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Posts posted by Soarin_G

  1. First time, waited about 20 minutes... Fast yes, high, yes, exciting yeah. Although, if EVERYONE could ride it the way I did the second time...


    The following day, TTD finally reopened about 20 minutes prior to park close. We strolled up and were second in line for row 1. Took the train ahead of us 2 launches to get over the top. We strap in, stage, LAUNCH. Front seat (where we were) made it just to the peak, then got yanked backward. Second launch we made it a bit further. Third launch a bit further still. After the THIRD roll back a few people wanted to get off and that was the ticket to send us over the top.


    FRONT ROW for FOUR consecutive launches... What a fantastic way to end our visit to Cedar Point. For the majority of the day, it rained and we were actually planning to leave a lot earlier and get a head start driving southward to PKI, but decided to give it one last shot. Woo Hoo!!!

  2. He didn't get stopped at the gate for the same reason that little girls can dress up as princesses and wander around the park. The issue was not with his dress but with his actions. There was a case a couple of months back where a parent dressed her child up in a Tinkerbell costume and paraded her around the park claiming she really was Tinkerbell. Again... Totally acceptable to dress in a costume that doesn't obscure the face and doesn't contain an offensive material. Not acceptable to IMPERSONATE the character.


    Although Disney does not own the rights to Santa, they do represent the real Santa in costume.


    The Santa dude is dumb anyway. He says he looks like that 365 days a year... That's nice, but you're not friggin' Santa, so quit saying you are.


    The really nifty thing about Amusement Parks is that they are private property and they get to make silly rules that you have to follow. I LOVE it!!! I wish they'd enforce things like this MORE often!

  3. Since the subject matter has diverged from Roller Coasters specifically and melded more into an "Engineering Prep" type idea, here are a few more of my thoughts.


    A good education with a good GPA from a good University shown on an Excellent Resume will ensure you get interviews. 75% of the interviews I've been through have not had an ounce of technical discussion. Three companies asked me technical questions... Apple asked simple statics questions. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) asked me to identify electrical symbols and Disney Imangineering asked me to calculate the size of a pump used in a certain size flume with required flow rate. I've interviewed with Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Pepsi, and a bunch of other not so well known companies. It's the personal skills that are going to sell you as an engineer. Running numbers and solving equations is something that can be relearned... It's really tough to teach someone how to NOT be an a$$.


    I've also done quite a bit of interviewing for the company I previously worked for at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I can tell you... When there are a lot of candidates and only a handful of positions, you have to start using some pretty crazy criteria. First off... a resume with a misspelling immediately gets dumped. I remember one interview I had where the guy had a pen and he clicked the thing for about 20 minutes straight. I stopped the interview half way through and gave him some advise on how not to screw up another interview... Unfortunately, of all the other potential candidates, he interviewed the worst, so he went to the bottom of the stack.


    Everything you do in school gets your foot in the door, but it's up to you to sell yourself. Don't be afraid to tout your accomplishments, but maintain a humble attitude. Remember, the guys that's interviewing you is thinking to himself, "would I really want to WORK with this guy?"


    Good luck guys!


    By the way... my experience mostly comes from the aerospace industry, so keep that in mind with regard to the advise above.

  4. There are quite a few basic calculations you can do without a computer. In fact, it's VERY POOR design practice to start at square one with a computer modeling program. Meaning, you shouldn't start with the equations, you should first figure out what the heck you want to do. #1 is always using best engineering judgement. Something that comes with working with structures and equations... experience. I'm sure manufacturers use rules of thumb as well with regard to their coaster designs and what is achieveable. The computer should be used as a tool for fine tuning, and working out the bugs... Making sure the train doesn't valley would be a big one.


    Lots of engineers fresh out of school have the computer mindset. Sit down and start "designing" and then end up locking themselves into a design. The intitial stages of design need to be fluid, lots of input and the ability to be changed quickly. The problem is that as soon as you start adding a lot of fidelity to your model, it becomes exponentially more difficult to change.


    As far as solid modeling programs go... Industry standards: Pro-Engineer, Catia, SolidWorks and IDEAS. Once you learn one, it's a piece of cake to learn another. Parametric is the key. I spent the first 5 years of my career learning Pro-E, used a little Catia V5 and IDEAS. A couple of years ago, I made a switch to a different company that uses Catia V4... This is old antequated software that ties everything to a coordinate system, rather than to other solids. This was the most difficult transition and modelling program to learn because it doesn't act intuitively.


    My advise to those aspiring Roller Coaster Designers out there...


    In your home life: Take stuff apart, learn how stuff works, experiment and understand why mechanical systems work the way they do. There shouldn't be any mystery to mechanical devices. They were all built and designed by people, so if they went together, they've gotta come apart!


    In school: Learn a "main stream" solid modeling program. Once you understand the parametric attributes, you can apply it to any program. The user interface changes, but the same basic knowledge is required. Take PHYSICS, understand vectors, statics and dynamics, once you understand the fundamentals, everything else will be a piece of cake!


