With the general shape of the model coming together, focus has shifted to the electrical and mechanics that make it all move. The first task was to run all of the gondola motor cables through the arms.
The gondola motors will connect to a controller hidden in the lifting crown. It pained me to break holes in the lifting crown to get things set up in there but it shouldn’t look too bad once it’s covered up in the end.
I did some quick tests with the controller and it looks like it’s working fine. It will communicate with a main controller in the tower/base.
Then it was onto the mechanism that will lift and lower the model. It’s driven by a stepper motor, which is something I’ve never used before. My first idea for its configuration was to put the motor on the base and have a pulley system. After some trials and errors, including using a water bottle as a counterweight, I finally decided on putting the motor up above instead of at the base.
And instead of using a counterweight, I bought a spring to keep the tension on the belt. It has worked out quite well, keeping the belt taut and it rarely ever skids on the motor shaft as it did often in my trials.