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Dave Ware's Gilbert Erector Giant Ferris Wheel

Dave writes: "This is my double size Ferris Wheel revised. The wheel stands almost 4 feet high. Each side of the wheel is made with alternating E Curved and B straight girders; 13 each. The spokes are 2 lengths of C girders tied to a BN turret plate. Eleven EZ Big Channel Girders form a circle which is attached to the outer spokes to provide extra stiffness to the wheel. There are 8 basket seats. Each seat has an MH wheel on the end of its axle for decoration.

Eight light sockets (Radio Shack 272-359) are set around the wheel and are set to flash using a commutator from Brian Johnson. The mounting holes for the sockets were drilled out to fit Erector screws. A bare wire was soldered to one terminal of the socket and wrapped around the mounting screw. The wires for the other terminals are run down the spokes and tied together at the hub and then to the commutator.

The inner red circle of CS wheel segments and the outer spoked wheel are locked to the axle which does not turn. The wheel, inner spoked wheel and commutator turn freely on the axle and are driven by a 2 BN, BT pulley fixed to the back BN turret plate which has long screws through it to fit into the pulley holes. The pulley is spaced out on the screws so that the drive string clears the wheel. A P37 collar and washer is used on each side of the hubs and drive pulley to keep them in place and reduce friction.

A low speed gear train on the motor has a 2 BN, BT pulley. Rubber bands in the pulley slots provide enough friction to allow a string drive to be used. The string slips just enough to allow for the large inertia at start up and shut down. The string was tied slightly small, the knot glued and the string stretched over the pulleys.

I did have some problems building it in that I didn't make adequate supports for the wheel and ended up having to modify the base with the wheel on it."