Jump to content

Need Help With "flying Reindeer".

Recommended Posts

This will be our first year to try animation in our Christmas display and would love some advice.  We are wanting to add a "Reindeer Games" addition to our display and I saw a picture in another thread and believe this is the best way to go for what we are wanting to do.  In the picture from the other thread it was built much like a ski lift.  There was a 4x4 pole with a bicycle wheel being used as a pully and turn around for the reindeer and sleigh that was attached to the cable.  It appears that they used a garage door motor to drive the bicycle wheel.  We are thinking we are going to have 3 or 4 reindeer doing touch and goes around the yard.  In looking forward to the future we could change the reindeer and put elves riding in ski lift chairs to make it different without having to build a whole new display.  Any help and or pictures would greatly be appreciated.  One main concern is what size motor to use and if there is something I can buy to attach the reindeer to the cable.  I am trying to keep the weight of the reindeer to around 10 lbs.   There is also the issue of how to anchor the poles in the ground since they will only be used for a month.  I have a few ideas but if I can cut down on the learning curve that would be awesome.  I just joined this site and i am impressed with the amount of knowledge and talent here.  This will be added to our display that is currently all cut outs.  Thank you in advance and look forward to getting started on this project. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 I would be careful about a garage door opener motor. They're not rated for 100% duty cycle. Most are rated by a cycle, or one complete opening and closing of a garage door, and that's pretty low.....like 6 to 10 cycles per HOUR.


I would also watch to see how the motor you do choose, can be mounted. By the sound of it, you're looking for a vertical shaft motor. Most but not all horizontal shaft motors can't be run in the vertical position because they don't have tapered roller bearings or a thrust bearing, they just have roller bearings and those are meant to support a shaft horizontally only. Taper roller bearings can support the shaft in any position and you need that to keep the shaft from wanting to fall out of the motor.



I think the cheapest and easiest way to attach anything to the wire rope would be to cut small sections of copper tubing and solder some sort of small flat or round stock steel to the copper. Then slide the copper tubing onto the wire rope, and give it a little tap with a hammer just to hold it in position where you want it on the wire rope.


Keep the sections of tubing under an inch or so and they'll walk right around a wheel type pulley if you tweak the steel with a little bend in it so the tubing and rope can ride inside the rim and the steel stock attached to it will still hang down straight for the deer or whatever. Once it makes the turn, the deer with still hang straight down, but the wire rope will turn a little now because of that small bend in the steel stock attaching the wore rope to the deer.


We're not building a church here, but we don't want it to burn out in a couple nights either or flop around when making a turn.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...