Does anybody know what voltage Bumper Cars use?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by GopherT, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. GopherT

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    I was asked today and, although I've thought about it every time I waited in line to get my turn on those things, I've never looked for an answer until today - only to be disappointed with the lack of info on the interwebs.

    It seems most fairs and amusement parks have discontinued them or turned the bump-inducing open space into an oval all in the name of eliminating hear-on collisions and the concussions and facial injuries that follow (not to mention broken/crushed limbs and hands). Few "experts" are left. Even the guys who operated them back in the day claim the equipment was so poorly maintained that nobody setting them up had an answer either. They just connected this to that and it worked - or it didn't.

    Anyhow, back on the question. The only answers out there seem to be speculation - low estimates based on safety (48 and 50v are common estimates/guesses). Many past employees remember just connecting them to a power drop and assumed they ran off of 120vac but never thought a transformer may be in the pile of crap somewhere.

    One story looked at a rubber insulator and, based on thickness and a conservative safety factor, he suggested they run at 900 volts (that was the highest, and most unlikely, estimate).

    Anyone have a guess? Have an estimate? Or, actually have expert knowledge?

    Thanks.
     
  2. DickCappels

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    Aug 21, 2008
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    Put me down for under 50 volts
     
  3. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    Based upon safety considerations I go with Dick's estimate.
     
  4. GopherT

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

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    I would guess it too but, I've seen the carnival guys and I just have a feeling they are not interested in hauling around a huge transformer. We are talking 6 to 12 cars all running at the same time. I'm hoping 48 volts is the answer but, I'd really like to hear from someone with hands-on experience.
     
  5. Kjeldgaard

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    Apr 7, 2016
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    A quick search, in Danish, for "Radiobiler spænding" led me to Denmark's second largest city Aarhus, Tivoli Friheden, and some data on their cars - It's fortunately 48 Volt.

    The English version of the page can be found here: Bumper Cars
     
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  6. Eddy Current

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    Jan 25, 2017
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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
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  7. GopherT

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    Thanks guys!
     
  8. MrSoftware

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2013
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    How does the electrical system work in those things? I was just at the local fair with my kid and I was staring at the bumper cars. The metal roller on the metal ceiling is obvious, but the floor didn't LOOK conductive.. maybe it is even though it doesn't look like it visually?
     
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  9. Kjeldgaard

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    Apr 7, 2016
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    In my link, it says that it is the "floor" that serves as the return path.
     
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  10. BillB3857

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    Feb 28, 2009
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    When I was a kid (long time ago) we would frequently see sparks between the floor sections during operation. Apparently the ground lead was tied only to one section and the others just made contact from being screwed together. As the week (usual time for carnival), the screws would work lose and the sparking would begin.
     
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  11. spinnaker

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    Oct 29, 2009
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    Is this what keeps you up at night? :)
     
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  12. spinnaker

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    Everyone always wants to take the fun out of everything. :(

    Appearing this summer, in Gopher's back yard. A good old fashioned bumper car ride, complete with broken limbs and head concussions. ;)
     
  13. GopherT

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    No, but I do seem to attract questions from every Tom, Dick and Harry because I know a guy who knows them and yadda, yadda, yadda - I have a stupid question to answer.

    Same way I get asked to judge science fair competitions, scholarship competitions and, most recently, help arrange a series of lecture on, of all topics, living on another planet.
     
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