    Have FUN!

  5. Though I don't work currently work there, I was pretty familiar with attraction's policies. Over the past 2-3 years, they have been pretty strict about their 'disability' pass distribution. There was a day where all you'd have to do is walk into guest relations and ask for a "Special Assistance Pass" (SAP) SAPs are gone, replaced by the GAC (Guest Assistance Card) and is tailored to the guests needs. However, if you are using crutches, in a wheel chair or use a cane, no card and no stop by guest relations is necessary.


    Most attractions at Disney's California Adventure and Many attractions at Disneyland have wheel chair accessible queues. This means that you cruise through the regular line just like everyone else. A few attractions (Indy and Screamin') have load platforms in the middle of the station. Just cruise through the regular queue and a cast member will take you out of line just before the stairs to head up an elevator.


    Attractions like Pirates require that you enter though the exit. Your best bet is to ask the Greeter at each attraction what their policy is. Every attraction is slightly different.


    If someone in your party suffers from an "endurance issue" such as not being able to stand for prolonged periods of time, Disney has a solution for you too. Unlike most parks, line jumping is NOT cause for removal from the park. If ONE person in your party is in line, there's absolutely no rule that stops the other 12 people in your group from joining you. If you leave to go to the bathroom, you can moosh your way right back to where you were... As long as there is one person waiting, you're good to go. So basically, the person with the endurance issue can sit and wait, then join up when the rest of the group has made it to the front of the line.


    ALSO, there's fastpass... Free for all park guests. There's info in the guide map, read it... It'll tell you everything you want to know.


    Hope that helps!



  6. ...Kind of


    Although the above explanation is correct in its description of operation there's one key thing that is missing.


    LSMs in themepark attractions operate as separate entities, each motor catches and releases the ride vehicle


    LIMs have much more interaction and the ride vehicle essentially "rides" and induced wave down the bank of motors.


    Let's back up just a bit though. Synchronous and Induction motors have very similar construction and follow many of the same principles. However, the MAIN factor that differentiates the two in terms of performance is:


    Synchronous motors have FLAT Torque vs. Speed Curves. This means that regardless of the speed, the motor is always capable of developing maximum torque (or force in a linear motor)


    Induction motors have an associated startup torque, maximum torque and associated maximum speed torque (which is lower than starting torque)


    I just want to clear up that the term "synchronous" is NOT supposed to be used to define the interaction between multiple synchronous machines as used in rides like Superman at SFMM. It's a term associated with the individual machine and refers to the rotor speed vs the rotating flux speed, which in a synchronous motor are identical (or SYNCHRONIZED )




    Enough dorky engineering junk!

  7. From www.vekoma.com :


    "Riders experience a launch from zero to 90 kilometers per hour in less than three seconds on our LSM (Linear Synchronic Motor) Launch Coasters."


    Remember, websites are, in general, created by NON-technical people who often screw up the technical aspect. It's best to actually take a look at the system to determine the type, or speak with a technical representative.


    As an engineer that uses COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) parts on a fairly regular basis, I've been burned more than once with a product dimension or capacity mis-represented by a "pretty" website. Moral of the story: don't believe everything you read


    This is NOT to imply that Vekoma doesn't use Linear Synchronous Motors, I just happen to question the validity in the English translation of "Synchronic".

  8. But I have another question now for the electrical engineering specialist Can we use LSM as a launch system but as a braking system too, like a normal magnetic brake ? Because on the launch track of Atlantis Adventure, there are LSM bot no retractable anti rollback system like the brake fin on the Rocket Coasters.... Why ?


    Of course you can. Motors are able to be wired such that they induce or retard mechanical motion. All that is required is a resistive load back to dump that power somewhere.


    Remember back to Physics, conservation of energy. Wired as a motor, you're converting potential energy (electricity) into kinetic energy (roller coaster motion). Now... just reverse it, you just have to have some place to dump all that power, generally, you end up converting that power to heat. In general, power companies frown on you trying to dump that back into the power grid because they don't make money on it


    I've never been on Atlantis Adventure but it sounds like they may be using the LSMs in this fashion.

  9. Thanks to all for your help!


    We arrived at the toll booths around 9:20, no wait there, but there was about a 50 car pile up waiting to park. Everyone was waiting in one big long line, even though there were THREE open lanes. I scooted past everyone thinking that others would follow my lead... no takers. Then I did something strange... I actually followed the directions of the parking lot staff (unlike the guy that tried to tell me there was one line) and ended up with a spot right on the end, just behind handicapped parking.


    A quick walk up the walkway, through the metal detectors and we were about 5 people back in the season pass line.


    Walked briskly with the rest of the crowd (it seemed like the general admission lines were moving a LOT quicker than the season pass line) then veered off up toward Revolution, following some young fellers with a TPR t-shirt. Up to the Tatsu station and we were the first train out in the 3rd row!


    Thank you thank you!


