54 PM
Intamin's are very reliable for what they do, the Hypers, and Giggas used to be superreliable. A lot of the problems came from the modifications done to them after the what 4 malfuctions. Correct me if I'm wrong but SFNE's 2 SFDL's 1 and SFA's 1. Back when I first got int coasters the hyper I delt with never broke down it ran all day every day, untill they modified it.
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Sunday, August 10, 2008 10:28 PM
eightdotthree's avatar Nah, every ride has its issues and downtime. Austin just happened to notice it the weekend he was there.
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Sunday, August 10, 2008 10:39 PM
Millennium Force has had problems even worse than just a few hours or small periods of downtime that have been much worse.

I think it was two years ago, when the lift motor had to be replaced like twice if not three times over the course of a few weeks. So, with that being said it could have been alot worse, did you also still get your ride.


Resident Arrow Dynamics Whore

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Monday, August 11, 2008 12:19 AM
Wonder why the Intamins always seem to shut down at certain periods of the day. I've noticed it with Voodoo, Toro, AND Ka. Perhaps at certain times of the day, the weather/temps/humidity effect the sensors or something. I don't know. I'm about as untechnological as can be. Sorry you had such bad luck though. Hope I don't run into the same problem...am planning to make MF my 50th coaster.

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

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Monday, August 11, 2008 12:36 AM
I prefer to blame the park, not the Intamin. SFA, for example, can't seem to keep Superman running let alone have two train operation. Last time I rode Supes the ride ops never checked my restraints. No kidding. Never checked them. The most reliable ride at SFA is the old woodie Wild One.
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Monday, August 11, 2008 12:15 PM
eightdotthree's avatar I love how these conversations go. The three times I have been to SFA Wild One had trouble with its lift hill motor each time.
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Monday, August 11, 2008 6:10 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar I blame it on all of the technology Intamins come with. El Toro is a perfect example. Wood coasters have worked fine for a century, but Intamin throws in a cable lift, hydraulic restraints, lapbar position sensors and proximity switches everywhere, and the result is... Danger Will Robinson! Danger!

There's just so much more that can break on a modern coaster and Intamin tends to further complicate things by putting their own twist on proven technology or even reinventing it.


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Monday, August 11, 2008 8:21 PM
I would just chalk it up to bad luck. Be greatful that you had many other thrill rides and shows to check out.

Coastermania (2003-2017). Coaster EXT - Geagua Lake (2005-2007). The Big Chill at The Big House 12.11.10 - University of Michigan v Michigan State University - World Record Attendance for an Outdoor Hockey Game - 104,073. 100th Indianapolis 500

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Monday, August 11, 2008 8:36 PM
With all the added safety measures, and newer ones I might add, it doesn't surprise me that there is downtime on these rides. I think a park would rather pay for technology, albeit new and probably with kinks, versus paying for wrongful death or injury.
-Congo Falls - 90 rides (one day) -Murder of the Orient Express (1980-2003)
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Monday, August 11, 2008 9:56 PM
Jeff's avatar Not every switch is a proximity switch. Some are just switches.

Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Monday, August 11, 2008 11:56 PM
Proximity switch?

I don't think I'd feel safe riding Toro without those hardcore restraints either. I can't even imagine a lapbar like Steel Force's on a coaster with Toro's airtime. It gives me chills, and not chills of excitement. And sure, there are going to be kinks in the new technology, but I also feel much safer with all the new technology than I would NOT having it, especially in these crazy new designs known for their speed, height, drop steepness, etc. I am, however, at a loss as well in understanding the need for the different lift on El Toro. What's wrong with a chain lift? Could the different lift on Toro be because the trains are extra long? Would that have anything to do with it? Please excuse my ignorance, I'm really NOT too tech-savvy.


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

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 7:22 AM
^Bunky, a proximity switch (or sensor) a is a little switch that simply lets the controller know when a certain part is within the proper area. For example, there's a proximty senor that detects when a train is in the right spot so the loading gates can open. Heck eveb coasters as old as Gemini have them.

To put other way, Part A must be in this place before part B can move without hitting anything.

Sometimes, the KISS philosphy can apply. I think the reason why Intamin may buck this is because they're afraid of getting sued.


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 10:30 AM
Jeff's avatar I think they just over-engineer things.

An example of a simple switch, the kind that I suspect Dragster has most of, are these switches that detect the position of a brake fin. When the brake is up, the wedge pushes on the arm that closes the switch. If one of these is broken, the computer "sees" a brake fin up when it's really not and can't launch. Multiply that times however many fins there are. That's a lot to go wrong!


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 10:52 AM
kpjb's avatar They use limit switches? You're just asking for something to go wrong. Now you've got a real-world moving piece that can break. The metal can bend, it can be misaligned, the roller can break, etc, etc.

Why not use a proximity sensor? Sees metal in front of it with no moving parts. Much more reliable and less prone to failure.

*** Edited 8/12/2008 2:53:48 PM UTC by kpjb***


Hi

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 11:23 AM
Jeff's avatar Is the cost difference substantial? If it is, take that times a thousand and I think I could see where they'd use the cheaper part.

A friend of mine who has a degree in engineering but is a programmer like me, says that the two are similar in that there are always quick and dirty ways to develop something. However, refactoring what you have into a more elegant solution makes it more robust in the long run, and easier to maintain. Intamin strikes me as a company that does not refactor, or at least, they don't do it on paper. They do it on second and third tries for a ride type.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 11:32 AM
kpjb's avatar From the picture you showed they're using Telemecanique, which is the French word for "cheap."

The proxes would definitely cost more, but in the grand scheme of a flagship $25 million attraction, are you willing to suffer excruciatingly large amounts of downtime because of an extra 10k? 50k? 100K? I'm not.


Hi

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 11:37 AM

Jeff said:
Is the cost difference substantial? If it is, take that times a thousand and I think I could see where they'd use the cheaper part.

A friend of mine who has a degree in engineering but is a programmer like me, says that the two are similar in that there are always quick and dirty ways to develop something. However, refactoring what you have into a more elegant solution makes it more robust in the long run, and easier to maintain. Intamin strikes me as a company that does not refactor, or at least, they don't do it on paper. They do it on second and third tries for a ride type.


I would imagine that the amount of money that Cedar Fair was paying Intamin at that time, they probably weren't thinking about upgrading to a more expensive switch. They probably figured that was a corner they could cut.


-Congo Falls - 90 rides (one day) -Murder of the Orient Express (1980-2003)
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