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Build Your Own Carnival Ride 192

Posted by michael
from the you-ride-it-first dept.
SoCalChris writes "Check out these guys who are building their own dark ride similar to the ones found at carnivals and theme parks. The ride is complete with PLC's in each of the cars, and one more PLC for the entire ride. The ride also features a blocking system like professionally built rides."
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Build Your Own Carnival Ride

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  • Carnies? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @10:53PM (#4466454)
    Does it come with a free carnie person?
  • Already?! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Xtraneous (594376) <`ten.tsacmoc' `ta' `suoenartX'> on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @10:54PM (#4466462)
    Arghhh, slashdotted, yet there is a Hope!

    Google's Cach [216.239.51.100]
  • Spooky (Score:5, Funny)

    by ActiveSX (301342) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @10:55PM (#4466467) Homepage
    Their web server's in for one hell of a dark ride.
  • call me anal (Score:4, Informative)

    by spacefem (443435) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @10:55PM (#4466468) Homepage
    I'm really tired of people getting the plural form of every abbreviation wrong. It's PLCs. Not PLC's. The PLC doesn't own anything. You wouldn't say "programmable logic controller's". Uhg.
    • The programmable logic controller's hosed. all in meant good fun.... ;-)
    • by Elbereth (58257) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:29PM (#4466619) Journal
      Actually, most people would say "programmable logic controller's".

      You're not suffiently cynical yet.
    • by kfg (145172) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:36PM (#4466656)
      accetable in pluralizing acronyms, as well as for other "non word" elements.

      It's a contraction. The apstrophe substitutes for the "e" in the suffix "es," which is an older, but still acceptable form.

      The dropping of the apostrophe in pluralizing acronyms is a modern phemonemon that comes about because of the modern practice, unjustifiable by traditional usage, of treating acronyms as if they were actually words.

      They are not. They are abbreviations.

      KFG
      • by Anonymous Coward
        conventions change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not.

        In this particular case, PLCs is actually more visably appealing than PLC's. While "PLC's" is the past standard, the new convention is also acceptable.

        Please, we do not need the grammar lesson from old fogies ;)
      • Though your polysyllabic observation does indeed lead to the inference that you know what you're talking about, I have always heard (and read) the opposite so could you point us to a definitive source that backs up your statement ?
      • by ottffssent (18387) on Thursday October 17, 2002 @01:11AM (#4466933)
        The dropping of the apostrophe in pluralizing acronyms is a modern phemonemon that comes about because of the modern practice, unjustifiable by traditional usage, of treating acronyms as if they were actually words.


        They are not. They are abbreviations.


        And the word is controller. Which pluralizes to controllers, not controlleres.

        So, while you may be right in general, that doesn't make PLC's any more acceptable than before.
        • And the word is controller. Which pluralizes to controllers, not controlleres.

          Nope, nope nope. Pluralization is based on the phonetic quality of the word, not its semantic meaning.

          So, you're actually saying "Pee-Ell-Cees". And, as everyone knows, the pluralization of a letter requires an apostrophe, as in:
          There are no z's in this sentence.
          Which makes much more sense than:
          There are no zs in this sentence.
          All you have to do is consult any style and usage work, and I'm sure that they will state that pluralization of acronyms require an apostrophe.

          The poster earlier was correct. His point was the abbreviation was not a word, not that we should look at the original words that PLC stood for in order to make a determination about pluralization. However, I disagree with him that the apostrophe is intended to represent an 'es' sound. It is simply used to mark the pluralization of the acronym.

          E-mail has "revolutionized", in a sense, the way that language is punctuated. For instance, notice that I placed the comma outside of rather than inside of the quote marks around revolutionized. Until recently, punctuation marks always appeared within quotes. This changed, probably due to problems like this:
          Your password is "toothbrush."
          Copying within the quotes would yield a bad password. So, over time, punctuation moved outside of quotations, and this is the style that is now commonly used within e-mail and other electronic texts. It is still technically incorrect in normal printed work, however, so be careful around your English teacher.

          In the same way, a lowercase s used to pluralize abbreviations is a new invention, necessitated, probably, by the huge proliferation of TLA's. Using a lowercase s is, in a sense, an abbreviation of 's. In a forum such as Slashdot, but PLC's and PLCs are both equally correct, although the geek "Elements of Style" might suggest the abbreviated s version. However, use just an s outside of this context, and you, my friend, are making a grammatical error.

