PDA

View Full Version : Haunted elevator



Brckee1
11-15-2007, 10:17 AM
Hey everyone,

Now that the busiest time of the year is past us, I thought I would share one of my projects from this season. I built my own haunted elevator for my Asylum themed haunt.

It has working pneumatic doors. It raises, tilts and drops on 4 air bags. Also, the whole elevator rides on a track which allows it to move from one room to another completing the illusion.

I also did an animation in the ceiling but only got it half finished. I had plans for other effects to add onto it but ran out of time.

I may add more to it during the off season. Anyway, Here are some pictures and video of the project for anyone interested. It really is something you need to ride to appreciate but you can get an idea.

http://s43.photobucket.com/albums/e375/Brckee1/Elevator/

bhays
11-15-2007, 10:37 AM
That's really nice work. How did you calculate the mounting point for those cylinders on the doors to make sure they closed fully? Math or trial and error?

How much do you figure you have invested vs purchasing a hellevator prop?

I see you went with rolling on a track rather than turning..

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e375/Brckee1/scissors2.jpg?t=1195144824

Brckee1
11-15-2007, 10:49 AM
Thanks Brett!

The doors are 15 inch panels, the cylinders are 14 inch throw. I just mounted them, fully retracted, with the doors in the closed position. I probably built my elevator for 25% to 35% of the cost of a Hellevator and got a much better effect, along with all steel construction. This of coarse does not factor in my labor.

Turning would have worked but presented problems of a rectangle turning in a circle. Not that these issues couldn't have been worked out, I just decided that the track was simpler and would look better in the haunt.

Also, using a motor to move the elevator turned out to be far cheaper than pneumatics.

neffuri27
11-15-2007, 11:17 AM
WOW that elevator idea is awesome!!!! You are my new HERO for
this month!!!!

Blessings
Kimmy

gadget-evilusions
11-15-2007, 11:33 AM
Awesome work as always!

MindWerxKMG
11-15-2007, 12:23 PM
What are you using for a controller?

bhays
11-15-2007, 01:58 PM
Also, using a motor to move the elevator turned out to be far cheaper than pneumatics.

Is that chain welded to the beam and the sprocket on the motor just rolls along it, or does the chain wind up on the sprocket?

TheRupert
11-15-2007, 02:02 PM
Most impressive! I know that would scare the hell outta me! I HATE elevators! Nice work!

icarian
11-15-2007, 03:42 PM
for spending way less on this prop, and it kicking the hellevator's ass.... i bow down to thee. i want one in my haunt....

beardedbil
11-15-2007, 05:26 PM
I too would be interested in what you use to control it... Gilderfluke?

Brckee1
11-15-2007, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the kind words everyone!

The controller is a Gilderfluke Minibrick. I used the real time programming feature to program the movement to match the sound effect. It took several hours to get the program where I wanted it.

The chain is welded to the steel beam and the sprocket rolls along it pulling/pushing the elevator. It really works well. Another advantage to this method is that there are no mechanics under the elevator. The motor and drive chain are all external making it easier to work on if something goes wrong.

Scareview
11-15-2007, 06:30 PM
Dude, that is SOOO frigg'in awesome!!! I am so amazed at what people come up with in their own back yard or garage! Wish I had the "know how" to build something like that. That's GREAT!

Jim Warfield
11-15-2007, 07:12 PM
You shouldn't refer to your elevator as an elevator but rather as the next steel bucket going over the falls!
"Oh, sorry, you didn't realise that was what you were volunteering for, too late!
Squirt a little water into the chamber at the right moment, might make them add their own "water" to the fun!

TheCareTaker
11-16-2007, 09:43 AM
That is great work and good craftsmanship for a scare. an elivator is one of the few things which will still make me uncomfortable in a haunt.

Inn Reaper
11-16-2007, 11:45 AM
We built one similiar about 4 years ago. Yours is a lot more rugged and I love the double door operation. We used (2) boo boxes to run ours it worked great.

