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How the Maurer Skyloop works?

vdch34278

New Member
As those of you who have seen or ridden the Maurer Skyloop have known, the train swings freely on the bottom of the track after the initial lift, and the chain lift also helps bring the cars back down to the station at the end of the ride.

But in order for the car to freely swing, the chain dog must retract after the chain lift. If anyone has worked on Skyloops or whatever, could you tell me how the Skyloop can extend and retract the chain dog on the underside of the car? I can see a strip of metal to the right of the chain guide and between the brakes, so that appears to help re-extend the chain dog at the end of the ride in order for the lift to slowly bring the train down to the station.
 

Antinos

Slut for Spinners
Social Media Team
Take a close look at the end of this POV:



You'll notice that the chain actually moves with the train, so the chain dog is not retracting. Initially, I thought they'd use a clutch between the lift motor and driving sprocket to disconnect the motor and let the train fall back into the station, but the system looks like it's controlled by some means. My background is mechanical so I can't do this explanation justice, but there are ways to wire up circuits such that they provide resistance when a motor is in an unpowered state and backdriven. Based on what behavior Abismo is exhibiting in that POV, it appears that Maurer Sohne has engineered a lift system to naturally brake the train as it rolls back with clever circuitry.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
^Pretty much that.

The train rolls over the chain, the brake catches the train (that mechanism in the middle of the track by the catwalk in the vertical), and the chain then winds up to pick up the chain dogs.

The chain the lowers the train back down the drop with a brake (either on the motor or the shaft).
 

vdch34278

New Member
Near the end of the POV, the chain looks like it's moving with the train because of the camera's frame rate.

I was talking about the standard SkyLoops like X Coaster at Magic Springs where the chain dog has to retract to allow the train to swing back and forth.

And in the video of Abismo, at 1:06 you can see a long metal bar next to the chain lift. That bar extends to allow the chain dog to extend.
 

vdch34278

New Member
OK, I found one:


At 0:50, look very closely at the part of the track just below the rear car. You can see a metal bar extending outwards, and that is when the train's chain dog is re-extended. On Sky Wheel they had it going twice, and you can see the same thing again at 1:25.
 

vdch34278

New Member
No, the holding brake is the big thing surrounding the lift chain on the vertical portion of the lift hill. The brakes clamp sideways, so that metal bar could not possibly be the holding brake.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Near the end of the POV, the chain looks like it's moving with the train because of the camera's frame rate.
The chain speeds up and slows down with the train as it's being lowered. I'm pretty sure Jerry isn't using variable frame rate cameras. ;)

Don't these sort of things work a bit like the Eurofighter lifts where the chain dog is actually on the chain rather than the car? Once the ride clears the top of the hill, you just wind the chain dogs into the return portion of the chain guide and the train can 'free wheel' over the chain as many times as it likes. You then use the holding brake to pause the train while the dog catches up. That's how I'd do it, at least. P

Without watching one closely for real (I've been spited by two of these, never got on one :p), I'm not sure I'd be able to work it out from the video - it's not close enough to the mechanisms to really see what's happening.
 

Dar

Member
Being bored and nerdy enough to dig through the patents; you're right, the chain dog gets "dropped" into the chain once it's been held still by the holding brake. I imagine it's a simple latch mechanism rather than a failsafe electromagnet like on Expedition Everest.

Maurer's skyloop patent said:
The means for engagement with the vehicle may for example be a coupling means. It may be an entraining means connected with the transport means or a chain hook, which, actuated by a switching slide, which is secured to the ride lap, couples the vehicle with the chain.
They even say in the patent that they don't need to bother with all the extra safety systems because there is only ever one train on the track, so if the brakes fail there's no chance of a collision or other block-related accidents!

 
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