          Note: I don't think that there are grammatical errors in this posting, but even if there are, what I have said above remains correct.
      • Bob the Angry Flower disagrees [angryflower.com] with you. Don't make the flower mad. (See "Some popular but incorrect rules", rule #2, "VCR's".)

    • Re:call me anal (Score:5, Informative)

      by LadyJessica (583659) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:38PM (#4466657) Homepage

      I agree. Can't people follow the simplest English punctuation? :-) Check out Bob The Angry Flower [angryflower.com] for a tutorial for the apostrophe impared.

    • Re:call me anal (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dr. Awktagon (233360)
      Well, okay, but the more important thing is to actually write out abbreviations the first time, even if the writer thinks the audience knows them.

      The first thing I thought when I saw PLC was "public limited company", for whatever reason.. even though I know what a programmable logic controller is.

      It didn't make sense for me at first why *either* of those things would be in a carnival ride car, but after a few hundred milliseconds of brain activity I decided it must be the programmable logic controller, or maybe some special "carnival lingo" (Hey Joe! We're all out of Pyrotechnic Lumbar Cartridges on car #3).

      At no point during this time did I take any notice of the apostrophe. (Or the fact that there were no periods, throw that into your grammar mix: P.L.C.)

      Now, I want those milliseconds back. Nearly a second of my time, gone forever! Think of the places I could've gone, the things I could've accomplished! Damn you slashdot!!
    • Can you use apostrophes in acronyms when pluralizing them? Some people say yes, some people say no. I say yes! Here's why:

      Purdue University [purdue.edu] has a nice blurb on how to properly use apostrophes. One of the uses is "Forming plurals of letters, numbers, and symbols" to avoid confusion.

      This [www.ucc.ie] page says you can us an apostrophe when the acronym ends in S to avoid confusion. Their example was if you said "The DHSSs of Europe are getting together next week" it would look strange so you can use "The DHSS's of Europe are getting together next week"

      This [pcroot.cern.ch] says use an Apostrophe whenever there is punctuation in the acronym. Many other publications say you can't.

      Since acronyms and codes are getting more popular they have to get more complex to be unique. You wouldn't want someone getting confused between multiple Non-Maskable Interrupts and a Navy Manpower Information System. Why not make it NMI's instead of NMIs so it doesn't get confused with a NMIS.

      Many people seem to agree that you shouldn't use apostrophes to pluralize acronyms but I don't. I think the "ends in S" rule is good but what about the "could be confused with another acronym which is this one with an s on the end" rule. How do you know there isn't an acronym out there that is that one with an S on the end? How do you know there won't be one tomorrow?

      You cant!

      The bottom line is that the purpose of language is to communicate effectively. If I can do that using 31337 sp33ch then that's ok. It's like the whole stupid he/she vs they thing. (They has always been acceptable as a singular gender neutral pronoun despite many people's assertions otherwise).

      To sum it up:

      Language rules are here to help us communicate and any rule that restricts our ability to do so effectively is invalid by definition no matter how much some know-it-all wants to convince you otherwise. It's the way it always has been and the way it always will be.
    • Actually, according to the MLA, which sets the standard for English usage in writing, the plural of a letter is formed with an apostrophe. For example, you would say that "The string 'aa' contains two a's." The use here is obvious: "a's" is readable, but "as" would make no sense. People (myself included) extend this to abbreviations in (I believe) proper MLA style. However, I too hate it when people use the apostrophe incorrectly, especially with "its/it's." I say that PLC's is correct in this case. If it's that important, I can look it up later (no MLA book at work) and let you know what they have to say.
    • Of the English language in the name of humor...

      You are anal's

    • It's PLCs. Not PLC's. The PLC doesn't own anything.

      It doesn't? Are you sure you're talking about the right kind of PLC?

      In 1989, a random of the journalistic persuasion asked hacker Paul Boutin "What do you think will be the biggest problem in computing in the 90s?" Paul's straight-faced response: "

    • There are three PLCs in the cabinet.

      The PLC's cabinet is the one on the right.

