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  1. #1

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    LSMs and the Mountains

    I'm sure all of you have noticed that California Screamin' is launched by LIMs and uses a LSM array for its lift hill. You can tell the difference in the fact that Screamin' doesn't have to break before catching the chain (as Thunder Mountain does... three times), and the low whine sound they make when going up the hill.
    This decreases maintainence costs from using a chain, as the LSMs seem to be more reliable in the long run. They also eliminate the need for braking before a lift hill, and the chain runover seen in Thunder Mountain, making the rides more fluid, especially in Thunder's case.
    As for the Matterhorn, couldn't the rubber tires be replaced with LSM or LIM technology? It worked on People Mover, so wouldn't it work now?
    The downside is that it would be a larger initial investment than a chain lift system. But wouldn't the show and maintainence benefits outweigh those costs?
    So what do you think about moving all the Mountains to a chainless lift system, relying instead on LSMs?

  2. #2

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    This sounds nice, but very expensive and think of how long the rides will be shut down to install this system!
    Foolish Mortal


  3. #3

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    Yeah, retrofitting the system on a different type of track and cars would be a very expensive venture. It could potentially create a number of prolems that don't exist on the ride right now. It's much easier to do such a thing on a new ride than it is to retrofit an older ride with something like this.
    Warning: Portions of this attraction are intense and may not be appropriate for younger children.

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    While it would be cool, I don't think it would be wise. It very well could cause load and stress problems on the older mountains that weren't built to handle that. To keep that from happening would require what would probably be very expensive and time-consuming reinforcing. Not to mention added power drains in parts of the park that can't pull the required current possibly? Though it would be cool to have, I don't think it is a very realistic possibility.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  5. #5

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    Don't put it past disney they have remodeled rides multiple times... heh


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  6. #6

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    Yeah, I don't see it happening, but think of the Matterhorn without the bumpitybump of the tires every so often, or Thunder without slowing down all the time.
    I though thunder's lift breaks were new, actually.

  7. #7

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    I dont think that Big Thunder even needs the brakes for the lift hills. I have been on roller coasters that dont brake like BTMRR does, but they tend to have a nice jerk when it slows down and catches the chain. Also, LSMs and LIMs use a good amount of electricity.

    In my opinion, the LSM/LIM type lift would ruin the experience, especially on BTMRR. It is supposed to feel like a mine train and, well, they are not always smooth.

  8. #8

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    Yeah, well those brakes kill momentum (imagine that?) as far as show goes. I believe they've always trimmed, but think they were pumped up after the 2003 incident.

  9. #9

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    Alrighty, time for the dorky engineering facts... If anyone thinks differently and has actual facts or experience to contest this stuff, I could very well be wrong, but I'm pretty darn sure on all this.

    CS's lift is LIM's too, the only Intamin ride using LSM's is Superman: The Escape and its Austrailian semi-clone. The Vekoma launch coasters like Rockin Rollercoaster use a wacky LSM-shuttle system. LSM's require permanent magnets, and very large, heavy and strong ones at that, ON the train being put in motion.

    Big Thunder Mountain actually already does use LIM's, in fact, as far as I know it was the very first coaster to do so. They're just only in the station and have nothing to do with the lift hill. Look down and you'll see a couple sets of silvery boxes with a slot between them, right in line with the brakes (same aluminum fin for friction brakes and LIM conduction).

    By the way, LIM's use a very significantly higher amount of energy than a chain lift, and in the case of Intamin technology it also requires sensors and car-mounted fins that keep track of position along the LIM stretch to within about a centimeter. They also generate a TON of heat since it's about 5000 amps through each magnet in AC, which is why the Intamin Impulse coasters have enormous fans constantly cooling the magnets, and why CS has the water sprayers on the launch start. If stuff heats up too much, sensors give a fault and the ride has to stop and cool down. With Disney dispatch times, it's quite a rough set of conditions as far as heat goes. I'm surprised CS doesn't have serious problems with the lift since it's not too much less force for a lot more time compared to the water-cooled launch.

    BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION CORRECTION:
    Everyone likes to think there are still the "booster" tires throughout Matterhorn that Ed and Karl of Arrow talk about so much in their book, but they haven't been there since the 1978 overhaul. It's all friction brakes and has been for almost 30 years now. They're lame skid style brakes, but just friction brakes. As far as I can tell the original booster system was pretty much all the organized block system the ride had, sooo...

    As far as changing things for the better, I think BTM could definitely use some changes on the pre-lift bits just cause it's so darn loud. Vekoma and Intamin both have nifty electromagnetic upstop clutches on a lot of rides that hold the chain dogs (the ratchety thing that clicks) up as long as there is forward motion. It's basically an extra little friction rail that turns a wheel and generator on the train that powers a magnet that pulls up on the dogs, so if that motion stops (or goes backwards) the spring and gravity drop the dog into place. Stealth at Great America was the first Vekoma one I think, and on rainy days when the wheel slipped it'd suddenly have the loud ratcheting sound.

