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  • Birthday 06/24/1973

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  1. I have seen comments from 2 different Dollywood Employees and the guys (and girls) from IOE. All have said that the launch system is running the way its supposed to.From what I gathered from this thread, there are two logic systems on the coaster: one for the launch and one for the operation. I noticed last night that they have changed the prox sensors on the brake run and the station (I work maintenance, I notice those kind of things). That leads me to suspect that they installed an entirely new PLC system. On the operation and not the launch. I speculate that a single unified system was developed so both systems operate in unison. Also, there were a bunch of water dummies on the ground by the station. This leads me to believe that some form of extensive testing took place. As I say, this is all speculation, so take it with a grain of salt unless it get confirmed. I will say this. I rode this the second day of testing back in April(ish) and have pretty much rode this monthly since then, yesterday was the best I have seen it run so far. Did manage a night ride, but the full moon lit things up. Dare I say it.... Voyage gave a better night ride. I do want to clarify here, as we only worked on the ride control system and not the launch control system, we do not comment on the status of the launch control system in any way. Further as we have not been on site for months, I would have no way to know the condition or operation of that system. As for the idea that the systems were unified, we would need to be notified of such a change, and there has been no notifications or requests to change anything in our system from the park. So you mentioned that you work in maintenance. Is that maintenance at Dollywood? I would guess you were if you were riding back during our testing as you had to be a Dollywood employee or with one of us contractors. I'm sure I know you then too as I was present during all of the testing. -Brian
  2. To be fair, IOE is the only source that's actually verifiable, though personally I do tend to believe the others. Oh, and speaking of IOE... go like them on Facebook if you haven't already. They're far more fun than any company that builds control panels for a living has any right to be and for some reason have a complete love affair with Top Thrill Dragster and they're not afraid to show it. Thanks for the nice post! We are firm believers in keeping the job fun as we work in an amazing industry. Being a fan of TTD keeps our CEO happy and also is a very good idea when she is also your wife. I do appreciate the vote of confidence from the other poster as we strive to make our systems the most reliable and user friendly out there! -Brian
  3. I would like to clarify there are two separate systems involved on Lightning Rod. There is the launching system and the ride control system. Both systems involve their own PLCs and sensor networks. As of a call last week, we were told there are no issues with our portion of the ride and there have not been since the ride originally opened to the public. Further we were praised by the park on the performance of our system over the season. As we at Irvine Ondrey Engineering designed the ride control system, we are in regular contact with park maintenance regarding anything we can do to assist in any issues. It is important to us that we are known for our quality and reliability of our control systems, and we are happy to work with any park on issues they may be having. -Brian Ondrey President Irvine Ondrey Engineering
  4. I can only surmise on the wing riders, but my guess is you will still see them on every new one. As has been said, there are certain functions where a proximity switch won't work. In that particular case, I would guess it is protection against someone wandering past the station. Due to the design, a person in that area may not realize the size of the clearance envelope required. Not all designs would require that, so I doubt you will see them on every new ride from B&M. -Brian
  5. We had tried to get away from using photo-eyes on the B&Ms several years back. It was too easy to get blocked by weather conditions or stray bird poop (some sites this is very common). So in general you won't see photo-eyes used. Sometimes though, they are what you have to use due to the ride itself like Auto Race at Kennywood. -Brian
  6. Great coverage of the show! It's been helping me in deciding who I need to talk to next in a few cases. I'm also glad you guys have been liking the Games-U-Ride concepts. The way those were programmed, there are various options in how the rides can be used. Strike-U-Up may also have a single player mode that works just like a High Striker you can ride. The guys are keeping their ears open to see what exactly the parks want and I'm sure would be interested to hear what sounds good to you too. Oh, and there could be a few hidden Easter eggs in the games too. Its fun to be a programmer You guys also might be interested in the interviews Anne has been doing and posting on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/IrvineOndreyEngineering. She has been interviewing a number of industry professionals on the one question of what would you tell a hopeful student about getting into the amusement industry. We are big on encouraging people to follow their dreams, but also want to be honest about it being a tough road to follow. These are people that have made it and we highly encourage all hopefuls to take the time and listen to what they have to say. Enjoy! -Brian Ondrey