  • by EraseEraseMe (167638) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @10:56PM (#4466472)
    Visit here [laffinthedark.com]

    The Dark Ride and Funhouse historical Society
  • This is insane (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dragon218 (139996) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @10:56PM (#4466475) Homepage
    Before any comments are up, this site is already slashdotted. Google's mirror [216.239.51.100]. No pictures, but better than nothing.
  • Cartman buys his own theme park and goes on TV pushing all his great rides. Then starts conclude the commercial with...

    "But you can't come! Especially Stan and Kyle!"

    "So come on down to Cartman land... but don't plan on getting past the parking lot!

  • by sheepab (461960) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @10:58PM (#4466484) Homepage
    Does it come with an automated system that makes it break down every 15 minutes, so it truely simulates real carnivals?
    • by bsartist (550317) on Thursday October 17, 2002 @12:11AM (#4466786) Homepage
      Does it come with an automated system that makes it break down every 15 minutes

      Well, if you wanted a true simulation of a real traveling carnival ride, you'd have to do much more than that.

      You'd also have to forgo any and all maintenance, and keep the operator supplied with enough hash (or other intoxicants) for him to be completely oblivious to the terrified screams of customers whose children are being thrown from the ride due to inadequate restraints.

      For a little added bonus, you can have the operator sell the above-mentioned hash (or other intoxicants) to passing children. This will provide an additional source of cash for you - which will, sooner or later, be necessary to pay for legal expenses and bail.
  • by Aiwendel (230929) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @10:59PM (#4466490)
    "Check out these guys who are building their own dark ride similar to the ones found at carnivals and theme parks."


    I happen to speak a little Slashdotese. I think this translates as :

    "Kickass! Let's see how fast we can get their website over its 30gb a month transfer limit!"
  • by sheepab (461960) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:01PM (#4466502) Homepage
    Also known as Roller-Coaster Tycoon, now availible for the Mac!
  • Mirror (Score:4, Informative)

    by ahaning (108463) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:05PM (#4466517) Homepage Journal
    All I'm missing is the last file, drvplan.jpg, but here you go anyway: http://www.osuweb.net/~ahaning/www.phantasmechanic s.com/darkride/ [osuweb.net]

    *ahaning throws the URL at the rabid users and gets out of the way as quickly as possible... as if feeding starved dogs*
    • Thanks to another user hosting compressed copies, drvplan.jpg is now in place.

      Page 2, however, is not. Oh well, be happy you got page 1!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You are in violation of copyright law. Cease and desist your wholesale theft of Mr. Ferguson's copyrighted material. Permission was neither granted nor implied to set up an illegal mirror of his work, and both you and your web site host will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
    • (Ha! If this doesn't convince them I'm not a karma whore, nothing will!)

      Ahaning, can you grab my latest [slashdot.org] files and update your mirror? That way we can expose all of page one and much of page two.

      Now if only someone would do this [slashdot.org] (the second paragraph).

      Alternately, if the author of the site could send me a tarball, I'd gladly host it in that form and decompressed, browseable form.

      Jouster
      • I got the last image from your compressed copies. I was going to put up page 2, but you saved it with Mozilla, which rewrites the HTML so it works with the directories it makes. I was feeling too lazy to go to the trouble of rewriting it back the way it should be. In the future, I'd recommend wget -r [URL] But be careful! The Internet is very large. Just ask these guys [archive.org]!

        Nevertheless, I'll forego my schoolwork and see what I can do ;-).
        • The reason I saved it with Mozilla is that that is how I viewed it.

          I figured there was a better chance I'd get in before slashdotting took its toll if I clicked the link than if I connected to my Linux box, remembered the syntax (specifically, the -r part), and serially downloaded all the files.

          Plus, I had a better chance of getting all the support files with Mozilla, since I knew it was downloading all of them, whereas I don't know how powerful wget's parsing capabilities are.

          That said, all you really need to do is uncompress one of my zipped up files into your mirror directory. True, it won't be a precise mirror insofar as it won't map all the semantic attributes like directory names, but it will be perfectly viewable, which is all /. cares about.

          :),
          Jouster
  • Convenient mirror... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jouster (144775) <slashdot AT angelfaq DOT com> on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:05PM (#4466518) Homepage Journal
    I grabbed what I could, but the site was in the middle of a meltdown.

    Grab the .ZIP file [thereifs.com], or the .BZ file [thereifs.com].

    Jouster
    • I'm going to grab ahaning [slashdot.org]'s mirror [slashdot.org]'s copy of the first page, since he has all the images, and roll that into mine.

