Hello, I want to try to build something this year that I have never tried before, but I certain I will be able to complete it with a little help and advise. The project consist of a 8x4 plywood bottom platform that will move forward in a track about 10 feet. The platform will have a back portion that will rest on top of the bottom section by 6 inches. The back will be hinged so it can raise up to its upright position resting in a "L" shape. This will serve as a stage for certain figures that will be lighted for parts of the show. However I want it to be able to close and move back when not in use. So, here are my questions;
1. What type of motor do I use, AC or DC? How large of a motor do I need? Platform weight is about 60 or 70 pounds, but travels on wheels inside a steel track.
2. I was planning on using a cable to pull the platform forward. It would wind up on a spool and it would be able to pull up the back of the platform to its upright position when in the forward position. However, How do I get it to return? Do I use a spring of some sort? Ten feet is a long way and a big spring. I thought of using some type of chain instead of cable like bicycle chain, but that would be very expensive but I believe it would work in both direction. Right?
3. Then how do I get the motor to stop in the forward position and in the back resting position. There must be limit switches out there for this type of thing. And, will the motor auto reverse when it is turned on and off each time?
As you can see I've never worked with these types of motors and contraptions. Any advice will be greatly appreciated as to the best place to buy and how to build the above. I know many of you have completed things of this nature before and I can learn a great deal form you.
Thanks for you advise and help in advance!!!
Best wishes, Ralph