TheNightMare
11-17-2007, 02:26 AM
Dude that is sooo awesome. Now it makes me want to learn how to make one so I can do it myself. But I'm not educated in the pneumatics field.

bhays
11-17-2007, 07:48 AM
Thanks for the kind words everyone!

The controller is a Gilderfluke Minibrick. I used the real time programming feature to program the movement to match the sound effect. It took several hours to get the program where I wanted it.

The chain is welded to the steel beam and the sprocket rolls along it pulling/pushing the elevator. It really works well. Another advantage to this method is that there are no mechanics under the elevator. The motor and drive chain are all external making it easier to work on if something goes wrong.

What are the specs on the gearmotor you're using to roll the elevator side to side? Is it a grainger item?

I am also curious what your soundtrack is like and lighting inside/etc. Did you have an actor work inside and hit a button to start the sequence?

beardedbil
11-18-2007, 01:37 PM
Brckee1 check your PMs :-)
Bill

Karl Fields
11-18-2007, 11:20 PM
We also built an elevator a few years ago, however ours rotates.
I really like the idea of the lineal travel you've done, plus it looks like probably less maintenance issues :)

http://www.piratesofemerson.com/BACKUP/elevator/pictures/index.html

Brckee1
11-25-2007, 08:59 PM
Hey Karl!

Actually, your elevator was the inspiration for me to build one. You were kind enough to share some tips with me when I asked you about it last Spring. I appreciate your help, thanks!

The linear travel worked very well. It was very reliable. I picked up another motor incase I want to build another one.

Jim Warfield
11-25-2007, 09:13 PM
The Ravens Grin Elevator: I would herd them into a thing that seemed as if it might be an actual elevator, slide the steel bar door shut, as I talked I made eye-contact, they were all almost looking at me when I would bend my knees, lowering myself . Many would scream and even fall down thinking they were actually rising.
Maybe part of the set up was they knew they were already very high in the house and the only way to go was
d o
w
n !
!

Lots of laughs!!

Brckee1
11-25-2007, 09:15 PM
What are the specs on the gearmotor you're using to roll the elevator side to side? Is it a grainger item?

I am also curious what your soundtrack is like and lighting inside/etc. Did you have an actor work inside and hit a button to start the sequence?

The motor worked great. It has a gearbox already attached and has adjustable speed. I got it used from a local machine shop for around $200. It is a 3 phase motor. They also put together a relay box for me to reverse the direction of the motor. I went with 3 phase because it is the easiest AC motor to reverse. It can also be done with a 220V or even a 120V motor but is more complicated.

I can get you the specs on the motor I used if you have 3 phase power available.

The sound is something I put together myself using actual elevator sounds and other sound effects. For lighting inside I used a single industrial style light mounted to the back wall. The light would flicker and go out at times.

I didn't use an actor inside the elevator for a couple reasons. One, I thought it would be scarier for people to be inside themselves with no staff. I put a sign on the inside of the doors that said "Weight Limit 400LBs"
Another reason I didn't use an actor inside was that it would be real hard to ride it all night. Once is fine, but you feel a little loopy after. If you ride it twice in a row, you feel dizzy. I think riding all night would be less than fun. I used an actor at each end, entrance and exit. At the entrance side there is a switch to operate the doors, a button to actuate the elevator and an emergency kill switch. The exit side had a switch for the doors, a button to return the elevator to the starting position and an emergency kill switch.

Jim Warfield
11-25-2007, 09:18 PM
Three phase lets most applications out in left field.
What does three phase have in common with me?
We both have a "Wild" third leg!.

cooperfan
12-03-2007, 05:25 PM
Any suggestions for what motor i would need if i only have 110v power. how many RPM does your motor turn? and how many teeth are on the gear? Any info would be great.

Dean

Cincyscreams
12-02-2011, 05:15 PM
Where would you recommend buying the air bags? Also, would a wood floor and frame work or would it be to heavy ?

rwrussom
12-02-2011, 05:49 PM
Look online. Easy to find, they are truck and RV suspension air lift bags.

We did a steel frame with a plywood deck floor. It was designed to handle a dozen people. 4 air bags, no problem with weight. The key is the air flow. You need large fast dump valves to get the effect right. I would not go with wood, too much movement and flex. I'm guessing it would rip itself apart in short order.