      I think mine is now the only source of page 2. (You didn't know there was a page 2? Look at the bottom of the page.) If someone could grab my distribution and combine it with a google cache and google thumbnails from page three, that'd be heavenly. Just post it as a reply to this thread so there's just one "mirror" thread.

      Jouster
    • by Jouster (144775)
      Okay, new version, page 1 is complete, page 2 has some pictures missing, and no page 3 (sorry!).

      Grab it in ZIP [thereifs.com], BZ [thereifs.com], or convenient browseable form [thereifs.com].

      Jouster
  • by mhesseltine (541806) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:06PM (#4466524) Homepage Journal

    From the second page of the article:

    On Friday, February 15, the Chinese -made Enco metal lathe arrived. It took about 4 hours to set it all up, as it had to be hoisted and mounted upon its pedistal. The whole rig probably weighs over 1,200 pounds. Don't even think of starting a project like this dark ride unless you invest in one of these machine tools. (You'll also want a milling machine.) This unit, plus tools and digital readout (DRO) runs about $6K. It's a bit noisy and vibrates, but it's a lot cheaper than a domestic unit - and it works.
    If you are going to do something like this, please invest in a decent tool. EMCO machine tools are the sorriest pieces of crap you can find. Look at a used machinery auction and buy a good Clausing-Colchester lathe [clausing-industrial.com] and a Bridgeport or Lagun milling machine [lagun.com].

    As another alternative; if you're going to drop this much money on buying machine tools, just to build one ride, contact a local job shop and work with them on making the parts.

  • Why not.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by paganizer (566360) <thegrove1@[ ]mail.com ['hot' in gap]> on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:06PM (#4466527) Homepage Journal
    ..do it a little cheaper?
    big box on pneumatics, big screen tv on the front, 20" CRT's on the sides, and a few days rendering up something on 3Dstudio?
    would be a lot more bizarre, and cost a lot less.

    See my Stuff! web.changestorm.com
  • Neat but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Audity (600754)
    Even the professional rides are quite dangerous, I definately wouldn't want to ride on a homemade one.
  • Luke, (Score:5, Funny)

    by fidget42 (538823) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:13PM (#4466554)
    I am your fath.. Oh, you said dark ride. My bad.
  • Just GREAT!!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chris_Stankowitz (612232) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:20PM (#4466584)
    I finally after many years just began trusting roller coasters ( including the cyclone http://www.astroland.com/cyclone.html, I live in Brooklyn, NY) and after reports like this one http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/news/WABC_071002_coast ers.html and a few others on news mags I have mustered up enough balls to get back on them and now I hear that your average joe shmoe is building caosters? Is this thing safe? Has it been tested? Is there an "Authority" that approves roller caosters at all?
    • Re:Just GREAT!!!! (Score:2, Informative)

      by Xtraneous (594376)
      In a word...

      No!
      Kinda scary when you think about it, eh?

      There are some in state laws, but that does not stop the traveling carnivals from doing whatever they want.

      If you live anywhere near cedar point [cedarpoint.com](near=within 4hrs drive) it is big, there is a lot to do, and they have an excellent record where saftey is concerned.

    • In Florida, rides are inspected by the Department of Agriculture. They also inspect gas pumps. And fruit trees.

      maru
  • by lewko (195646) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:25PM (#4466604) Homepage
    If you REALLY want to scare people, have a monitor in the foyer with a sign on it saying "Safety Monitoring System" and a Blue Screen of Death.

    Muhahahahahaha.....
  • And offtopic, well, mostly. But the way I figure it... /. has a ton of web serving capability, why don't they mirror sites before posting stories so that everyone could read them? They could even have a 'originally at http://...' frame on top like google does for it's cached pages. Sure would make reading /. stories a lot easier :)
  • by SniffleBear (604984) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:36PM (#4466654)
    The Flaming Sybian (And that's what it actually is!)!

