View Full Version : Pond-jumper

01-12-2007, 01:16 AM
I worked at a haunted barn/hayride a couple years back, and the farmer had some great ideas.... but no actual motivation. He came up with a bunch of brilliant plans; one of them I just remembered and it makes me curious.

His idea was to build a popup in the middle of this very small pond, don't remember how deep it was but it was about 30 feet wide. The prop was going to be very large, sit submerged underwater and rise up as the wagon passed by. His idea was to have it be pneumatic, bbuuttt I was a little skeptical of that.

I've seen small popups to come out of barrels filled with water, but has anyone seen or constructed any large props that sit submerged like this?

01-12-2007, 04:22 AM
I hear the grinding of gears.
If the idea has not been designed already it will by the end of the day.

Jim Warfield
01-12-2007, 07:41 AM
Send compresed air (through a hose under the water, the hose will have to be weighted down) inflate some air bags under the creature, it will rise.
unless the pond is very shallow, predictable with a solid bottom to push off from, forget "Newy and the Matics"
Anything will have to anchored to prevent it from moving too close to shore or disappearing downstream in a rainstorm.
I planned upon building a seamonster in the creek behind my house if my stone age theme park ever happened. The creature rising from the dark waters would have been the last event of the day as the virgin sacrifice was floated out to appease and corn the creature.
All their shiney-rock money would be desperately thrown into the water, eliminating exchanging it back to real dollars in attempt to save the virgin(for themselves probably)
Yes, "A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste", but at least ideas can be inspiring and entertaining even if they never happen in this physical world.

01-12-2007, 08:16 AM
Without a solid platform fo some kind on the bottom it would be very difficult. Using pneumatics in water, however, is not NECESSARILY a bad idea if you take the proper precatutions. No steel parts would be a good place to start and you will have to make routine repairs. I would use cylinders that are rebuildable (can be taken apart) because the seals, for instance, will give out after a while in the water. When the monster doesn't want to move very well and every time he fires the water starts bubbling it is time for some new seals. Cool idea though.

RJ Productions
01-12-2007, 01:37 PM
Rocky Point had an animation that popped out of a shallow pond in the Lord of the Rings area. They ran that for a couple years.

You may have to take a few steps to protect the rams, coat or use a not rusting material for the armatures....ect.

01-12-2007, 02:11 PM
i guess this is just my old days of home haunting coming out but i hear a 12 inch rainbird irrigation popup head works just like an air ram/i dont know how much you would be lifting but its already made for water

Jim Warfield
01-12-2007, 04:49 PM
Get a pump from a sewer cleaning machine and put 3,500psi through it, it will lift anything, or die trying?
Turn on the video camera first.

RJ Productions
01-13-2007, 07:50 PM
Anytime you try and use plastic water use material for higher pressure air uses you are courting danger. Any stress crack, impact or other misuse and you adding air pressure creates an EXPLOSIVE situation! Can you say plastic shrapnel?

Since these products are not intended for such use any mishap falls directly on you for the misuse.

Using actual air valve and air cylinders adds tremendous safety value, length of service and reliability. I would NEVER use or especially buy a product that uses sprinkler parts.

I always look for ways to modify things for haunt use, but when it comes to safety concerns...use the real thing! The cost difference far outweighs the safety factor!!

Greg Chrise
01-13-2007, 08:54 PM
Instead of pressure, use a volume of what is already there, water. Put a submersible pump under the water and bring the cord out to what ever switch will be the on and off. Build one of those PVC rams out of say 2 inch pipe, all plastic and hook it up to the 2 inch line from the submersible. On equals quick movement off means gravity fall back into the water.

The creature might have a relief of even this low under 20 psi stream and puke water at the patrons once up with a simple open hole. The size pump is pretty much a budget thing and gallons per minute calculation. No high pressure, no long runs and anchoring of air lines. It only needs a big rock and a submersible pump. The big rock could be a poured concrete hunk that has the mounting for the structure of the body or the hinge it rises on or what ever.

01-13-2007, 09:56 PM
see, the gears are a grinding

Jim Warfield
01-13-2007, 10:01 PM
Water cooled gears.
ceramic coated= no rust.
Or solid nylon?

Greg Chrise
01-13-2007, 10:11 PM
Okay, who put that solid nylon gear in here? I've slipped a whole cog now.