    Another option for less noisy BTM lifts would be to just use nylon coverings and more smoothly shaped spikes on the lift, like B&M does. Go ride Silver Bullet at Knotts and the chain dogs hardly make any noise, yet are working. I'm also not really sure why BTM has anti-rollbacks on the flat stretch before the lift anyways unless it's supposed to be a really crude way to slow the train to engage the chain smoothly.

    As for Matterhorn, the stations are downward sloping so it's all just gravity, brakes, and CM muscle to move and stop the cars. Kinda crude, but it'd take a HUGE refurb to flatten out the station for a more complex system that'd do basically the exact same thing. Hard to be precise with so many short trains with up to 1500 lbs of weight difference all in the same station.

    Space Mountain has a pretty cool brand new system for moving cars in the station that I think is pretty awesome. Take a look down right after a train is advanced forward, and you'll see two pistons with little paddles on the end retreating back. Basically there is a set of arms for each block in the station, so with carefully controlled pressure (don't know if it's hydraulic or pneumatic, I'd guess hydraulic) you can advance each train at almost exactly the same time safely.

    I think the absolute best system for any multi-train coaster station like Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Mullholland etc would be a set of 1mm accurate sensors, LIM's and a computer system that treated each train by exact position and spacing rather than by rigid block and "yes or no the block is clear?" decisions to move or stop in position. Such a thing could probably safely advance everything in perfect synchronization, perfectly recover from any stop and smoothly control trains at different speeds to glide to a perfect position. It'd probably be hell to actually use something like that though since the computer would have to panic at the slightest sensor misread and most people would only subconciously notice.

    LIM's and such are pretty cool, but really, if you can do something simply and mechanically I think that's usually the way to go. The one magnetic advancement that makes absolute sense is eddy-current brakes, which is what Screamin got in a couple spots (and for the final stop) after its incident, and is what does the absolute smoothest stop and is 100% failsafe (unless they're the original Intamin ones, designed by someone REALLY senseless, look up the Ride of Steel crash at SF New England). You still need some mechanical brakes for control, but IMO every coaster should use them for its final stop.

    If you made it this far, you're a geek. Also, I'm kind of scared at how long this turned out.

  10. #10

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    Eddy-currents are fun to play with in the lab. And I simply love that they found such a cool realworld application as coaster braking. And yeah, I read that whole thing and am proud of my geekhood.

    I agree that the simply mechanical approach is often the better one. Why do something crazy huge when something small and simple does it just as good.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  11. #11

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    Hiya, uhhh... I'm not an engineer, is that why I have NO idea what you all are talking about?

    Can anyone elaborate on what the LIM's, etc stand for, and what that means, in simple laymen's terms?
    "A bad day at Disneyland is better then a great day at work." ~ Max Fischer



  12. #12

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    LIM = Linear Induction Motor. If you take a motor apart, inside you'll find a cylindrical void (stator) and a rotating piece inside of this space (armature). If you take the stator and unwind it so it is flat instead of a cylinder you have a LIM. The stator, when supplied with an electric current sets up a magnetic field. In the case of a normal motor, this magnetic fields creates a torque (rotation) in the armature and makes it spin. In a LIM, the magnetic field is not cylindrical but linear (hence LIM) and it pulls the armature instead of rotating it. In the case of California Screamin', the stators are the silver/white boxes lining the launch section of the track and being water cooled. The armature is made up of aluminum plates on the actual vehicles. When the current (and it is huge) is passed through the stators, the magnetic field pulls on the aluminum plates accelerating the trains up to 55mph. In some coasters using this system it can take ~3 megawatts per launch. In one year, the average US home uses 9 megawatts. So in three launches, CS uses the same amount of electricity your home uses in a year.

    LSM = Linear Synchronous Motor. This is similar in results but involves synchronizing the changes in alternating current (the kind in your wall outlet. It changes polarity (postive to negative) every 1/60 of a second. This change from + to - and back repeatedly can be used to set up alternating magnetic fields that can be used to apply mechanical force to another magnet. It takes a good deal of precise control to alternate the polarities at the right time to be used for propulsion, luckily computers can handle it. It also requires a good deal of power to be used on the scale of a roller coaster.

    http://capital2.capital.edu/admin-st...thoff/lim.html
    Last edited by mycroft16; 11-02-2006 at 02:30 PM. Reason: Updated spelling and added example to end.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  13. #13

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    Mycroft, thank you.... I still don't understand, but maybe I'll try rereading your post when I'm less tired!
    "A bad day at Disneyland is better then a great day at work." ~ Max Fischer



  14. #14

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    Before they installed those magnetic brakes on Screamin', those hydraulic brakes made such awful noises when the train came roaring into the brake run. They always seemed sketchy, especially when dealing with how they are controlled and stopping those trains at such high speeds. I was always worried they would fail, and look, they did.

    But what was the point of adding the mag-brakes before the loop and bunny hills?

  15. #15

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    Re: LSMs and the Mountains

    Incase the trains / boats are not timed right they can use them to correct timing.


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