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Topic: Controlling Kiddie-Ride controller + ceiling fan. (Read 2220 times) previous topic - next topic


Hi there,
First I must apoligize for asking stupid questions. I'm new to Arduino.

I'm working on an animation-installation and I want everything to spin and play when you push a coin into the machine.

This is what has to happen:
When you enter the room there is only one light switched on.
You sit on the mechanical horse and you push a coin into the machine. When a coin is inserted a switch is pushed. This switch sends out an electric signal to the electronic controller inside the mechanical horse. The horse starts moving for 1min30seconds and stops.
At the same time I want 2 lights to switch on, so there will be 3 lights on.
When the mechanical horse is moving I want a ceiling fan to start spinning at the same time as well and I want it to stop after 1.30minutes
And to make things more difficult then they already are I want a video to be shown. I have a pc-laptop which I can use.

Is this difficult to do for a newbie, maybe someone has a tutorial lying around and I only need to follow and I'm done. Just need some help.

I'm asking around a lot because I hate to just sit and wait but every bit of information is helpful.

If you help me a lot the only thing I have to give you in return are hand-made illustrations to thank you and lots of credits for my graduation project.

Hope to hear from someone soon.



Couldn't add pictures in my first post.

These are the specs for the mechanical horse:

This is the electronic device:

This is my blog:


Having the Arduino read the switch press when the coin is inserted should be easy enough. All depends on the coin accepter mechanism.

Having the Arduino turn on some lights, a fan, and the horse is nearly trivial. Some relays of the appropriate voltage and current rating are all that are required. The relays need to be 5V, low current to activate, or you'll need a transistor that the Arduino can turn on, that will,in turn, activate the relay. Look into SSR (solid state relay).

Turning everything off again 90 seconds later is easy. You will need to consider external kill switches, though, to shut the horse off early if the rider falls off. I know you think it won't happen, but it will.

The Arduino can send serial data to the PC. That serial data could consist of "Play the movie, again, stupid!" (or something like that). The PC could be running a Processing application that listens to the serial port, and responds to requests. It can play the movie, when it gets the right request.

Is this difficult to do for a newbie

Difficult? No. For a newbie? Not if you take it one step at a time.
  • Detect a coin insertion.
  • Turn the relays or transistors on (same thing really, it's just a matter of turning a pin on).
  • Detect the emergency stop button.
  • Turn the relays and transistors off.
  • Add the timer.
  • Send serial data to the PC.
  • Read the serial data on the PC.

maybe someone has a tutorial lying around and I only need to follow and I'm done.

Is this how you have gotten through school, so far? Just re-do something someone else has already learned how to do?

Don't you think that it's time you actually learned to do something on your own?


Thank you very much!! Some helpful information.

Don't get me wrong on this part:
"Is this difficult to do for a newbie, maybe someone has a tutorial lying around and I only need to follow and I'm done. Just need some help."

I'm very short on time and just don't have the time to figure out something completely new by myself this time only after I'm done. I'm studying animation and I'm doing something that's is not regularly done by animation students. Most of them don't have to deal with electronics except turning on their hard-drives and computers.

It's a bit pre-judgemental to think that this is the way I usually get things done by only reading one message I posted.

But thanks again for the info.


I'm very short on time and just don't have the time to figure out something completely new

I think this is another way of saying "I waited too long to get started, so now I want to use someone else's work."

This is an exciting opportunity to learn something new. Don't pass it up!


No, wrong again. But the thing here is that what you are doing now is that you judge me as a person and this is a bit weird to do since we don't know each other. Your accusing me of not wanting to learn new things.
I didn't know what I was getting myself into with this project in the first place, talking about learning new things,  and now I stumble upon this problem which is not the part I'm getting judged for by my teachers. But arguing seems a bit useless because we can't agree. Things aren't black and white you know.
But don't worry you will see me more often on this site because the Arduino is pretty damn cool.


Well, I'm certainly willing to help you learn stuff. But, you won't learn anything by following some tutorial someone else put together.

You are right in that I was perhaps a bit harsh on you to start with, but you were looking for something someone else had already done. Then, you justified this by saying you were short on time, but that you'd do all the necessary learning after the project is complete.

I want to see you learn how to choose appropriate components, how to connect them to the Arduino and to the devices you are trying to control, and how to program the Arduino to read from and write to the pins that control the hardware.

I don't want to see you do that by following a cookbook that someone else put together. You don't learn to be a cook by following recipes. You learn to be a cook by experimenting. You learn what ingredients go with other ingredients. You learn what ratios work well together.

Sure, there is plenty to be learned from looking at cookbooks. But, you must experiment, too.

The same applies to hardware and software design.


But, you won't learn anything by following some tutorial someone else put together

Now, call me old-fashioned, but isn't that how most of us learn?  ;D
"Pete, it's a fool looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." Ulysses Everett McGill.
Do not send technical questions via personal messaging - they will be ignored.


Now, call me old-fashioned, but isn't that how most of us learn?

Just following insert tab A into slot B instructions? I don't think so. I think we learn when we dig deeper and learn why tab A goes into slot B, and what happens when you don't put tab A into slot B, or you put tab A somewhere else, or you put something else in slot B.

But, maybe that's just me.


Well, you're right and I bought myself some extra time to find out this part of my project. You must be proud :D. I'm sad because it hurts my wallet. My whole problem is I want to do everything and I mean everything, not only the Arduino, on my own which is positive but  there is a negative side to it as well because I cannot concentrate on one thing at the same time. And when there is a deadline involved the stress starts building up towards the end because I need to do this, this, this, this, this and this. Oh, and this too!

But I still want to do this on my own, figuring out the Arduino and you might think: "Yeah, great you learn new stuff!" But actually it's not that good for my health. And you might think you need to plan better. I do plan but you always encounter unseen problems and you need to adjust and start over again. Resulting in that you will fall behind your planning because with this project everthing is new. Meaning, I don't know how long something will take. I'm guessing. Next time I will know and that's what it's all worth for, I agree but it's not very healthy this way.

Anyway, since I have this personality disorder wanting to do everything by myself I do have some questions about the relay and coin switch, hope you can inform me a bit.

Do I need to unhook the wires from the controller (see photo) , attach them to the arduino, let some wires go from the arduino to the controller coin switch part?

Or do I need to connect it directly at the physical switch.  

I've been looking for relays and how to connect them but I can't seem to figure out which one to get. The coin, music mechanism has 12v dc. The horse itself has 220/240v AC. Don't know yet about the light and fan. I have 2 Driver Relay boards with 2 relays on it (so 4 relays). It says 5v. I have a few currents board with 20mA and 2 with 50mA.

What about transistors and/or diodes, which ones. I looked up a few tutorials and lot's of other threads and I think it's safer to use transistors but don't know much about them.

I'm being very carefull because the horse wasn't cheap and I'm afraid I will kill my horse. I want to go to the radio-shack and I was looking up this week what to buy but I just can't seem to figure out what I need and how to choose. And the guys at the radio-shack don't know much... :P  



Yes, yes, yes to answer your questions.
Thank you very much, makes it a lot easier I hope.

But I still need to attach the horse to the arduino so the arduino knows when to play the movie, right?
When someone flips a coin into the machine the arduino gets a signal: "hey something is asking for power at pin something,something well in that case I'll play a little movie."

Yeah, I saw the keyboard emulator circuits and if I'm correct I can use flash as well :D

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