01-14-2007, 08:39 AM
was just a sugestion but good luck using your real air ram under water lol

01-14-2007, 08:57 AM
The water pump is a good idea, but there are still pressure concerns. The "lift" that you need is simply a function of the pressure in the cylinder and the surface area of the cylinder's plunger. You could get away with low pressure, but the bore of the cylinder would have to be quite large. For instance, 20 psi with a 2 inch bore will only be able to lift about 62 pounds. If you make the cylinder with a 6 inch bore (and you can easily find PVC that big) at 20 psi you could lift 565 pounds. If you are really thinking about doing this, when you size a water pump they will be rated in gallons per minute at a certain head. 7.5 gallons per minute, if you are using a 6 inch bore cylinder, will give you about 1 inch per second rise for the prop. 1 foot of head is approximately 0.434 psi so you can determine pressure rating that way. If you need to lift about 550 pounds and want a rise of, say, 6 inches a second you need a pump capable of about 45 gallons per minute at 50 feet of head. If you really decide to do this and would like a little help just let me know. Either way, I hope this helps some.

Jim Warfield
01-14-2007, 10:12 AM
But has anyone ever had that much head all at once and survived?

Greg Chrise
01-14-2007, 08:23 PM
The prop should be made to weigh very little like 20 pounds, the 2 or 2.5 inch cylinder becomes just and extention of a submersible that does only about 3.5 gallons per minute and the true pressure is probably less than 4 psi. It isn't a hydralic seal so much as displacement of water. If you put a gallon of water in part of a volume that weighs 8 pounds pergallon and at low presures is not compressed it is no different than putting your hand in the tub and pushing it like a puppet.

The 3.5 gallon submersible pumps usually have a 1.5 inch hose and even if it was slow it would be believable rather than being a pop up creature.

If you wanted to pop up the cylinder should be pnuematic and perhaps be in a basin not really submerged in water. Sort of like a trash can terror only stuck in the water.

A still quick but lumbering raising of a creature that does not have a human shape would be more discomforting as it is not easily recongnized for anything other than what it is, an unidentifiable monster moving on its own with no air noise.

01-15-2007, 08:22 AM
Sure, if the prop only weighs twenty pounds you could do almost anything. You could just about blow into a straw attached to the cylinder to lift it. How, though, are you going to make something that large only weigh twenty pounds and, if you suceed, how are you going to make it more dense than water so it won't float? I'm afraid that by trying to make the problem easier you will make it much harder.

You can very easily make a heavy prop out of some kind of resin maybe with an aluminum or stainless steel skeleton. Build a really big cylinder and get a nice pump like the one I had mentioned and you're good to go. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking the whole project costs you less than $1000 when it's all said and done and you would have a totally unique prop that will definitely get your patron's attention.

Jim Warfield
01-15-2007, 09:27 AM
I have scared alot of people moving myself or something "slower" rather than "faster'.
Pnuematics are often too fast in my opinion and people miss the scare.
Also if they are too quick the mind doesn't have any real time to get scared, it's all over with too quickly.
Dr. Frankenfurter sang about what I mean:"An-tic-i-pa-tion".
More mental involvement rather than less, then the customer feels like they experienced something, thereby adding more perceived value to the tour, maybe making them more happy to have paid for a ticket and taken the time to do the haunt.

01-15-2007, 12:44 PM
Also need to take into consideration the drag of the water itself. If the object is completely submerged before hand, pushing it through the surface will be quite the task, adding more weight than in plain air. And if it only weighed twenty pounds and was quite large, would it have enough support to be forced through the water time and time again?

I've never been, and have no idea what it looks like or how it works, but what about the Jaws ride at orlando? I think it's at orlando, at least.

Also, what if you had a prop that was more of a springloaded type object and simply was reset with a crank or something like that? Maybe simple is the way to go. Looks like it's either something really simple or really expensive.

Depending upon the depth, you may need a very tall figure to lay flat to stay hidden, so maybe having some sort of a spring which stands the figure upright from underwater, a giant bungee, that sort of thing.

Greg Chrise
01-15-2007, 03:07 PM
Another way to approach it is that the actual mechanisms are behind the scenery. A big under water teeter toter pushes the creature up or it is a cable operated contraption.

If floating is a problem perhaps the creature thrusts out from under a mossy spot out along the water toward the patron.

