The Devil’s Whip Fairground Ride

This model is based on a popular and very old fairground-style flat ride patented in 1914 and seen in amusement parks and fun fairs for many years.

The Whip consists of two circular platforms turned by motors which pull a cable that leads the cars around an oval steel track, whipping them as they circle each end.

“Each car will travel along the straight portions of the track and acquire a quick centrifugal motion in passing around the curves, turns or corners, the suddenness of which causes agitation or commotion of the occupants, and hence much merriment and amusement."

I thought that it was difficult in Meccano to build the cable where the cars are attached and succeed in a smooth ride all along. However, after a few ideas and many attempts I finally managed to make it work. The wheels from each car are fixed instead of being free as in the original Ride to make it swing forward and backward as it goes along, but the restriction I have due to the width of the enclosed structure limited the possibilities of doing so and it was difficult to make it work smoothly.

Potentially in the event of the circular platform (driven by the motor), or the cable braking, it will create a problem which to rectify will need the dismantling of half of the ride’s components.

The tunnel at one end of the track is an additional feature not present in the original ride, but one added to enhance the thrill factor for the passengers. I started and finished this model in February 2010.

April 2011

In April 2011 the model was redesigned with a ‘new look’.

April 2013

In March 2013 I dismantled the Soul Shaker, retaining the roof structure for a future model I had in mind…

I decided to build a new Whip, this time instead of having an enclosed structure as in my earlier model, I decided to use an open plan so that I can offer a much better view.

I cut the base made of plywood and sprayed it in red and black edges and fitted the roof from the Soul Shaker supported by two squared towers, in a platform to support two 3” pulleys instead of the 6” used in my former Whip.

Adding the rotating belt proved to be problematic after I fitted my first car to it. These pulleys being smaller did not function well, so I had to redesign the lot and decided to add to these two pulleys two hub discs on both sides so that the belt won’t escape. Increasing the size of these new parts required me to dismantle the two towers one at a time and build two single columns instead to allow me the extra space. After long and painful work I started having the same trouble more or less again so I came to the idea of inserting long bolts to the hubs’ outer holes so the belt was pushed outwards, being more rigid so that the movement became much better and with further improvement started working to my satisfaction.

First one motor attached to one side engaged the rotating hub but did not work well. I replaced this with the motor I built for the Kraken years ago and it was too fast, noisy and I could not add extra reducing gears due to its size, so a smaller geared motor finally fitted in an unusual way connected straight to the axle and not to the side column from the hub. This proved to be successful and more professional.

The roof also received supporting struts for extra support.

I hope to improve the running of the cars with further modifications and perhaps a new belt.

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