## 14 foot LED Orbit

Building art? Planning to perform? Building a stage or performance space? Talk about it here.

### 14 foot LED Orbit

This is an Orbit.
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The basic design is simple, my mom says she used to do it with buttons. You put a string between two or more lights, wind very tightly, and if you pull hard enough the lights will spin very quickly.
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Here's a 3d orbit
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I've made large orbits that have to be used by two people, each person pulling the string at the exact same time. Trying to do tricks was impossible; in order to make the "stars", you have to twirl the orbit in the opposite direction it is spinning, and trying to coordinate was too hard. This diagram below is my most ambitious human powered machine, but you would be unable to do tricks like the stars or spirals. I had a harvard architect recommend a good program for blueprints.

From the front

From the side

All it requires is the Orbit (minimum two lights but I'm looking at more like 1000-2000), two poles with holes through the top, strong line, handles at the end of the strong line, and bases for people to stand on. The disadvantages are that it's human powered, and I"m not sure how many volunteers I'd get (in reality it would take more than one person per side), and tricks would be impossible.

Here is a smaller version, about 7 feet high, with a tire for the orbit. LEDs would be attatched to the tire tread, I estimate 6 LEDS accross. This is a more econimical design, and pretty simple in terms of setup. A tire might be too heavy, a bicycle wheel is what I used last time.

Sideview of the tire, white spots are where the holes go, the red lines are just leds. There would actually be 8 holes, four on either treadlug, each one in line with the corresponding hole on the opposite treadlug.

Well, I can't add it, so I'll add it in another post, along with a diagram of the bicycle wheel orbit, which was made without supports.
Humin

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### Re: 14 foot LED Orbit

This is the sideview of the car-tire orbit

This is the bicycle tire orbit. This "works" but is definately plan b for two reasons; compared to my other plans it is underwhelming, I would use it if time/funding became low. but also the last time I made one I tied a nylon rope around the spokes and the tire was bent out of shape making it unusable for further orbiting. Notice no supports are needed
orbitbike.JPG (11.51 KiB) Viewed 1322 times

Suggestions, comments, critiscm, all are welcome. This project can can be big or small, depending on interest. There is also the very real possibility that if I get the string/cord/rope it could snap and you would send something spinning at 2000 RPM off into BM, and that CAN'T happen, so if anyone has some ideas that could help improve safety please speak up.
Humin

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### Re: 14 foot LED Orbit

A cool idea. How do you wind it up when it's that big?

Trash fence around the perimeter would be a start for safety, though I could see it bouncing right over.
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MacGlenver

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### Re: 14 foot LED Orbit

I would think mountaineering rope would be perfectly capable of handling the forces. You could bring extra and inspect it periodically and replace if necessary. The weak points would be the knots or fasteners you use.
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VultureChow

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### Re: 14 foot LED Orbit

Brainstorming.
Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.

junglesmacks

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### Re: 14 foot LED Orbit

MacGlenver wrote:A cool idea. How do you wind it up when it's that big?

Mostly manually, but the best way to wind it is just by pulling. It takes about four pulls before it's wound tightly enough to get up to speed.

MacGlenver wrote:Trash fence around the perimeter would be a start for safety, though I could see it bouncing right over.

I'm less worried about loosing it than hurting someone. I'd like to avoid having a bulletproof-glass casing around it.

VultureChow wrote:I would think mountaineering rope would be perfectly capable of handling the forces. You could bring extra and inspect it periodically and replace if necessary. The weak points would be the knots or fasteners you use.

Thanks, I've been looking for some. Not all material will work, so experimenting will have to happen. Mountaineering rope is first on the list, also spider silk rope, although I know nylon works best for twirling I'm not willing to put performance over safety, so I don't know if Nylon is the way to go.

I had an idea that would make crowd participation more involved. These lights are color-customizable and relatively cheap, I was thinking of wrapping them around a barrel as a spin-point of the orbit, instead of a disk or tire.
http://www.amazon.com/TaoTronics-TT-SL0 ... roduct_top
They can record pattern combinations, which means I can have people from the crowd choose their own light setup. I would like to expand on this idea later, but my no-cost version would have people selecting one-by-one the color and effects of the lights using the controls, and then watching their creation spin, even spinning it themselves.
Humin

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### Re: 14 foot LED Orbit

Rather than relying on people to crank it by hand/arm, why not allow people to jump up and down on a pedal that would spin a flywheel? It'll probably be easier and more accessible for people to jump up and down rather than spin something with their arms and body. Also it would allow people to watch it without constantly trying to crank the orbit. The flywheel could be geared something like this.

A nice thing about a flywheel type design is that people can "pump" the flywheel to try and affect the orbit, while not losing so much energy in the operation. Of course what you'd lose is the ability to control things directly, especially if you want to spin things the other direction, but you could compensate for that with a controllable gearbox, or even have the flywheel power an electrical motor which is then geared. Those parts could be constructed from bicycle parts or something similar.
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### Re: 14 foot LED Orbit

BBadger wrote:Rather than relying on people to crank it by hand/arm, why not allow people to jump up and down on a pedal that would spin a flywheel? It'll probably be easier and more accessible for people to jump up and down rather than spin something with their arms and body. Also it would allow people to watch it without constantly trying to crank the orbit. The flywheel could be geared something like this.

A nice thing about a flywheel type design is that people can "pump" the flywheel to try and affect the orbit, while not losing so much energy in the operation. Of course what you'd lose is the ability to control things directly, especially if you want to spin things the other direction, but you could compensate for that with a controllable gearbox, or even have the flywheel power an electrical motor which is then geared. Those parts could be constructed from bicycle parts or something similar.

Thanks man, very helpful. Basic engineering is beyond me, it's why I didn't try to include any mechanical designs. Now if I approach someone instead of asking "can you make me something with gears and shit?" I can ask "could you make a flywheel?".

I should have added a video like this earlier, it explains it much better.
[media]

The flywheel would make it very easy to wind, but the speed comes from pulling both ends after the tension is built up. It is a very good starting point, thanks.
Humin

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### Re: 14 foot LED Orbit

very cool idea, I like it!

just tossing out an idea, wind vanes on it so the wind can do the winding
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Snow

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