Rather than make the mechanisms high dollar and for a specific purpose, make several styles of actuator mechanisms and see what they are capable off.

For smaller low pressure pnuematics and even water pressure there are even bicycle pumps made entirely from plastic that can be converted to move things. Short strokes as well weok wonders, it need not be a telescoping actuator from a dump truck to get a thrill.

There are also counterweights. Even though the creature weighs 60 pounds and the actualtor is a submersible pump a cable and pulley with weight can be rigged to make it weigh nothing.

Then there are other physical things like if the creature is hollow and somewhat air tight and submerged, simply filling it with a big volume of air would make it float way above the water, coming up only restrained by nylon tie ropes and weights on the bottom of the pond. For quick action think a big bellows or a 6 inch tube of PVC 4 foot long with a piston or a precharge of air and a valve to blow the thing up out of the water.

My gears hurt.

01-15-2007, 03:21 PM
Hmm... well with that then you could make it rise up and out of the water. With the right lighting, you have a magic trick

And then, you can have an extender on the end of the teeter toter, it will rise up, out, and at you over the water, floating across the surface.

....I need some money lol

Jim Warfield
01-15-2007, 09:19 PM
"Rising up , up from the reeds next to the river bank, it's , it;s ...Moses!"
I was thinking along the river bank too.
How about something more simple and less fantastic , thereby maybe more scary because they just may be real? How about a few floating human bodys out there on the Golden Pond?
Of course those simple air sacks wearing Salvation Army clothing could rise and sink with the push of a button releasing and restoring their air.
While people are straining to see the floating bodies 50 feet out in the pond is when the reed-guy pops up infront of them for full effect.

Mr Nightmarez
01-16-2007, 11:10 AM
Could you just light an already erect prop and allow it to spray water? And have the lights hit it?

or the idea of the mechanic being outside the water and using leverage to pull it up would be my other suggestion (I believe Greg covered that)

Verdun Manor had a big dragon in the lake that came to life and sprayed water at unsuspecting guest... So maybe a distraction then SPLAT? :wink:

I love spraying guest... Exploding toilets are the best... :lol: :twisted:
Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

Greg Chrise
01-16-2007, 12:57 PM
Get a real Pleziasaur from Lock Ness, Scotland to just bite a stander by off at the rib cage and squirt real blood on them. The suspense could be built up by an actor portraying the late Marlon Perkings from Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kindom.

Put a guy in a scuba suit and a rubber godzulla costume to jump up out of the water. A prolog by Jaques Costeo.

It could be a pro fisherman pulls out a big one.

It could be a big marrionette with the lights only on the creature, the puppeteers on a scaffold painted flat black and wearing ninja suits. There could be a song from Kermit the swamp years and the monster doing a duet.

A civil war style turtle submarine could be under the water to do puppets from underneath. The monster could be a big black trash bag with styrofoam ball eyes if you are on a budget. To be scarry don't make the monster voices too squeeky.

Steal the Jaws animatronic from Universal Studios Tours.

Or, I like the light idea. It is actually mostly out of the water already but the light comes on and it moves only slightly for the effect.

Or there is this big bubbling in the water first and something really big pops up. No one seems to know where the back hoe went.

Or, it is actually a big clear tube and is sucked up like the vacuum transport at the bank drive through. Put a sign on it noting not to pay any attention to the plexiglas tube for full effect.

Or, just have bubbles in the water and tell them to run! This is either a swimming pool blower for a spa, an air hose off of a compressed air tank and PVC with holes in it to spread out the bubbles or a scuba diver with days of bean eating competitions. Earlier shows could actually have fire on the water.

If it is a wooded trail next to a lake, it could be a long piece of pipe a boom if you wiil, with counterweights actually on the woods side of the path, pulling up a cable with some prelude to look toward the water like bubbles and underwater lights.

If it is an open field and a wide open lake, maybe it goes up with big garage door springs on a metal frame and goes back down with pnuematics.

Maybe it comes up on the path like Jaws? The mechanisms are on the bank of the pond and pull toward the patrons.

I think a guy farting and then jumping up with a black trash bag is the scariest.

01-16-2007, 01:51 PM
I think a guy farting and then jumping up with a black trash bag is the scariest.

Lol, aannddd the gears are worn out

...though I agree