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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm building a horizontal sliding rig that will move a animatronic from the back of the room toward the spectator. The idea is to use a scissor mechanism horizontally and on a track to create the creepy sliding motion of 8 to 10 feet.

The problem is, the prop that will be sliding has an air line and a electrical line attached to her (electric for the eyes and audio and air line for pneumatics within).

How do I make sure 8 to 10 feet of "wiring" does not get caught up or tangled when the rig slides forward and then retracts?
 

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You could use e-chain, but it's kind of pricey. A less expensive alternative would be to use flexible conduit. Fasten it to the ground or base of the track (where it won't get caught in the works) at the middle of the props travel, & train it so that it won't get hung up when the prop extends and retracts.
 

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You could try to fasten it to the center pivots of the scissor mechanism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the ideas guys. I appreciate it.

Lunatic and Bascombe: All power currently used is 12VDC. I thought about using batteries but I would still need to run an airline to the prop.

Thinking about trying a Air Compressor line that coils-up very tight and that does not have a "memory effect". The cheap airlines coil nicely at first but after stretching them a few times they lose their coil. A friend mentioned that I could find a "no memory" airline that returns perfectly every time, so I'm on the lookout for one now.

In the mean time, I will experiment with mounting on the center points of the scissor mech and the self retracting hose reel. I'll let you know how it works.

Good ideas guys. Keep them coming!

Here are a couple pics of the animatronic...

[/URL][/TD][/TR][TR][TD]From Halloween 2009[/TD][/TR][/TABLE][/IMG]

[/URL][/TD][/TR][TR][TD]From Halloween 2009[/TD][/TR][/TABLE][/IMG]
 

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As mentioned earlier, I would use the coil type air hose used by professional mechanics that would normally hang from the ceiling of a shop. Depending on the "throw" of your scissor mechanism you could attach the coil to the center pivot points of your scissor at every coil, or every other coil, or even every 3rd coil of the air hose. This would keep the stretch even across the hose as it extends with the prop. You could tape your wire to this hose (Coiled with the air hose). If done right, you should be able to avoid chafing on both. I would test and adjust everything without air or power (by hand) before you snug everything down.

To attach the hose to these points you could choose longer pivot bolts. After adjusting the scissor mechanism for "freeness" add an extra nut to the bolts with an automotive wire clamp to hold the hose and wire. EDIT: Dont be afraid to experiment with mounting the hose and wire on the scissor bars and Not the pivot points. The Pivot points might rotate in an unexpected way causing a potential bind.

The coils of the air hose should help reduce flexing stress on the electric wire and help keep everything away from any pinch points.
 
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