    Will be popular with the ladies.
  • by ylikone (589264) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:39PM (#4466660) Homepage
    My ride consisted of a grocery store shopping cart with a rope tied to it. I drove a large metal stake into the ground at the top of a ravine and tied the other end of the rope to it. Then I would place my younger sister and her friend into the cart and push it down into the ravine. The rope would stop the cart from going all the way down into the rocks and water at the bottom... but I did not think of putting seat belts on my ride so it didn't end up working that well.
    • My ride consisted of a grocery store shopping cart with a rope tied to it. I drove a large metal stake into the ground at the top of a ravine and tied the other end of the rope to it. Then I would place my younger sister and her friend into the cart and push it down into the ravine. The rope would stop the cart from going all the way down into the rocks and water at the bottom... but I did not think of putting seat belts on my ride so it didn't end up working that well.

      by Jack Handy

  • by dr_dank (472072) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @11:58PM (#4466731) Homepage Journal
    Bearded lady sold separately.
  • by Tablizer (95088)
    By the time they finish, they just may outgrow the crave for fast thrills.

    I know that I don't enjoy fast amusement park rides like I used to when younger. I suppose battling with lane-merging 18-wheelers on LA freeways wore out the thrill.
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Thursday October 17, 2002 @12:26AM (#4466843) Homepage Journal

    There was this one carnival attraction in my hometown where you crawl through a bunch of black boxes, cushions, and tubes in total darkness.

    Teenage guys LOVED that one because they could grab girls every which way without ever getting caught.

    Now *that* would be the one to build in your backyard.

  • by puto (533470) on Thursday October 17, 2002 @01:14AM (#4466939) Homepage
    As a Native New Orleanian I guess I should mention that the House of Shock where this ride is located is a Trent Reznor project.

    I worked at the ISP that kicked him his bandwidth in the day and his group were a pretty nice bunch of guys. I remember one day when I was BOFHing some tech calls and someone calls to add a couple of pop boxes for a domain and reset a pass. In my best "fuck you asshole, stupid loser that you are" voice I asked for the customers last name. When I replied "Like uh Trent" guy said yeah and I pulled the account up. Felt like such an ass.

    Course the ultimate scare would be to be the only guy in the ride with 4 300 lb female ex cons who just got outta stir and are looking for some strange. As the lights go out and the strains of the song Closer chime in.... oof gonna have nightmares about that one.

    Puto
  • Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by SoCalChris (573049) on Thursday October 17, 2002 @01:31AM (#4466995) Journal
    I'm not sure how long it will last, but here's a mirror...

    http://www.chrisnaimee.com/sd/dr1.htm [chrisnaimee.com]
    http://www.chrisnaimee.com/sd/dr2.htm [chrisnaimee.com]
    http://www.chrisnaimee.com/sd/dr3.htm [chrisnaimee.com]
    http://www.chrisnaimee.com/sd/dr4.htm [chrisnaimee.com]
    http://www.chrisnaimee.com/sd/dr5.htm [chrisnaimee.com]
    http://www.chrisnaimee.com/sd/dr6.htm [chrisnaimee.com]
    http://www.chrisnaimee.com/sd/dr7.htm [chrisnaimee.com]
    http://www.chrisnaimee.com/sd/dr8.htm [chrisnaimee.com]
    http://www.chrisnaimee.com/sd/dr9.htm [chrisnaimee.com]
    http://www.chrisnaimee.com/sd/dr10.htm [chrisnaimee.com]
  • ...That reads "Build your own Carnivore"?

    I feel mislead!

  • "On Friday, February 15, the Chinese -made Enco metal lathe arrived. It took about 4 hours to set it all up, as it had to be hoisted and mounted upon its pedistal. The whole rig probably weighs over 1,200 pounds. "

    ...which is why, in the meantime, we just sat it upon these two wooden house stools. LMAO

    • Funny, on first look...

      But actually, if you look at the pictures, you can see the first shows it on the stools, and the pedestal is in the foreground, the second shows it on the pedestal (and is dated a day ahead). The next image showing one of the guys using the lathe, you can see one of the stools is being used to support a box of tools or something.

      Believe me, while it may look like they could use it on the stools, any metalworker with any kind of experience would tell you that would be a bad thing...

  • Almost as fun as a backyard roller coaster! [negative-g.net]

    -Dan
  • The House of Shock is awesome. It's also either owned or co-owned by some of the guys in Pantera, I believe.
  • I'm sitting here in a room with about twenty (fifty if you count the ones in the cabinet) "PLCs" (actually, they're the grandchildren of the original "PLC"). This is at the company that invented the PLC; I'm testing the new stuff. At any rate, I think it'd be pretty cool if it was one of our products being used. Which PLCs were used?
  • I'm ridin the Dot Com roller coaster..........

    Goin down !!

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