If you don't feel like reading the whole post, feel free to just watch the video!
>> Edit: I just posted a new "extended version" of the video.
>> Edit: Be sure to check out and vote for my Instructable in both the Humana and Craftsman Tools Contests starting next week!
I haven't posted much recently because I'm working on a few projects that aren't complete yet and I would rather wait to post them after they're further along. But in the next few posts I'm going to be digging up an old project I finished over four years ago, which I am going to enter into the Craftsman Tools Contest. I'm also going to talk about my ongoing work on the project, trying to turn it into a viable product.
When I was younger, one of my favorite shows to watch was Star Trek: The Next Generation. I also visited Disney World about once a year with my family, and my favorite "ride" has always been the monorail. It is just an icon of all that is futuristic. To think that it was built almost 40 years ago is amazing.
|The USS Enterprise Bridge|
Walt Disney World Monorail
- Small air compressor with tank from Home Depot
- 32" wide, solid wood door from Home Depot (to be cut in half)
- A 5-way, 12V solenoid-operated valve from McMaster.com
From there it was just a matter of painting the wall, and it was back to looking stock. I purchased a blank white wall plate from Home Depot. I drilled it out for an illuminated pushbutton and a 3-position keyswitch, both of which I bought from McMaster. I also purchased a plastic hatch door from McMaster for the control box. Lastly, I added an air conditioning vent above the door. This lets the air venting noises be heard, and it also provides me access to the valve and pistons should anything go wrong.
The key switch has three positions: Hold Open, Hold Closed, and Normal Operation. Normal operation means the door will open when the inside or outside buttons are pushed, and close after a few seconds. I wired up the keypad so that I could lock the door from the outside, and a #* combination opens the door. The keypad also has red and green lights which I used to indicate the door's status. If the door is locked, the red light turns on, and the green light illuminates when the door is open.
And that just about wraps it up. Four years later, the door is still up and running, and I recently took some photos and video of it in action during my last trip back home. I also decided to upgrade the air compressor to a new Craftsman 1HP model with a much higher SCFM for faster refilling. The compressor is hung from a roof beam in the attic with padding to dampen any vibrations.
Watch the quick video:
And the extended version: