Ride Photo Hardware

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Camera:

The system will support both AVT and IDS GigE cameras. For fast multi-car coasters we recommend the AVT Manta G-201C-30. We feel this camera has the best price/performance with a resolution of 1620 X 1220, 2 1/2 times better than our previous system. For single car coasters and even higher resolution the IDS UI-6280SE is a good choice. Both are available from 1st Vision , the G201C will run about $1,200.00 the UI-6280 about $2,500.00. If your lens does not have a 1/4-20 mount, (most do) you will also need to purchase a mounting plate for the camera. The Hirose Power/IO cable sells for around $100.00 however if you are handy with a soldering iron and tiny connections do not scare you, the package you receive with the software will contain the information to build it yourself and save about $75.00.

 

Lens:

Suitable lenses can range from several hundred to several thousand. You will need a 3 motor Motorized Zoom C Mount lens that will work with a 1/1.8 format camera. Lenses designed for larger formats can be used with a correction for focal length but a lens designed for a smaller format cannot. Common lens formats are 1/2", 1/1.8", 2/3" and 1". 2/3 is easier to find than 1/1.8 and will work fine.  From time to time we have a few slightly used lenses in stock, contact us for specifications and pricing.

 

Strobe/Flash:

We have been using White Lightning Studio strobes by Paul Buff for years with excellent reliability, service and support. Any one of the White Lightning Xseries strobes can be used depending on how far away from the ride the strobe can be located. Most of the systems we have sold and installed used the X1600. However, for example you are putting a dual strobe system on a kiddy coaster with the strobes only 20 or so feet from the track the X800 would work just fine. For a Fast Multi Car Coaster the Unilux Big Shot is about the only single strobe solution.

 

Camera/Strobe Housings and Mounts:

We like the Pelco EH5723 housing with the EM2000 mount. This housing is large enough to house the Camera, Camera Power Supply and Trigger Electronics. The same housing can be used for the White Lightning strobe. We simply trim the strobe reflector down so it will fit in the housing. Probably best just to do a Google search for Pelco EH5723 and Pelco EM2000 and buy from where ever you can get the best price. The Housings will run about $200.00 ea and the mounts will be around $65.00 ea.

 

Computers:

Would be best to find computers with Windows XP Professional 32 bit preloaded. Computers seldom actually break, most are replaced because the owner wants something faster even though his existing computer is working fine. This is actually a good thing for us because as long as the computer is at least a Pentium 4 and can run Windows XP it will have enough horse power to do what we need. These computers can be bought inexpensively from several sources. Our favorite is lease returns from Tiger Direct, eBay is another source of slightly used computers with Windows XP that will work great. The software will work with the 32 Bit version of Windows 7, however XP is much easier to configure, back up and restore.

 

Network Card:

The Capture Computer will need a dedicated network card for the camera along with the network card for a Local Network. The computer will come with at least one network card, AVT recommends the Intel Pro Gigabit Network Adaptor. The link is to Tiger Direct but this card can be purchased from almost and place that sells computer hardware. Cost will be around $30.00

 

Dual Video Cards:

Without a doubt eBay is by far the best source for inexpensive dual and multiple output video cards. Look for ATI or NVIDIA cards with at least 256 meg and VGA cables or connectors. Make sure what you buy is compatible with the AGP slot in the computers you purchase, consult with a local computer guru if you need help. Cost should be $20.00 or less and drivers can be downloaded from the manufactures web site..

 

Printers:

Although the system will work with any photo printer that has Windows drivers, we highly recommend the DNP DS-40 Die Sub Photo printer. If this printer is used the system will report the number of prints left on the media directly to the operator. Prevents frantic media changes, the operator will know before hand when the printer is running out of paper. Please see our Links page for printers and print media suppliers.

 

Monitors/Display:

All computer monitors should be Wide Screen, 16:10 (1440 X 900) with a VGA input connector. Many Flat Panel TV's have a VGA input and can be used for the attraction monitor. Large screen TV's are usually less expensive and easier to find than large screen computer monitors. NOTE: A recent update to the software will allow the use of almost any monitor including newer 16:9 aspect HD monitors.

 

Camera Power Supply:

You will need a high quality 12 volt DC power supply for the camera. The output of this supply will also power the trigger electronics. We have been buying surplus power supplies from Marvin P. Jones for the systems we put together. They are a company that deals in surplus electronics and typically have very high quality power supplies for a fraction of what they would cost through normal channels. The above link will take you to a current offering, hard to beat for $16.00.

 

Sensors:

We need a way to tell the system that a car or train is passing the camera. This can be accomplished with either a proximity sensor mounted to the track or a photo beam sensor with transmitter and receiver mounted at the side. In most cases a proximity sensor is best for anything with a steel track and can trigger off each car. A photo sensor is best used on a Flume and can be mounted to each side of the trough. Odds are the ride already has sensors  which can be used as an example of how best to mount the sensor for the photo system. We have found the most reliable proximity sensors available are from Pepperl + Fuchs and we usually end up with the NJ40+U4+E2 3Way PNP. For a Photo sensor the New Line IRE-35 works well. Again probably best to do a Google search for the sensor you need and buy from the place with the best price. The Pepperl + Fuchs NJ40+U4+E2 will cost about $150.00 but well worth it, the New Line IRE 35 will run about $75.00.

 

KVM Switch:

The most convenient method to allow the operator access to the print server computer is with a KVM switch. A KVM switch switches a single Keyboard, Mouse and Monitor between two computers. Several versions are available from several sources. This was fairly uncomplicated until we added the touch screen option to the software. Both the Capture and Print Server software are Touch Screen friendly but we are not sure if every Touch Screen interface cable can be switched between computers with a KVM switch. Lots of variables from the amount of room in your photo booth to how the computers are set up making this a decision left for when you get everything else installed and working. Worst case you will end up with a keyboard and mouse dedicated to the print server and just switch the monitor. The IOGEAR GCS22U KVM switch is inexpensive at around $30.00 and readily available. Office Depot and Staples both usually have at least one model on the shelf.

Along with the above necessary items you will need CAT-5 or the newer CAT-6 cable between the photo booth and camera site plus a 3 or 4 wire cable between the sensor and camera housing, CAT-3 4 wire telephone cable works fine for the sensor. AC strip receptacles for the photo booth or build the booth with plenty of AC outlets.

The above items will total approximately $4000.00. Adding $500.00 for miscellaneous hardware puts the total hardware cost for a basic system at about $4500.00. Add $5000.00 for software and 20 years of experience developing and installing Thrill Ride Photo systems and you are looking at under $10,000.00 for a complete Photo System that can rival anything on the market regardless of price.

 

 

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