Good Luck

drfrightner
12-02-2011, 06:16 PM
Many many years ago in the OLD DARKNESS we have two elevators side by side as a preshow. We did this with sliding doors that open both at the same time, and we suspended the elevator off the floor with chains so the elevator basically floated over the floor so if you touched them ever so slightly they would move. In the middle of the two there was a control room at one point the actor would just move a bar side to side and he could move the elevators more violently than you could with pistons. We did it both ways with and without pistons actually the without was better.

Last year we built a motion based elevator and put video fx in the floor to give you the illusion you where falling. Here is a picture from The Darkness like 15 years ago...

We are doing YET ANOTHER elevator FX in the Darkness 2012 for the Haunt Show but you won't ride this one it will be a CGI FX that you see in front of you. It will be awesome.

Larry
11140

Cincyscreams
12-03-2011, 03:51 PM
I'm going to try a design with wood... I'm thinking if the frame is built properly, it'll last a lifetime. Found some nice air bags and ordering all the parts soon. Larry, your elevator for last years show was absolutely amazing. Loved the video in the floor, added a whole new aspect.

kpolley
12-04-2011, 11:03 AM
Just my two cents...but we've built several motion platforms over the years and I would never use wood for the platform. The problem is that air bags can't stop themselves from expanding and will explode if you just fill them with air. They need to be restricted by chains, cables, physical stops, etc. We always use chains, which are attached to the floor and to the platform itself, to restrict the expansion of the bags, but I would be very concerned about attaching those chains to a wood platform. Air bags can produce massive amounts of force and can be very dangerous if misused. The air bags we used on our swamp house at The Darkness can each produce 13000 pounds of force and there are 4 of them. The elevator we did last year at The Darkness has 4 airbags as well. Each of them can produce about 2800 pounds. These are serious forces. Again, I would just always use steel and be very careful when using air bags. They are great and very versatile, but they are also dangerous.

Cincyscreams
12-05-2011, 05:32 PM
Ah, okay. This makes sense now! Re-designing and ordering parts. Thanks for the info guys!

Brckee1
12-14-2011, 02:40 PM
Wow! Funny to see this thread again after a few years. This elevator is still going strong. Used it every season since 2006. Changed out the gearmotor for a large air ram to move the elevator on the track. Works much better and is easier to setup.

Also, I agree 100% with Kip. Use steel frame with airbags. Much safer and will last much longer.

Frightener
12-14-2011, 05:53 PM
Hey, I didn't see the dates however, but saw the posts. This thing is awesome! I was wanting to do an elevator in my first year, 2012, but wasn't sure how to do it. I still can't help but to think that I can make an elevator on a track like this one, but moved / jarred by humans. I mean, there's almost ALWAYS volunteers that don't want to act, this would be a great job for them. The "bell hop" can also be the elevator operator.

I like the chain idea, that should've given the illusion of stepping on an old elevator as well! Remember those? They actually moved when you got on them! Love them things.

Great work on the project. That welding looks like it was fun! I love welding :P

Dreamreaper
12-15-2011, 08:25 PM
I built our elevator with the air bags 16 years ago and we still use it, then it was called the Hellavator now I have revamped it and its called the Criptovator. When I built it I didn't know about the controllers we have now. We had a operator that had a control board with the air handles/sound/air driven doors and lights and would watch through a one way mirror on the wall to control it every move. Now I control it with a BooBox8+ from Fright Props and it ROCKS! they really have to hold on... I like the Idea of it moving from one room to another, I have two doors one to enter and one to leave so I guess its the same kinda. I have been doing this for 20 years and only found out about the Haunt Industry in 2009 and attended the show in St Louis for the first time seeing anything to do with haunting other than what I did myself, Now I have had a blast with new ideas LOVE IT!

Mayhem
01-30-2012, 07:56 AM
I'm putting together my build list for your elevator - wonderful design, by the way. Can you share a little info on the air ram that you up-graded to?

Thanks!
Mayhem