    1 Ride on Tatsu

    1 Ride on Revolution

    1 Ride on Goliath

    1 more Ride on Goliath (they NEEDED 15 passengers, who am I to say no)

    1 Ride on Batman

    1 Ride on Superman - LEFT side!

    1 Almost Ride on the Sky Tower - darn it wasn't open yet


    11:30, we were in the car and driving past the HUGE crowd of people heading for the turnstiles


    What a fantastic 1.5 hour day

  10. The difference between a LIM (Linear Induction Motor) and an LSM (Linear Synchronous Motor) is pretty simple, but the same basic concept. LIMs use a non-ferous (non-magnetic, usually either aluminum or copper) "fin" that runs through the fixed portion of the motor. LSMs use rare earth magnets with very high magnetic flux that run through the fixed portion of the motor.


    Superman at Six Flags Magic Mountain is the only launched coaster that I know of that uses LSMs (though I'm sure there's another version of this same launch technology somewhere)


    Pretty much every other launched coaster you can think of is a LIM... California Screamin', Revenge of the Mummy, and yes even Big Thunder Mountain (though it's not a launched coaster, it still uses LIMs in the station and storage.


    A little more information about Synchronous Motors and Induction Motors...


    Induction motors do just as their name implies, the INDUCE a magnetic field into a non-ferous core, which then reacts to create mechanical motion. There is always a "slip" speed associated with an Induction motor that will vary with the load applied. In general Induction motors are MUCH cheaper, but require some rather complex electronics to control.


    Synchronous motors do not have to induce a magnetic field into the core, the magnetic field is already present in the form of rare earth magnets. Consequently this results in a "dead-nuts" rotor or linear speed regardless of the load applied (up to the stall load).


    In both types of linear versions of these motors timing is critical. The amount of power applied to these motors is intense, it's essentially a welder on steroids. As long as the core is present for all of that energy to produce motion, everything is good. But as we all know, roller coaster move and leave the stationary portion of the motor. If the required amout of power were applied to the motor with no core (no train) present, the sucker would melt so quickly you wouldn't believe it.


    Anyway... That's enough electrical engineering for the day (which is generally not my forte)... back to mechanical



    The MAJORITY of launched coasters utilizing Linear Motor technology would be categorized as Linear Induction Motors (LIMs)


    Hope all this made sense!!

  11. Yeah... the "secret" operating day when you walk up to the ticket booths and the "attractions not currently operating" board is blank!!!


    I don't know about y'all, but I already have my Flashback credit and I'm not looking for a repeat performance.


    Freefall had its day, but when Riddler was installed, it just made it look sad and pathetic. I'll stick with the latest generation of Intamin drop towers Thank you very much!

  12. Hey there... Just a quick bit of advise...


    West Hollywood is pretty much a pain in the rear to get to. If you're staying close to a freeway you've made a good choice.


    Consider staying near LAX (El Segundo) Lots of hotels in the area. I've always been a fan of Residence Inns... It's part of the Marriot Chain.


    Also, you probably want to consider where you're going and particularly what TIME. Good move on shacking up out in Anaheim, your drive won't be bad at all.


    Just a few things...

    Knott's is super close to Disneyland

    Universal Studios is near the 101, 110, and 405 freeways. If you're planning on driving during the week you'll be sure to hit bad traffic from about 6:00-10:00 AM and 3:00-7:00 PM. Unless you really really like sitting in traffic, you'd be well advised to find a place to stay that's relatively near where you want to go.


    Good Luck!!

  13. Ahhh HA! I knew there was a secret I was missing. Revolution has that weird split exit thing, huh? I vaguely remember, it's been a LONG time since I've ridden Revolution


    I've been a part of the hurry up and wait crowd for X first thing in the morning and it wasn't hard to get on the second train, even walking at a moderate speed up the hill.


    YAY for out of shape Americans!

  14. Howdy Guys (and Gals).


    Long time lurker, first time to start a topic.


    The last time I was at Magic Mountain was before Tatsu had opened. We're heading up there tomorrow and plan on getting there before park opening.


    Question: What's the quickest way up to Tatsu???


    I remember reading something about a "shortcut" in someone's TR. Not sure if that means the bypass route up the stairs past X's entrance, if there's a better route or if "shortcut" translated means elbow your way to the front and trample whomever is in your way.


    We're also crossing our fingers for the ellusive Superman "Left Side" Credit




  15. Favorite Roller Coaster Noise: Frequency drive AC motors. It's that high pitched humming drive motors make when their controlled to a slower (than slip or synchronous) speed. You can always count on a B&M to make this noise in the station, quite a few Intamins and a host of other rides (Turntable on Grizzly at DCA for example).


    Second Favorite Roller Coaster Noise: SLC's lift hill dogs. (Especially Ninja at SFMM) They're just so darn rhythmic... Too bad the rest of the ride isn't better.


    Worst Roller Coaster Noise EVER: The sound of a Big Thunder train cruising straight through Safety 3 and rear ending the train (accidentally) sitting in Brake Zone 4. It sounded a lot like a dumpster being dropped from the roof of a building... or pushed off a loading dock

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