  7. Maybe a disgruntled office worker came over and sabotaged the chain...haha. I doubt it but that would be kind of sick. Those weren't "unconfirmed reports" that was just a random uneducated guess. It is definitely not a control/software issue and almost certainly not an electrical issue of any kind, and that isn't a guess. Thanks for sticking up for us!! I love how it's always the poor PLC and us controls guys that always take the blame for any downtime . In this case, we have not been contacted by the park in regards to the ride so it's safe to say it isn't a controls issue. You guys are also killing me with computer problems. That's almost as bad as my hated "computer glitch". PLCs having an actual internal failure are extremely rare, although easy to fix. Replace PLC, download code, reset block logic, and you're ready to go in the once every 10-20 years you might have to do that for a ride. Ride shutdowns if caused by the computer are almost always intentional decisions made by the PLC as programmed responses to a piece of equipment not reacting the way it is expected or a tolerance exceeded that is deemed unacceptable. It's actually really important for us to try to get across to people that a ride shutting down is the system choosing the safest response to a detected fault. Heck, our systems won't let the ride run in the case of a detected failed part, yet cars won't stop you from trying to do 70 mph on a busy highway with both the check engine and low oil lights on. Something to think about. -Brian
  8. ^Who said it was stuck and not parked there for a reason? -Brian
  9. Oh my goodness I didn't expect you to reply. There are so many things I would love to ask you someday about controls for rides. It seems so similar yet completely different from the S88 philosophy I use for food and beverage systems. Do you guys use Ethernet, DeviceNet, or ControlNet? All of the above, although at this point mainly Ethernet. ASi networks have become very popular too as of late due to their ease of use and the fact they communicate over the same cables as their 24vdc power. I haven't had much of a chance to post in a while but I try to follow the threads. Feel free to msg me if you have any questions or ask us on our facebook page. We love to talk about what we do. -Brian
  10. Hey don't knock the PLC 5. They are still powering a few B&Ms out there along with a number of other rides even without the help of a SLC. Granted we would be quite happy to upgrade them to a nice guardlogix safety PLC for a reasonable price. -Brian
  11. 100% safe. The forces on those two columns have been rechecked and are well within the safety limitations. Some coasters have some swaying to them but it does not mean in any way it is unsafe. Safety is taken very seriously and the ride would not have opened if there was any question of its safety. -Brian
  12. Oh and I'm not just saying this because I worked on it, but holy crap! Lightning Run is the real deal and totally blew Anne and I out of the water. First drop is amazing and it just keeps getting better and better after that! This coaster is truly worth the trip out to Kentucky Kingdom. -Brian
  13. Not to worry, I have faith that the KK Lightning Run crew will get the dispatch times down much lower. We are having a training session tomorrow with two train operation and will hopefully be getting more operators trained. There are also plans for a test seat for the front of the queue which should help with the sizing issues. Amazon Day was a crazy way to begin our first day of operation and the crew did a fantastic job under very extreme circumstances with really no experience. -Brian
  14. If you are attending that ACE/Amazon preview, I wouldn't expect Lightning Run to be open. I don't believe it has even started testing yet. Challenge accepted. -Brian
  15. Thanks for the shout out, Lareson!! I just arrived in Louisville tonight to begin work at Kentucky Kingdom tomorrow. This has been a busy week after being at both Kennywood and the Indianapolis Zoo, but now it's time to bring Lightning Run to life. The PLC cabinets have been on site and installed for a while now and work is going on to get all of the wiring pulled and terminated. We are pushing hard to get to the point of starting to test run the ride. I will be posting updates on the Irvine Ondrey Engineering facebook page when I can so come check us out. First run time is almost here!!! -Brian Ondrey
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