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Mini New Years Eve Times Square Ball Drop

Welcome to the fabrication of my New Year's eve Times Square Ball drop...mini sized of course. I work at a popular club/bar where I have done some metal railing and other fabrication work. In the above picture there is sort of a dance cage I also fabricated as well. The NYE ball started out as an idea when the owner of the club wanted something really cool for New Year's eve. He asked all his employees for ideas and I came up with the idea of a mini version of the famous Times Square ball drop. He liked the idea and then I went and did some research on the internet about the history and specifications of the ball itself. Well here is my rendition and some step by step fabrication of the ball drop. For this, the club was on local news channels and I was also interviewed. Enjoy...

 

 

I drew up a picture of how I wanted the ball to look. I then took some 1/4" rod and bent the rod in a circle around a JIG. The JIG was a cement mixer pulley. It had the dimeter I was looking for and had groves in it to hold the rod perfectly. I bent 8 sets. I then cut them in half and welded each end to a collar on a dummy pole. I made the collars as well. Here you can see the ball starting to take shape. I got the pole at a scrap yard. The diameter of the pole in 3 inches. It is pretty thick wall as well. I devised a pulley mechanism to move the ball up and down the pole with garage door pulleys I had from home depot. I had a pulley on the top and one on the bottem.

 

 

I wanted the ball to move up and down the pole with some sort of power just like the real thing at Times Square. So I took the winch off of my truck and set out to design the automatic set up. I first had to fabricate a battery box that will control the main power for the winch and this also controlled my automatic firing of my confetti cannons. I built the box from all aluminum and TIG welded it all as well. Looks sorta complicated but it went togehter rather easy. Here you can see some of the aluminum TIG welds. This holds the control mounting plate to the box. You can see the Nitrous solenoid that will control my cannons.

 

 

Here are the contfetti cannons I also fabricated. They are fired with CO2(soda gas). The pressure of the CO2 tank is about 600 psi (cold). More on the pressure later. These cannons also lauch other items about 500 yards I cannot mention here. Here are the cannons mounted in a vice ready to test fire confetti. I was testing how to get the farthest spray of confetti. I tested several different wads. After many live tests with confetti I came up with a secret wad for packing. Here is the whole unit ready for testing. Oh remember how I said the pressure of the CO2 bottle cold was 600psi, well I used a Nitrous Oxide Bottle heater to warm up the bottle and got the pressure to 1000psi. During the 1000 psi test I got the confetti to fly the distance I was looking for. I wired the activation button in a way I can fire the cannons from about 20 feet from where I would be standing when midnight hits.

 

 

Here you can see the winch and the mount base I made for the winch and the 8 foot pole.

Here is the ball lit with over 500 lights ranging from dancing LED's to other lights giving it that gittler effect. The ball took exactly 20 seconds to drop about 8 feet. Also the confetti cannons are mounted and loaded with confetti awaiting the 12 o'clock hour.

 

 

All in all this was one of the funnest and creative projects I have done in a while. It made you think and at the same time have fun while fabricating it. New Year's Eve at this club was a huge success, the ball dropped flawlessly with the electric winch and when it reached the bottom I fired the confetti cannons with my remote button I made and there was tons of confetti everywhere. The packed house was going crazy. It was the talk of the town. Months later people still come up to me in the club and say how in the world did you even think of something like that let alone making it and getting it to work. Pretty cool how an idea can become a reality.

 

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